Tantra is a spiritual approach and viewpoint to living life. Its history is long and vast and incorporates a large number of ancient and modern practices to increase awareness of the sacredness in all life. The spiritual tantric path brings together opposites, such as the masculine and feminine, into divine balance. The goal, if there is to be one, is nurturing us into the life’s harmonious, loving flow.
Tantra is becoming popular in western culture, and the word is even misused, covering a lot of different topics. Consequently, there are many different interpretations of Tantra, making it hard to discern what Tantra really is.
At its core, Tantra is about unity and about loving connection between all aspects of our lives.
Traditional Tantra can be traced back into Tibetan and Indian lineages in Asia, where it developed in conjunction with other spiritual practices. In essence, it is interwoven with many traditions, and the root of the word Tantra means “to weave”, as if to bring together the material world into a sacred dance of sensually pleasing elements of sound and breath, movement and energy.
Tantra is one branch of Yoga, a large body of knowledge that extends into many lineages or disciplines and their varieties of practice. All yogas are intentional practices that bring us closer to God-Realization or Enlightenment. Tantra is the yoga of sensual awareness, the results of which are pleasure and bliss. Who wouldn’t enjoy more pleasure in their lives? [I can think of some. I’d consider leaving this last question out – rhetoric tends to work best when the answer is unequivocal.]
The basis of Tantra is reflection and balance of the two primary forces of life that occur across all levels of experience and are referred to in various terms, including Yin/Yang, Masculine/Feminine, Earth/Heaven.
There are many Tantra practices and ways to develop. For example, a person can work with the inner balance of Masculine and Feminine by practicing Tantra in solo. A person can also practice Tantra with a partner, where the Masculine and Feminine balance develops through external reflection. There are practices for men to work with other men, practices where couples sit across from each other and never touch, practices developed by celibate monks, and practices for busy couples with children…
Traditional Tantra has been and continues to be picked apart and set apart as needed by the West. Reminder: Tantra is about unity and balance. Because of this, Modern Western or Neo-Tantra has become focused on what Westerners need the most to restore unity and balance … sexual healing.
Although the goal of Tantra is enlightenment, having a 30-minute orgasm or hours of sex can be regarded as a great perk. Because of this, many students seek Tantra for sexual development rather than the enlightenment. Nonetheless, no matter the intention, Tantra practices will benefit the student in both ways, as Tantra brings together mind/body/soul/spirit into harmony.
I am dedicated to the practice of evolving human consciousness and embodying pleasure, and I have the deepest desire to support others on this path. Central to this path are presence, personal empowerment, emotional intelligence, sexual wholeness, and embracing our shadow (disowned and un-integrated psychological material).