Week 10. Spiritual practices and the two approaches Copy

Spiritual practices tend to fall into two main views. Some spiritual schools are ascending in their ideology, emphasizing transcendence of the physical world. Spirituality is thus independent of the material universe. In contrast, the descending path emphasizes immanence or the embodiment of the Divine into the material plane. 

Both of these spiritual approaches offer powerful gifts; however, both of them offer only partial Truths. The ascending path leads to ecstatic Oneness, but if you get disconnected from the body and the Earth you could end up getting sick, repressing the bodily pleasure and desecrating the planet. On the other hand, the descending path may ground us in our physical experience, allowing us to enjoy the richness of the material world. But when practiced without spiritual awareness and consciousness, it can lead to hedonism and stunt the practitioner’s spiritual growth. 

Shamanism and Tantra are non-dual paths. They are both ascending and descending, light and darkness, yang and yin. Underlying their practices, there is the belief that the body is a temple that we open with pleasurable worship so that Source, Spirit, God may reside more fully within. How do you cleanse, decorate and activate your holy temple in ways that invite more devotion, passion and ecstasy? 

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