BY SWAMI CHETANANANDA
Most of the world’s major religious traditions suggest that the world and the physical body are places of temptation and evil. That is not the view of the tantric tradition. The tantric tradition views the body as curtains of light. The body is curtains of light that, due to a suppression of the activity of the breath of life, are condensed into what appears as our form.
There is, in fact, a total integration between physical, mental/emotional and spiritual. There’s no such thing as body being over here, mind being over there, and God being someplace up above. The body is the mind, the mind is the body, and there is no separation. All we need to do is take a few small steps in practice to begin to understand that. The body and the mind are expressions of the divine creative force and there is no separation. Then we loop back to the understanding that the body is not the source of sin and degradation and the pathway to hell. On the contrary, the body is divine. The body is the condensation of the ultimate creative energy.
When the breath of life within us is released and can flow, then the condensation of the curtains of light that we are is released as well. When the layers of respiration within us can move freely, the circulation allows the layers of curtain that is our body to become expanded, allows the breath moving in our body to become full, and in the fullness of the expansion of the breath, our awareness expands to the degree that we begin to appreciate that this body is an energetic event. We can literally feel the energy moving in our muscles.
The body is curtains of light. The mind is the sparkle and the shimmer in those curtains of light. The curtains themselves are the breath of God. You have within yourself a creative capacity that your mind will never be able to wrap itself around. It’s not what the mind exists for. But when you know that creative capacity and you can establish yourself in connection with it and hold that space of the breath, that creative capacity will completely reorganize you and express that reorganization in the total field of your experience. That’s when the recognition emerges: I Am That. I am that divine creative energy.
Whether you are sitting in your favorite coffee shop having your coffee in the morning, or going to work, doing whatever you do, working in your day, you are nothing but the breath of God. Whatever you are doing, you are an expression of the fundamental respiratory process that underlies the entire universe.