Tantra can be loosely described as a study, where you work on your sexual and overall spiritual awareness and consciousness.
The Tantric line of thinking comes from far-off India, where in the past, sex was treated as only a means for married couples to have kids. Religion said that sex was not supposed to happen to anybody else. But in Vedic Hinduism there were people preaching a path of love to God and to your fellow woman. They founded a path, where people were harnessing and enriching their sexual force, towards their goals, be it a happy marriage, meditation, striving to do their work excellently, or other things. But mostly the goal was to use the energy of love and sex, combine it with meditation, and through this path to talk with your inner god. Throughout the years then, quite a unique and intricate system of prayers, meditations, rituals, books and quotes was developed, to guide pupils on the path towards love, divinity, perfect sex, and peace.
Tantric rebirth in the west
But even though this way of teaching got pretty well established, it would have probably still been pretty unknown in the western civilization had it not been for a couple of new-age gurus. They took it and added a bit of modern psychology and medicine to it, along with a bit more fun, music and other touches, that made it even more interesting to us Europeans or Americans. Perhaps the most fun part of tantra that got developed in the past years is the tantric massage, which started in the US, in the early to mid 70s. And one of the main characters in this massage revolution was our mentor, Joseph Kramer PhD.
Transforming and using all energies through tantric bodywork
What attracts me most about Tantra is how it teaches you to open up your senses to all the impulses coming your way, no matter what feelings they generate. Usually, the mind and body is taught to draw its energy only from the positive things happening to you. Sadly though, positive stimuli are usually only a small portion of the whole. But what Tantra teaches, maybe because it started in India, is to accept all feelings, all incoming energies and transform them into your energy. This can be done even with physical pain, and as soon as this is more or less mastered, you are then able to experience continuous meditation. You are anchored deeply in your inner self and nothing can sway you away from living in the here and now, meditating, because you've learned to turn every incoming energy into your fuel.
Teaching the body and mind to experience everything
Going to a massage and simply enjoying it, maybe even to an erotic massage, anybody can do that, right? But the tantric way of thinking is that if you go to a nice relaxing massage, to revive your tired body: You're getting energy out of this, so let's use it productively. So how about bringing a small unit of pain into the massage somewhere, because then the mind and body start to learn how to control and harness that pain, and a bit later, to even forge it into pleasure. Given a bit of pain, the body gets a bit more alert, a bit more attentive, and therefore a bit more sensitive to everything. More sensitive to pleasure as well, more conscious, more present in the here and now. That's one of the ways, how (sexual) energy can be harnessed. There are other ways too, I'll get to those in future articles. My future articles will definitely include a number of thoughts on conscious play with pain and pleasure.
Other ways of harnessing the powerful sexual energy is to, shall we say, release the handbrakes of past traumas. Together with your partner, you can agree to explore everything that comes. If you agree on this rule, then every time you stumble upon a taboo area which pushes you back, you can then decide to share it with your partner and go through it together. You'll simply release all the energy that has been pent-up there. Not only do you both become stronger, but you also share a strong experience and become a stronger couple, or better friends.
I know, that in today's world rituals are not 'IN', they are too traditional for many people, but actually it sometimes feels pretty nice to offer your partner the traditional Vedic offering ritual, where you acknowledge and recognize the God or Goddess in them and worship them with offerings of fire, water, flowers, fruits or other gifts. Same thing goes for sexual rituals and sex magic, where you learn to gather up sexual energy and energize your dreams, to put life into them, to let them sparkle in your imagination. But all this would be a pretty long read, so let's make a deal, I'll write about this some time later. Visit this page again soon, and we'll give you some more interesting tantric articles:)