The Art of Tantra

The Art of Tantra

what is tantra?

the roots of the word ‘tantra’ are Sanskrit

tan = thread, web, stretch, spread or expand
ta = tool or instrument
tantra = tool for expansion or a ‘weaving’

tantra is an ancient spiritual path
has much to offer anyone who is seeking to :

~ develop a personal integration of spirituality or sexuality
~ bring some spark back to personal relationship
~ open blocks to feeling and enjoy sensuality
~ heal from sexual traumas of the past

tantra and tantric practices have had to evolve, the issues confronting individuals and couples in this modern society are very different from the predominant issues of ancient cultures where tantra emerged

this evolution has brought about an integration of tantra with modern psychology and thus modern music and dance have found their way in to this body of work

tantra refers to the weaving of energy and consciousness, the interconnectedness of all living things throughout the universe, extending beyond time and space

tantric methods seek to develop awareness of this embodiment of weaving and to do this certain elements are necessary, including the ability to raise one’s vibrations to where oneness and connection are possible

concentration, focus and the ability to skilfully move energy are requirements – an increase in energy is needed – there are methods to learn to amplify energy and increase the capacity for holding that energy thus to sustain higher levels of vibration

the most powerful energy is sexual/sensual – ancient yogis named this ‘kundalini’ / the serpent fire energy – stored at the base of the spine and ignited by sexual arousal

sensuality aids relaxing, opening and raising energy levels – ‘turned on’ is a popular term – this empowering energy can be developed and worked with either with or without intercourse

individual work and non-sexual practice of tantra is termed : white tantra

~ can be adapted to modern life

~ can be integrated into other spiritual paths

~ does not require an individual to be celibate or recluse

partner practices, meditations and sexual practice assist in cultivating interconnectedness and the feeling of oneness ..

typical methods of tantra include:

~ meditations, both solo and with a partner, develops focus and concentration

~ awareness practices to aid progress in attitude, appreciation and intention

~ ritual and ceremony / including creating ‘sacred space’

~ breathing practices

~ spinal yoga and movement

~ sound and toning practices

~ sensitive, loving touch

~ verbal and non-verbal communication

benefits of tantra are vast, individualised and lasting

through the practice of tantra one can experience expansion of consciousness and recognition of the web of interconnectedness – it is a great body of spiritual and physical knowledge – the practice of yoga is a rewarding doorway in

the practices are aimed at expanding consciousness and liberating the self ‘through life and not through escape’  – the body is an instrument and in tantra, the body’s energies are the fuel to spiritual and self-development

although popular press has tainted tantra as being the ‘yoga of sex’ it is so much more than that … tantra can expand one’s capacity to give, receive and experience pleasure in not only the realms of sex but in all areas of life (provided the person is willing to work with their own self-discipline and lay solid foundations of strength and discipline)

“liberation through expansion, breaking through personal barriers and courageously going forward toward the Divine Bliss both as an individual and as a society”

ultimately, tantra is the path of the spiritual warrior, Shambhala/avadhuta (buddhist pure land) .. encouragement to fight unceasingly against limited or prejudiced thinking, against shallowness and all that is foe to inner and outer genuineness

ananda / the divine bliss – this is to be sought, not merely to be trapped in the cage of looking for pleasure and avoiding pain

tantra encourages the savouring of life to its fullest, with all its pleasure and pain, beauty and ugliness, living and dying

tantra teaches us how to go beyond and further, how to reach union with all opposites, how to transcend them

everything is viewed as having two aspects / female and male / now and then / here and there / self and other-than-self  … the continuous relationship between these opposites generates energy and matter

thus we get caught in the play (Lila) = energy + mass / holding onto ever-unresolved infinitely complicated relationships between the opposites …….. this makes for our edification and imprisonment in the world of the perceived self and other-than-self

tantra therefore naturally aims to engage in eternal play : the attraction and relationship between the sexes

Female embodies Operative Principle

Male embodies Cognitive Principle

tantric techniques help an individual to balance these two principles within each and every one of us, to reach a state of equality of female/male – animus /anima

well-balanced tantric training would typically include :

developing a solid moral foundation

daily practice of yoga postures (to help calm the tug-o-war game of opposites within the self)

mental exercises of concentration and meditation

rituals of appeasement of deities (advanced)

serving a guru

# Viira = a brave individual

a viira has gained control over the six enemies and eight fetters

the six enemies

~ physical longing

~ anger

~ avarice

~ vanity

~ blind fascination

~ jealousy

the eight fetters

~ hatred

~ apprehension

~ fear

~ shyness

~ hypocrisy

~ pride of ancestry

~ vanity of culture

~ egotism

the yoga of dissolution (laya yoga) is entry toward becoming a viira

genuine tantra seeks to free the eternal human soul (atman) from the bondage of the world

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