Inside, Outside, Same

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I have always been a wanderer.

I’m a person who desires knowledge of things on the fringe, who seeks out new experiences and new places, and who is always devouring new concepts and ways of being. In fact, this desire to acquire new knowledge is part of what brought me to Authentic Tantra.

However, these days I’m not doing a whole lot of wandering. I have slowed down and simplified my focus.

I get more sleep, I tend my garden, I cook meals for my family, I work on the house and I go out rarely. I made this decision consciously, as an act of love and support, for the benefit of my family.

At first, I found this transition to be painful. I had not realized how much of my self-esteem was wrapped up in my vision of myself as a wild, explorative and unusual woman. I felt agitated, restless and dull. I wanted to pursue something new, something different! But instead, I decided to sit with the uncomfortable feeling of restlessness and agitation. I choose to see my decision to slow down and stay put as a kind of spiritual retreat.

I refocused on my practice with surprising results.

What I didn’t realize about wandering is that it is also a form of running. The more I looked outward, the more I avoided looking inward. Once I started looking inward, I found that there is an even deeper well of inspiration and knowledge within. I began to understand that the infinite and unique nature of the world is a reflection of the infinite and unique nature of the self. My own innate wisdom began to arise.

The Tibetan Lamas have a saying, “Inside, Outside, Same.”

It refers to the link between our external reality and our internal reality; that our external reality is a reflection of our internal conditions. Right now I am relishing in the maturation of this idea in my own experience. As I look within I find that my own body is a galaxy, filled with space and infinite potential. As I look out I see the same.

The tantric path is a gateway to sexual richness, but it is so much more. It is the pursuit of spiritual knowledge and even enlightenment. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see new things, learn more or explore beauty; the world is an extraordinary place. But now I believe that the internal and external must be experienced in balance; an equal exploration of the outside and an equal exploration of the inside.

Because as I practice and deepen my own understanding of the nature of my reality I can more fully begin to contemplate the nature of all things.

 

Written by: Alaina Salks

Alaina Salks is the Co-Founder & Director of The Institute of Authentic Tantra Education.

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