Learning to Swim – Tantric Practice VS. Theory

Dear Reader,

If you want to develop internal energy, to arouse kundalini, to love spiritually, to find union, to realize spiritual bliss (ananda), or liberation (moksha),

you won’t get there by reading alone!

you won’t get there by intellectualizing, or reading philosophy, or reading great stories of the masters, or myths of gods and goddesses, or debating.

You won’t. Not one spiritual master in history has realized Enlightenment intellectually!

Practice, not theory, is the essence of spirituality!

Spiritual development occurs through effort – physical exercises (hatha yoga, kriyas, trul khor, qi gong, service, spiritually focused labor, art, or lovemaking, and focused stillness) and mental work (focus, visualization, meditation, interiorization, self inquiry followed byemptying of the mind, repetition of sound or image, identification with the Universal or an individual aspect of it, etc. ), coupled with attitudes of devotion and awareness.

But not through intellectual prowess. Books and teachers point the way to self discovery. They provide maps left by those who have gone before. But the map is never the territory. Even if you read a map a hundred times, and memorized it to a “t”, you still have not walked the territory the map represents.

Reading to be clever, to argue points of philosophy, will get you only foolish pride. But, if you determine the attitude (view) of the master practitioner, and the method (techniques) of the practice, and you emulate both attitude and technique, then, then you just may get somewhere!

As you become more adept at any practice, look for answers not in the masters’ dogma, but in their experiences. Look for direction, not for pronouncements.

Theory is not Truth. Technique is not Truth. Attitude is not Truth. Truth is ineffable.
But you are able to realize Truth by using, and then going beyond technique and attitude… Remember,

“Don’t think, feeel!
It is like a finger pointing away to the moon…
Don’t concentrate on the finger or you’ll miss all that heavenly

“You cannot learn to swim by reading a book. You still have to get in
the water.”

— both from Bruce Lee, referencing his favorite sources… Chan
Buddhism, Taoism, and Krishnamurti.

Smile, breathe right, and keep your tongue up!
Tao Semko

  • December 5, 2012