"It can be said that I have been taught by the divine principle
of woman, I have been led by her, I have been crucified by her and most certainly
I have been loved by her. I am a product of that love, as is my teaching."
I am well and I would be pleased for us to spend some
time together in September, if you let me know closer to the date. Could
we leave the Absolute where it always is and talk about the love between man
and woman, which seems so absolutely problematical?
" Barry Long wrote
to me last summer. . . .
was to be my second meeting with Barry Long, spiritual teacher and self-proclaimed
tantric master, who lives on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia,
with Sara, "the only woman he now makes love with."
heard about Barry Long on and off over the last ten years, but met him for the
first time one year ago at his country home north of Byron Bay, where I had
been teaching. Our first meeting had been warm and respectful, initiated by
myself as I had been curious to meet this enigmatic teacher for a very long
time. Whenever two teachers meet as peers there is always an atmosphere of heightened
attention as both individuals scrutinize each other in order to find out if
the other is for real
. In this meeting there had never been a discourteous
moment or even a hint of competition. From this man who obviously had a very
different teaching from my own, I had felt only respect and a deeply moving
tenderness that was the mark of a man whose heart had been irrevocably touched
by something infinitely greater than himself. In our first meeting we'd spent
most of our time getting to know each other and had spoken only in generalities
about our different approaches to that most delicate task: daring to teach others
about the mystery of liberation. I was familiar with the fact that in Barry's
teaching, the primary spiritual practice was "making love rightly,"
which was Barry's unique and very original approach to the ancient "left-hand"
path of tantra. At the time I knew very little about what it was that he was
actually teaching with regard to tantra; I only knew that he put great emphasis
on it. When I returned to Australia last September, one year later, we had already
decided to devote the upcoming issue of What Is Enlightenment?
to the investigation of spirituality and sexuality, and it therefore became
obvious that we had to speak to the man who confidently refers to himself as
"the only Western tantric master."
for my meeting with Barry, one evening I got together with our editorial staff
to read excerpts from one of his books about the tantric path that he teaches.
To my surprise, something unexpected happened. Simply through "listening"
I received transmission,
which means that I experienced a direct recognition
of what it is that Barry is endeavoring to share with those who come to him.
This was an important event for me personally, for it was the first time in
my life that I was able to understand what spiritual sexuality could be all
my interview with Barry, I have studied more about his teaching on "making
love rightly," and no matter what one thinks about the ultimate potential
of spiritual sexuality in any form to truly liberate a human being, there is
no doubt that what Barry Long is teaching is a serious spiritual path that demands
sincerity and profound commitment from anyone who endeavors to pursue it. While
Barry is often outrageous, regularly audacious and unapologetically romantic
for a teacher of enlightenment, his calm abidance in absolute singularity always
shines through—especially when you're sure that he's gone one step too far.