Book Reviews Tantra — 28 July 2017

Kaiyum reviews Catherine Auman’s (aka Dhyan Shaida) latest book and says, “…it shows a refreshing new paradigm in how to approach dating and finding a loving partner.”

Tantric DatingBoth as a (single) woman, a professional therapist and a practitioner of Tantra, Shaida takes a closer and critical look at current trends in the ‘dating game’.

In this, her newest book, she is highly critical of the current dating mindset as driven by materialistic advertising and programmed ways of thinking:

“I would much prefer to feel the actual nature of my attraction to a person versus what I’ve been conditioned to desire…

“It’s the ego clinging to the idea that I, the great I, must have a person on my arm who makes me look even better.”


Fresh approach

The short chapters of this compact book steadily reveal both Shaida’s profound experience and her pragmatic wisdom. Themes such as love, sex, fantasy, ‘the perfect partner’, personal responsibility and much more all get her down-to-earth attention… with the added benefit of how she turns current, ‘normal’ perceptions upside down and inside out, revealing the unexpected simplicity of a refreshing new paradigm in how to approach dating and finding a loving partner. Consider, for example, how she looks at the ‘right person right now’:

“We come together for these romantic and sexual encounters to evolve in a certain way together. We don’t know for how long…

“So it’s been a helpful mindset for me to hold that we’re helping each other grow, rather than clinging to a fantasy outcome that might or might not be for our higher good.”

Spiritual

Shaida is delightfully frank in her gratitude to her many teachers:

“A tantra teacher I met the other day said to me, ‘The heart that breaks is not the True Heart.’ Wow! The True Heart isn’t the egoic heart. Our limited little hearts break because we were looking for the wrong thing…”

Above all she cites Osho as the Tantric Master who provides soothing guidance and clarity on the path of expanding love, and on the part the Mind plays in setting up barriers to experience the love the heart yearns to share and experience:

“If you are alone and lonely, it is only because you have too many criteria on your love.”

Shaida further emphasises that awareness is the key:

“Awareness changes things. The very fact that you have taken responsibility for your own love and pleasure rather than blaming someone or something outside yourself changes the whole experience. Then you can breathe more fully into the present moment, face your fears, communicate, and expand into areas of yet-unknown bliss.”

Exercises

The book represents a handy guide for those seeking to understand why their dating is (so) unsuccessful. It is, however, definitely written for those with some degree of personal growth, some opening up to the awareness that all is not what it appears to be. In this sense, it’s certainly in a much more sophisticated class than ‘Dating for Dummies 101’.

Presentation

Shaida’s style is friendly, personal and honest. She writes in a way that is easy to read – deceptively so, since each short chapter provides the basis for serious self-reflection, contemplation and – for the genuine seeker – homework. She reveals, for example, how to mistrust information received through the eyes:

“Even if you’re not concerned with dating or finding a partner, consider how relying primarily on your eyes for information might be keeping you from more fully exploring smell, touch, sound, and taste. Closing your eyes, getting out of the realm of the visual, is one of the most transformative practices you could take up. In the same way that silence can be the most beautiful sound of all, not seeing in the way you’ve been trained to see could offer you unexpected vision.”

Nevertheless, the content would be more accessible if the text were thoroughly proofread to eliminate minor inconsistencies, bloopers and unnecessarily complicated sentence structures. Just ironing out the confusing mixture of we, you and I as in this sentence:

“Are you available for this love? If we’re always thinking
I can’t love this other person because…

… would significantly improve the readability and clarity of the book.

Confronting

In the last paragraph, Shaida summarises – perhaps inadvertently – the essence of the paradigm shift she advocates in her book:

“I would have liked to thank more women teachers but have found that most female dating coaches and writers inadvertently perpetuate the conventional mindset that women are potential victims of men in the love realms, and that if women become sexual we ‘lose’ something. My experience talking with friends, clients, and spiritual brothers is that men get hurt by love and relationships as much as women do, and that we don’t need to protect ourselves from them, or from sex.”

So for those readers, men and women, who wish to enrich their love lives, investigating Shaida’s sage and well-considered advice could be just the answer and the path you’re looking for!

Available in Kindle format from amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.in – catherineauman.com

Review by Kaiyum

Read an excerpt on Osho News
We are all spiritual brothers and sisters helping each other grow

Catherine AumanAmerican-born Dhyan Shaida (Catherine Auman MA) began studying meditation and yoga in 1972, astrology in 1980, and explored many spiritual and personal growth paths. She became a sannyasin of Osho in 1985 and lived at the Osho Commune in 1999-2000, studying tantra and meditation. Her distinguished career in psychology includes work in virtually all aspects of mental health. She taught psychology and counseling at JFK University, the University of Phoenix, and The Chicago School for Professional Psychology. catherineauman.com

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