Tantra: The Spice of Life and Relationships
Just back home after an October colors trip to the Northeast to present a workshop at Kripalu entitled Sex, Pleasure and Intimacy. We had just a wonderful time exploring the “ins and outs” of the topic with honesty, sensitivity and humor. What an absolute treat to have such open discussions about this forbidden topic. So helpful and reassuring, our common humanity on display without shame. Beautiful, beautiful people.
I was left with a desire to live my life in an even more “Tantric” way. Tantra is a form of Yoga that emphasizes the transcendent possibilities of an increase in sensual awareness. Somehow, along the years, Tantra got placed in a box labeled Esoteric Sex and wound up with somewhat of a tarnished reputation. I believe that Tantra practice in our daily lives can be a great help in awakening our consciousness.
Here’s my simplistic take on the matter. Tantra is all about drawing the most satisfaction possible out of every moment. For most of us these days, that requires a great slowing down in order to become available to experience the fullness of the moment. A terrific support in slowing down is breath awareness. Sensitizing ourselves to the naturally calming flow of breath usually helps us relax, slow down and increase our ability to focus on anything.
Once we are more or less present, the next place to put our attention is on any 1, 2 or 3 of our 5 senses. Being fully present to experience the sense of touch, smell or taste can quickly become an ecstatically blissful moment, especially when we are very relaxed and not trying to control how the next ecstatic moment plays out. We simply follow the pleasant sensations with our senses wide open and relax into each delightful moment.
I hope you can see from my little Tantra Primer how this ancient Yoga discipline can help us all rediscover the simple joys of our sensual potential, not just in the bedroom, but in every moment of our lives. Test it out, on a sunrise, sunset, crunching fallen leaves, in the bathtub, eating a favorite snack or hugging your beloved. Let the pleasure of the moment melt away your stress and re-awaken your innate capacity for deep joy and the sublime stillness of the moment. My new mantra is "Stop Thinking, Take a Tantra Break".
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