The sense of yearning is a coded message that the soul is sending to our ego. Yearning takes on different characteristics depending on one’s state of evolution, one’s level of consciousness. To the individual awakening to higher consciousness, first the physical necessities must be met. Then desire drives us until the social / emotional domain is filled. Yet a yearning remains. It cannot be satiated by any quantity of money or sex, romance or power. We desire to attain these things, yet when we do we eventually remain unsatisfied. This is like a dirty little secret that we can tell no one.

No matter how great our material achievements are, how sexy our trophy spouse is, how much status and power, there always comes a time when we become aware of a gnawing sense that we are not fulfilled. Why are the wealthy so propelled to accrue more than they could use in a hundred lifetimes, whatever the karmic cost? Why are the socially well heeled secretly so miserable and judgmental, and control freaks so driven to manipulate others? Libertines can exhaust themselves in the pursuit of pleasures that are never enough, and career workaholics are forced by the stress of chasing their own misplaced ambitions and aspirations to dig their own graves. And why do the majority of people who marry their soulmates end up having extramarital affairs? What can be missing?

“The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love-dogs
no one knows the names of.
Give your life
to be one of them.”
– Rumi, “Love Dogs”

Sometimes alone in the wilderness, or sleepless in the wee hours of the morning, with external distractions absent, we can feel a longing for something. A vague feeling that we require something or some state of being that we know not. A longing for something that our basic drives cannot assuage. It might appear as a quiet desperation, or perhaps a personal crisis. For some it can be discerned as a yearning of the spirit so deep, so profound, that it moves one to tears.

In spite of the smiley face we put on for others, we secretly know we are not fulfilled. We suspect there is more to life than this, and we often cannot understand what we are yearning for. Our intellect and the desires of the lower chakras are no help in traversing this pit. Like Eliot’s “hollow men”, we are unable to communicate or express what might fill the secret abyss in our gut and heart. We have tried everything the material and social world has to offer; yet the chasm remains. Exhausting ourselves with work, duty, and diversion, we seek an unknown opiate to dull our aching spirit. Alone in this most secret of times, we long for a caress of compassion from One who understands, for we do not. Are we not like dogs, chained and moaning for Love in the dark night, hoping to be invited to our Master’s bed?

“Resistance is futile.”
–The Borg

Desire cannot be safely suppressed. Resisted and turned inward, those energies can only become twisted and concentrated, becoming dangerous to oneself and others. One Tantric approach to desire is to fill any edacity you have, to appease that domain of your consciousness with whatever it desires, within reason. This is not to be done reflexively, but as a meditation, with full attention on what you are doing, while taking responsibility for both your desire and your actions in filling it. This is a middle path, neither denying what the mind, body, and emotions lust for, nor chasing your desire unconsciously until exhausted.

Over time, one begins to notice that less is more. Being fully attentive and karmically responsible elevates your consciousness. You require less to satiate the hunger of the lower chakras, and the processes of attentiveness and self-responsibility become satisfying to some degree, in and of themselves. This is one of many Tantric techniques for Transmutation, the letting go of old programs, and the recycling of life force trapped in those habits. Tethered less to lower agendas, consciousness begins to yearn for more experience of its higher aspects, to agendas of the heart and soul.

“Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.”
– Eugene Ionesco

Will and power both help us meet the needs of the lower chakras, and empower us to maintain a spiritual practice. Ten to twenty minutes of practice each day is enough to make progress, if the technique is sufficiently efficacious. When the yearning for evolution, for a relationship with the Divine becomes great enough, and joins with authentic, powerful technique and pure intention, the gateway is revealed.

The Gate of Yearning can physically be felt at the solar plexus, and this is the key. Turn that key with purity of intention and high Taoist Tantric methodology, and admittance to the next evolutionary level is attained. The intellect, with its concepts, ideologies, and philosophies cannot by itself find the Way. Our dreams of unconditional love, of living in gratitude and compassion, of being fulfilled from the tips of our toes to the top of our soul, have a somatic pathway. This dream, this promise, lies slumbering betwixt the belly and heart, dormant in the solar plexus.

Once an aspirant realizes this spiritual desire, only anguish will remain if he or she stubbornly resists. It is one thing to wander through the desert of an unconscious life, being pushed and pulled by the mandates of the material world and whatever subconscious urge or resistance that bubbles up within us. It is quite another to know that the Promised Land exists and to travel part way, only to turn back. When called to Awaken, we are compelled to let go of our old habits and antiquated self-definitions. The time comes when we must surrender our insistence on suffering, the pretense that we don’t know better, and the illusion that we are powerless to change. Only fools turn back from the Gate of the Kingdom. Read more at:

© 2008 Keith E. Hall & All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Rev. Keith Hall has taught Tai Chi, Qigong, Tantra, meditation, and other body / mind modalities for over 30 years & is a senior student of Prof. Yung-ko Chou, with permission to teach. He has studied at East West Schools across the world & with Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, S. Saraswati & others. He practices Bioenergetics, Bagua, Tumo, Vipassana, Zen, Spiritual Bodywork, various Yogas, & other East West disciplines. He has published articles on Tantra & Taoist arts in numerous journals & is the Founder of Jade Garden Tantra, 10 Minutes to a Healthier You! Tantric Qigong, Presencing for Emotional Freedom and EnlightenmentSM, and