There are many possibilities of what shape or form that container could take, and this depends largely upon the intention of the couple in the relationship. Of course in Tantra many of the usual reasons for relating may be there: to create a space for deeper intimacy, to nourish love, to have a companion and perhaps to build a family.
But a tantric relationship often has an extra element to it: In Tantra, relationship can be seen as a vehicle for spiritual growth. What does that mean?
One of the highest attainments to reach in Tantra is called “transfiguration”. It means to see the highest nature in another person. In relationships, when we fall in love we naturally see that perfection in the other. But as we move into daily life, we may be tempted to start to focus on our partner’s bad habits, the washing up they didn’t do, the mistakes they make and so on. It is hard to see the divine in another when we are focused on their shortcomings.
Once we slip into this new perspective, we also experience that the love is less or even seems to have disappeared.
To do that involves a willingness to forgive. A willingness to let go of a record of wrongs of the other. A willingness to believe in love, even when it is temporarily behind the clouds.
This commitment in a relationship brings a whole new dimension. Not only can it help the relationship to move through challenges more smoothly, but it also brings each person an opportunity for spiritual growth. To begin to shift perspective from judgement to compassion and forgiveness is a way of seeing life differently.
So next time you find yourself in a challenging moment in your relationship, try these steps:
- Take a deep breath and make a choice not to react. reacting to untruth only creates more untruth! Reacting to anger makes more anger.
- Tell yourself you are willing to change your perspective. This acknowledgement and willingness can make all the difference.
- Notice any judgmental thoughts about the other person and ask yourself “can I see the love that is hidden behind this behaviour?”
- Use forgiveness in any non-loving situation: either being willing to forgive the other person or making a sincere apology as soon as you recognise you have been acting in a non living way.
Once we start to use relationship as a spiritual vehicle, we can stop projecting blame onto the other person and use our challenges as an opportunity to transform the way we see things and respond to things.
The spiritual journey is not one of changing everyone else in the world… it is an inner transformation.
Relationships can be the most powerful catalyst for this change, and tantrics use the tools such as love, communication, transfiguration and tantric love making to support this transformation.