Tantra is a practical method, based on experience, devotion and rituals.
Experience is needed because the realization of our divine nature cannot only be understood with our minds but it has to come through our direct experience involving our bodies, our senses, and our emotions.
Devotion is addressed to life and all its expressions, not to some deities.
Rituals help us to connect with the divine, to see the magic in every little thing, and to celebrate this gift of existence we were given.
Though Tantra is a non-dogmatic system that can easily adapt to different epochs, contexts and people, rituals are there also to remind us of the path to self-realization because as humans we easily lose this path and indulge in pleasure without a direction.
Since everything has a divine nature, even our sexual energy is there for a reason.
In Tantra, the physical body is celebrated as a living temple and lovemaking can be used as a tool to transcend the physical level and reach this blissful state.
Even though the common Western interpretation of Tantra is strongly linked to amazing sex, the majority of Tantric teachings do not refer to sexuality.
Even so, the use of sex to reach higher states of consciousness does not define Tantra. It is one of the tools available to reach a much higher goal, it is an instrument for spiritual growth.
Despite being a century-old philosophy, in the Western world, Tantra has become increasingly popular in the last few decades.
You may have heard the word Tantra in the media (with a meaning generally related to ecstatic tantric sex, open relationships and multiple orgasms) or in spiritual circles (where it can have different overtones: connection, celebration, intimacy, transcendence, divine consciousness and so on).
What is certain is that there is still confusion regarding the Tantra definition and scope, with many misconceptions and misunderstandings. Tantra originates in the ancient Eastern world, in particular in India, though it is hard to define a specific epoch or founder.
Tantra sessions or classes that include movements, emotions, music, touch, and partner exercises to create meditative states, regression, ecstasy, deep connection with oneself, other participants, and the universe.
Each class is different and may focus on different aspects of your general well-being such as affection, vitality, creativity, sensuality, and transcendence.
Tantra was widely practiced in India between the 11th and 12th centuries. As opposed to Classic Yoga teachings, Tantric teachings refuted the idea that Moksha (liberation) could be attained only through rigorous asceticism and by renouncing sensual pleasures.
Tantrikas (tantric yogis) believed that most human suffering arises from the mistaken concept of separation and advocates instead the celebration of senses and mundane life.
In Sanskrit, the term Tantra literally means “loom, warp, weave” but in the Indian tradition is regarded as “text, theory, system, method, instrument, technique or practice”.
Therefore, we could infer from the ancient texts that the meaning of Tantra implies “interweaving spiritual traditions and tantric teachings into a text, technique or practice”.
The word interweave is the key to understanding the real meaning of Tantra. As many Tantric texts put it: “Nothing exists that is not divine”.
Everything is interconnected and is a manifestation of the divine energy that rules the whole universe. It is the dance of the by-polar energy of Shiva and Shakti, the masculine and feminine archetypes, the Sun and the Moon, night and day, life and death.
This duality is found in everything that exists in nature, it’s a never-ending cycle that remains in balance.
The understanding of this reality reveals that there is actually no duality, these two poles are the two sides of the same coin.