Tantra, for all the high-falutin concepts and deadly history, introduced itself to me this way.
If you type “what is Tantra?” into your search engine, you’ll come up with hundreds of hits, and each one of them will be different. Sex Tantra. Buddhist Tantra. White Tantra. Pink Tantra. Hindu Tantra. Neo-Tantra. Tantric Jesus. You’ll probably see a lot of half-dressed people and promises of mind-blowing orgasms on retreat in tropical places. You’ll read about the Million Dollar point. (I can show you what that is, by the way.) All this can make it frustrating for the adventurous novice, or worse, tempt one to believe there is no understanding the heart of Tantra.
Some form of this mysterious thing called Tantra has existed in every major civilization around the world for the last 5,000 years. It’s said to have originated in the Indus Valley, where Tantric priestesses (Dakinis) would employ sacred sexual practices to rehabilitate war soldiers before they returned to their families. It’s been driven underground. Taught in secrecy by oral tradition. Praised, villainized, lied about, hidden, revered. Scary stories have been told to ward away all but the most tenacious of seekers. So what is it?
Back in 2011 I became one of Tantra’s adventurous novices. I’d hit a ceiling in the bedroom and wanted more, and Tantra seemed to be just the thing. I picked up an austere book by British Tantra scholar John Maxwell Taylor called Eros Ascending. I knew I wanted this material, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of what the man was saying, so I called him on the phone. “What IS Tantra?” I asked him.
“I’ll show you,” he said, and he went into meditation with me right there on the phone. I closed my eyes and the strangest thing happened: I could feel him. Tantra, for all the high-falutin concepts and deadly history, introduced itself to me a loving connection.
From that moment I was hooked, and I read every book I could get my hands on and talked to every expert who would spend time with me. From Osho to Anand to Odier to Dispenza and many lesser known authors with important perspectives, I collected dozens of titles. Many of them are on this website. I experimented and explored and experienced many wondrous things. I went to trainings and became a Certified Tantra Educator. I started teaching and sharing. The oceanic, cosmic, Tantric wilderness began to come into clearer view for me.
Here’s how I understand Tantra:
- Tantra is the art of using pleasure to become the person you want to be.
- Tantra is following your desire in full self-awareness with no self-judgment, and without injuring anyone.
- There is no good or bad in Tantra–only what you prefer.
- Tantra is the weaving together of opposites to create Oneness.
- Tantra is the coming together of masculine and feminine energy for creation.
- Tantra is alchemy, turning poison into nectar.
- Tantra is the pure focus on something so engrossing and pleasurable, your consciousness becomes one with God’s.
- Tantra is the purposeful circulation of energy through the body for healing, intimacy, or self-development.
- Tantra knows no time or space. Tantra is inter-dimensional.
- As a yoga, Tantra is less about your conforming to it as it is about it conforming to you.
- Tantra is the expression of your authentic self.
- There is a Tantra for every human activity, from sex to cooking to mowing the lawn.
- Tantra is All That Is.
Does that clear it up for you? I didn’t think so.
Perhaps the best definition is, Tantra is a syren. It calls to you, makes love to you, and you change. The Youness of You breaks out of the shell like a duckling chick, and you become as hooked as the rest of us, following Tantra on a journey to see where it will take you. That’s the only way, and the best way, to understand the heart of Tantra. How is Tantra calling you? I’ll be guide as you explore.
Dakini Leah Kenyon is a Certified Tantra Educator through the Ahuna School of Tantra. She also offers private coursework for couples and singles and public workshops to spread the word about the powerfully healing, transforming art of Tantra. Book your free thirty minute discovery session with her today.