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The tantric dance of meditation and embodiment

How meditation and embodiment, through yoga and other practices, can bring us closer to the bliss of being alive. By Shakti Sundari

So, tantra, whether you’re called to full self-realisation or just bette sex, requires you to be in your body. Fully. But the thing is that most human beings are not fully in their bodies. Nowhere near. And do you know why? The mind. Thoughts, beliefs, programming from the earliest age that inculcate a separation from, shaming and disciplining of the body. As if it's a naughty, nuisance child. To be seen, not heard.

And, if you're a woman, layering in the patriarchal fear and disgust of your cyclicity and sensitivity, whilst simultaneously making you an object. With no subject. To be prized, possessed, capitalised upon and letched at. Setting you up for self-loathing, inner conflict and self-forgetting. And the acceptance or imposition of behaviours that reinforce a dissociative disconnect from your body temple.

Young attractive woman practicing yoga, standing in Natarajasana exercise, Lord of the Dance pose, working out, wearing sportswear bra and pants, white loft studio background, full length, side view

Which is why practically every woman I've met in the thousands of dance, yoga and tantra classes I've taught, is either not in or at one with her body. And not experiencing herself at her fullest sensual or spiritual potential as a result.

Which, I must remind you, has nothing to do with how she looks. It never ceases to amaze and amuse me how many men chase external beauty, without realising it is a meaningless indicator of sexual openness or enjoyment in a woman. Likewise, it never ceases to sadden me, how many women still peg their worth to the shape and size of their bodies.

The upshot of all of this, though, is that the minute we begin any tantric practice (which means being in the body and aware) all of those thoughts, beliefs, resistances, self-loathings, abuses and traumas begin to come to light. The mind speaks. Not with words. But in sensation or numbness.

“And if you were to ask me how to awaken, my answer would be the same: get into your body and meditate. Which, in super simple terms, is the essence of tantra.”

Tears and shaking. Energy or stagnation. Pain or pleasure. Because body and mind are one, even if we don't know it or think they are. Which means that equal and opposite attention is and must be given to the cultivation of a clearer, stiller mind, alongside deeper embodiment. Full immersion in sensual experience is one route to such an emptying out. Merging self, witness and sensation into their unified still point.

But typically, there is the need to accompany embodied practice with an ongoing devotion to meditative awareness, because everyone is addicted to thinking. Through meditation, we:

• Wash the screen of the conditioned mind.

• Strengthen the capacity to be, not do.

• Detach from identification.

• Touch into the infinite expanse of formless, thoughtless, sensation-less space where all those stories we tell ourselves do not exist.

So that the body can simultaneously be re-made and experienced at ever more refined levels of consciousness. So that the two become one, entering into a fluid expression of life, creating and evolving from the source of our being, which is bliss and love.

Oh, and in case you wondered, living, let alone love-making, at that place is about as juicy as it gets! When people ask me how to become better lovers, I tell them that the simple answer is to get into their bodies and meditate. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's all about touching, technique or jiggling around your bits. There's no point or pleasure in that if your body is armoured or your mind stuck in overdrive.

And if you were to ask me how to awaken, my answer would be the same: get into your body and meditate. Which, in super simple terms, is the essence of

Connect with Shakti Sundari via Instagram @shaktisundarfor or find her online: shaktisundari.com

Shakti Sundari

Shakti Sundari is a masterful curator of embodied awareness and awakening, with a devotion to love, truth and inner union.