Ecstatic Differences in Tantra

“The same… also applies to Tantric paintings or statues depicting Shiva and Shakti in intimate embrace. Usually voluptuous Shakti sits astride her beloved’s lap, wrapping herself around him like a creeper in what the Tibetan’s call the yab-yum (mother-father) position, face turned blissfully upward.

This graphic motif suggests sexual love, which makes sense, since for many people sexual union affords the only experience of unity. When they lose themselves in the arms of their lover, they experience at least a semblance of the ego-trancending consciousness of the Tantric adept.

It is therefore not surprising that so many Neo-Tantrics in the West look upon Tantra as a sexual discipline promising pleasure beyond all expectation, mostly in the form of prolonged or multiple orgasms.

Neo-Tantrics seek to emulate the divine couple but typically forget that the union between Shiva and Shakti is transcendental and therefore also asexual.

The fruit of their union — and hence also the goal of Tantra Yoga — is not bodily orgasm, however overwhelming, but perpetual bliss far beyond anything the human nervous system is capable of producing.”

— Eastern scholar and author Georg Feuerstein

I would clarify, as a practitioner, that transcendent bliss is both sexual and asexual, profoundly both full and empty. And I would
suggest, too, that “all-permeating” might be a better description than “transcendent.”

After all, if everything is the Absolute, and the Absolute is everything, there is nothing to transcend…

Smile, breathe right, and keep your tongue up!
— Tao Semko

  • November 29, 2012