When I say I am a Tantra teacher, men start smiling giving me those funny looks. There is so much misconception around what Tantra is, I often don’t even use the word anymore.
We think Tantra is about sex. And well, to some degree it is. But if you think Tantra is just about sex it’s like saying football is about push-ups. There is just so much more!
Tantra is a way of living. It is a very old spiritual practice, dating to the oldest sacred books, the Vedas. The truth is, that if you love life, you are a Tantrika! Because Tantra celebrates life and everything that is a part of.
If you were ever curious about what Tantra is, here are main concepts that build this philosophy (and I hope they will inspire you to step on this path with me sister!):
1. This material world and everything in it is sacred and meant to be enjoyed
This is probably the main concept distinguishing Tantra from other practices. While many religions and philosophies consider material goods either bad or simply unnecessary, Tantra recognizes them as sacred. Everything that is created by the divine, is divine.
If you look at the word “material”, it only means “made of matter”. This is why Tantra believes in enjoying life along with all the material things in it. That does not mean losing control over your life, but if you know
your limits, all the material things are for you and it’s ok to desire them, to aspire to have more and enjoy it.
That also means it is ok to enjoy your body, because your body is also a material manifestation. For Tantra your body is sacred, and should be treated as sacred.
2. The feminine (Shakti) is ACTIVE!
In a modern world it is often said that the feminine is passive in nature. It is receiving, while the masculine is giving and active.
Tantra has a different point of view. In Tantra, it’s the feminine that is active and creative. Shiva (the masculine essence) represents consciousness – a platform, stillness, on which Shakti (the feminine essence) creates. All manifestation is Shakti.
It’s a very interested concept. You are Shakti, because you are a physical manifestation. But you also experience Shakti (you breath her, you see her, you live in her). That is true for both women and men. We all have both Shiva and Shakti in us. Consider simply that a man’s body is made of Shakti. This is why the idea of the masculine and feminine goes beyond genders. And both women and men can tap into both of these energies depending on what they wish to accomplish and experience. When we meditate, for example, we embrace our inner Shiva. But when we want to create something (be it a business project, a piece of art, or a baby), we step into our Shakti.
Shakti is a core concept in Tantra, which is why the next point is so important in a Tantric way of life.
3. The worship of a goddess
You could say that Tantra is women-focused which is such a refreshment to all the other philosophies (the core figures in many religions and practices are male, such as Jesus, Buddha or Mohammed).
Because it’s the Shakti that has created our physical world (and the physical world IS Shakti), Tantra puts a lot of emphasis on honoring the Goddess. You will find many practices centered around women, allowing them to be. This is very important, because our society has been suppressing the feminine for very long.
Tantra creates space for women to embody their Shakti through dance, emotions, movement, pleasure and singing. In Tantra the masculine remains present and still allowing the Goddess to come out and be free. This is why so many women navigate towards Tantra. They can finally feel free to be themselves, and instead of being silenced, or made feel guilty, they feel honored and appreciated.
4. The power of rituals
Tantra teaches you to find beauty and divinity in everyday situations. This is why rituals are such a big part of this practice. Apart from the traditional rituals, Tantra encourages to turn every little activity into a true ritual: showering, putting a lotion on your body, eating, doing dishes, and yes – sex, too!
A ritual adds meaning. So light the candles, incense, play a soft music, and bring your awareness to what you do. This fills up your life with more joy and pleasure.
5. Intention changes everything
Our lives are fast. There is always something to do, and there is always a list of things waiting to be done. We rush and because of that we miss out on a lot of miracles that are happening around you.
We don’t pause to appreciate the present moment. We rush through things. Intention is when you consciously decide to pause to experience the present moment to the fullest. When you do, even the little things you usually find dreadful, become ore enjoyable.
As you can see, Tantra is about so much more that just sex. It is about celebrating life – and everything in it. That means celebrating your body and sex, too. But Tantra looks at sex as a sacred union, meant to achieve higher levels of spirituality and connectedness. Just like to does with everything we do.
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