A few years ago, I attended a retreat offered by my teacher Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, on the living science of Tantra. Tantra, says Panditji, is a path to Freedom, in part through the realization that We are Them. By personally engineering our lives to become more peaceful, healthy and strong, we are more able to share our strengths (prana shakti) with others, and engender wealth that includes, and also transcends, the material world. This process of awakening, accessing and utilizing Prana benefits All. Over the years, I have come to not just see these words, as merely theoretical constructs, but to live them.

One of the teachings I found to be particularly powerful (and dear to my heart as a beekeeper) was the concept of Madhu Vidya, or the science of honey. In the process of gathering and alchemizing prana (much of which is sourced from within us, but is hidden by our own inner turmoil), we are like bees. Their dharma (life’s purpose) is to gather pollen from many sources, and combine and transform it to make honey (prana shakti). They then store it, care for it and share it. It is life force and comes from their own diligent and consistent effort. Like a bee alchemizing honey, we humans can alchemize our own life force, our prana shakti. The use of this fuel/life source is cultivated not just for our own use, but for the benefit of our community and world.

We all become stronger, more resilient and conscious through personal prana cultivation. This cannot happen unless we do the work necessary to collect and retain the pollen/prana. Thus we need to source those actions and experiences that foster more clarity, awakening and inspiration. Conversely, we should consider not engaging in attitudes and actions which undermine our abilities, and disconnects us from our Dharma. We can then engender what is right and what is good-for the benefit of everyone, including our Mother Earth.

“This Earth is the honey of all beings. It is the essence and milk of all beings. People suck this earth as if they suck honey which has such a beautiful taste; and Earth sucks everybody and everything as if they are honey to it. The Earth is the honey of all, and everyone is the honey of the earth. So does the earth make everything a part of its own ‘being’ by absorbing everything into itself. And so does every ‘being’ in the world suck the earth into itself and make it a part of its own ‘being’!” – Madhu Vidya, the fifth Brahmana from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Lauren Toolin