Seattle Tantra Community
Vision & Guiding Values
Seattle Tantra Community Vision:
We are an open community dedicated to personal and spiritual connection and growth using the teachings and practices of Advaita Tantra to awaken conscious living, conscious loving and freedom.
What is Advaita Tantra?
Advaita means non-dual, literally “not-two.” We call this Oneness, as in the Consciousness of Oneness that underlies all of existence.
Tantra is the interconnected web of manifestation that we get to play in during this life. Tantra says that all of life is the Divine Consciousness itself, can be honored as sacred, and is inherently as real as the Consciousness itself. Tantra says that the physical body is sacred, and through the body one can experience the Divine.
Advaita Tantra is the direct recognition of the Oneness of all things through the manifestation (body, mind, heart) of being. Through the temple of our body, the creativity of our mind, and the fullness of our adventures in life, we can practice experiencing the Consciousness of Oneness more and more until it becomes our new “reality.”
Advaita Tantra is not a dogma. There are no preliminary ideologies or beliefs you need to have when you walk in the door. What we ask is that practitioners be open to experiencing more subtle dimensions of being (like energy) and that there is a genuine curiosity and open-hearted exploration of the techniques and practices handed down from sages. Tantra and Tantric paths do not see the world, the mind, or anything else as an obstacle to this awakening because every aspect of reality is seen as inherently sacred. The Divine can be found everywhere at any time. In a Tantric path, we do not leave the world to find heaven. We find heaven in our experience of the world as it already is.
We seek to remember that no teaching or practice is the goal of Advaita Tantra. Only the ever-increasing experience of Oneness, the interconnectedness of all beings and the nature of pure being.
What is conscious living?
When we cultivate a conscious life, we invite a greater participation in our thoughts, words and actions. We shift from acting out of default patterns to making conscious choices. We do this by bringing our attention into the moment, right here and now, and noticing what tendencies usually get in the way of the freedom of the unfolding moment.
We also do this by choosing to not always stay in what’s comfortable, but instead inviting an end to the cycle of attachment and aversion by witnessing, moving slowly, and examining our hidden motivations.
We can’t make anyone else live more consciously. We can only choose to think, speak and act more consciously ourselves. If you find yourself feeling victimized, pointing out others’ flaws or noticing what’s not conscious about others, you might want to check your own consciousness. It’s a life-long process that we can all participate in to make a more conscious, compassionate and connected world.
What is conscious loving?
From the non-dual perspective, our True Nature is unconditional love. It is what we are, and what we are surrounded by. However, until we are experiencing this at all times we need to practice cultivating an attitude of conscious loving.
We bring more consciousness into our relationship with our self, our relationships with those around us, and our relationship with the Source of our Being. We choose unconditional love and compassionate actions. In this process, we begin to purify the lens of our ego.
How do we do this? See #3, Love, in our Guiding Values.
What is freedom?
Advaita Tantra asserts that we are already free. Unconditionally, fully free.
The problem? We forgot.
We’ve been conditioned to believe we’re a limited body-mind unit that succeeds through competing with other body-mind units. Through the practice of Tantric techniques, we clean off this lens and slowly open to the understanding and experience of our true nature, which is inherently free of all conditions. We practice living liberated until it becomes more and more our way of Being.
The Ten Values of Seattle Tantra Community
- Community Support
- Conscious Relating
How We Practice These Values:
- We embrace freedom and happiness as our true nature
- We aspire towards the freedom from suffering for all beings
- We accept that long-term growth sometimes requires short-term suffering in the form of developing a discipline to try living in new ways
- We embrace our sexuality as part of our whole being and aspire towards liberated, holistic sexuality
- We commit to personal and spiritual growth by asking questions with curiosity
- We commit to letting go of defensiveness for self-image preservation or needing to be seen as perfect; We celebrate mistakes as a necessary part of our growth
- We practice healthy boundaries to grow from an empowered center (See our agreements)
- We cultivate a consent culture in our community to allow everyone a safe space to grow uniquely
- We aspire to unconditionally love ourselves and all beings
- We practice offering compassion towards all beings – even when it’s hard
- We recognize the nature of love that is under all human experience
- We practice returning to love in our daily interactions
- We commit to play, explore, experiment and laugh at ourselves
- We see life as the game of lila or Divine play
- We explore through playfulness and try to not take life too seriously
- We invite embodiment and expression into our practice
- We acknowledge the interconnectedness of all beings in the Consciousness of Oneness
- We honor and celebrate the interconnectedness of spirit and human within ourselves
- We aspire to take responsibility for our own growth while being witnessed in community
- We acknowledge interdependence and practice balanced and conscious interdependence in our community
- We practice radical acceptance towards our human selves
- We choose to accept the moment as it is and make conscious choices about our participation in it
- We accept the experiences of others without fixing or changing them.
- We practice living with an open heart
- We cultivate mindful thoughts, words and actions – of our physical body, energy, emotions, mind and spirit
- We cultivate an awareness of needs, wants and desires and practice owning them and asking for them
- We practice expanding our awareness beyond the limitations of our default experience
- We pay attention to the awareness of the awareness itself, the Source of our Consciousness which comes from within
- Community Support
- We support one another as a community and break away from the patterns of isolation
- We support the growth of our community by participating in events, offering service and engaging in conflict navigation and resolution
- We support and encourage the destabilization process that is spiritual growth
- When asking for support, we look inside and take responsibility for whether we are looking for growth or looking for someone to enable our story
- We know we can ask for help from leaders and teachers
- We practice courageous perseverance in our spiritual aspiration
- We practice courage in speaking from our hearts and being vulnerable in community
- We courageously allow the process of surrendering our identities
- We honor the courage of others in breaking away from our patterns and conditioning
- Conscious Relating
- We practice seeing and hearing one another as whole beings
- We practice radical communication:
- Knowing what’s true for me/what’s happening for me
- Finding the courage to be vulnerable and communicate to those I need to
- Letting go of attachment to the outcome
- We acknowledge that privilege and power dynamics are present in all interactions and commit to educating and empowering ourselves to participate responsibly in our relationships
- We acknowledge the impact of the global normative culture we’re surrounded with which perpetuates systems of oppression
- We commit to the re-education of advocating for and uplifting marginalized voices, including and not limited to people of color, female, non-heterosexual, non-cis gendered, differently-abled, younger and older, low income. We acknowledge this work as a commitment to both fostering a fully welcoming community AND integral to our spiritual practice. We recognize resistance to this work as a growth edge and honor the ways we are all a work in progress.