Tantra is a journey of bliss, ecstasy and complete unity - a perfect balance of yin and yang energy.
For centuries, various forms of Tantra have been practiced in many eastern cultures as a means to reach enlightenment. Tantra is an ancient yoga that is perhaps best known in the West for its celebratory inclusion of sexual energy as central to the practice. This powerful meditation can be experienced solo or with a partner. It involves being consciously aware of all your heightened senses, especially through breath and movement. Tantra is about sensing sexual/creative/life force energy; building it and moving it throughout the body for healing and pleasure.
The word Tantra means “to manifest, to expand, and to weave.” In this context, sex is thought to expand consciousness and to weave together the polarities of male (represented by the Hindu god, Shiva), and female (embodied by the Hindu goddess, Shakti), into a harmonious whole. It is intended to achieve a state where opposites cease to exist, where yin and yang are in perfect balance and duality is eclipsed. Couples need not adopt the Tantric pantheon in order to benefit from the sexual wisdom of this ancient art. They can simply enjoy the process of co-creating intense energy to bring about harmony, as well as increase sexual pleasure and a deeper level of intimacy within their relationship.
On a spiritual level this condition is considered a state of bliss, of ecstasy, of unity. On a worldly plane, couples seek a perfect balance where their differences are complementary. They aim for an ecstatic combination—the experience of bliss, love and unity—in their relationship. Psychologically, Tantra is a healing art, as sexual energy is one of our most powerful energies for creating better health. By consciously directing sexual energy, we can tap into a pure source of youth and vitality. Through consistent tantric practice, you will discover energy you never knew you had – a creative energy that will refresh your mind, replenish your stamina, and restore your enthusiasm.
Tantra suggests the interconnection or the ‘interwovenness’ of things and actions – an interdependence of all that exists is the continuity within the interaction of cause and effect. The essence of Tantra is invariably of a mystic nature, i.e., trying to establish an inner relationship of things: the parallelism of microcosm and macrocosm, mind and universe, ritual and reality, the world of matter and the world of spirit. In Tantra, the human body is seen as a microcosm of the universe; all that exists in the universe, exists also in the human body. Through the intimate connection of body and universe, we can understand how sex and orgasm can be seen as a cosmic and divine experience.
At a time when the stresses, fears and distractions of daily life threaten so many relationships, the age-old practice of Tantra shows us how to open our hearts, our emotions and our sexuality. Sex may be used to heighten energy and conscious connection to the universe which can bring healing, peace, wholeness, power, bliss, and growth, as well as a profound intimate connection with your partner. Tantric sexual practices teach us to prolong the act of making love and to utilize potent orgasmic energies more effectively.
Tantric sex promotes the experiences of orgasm without ejaculation. This does not mean that a man is never to ejaculate, but that he can control his climax. The essence is to catch a wave of energy and to surf the edge without going over – riding the wave of ecstasy as long as possible. Although they often happen at the same time, men are capable of having orgasms without ejaculating. By holding back, men can experience a series of “mini-orgasms.” Ejaculatory control is what makes it possible for Tantric lovers to capture and extend the magical energy of orgasm.
In the Tantric model, the sexual experience is seen as a dance with no beginning or end. There is no goal, only the present moment of exquisite union. For this reason, lovemaking is meditative, expressive and intimate. Tantra teaches lovers how to extend the peak of their sexual ecstasy so that women and men can experience waves of orgasms during an extended lovemaking session. With love, trust and mutual respect, the magic of Tantra is available to couples of all ages and levels of sexual experience.
“Tantra embraces the natural energies of the bodies and connects you with cosmic, universal energy. It is becoming one with the other, and the very cosmos itself.” –Swami Nostradamus Virato
*In part 2 of this article, we will discuss more in depth about how to practice Tantra as an art of conscious loving.