Greetings Beloveds. I submitted this article for the on-line magazine On the Path Holiday Edition's November/December 2014 Sex and Sensuality Column. See it on line here at: http://joom.ag/LjAb
Over the past 6 years I've learned practices to ignite and enliven my life through my study of Tantra. Tantra is an ancient spiritual practice embracing all of life as Divine unfolding. It teaches that each element of our lives can be used to awaken to our True Nature. There seem to be many Tantric paths and traditions stemming from Hindu and Buddhist origins. All have the primary practice of White Tantra, the meditation practices, as well as Red Tantra, sexual practices, to help us awaken. In both Red and White Tantra conscious breathing and breath practices are central. Many associate Tantra primarily with sexuality due to Hollywood references and some Neo-Tantra traditions developed through a teacher named Osho in the last 30 years. Red Tantra practices deepen and extend the sexual experience as it raises you into Bliss, opening the door to Enlightenment. Unlike most spiritual traditions, Tantra fully embraces our sexual natures and uses them to open our bodies and minds to Spirit.
While Red Tantra practices are just one very small part of the huge body of Tantra, they are often over emphasized due to our curiosity and preoccupation with sex. This preoccupation is the result of centuries of societies and religions making sex wrong. I was part of the sexual revolution of the 1960s/70s and it's refreshing to have a spiritual practice fully embrace sexuality. Blending my sexual and spiritual nature has been truly liberating for me. Some of the rituals and practices offered in Tantra transform sex into worship infusing the experience with the sacred. It also brings consciousness to our erotic and wild animal nature. Most if not all Red Tantra practices can be done solo through self pleasure and/or energy meditations.
Focusing on the 5th Chakra for this issue, I want to share some Tantric practices related to the voice and throat. Self expression, communication and creativity are linked to this chakra and all of these qualities relate to a healthy sensual/sexual expression. Finding and speaking your truth is key to a healthy 5th Chakra and a healthy sex life. We have to unmask and become vulnerable to experience real intimacy and deep sexual pleasure. Through speaking the truth of what we need and desire sensually and sexually we not only free ourselves, we free our lovers to do the same.
So much shame has been built around our sensual and sexual natures that you may need to practice speaking your needs out loud alone first and then share them with your lover(s). I realized I was so afraid to hear 'no' to my sexual needs that I just never asked. Obviously my needs never got met. I robbed myself and my partners the opportunity to please me. After an event where we practiced saying and hearing both 'yes' and 'no' to requests, I was willing and able to ask for what I wanted. And I was not afraid to hear no...or yes! Intimate Communication is key to a deep and successful sexual life. Learning to ask for what you want and describe in detail the kind of touch you like will add to your intimate interaction. I'm someone who loves my sexual connection to just flow without words but adding clarity through direct, kind and clear communication has deepened my delight and certainly increased my pleasure.
Here's something you can try that's very healing and enlivening. Tantric practices use sound to stimulate vibration in the body and open the body/mind to deeper consciousness. Toning and vocalizing your pleasure adds spice and delight to your sexual connection. Experiment with different sounds. One practice is to tone directly into your partner's Chakras. Experiment and find out what tone awakens and arouses. Do try the tone associated with each Chakra. They are, from the 1st to the 7th: Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Sham, Om. They're pronounced Lum, Vum, Rum, Yum, Hum, Sham, OM. YouTube has several examples you can listen to. Have some fun trying new things. As they say, 'if you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've always gotten.'
With all of these practices, using conscious breathing will deepen your presence in the moment. Experiment with the way you breathe through your intimate encounters and throughout your everyday routines. These Tantric practices are life changing and can lead you to Bliss! May you enjoy deepening your intimate communion with them. If you intend it, your experiment may open the doors to your True Self. Much Love to you! Namaste!