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 Tantra - A Holistic View of Spiritual Development
 Tantra, Yoga and Spiritual Development
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Posted - Jul 11 2005 :  2:15:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Get a Link to this Message
Note: This forum is for mature practitioners, and is moderated to maintain a spiritual orientation and high standard of integrity.

"Tantra" has gotten to be quite a buzz word over the past 40 years, for better or worse. But what does it really mean?

Yes, tantra can be about sex, but it has a much broader scope, encompassing the whole of yoga. "Tantra" means "woven together." It is very similar to the word "yoga," which means "to join." So tantra is holistic, just as yoga is. In fact, the two terms both encompass the same process of human spiritual transformation.

Nevertheless, when we think of tantra, many of us think of the relationship of sex and spiritual development. It has become embedded on our popular culture.

While the broader implications of tantra are covered in the AYP main lessons on sitting practices and related yogic methods, the AYP tantra lessons focus largely on tantric sexual principles and methods, and their relationship to the whole of yoga.

When we say "tantric sex," what do we mean? 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 "pre-orgasmic sex," or, the simultaneous preservation and cultivation of sexual energy. It is a balancing that can have a significant 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 can also occur in a celibate lifestyle using traditional yoga practices.

The cultivation of sexual energy is linked with the natural processes of evolution we are coaxing along in our daily meditation, pranayama, mudras, bandhas, and so on.

We don't regulate or encourage sexual excesses in AYP. But with daily sitting practices happening, combined with an observance of tantric principles and methods in our normal sex life, a spiritual synergy occurs that can accelerate the rise of ecstatic conductivity in our nervous system. This is the spiritual fruit of tantric sexual practices. There are practical benefits as well -- overcoming sexual dysfunctions, deepening the experience for both partners, and profound feelings of love and joy extending throughout the day and night.

Keep in mind that practicing tantric sexual methods alone without meditation and other sitting practices in the daily routine will yield limited results and will not be an effective spiritual path.

Explorations are invited on the full range of tantra, including the practical utilization of principles and practices covered in both the main and tantra lessons.

May positive and supportive discussions here yield new light on all aspects of our spiritual path.

The guru is in you.

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