The essence of Tantric meditation: the observer (through the body)

 “You are the one observer of all and in reality
always free.
Your bondage is this — you see the other, not yourself, as the observer and the doer;
thus has the black snake of ego bitten you.
I am not the doer.
Drop this illusion and also this feeling of inner and outer, and
awaken in the thought that you are the unchanging, conscious,
and non-dual soul.”
– from The Second Sutra of Ashtavakra in Manuel Shoch’s ‘Bitten by the Black Snake’
Manuel Schoch explains that observation is about constantly observing what is happening inside, not outside.
Even if the outside is real, you have to imagine that it is an illusion.
Not because it is not there, but in the sense that it is not the reality of what is. The other person you observe is not the reality. The reality is how that person subjectively feels. This is something that you can never observe by looking outward. You can observe only their movements, and from that you form an opinion of the person. You cannot observe what is happening inside them.
And so… for example, as a man intimate with a woman, are you observing? What are you observing?
Do you really know what is happening inside the other? Or are you observing the outward appearance and reaching some conclusions? When you do or say something in a particular way, and you tell yourself it’s because this particular behaviour will elicit some effect on the other, is it really about the other?

Check and see, if perhaps this is only about you. Check, what is the real motivation? Which part of you is hiding, which part of you is afraid, which part of you is needy.

And, likewise, if this person says or does something in a way that affects you, is that really true? Should you react to the outward movement, and feel or do or say something as a result? Before you react, take time to observe what is happening inside of you.

Each time someone acts in a particular way way toward you is an opportunity to practice the art of observation.

The moment you react, the possibility of choice and the space to see what is happening inside you are lost.

But do you trust yourself as observer?

Indeed, sometimes there is so much shadow we do not see clearly inside. Sometimes, there is so much suppression and conditioning, we are blinded.

The only thing that does not lie is the body.

So, feel your body. How does your body feel when you say and do what you say and do, or when someone else says or does something? Do you feel openness or closure? Relaxation and glow or restriction and darkening? Are you communicating and acting from your heart or from your head? What emotion is running through you? Do you feel safe, hurt, angry? Is the feeling somewhere in your body? Feel the emotion, feel the sensation, the temperature, the location, the quality, the colour and smell of the feeling in the body.

And when you know what the feeling and the sensation is, breathe it.
Breathe into it and with it, and let it expand and move, as it will.
Let your body move as it will, to unlock and let the energy flow.

And only after you have observed, breathed and moved, and observed some more, and breathed and moved some more, until the observer is clear, the body softer, the heart open, may you choose how best to serve the other — as yourself. This is the beginning of meditation.

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