September 2008

A Matter of Semantics

Once again, I go back to the topic of sex because it's what the west pressumes about Tantra.  I've been searching the web looking for other people's interpretations of Tantra and how it relates to sex.  I came across two blogs that touched on both subjects. Check out the website Touch SA, and read this blog where the person writing says that "people generally associate the word tantra with massage", she goes on to say  "In many ways I think it’s a term that’s become more of a hindrance than a help.

On the topic of SEX

That should grab your attention. I think it is important to discuss the matter of sex as it pertains to Tantra. As I mentioned in the previous post, sex is what most westerners think about when the word Tantra is mentioned. Sex and kinky yoga positions is what I've heard most people say they associate Tantra with. But sex is just one part of the tantric experience. In the tantric belief system, which is very similar to that of the Vedic and Hindu traditions, the Kundalini chakra or root chakra as it is commonly known, is the gateway to cosmic union. Kundalini sits at the bottom of the spine and is accessible via the sex organs. This is the portal to opening up, to enlightenment, the energy travels up the spine, through all the other chakras and up to the crown chakra where our energy connects with that of the universe. This is just one of many facets of this complex system which is not specific to religion or morality. Tantra is not about the ritualization of sex, it is the ritualization of life itself. It teaches people to give meaning and attention to all aspects of experience, not just the sexual. It's very unfortunate how hung-up the West is on sex.

Is Tantra a mask

I have heard it said by some observers of Tantra in the West that we view and practice Tantra as the ritualization of sexual activity where as in the East, Tantra is the sexualization of ritual. Are we using Tantra as a way to assuaging our Christian guilt regarding our libido? Isn’t it ironic that we need to use religion to justify our need for sexuality and connect with ourselves and others in that manner, when in fact it is religion that is keeping us from doing so? Has this been your thinking as well? What is your understanding of Tantra, especially in your personal experience?