Written 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.