Tantra, an ancient Sanskrit word, means to "weave" or "expand." It is a form of yoga, which means to "join." To join and expand, to come together, weaving our energies, for the purpose of opening up to the entire universe. Shaped variously by Hindu and Buddhist traditions, sometimes constricted by Confucianism, Tantra in its widest meaning describes an approach to living that links the physical universe to the cosmic whole.
Sexuality, the most physical and intimate of human interactions, is seen a sacred activity, a continual re-enactment of the original creation of the universe. The First One, separating from Itself to know Itself, embracing Itself to experience Itself.
Tantra proposes that each of us undergo within ourselves this total union, this joining of the feminine and masculine. When loving partners dance the path of Tantra together, the relationship is transformed into a sacred journey to Oneness.
Tantra describes a movement of energy, a welling up within us, of joyous excitation. Unlike forms of meditation that withdraw us from the world of senses, Tantra encourages us to start with the senses, building on their ability to focus us in the present moment.
Sensual experience is appreciated as a tool for awakening the energy within us. In the moment that we shift from overt physical pleasure to an internal joy, to a focus on the internal movement of energy, the subtle nature of our being is exposed and Tantra takes place.
Tantra occurs only in the present moment. Yesterday's experience has no relevance.
When I smell a rose, I smell it in this moment, not yesterday or tomorrow, but right now, right here. And if I embrace the moment of smelling the rose as the prelude to a spiritual experience, if I invite the rose-smelling into my total being, aware both of the scent and my total bodily response to the scent, aware of the softness of the petals and the rose energy in my heart, then in that moment I am open to the fullness of Who I Am. This is Tantra.
And if you and I both smell the rose together, and sharing that experience, dissolve our separateness into an infinite Oneness, then together we experience Tantra.