I’ve been bursting to write to share my recent tantra experience, but I wanted to let my life settle back fully into it’s regular routine so I could judge how much of an impact it has actually made on me.
After four weeks I can tell you that learning a little about tantra has truly influenced my life for the better. I realise the weekend workshop I attended recently only glanced the surface of what tantra is and how it can become an intrinsic part of your life. I had just a small taste, but what a sweet taste it was.
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With my limited experience, this is my understanding of tantra…
The underlying belief centres on the conservation of sexual energy in order to prolong youthful vitality. This is achieved by retaining the essence that is usually lost during ejaculation for men and menstruation for women. I think you would need a deep understanding and commitment to the practice of tantra to follow the path of virtually ceasing ejaculation/menstruation, but there is so much to be learnt from tantra without following that particular path.
To me tantra represents a shared and mutual awareness and respect of your own and your partners pleasure and needs – in relation to sex and in life.
The most significant insight for me was to realise that the difference between average sex and good sex is mindfulness. Often in long term relationships making love is rushed or has become an afterthought – a means for sexual satisfaction and release. It can become a shallow experience. By giving sex priority at the time you and your partner are truly together and at your most vulnerable (turn the TV off/don’t think about what you need to do when you’re finished or how busy your schedule is tomorrow) and focusing on what gives pleasure in that moment without thinking of the end game, orgasm, sex can become a communion between two people, a kind of meditation. Making love is not another task to be achieved in your day, it is a sensual experience, a joy to be savoured.
This awareness and generosity also spills over into other aspects of a couple’s relationship and into your relationship with yourself.
And couldn’t the same principle of being present and mindful during love-making be applied to life? Experiences had while on auto-pilot are not rich in sensual detail. Without the memories of smell, sound and touch (ie. atmospheric conditions of wind and temperature) an experience becomes forgettable, disposable. They do not enrich your life and make it memorable.
The taste I have had of tantra has awakened for me a deeper sensuality and respect for life. But what I really took away was how important it is to be present and live in the moment – whether you are making love, eating a meal or taking a walk on the beach.
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This mindfulness is the focus of Margot Anand’s The Art of Everyday Ecstacy. the idea of living a full, rich and pleasurable life. I would recommend anyone who yearns for inner tranquillity and purpose read it.
Her writing opened up for me a whole new attitude towards the true pleasure. Continue reading →