I found this in Yoga Journal’s Yoga Diary, an excerpt from Getting Nerdy with Tantra by Karen Macklin, about a lecture on Tantric Yoga by Chris Tompkins:
Tantra, which came after classical yoga, had two new revolutionary offerings: 1 – it offered the possibility of liberation in this lifetime (as opposed to having to wait many lifetimes to become enlightened) and 2 – it offered practices that were life and body affirming (meaning that the Tantra practitioners saw things of daily life – eating, dancing, reading, etc.- as paths to liberation as opposed to obstacles).
… I have been studying this path for the last two years or so and I love the messages it conveys – that we can move toward a higher state of consciousness and unity with the universe, while still living in the world as householders and human beings.
Here’s a quote Tompkins provided about the Tantrik vision of samadhi, which is speculated to be taken from around the 12th Century:
“The sages say that samadhi is the perpetual realization of the sameness of the individual soul and the supreme soul.”
In other words, we are not only in the universe, but the universe exists in each and every one of us.
I haven’t had much exposure to the various philosophies associated with Yoga, just bits and pieces, but the logic and simplicity of what I have seen, read, heard and experienced appeals to me. The concept of a Universal Consciousness or Spirit of which we are all a part and dwells with each of us, seems more reassuring than a far away bi-polar anthropomorphic deity who sits in judgment, demanding that we love, fear and obey Him. It seems like a dysfunctional relationship.