What is Tantra
Tantra originated in India in the early Middle Ages as a current of Indian philosophy and esoteric form of Hinduism and later Buddhism. It is a holistic view of the world that includes all the mental and physical faculties of the human being.
With the beginning of the 20th century, when Tantra found more and more followers in the West, another, sexual component was added. The term Neo-Tantra goes back to the Indian philosopher Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later known as Osho. Osho recognised the longing for a connection between physicality and spirituality and developed a contemporary form of teaching, a holistic bodywork that allows sensual-sexual sensations.
The word Tantra comes from Sanskrit. It consists of the syllables: “Tan” (from “tanoti” = to expand) and “Tra” (from “trayati” = to liberate). Among other things, “Tantra” can be translated as “liberation through expansion”.
“Liberation through expansion” means that a tantric practitioner gradually expands his awareness into every aspect of his life. This means that step by step you practise seeing everything in life as something sacred. Tantra excludes and rejects nothing, everything is included, so that in the end you reach an all-encompassing love.
Tantra is Love and Acceptance
This includes self-love, the complete acceptance of one’s self, but also the unconditional love of accepting and loving the other as they are. The more you love, the more untouched spaces will open up where love will not stop pouring around you like an aura.
Live with your body, your feelings and desires in every single moment that life brings you. Accept yourself fully. Accept yourself as a perfect being and you will experience your true self.
The Body - The Temple of God
Unlike in most spiritual traditions, directions and religions, the body is not rejected in Tantra. Quite the opposite: the body is revered as a temple of the divine. The encounter of two bodies is seen as something sacred and is consciously lived, even celebrated.
Tantra basically means having an affirmative attitude towards life. This includes our own limits and our “no’s” as well as our sexuality, desires and needs, but also our fears and inhibitions.
Unlike other ascetic teachings, in Tantra sexual power is considered one of the strongest sources of energy. It is the power through which and with which we were born. Sexual energy is our foundation, it is pure life energy, neither good nor bad – just completely natural.
Union, Fusion, Meditation
During the sexual act, at the moment of orgasm, man gets the first fleeting impression of awakening, of meditation.
During orgasm, in ecstasy, all thoughts disappear. Only for a moment does total consciousness set in. Suddenly we are connected with creation, no thoughts, no control – bliss. Unfortunately, this moment passes again quite quickly and the mind continues to work.
From the experience of the emptiness of thought, that awareness can lead to ecstasy, ways were sought to extend this moment. That was meditation.
Thus, the union of Shiva (man) and Shakti (woman) in advanced Tantric ritual is far more than a symbolic act or pleasurable encounter. Encounter thus becomes meditation in Tantra. It is a deep experience of merging, oneness with oneself, the ritual partner and with all that is.
Tantra is Awareness
Tantra teaches the language of consciousness. Become conscious, because consciousness is not burdened with the past nor preoccupied with the future. It is living in the present, in the moment. Any action that emerges from great awareness will be mindful and respectful. People living and acting consciously are balanced and peaceful, they will not want to harm another person. From consciousness comes spontaneity, creativity, everything is filled with pleasure and joy, energy can flow and life can unfold.
Tantra is an exciting encounter of the sexes, a celebration of the senses, a rediscovery of innocence, liberation from personal and social constraints, healing of the woman-man relationship, connection to the heart and immersion in absolute love.
Tantra for Healing
In tantra, however, we also cannot avoid feeling our wounds. Paradoxically, it is our wounded areas that become the gateway to intimacy and our true nature.
Healing our wounds, accepting and enjoying and celebrating our eroticism is a theme in tantra. Before it is possible to use our sexual energy for our spiritual development and awakening, a sexual union turns into a meditation, and we can fully surrender to ecstatic states, our old hurts need loving care and attention. Tantra offers a safe space here where we can allow ourselves to really feel what we feel.
As long as unfelt and unprocessed pain is stored in our body, energy cannot flow freely. Healing also means facing the pain. In the openness and willingness to feel what is, pleasure as well as pain, joy as well as anger or sadness and also our sexual sensations, transformation is possible. Experiences transform and lead us directly into being. In being, our heart opens, we can relax on the deepest level, because we no longer have to be someone other than who we really are.
In this way, Tantra creates a safe space to open up and experience this. Tantra offers you the possibility to integrate the experiences within a protected space to such an extent that they will also bear fruit in everyday life.
Goal of Tantra
The goal of Tantra is enlightenment, that is, absolute presence, the attainment of a state that is free from delusion and attachment.
We are talking about a state that is not temporary, but permanent. The human being as a whole becomes the essence of the Absolute, which means being in complete unity with the world and understanding oneself as the All – all-encompassing love.