It is a way of life that celebrates and strives for the union of body, mind, heart and soul.
Tantra is a form of yoga.
Yoga means union.
The ultimate purpose of Tantra is the union of lovers, and ultimately union with the Divine.
In the Tantric tradition, sexuality and spirituality are joined.
Lovers actually invite God into their bed! Many cultures have a variation of this challenging and delightful practice, the Taoists in China and the Cheyenne in North America.
There are differences in these practices, but all forms of sacred sexuality share the intentional cultivation and use of sexual energy for spiritual growth, healing, creativity and enhanced pleasure.
The practices of Tantra were first introduced to the west in the 1800s, but a Tantric revival in the ashrams of India during the late 1960s has led to a gradual popularization of these practices in Europe and North America.
Recent testimonials by celebrity musicians and movie stars like Sting and Woody Harrelson have promoted it and Tantra is becoming the sexual learning of choice for those who want to have it all: a passionate sex life, a healthy body, and spiritual growth.
Tantric lovemaking involves breathing exercises, muscle contraction exercises, sound, visualization, affirmations, creating a sacred loving space and other ceremonial practices, meditation, sensual massage, and sexual play.
In order to build a high sexual energy charge and to move into ecstatic states of divine connection Tantric lovers extend lovemaking over several hours, experiencing extraordinary levels of pleasure along the way.
Part of the delight of Tantra is that you can continue to learn and advance throughout years of practice; it is never-ending in its potential for growth.
At the same time, it is a practice that yields immediate results.
You can experience a difference in your lovemaking right now if you follow these nine simple steps.
Tantric Loving Step by Step 1.
Intention Regular lovemaking has a goal, orgasm.
If you both come at the same instant, many believe this is as good as it gets.
However, this approach often results in a great deal of frustration and performance anxiety.
With Tantric sacred loving there is no goal, but there is a purpose, union.
Your intention is to merge with your lover in all aspects, body, mind, heart and soul, not just body.
You can help this along by looking at your lover differently, by seeing your partner as a god or goddess, as a living expression of the divine.
Look for the glory, the beauty and the wonder in your playmate and in yourself and let that shine.
Creating a Sacred Loving Space Set the mood; transform any ordinary space, bedroom, living room, etc.
, into a sacred space.
It takes only a few minutes and costs little or nothing.
The important thing is your intention, not the specific items you use.
First, clean the room; vacuum, dust, and put away any clutter lying about.
In the evening dim the lights and use lots of candles.
Bring in plants or fresh cut flowers.
A bowl of fruit is very sensual.
You may wish to have a bottle of wine to share.
Bring special objects that have emotional importance for into the room.
Make up a lover's bed using your finest clean linens (silk is exquisite) and have lots of pillows handy.
When you have finished creating the space, take a few moments to purify it energetically.
That means consciously sending away negative or fearful thoughts and feelings, and inviting in those that are joyous, passionate and safe.
Create your own rituals with sweet grass, incense, and musical instruments.
The Lover's Purifying Bath Cleanse each other in preparation for your joyous union.
Wash away the dirt and cares of the world.
A hot bath with essential oils and bath salts is perfect, especially if you can both fit into the tub at the same time.
A shower is the next best thing, but perfectly acceptable.
The essential thing is to be squeaky clean.
After all you will be eating off that skin! Make the bath a slow, luxurious affair giving complete attention to your lover.
Wash and dry each other with playful abandon.
Men shave or trim facial hair and apply scent.
Women apply their best perfumes and lotions.
Sensually prepare your bodies for the delights ahead.
Honor, Respect and Permission Trust, surrender and opening your heart are essential if you want to reach the heights of bliss.
It is not just technique that will get you there.
You must join together as loving equals on the sexual journey.
Men, think of the yoni (vagina) as a potential opening, don't ever take your lady for granted! Speak softly how much you adore, love and respect her as you gently blow on her ears and nibble on her ear lobes.
Let her know that you think of her constantly and how strong your desire is to make love with (not to) her.
Also, let her know that you invite her to awaken sexually and to express her sexuality fully.
Let her know that you are NOT caught in that tired old cultural conditioning that still insists "good girls" do not enjoy sex, the Madonna/Whore split.
Make her believe you when you tell her that you know she can be all she wants to be: a successful career woman, a respectful daughter, a faithful wife, a caring mother, a passionate lover and a sincere spiritual seeker all at the same time.
Tell her how beautiful she is, how wonderful she smells, and all the things you appreciate most about her.
Finally, ask permission to be her passionate Tantric lover.
Ladies, let your man know that he is safe! He may act macho and tough, showing little emotion, but inside most men are afraid of emotional intimacy.
The tougher a man acts the greater this fear of trusting and surrendering will be.
Let him know that you admire his strength, but that it also turns you on when he allows himself to be vulnerable by showing his feelings.
Tell him how handsome he is and how talented.
Mention all the things you like most about him.
Tell him why you love him so deeply.
Tell him how much you think about him when he is away, and how you have fantasies about making love with him and touching him when he returns.
Make him believe that you really want him sexually.
Finally, ask permission to be his passionate Tantric lover.
Foreplay Two simple ways to tune into each other are harmonizing your breathing and gazing deeply into each other's eyes.
By matching your breathing rhythms and making soulful eye contact you connect emotionally and energetically as well as physically.
Begin to explore each other's bodies with wonder, lust and playfulness.
Remember, in Tantric sacred loving there is no goal.
You are not trying to get somewhere.
Each touch is complete in and of itself.
Once you master how to work with your sexual energy both lovers will discover they can have orgasms just by touching fingers together, or looking into each other's eyes across a crowded room! So men are not in a hurry to get at the woman's breasts or into her yoni.
When touching her body, start at the extremities, fingers and toes, and work in toward the hot spots.
Go slowly! Generally men enjoy having their genitals touched at any time, but women usually only enjoy having their breasts and genitals touched after they are already sexually excited from other touching, stimulating conversation, or emotional connection.
Make sure the woman is well lubricated before any attempt at intercourse.
If possible, help her to have a clitoral orgasm before moving on to intercourse.
Intercourse Five to fifteen minutes of lovemaking is usually not satisfying for women.
Men can learn to delay ejaculation so that lovemaking can be extended for hours.
A man can delay ejaculation for weeks or months at a time, not just during one lovemaking session.
A man who masters his ejaculation response can separate orgasm from ejaculation and become a multi-orgasmic-man! Such a man can last long enough in lovemaking so that his female partner will have enough time to also have multiple orgasms.
Although Tantric loving lasts several hours, this does not mean you are having active intercourse during that entire time.
Intercourse is interspersed with touching, oral play, quietly holding each other, dancing, massage, etc.
It is a good idea for a man to allow his erection to subside every 30-45 minutes to exchange the blood supply and recharge his oxygen and hormone levels in the lingam (penis).
Moving Your Energy: The Passion Pump Riding the wave of bliss happens when the lovers become totally aroused sexually, maintaining that arousal for a period of time.
They build up intense hot sexual energy.
For the man, if this energy has nowhere else to go, there will be such great pressure in the prostate, that it will go into involuntary spasm and ejaculation will end the lovemaking.
However, with a combination of breathing, relaxation, and muscle contraction exercises both men and women can learn to circulate sexual energy through their own and their lover's body.
Ultimately the ego boundaries disappear and the lovers become one in ecstatic union.
The muscle contraction exercise is very simple.
If you were urinating and stopped the flow of urine in mid-stream you would be contracting exactly the right muscles in exactly the right way.
This squeezing and relaxing of muscles around your genitals is called the PC Pump.
It's the first and most important exercise in learning to circulate your sexual energy.
At the peak of sexual arousal, either during intercourse or manual/oral stimulation stop your normal lovemaking movements and focus on moving the sexual energy that's pulsing in your genitals.
Move it up and through your body.
Use slow, deep abdominal breathing to keep your body relaxed.
Add the PC pumping action and visualize moving energy up your body in a ball of fire or a wave of light or a current of electricity.
Through your eyes, your hands, your genitals pass this powerful force on to your lover.
At first, this may seem difficult because we are not accustomed to paying attention to our internal energy.
With practice, you will be able to recognize and direct it.
Afterplay Regular lovemaking usually ends (often abruptly) when the man ejaculates, but Tantric sacred loving often ends while the lovers still have desire.
This assumes the man has some mastery over his ejaculation response so that ending lovemaking is a conscious choice, sometimes including ejaculation, sometimes not.
With Tantric loving you wind down your lovemaking with slow caresses, words of endearment and honoring each other with food and drink.
Sharing Wine, Food and Other Sensual Pleasures The sharing of good food, wine and other intoxicants, sensual massage, dressing up in costumes and playing sexual games are part of the ancient Tantric tradition.
While Tantra is serious, it need not be heavy.
Lighten up; be playful, lusty and daring! Tantra lovers know that they are personally responsible for their own sexual fulfillment and their own spiritual progress.
This may be especially important for men.
Many men experience a great deal of performance anxiety.
But even the greatest, most sensitive, highly skilled Tantric lover cannot make a woman have orgasms.
She must be able to go to that place in herself that is orgasmic.
Sexual/spiritual ecstasy has little to do with control.
It requires trust, surrender and letting go.
Both lovers must learn to do this.
If there is some psychological work to do before you will allow yourself to open in this way, then get on with it! In the meantime, please each other with the preparation, serving and consumption of fine food and drink.
Lavish each other with touching in sensual massage.
Dress up (and down) for each other.
Take on different personalities with different costumes; wear masks.
Play and laugh together.
Celebrate your spirit through your sexuality.
Open your heart.
Let your lover in and your love out!