Some thoughts on sacred sexuality

I join the camp of those persons who have come to the conclusion that our sexuality is for much more than conceiving a child, although at a certain point in our lives that might be the major purpose. I believe sexual energy, when correctly understood and worked with, has the potential to be an important part of our spiritual learning on the physical plane, not least because the states of consciousness we’re capable of attaining during and after a sexual exchange are so much more subtle and significant than our ordinary state of awareness. By joining together at the level of heart, body and mind, lovers can access the Infinite. This is one of the goals of a tantric sexual union, which is something much more encompassing than the mere satisfaction of lust or the release of pent-up sexual energy. “Sex must not remain sex; that is the Tantra teaching. It must be transformed into love. And love also must not remain love. It must be transformed into light, into meditative experience, into the last, ultimate mystic peak.”[1]

Andre van Lysebeth suggests that human beings have two sexual poles: the species pole located in the genitals, which is associated with the urge for procreation that’s visible in many life forms, not just humans; and, the individual pole located in the brain, which is specific to the human race. [2]  By connecting at a heart-level with our lover, we can bridge the gap between the species (body) and individual (mind) poles: Continue reading

What’s the definition of Tantra?

From my research, I came up with the following translations and conceptualisations for Tantra, which are used also by other authors/seekers in addition to the ones quoted here:

“The term ‘Tantra’ is derived from the Sanskrit root tan for ‘expanding’. Tantra, therefore, means ‘that which expands awareness’.”[1]

Tan means to expand, while tra means to liberate. So Tantra describes itself as an expansion of the knowledge and practice that liberates us from suffering.”[2]

André van Lysebeth uses the word Tantra “to refer to a body of millennia-old doctrines and, above all, practices” and suggests that one meaning of Tantra is “the instrument to expand the field of ordinary consciousness in order to reach supraconsciousness, the root of one’s being and the wellspring of unknown powers that Tantra seeks to awaken and harness.” [3]

One of the definitions provided by Georg Feuerstein in “Tantra: the Path to Ecstasy” is that: “…tantra is the ‘expansive’, all-encompassing Reality revealed by wisdom. As such it stands for ‘continuum’, the seamless whole that comprises both transcendence and immanence, Reality and reality, Being and becoming, Consciousness and mental consciousness, Infinity and finitude, Spirit and matter, Transcendence and immanence, or, in Sanskrit terminology, nirvana and samsara.[4]

In his list Feuerstein could have included the terms Shiva and Shakti, which are implied in all the pairs he mentions – transcendence (Shiva) and immanence (Shakti), Consciousness (Shiva) and mental consciousness (Shakti), etc. Continue reading