“Tantra” has an ancient lineage and has undergone many alterations and refinements over the centuries which have produced many different forms of this esoteric science. For many that practice Tantra, its essence is: self-knowledge and spiritual-expansion of the individual through intimate connection with the beloved.
Through the mirror of the beloved, the Tantrika (aka Sadhaka = “one who follows a spiritual path”) experiences divinity and is shown everything that is obscuring his/her ability to experience it. Just as when peering into a mirror that is covered with dust and spots preventing clear viewing—so do one’s personal “issues” prevent a clear awareness of the divinity present within the Tantrika and the beloved.
Tantra has always included sexual energy as its core tenet of awareness and tool for transformation. Some “White” or “Right Hand” Tantra schools taught an austere version of working with sexual energy within oneself—only venturing into corporeal sexual engagement after many years of internal refinement. “Red” or “Left Hand” Tantra schools included the physical enactment of sexual ritual as part of their Sadhana (spiritual practice).
While originating in the “East” millennia ago, in modern times, Tantra has seen a great resurgence—especially in “Western” culture. Western Tantra often gets a bad rap for being superficial and hedonistically focused. The criticism centers on the preoccupation by many “California Tantra” groups on sexual union and orgasm attached to a loose definition of “spirituality” in an attempt to legitimize, or make spiritual what would otherwise be perceived as merely a promiscuous lifestyle in pursuit of Egoic self-gratification. Interestingly, at its beginnings, similar criticisms were aimed at Tantra by its competition (Hindus, Jainists or Buddhists) —however, are now often made by Tantric “traditionalists” and purists. Just as major religions like Christianity and Islam have spawned many denominations and cults, so has Tantra. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the dharma (right living) of Tantra takes on as many different forms as there are “schools” teaching it.
At the essence of Tantra however, is an enhanced and elevated understanding, and integration of three fundamental aspects:
Embodiment, Presence, and “Potentiality/Actuality.”
Obtaining the necessary level of enhanced experience and elevated understanding of these aspects involves:
- A process of “inner-work” to “clean your mirror” and remove what is blocking you from full experience and realization.
- Developing the ability to work with, and interact using, sexual energy as a catalyst, power source, and uniting agent, in concert with your beloved.
Accomplishing these two steps produces a numinous experience that elevates and evolves each Tantrika on all levels of consciousness.
Embodiment produces a clear channel for the flow of erotic energy. To be embodied means you not only feel sexually “turned on”—but your body is enlivened by the sexual energy pervading your senses, organs and tissues without hindrance or contraction. Embodiment is achieved by clearing away what blocks you from feeling your sexual energy.
The emotional and energetic blocks or contractions you experience come from beliefs, patterns, and experiences that attenuate the flow of your sexual energy. Clearing these blocks takes “inner-work” to increase self-awareness and understanding of yourself at a deeper level. Tantra provides energy exercises that help clear emotional and energetic blocks and restore the flow of sexual energy. Tantric principles teach a whole new way to perceive and interact that places awareness in the body and not dominated by the mind.
Presence in this context is a mixture of witnessing and stewarding a balance between “doing” and “being.” For the tantrika, getting one’s intellect out of the way and allowing a sensorial, or body-centered awareness to take over is key. Mental chatter can distract a tantrika from what is happening in the present moment and derail the flow of sexual energy and ruin the Tantric experience. An adept balance of witness awareness without succumbing to discursive thoughts or acting out unconscious patterns is essential.
Potentiality is the acknowledgement of a possibility to occur. A tantrika seeks to experience potentiality without being influenced, pressured or directed by an agenda or the expectation of certain results.
The organic enactment of potentiality is “Actuality.”
“Actuality, in contrast to potentiality, is the motion, change or activity that represents an exercise or fulfillment of a possibility, when a possibility becomes real in the fullest sense.”
“Actuality” is the organic unfoldment of an activated potentiality, or, in other words: authentic movement.
Potentiality/Actuality = “Being/Doing.” When tantrikas are able to “rest” in a potentiality of “being”—moved by erotic energy to an organic “stirring” into motion or doing (actuality) it elevates spiritual-sexual practice to attunement with each other and with the divine resonance of nirvana; at a higher spiritual plane characterized by ecstatic bliss.
Tantra Sangha meditation & movement
To help tantrikas understand and have a personal experience of Embodiment, Presence, and Potentiality/Actuality I’ve begun teaching a class of meditation and movement. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I teach “Tantra Sangha” classes in Sebastopol, CA. at LoveJourney Temple (* I’ve recently discontinued this class—use the contact for below to arrange for personal instruction). There is no sexual activity or nudity—this is an energetic experience centering on meditation and authentic movement that gives participants an opportunity to feel their erotic energy more clearly in their body and begin to discover what blocks are preventing a fuller experience of Tantra.
If you are in the S.F. Bay area and would like personal instruction on learning the secrets of Transcendental Tantra™ complete this form to set up your program of sessions: