Tantra means to expand, to be free, to be liberated. If we are to be really free, our sexuality should not be repressed, it should be lived in its totality with joy and without any guilt. The more we suppress sex, the more we will be bound by it; and the more it is repressed the more it wants to burst out. The sad thing is that it often bursts out in harmful ways. The current explosion in evidence of child sexual abuse is an example of what can happen as a result of suppression.
Both Tantra and Taoism advocate exploring every aspect of life and consciousness, so obviously the study of sexuality was included; not only included, but revered. Through the centuries many mainstream religions have frowned on Tantra and Taoism because both systems use sexual union as a vehicle to enlightenment, as a way of experiencing a deep connection with God, or the cosmos, or the divine or the source of all existence, or whatever you call it according to your beliefs. Most religious systems make sex taboo, claiming it leads man away from God. This predominant religious approach created oppression which forced Tantric practices underground. Its practices and rituals have been kept secret for hundreds of years.
Tantric Love and Taoist Practices
Only recently have Tantric and Taoist practices been interpreted, published and made available for Western study. This has been refreshing and enlightening for many of us because it has helped us to look at love and sex from a different perspective. We start to question our own attitudes and realise how deeply our consciousness has been conditioned by our Christian upbringing, which suggests that sexuality is somehow evil.
We are taught at school that the first sin in the Garden of Eden was committed by Eve making Adam eat the apple. But that’s not a sin. What is sinful is that some sexually insecure man invented a God who couldn’t rejoice in Adam and Eve’s sexual nature. It’s a tremendous mistake that the very act on which the procreation of life depends is depicted as a sin. We have been taught that we must be either spiritual or sexual, that we must not be drawn to ‘the Devil’ by bodily pleasures. Even though these days most people would see this as ridiculous, it still subconsciously affects our attitudes towards sex and we carry part of this negative conditioning into our lovemaking.
If we were brought up in a culture which revered sexuality, it would be much easier to have a healthy attitude towards sex. A Tantric attitude towards sex is that it is God’s greatest gift, that it is sacred, that to have pleasure from sex is a prayer to God, a way of showing gratitude for our existence.
Tantra sees sexual union as a way of generating life- force through the body that is healing, rejuvenating, energising; it can be used as a meditation to reach mystical states of love and consciousness.
Because Tantra covers the full spectrum of life, it accepts and reveres sexual love and pleasure. It does not accept any kind of religious, cultural or tribal inhibitions. It’s about exploring the extraordinary in your love and your sexuality, with the only proviso being that it causes the other person or yourself no harm. Tantra teaches that we deserve all the love and sexual pleasure we can possibly receive; that sexual loving is a way to reach the mysteries of the heart, the soul, God and Goddess within each person. It also teaches that sex is a way of bonding with a loverphysically, emotionally and spirituallyto create feelings of ecstatic pleasure, deep intimacy and expanded consciousness. It’s a way of transcending daily life and the ego to become one with your beloved, one with all things, and create a tangible experience of God.
Taoists especially would say lovemaking is the way to longevity and that by applying certain techniques we can rejuvenate ourselves and awaken our intuitive centres. They also believe that we can use our lovemaking to heal ourselves and our partners because when we are in heightened states of sexual energy, our whole body is charged and the immune system strengthens.
Tantric Love: THE DOOR TO ENLIGHTENMENT
Imagine how our lovemaking would affect us if we were educated in Tantric and Taoist techniques. They would give us a far more healthy attitude towards sex than most of us have been conditioned to have. It’s important to recognise that any judgements we have about sex reflect our inhibitions and demonstrate that we are not entirely free and accepting of our own sexuality.
What we need is a new man, a man who can bring back to sex its original sacredness, who is able to make love in such a way that it opens the door to enlightenment for his beloved and himself and fulfils his deepest yearnings for the meaning of life.
We need education in lovemaking because it will increase our choices and our knowledge. We don’t have to assume the attitudes handed down to us by society. We can adopt new attitudes which serve us better and help us to have a more fulfilling, happy, healthy love life.
Some aspects of Tantra and Taoism may seem a little strange at first, especially the link between sexuality and spirituality, but like anything in life, we need to consider all approaches, and then select what serves us. Of course sometimes when a new attitude is presented to us, we take it on immediately because it rings true for us. At other times we have to let it sit for a while; we put it on the shelf and perhaps use it in years to come. It’s important to experiment, play with the attitudes, with innocence and openness as a child plays with a new toy. Parents terrorise their children out of the delight of their sexual feelings, experimentation, play and openness. But we are not children any more. It’s time to choose new ways of exploring sex and love on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. Discover tantric love take a lesson.