Some of the first peculiar words I came across traveling on the subways in London as I exit to visit a place called wild food café. So many things come to mind other then watching out for the empty space between the train and the pavement. Like the empty space between my thoughts, this cafe seemed to beautifully enrich the presence and awareness of a growing alternative community here. Along with other stores in Neal’s garden all sorts of organic body care and raw-food options abound for the large gap in consciousness society has towards being healthy. There is something about this gap, like between our thoughts, which can arise a non-dualistic and unknown realm to explore. For the egoic mind the unknown in herently holds some level of resistance since it cannot control or predict its outcome. As you shall read, I found if I ‘mind the gap’; meaning use my awareness to stay present in the gaps of opportunity to expand it, things become quite inquisitive.
The gap between sustainable regimes and UK’s little New York was equally apparent. However, with little research, I was able to find many gems seeking to expand this quiet revolution into conscious evolution. My first stop was with Leslie Coupland. A very nice Englishmen who willingly showed me a few projects around town. We explored much about ‘minding the gap’ in Urban permaculture. For example he showed me a chair he was building out of pallets which had a planter on the backing and sides of the chair. “The planters will be filled with strawberries, mint and other herbs and the seat will be made of a chamomile herb patch.” He is creating a smaller gap for a very rewarding English tea-time experience. We also explored large gaps being filled with Permaculture within the community complex, some roadside green spaces and behind a warehouse filled with mini-forest gardens, ‘dead hedges’ and habitat restoration. Our focus on the cities vulnerability- being so dependent on unsustainable regimes-has enhanced these gaps into a co-creative space that makes way for a new awareness to unfold.
The next day revealed even more vulnerable insights while listening to Big Ben chiming on the passing of time. As thousands of people flock the city streets, I wonder how long will we keep restricting the gaps between the thoughts; dismissing the possibility of a new conscious awareness. In terms of people working forty plus hours, watching ten plus hours of TV, sleeping fifty, transporting five hours, and stuffing the rest of their time with shopping, eating, etc. each week; staying unconscious and being a supportive role in a sick society is seemingly unending. Yet, as destiny would have it, seeds of consciousness are still sprouting up and rooting themselves here beginning to make a permanent space within this relentless system. Places like Food from the Sky, a roof top garden that used as many recycled resources as possible to create a business of selling greens to stores and restaurants. The climbing castle which decided to invest into its own little café food and forest garden for its members as well as making a community garden to enhance local green spaces. Edible Landscapes London spreading perennial vegetables in backyards and Balconies in urban and suburban areas. The sun shined brightly on London in these days.
The day before I head out to explore other parts of England I take part in an open mic night at Inspiral, a vegan café / lounge by the river. My Cousin Matt, who so graciously hosted me in London, treated me to a vegan café a few nights before so now it was my turn. As we listen to the various styles of musicians performing on stage, I cannot help but feel the invigorating sensation in the ‘space between the notes’. The space between the ending of the song and the cheer right after. There is a great power in this gap. And I used that when it was my turn to perform. Rhythmically telling them to stomp their feet on the floor to create a heart beat and in between filling the space with lines of conscious lyricism. The gap gives me space to provide the flow of inspiration so that they may receive it clearly and effortlessly. How effortless do you find your life flow? Are you taking the time to hear the music? Are you listening to such a depth that you can feel the space between the instrumental pulse holding together the tunes ensemble?
There can be quite a level of vulnerability in feeling into the unknown, and Osho Leela is just the place to explore that openly and deeply. In the first few days, after forced classes of dancing and shaking, hugging, yelling and sharing, I thoughtI had landed into a mental asylum’s rehabilitation center. All my non-vulnerable barriers where up and many of the community volunteers reflected this back to me as I began to probe and try to find out what the heck did I get myself into. This very beautiful large Mansion with it’s gorgeous landscape, pine lodges and camp ground/motor home area was once run by a group who used to house people with mental handicaps.“So this used to be a mental institution?” I asked one of the members on CEP. “Used to!?!?” she replies. We laugh uncontrollably.
I decided to ground myself and chose to stay at Osho Leela for 3 weeks volunteering my time. I express a deep desire to be in my passions while volunteering and spend a good amount of time working on a Forest garden project there. It was, however, a very humbling experience to be washing dishes, cleaning the rooms and cabins and doing all the services for the events that took place there. The Dynamic / Aum / inner smile and other meditations we did together kept the experience more then just a service position. I was awakened into being more and more vulnerable to the outside world. My shell of – I’m this super strong fun loving easy going man – began to soften each day. Weekend workshops and morning meditations of people screaming and crying soon became a vulnerable space I could allow into my aura without fear of damage or hurt. I’m widening the gap and I am not afraid to fall in.
Aaaand then the Advance Sex and Osho Tantra Festival came along. The gap began to feel like two opposite ledges with the space between becoming wider as the ledges moved apart from each other as both legs spread with each foot on opposite ledges. There is still enough time for me to hop over to one side and not risk being so spread apart by this expanding gap that ultimately I will fall off of both ledges deep in the abyss of vulnerability. On one ledge there is my conditioning wanting to protect me from dropping into my fears. On the other ledge there is my passions, my brilliance and confidence in who I am and what I do. The gap is the mystery, the unknown.
I meet quite a wide range of interesting characters at the following events. Many are what I would consider average while others are quite interesting. I begin to align my intension, as I usually do, to focus on manifesting the purity of this tantric essence. How about going for your grandest vision Deva! I intend I am blessed to engage in this experience with a tantrica Goddess! As the vibrations of the seintentions began to ripple out what came back were two of the teachers in the advance course. They wanted to‘de-armor’ me. My heart beats in fear as I can see there was this very lustful look in their eyes. In many daring events in my life, even ones that seem a bit sketchy, I set intentions and allow for the process to unfold, for I believe in the divine hand that is guiding this, so I went with it. The night revealed embarrassing moments of being unable to get aroused, being probed and prodded inside-out, having my roommate walk in a watch and fist thrusting them into galactic orgasms.
Getting grounded in the Forest garden project brought time, connectivity and space to reflect on things I would initially find quite traumatizing. The powerful level of vulnerability that these little plants and seeds I have in my hands is tremendous; Complete surrender to the likelihood of their survival fully in my possession. The love that I posses for such preciousness deepens beyond any need of tantric festivities. This of course does not stop me from engaging in a week of dance and song through the enchanting flutes I encounter.
As I am writing this, I am finding it quite challenging to put into words the profound opening my heart experienced during this festival.The love and depth that poured into this experience showed many who were absolutely willing to be vulnerable to the most erotic of experiences. To have been engaged in workshops where many naked bodies meet for the first time in a very sensual way was almost outer worldly in its ability to provoke core unconscious belief systems. Of course not all methods of Tantra give rise to this desire to open freely. The spectrum is quite elaborate as I have discovered. Love driven dominatrix beatings; aromatic full body sensual massages; Deep meditation and transfigurations; to relaxing three fingers in your anus makes you a tantric master! This very ‘yang’ anal probing to enlightenment is a gap that I do mind at the moment. The ‘yin’ alternatives are much more appealing; and being vulnerable to a certain magnificent tantrica was one of them.
Vulnerability in the way I see it now is synonymous to a heightened sense of awareness. It is an expansion to the core of ones emotional body. There needs to be a new phrase used here so one can relate. Something like ‘sensibility without fear’ of the so called ‘negative’ emotions. I have found many ways to mask and protect my ability to sense the depths of sorrow, anger and shame. During the festival’s ‘family sharing’s’ I saw these depths being explored by others and it gradually invited me to feel into those parts of my heart. These very heart felt sharing’s along with a gradual unfolding of my sensibility to a sensuous goddess produced the tenderness that allowed my heart to beat to a new tune.
A single note – “ I surrender” which I found in many eyes of Shakti and finally in the words of my newly beloved penetrated deep into my heart space. It was like the gaps between the beating of my heart changed shape. It was as if Shakti broke up and double dug a deep layer of compacted and degraded earth in the depths of my heart. It has been compacted and degraded by fears from the past and now this new sensibility provides a deepening to my ability to experience love. Sarita, one of the senior tantric teachers,for example, when gazing into my eyes, brilliantly gives her entire being to the divine Shiva within me. It’s quite a profound feeling. And the wavering of falling back into old patterns rather then moving deeper into this sensible/vulnerable space struck my heart string strongly – bursting me into tears. For the first time, tears grieved to the death of the ego and it was absolutely welcomed.
On the finally day during an ending ceremony I embraced my shame and cried endlessly in front of so many equally ‘broken open’ hearts. We sang- ‘In our hearts we know we are one!’ Shakti’s were shaking in ecstatic and orgasmic bliss tapping into a divine source the enriched space hundreds of people hugging and AUMing together produced. This grand surrender embodied a deep willingness for me to do the same. I bowed to the feet and at the same time to the earth Shakti ‘is’. She asked me to come with her to Czech Republic for another Tantra festival. That very same moment I dropped all my future plans, changed my flight and stepped into the deep mystery of the unknown. To explore this new depth to my heart space and surrender to the journey it may bring is utterly unimaginable for me. Yet here I am, in Prague, just having finished another mind blowing, heart opening Tantra festival writing this to you.
So I am surrendering to the guidance of Shakti in the mysteries of this grand experience. I have let go of the need to control my every step. Will my heart break or will my heart embrace the changes that are surely to come? I choose to know. I choose to be open to this wide gap the heart is filling endlessly with love. And my beloved tantrica floods that space with her endless passionate love until it is bursting at the seems. I have given in to this expansion, no longer in the position to control or create it, just to embrace it. Thank you Shakti, I see you. Thank you Goddess, I reveal myself to you.
Yes bless the empress divine.
The beauty of a queen seen beyond her outer signs
Thank you Goddess
Words can describe but not define
The feminine energy that lifts me out of time
Thank you Goddess
Equally a deity of mine
The guidance of a loving being never undermined
Thank you Goddess
Frequently in visions of the mind
With qualities attributed to love in the sublime
Thank you Goddess
Goddess you’re the one that brought the love
Like nurturing winds that bring flight to a dove
Thank you Goddess
For spreading all your seeds from up above
Knowing that its growing every time I give a hug
Thank you Goddess
For placing this compassion in my heart
And passionately facing dreams with my counter part
Thank you Goddess
For the strength you give to women on this earth
To bring the blessing everyday aside from giving birth
You see, because of you I know what life is worth
Loving you through women in my life is how it works…