Written by Iris Disse
(Scenes of a love – a research trip)
Experiencing ecstasies, enduring crises, forgiving, reinventing the relationship. All this is part of the dramaturgy of a true love story, about the ever new blossoming of a great love.
My Great Love – The Film
We’ve been journeying through our lives together for a long time now. What is that– love? A rock on which I can stand on? A cloud that dissipates again and again? Both?
At the time, I was visiting you in Vienna. We barely knew each other then. You were awaiting me in your doorway, a steaming chicken on a plate in hand, a knife and fork were protruding from it. Max and Moritz? No. You looked at me, with your eyes you penetrated me. A sexual masculine look. I liked that.
Later in the night, we made love, again and again. You told me about your time as a tango dancer. You played “Loco” for me, sung by drunken Goyeneche, el Polaco, performed by Piazolla. In that moment, I almost cried myself senseless. You just held me, and didn’t even try to comfort me. I knew then and there that we love each other. For ever and ever, always, and even more.
The Film Tears – Crisis
Crises are part of love, everyone knows that… It can feel horrible, it can destroy me, and I do not want that. It started right when I got pregnant and sent you away because of it – I couldn’t stand you being close to me. Why? I don’t know. You lived in Zurich, I lived in Berlin. I told you the child was not yours to make any advances impossible. Then you finally left with the words, ”I know that’s not true. I love you.”
One morning, when our son was seven months old, I knew that I had to introduce him to you. Zurich. The little one is finally asleep. We are sitting in your room, I on the waterbed with balloon silk sheets, you at the desk. Still, this silence. It is intense and good. We have not spoken about ”our” son yet. We simply are, the three of us together. Now. ”Come here.” I’m coming and you pull me on your lap. We sat very still, and there I was, back home in our love and endlessly happy. The division had simply perished.
Film Editing – Forgiving
Over and over again, we had these moments: Everything is over. The end. Never again… and in the next moment, boundless intimacy. We had to learn to forgive again, and again, and one more time. When I came to you with our son, you forgave me, and I found that to be heroic. Later on, I was the one who had to learn to forgive, when you lied to me. Deceived. The one who loves opens up for injuries. Vulnerability. It is my decision to love and allow that to happen. After many fruitless disputes it became clear: If we do not learn to take responsibility for our own love wounds and to heal them, we must separate. That, after everything, we did not want to do.
We began reviewing our own love films and looking behind the other person’s curtain. But alas, we meet a picture puzzle (German: vexierbild). Its properties are described by Franz Kafka as “clear and invisible: clear for those who have found what they were asked to look for; invisible to those who do not even know that there is something to look for.”
It was clear to me when I was looking at you, that you were living in your father’s film. But to you that was invisible, and thus nonsense. Hardly necessary to say, I was just as blind when you were addressing my behaviors.
Behind me stands my mother… and my father. After all, I am my father’s daughter. We realize that my pregnancy had triggered boundless panic: ”Now I am in the mother and wife trap,” which, as an actress and a director, I definitely did not want to be caught in. I would rather bring the child into the world on my own. Then again for you, a small affair wasn’t cheating, and denying it was not a lie. That’s just what you do in such a situation, it’s what your father had been doing all along. For me, an absolute no-go. For you, a trifle.
New Screenplay – Tantra
We were looking for concrete help. Techniques. Tools in matters of love, sexuality, and spirituality. We began a year-long tantra training.
A revelation. I learn that however I twist and turn it, my feelings always lie. When I am in love with you, all I see is my inner dream man. When I detest you, I see my inner negative man. In this case, I conclude that I’d rather consciously create a positive lie: You are my Shiva, my God, and I am your Shakti, your Goddess. Wow– it works.
I learn about my communication. Love, sexuality, emotions – a tangle that has to be unraveled. What are they to you? To me? How can I remain free and love anyways? How do I project my own lack of freedom onto you? Why do I do that? How do I become guilty with respect to love? Does that even exist at all– guilt? Are you responsible for my happiness? My satisfaction? I learn that only I alone am responsible for my love, my sexuality, my happiness, my development, my boundaries, and my openings. Ouch. There are no more victims.
How do I touch a man? How do I want to be touched? How can I talk to you about it? I realize that the meditative Kaula-Tantra-Yoga can help my body to become a vessel for desire and its preservation. An aphrodisiac.
I learn that love is not a feeling in the long run. It is a decision. I decide, with you, a man, to walk along a path. We do not just look into each other but also outside, onto life. We create a common vision, build our reality together. And allow space, so that each can develop him and herself.
I learn that love is not a state. It has to be recreated with every encounter. For this, I have to let go after every intense moment and find a way back to myself. Love needs perseverance and rituals which are binding us. Time for love.
I learn that my feeling of love needs space, inner stillness. It needs meditation, slowness. Yoga. This way I can breath again and liberate myself from the suffocating weeds of everyday life. Then, it blossoms: a delicate, strong, wondrous and luminous flower. My love.
Another Film – Lover
The aspiration to a monogamous love life could not be fulfilled. You also want to pick other flowers along the way when you are on travels. First, it is a scandal to my film of the ”only great love.”
We were doing research about love and freedom at the Center for Experimental Cultural Design, ZEGG, a community of 100 people. I hesitantly said “yes.” During the Tantra training, I had experienced an openness of heart that cancels out all jealousy. Then, I am strong. I want to endure you, man, the way you are. As long as there are no more secrets.
Later, I too will appreciate this freedom. When we had both had consistent lovers for over two years penetrating our daily lives we reached our limits. Today, many years later, we are still together. This times with lovers has connected us on even deeper levels. Nowadays, I would only recommend this experiment if it goes hand in hand with an honest interest in love research. Additionally, the couple should be able to connect and advise with others that are on the same path. Or live polyarmoros right away. Everything is possible if I stand to myself and communicate openly.
The patriarchal manner of ”lying to women in love matters does not count as a lie” hurts and is not worthy of love. We wouldn’t have survived this experiment as a couple if we had not stuck to our weekly and obligatory times for rituals. We were forced to apply everything we had learned. Until today, we have to keep reinventing our love through all crises.
Film Premiere – Passion and Everyday Life
The fights that we are getting stuck in are called ”Red-Green.” You say green, I say red, you say red, I say green. At the slightest occasion it can spiral: ”Can’t you put the cheese back into the fridge, for once?” Green: ”That’s just like you to point out when it is you leaving everything laying around all the time.” And it’s all crashing down again.
What is this all even about? Sometimes it’s quite easy: We haven’t made love in a long time, and so, the weeds of everyday life engulf us. It becomes more and more prepotent and seems to cancel out everything else. Most of the times, it is a sign that we are not connected. Then your closeness is too close for me, it’s itching, distracting me from my topics, I get confused, lose my concentration and direction. Instead, the energy whirls in circles and we become cranky, sensitive and dance on each other’s nerves, opposed to dancing with each other. I feel grey and numb.
In these cases, the first step is taking a walk, just me and myself. Desire is to feel that I am alive, the wind stroking my skin and the sun warming my hair. Next up, you and I: I start becoming creative and ask myself: What do I want?
I want to surf on the high waves of ecstasy with you. I want to be able to look at each other doing so, to rest, laugh, play and then dive back into the sacred earnestness of the orgasm. That is what I wish for, again and again. That is what I associate with love, connection, trust. That is what makes me happy, open, wide. And sometimes, it really manifests, we are one, beyond space and time, and that is a miracle.
What can I do? Maybe I’ll invite you to a mutual ritual– even though nothing, truly nothing, feels like love or passion right now.
It is an intriguing insight to realize that you need discipline in love, a ritual framework in which the game of bodies, souls and minds can unfold. It is exciting to know that we can create it deliberately, this mystery that is bigger than you and I. And it connects me– to you, the tree, the wind, the flower, my dog, and the cat. To my neighbor who is cultivating maize on the high field and putting bean seeds into the soil. That again connects me to the hungry woman on a photo of Sebastiao Salgado. Then I know that this concerns me, this hunger affects me. Then I know that we must do something to make our planet a better place to live on.
My desire affirms that I am given the creative power to change something. We are setting off. You are all over the world as a neutral host in areas of permanent crises. I make movies and own a school of Tantra, Yoga and Shamanism in order to stimulate transformation.
Thank you, beloved.
Yoga Power Love
by Iris Disse
…. and what about my beloved: How an initially very unusual practice gave rise to the responsibility of one’s own feelings and self-love, as well as the ability to consciously open the heart and to live a life between the two poles of love and freedom.
– Iris Disse about her path along Kaula Tantra Yoga
In the beginning, there was resistance. Kaula Tantra Yoga is slow. It is meditative. Above all, there is only one rule. You shall not do. Oh dear. In our active lives this seems rather unattractive at first. How is it supposed to work? Starting off, I do not feel abundance and relaxation but rather tense awaiting. I lie in Shavasana and am supposed to just concentrate on my breathing. Hey, is my teacher sleeping? When will we finally continue… No, not Shavasana again, that’s really more than enough. I would like to just jump up and walk away. I get aggressive rather than relaxed, I fantasize about lashing out if there’s another ”Flow into Shalabhasana while you relax… flow this way and that, simply let yourself flow…” That’s how many of us feel. Others do not fight, they flow into over relaxation, simply falling asleep and waking up again when it is all over.
But at some point I find the flow, feel my body’s pleasure during this meditative movement that arises through deep relaxation. My mind releases, my face relaxes, the waves of thought are no longer crashing upon me. There are even small pauses which are getting longer. There it is, meditation. One session lasts two and a half hours, sometimes three. And I don’t want it to stop. I keep researching. The yoga path opens up- it is a tantric one for me. There I can perceive my life as a creative process that makes me dance alongside my destiny.
Does yoga give me love or does yoga give me power? I feel that yoga gives me power. First of all, the power over myself. I perceive myself more consciously. I can take responsibility for myself, my thoughts, my emotions. More specifically, I can feel my thoughts evoking my emotions. Now that the turmoil in my head is relaxing, I can recognize it sometimes. My feelings follow mostly unconscious thoughts. If I am not thinking a thought or if I deliberately change it, I can suddenly feel different. It’s actually quite simple. Something inside of me discovers that joy in movement can develop without any effort. And that a deep satisfaction arises, not only once the work is done but already while my muscles are moving.
I get into a slight trance and that simply feels wonderful. After a session I am open and friendly towards myself. That is connected to love. I look at myself with friendly compassion even when I was not in a good mood and the resistances reappeared. It is what it is and that is good. I do not evaluate anymore. I also do not judge my performance. I know now that it is not about performance. I do not need to proof anything to myself. It is about me, my soul self. And this soul self, as is generally known, is already okay. That’s what Buddha would shout out to us through the centuries and many other great teachers.
Sat-Chid-Ananda, soul or absolute being, consciousness and bliss, that is our core. In Kaula Tantra Yoga we are allowed to feel it.
Trusting in myself and in others – a new form of Eros.
What is really meant when the Wise, from Yogis to Sufis or Shamans, talk about love? Are they talking about that romantic, kitschy, grand feeling that appears and disappears like a shooting star in the night sky? Or about the little boy, Eros, who is wildly shooting with arrows and immensely enjoys causing a havoc? This great feeling that eventually vanishes again, leaving frustration, rage helplessness behind. ”I was just mistaken, don’t know how I could fall for someone like that?” There it is! Where? Gone again…
On our yoga path, a different kind of love appears, very cautiously. First, it’s not so much about ”the other” after all. It’s about myself. It is like this small plant that breaks through the asphalt. So tender and yet persistently growing. Imperceptible. It starts with me being kinder towards myself. I stop constantly nagging about myself. ”Come on, it’s no big deal after all” I hear myself acknowledging when I missed the train because I wanted to get so much done before leaving. If I start picking on myself mercilessly, ”If only you had… Why haven’t you already … Never on time…” Suddenly, I hear this quiet, kind, but very firm voice: ”No big deal.” There is a feeling of tenderness towards myself. I am what I am and that is okay.
Eventually, I do not have to judge others anymore either. They are also allowed to be just the way they are. Then, we have the option to change, starting in this moment. When I am with people nowadays, I feel my heart opening. This is no romantic Hollywood feeling. It is something concrete, my energy flows from my roots up to my spine and when it reaches the heart it opens up. I can deliberately choose this because Tantra-Yoga taught me to direct this energy. I can not only accept myself as I am but also the people around me. To see the sacred in them even if they might act like complete fools in that moment. When the heart opens up, it generates trust, in myself, in others and in the world. A new form of Eros emerges. I am erotic with everything surrounding me. Walking through the forest, seeing sun rays creating jaguar spots on the forest floor. Listening to the songs of the birds. A waterfall crackling on my head. All of that is communication between me, the woman, and the world. It feels amazing.
And What About My Beloved?
”All is well and good,” you might say now, ”but how does that work on a concrete level, with your partner in your love life?” The greatest challenges in my life are neither my plays, movies, audio plays, nor Durga’s Tiger School ®. No… All of this is very simple compared to the relationship with my beloved.
We have been sharing our paths in life, for a long time now. Without the tantric tools we would no longer exist as a couple. The tension between love and freedom is my main theme in life and during my childhood and adolescence I had learned nothing about it. There were many experiments that enriched us– at the same time many chasms opened up in which we kept plunging. That hurt. The only way to save us was by taking on full responsibility, over and over again. Even for love pains that your partner seems to be able to inflict on you. Sometimes it was mercy. In the course of time we have become good in building bridges.
First and foremost, the opening of the heart chakra enables me to trust my decision to love this man. I can live with the paradox that I can still, and at any time, change the relationship, even towards a friendship if there is no longer a mutual orientation as a couple. He too can leave at any time. Also, I may allow myself to love the world. I do not have to choose. We do not belong to each other. That may sound trivial, but it is not.
In eroticism, something has softened. It is as if the little things have gained significance and depth, breathing together, sounding, a small touch in the night. We don’t have to distance ourselves from each other, like we used to. We can simply flow together, just like that… It is almost impossible to put into words. That’s the beauty in it.