What is Tantra and what is Tantric sex? In this article, find out all about what truly is the esoteric tradition of Tantra is and understand concepts behind Tantric sex.
Tantric sex is NOT about hush and rush, unlike the modern day version of sex which is more motivated by the end result - the big 'O'.
In Tantric sex, the end is not the goal - the journey is far more important than the rush to reach the ultimate orgasm. Tantric sex is sex embodying elements of mindfulness, spirituality, deeper connection and intimacy between you and your partner. But first, what is Tantra?...
What is Tantra?
Tantra is the birth child of Hinduism and Buddhism. Tantra literally means to "loom, warp, weave" in Sanskrit - thus implying the weaving of different traditions and teachings into a text, practice or techniques.
In Tantra, this liberation is achieved by yoga, meditation, mantras, rituals, prayers, dance, chants and concepts. Developed in India between 5th and 6th century onwards, Tantra is the esoteric tradition of Hinduism and Buddhism. In India, the word 'tantra' means any "technique, theory, text, practice, system, method or instrument" where the mantras are the key element.
But there is no one definition of tantra - there is no universally accepted definition of tantra and rather the concept of tantric sex is what is called Neo-tantra movement. Tantric sex is just one of the eight branches of what defines as Tantra. These eight branches include sex, yoga, massage, Kashmiri Shaivism, tantra of relationships, breathwork (Pranayama), meditation and Kundalani yoga.
What is Tantric Sex?
It was the occultist businessman Pierre Bernard (1875-1955) who introduced the philosophy of tantra to the western world - thus creating the misconception that tantra is related to sex, which then came to be known as Neo-Tantra movement.
The term 'tantrism' is also a Western construct and denotes the spiritual salvation by realization of the divine within one's own body - accepting and embracing both the feminine and the masculine energy within ourselves and in each other to achieve the ultimate blissful state of union and consciousness.
In Tantric sex, it is not about sleeping with just anyone to get the act done and over with - no. Our bodies are made up of energy fields and we must guard our energy during the sexual exchange with others. In Tantric sex, every step is done with the concept of sacred sexuality - from choosing who we share our body with and to how deeply we connect our energies with the other person in our bed.
Sexual energy is considered to be of the highest order in humans - it is the energy of creation and the whole world revolves around sexual energy and it's ability to give birth to life. If we are all energy fields, then it only makes sense to be very mindful of who we sleep with and how we use this sexual energy.
When we have sex with somebody, we are blending our energy with theirs - if it is mindless encounter, then the exchange of negative energies can have a very detrimental effect on our lives. The reverse is also true - when we engage with someone who we love and care about deeply, and we take the time to connect during the intimacy ritual, the beautiful exchange of this blissful state can have a wonderful effect on us and even on our life.
Sexual energy when used properly can simply enhance our life to higher levels - from creating abundance in all areas of our life like health, success, peace, joy, harmony, better social connections, opportunities in life and so on.
THIS...is the concept behind Tantric sex - to use our energies, our body, mind and sexuality in such a spiritual way so to connect deeply with ourselves as well as our partner. In short, Tantric sex is basically sacred sex - it is the use of sexual energy to connect to higher realities and to acheive spiritual enlightment.
In Tantric sex, the sexual energy is used to 'rotate' around all the energy centers in the body - like the chakras. As the sexual energy is pulled upwards (away from the genitals), the sexual energy lights up each of the energy centers (the chakras) and thus is believed to create enlightment in all areas of our life.
Because in Tantra the physical body is of utmost importance as it is considered the greatest spiritual tool to acheive enlightment, hense the importance of sexual energy and what it can do for us - thus the importance of Tantric sex.
The Tantric masters knew very well that by using the energy of the orgasms in the right way, they could connect deeply to the higher realms and that this powerful, potent sexual energy can connect us to the Divine ultimately. Tantric masters knew the importance, the potential and the monumental power of sexual energy and this is the reason why they studied sexual energy, not because of sex but rather because of their inner knowing and interest that sexual energy can take us to alternate realities and can help elevate our spiritual path as well as tranform our material world.
In Tantra, sexual desire is a path to reach the absolute Divine - it is not a means to an end. Tantra is NOT about wild, mindless sex - rather it is just the opposite. Tantra teaches about using your sexual energy mindfully, consiously in order to harbor good within yourself and in the world.
Understanding Tantric Energy Centers -
In Tantra, the feminine energy is known as Shakti and this energy lies dormant in the base of the spine in all of us known as kundalini, often called as a coiled-up serpent. This kundalini is connected to energy channels known as nadis, which then are connected to our energy centers called as chakras.
The main goal of most Tantric practices is awakening the kundalini energy - whether by sexual energy or by other tools like meditation, yoga, mudras, and so on. By channeling and activating this dormant yet powerful energy and moving it upwards, it is believed in Tantra that one can achieve spiritual enlightenment.
Kundalini Energy Awakening & How It Travels -
Once the kundalini energy awakens, it travels through the 6 chakras, ultimately reaching the 7th chakra - the crown chakra. It first travels to the navel (the 3rd chakra), then drops down to the 1st and the 2nd chakra before finally moving upwards to upper chakras through the spine, activating the brain (the golder cord) - reaching the pituitary and the pineal gland.
The ida is the left energy channel, the pingala is the right energy channel and the sushumna nadi is the central channel - these are considered the main channels of pranic energy in the body.
Understanding this is the basis of understanding Tantra and the concept of Tantric sex. For now, this is enough but in next article, we discuss more on what is Tantric sex and how you can cultivate it in your sex life (whether solo or with a partner).
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