Advanced Yoga Practices
Tantra Lessons

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Lesson T80 - Tantra - Much More Than Better Sex  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: July 22, 2010

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of this tantra yoga archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "What is tantra yoga?"

While the Western idea of tantra has been firmly entrenched in the view that it is about "better sex," those who have been around the block a few times know that sex is only one aspect of the total landscape of tantra.

Better sex? Yes.

Enlightenment? Definitely.

As we pointed out in the very first tantra lesson, this ancient system covers the full gamut of practices, overlapping into the many variations of yoga, as well as all the other systems of spiritual practice in the world. In fact, we could say that all systems have borrowed (or mirrored parts) from tantra, and most represent part of the whole of tantra. The same can be said for the Western slant on tantra, taking it as an approach to elevating sexuality to spiritual practice ("neo-tantra"). It is all well and good, but better to be aware of the whole, even as we exercise our inclinations in the parts.

In the end, our progress will not depend on how well we did with our tantric sexual practice alone. It will depend on how effective we have been in utilizing a well-balanced routine of across-the-board daily practices over the long term deep meditation, spinal breathing pranayama, asanas, mudras, bandhas, samyama, self-inquiry, and so on. Tantric sexual methods have a role to play in this, and the approaches and techniques in these lessons have been designed to support a variety of lifestyles.

Our spiritual progress will also depend on how we have gone out and engaged in the world in our own particular way, infusing the purification and opening cultivated during our structured practices. While we may find inner silence (the witness) and a great amount of freedom resulting from our daily sitting practices, it will be through action in the world that we will find a full integration of the inner and outer aspects of human spiritual transformation. It is through engaging in daily activity that we move our perception of life from "I am That," to "You are That" and "All this is That."

There are two sides to the process of yoga, tantra, and the enlightenment journey, no matter what terminology may be used to describe it. It is always the same process, because it is always the same nervous system we are working with, wherever we may be in the world. The two sides are:

  • Abiding Inner Silence (the witness) The quality of stillness that we uncover within ourselves through meditation and related practices. It is the revealing of our Self (big "S"). It is Self-realization.

  • Ecstatic Conductivity and Radiance (kundalini) The energetic side of our existence, also called the life force, or prana. It is awakened and evolves through pranayama, physical practices (asanas, mudras, bandhas), and tantric sexual methods, which go directly to awaken the great storehouse of prana in the body, the sexual neurobiology in the pelvic region. Ecstatic conductivity becomes "radiant" as it carries abiding inner silence into daily activity. This is the natural marriage of stillness with energetic flow.

While we have focused on the sexual aspects in these tantra lessons, we have also focused on the full scope of tantra in the main lessons. This broad coverage of tantric methods is analogous with the eight limbs of yoga. The objective has been to provide access to all practical aspects of spiritual practice, which anyone can apply with good results in modern times.

If we have done our job as self-directed practitioners, we will find both aspects of human spiritual transformation occurring and merging in us, and in daily life. This leads to a state of freedom and great loving effectiveness while fully engaged in the world. We have called it an outpouring of divine love, and also "stillness in action."

It doesn't matter where we begin this journey. We may begin with meditation, or postures and breathing exercises, or in devotional service to another.

For a many, it begins with sex. This is why the sexual aspects of tantra have received what some may consider a disproportionate amount of attention in the AYP writings. It is because so many are drawn to spirituality via the sexual experience. Without any training or organized routine of practices, many will still find a taste of spiritual ecstasy in sexual release. Harnessing and integrating this ecstatic quality into a full-scope system of spiritual practices serves to greatly deepen and expand the experience. With rising experience, we are spurred to go deeper into our own process of human spiritual transformation.

Yes, It begins with sex for many. There is a doorway in us leading from sensuality to spirituality. When we know how to expand sensuality into our higher inner realms, we will see it dissolve into full time ecstatic bliss, and then gradually transcended to something even greater than that. We have to keep going until we find out what That is. We can only do this by becoming It. That is the journey.

While we may find a great adventure and a lot of excitement while traveling the spiritual path, ultimately, we will move beyond fixations on sensory experiences, and on the myriad inner experiences that may accompany the purification and opening that occurs in us as we advance on the path of practices. This is a "moving beyond," not a pushing away, or an artificial renunciation. It may not even represent significant changes in our daily activities. But something changes, and that is what brings the enlightenment and the freedom. It is the gradual fading of identification of our awareness with the inner and outer objects of perception.

The permanent uncaused joy that arises within us exceeds the temporary joy we may have with objects in our physical, mental and emotional environments. In fact, our perception of all objects will fluctuate, seeming "good" at times and "bad" at other times. Meanwhile, the inner joy continues all the while, once we have cultivated it in practices. Eventually, our labeling and attachment to "good and bad" melts in the permanent inner silence and radiant joy that never change, no matter what may be going on in our life.

This is not a cold dispassion that occurs, but a radiant loving dispassion that is able to give much. It certainly enriches our relationships, and our lovemaking, whenever we happen to be engaged in that way. The further we move along in our spiritual evolution, the more effective the techniques of tantric sex become. It is like that with all spiritual practices. Less becomes more. A smile or a hug can set the cosmos in motion in waves of ecstatic bliss. At least from our perspective, it comes to be experienced that way. For what is existence anyway, except what we see it to be? The methods of tantra and yoga are about elevating our seeing to the infinite, and beyond.

We come to know existence as divine polarity in constant ecstatic union. Continuous divine lovemaking occurring within us everywhere. It is the paradox of the infinite unmoving divine, forever moving in creative expression. We find we are everything and nothing at the same time, expressing and transcending everything in the endless dance of stillness. We are That.

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed instructions on the methods of tantra in relation to the broad scope of yoga practices and the enlightenment process, see the AYP Tantra book, and AYP Plus.

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