What is Tantra?
Tantra is a contraction of the sanskrit words “tanotti” and “trayotti,” meaning “expansion to liberation.” It is a rich practical science, divided into numerous systems, each suited to a different human personality type. Each system of authentic tantra ultimately reveals spontaneous and primordially pure enlightenment. We present several of these systems.
What is the Goal of Tantra?
Enlightened awareness, liberation from unexamined restrictions, and loving, skillful living are the goal of every practice in authentic Tantra. Tantra includes meditation, exercise, sexuality, ritual, visualization, performance, dream awareness, more – in short, all activities in the realm of human experience, but performed in a special way, so as to bring about the practitioner’s awareness of their own enlightened nature, then continually amplify and extend that awareness into mundane life. The tantric yogi explores the continuum of consciousness, energy, and matter within the human subtle body and in the macrocosm.
But isn’t Tantra just Eastern black magic?
There are indeed darker, grosser practices in tantra. These magical practices are often performed selfishly, without regard for their repercussions. Examples are rituals to take riches from others, to ascend in social status at the expense of others, to gain command over spirits and humans, and even to achieve “bloodless murder” or incite wars. Though such techniques exist, we teach tools for liberation and sovereignty, not enslavement.
What about “Tantric Orgasm” and “Neo-Tantra”?
Various New Age sex practices also exist today called “new-age tantra”, “neo-tantra”, or “modern tantra”. Most of these are heavily marketed (and heavily diluted) versions of maithuna, or ritual sexuality, often taught by students of Osho, who was not himself a lineage tantric. Neo-Tantrics claim to focus on prolonged and multiple orgasm as a transcendent state of being. In traditional tantra, sexual bliss may be used as one step in realizing the ever-present union of bliss and wisdom that is enlightenment.
We can safely say that the wisdom bliss of authentic tantra is far more enjoyable and holistic than the “tantric orgasm” of neo-tantra. But in the New Age “Market,” as in any other, sex sells, and expanded orgasm is an easier sell than self-inquiry and enlightenment. The techniques used for expanded orgasm are not really tantric secrets at all, just eastern sexology from Ayurveda and Taoist medicine. The new-age sex rituals, g-spot worship, and politically correct lovemaking of Neo-tantra fast become spiritual dead-ends for students and “teachers” without knowledge of a complete tantric yoga system. The science of Tantra navigates the inter-connectedness of all experience, not just sexuality.
What characteristics must I possess to practice authentic Tantra?
A practitioner of authentic tantra must possess certain character traits to succeed: persistence, self-motivation, compassion, at least one experience of happiness (joy, love, bliss) in this lifetime, at least one experience of recognizing the profound in things mundane, and a driving desire for the cultivation of awareness, love, and energy.
If you are such a person, tantric methods represent the fastest spiritual path, and the most powerful personal tools you may ever come across…
But if you lack the above characteristics, tantric methods may do you and those around you more damage than good, distorting your perceptions of reality and amplifying ego and negative personality traits… There is no place in tantra for hapless sheep, curiosity seekers, nihilists, or self-loathing true believers. To successfully practice tantra, you must yourself be a brave and loving explorer of reality, weeding out good advice from poor…
What is the view of Non-dual Tantra?
Tantra says that ultimate truth, the enlightened state, is not something apart from you that must be “achieved”. Rather, tantric yoga helps one to reveal one’s primordially pure enlightened nature. It then amplifies and stabilizes the experience of realization… With persistence and delight, you can use the authentic tantric methods and attitudes revealed in the Tantric Yoga Curriculum to realize the miraculous within your own enlightened nature, to spontaneously act yourself for the benefit of all, while living an outwardly normal, grounded, prosperous, and happy life within society.