An Overview: Tantra and Tantric Sex
Tantra is a spiritual path and a path of sacred sexuality, whereby you come to experience the union of your sexual and spiritual energies. In so doing, you experience the divinity in yourself, your partner and in all of existence. Tantra is concerned with the transformation of energy. It directs us to transform our life-force energy and sexual energy into spiritual energy for the purpose of spiritual enhancement and enlightenment. Within the context of Tantra, sexual relationships and experiences are grist for the mill of our spiritual advancement – which includes creating a bond of sacred love with our partner.
Tantra is an ancient tradition with its roots in Hinduism and Buddhism. It came to America and the west, pioneered in a new form, known as Neo- Tantra. Its resurgence can be attributed mainly to the enlightened Tantric master Osho Rajneesh and his disciples – although others, such as the kria-yoga Tantricas played a crucial role too. Osho Rajneesh underplayed the emphasis on mantras, positions and ritual and placed it on spiritual consciousness, and a unique combination of meditation, non-attachment, risk-taking, wildness and spontaneity. The issue was to go deep, find your true core and express it in its fullness – both in life and in your sexuality.
The Tantric couple approaches their love-making without performance concerns, goals or agendas – other than to taste fully the essence and form of each moment. They are not concerned with the pleasures or pains of the past.
They are not anticipating the future, longing for or reaching toward this or that experience. They are not moving towards orgasm. Only this moment exists for them and they let it fill their senses, surrendering to it completely, and the next moment rises inevitably out of the fullness of their experience. Their love making is slower, calmer, and more meditative. They are in no hurry to get anywhere. There is nowhere to go but here – and now here – and now here. They attune their breathing and circulate their sexual energy together – either in synchrony or in counter-point to each other. By this means they build a powerful charge of subtle energy.
By focusing their attention on their conscious intention and their breathing and by visualizing of the movement and direction of this subtle energy, they are able to draw their life-force and sexual energy up their central meridian to the higher spiritual centers in the brow (the third eye) and the crown, thereby igniting their spiritual centers and uniting their spiritual and sexual energies. Through the same means they are able to transmit these energies to their partner or receive them from their partner, in one of a variety of different configurations.
These include circling the energy between them and sending it back and forth in a U-shaped dimension. In so doing, they create the Circle of Bliss that Tantra talks about – in which the lovers experience a powerful force of light traveling within and uniting their two bodies. This force can become so expansive that they disappear into the light either individually or together, and so become one with each other and all of existence.
There are a number of pre-requisite for Tantra without which no Tantra exists.
- The first has to do with the relationship between the partners. This relationship is one of the Sacred Heart Space. When a couple is in the Sacred Heart Space, the partners acknowledge and experience the sacred dimension in both in their own self and in their partner and pay homage to the Godhead within. There is a term in Tantra called Namaste. It means: “The God in me salutes the God in you. I bow down to the divinity within you. I honor your high being.” Thus, in Tantra, it is from a place of high honoring, reverence and cherishing that two people meet – whether or not they are lovers.
- The second prerequisite is to be totally present in the moment – sensing and feeling into it – and out of your mind. Thinking is the anesthetic of the senses. When you are fully aware, with your consciousness in your senses, and are out of your mind, you experience much more, with far greater intensity and vividness. You are more alive, both in your life in general and in your sensuality and sexuality in particular.
- The third pre-requisite is to celebrate life regardless of what life brings. To be Tantric is to say “yes” to life with gratitude.. This requires that we not be attached to our preferences of how we want things to be but rather to find the blessing in the “what is” of life and flow with it.
- The fourth pre-requisite is to be able to run energy – to be able to move and direct your life-force sexual energy, spreading it across your body, so that your whole body becomes alive, and to be able to send it up your central meridian and interweave it with your spiritual energy. In doing so you are able to experience yourself in a profoundly heightened spiritual and sexual state simultaneously, thereby weaving together these energies and centers. When love-making, a Tantric couple must be able to circulate this transformed energy between their bodies, which, in an expanded ecstatic state, they will experience as full body orgasm
It can be said that Tantra teaches you how to use sexual energy to achieve altered states of consciousness that create a union between the earthly and the divine — between the sexual and the spiritual. This is achieved by slowing down time, which is done by slowing down the breath and silencing the mind, and by being absolutely present to what is being experienced in this slowed down time. By focusing your attention on your senses, you become so attentive to what you are experiencing you begin to attune to the energetic realm within yourself and your partner. You use your attention to intensify, expand, and direct your energy to different places in your own and your partner’s body. In so doing you can create a circle of bliss between yourself and your partner and can now generate ecstatic states at will. Tantra is best taught through direct experience of being with an adept.