Tantra, that ancient art which goes beyond anything an art could be, anything a religion could be, anything that a philosophy could be. Tantra is a web that is so vast it extends across and permeates into cultures across the globe. Tantra simply is an unstoppable force that requires neither devotees nor belief to be.
The Goddesses and Gods of Tantra cannot be compared to the Gods of the monotheists. These beings, these archetypes, are powerful because they embody so many aspects of ourselves, not just those that we might be proud to show, but also our shadow aspects, our craziness, our embarrassing moments.
Tantra is all about energy, and energy comes in many types. Every emotion, feeling is an energy and these energies hold power. Especially the negative energies. One of the core tenets of Tantra is transformation. This is why Kali wears a necklace of skulls, why she dances with death, why ancient Tantrikas were said to live in graveyards and dance with their mourners in order to transform their sadness to joy.
Energy exists right before our eyes, and yet so easy to miss. How can something right in front of us, permeating into our being, be missed? It’s how we look at it. Looking at life through the rational western mind, we miss a lot. When the Greeks developed the western philosophy of reasoned logic, did they realise that they were attempting to eliminate a whole segment of our life experience? An elimination that would only lead to sickness, war and suffering?
The rational mind sees the physical only, yet even the physical is imbibed with energy. Our brains cannot see, yet our bodies can. The wisdom of the body is enormous. Our bodies feel and know, they breathe, they exist, holding a powerful wisdom. This is the wisdom of the ages and the wisdom of the energy. Meditation and rituals take us into our bodies, and this is exactly why these are essential parts of the Tantric experience.
Through meditation we are able to access our mind-consciousness on a deep level. We are able to discover the inner energetic workings of our bodies. We are able to learn to open up energy centres and meridians and to transform energy. Meditation takes us from a state of logical doing that stems from the brain, into a place of calm all-knowing being which is surpasses the flitting and failing rationality of the brain alone.
We can read all the books on Tantra that we can find, yet without the Tantric experience of moving energy, of our chakras, of kundalini, sushumna and the nadis, the experience is dead. It’s only by immersing ourselves in the practices of Tantra that we can feel Shakti, not by rationalising it with our brains.
Tantric meditation takes many forms. We can meditate with our chakras to activate and open these energy centres. We can use Mantras to tune into the sound vibrations of the energy around us, and the sacred geometry of Yantras can rebalance and unblock our energy. Tantra yoga is an embodied meditation that does more than tone and improve our bodies, it opens our chakras, opens the energy flow, and can lead to kundalini awakening.
Tantric Rituals are another form of connecting with and experiencing powerful energies. The difference between a ritualistic act and any other is our intention. The simple act of holding eye contact while sitting opposite each other does more than create a feeling of connection, it actually has an effect on the pineal gland and can activate it.
Another Tantric ritual involves using the sense of touch, taste and smell to explore the body of our beloved. This can be done blindfolded or with eyes shut, and this serves to greatly heighten the other senses. Exploring gentle and slow touch, slowly increasing in
This is one of the most basic Tantric sexual rituals. It’s so simple and yet so powerful. It creates a connection between the sexual centre, the heart centre and the third eye. These are powerful energy centres on their own, but when they are connected with intention in two people, their powers amplify.
It’s said that an hour of Tantric sex is equal to 50 hours of yoga practice. I find this comparison to some extent amusing, and yet I also understand what they are saying. To understand, it’s important to understand what tantric sex actually is.
Tantric sex is pretty much the opposite of every idea of what sex should be that is fed to us by the porn industry and Hollywood. That is, it’s slow, and it doesn’t involve male ejaculation. It’s having sex in a ritualistic way that is designed to harness our sexual energy and raise it up the body using it to open and balance our chakras, activate the nadis and sushumna, and essentially awaken the kundalini.
Above I mention that Tantric sex is said to be much more powerful than this. Yoga is an exercise practice that is indeed designed to do what I just mentioned, activating the kundalini. Yet when we manage to calm ourselves enough to tap into the sexual energy in a conscious way and raise it up through our chakras, we are using a far more powerful force which can get us much quicker results.
One of the classic Tantric sexual rituals is to sit cross legged with the woman on the man’s lap, holding this position in stillness while breathing together. Of course, for the majority of people who are programmed to have sex in the fast jabbing movement we see in porn, this would seem impossible. To do this will likely involve a complete shift of consciousness, from doing to being able to embrace the state of pure being.
The jabbing style of sex serves to force the sexual energy out of the body. Tantric sexual rituals in stillness gently allow the orgasmic energy to fill the body. This can occur as a vibration that gently fills the body, or when the energy is intense, jerking and shaking can occur as the meridians unblock and the kundalini rises and activates the chakras.
Tantric rituals and meditation are all about slowing down the body in order to allow the energy to activate and flow, and ultimately for the kundalini to awaken. In a fast paced and hectic world these practices are more relevant than ever. They take us out of our brains and into our bodies which is an important state to learn to experience.
It’s undeniable that this is challenging, especially the idea of slowing down for sex. Our lives are all about rushing and this is how we achieve the results we want, fast and furious. Often, we rush into sickness, unhappiness and an early grave.
It’s easy to forget we are human beings, not human doings. By stopping and taking time just to be, we give ourselves time to really feel the nature of our existence. This nature involves the experience of energy. When we have fast and hard sex, we miss that energy. Just the same as when we live fast and hard lives.
Tantric rituals have the power to take us into the space between worlds where time stands still. It can take us to the place where we pause, breathe and feel. In this space we truly can experience life in its true colours. It’s in this space that magic can happen.
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