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Giancarlo: Hello. Hi, welcome to this new episode of The Mangu TV Podcast. Today, we have Aude Barras again, for Part 2. It would be preferable if you check her first podcast first. But if you're already here, where you're very welcome to stay, I will read the biography again. Aude is a love teacher and an intimacy guide. A deeply present, graceful, and nurturing presence. Aude works at the intersection of intimacy, feminine embodiment, and tantra. A practitioner of beauty and seeker of truth, she is immersed in a life of devotion and has studied the art of sensuality with masters throughout the world. Her work is a synthesis of tantric, Taoist, shamanic, and gnostic teachings. Focusing on intimacy, she specializes in embodiment and awakening of the goddess within. A trailblazer of finding beauty in all experience, pleasure is her medicine. Her practice is to guide people into remembering their erotic innocence, and divine essence through the embodiment of a more delicious connection with themselves and consciousness. Welcome back, Aude.
Aude: Hmm, welcome. Thank you. Pleasure.
Giancarlo: For people who listen to our first podcast, where we left each other, you were leaving to India for Auroville for two months. How was your experience?
Aude: Very beautiful. Things are changing, but it was very beautiful. I was deeply immersed in practice with a dance teacher and martial arts. India is just a wild, wild ride.
Aude: You think you're going for something and then she surprises you with something completely different, which is life, right?
Giancarlo: Hmm. You feel she gives you what you need and what you want?
Aude: Yeah. I think she offers you many gifts that are often hidden behind great teachings. It's not easy.
Giancarlo: If you allow me again today, I would like to go a bit deeper on the theory of tantra, classic tantra, neo-tantra, and then on your practice. But there are two concepts, which have been on my mind recently, and I'd love you to give me a hand to unpack them. Maybe they're connected, maybe you see more connection than I do. The first one is this idea of bringing the mystical practice down to everyday life. That's a good segway with Auroville in India because Sri Aurobindo was famous for that a little bit, right? This idea of bringing these teachings from mystery school from mysticism down from a cave into a community of day-to-day living. All these theories are great, but then how do you apply them when you live together in society? This idea of the modern mystic, of the modern seeker that integrates some protocol to live your life according to these teachings on an everyday basis.
Then, the other concept is this idea of “embodiment”, you mentioned last time Margot Anna told you that we need to go from the mind to the heart. People talk about the gut, about the importance of intuition. I remember Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.” We've created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. This is so true. I feel that since the 17th century, when Descartes says, “I Think Therefore I Am.” It has been just a relentless glorification of the mind, of the intellect and then our political economical system of democratic capitalism has rewarded this state of mind of being alert, and problem solving, and completely detached from our gut, from our heart, can you comment on these two concepts a little bit?
Giancarlo: Because yeah, I guess, you're one of the right people to ask.
Aude: Things are not what they seem. When Descartes said: “Je pense donc je suis”, it was thought of as the Enlightenment. That's funny - because what does it mean to be enlightened? I think at that time, it was the understanding that the mind would take precedence over the heart.
Giancarlo: To basically deal with the superstition of the Middle Age, of all the horror that we did for these intangible forces. So, we thought that was useful then of course. But four centuries later, I don't know if we should take it so literally.
Aude: [laughs] No. And also, during the Middle Ages in Europe, we had this precedence of the idea of the one God. The Enlightenment came in response to that and it came in response to the God King, the ruler being the only one that had this direct relationship to God. And perhaps that's where the seed of ignorance came and the way to respond to that was to go into the mind.
Aude: And the scientific way, we see the pendulum going from one side to the other. But as we say, we live in Kali Yuga and Kali Yuga is the dark age, the age of Ignorance. When I talk about ignorance, I talk about the seed that is inside of us that has forgotten who we are, because we are the divine and that's what tantra does. It's to remind us that we are that divinity in the body. Let's just look at the first question you asked about how to live this mystical life in an everyday reality? Well, it's actually very simple and the deepest teachings are very often the most simple ones. How can we live more in love and how can we live with more detachment? Perhaps, detachment is not the right word. With deeper surrender and what is a surrender? Surrender doesn't mean to give up. When we give up something, we feel a loss. When we surrender, it's almost like a release, like an ease.
To live this mystical experience in a daily life, how can you make the ordinary extraordinary? But it's not extraordinary. It is just reconnecting to the magic of, we are sacred magical human beings. We have a heart inside of us that is beating every second without having us to ask anything. Whoa! We are made of the last 30 billion years of creation on this planet through our cells, atoms, and mitochondria and I think we get into the mind because the idea of that is too terrifying. Oh, my God, that's very scary.
In tantra, our non-dualist tradition, everything is one. The overwhelm and the wonder. We can feel overwhelmed by the idea that we are so much and then we can enter the wonder. It's in this wonder that I truly believe that we can live this mystical life in our everyday living, which means with your family, which means dealing with traffic, which means dealing with changing diapers, which means dealing with the everyday reality of having parents that are annoying and yes.
Giancarlo: And your boss, and the traffic, and the -
Aude: And your everything. We are everything, we are one. Well, everybody says that but what does it actually mean? At least how I experience it is to live this mystical life on an everyday basis is to keep on remembering that we have forgotten, and that we keep on forgetting who we are, and that's the seed of ignorance. I think I am that, I think I am this identity, I think I am good, I think I am my mind, I think I am my thought, I think I am my body. [chuckles] We have thoughts, we have a mind, we have a body, but we are not that.
Giancarlo: Yeah, we have to disidentify with our ego.
Aude: Yeah, and our ego serves us. Our ego can be really good, but it's our friend. Let's not make the ego, the driver.
Giancarlo: The bad guy.
Aude: Yeah, he's not the bad guy. Nothing is bad. That's the great thing about tantra. Nothing is good, nothing is bad. Everything simply is. How we can live that in a daily life is, ask yourself really deeply, “How can I feel more love?” If you know you're advancing on whatever path it is, ask yourself, “Am I more loving?” That means loving with all things. That's where it gets really challenging because there are some people that you don't want to love because they're “bad people.”
Aude: And even in that, how can you just accept them as they are? That's quite radical and that's what tantra is. It's radical, it's to enter this path of non-judgement and actually accept all the parts of ourselves. The other thing - so one is love or compassion. But compassion, when you break down the word, it means com-passion which means “in suffering with”. I think it's a very beautiful word, but I don't want to be “in suffering with”. “What if I'm in love with?” Okay, that's one.
Then the other side is detachment. Detachment, again, we can use that word, but what am I detaching from? What if we use the word surrender? Opening, not letting go, because where does it go? I don't know where it goes, but if I surrender, it's like I'm offering it. To observe all of these thoughts, to observe the negative thoughts, to observe some judgments that we have, to observe everything that we forget, and to choose in that moment, how in love can you be with all of these things that you see and how can you surrender them and offer them to something grander, which is you as this divinity and everybody else? I'm not special. Life is special. When we understand that, not with the mind, when we experience that with the heart and choose to integrate it in our daily life that's how every moment becomes mystical and that's where--
The construction worker that puts his love into building a house, he understands the incredible power of the ordinary, which is actually extraordinary. He's building a house. He's maybe one of the most mystical beings in the world. He's going to create the space where we're going to live and I feel that today a lot of us are seeking, we're seeking, and seeking, and seeking, but that seeking comes from a desire for getting who we are because it's a seeking that wants outwardly to have these experiences, and then you have your mind blown into this experience, and then how do you integrate that in your body? Can you be more loving with your neighbor, with even that person on the street? Can you walk down the street and feel the pain of the world, of the world that is being destroyed and all the while still choose love?
Giancarlo: Yep, that's explained very well. I'm not going to say it as well as you, but just trying to summarize it. The key to bring down this mystical teaching, the key is feeling the love. Feeling love for yourself, for your environment, for your people that might not resonate 100% with your values and always checking on yourself, how open you are in accepting and surrendering. Yeah, that's very clear. Can you link this importance to go from the mind to the body to living a more embodied life?
Aude: To the embodiment. That's one of the things I adore about tantra. It's not about transcending the body. It's about recognizing, using our cognition to understand that the body is the vessel to live this experience where we can be divine, so the body is revered. It's going back into this reverence for this incredible vehicle. I'm not the body, yet, I have the body. And the body is the locus for this awakening. So, how to get back in here? Well, this goes with many other stories, which with the traumas that we've had and we all have trauma. You don't have to have a big trauma for it to be a trauma. Every trauma is big. A lot of us have dissociated from our bodies literally or have outer body experiences, which are great at certain times because they can give you another point of view. Yet, how do you bring it back into this vessel, which is going to age, which is going to die? That's one of the beautiful things, is understanding that this human body, this life is temporary.
Aude: Impermanent. The only constant is change. Yes, that can be terrifying because you're going to decay. I think a lot of the thing with the body has to do with that we don't want to realize our own mortality and that's where love comes in. Because love is eternal. That love inside of you, not the love that you want. It's a big difference. I want love or just give that love. But in order to give that, it's not about giving it. It's about being that love. I am that I am. I am everything and so are you and so is all the universe. That is going to remain immortal. That's why all the mystical teachings, shamanic teachings, all of these teachings, Taoist teachings, they're seeking for the seed of immortality.
The seed of immortality, well, perhaps, some yogi's have lived until 600 years. Who knows? They are hidden caves. I haven't met them, but I've heard stories. That the seed of immortality is that self-effulgent light that exists inside of us, which is love itself and it exists in everything. So, how can we continuously connect back to that and the source of this? We say, it's hridayam. Hridayam in Sanskrit is the word for the heart, but it's not really the heart, it's the source, it's the heart’s center. We call it hrid akash. Akash is the space. It's this space in the center of your heart. When I speak about it, it is not just your physical heart. It is right and left, front and back and infinite black expanse, where we return to the source. That source in our heart’s center is inside of all of us and it's where we come from.
If we allow ourselves to be there continuously over and over again, we can nourish ourselves from the source of, I was going to say who we are, but it's not even who, with the source of ‘I am that’ and we get back to that space and we keep on forgetting because that's the beautiful game. We are the oneness in the multiplicity. And so, this is the play, this is the leela.
Giancarlo: But we forget because of this illusion of separation.
Aude: We forget this because of the illusion of separation. We forget because this is the game and that's where it gets playful and fun. That's what I like about tantra. It's not about transcending this, it's about realizing that, well, I call her the Divine Mother, Devi. The goddess is playing with us all the time. It's that play of the lover and the beloved, which is like, “Oo, oo, oo, I'm here, look at me and then I completely forget.” I always say this, but one of my teachers in Taoism always said that. She was, “To be healthy, it doesn't mean not to be sick, it is how much time you take to recover. To be one, it doesn't mean to never be separated.”
Giancarlo: But how long does it take to realize it?
Aude: How long? Oh, my God, I wasn't present.
Aude: That's why the embodiment is about being in love. But when are we in love? When we're present and that's the gift. In English, present, the present tense, I am here now. [chuckles] It's also a present. It's a gift. It's hidden in the words. How can we allow ourselves to continuously come back to the present moment, to the heart, to the gift of the now? One of the keys is the breath.
Aude: I think we breathe 26,620 breaths in a day. The breath is actually the tool that can get you back here. Inhale [inhaling], exhale [exhaling]. Okay. I'm back here. I'm not in my mind anymore, I’m in the body. I'm not even taking the breath. I'm allowing the breath to breathe me, because we're actually not doing anything, [laughs] which is crazy. So, yeah, these are thoughts pondering feelings.
Giancarlo: Yeah, No, very, very, very interesting. But if we want to draw a parallel, maybe we shouldn't and maybe it's my own story. But so, this idea that we've been taught that to get to enlightenment, to get aware, to have a spiritual practice we need to ascend. But then maybe we realize that we also have to descend. So, maybe this is the link.
Aude: The path of the goddess, the goddess descends. She descends in the physical form and there is the ascend. These are deeper esoteric teachings. You perhaps have seen - there's this symbol that we often see, which is a six-pointed star. We see it throughout traditions. In tantra, we have a descending triangle, which is Shakti, which is the feminine and we have an upward triangle, which is Shiva -
Aude: - the masculine. At the center of that where the masculine, the feminine meet, the descend and ascend meet. Satchitananda - bliss happens. That's where the form and the formless come together. We have the opportunity - That's why this human body is incredible because it gives us an opportunity to have that experience here. Oh, I don’t know, I'm amazed. [laughs]
Giancarlo: You just brought up another important concept. This process of descent and embodiment, maybe goes also through the integration of the masculine and the feminine?
Aude: Yeah. Yeah, well, at least that's how we see it through the different traditions and how I personally experience it. But who knows? This is a mystery to be revealed and to be discovered. But we looked at it. We look into Taoist traditions, they talk about heaven and Earth, they talk about yin and yang, and then you have the Tao sexual practices that use the masculine-feminine in union. We're not just talking about the sex between a man and a woman. We're talking about that internal union. In gnostic teaching, we call it hiero gamos which is the divine marriage, which is that divine marriage of the masculine - feminine inside of us.
When we look at the shamanic traditions, we also see the marriage of the masculine to feminine. When we look at tantra, we have Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is the masculine principle, Shakti is the feminine principle, and they unite. When they unite, it is love. And so, on a more psychological aspect, we have to deal with our mommy issues and our daddy issues. [chuckles] That's the basic principle. Because it's all about love but who gave us love?
Giancarlo: Oh, yeah.
Aude: A parent. We are born out of the act of love making. That's the formless. We were floating somewhere in space, and came into form. Well, through what? Through the act of two beings coming into union. Whoa and then in that moment, the seed has met an egg and this has created the formless into form. Then we got raised with a parent, or without a parent, but whatever that was has tainted our love. What I mean by” tainted our love” is our experience of love as being complete total unity. And so, that's why we have to work with our father issues and our mother issues to then be able to understand our masculine and feminine side of us and choose to bring them together, and to remember that we are, I am that I am. I am the union of Shiva and Shakti of the masculine and feminine. In that, I can experience every breath. Even the breath inhale is the feminine, exhale is the masculine. The beating of our hearts is the same thing. So, it's this continuous play. So, yeah.
Giancarlo: This is a good segway to your favorite tantric lineage that you briefly mentioned last time, the Shri Vidya.
Aude: Yeah, I'll go into that. Oh, my favorite. I don't know if it is my favorite. I think that's the one that has chosen me and I just want to talk a bit about tantra before
Aude: - and what tantra is because it's quite misunderstood. Basically, the word tantra comes from a series of texts that are known as the Tantras. It is the texts that have come about in what is today called India. Well, it was India in the fifth and sixth century after Christ. And that's when we have the text. But the oral tradition might have been much older than that. We have to distinguish one thing between the Vedas and tantra because the Vedas, which means wisdom, there are four Vedas and there are these big books that hold all of the wisdom of the world that were created in India. The date of the Vedas is maybe - The Rig Veda, which is the older one, probably, again these are from their written tradition. It must have been there in silence. There's a way of learning in tantra and in the Veda that we call Shruti. Shruti means through listening. These things were heard before they were written.
The Rigveda dates from maybe… Well, these are the days we have. 1900 BC to 1200 BC or something like that. Then there are four Vedas. The Vedas hold all of the wisdom of the world. There's one that is with the mantras, one with the songs, one that has the rituals, and one that supposedly has the spells or that's how they call them. The Vedas were held by a caste of Brahmins, they were the ones that were passing it down from generation to generation and it was really deeply inscribed in the caste system. That means that certain castes were not even allowed to have access to the Vedas. The wisdom in the Vedas is incredible and it's the wisdom of all the universe. They're actually talking about our time now, [laughs] 4000 years ago, which is like, “How did they know that?”
Well, they had access to source and we got covered by the veil of ignorance. The tradition that I follow, Shri Vidya, was actually already in the Vedas, because one of the texts that is primordial in our tradition is one of the hymns that is part of the Rig Veda in that book that was 2000 before Christ. It was always there, but it wasn't codified in text. Then the tantras emerge in the fifth and sixth century of these texts kind of as a response to it because it actually gave access to this divinity to everybody. It was like, “Okay, you do these practices and you have access to this.” It happened within a context, where there were two big dynasties in India, one in the north and one in the south. As they broke up, it created all of these different states and tantra was able to emerge out of these states, because well the tantric was promised a lot of powers to overcome the enemies, powers to be good in battle, and all of that. So, there's also that part in the tantric texts originally.
We're talking about, I don't want to call it medieval because this is a Western term, but medieval India, fifth and sixth century, when the tantric texts really took place and then it really started to spread out around the 10th century. There was one text in particular that's called the Devi Mahatmyam or the Chandi Path, which is the praises to the goddess. It's a text that dates from 400, 500 after Christ, and it's a text in devotion to the Goddess Durga. The Goddess Durga is the mother goddess and here She is in the form of Chandi, the fierce form. She is said to kill all of the demons, all of the asuras. It's 700 verses. The Shaivaites, which are the one dedicated to Shiva, or the ones dedicated to Shakti, if there's one thing they don't debate about is this text.
This is a text that is incredibly powerful and it talks about demons and warfare. But the demon is Mahisha, which is the demon of ignorance. It's actually slaying the demons of our own mind that make us forget that we are that. That's a goddess worship. The path that I'm on which is called Shri Vidya, which means the path of auspiciousness, is dedicated to a goddess in particular, which is called Tripura Sundari. Tripura Sundari means the one who is beautiful in all three states. Sundari is beautiful and Tripura, Pura means states, I mean, cities. But let's call it states because the states are not actually cities. They're the waking, the dreaming, and a dreamless deep sleep state. And so, the one who is beautiful behind or in front of the three states, which is consciousness herself. In this tradition, we worship consciousness as Her. Well, it's the path that I follow, so I want to say it’s beautiful. It's a pathway you need to be initiated.
These lineages have been passed down from guru to students. What I mean by guru here is, well, guru, remover of darkness, but it's one who has walked before you, a teacher.
Aude: Actually, in India, anybody who teaches you something is a guru. [laughs] These have initiations, because they have mantras and mantras are sound vibrations that have very strong powers inside. Some of these mantras are locked because they have a lot of power. It’s like you don't give a baby a hammer. He wouldn't know how to use it. You have to give him the tools to understand how to use it and then over time, they will be able to manage it. In this path, we dedicate Tripura Sundari, which we see as consciousness herself at the oneness as totality and she is the goddess of beauty, pleasure, eroticism, sweetness, and love. It sounds, “Ooh, that sounds like something I want to try.” Yes, and it's not for the faint hearted.
Actually, you don't choose, She chooses you. All of it, you never choose, it chooses you. It's deep surrender and it's ever expanding. You think you know something and she'll take it away from you [laughs] playfully, because her name is also called Lalita. Lalita means she who plays. There's a text, which is called the thousand names of the goddess, the Lalita Sahasranama. In that text, we praise the goddess with a thousand names, and the names go from the one who is oozing nectar to the one who is the seed of ignorance. So, she's everything and that's the beauty that there's no good or bad. It just is one. So, yeah. And so, I am in the lineage that is coming down from guruji Amritananda Natha, a guruji from Devipuram in the south of India. He is not in his body anymore, but the ashram is still there and my teacher is coming down from that lineage.
Giancarlo: But so, 500 years after Christ in India, with this Veda and the teaching, the students were in a circle listening to the teacher.
Giancarlo: I'm interested to explore here how you and in general the contemporary tantra teacher integrate these old teachings into what is called neo-tantra. Because right now, when you look at retreat, for example, they always make a distinction. The classical tantra retreat, there's a lot of chanting, and mantra, and yoga, and then more like neo-tantra retreat, there is a little bit more of sexual practice. Am I generalizing or -?
Aude: Now, this is a big topic. Neo-tantra, New tantra. What does that mean? Really, what does it mean? Let's call it for what it is. Sexual liberation.
Aude: That's really important.
Giancarlo: Yeah, for example, for yoga, Jivamukti took the asanas, and added the music, and the flow.
Giancarlo: The meditation people, they put this different guidance and different types of… You know what I mean by neo. That doesn't have to be necessarily a bad thing. Everything has been reinterpreted by the West, right?
Giancarlo: For us. For the white or -
Aude: Okay. This is getting nitty-gritty. Let's go into it because that's what people are interested in. People are interested in sex. This idea that tantra is sex. What has happened is that in tantra, we do not deny the body. In traditional text, we do not deny the body. That's why it's not about transcendence, it's about being in the body. And yes, they were in the traditional text, some rituals that had to do with the body and that had to do with sexuality. The Vedic path tended to be an ascetic path, a path for monks. I’ll transcend the body -
Giancarlo: Of renunciation.
Aude: - of renunciation, of desires and tantra said, “You don't have to renounce your desires. The desires are also part of it. Go through them.” And then we get neurotic and we think that it means it's a free for all for hedonism. As Guruji said, it is better to not fulfill one desire than to fulfill a thousand. Because truly, desires are born out of fears. What we truly want is to pulverize the seed of ignorance and the seed of fear. In traditional tantra, another thing that was really amazing is that, Shakti, which is the feminine power and the embodiment of it. We use the body in these texts. There's something called nyasas, which is empowerment of mantras in the body. The body became the place where the divine would awake. That's the power of tantra. The divine is awakening in this physical body and we revere the feminine. The feminine which doesn't necessarily mean female, but the female has a bit more feminine inside of her and we revere that. So, that was amazing empowerment for women.
Then there's a couple of tantric texts, traditional tantric texts that talk about sex. Then that got misconstrued, because well, let's go back. In the 11th century, there was a theologian called Abhinavagupta. Sorry, sometimes, I want to go too fast. My brain goes to different places. He was a brilliant theologian and he wrote a text called the Tantrāloka and many texts. In the Tantrāloka, he talks about the ritual union of masculine and feminine, of a man and a woman, and the exchange of juices as a way to offer back to divinity. There are these texts that have sexuality inside of them. Then, we have the temple sculpture that has sex on them, but it was understood in a context of offering that to the Divine and in context of responding to the Vedas, which was making a separation between pure and impure, sex and non sex, the body and not the body.
This was - everything is divine. There's no pure and impure. That's why a lot of the tantric practices were understood as being transgressive. I had to transgress in order to understand that actually in the oneness, there is no duality. Then later on, I think in the 16th century, there's a text that's called the Yonitantra. Yoni is the Sanskrit word for vagina, vulva, I should put it. Yoni means the cosmic portal. In this text, also, there is a text where they are talking about the worship of a woman's vulva in order to get Shakti, to get power. These texts had sexuality within them, but it was directed in a particular way as a worship to the goddess. When I mean the goddess today, the word goddess has been also very misconstrued. The goddess here, we talk about Devi. Remember that text I talked about Devi Mahatmyam. Devi means self-effulgent, luminous light. We translate it as goddess. Deva is the masculine, but Devi is this light, that love that I talked about at the beginning. That's what Devi is.
These rituals were used to worship the goddess, where we offer these nectars to love itself, because love is the one that unites all of us. Again, these are mystical secrets that as you practice them, they come alive. What happened later on is that the British arrived in India and we're talking about Victorian Britain, where women were not even allowed to bend down to pick up stuff because they might get sexually aroused or they were not even allowed to ride horses, because that would - We're talking about that England where there was a sexual repression that was so deep, and these people came and colonized India, and entered these temples where there was rituals that might have been offered to the divine. But again, lack of context and so, they saw that as orgies or they saw that as sexual ecstasy, and they created a narrative that was not understood for what it was because it was coming with a mental construct that had a neurotic understanding of sex as being impure.
Then this is what I believe we have carried on into the neo-tantric world is that and again, we have to work a lot on our sexual lineage because our sexual lineage, goddess knows that it has been tainted. We have been living abuse, misuse, and its abuse of the feminine. As a feminine, it doesn't mean woman. The feminine is in man and woman. It's the abuse that we're doing to Mother Earth. We're taking from her rather than revering her as the source of abundance. We have to work on that. I feel that neo-tantric workshops that are working on the “tantric sex,” which our sexual practices of liberation are really important. But let's call it for what it is, sexual liberation and it has very little to do with tantra.
Tantra is not for the faint hearted. Tantra is a path of complete devotion while it chooses you and well, it's about yoga. Yoga, this is also a misconstrued word that we’ve used. Yoga means union. People will tell you, “Yes, it's the union between the breath and the mind.” Yes, it's that. But yoga, it's the union between the small self, the Jivatman, and the Paratman, and the big self. It's about you uniting the masculine and the feminine. It's about uniting who I think I am, and killing that, so you can be - I am that I am. And yes, I'm using very strong words like killing because that's what we do. We sacrifice it. We burn everything away, so we can be - I am that.
Giancarlo: That's super interesting. And now, how does this traditional tantra fit or resonate with the Moondance and Mexican shamanic practice?
Aude: This is something I've talked about in the earlier podcast was my path to get to tantra. The Moondance is a ceremony in Mesoamerica that was born, well there's a question about where it was born. But there's the Moondance and the Sundance. The Sundance is what the masculine does, the Moondance is what the feminine does. Here we're talking about woman and man. In both, they can come in support, men can come and support the Moondance, and women can go and support the Sundance. This is really about the integration of the feminine in the body and how does it come? At least, I can just talk about my path.
For me, walking shamanism and tantra can be very shamanic, and Taoism can be very shamanic. What does it mean to be shamanic? It means to be in contact. Shaman comes from the Tungus. Sha-man, which means the one who knows and it's one who knows how to communicate with the world around, with nature. This tradition of the Moondance allows you to communicate or teaches you how to communicate with the fire and the sweat lodge, with your own body as a vessel of prayer, with the dance, with the Moon. And so, it’s communication with the invisible world. Yeah, I don't know if it connects for everybody, but for me it was a stepping stone into understanding how to communicate with the subtle world.
Giancarlo: It’s also a little bit like the ascetic practice through depleting the body and dancing nonstop for four days and four nights and with very little food or no food at all. Is there something in the tantra literature about depleting the body for this kind of awakening or -?
Aude: These traditions where we see the depleting of the body, they are to enter trance. How do I enter a trance state? When you look at what they're doing at Sundance. It's also very intense. In vision quest, we go out in nature and we are putting our body through such physical -
Aude: - stress that we can enter the trance state, which is incredible that we have the capacity to do that. In Tantra, there are certain lineages that consider certain practices like that and there are other lineages that are in the Sanketha. The Sanketha is the mutual meeting with this field of consciousness, which are these deities that we work with, we call them Gods or Goddesses. In that something will awaken in you. We say you don't need to deplete your body to have access to these states. Drop from the mind to the heart, go to the source of your heart center, and there you might access consciousness.
That means that we might not need medicine because actually the medicine is yourself. The medicine is, I think Marianne Williamson says, “What we're most scared of is our own power.” Perhaps, we need intermediaries to have access to that power because we're actually scared that we hold it inside of us.
Aude: That means plant medicine - Well, even tea is a plant. Like psychedelic plant medicines put it like that or we need to have these experiences. But what if all of that was really living inside of you?
Aude: Oh, my God, that's wild, right?
Giancarlo: Yeah, Aldous Huxley was saying that “the brain was a reducing valve” that would reduce the amount of information we can get so we aren’t overwhelmed. Psychedelic mescaline would then reduce that, eliminate the reducing valve and we will get the full understanding of reality. It’s fascinating.
Aude: It’s very possible. I think we use 9% of our brain. Whoa.
Aude: Only 9%. We think that, “I think therefore I am.” [laughs]
Giancarlo: Yeah, exactly.
Aude: We think that the Enlightenment comes from the connection to this 9% that we have access to. [laughs]
Giancarlo: Exactly, exactly.
Aude: And so, nothing is as it seems and this is what Kali Yuga means. It's the Age of Ignorance. The Age of Ignorance is, we think that we know but we know so little. That's why we get back to the beginning. The more we enter the space of love and the more we surrender into the non-knowing, perhaps there we can have a glimpse of the invisible. We can have a glimpse of what is only accessible in silence because even words are limiting.
Giancarlo: Very good. For the last 10 minutes, as usual, I'm going to bug you with the practical application of all this knowledge. But first, I want to ask you something. I'm curious because the first time we met, it felt like you were more in tune with the Taoists, with the Qi energy, and we didn't speak at all about that. Now, you spoke more about the Vedas. The Chinese Tao comes from Lao Tzu, from the Dao.
Giancarlo: How different is it, in a few minutes? I know it's a long conversation.
Aude: Yeah. Again, these traditions are all traditions that are ways… Again, the Dao means the way. Shri Vidya means the wisdom. They were just all trying to find… They're all connecting to a source of power that was trying to make sense of why are you here and what are we doing with our body. Dao is very shamanic. Meaning that it can communicate with nature by itself. It's part of the lineage that I've carried. Now, my main practice is tantra. I think in terms of sexuality, the Taoist sexual practices that are accessible to us today are very powerful and they have a valiance and we can work with them.
The tantric practices that have been hidden for a long time are much more unstable. [chuckles] That's what I mean. And we’d rather work with something stable. Then, in terms of connecting to consciousness through goddess worship, that's the path that I work, that's where I go through tantra, but to each their own way - to the same mountain, different paths.
Giancarlo: Got it. Okay, let's talk about some practical applications, exercise, tools, card decks, stuff like that.
Aude: Okay. Practical applications of all of this.
Aude: Well, a very practical application is to receive the breath [breathing]... and exhale and soften the tongue. Throughout our day, we can shift the way we breathe, everything shifts. To know that life is with you, that you are being nourished by life herself always, that all of your doubts, and all of your fears, and all of your desires or ignorance that are keeping you away from knowing that you are already full, whole, that there's actually nothing to fix about you. We can go to practical applications. I know it sounds really simple, but if you can do that everything changes. Rather than take the breath, when you're taking the breath, you're in survival mode [breathing] and you can see it. I need to take this breath because I think that I'm not going to survive, I think I'm going to die. And yes, and you'll see it with the traumas that we have in our body. We feel that we need to take and take and take, because we're not safe.
When we allow ourselves to say, “I am safe, I am whole, I am held,” and you receive the breath, and then you soften the tongue, and the soft tongue, the tongue is linked down to the pelvic floor. It has nothing to do with sex, but it has everything to do with sex. Because our sex is where we come from. It's difficult if I tell you relax your sex. Like “How do I relax my sex? Do I have a tense sex?” And if I say soften the tongue, witness what happens at the level of the pelvic floor, soften the tongue, receive the breath, soften the tongue. You don't have to do anything. You allow the breath to breathe you and you soften the tongue. As we allow that, we allow ourselves to be moved by life, move by what the Tao called the way, wu wei, the way of non-doing, move by what the tantric called Devi, that light that is moving Shakti, that light that is moving through all of life. And so, a very simple, but very challenging, practical tool… subduing it. So, that's a practical tool that changes everything.
And then in another more practical way because again I can tell you to do that over and over again and we keep on forgetting. We're in the process right now of creating a card game, which is called Golden Leela. Golden, because of that self-effulgent light and Leela means play.
Giancarlo: Play of life?
Aude: The play of life. It's going to be a card deck for couples, but couples doesn’t need to mean the couple that you're with but for people to play together. It goes on three principles, one is inquiry, self-love, sexual mastery, and it's just going to be a deck of cards to play. To play with yourself with another and to see what comes out from there, and there's going to be practices inside and inquiries because it's good to ask ourselves the challenging questions. Especially, if you want to be with a partner, well, I know I'm only interested in a partner that I can actually ask these questions that are not so obvious to answer. And so, that's in the making. Hopefully, it will be ready by November. Let's see how it all unfolds. And then, yeah.
Giancarlo: For example, tomorrow, you're leading a workshop with another teacher all day. There's going to be not just talking, I imagine. There's going to be some exercises.
Aude: Who knows?
Giancarlo: Who knows?
Aude: Who knows?
Giancarlo: Always very cryptic.
Giancarlo: But it's okay, it’s okay, it’s okay. If someone wants to reach out to you, will we give the same website the last time?
Aude: Yeah. My website is being completely redesigned at the moment and it's called Golden Rose Mystery, hopefully by mid-June, the newer version of the website will be up and there's going to be online quizzes mainly for women. I run an online course for three months in the summer and three months in the winter. That's called The Pleasure Temple, which is mainly what it is, a connection to the temple of pleasure which is our own body. We're going through these different lineages, gnostic, Taoist, shamanic and tantric to understand how pleasure moves through us. That starts on June 21st from the summer solstice to the equinox of the fall. And so, that's a workshop. That's an online course, but that's in person. Meaning, we will meet five times in person. So, that will be up there. Reach out to me if you're a woman, if you want to do that.
Giancarlo: You meet five times in person in Ibiza?
Aude: No, we meet online in person on Zoom.
Giancarlo: Oh, I see. Okay.
Aude: In person on Zoom. Then there's another online course that I'm just finishing creating, called The Moon Magic, which is for women again, but we're going to have a version for men, which is about understanding your menstrual cycle. Actually, it's very shamanic because our menstrual cycle is linked to the seasons and it's linked to nature. My true belief is that if we reconnect to that power inside of us, we reconnect to nature herself. I go through what is happening at the level of the hormones, emotions, how to adapt your lifestyle, how to adapt your nutrition, and how to really be in tune with that amazing force. Men should also know about it because women are cyclical beings and it would help relationships, [laughs]. So, that will be an on-demand course that will also be available. The vision is, we're going to do it in many languages. We just recorded somebody doing it in French, somebody will do it in Spanish and Italian. So, that's coming out.
And then, I work one on one with people on a period and couples for a period of six months. We work over six months and in that we're working online, and then there's a one-on-one retreat for three days, where we integrate some of the teachings that we work with online, and that's close so, I don't take more than six people every six months. That's really the container. If you really want to go deep, because this is dedication and it's - [crosstalk]
Giancarlo: No gain.
Aude: Oh, no pleasure. No pain, no gain. I don't believe in that. I really don't. I think that - [crosstalk]
Giancarlo: But when you say, it requires work, it requires commitment.
Aude: It requires commitment, but commitment is not painful -
Giancarlo: It is not pain. Yeah.
Aude: - that’s the thing.
Aude: If we shift that -
Aude: - our mind wants us to think that.
Aude: But if we feel that commitment, the resistance is painful.
Giancarlo: Yeah, totally.
Aude: And now, maybe just finish with that because it's one. Love feels good. Anything that doesn't feel good is not love. Perhaps, it's attachment. Perhaps, it's the mind, but love feels good.
Giancarlo: Mm-hmm. Amazing. This is a great perfect place to stop. Thank you again, Aude for coming back and maybe we'll meet in November when you have your deck, and we'll go more into more detail with that.
Aude: Yes, that would be really a pleasure.
Giancarlo: Thank you again, much love.Aude: Thank you Giancarlo, much love.