Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Isn't Tantra all about sex?

A: Tantra does include sexuality as an important pathway for spiritual growth. This is why many people mistakenly believe that sexuality is the sum total of Tantra. This myth is understandable when our experience, both eastern and western, has observed spiritual growth as necessitating renunciation of the realm of “the flesh”.

Q: Doesn't Tantra promote promiscuity and wild sex orgies?

A: Remember that Tantra accepts everything. But accepting everything is not the same as recommending everything. Our western culture is very confused when it comes to sexuality. It is flaunted everywhere, in the media and in advertising. Yet, as a culture, we are still recovering from centuries of sexual repression. Thus, some individuals may need to explore promiscuity as a means of sorting through their personal confusion of sexuality.

Q: So what is Tantra if it is not just about sex?

A: Tantra is a way of life that encourages us to find beauty in everything that we do whether it is lovemaking or washing the dishes. Its roots date from 2000-7000 years ago in Tibet and the Indus Valley. It is a form of Buddhist mysticism. It is a tradition that is handed down through direct teaching from master to student. Thus, rather than a doctrine of the mind, its power comes through expanding experience of the practices. Meditation and contemplation are important components of these practices, along with participation in the larger world.

Q: So how does Tantra view sexuality?

A: In the ancient traditions, sexual union was the highest level of meditation that practitioners prepared for through building a firm foundation of spiritual practice. Sexual union is the ultimate symbol of duality (yin and yang or female and male) joining or uniting into One. The last 2-3 millennia have encompassed what we might call the Patriarchal Era where issues of duality have been at the forefront of the expansion of human understanding. Duality includes the concept of “I/Thou” and all the opposites with which we are so familiar, especially the urge to judge good or bad. Previous to the Patriarchal Era, during what we might term the Matrilocal Era, a consciousness of unity prevailed. The compelling desire for unity has been a conundrum for centuries in light of our experience of duality. Tantra offers powerful experience into resolving this age-old dilemma.

Q: How can Tantra apply to gay and lesbian couples?

A: With all this emphasis on yin and yang and opposites, Tantra envisions the male and female principles as manifesting on every level and in every aspect of life. The key in Tantra is balance, so every cell within an individual’s body, the dynamics in a relationship between two people, and the planets in space, for example, are continually striving to maintain balance of the male and female principles. Thus, the physical gender of someone is secondary in this holographic model. What is important is the balance within that person and then the balance of energy between that person and their beloved.

Q: What if I'm only interested in improving my sex life?

A: Tantra is an excellent way to enhance your sexual experience. Even for those who have no interest in the spiritual path, the teachings of Tantra open up profound new ways of relating with your beloved that are very different from the western mindset that most of us are used to. Tantra teaches us how to be emotionally present with our partner so that lovemaking becomes a completely mutual experience filled with loving communication and connection.

Q: So what does Tantra feel like in a sexual context?

A: Tantra in sexuality includes feeling attuned with your partner energetically. This means feeling streams of delightful energy flowing throughout your whole body, not just the genitals, and between you and your partner. It is common to share orgasms meaning that one partner’s orgasmic energy flows into the other partner, stimulating orgasmic feelings in both. This attunement can be so profound that deep erotic sharing can be experienced with or without actual physical contact. This skill of sculpting and flowing energy independently of any particular sexual behavior makes Tantra a fantastic resource for those with health concerns such as paralysis or illness that limits physical activity.

Q: What about teenagers? Is Tantra appropriate for young people?

A: Absolutely! In fact, Tantra can be of great assistance to young people as they clarify a sense of their own emerging sexual identity. Parents can feel relieved that Tantra encourages sexuality as an expression of our highest selves, an experience to choose from integrity and awareness. Also, since Tantric sex means moving energy consciously within the self and between partners, “safe sex” practices including refraining from intercourse become truly viable satisfying options. Bliss arises from the loving connection between partners, regardless of the specific behaviors the partners may choose to engage in. Tantra teaches the deepest respect for oneself and one’s partner. Thus, exploitative motivations or poor self-esteem inviting victimization will not manifest in the Tantrically aware young person.

Q: How is Tantra relevant to family life?

A: Because Tantra is about life in the broadest sense, its sexual aspects naturally remain where they belong in the parental bedroom. Parents who practice Tantra in their intimate relationship will find themselves inspired in more loving and allowing ways with their children and in all of their relationships, at work and in their community. In contemplating the Tantric principle of accepting everything, we are inspired out of our tendency to be judgmental and critical. We are more likely to look for things to appreciate in everyone and everything we encounter, evoking the highest from others. The more we experience this profound capacity to bring out the best in ourselves and others, the easier and more natural it becomes to expand into this realm of everyday ecstasy and bliss.

 

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Ecstatic Marriage and Family Institute of Fenton River Center

Brian Ahern and Holly Rawson
667 Chaffeeville Road
Storrs, CT 06268

Tel: 860-429-7945

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Tantra for Everyone - Storrs, Connecticut