Uh-oh! A question a tantric practitioner dreads coming from their mama. Or maybe
it was just me. Anyhow, I took a deep breath and answered like this:
Tantra is not what you may have seen on HBO Real Sex. It is not a freaky
sex cult or a religion. It is not Kama Sutra. Tantra is a spiritual path, a set
of practices, and a way of living in authenticity– learning to fully accept what
is good, bad, cute, and ugly about yourself. It is also about recognizing responsible
pleasure as your birthright, not as a sin.
Each one of us has a physical body and an energy body. The energy body has been
known and documented by ancient yogis for centuries but only recently discovered
by modern scientists and quantum physicists. The practices of Tantra help us to
detect these extremely subtle but important energies and move them throughout
the body for certain purposes. This Universal energy (also called spirit, life
force, chi, prana, creative energy, or sexual energy) originates at the root chakra,
which just so happens to be located at the genital area. However, root energy
is not actually sexual energy itself. It is sort of mixed in with the sexual energy
and for that reason, it is most easily detected through sexual awareness because
it is the strongest energy that we over-stimulated humans are able detect prior
to becoming sensitized to super-subtle energies.
Tantric practices consist mainly of work with the chakras (internal energy vortexes
along the spinal column) and the feminine/masculine polarities within each of
us. Much like in a Hatha yoga class, the work includes meditation, conscious breathing,
and mantra (voice), as well as exercises for emotional release. Visualize the
chakras as water wheels that spin around as the water drops onto the paddles.
Imagine the feminine energy as the stream of water moving up from the root chakra
to the crown chakra, where it is then transformed into masculine energy that moves
down from the crown chakra to the root. These energies must be free flowing for
physical and emotional well-being. If the energies are obstructed or unbalanced,
the result is physical ailments and emotional turbulence. Tantra is a wholesome
way to maintain optimum health and emotional stability.
A tantric lifestyle is one that is focused on being in the present moment and
not being attached to past dramas or future anxieties. Many spiritual paths consist
of preparing for death so that the adherents will go to Heaven. Tantra teaches
us that Heaven is here and now. A tantric lifestyle is one that instead prepares
us for the divine presence in the body here and now by cleansing physically, emotionally,
and mentally. It is essentially a celebration of maintaining the body-temple through
sensuality and honoring and respecting the mind, body, and spirit equally.
Tantric Arts are enjoyed in a tantric lifestyle as a method of staying present
and a way of connecting with your creativity in a way that helps to literally
bring the spirits up. Tantric Arts refers to any artistic endeavors that can be
used to cultivate spiritual development through creative expression and awareness
of the senses. The term comes from the classic sixty-four tantric arts of which
mastery was required of ancient Indian Dakinis, or tantric priestesses. Today,
Tantric Arts encompasses all fine arts and humanities (such as dance, painting,
poetry and prose, calligraphy, and design), gardening, decorating, lovemaking,
food preparation and enjoyment, massage, aromatherapy, ayurvedic science…etc,
or whatever brings you closer to your Heaven, your Divine Essence, your Beauty.
Whew, and that was it.