This is a really beautiful question. It’s a term that you hear tossed around more these days, especially around sex. And, you know that tantra is a big part of my own services, Tantra Massage and Sensual Massage. But, what is it?
Really, tantra is about all life. Sex is the metaphor for learning presence, true embodiment, and full aliveness. Tantra is a path to learning ourselves and learning to really feel life.
Our feelings are powerful. When we haven’t dealt with them, they hang around and pop back up whenever we’re triggered. One way that we learn to block these feelings is distracting ourselves. Getting our mind going and dropping out of our bodies. Think about it. What does your right big toe feel like right now? If you’re like most people, you didn’t have any idea until you stopped to feel into it. Becoming embodied means feeling all the nuanced sensations across our skin and within us. There’s so much to feel within our bodies in any moment that if we are able to really be present to it, we wouldn’t have much time or space for obsessions or stories.
Tantra is all about acceptance, on the deepest level you can imagine. When we try to hold away feeling, we are rejecting it. In rejecting something within us, we split ourselves. We create a war inside, both the part that we identify with and the part that we reject clamoring for attention. Rejecting things causes us to contract. It blocks our energy and connection to the world. Acceptance expands us, allowing us to feel free, to listen to ourselves and follow the subtle wisdom of our bodies.
The really beautiful thing about this is that acceptance is also the key to transformation. When we reject a part of ourselves, we split it away from the part connected with our will and identity. And we fight it. In fighting, we make it stronger. So we make it even harder to let go of that aspect of ourselves we don’t like. By accepting it, by holding the hand of the hurting child inside, we make space for it to transform on its own. And accepting it is all about letting it in, allowing ourselves to really feel it.
Sex is one of the most profound and sensual experiences that a human being can have. That’s why tantra is often described and taught in terms of sexuality. Two people come together in an explosion of feeling, an inner urge. The mind can come in to try to control the situation, shape it somehow. The practice of tantra helps us to learn how to let go of the mind again and just follow the energy. We feel each grazing touch, swim in our body’s response to the sensation, take our time and allow the experience to flow naturally.
Sex is a great way to teach this because the sensations across our skin and the rising energy in our body are so powerful and present. It’s a beautiful path to embodiment. But you don’t stop there. Tantra teaches us to bring that same level of awareness into your body at all times. To make life a sensual experience. And, in the process, we learn to hear our feelings when they come up, to process them in the moment instead of burying them so that they can surface later. We learn how to relate from a more real and fulfilling place.
This has just been a short introduction to what tantra really is. It shines a light on what I really do, what tantra massage is really all about. In later articles, I’ll explore it further, going into how the practice can help you have more fulfilling relationships and the most amazing sex life you could possibly imagine. Tune in next time for some more juicy tidbits.
In love and light,