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Posted - Jul 11 2005 : 2:15:51 PM
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"Tantra" has gotten to be quite a buzz word over the past 30 years. But what does it mean?
Yes, tantra is about sex, but it has a much broader scope, encompassing all of yoga. "Tantra" means "woven together." It is very similar to the word "yoga," which means "to join."
Nevertheless, we still think of the relation of sex to spiritual development when we think of tantra, and that is mostly how we discuss it in AYP. But what kind of sex? It can be summarized in one phrase from a 4,000 year old scripture, the Vigyan Bhairava:
"At the start of sexual union, keep attention on the fire in the beginning, and, so continuing, avoid the embers in the end."
All tantric sexual methods are related to this principle. Put in plain English, it means "preorgasmic sex," or, the simultaneous preservation and cultivation of sexual energy. It is a balancing act that can have a huge impact on our spiritual progress.
But why? When we are sexually stimulated and are able to remain in front of orgasm for an extended period, a spiritual cultivation in the nervous system occurs. This cultivation is closely linked with the natural processes of evolution we are coaxing along in our daily pranayama, meditation, mudras and bandhas, and so on. Not that we do both at the same time. Sex will always be sex, happening as and when it must. We don't regulate that in AYP. But with daily sitting practices happening, combined with an observance of tantric principles and practices in our normal sex life, an important spiritual synergy occurs that accelerates the rise of ecstatic conductivity in our nervous system. This is the spiritual fruit of tantric practices. There are many practical benefits as well -- overcoming sexual dysfunctions, extending lovemaking, greatly deepening the experience for both partners, and profound feelings of love and joy extending throughout the day and night.
Keep in mind that tantric sexual methods alone without meditation and other sitting practices in our daily routine will not be an effective spiritual path. If this were true, we'd have all been enlightened long ago!
Explorations are invited on the full range of tantra, including the principles and practices covered in the AYP tantra lessons, which you can find at: http://www.aypsite.org/TantraDirectory.html
The holdback method - developing the skill of preorgasmic sex
Blocking of male ejaculation - tantric training for men
The count method - how to stay preorgasmic
Siddhasana - a powerful tantra technique used in sitting practices
Vajroli mudra - the natural upward flow of sexual essences in men and women
Kechari mudra "secret spot" - the "top down" dimension of tantric sex
Amaroli - urine therapy (detailed instructions are in the AYP book) Also see Amaroli resources in the AYP links section at http://www.aypsite.org/amaroli.html
Brahmacharya - what non-celibate and celibate paths have in common
Sri Vidya - mystical inner lovemaking, the devotional side of tantra
Several of the tantric sexual practices mentioned can be applied in either partner or solo mode.
No doubt the Kama Sutra will come up somewhere along the line. It is good to discuss that too. However, its perceived status as a tantra scripture is in question, because it does not focus on the preservation and cultivation of sexual energy. Without that, there can be no tantric sex.
See also the AYP Tantra Links Section for additional resources -- http://www.aypsite.org/TantraLinks.html
May the discussions here yield new light on this important aspect of our spiritual path.
The guru is in you.
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