When Elise Everarda visited us many years ago in Maui and participated in one of our tantra retreats we immediately felt that this women is ready and equipped to dive deep and be total. Several years later Elise joined us for on other Divine Union Retreat in Bali and after the meeting with the high priestess in one of the most sacred shrines in Bali she shared a chapter of her forthcoming book. Right there we experienced her deep knowledge and passion for the spiritual path, to bring yoga and tantra to the students with a message of the heart. To transcribe the ancient language of the sutras and tantras to a language of modern day. To invite the practitioner of yoga and tantra to take a step beyond the asanas the physical “work out” of yoga and sex, and empower this with the heart. And this allows for pleasure. You can easily see that when practicing these techniques, if there is no fun, it becomes a drudge, it is “something you have to do”. Hoever as you read this book you will see that you are entering a wonderful journey of richness pleasure and expanded awareness. The aim of tantra yoga is to expand the mind and liberate our energies so as to merge with the divine, which in reality, simply remembering who you really are. Tantric Buddhist call it the “cosmic joke”. When you “get there” you realize that you were OK all along, you are divinity itself. However here on earth it is important to “be realistic” in a holistic way, which includes the totality of who you now are. The beauty of tantra is that it includes the body as well as the soul in this journey to the divine.
When the chapters of her book arrived in Maui I was bound for a retreat in Bhutan, a small kingdom in the Himalayas dedicated to tantric Buddhism. It was in the private home and temple of Venerable Kalu Rinpoche where I finally read through the chapters of her work and it was back home in our just finished build temple dedicated to Tara where I am writing.
It was obvious that Elise’s message and understanding of her many years as a student and practioner of yoga has led her to the share her insights in this book with a powerful message as tantra the yoga of love.
She elegantly describes the tantric text known as tantras and explains these practices in a clear language that most westerners can understand, Also, I am deeply touched as she brings forth clearly the glorification of Shakti, the Mother Goddess, the divine feminine. Tantra relates to all of life – all of life is sacred she writes. Yes, Shakti is creative by nature and the innate attributes are to protect, nurture and make us whole. It is in this time where we need to bring back this energy more consciously as our earth is bleeding and needs healing awareness from all of us.
We are not separated
As you read this book, you will see that tantra is not about transcending into “la la land” but realistically going into the very depths and heights of life that is within you and without you. Tantra does not run from life, it embraces life. “God is love”. And what is love? Love is the recognition that you and I are the same being, there is only one person writing this book and there is only one person reading this book. Enjoy!
With warm Aloha
Kutira and Raphael Sharpe-Decosterd
Maui, Mothersday May 13, 2008
Kutira and Raphael are senior teacher of Embodied Spirituality and recording artist of music that up lifts spirit and honors the tantric path. There Maui Retreat Center is a sustainable heaven for many students. They also teach in Bali and Bhutan.