Tantra has been nicknamed "the science of ecstasy". Many assume that Tantra is simply the art of sex. Tantra expands our capacity for pleasure, yet it is much more. Tantra is about living life well and being more alive in the present moment. Tantra is the art of love.
Tantric sex is one part of a much larger spiritual practice of Tantra that touches on every aspect of life. However, it is understandable why many people are most curious about the “sexual” applications of Tantra. Sex is a very compelling force of nature. Tantric philosophy teaches us that everything is to be experienced playfully, yet with awareness. There is a sense of sacredness in every gesture, every sensory perception, and every action. The path of Tantra appreciates all of our senses and sexual experiences as a conscious meditation.
Sadly in today’s fast paced society; the default expectation is that our careers should be our first priority, and that our relationships should magically just take care of themselves. In reality this never works out well. When the majority of our time, attention and energies are focused on work, often times our love lives suffer by taking a back seat. What we sometimes forget is that relationships need to be feed and cultivated if we want them to flourish. Romance takes some creativity, but it is well worth the effort. Sometimes we act as if intimacy is a luxury, or an afterthought, but once it is gone from our relationship, we may start to recognize that it is a real need. Even relationships that started out as solid, loving and passionate suffer from neglect. In our minds we may be doing the whole high powered career thing for the sake of our beloved. However, if we don’t also budget some time for one another, the result is often a loss of intimacy. If we don’t continue to communicate, to connect with our partner on a heart level, and to kiss each other like we really mean it, the result is the deterioration of our relationship and a lack of passion in our sex life. Even with the most patient and understanding of partners, resentment may begin to silently build. Sometimes without meaning to, couples stop taking the time to look into each other’s eyes and stop touching one another. Before we know it, we may be living with someone who once was our lover, but is now a stranger. I am not suggesting that we all need to quit our jobs and make our relationship our full time focus. However, finding little ways to keep love alive, and keep the spark in our sex lives is worthy of our attention. Tantra gives us a structure to follow, as well as some practical tools and techniques to bring the focus back to love and passion.
Tantra is Transformational; teaching us to be open to experience more pleasure, to connect with the divine within us and the divine within our partner. When we apply Tantric principles to our relationship with our beloved, we make LOVE our top priority. We focus on heightening and prolonging that special rapport that exists between lovers during lovemaking. We elevate love making beyond the physical act to a spiritual experience. Through sacred love making rituals we celebrate the union of our bodies, hearts, minds and spirits. Every act of love represents divine union. The more we release the limitations of fear, the deeper we can open into the consciousness of love. The spiritual part of tantra is to use your sexual energy to merge ecstatically with your partner and through him or her to become one with the cosmos or god.
A devoted student of Tantric philosophy goes through an extensive program of physical, sexual and mental exercises to heighten sensory awareness. The tantrika, or Tantra student, will gain an in-depth understanding about the chakras or energy centers of the body. They will learn how to open up these centers, release block energy and move sexual kundalini energy through their whole body. They will also learn how to connect and circulate this energy through their lover’s body while making love. Tantra involves a slow and thoughtful practice of lovemaking techniques. The student learns to comfortably extend the time of lovemaking. In this way they train themselves to be more aware of their own feelings and sensations as well as those of their partner.
What is special about Tantric sex? Tantric sex is to ordinary sex what gourmet food is to fast food. With tantric sex we relax, breath and let go of the outside world. We expand our awareness of all our senses as we gaze into the soul of our beloved. We tune into our beloved’s energy and celebrate our union. We make time for lovemaking, because it is a priority; connecting intimately with our partner, and renewing our love in the present moment. Making love becomes a type of worship, honoring and celebrating the divine within us. The connection is not only physical, but emotional and spiritual. We take the luxury of time to savor every sensation. Instead of rushing or focusing on the goal of reaching a climax, the whole experience of sensual connection is enjoyed and expanded. The energy of sexual arousal is allowed to build slowly and expand fully into a heightened orgasmic state of ecstasy that generally is not reached through ordinary sex. By moving and expanding our sexual energy up through all the energy centers of the body, we may experience an intense extended state of euphoria that some refer to as a full body orgasm.
There is a common misconception about Tantra that I would really like to dispel. Occasionally I hear people express a concern or reluctance to explore tantra because they have heard that during tantric sex, you are not allowed to cum. This misunderstanding naturally discourages people from wanting to explore Tantra because it sounds potentially frustrating and unsatisfying. Especially if you interpret this to mean you cannot have an orgasm. The good news is, this is not the case. Yes, there are some Tantric techniques that are taught and practiced among some tantrikas for enjoying sex without ejaculating. There is some real value in this practice, particularly in learning how to experience orgasms without ejaculating, because this opens up some interesting sexual possibilities. If this intrigues you, then I highly recommend giving it a try. However, these practices are not a mandatory part of Tantric sex.
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