The “Tantra Equals Sex” Myth
The most common and wildest misconception about Tantra is that it is all about sex. This misrepresented, diminishing, narrow and false idea probably started with prudish Victorian morals, and their feelings of repugnance towards intimacy, and has spread like wildfire throughout the Western Hemisphere, where it has festered into the modern day.
Libertinism, unleashed desire, orgasm, ecstasy, wild sex, dirty sex, kinky positions, orgies, multiple partners, candles, incense, magic rituals, and even black magic are what come to mind when people hear the word ‘Tantra’.
What Is Tantra?
In reality, Tantra is one of the most important spiritual Indian traditions, the practical aspect of Veda. In Sanskrit, the word means “to weave” and comes from the term “tanoti” meaning “to expand,” and “trayati”, meaning “liberation”.
By practicing Tantra, using your body, mind, senses, and energies, along with Tantric methods, your consciousness expands and transcends the limitations of your body and mind.
Tantra doesn’t solely use sexual energy, as many think and reduce the system to, but every aspect of your being. Thus, it helps you transform yourself through a spiritual practice, using various techniques and methods, from Hatha-yoga, Kriya-yoga, Kundalini-yoga, Raja-yoga, Japa-yoga, and Bhakti-yoga, into an enlightened, fully-aware, human being.
All the energies in your body are awakened, your energy channels are purified, and your chakras are flourishing gloriously through the various yogic practices.
The Practical Aspects of Tantra
Tantra offers a plethora of methods from which everyone can select specific techniques that fit his or her individuality, that meet specific needs they have at a certain point, and that guide them towards their individual blossoming.
Tantra is not a one-size-fits-all type of thing. But rather, it offers many different methods that can be combined and tailored to people’s individual needs so they can attain spiritual prosperity, health and wellbeing, and a unified consciousness.
With Tantra, you will learn about the 5 “bodies” (the physical, energetic, mental and emotional, wisdom, and bliss body), the 7 main chakras (Muladhara, Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajna, and Sahasrara), the subtle energetic channels, nadis, and so on.
The Unifying Tantric Approach to Life
We can understand Tantra as being the very substrate of life and the universe that supports, creates, connects, interlinks, and unifies everything into Oneness. You and I, as human beings, are not separate but are in fact one, right in this very moment, as you read this line, even if we are miles apart.
One of the main purposes of Tantra is to bring everything together, to bring every aspect of your life into your consciousness. This way, you become fully aware of everything in your life, you embrace it, and live consciously.
Otherwise dull and ordinary daily activities are now made vivid, interesting, meaningful, successful, and all-encompassing, as you dive into them with an expanded consciousness, not an absent mind.
With the help of various techniques and methods from ancient, sacred Tantra texts, all your potentialities blossom, all your energy channels become unblocked, all your energies intensify and refine. Your 5 senses awaken, your vitality increases, your mind becomes laser-sharp, and your heart opens. Your view on life, the world, and the universe widens and wises up, your consciousness expands into infinity and becomes one with the Divine Consciousness.
Other traditions separate the worldly from the spiritual, matter from spirit, desire for pleasure from spiritual aspiration – this separation will end in an internal struggle and alienation. This sets a sure path to guilt, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, promiscuity, and hypocrisy.
Instead, Tantra takes the person as one is, flaws and all, with all the worldly desires, the highs and lows, and unifies one’s being into wholeness.
By nature, Tantra “weaves” together all aspects of your being and it helps you expand your consciousness. The fabric of life as it is, colourful, not just black and white, is able to give you complete fulfilment in all aspects of your being, right where you are, doing exactly what you love and need to do.
Tantra doesn’t negate, dismiss or reject anything, as many cultures, spiritual paths and religions do. An ordinary, so-called “spiritual seeker” always tries to “get somewhere”, “reach some higher place”, “go into the light”, failing to recognize that all is light, all is consciousness.
Tantra transcends limitations and unifies what is separated. By practicing it, you are not “going” anywhere or “getting” somewhere, but you are revealing yourself. You are waking up to your true nature and the true nature of ALL things, as they really are.
With its comprehensive, varied, and profound system of methods and techniques (including yoga postures, pranayama, mantras, mudras, mandalas, Kundalini techniques, visualization techniques, Ayurveda, astrology, and other esoteric, deep, and highly-spiritual practices) Tantra is designed to merge the worldly and spiritual. It transforms you into a unified, centred, whole human being, in unison with the cosmos.
Tantra, a Fulfilling Way of Life
Tantra is not something you practice away from the world and society. Tantra IS living, it IS the world, it IS life itself. It is a way to live your life to the fullest. It helps you be aware of polarities, the yin and the yang you have within, and harmoniously balancing them in perfect unison. Tantra is not “This” or “That”, it IS “This” and IS “That”. The raw side of life, the wilderness of existence, the untamed, the high and low, the calmness and agitation, the black and white, they are all part of life, they are all integrated into the divine.
In Tantra, all is Sacred and Divine
Tantra merges the human side of us with the light of the consciousness, in a sacred union. Every aspect of our being is brought to light, revealed and divinized. Nothing is left out.
Energy is called Shakti, The Divine Feminine Principle, Mother Nature, Divine Mother. Consciousness is Shiva, the Divine Masculine Principle, Heavens, Spirit. Each woman has both divine principles within her, and each man has both divine principles within him, in different proportions. That is the beauty and secret of polarity.
In Tantra, both man and woman are revered as sacred and divine, and they should adore each other as embodiments of the Divine Principles. Their bodies are not mere physical vehicles of the Spirit, but holy temples that hide a terrible, cosmic, and immensely powerful force within them: Kundalini Shakti.
The Dance between Shakti and Shiva, energy and consciousness, creates Life.
Einstein once said that everything is energy. Quantum physics states the same. However, Tantra knew it long before them all, some thousands of years ago. Energy and Consciousness are the same thing. We are made of energy and consciousness, which, Tantra states, are One.