Tantra is a spiritual path for integrating body, mind and soul. It differs from other paths in its honoring of the body, using the senses, sexuality, and feelings to help you evolve spiritually. Tantra assists you in realizing your full potential as a human being. If you choose to live from the Tantric perspective, you will transform your life. You will discover bliss. You may apply Tantric practices and principles to many areas of life - to relationship and sexual loving, spiritual practice and lifestyle, physical and emotional well-being.
The benefits of Tantric practice include:
* Transcendent sexuality
* Deepened relationships with self and others
* Emotional freedom & literacy
* Expanded intuitive abilities
* Sustained health and vitality
* Boundless love & Life Force ( Energy)
* and Playful, ecstatic awareness
At the Heart of Tantra is Love.
The practices and rituals of Tantra, both spiritual and sexual, work to create the conditions necessary for love to flourish and endure. When we achieve states of presence, energy flow, relaxation, harmony, and connection, love emerges and opens the heart. To bring about the conditions that generate and sustain love, we can learn to rely upon Tantric practices to create more of these positive energy states. Tantra, therefore, is not just something to do in our bedrooms, but rather a complete way of life.
Cultivating states of presence, energy flow, relaxation, harmony, and connection is not always easy. A lifetime of hurts and other negative experiences have gradually limited our ability to be present and to express the essence of who we really are, fully and freely. We slowly become cut off from our feelings and the ability to experience our sexual creative energy in a connected, joyful, loving way.
In a subtle, gentle, yet powerful way, Tantric loving brings healing. It breaks up and washes away residues of our past that hold us back from limitless love and intimacy. Tantra teaches us not only how to be great lovers, but how to be great healers for one another as well. Tantra represents a unique paradigm for conscious living and loving. It offers a passionate and expansive way of life for those seeking to connect with their sexuality in a positive, heart-centered way, a way that celebrates freedom of spirit and body alike.
Origins of Tantra
Tantra is a set of spiritual teachings and a unique paradigm for relating to one's self and the universe that originated in India well over 2000 years ago. It is still relevant today. It originated in ancient Vedic times, in matriarchal cultures such as that of the Indus Valley, and in practices revolving around the worship of the Goddess. The essence of Tantra has taken many forms of expression and appears in virtually every culture in history, e.g., Chinese Taoist Tantra, Native American Quodoshka. Tantra is a timeless phenomenon as well as a global one. Even today in the West it satisfies many of our most essential needs: love, connection, intimacy, play, harmony and balance, inspiration, relaxation, celebration, physical and emotional well-being, sexual and spiritual fulfillment.
The Word Tantra
Tantra comes from the ancient Sanskrit words tanoti which means "to expand" and trayati which means "liberation." This implies that you can be liberated by expanding your consciousness. Another definition of the word Tantra is “web” or “to weave.” Tantra is an interweaving of the energies of many levels of consciousness from the mundane, to the most erotic, to the most profound. “Tantra” also signifies scripture that contains Tantric spiritual teachings.
Like other Yogic traditions, Tantra Yoga uses the tools of meditation (dhyana), conscious breathing (pranayama), physical gestures (mudra), sacred sounds (mantra), sacred geometry (yantra), body positions (asana), muscular contractions (bandhas) to achieve self-transformation, conscious awakening, and spiritual evolution.Tantra is generally divided into two main streams: Red Tantra and White Tantra. White Tantra or Tantra of the Right Hand (Dakshina Marga) involves the meditative techniques of Tantra and is essentailly a celibate, ascetic path. Red Tantra or Tantra of the Left Hand (Vama Marga) involves the use of elements that were considered taboo, such as the ritual of sexual union (maithuna), as a means of attaining liberation. Here, sexual union is used as means for going beyond into transcendent states of consciousness. “Pink” Tantra strikes the middle ground between the two paths, harmoniously joining the practical and esoteric elements of both orientations.
The interrelated notions of the Goddess, Kundalini, the Subtle Body, and the Chakra System are central to Tantra and its aims.
The Goddess is revered in tantra. In ancient times, The Goddess was worshiped as the embodiment of eroticism and the source of all creation. Every woman was seen as Shakti - The Goddess incarnate. Each woman is a Shakti. Shakti is the Hindu Goddess, or archetype, of the divine feminine. Shakti also refers to a particular quality of energy that is feminine and rises upwards in the body, such as earth energy or sexual energy. It was worshipped in ancient India as the primal energy that created the cosmos. Shakti, or sexual energy, is creative life-force energy. Re-awakening the Goddess is central to modern Tantra. Although both the masculine and the feminine energies are equally important, the extra focus on the feminine is necessary in order to counterbalance the predominant masculine energy of our present culture. Daily life in this busy world does not encourage women or men to recognize or acknowledge the Goddess, but rekindling a woman's sexual energy brings forth her Goddess nature. Tantric practices allow the Goddess in every woman to emerge. Both the woman and her partner benefit. The free flow of a woman's sexual energy activates her shakti, creating an atmosphere for spiritual enlightenment. Her pleasure and desire for lovemaking will increase and may even surpass the pleasure potential and sexual desire of the man.
The main purpose of the tantric path is to activate Kundalini energy in the body which is also called life force energy, sexual energy, orgone or chi. Those who achieve this awakening live in an ongoing state of bliss.Kundalini is the most powerful and refined energetic force available to us as human beings. The term means "she who is coiled" and is traditionally depicted as a serpent, coiled and sleeping at the base of the spine. When awakened, it begins to uncoil as it climbs up through the chakras to the crown. For thousands of years, the serpent has been used in many cultures to symbolize rising consciousness. A minimal flow of Kundalini exists in everyone already. It is the energy that animates the body and the physical senses and provides a base level of consciousness. As the flow increases, we begin to access higher realms of consciousness into the spiritual dimensions. Kundalini is activated by the energy of Shakti, or sexual energy. Shakti is generated through conscious lovemaking or specific yogic techniques designed to activate this energy. The tantric path sees sexual energy as an important expression of Kundalini.