Tantrik Masters are often referred to as Siddhas, the ones who see. The Rigveda, one of the most ancient scriptures from India to mention Tantra also translates the word as ‘weaving a thread’, bringing something together. Tantra is a sister practice of Yoga and Ayurveda and is therefore mentioned along with these in the ancient scriptures.
In the West, Tantra has been largely known for its sexual practices, although these are only a small fraction of what Tantra truly has to offer.
At the root Tantra is working with polarities, the union of Shiva and Shakti, the feminine and masculine principle, the meeting of man and woman. This does not only refer to the physical meeting of men and women, but also the meeting of the inner man and woman. In order to find balance within and in our relationships, we need to find ways to nurture both of these two energies in us first, allowing for an inner marriage to happen.
The masculine is our strong, active and outgoing energy, while the feminine is our subtle, emotional and receptive energy. Once we find this unity in ourselves, Tantra is an accelerated path to becoming more intimate with a partner, but also intimate with our Soul and One with the Divine.
What is Tantra in the 21st century?
Tantra is often referred to as a lifestyle rather than a philosophy. It´s a way of uniting spirituality and material life, sexuality and expansion of consciousness, yin and yang, shadow and light. Although it is often pictured as a uniquely sexual practice, Tantra in fact is an elaborate system of physical practices, meditations, worship, ritual, energetics, healing and a broad range of tools for personal development and realizing one's true Self.
Since Tantra is all-inclusive it not only works with the light, like other spiritual practices, but also with shadow material. This means Tantra is a mirror to bring up unhealed wounds, traumas, unseen parts of ourselves, repressed emotions and old conditioning. It allows us to shed old skin to live from the place of our Higher Self. It sets life force energy free, opens the mind to completely new dimensions and allows for unconditional love to flourish.
Contrary to the yoga tradition, which focuses on restraining human nature through sexual abstinence and withdrawing from society to focus on spiritual practices, Tantra embraces sensuality and human connections as one of the greatest teachers and a way of transformation on the spiritual path.
Since all of our deepest conditionings are stored in the root chakra, our foundation, and directly affect the juicy sacral chakra, our sensual and creative powerhouse, there is a lot to be uncovered here. By liberating not only our sexual energy, our sensuality and our intimacy, but also our creativity, passion and power for personal expression, we incarnate our full potential and find balance between spirituality and a modern lifestyle.
Tantra workshops range from Neo Tantra (including touch and sexual practices), to white tantra (esoteric and non-physical), red tantra (traditional but full package), and hybrids of tantra yoga, tantra energetics, tantra and authentic relating, so called tantra but rather sexual playgrounds and tantric massage.
Depending on the course leader, the practices can be with a partner, in a group setting or only for yourself with a focus on movement of energy, kundalini awakening and the opening of the chakras. Since the path is so broad and practices so manyfold, there are diverse techniques to be explored. Each school and teacher has their own approach to Tantra.
How to practice Tantra?
Tantra as a philosophy is a system with the ultimate goal of liberation and Divine union. Tantra in these days is often referred to as a tool for sexual liberation and the undoing of conditioning. For some practitioners this might be through yoga practices, pranayama, the use of energy locks (bhandas) and hand gestures (mudras) from the Hatha Yoga tradition, which are based on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Shaiva Samhita to direct energy from the lower into the higher chakras. For another practitioner this might be meditations on the energy of Gods and Goddesses to embody the power of these archetypes.
Tantra also involves pujas, rituals and chanting, which connect to the Divine and give blessings. The aim is to open up otherwise dormant energies within and harness them in conscious ways, for the embodiment of our full potential and the opening of the heart.
Tantra as a partner practice includes the exploration of sexuality to reach higher states of consciousness and cosmic orgasms, deeper intimacy and emotional connection, as well as many different tools to prolong sexual energies rising and circulating in the body, to bring about a universal connection beyond the known.
Tantra for Sexual Healing
Tantra massage is a sacred ritual, which helps to release stored tension, trauma and blocked energy in the genital area, so that this energy can flow through the whole body and life becomes more joyful, effortless and light. It can bring about expanded states of consciousness, the energy literally vibrating in the body, deep seated emotions from the past and memories to be released. Furthermore, a healing session can create new pathways in the subconscious mind of what loving touch and sexuality as a sacred ritual can look like, including with consent, clear boundaries and the meeting of needs.
Tantra as a Path to the Divine
Although Tantra uses sexual energy as a tool, the aim is not solely increased sexual energy or sexual skills, but the redirection of this very potent energy to open up to more willpower, unconditional love, standing in your truth and connecting to your inner wisdom. By directing life force energy into the higher chakras, multiple awakenings can be experienced, a blissfull flow state of being one with life, the dissolution of fear and worries and emotions in unknown depth, which ultimately make life more divine, magical and connected!