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Tantra, Meditation and Trauma Work

From a tantrik (non-escapist) view, meditation is not about transcending the body and its reality, but rather is the practice of fully coming home to the body and to the present moment. 

Dropping beneath the endless chatter of the mind, about past and future, and residing in immanent sensation of the somatic world. 

Three men in meditation

Here’s the thing.

There’s a reason none of us are in our bodies, and that our minds are endlessly chattering. 

Trauma cuts us off from the body, and locks the mind into threat detection mode, trying to make sense of the past and use it to predict or control the future. 

So much talk of meditation, is about trying to quiet the mind, rest in the body, and be in the present moment. 

But for someone with significant trauma (which I would argue is all of us, although of course not in equal measure), trying to simply “relax into your body” feels like going back into a burning building and settling down for a nap. 

And trying to silence the mind, feels like shutting off the radar in the middle of an air raid. 

My point is, in a modern, western, highly fractured, post-Cartesian, deeply traumatized context, presenting meditation as a stand-alone practice, while ignoring somatic trauma work, is not only unlikely to succeed, but is probably dangerous. 

From my view, a still mind, a calm body, and immersion into the present moment is our natural state. So the process becomes much less about trying to attain anything, than about trying to lose the things preventing you for relaxing. 

As we work through the body, clearing trauma, opening stuckness, and restoring safety, we naturally find ourselves abiding in a still mind, a calm body, and the present moment. 

This is the double edge sword of arriving:

It’s effortless once you learn it. 

And impossible before you learn. 

May we all feel safe and at home in our bodies. 

May we all feel deeply connected to presence. 

May we all feel the innate divinity that abides. 


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