I recently wrote about Miranda Shaw's "Passionate Enlightenment - Women in Tantric Buddhism" in the blog area. I can't resist sharing another nugget from the book here, about the inner yoga that one undertakes as part of the practice. "One of the main goals of Tantric Buddhist practice is to realize the innate perfection of the world by visualizing the world as a celestial mansion (mandala) and all beings as divine. The deities that are envisioned represent aesthetic patterns of enlightened energy and liberating activity." - from Chapter 4, Women in Tantric Circles - Adepts and Experts, p. 84.
What I love about this is that it clearly places the Tantric tradition on the side of those who value embodied life, here and now. While Buddhism has much to offer, I have shied away from the part which describes worldly life as suffering; the goal being to be transcend it by realizing that life is all an illusion. I feel this devalues life and the beautiful world around us.
But the Tantric approach above, realizing "the innate perfection of the world" is quite different. After all, if divinity (however you think of it) has taken the trouble to manifest life in all its complexity, it must be important! Seeing the perfection of the world, we once more perceive meaning, value and beauty all around us. The world is paradise after all, for those who have eyes to see it. A very Feraferian concept!