The Bitter Roots of Ecstasy
Rob Schmidt, Ph.D., Tayu Meditation Center Spiritual Director
Original date: Thursday, June 18, 2009

Download MP3 Audio File Here (16.6 MB)

Ecstasy is the exaltation experienced when egoic grasping is released, enabling communion with the palpable Reality beyond ego. According to the famous metaphor, the unblemished lotus-flower of transcendent awareness arises from the sucking quagmire of desire's excrement. But like struggling against quicksand in a bog, release from egoic impurity cannot be achieved by the strategy of direct resistance offered by the ego against itself repeatedly, fruitlessly. The job of the spiritual practitioner is to deliberately and continuously feed the flower of awareness with the sustenance of internal corruption and self-hatred. That entails consciously connecting the extremes of purity and pollution at every step of the process. With perseverant practice, the blissful communion of ecstasy becomes a divine eroticism as the practitioner learns how to rub the unappetizing, muck-encrusted heart of ego up against the exquisite gossamer web of God's infinite eternal body. Join us for a talk about the practice of bringing the bitter together with the sweet at the heart of consciousness.

Rob Schmidt directs Tayu Meditation Center, the owner and operator of Many Rivers. In his training with Tayu founder Robert Daniel Ennis, in books as unlike each other as God Is Gay and Archaeologies of Sexuality, and in his work with Tayu practitioners, he has long sought to embody an erotically-charged purity untainted by desire or selfish agenda.

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