Redefining emotions as healing messages, RamDev shares the tantra of emotions, illustrating how spacious mindfulness towards our feelings opens gateways to wholeness.
Sharing insights into working with our wide variety and volume of our emotional states, RamDev explores, through a tantric lens, how we can begin to open up to our inner feelings, rather than shying away from them and projecting outwardly. Defining our emotions and laying a tiered pathway for working with them, RamDev imbibes wisdom of the Divine Mother, inviting us to ‘devour, or be devoured,’ by this world of dancing form, beckoning us inward past our nuanced gateways of fear, and into the blissful joy of wholeness beyond separation.
Emotions as Healing Messages
Contemplating our difficult emotions through the lens of tantra, RamDev explains how when we stop judging our feelings as good or bad, positive or negative, social or anti-social—and instead just be with them—we can begin to open enough to hear the healing messages our emotions are trying to share. Tantra sees all experiences as a sacred part of the divine unfolding, and through it’s lens anxiety is sharing a message of planning; anger, a message of boundaries and action; sadness, a message of letting go.
“All emotions are helping us to understand what it is that’s going on, and give meaning to experience. They are here to support us. Emotions are not problems. Emotions are just bodily experiences that are helping us… All emotions are a sacred message, a direct teaching that we can deal with what’s going on now. The emotion is giving us a very clear message on how to deal with something.” – RamDev
Explore how to deal with strong and fiery emotions, like anger, through a tantric lens, with RamDev, on Ep. 53 of Healing at the Edge
Tantra & Working with Emotion (7:04)
Applying tantra to a Karla McLaren talk, RamDev uses her theory of our four emotional families—sadness, anger, fear, happiness—to explain how we can train ourselves to go beyond feeling. From here, he lays out the four keys to working with emotions: 1.) Go beyond negative or positive into mindful spaciousness. 2.) Learn to channel emotions: Don’t repress, but let them express in a conscious way. 3.) Learn to identify mixed emotions, emotional clusters. 4.) Bring nuance to your understanding of emotion.
“Tantra focuses on direct experience, particularly sensory perception. There’s an emphasize on the body. What is really going on right now? An emotion, just the very word: moving energy. Emotions are experienced in the body. Can we be with anger in the body? Sadness? Fear? Tantra has no fear of pain or intense emotion. The more intense the emotion is, the more potential there is for awakening.” – RamDev
Dance the Tantric 3-Step with RamDev, as he goes back to the basics in overcoming suffering, on Ep. 22 of Healing at the Edge
The Divine Mother’s Emotional Gateways (27:42)
Using tantra to dive beneath the surface of emotions, RamDev invites us into embodied mindfulness of inward feeling, rather than outward projecting. What does the emotion feel like internally? From this perspective, he invites us into the tantric dance of the Divine Mother, highlighting our ‘devour, or be devoured’ relationship with her dancing world of form. When we open with mindful compassion, we can follow even our slightest emotions all the inward through gateways of fears, and finally into wholeness, joy, and openness.
“Any emotion is a gateway to what’s underneath it, which is a gateway to what’s underneath that. You keep going in until finally you get to fear, then you get to fear of death, then you get to wholeness.” – RamDev
Join Ram Dass, as he explores the devotional tantra of the Divine Mother, Kali, on Ep. 153 of Here & Now
Guided Meditation (37:35)
RamDev leads a guided meditation for going through our emotions into the spacious heart of tantra.
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