5 Tantric Tips You Should Try Tonight
“If the world is real, the body must be real as well. If the world is, in essence, divine, so must be the body.” — Georg Feuerstein, Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy
To some people, Tantra evokes Cosmo articles about eccentric sex. But what many don’t realize, is that tantra is an entire ancient philosophy -- dating as far back as Lemuria and Atlantis -- and is about so very much more than the physical act of sex. Tantra is sacred sex, that is more of a metaphysical, un-scientific connection between lovers. Tantra is breath, not penetration. And this is precisely how and why the West has come to misunderstand its principles. We have, more or less, forgotten how to breathe.
Tantra differs from other traditional “verticalist” Hindu and Buddhist teachings, whose focus is inward. These philosophies tell adepts to avoid seeking pleasure, as it leads to suffering under the pretense that feelings do not last. This lands us in cycles of suffering, called samsara, where we’re constantly trying to recapture those feelings. We seek the same things again, and again. Tantra, on the other hand, is more body positive and falls in line with "integrationist" trends, meaning, the acknowledgment of body, mind, and spirit as one. While tantra has elements of verticalism, there is an immense acknowledgement on the body as a temple of the Divine, and not of mere physical pleasure (or suffering). In fact, the Sanskrit word for “body” is deja, whose verbal root can also mean “to anoint.” Our bodies deserve the highest respect and care, and rituals such as tantra can help us to transcend the mind and get out of our false-pleasure seeking samsara-cycle. Thanks to science, we now know how our complex nervous systems allows for Consciousness, which allows for transcendence. We couldn’t have holy experiences without our corporeality, and Tantra sees bodies as helpful tools on the path to experiencing Ultimate Bliss.
So...what about sex?
Tantric sex rituals are rather complex, and fundamentally, require much more commitment and metaphysical concentration than your morning meditation. Therefore, following a few simple steps to begin with will inspire your mind, body, and soul to go deeper into a metaphysical connection with your partner, as initiated by rituals.
Here are five to get you going:
1) Make your room smell heavenly. Before, or while with your lover, take some time to light candles, incense or palo santo. This sets a vibe in your space that will help you both to better tap into a sensual headspace.
2) Light or drink up! Tantric rituals suggest partners share a ceremonial glass of nervous-system assistance. This may not seem out of the ordinary, but we love the idea of having a ritualistic glass of kava tea (or wine) in acknowledgement of it's role in your experience. Sip slowly while you sit close to your lover. Tantric rituals also involve cannabis. If you live where the herb is legal, light up with one long hit -- maximum two -- to quite literally fire up your senses.
3) Repeat a mantra. Tantric sex traditionally involves the repetition of a single mantra. Try repeating a word or phrase that makes you both feel present. Maybe it’s something racy -- but if that feels off-putting, simply repeating your lover’s name can help you feel more bound to them in the moment.
4) Set aside more time than usual, and use it. Tantra views the body’s sexual secretions as holy. This is one reason people practice “withholding” during tantric sex. Take your time! As busy adults, time for sex often gets compromised. Make sure you have enough time set aside during which you and your partner can remain fully present. Try turning off all electronics for a couple hours.
5) Celebrate afterwards! Tantric rituals are typically concluded with rituals that might include reciting poetry or dancing. Throw on some tunes and have a dance party. You’ve just achieved pure bliss together. Instead of rolling over and falling asleep, bask in what you’ve just shared.