The act of connecting with our body, hearing its signals, and working with the natural energy that flows through, allows us to open ourselves to all the senses. Most of the reflective practices that come from the East embrace the communion of body and mind as the ultimate goal.
Tantra is one of the paths towards self-knowledge. Its origin is somewhat blurred, but it seems to come from ancient India. Some scholars believe it was written by Buddha himself, although others think its traditions have much older sources. The fact is that the documents known as “Tantra” are written in Sanskrit and date from 480 B.C.
Images from a Tantric Temple.
Towards a conscious sexuality
Tantra is a compendium of relaxation, breathing, and massage techniques, as well as philosophical concepts that stimulate harmony with the self and with others. The big difference between Tantra and other Eastern philosophical ideas is that it should be practiced by two people closely related to each other.
Tantra promotes an open approach to conscious sexuality by sharing with the loved one the subtleties of pleasure and ecstasy. Through tantric massage, the search for shared pleasure can help shed old habits and access the secrets to intense and prolonged sexual pleasure.
The ability to control breathing is an essential element of Tantric practice. The conscious awareness of breath, and capacity to control it let us handle the excitement and redirect the flowing energy to other parts of the body. These exercises are called pranayama and allow men to control their erection and ejaculation—thus prolonging the pleasure for both partners.
Tantra is a way to achieve psychological insight and control our emotions.
The awakening of the Kundalini
Although Tantric exercises seek to generate and obtain pleasure to the point of causing an orgasm, that is not their primary objective. They are a way— through sexuality— into psychological insight and control of emotions. Self-examination frees areas of our mind and body that may have remained dormant or repressed for years, thereby promoting the relief of physical and emotional pain.
The Kundalini is energy that rests at the base of the spine and can be awakened by Tantric exercises.
As the masters explain, Tantra helps to release blocked energy in the body, awakening the Kundalini—energy at rest at the base of the spine. When the Kundalini “awakens” it extends along the spine and practitioners can then redirect it to areas of the body that may suffer emotional blocks.
By learning to connect with their inner self, people also discover the best way to indulge in creativity and love and to reach higher spiritual levels. ■