It’s probable that from puberty until the very last day of our lives on the physical plane, our sexuality will hang around with us like a constant companion. On average, this bottles down to 55-60 years of sexual energy, during which time, potentially each day – depending on the degree of our sex drive – we’ll be either looking for an outlet for our sexuality or trying to repress it. So, do our sex organs really only equate to reproductive organs? This would translate as decades of sex drive to produce a mean of 1.5–2 children per family (average statistic for Western cultures). Doesn’t that seem strange and imbalanced?
In relation to men, Mantak Chia provides another interesting statistic and comes to the same final conclusion: “… an estimated 25% to 40% of our chi energy taken in through food, air, and sunlight just to manufacture this sperm energy and maintain sexual readiness. Why does the body spend so much of its valuable resources to produce billions of sperm cells and regulate them with an accompanying hormonal system? Simply to produce a few children over the course of a lifetime? Nature is not that extravagant.”Continue reading →
From a tantric perspective, our present-day patriarchal society is flawed because the male-female balance has been lost. Leonardo Boff, although not a Tantrist, points to the unhealthy knock-on effect on society of the repression of the feminine principle: “The predominance of the masculine principle, which is historically expressed through the domination of men over women, and over everything else around it, has impoverished the human condition. […] the predominance of the masculine principle has exacerbated power, reason and violent means and it has weakened the feminine principle, sensitivity, emotional intelligence, being caring and caring for, the symbolic perception of reality and spirituality.”
In his book “Interpretations of Peace in History and Culture”, Wolfgang Dietrich charts a comprehensive history of the evolution of societal worldviews. He places Tantra in the category of pre-moral, energetic interpretations of peace i.e. having come into existence and been prevalent before the introduction of the monotheistic religions, and points to “the increasing institutionalization of society and religion” as the main reason for the loss of the understanding of opposites – particularly male and female – as harmonious sides of one whole. “The adoption of the principle of matter, order, or form into the male sphere […] relegates the energy interpreted as female from a primal and inseparable complementary towards a secondary position.”Continue reading →
We all take on differing roles according to which area of our lives is in question. For example, in the work place, we act and speak using language and mannerisms that are in line with our job and the position we hold in the organisational hierarchy; at home, we act and speak differently (e.g. our tone of voice changes) depending on if we’re in the role of parent or husband/wife/lover; in our social circles, we adopt yet another way of interacting with people, dependent on whether they are acquaintances or closer friends. Our apparent success in playing these various roles is measured according to socially constructed rules of good/appropriate conduct. However, whilst holding in mind the way we “should” act, we can also decide to play with those socially imposed expectations and make a conscious choice to act differently i.e. we can enjoy the power we have in any given moment to choose our attitude and actions. Naturally, playing doesn’t imply being dishonest or cunning; quite the opposite, in fact. Any play goes hand-in-hand with respect and love for others, careful not to hurt anybody’s feelings, although we might surprise them with what we say and do. Playing can release you from the shackles and weight of unwritten social rules and mind-made morality. It can be very empowering to intermittently step beyond life’s routines and invent a new you – even if you decide to play the new role just once, in one particular situation.
Tantra suggests that we don’t take life, or ourselves, too seriously, and that we engage in all our activities and relationships with a level of playfulness. This in no way implies giving up our sense of personal responsibility or empathy. Rather, the aim is to transcend the rational mind’s tendency to make everything appear arduous, hard work and a means to an end.“Gracious one, play. The universe is an empty shell wherein your mind frolics infinitely.” (Vigyan Bhairav Tantra , Sutra 110).
The tantric approach is to adopt an attitude of lightness, laughter and fun – ideally “with a smile always on the face” as an Indian friend of mine likes to say. Moreover, playing implies being fully in the moment – Tantra places a strong focus on mindfulness – countering the rational mind’s ceaseless darting from future to past to future to past. Continue reading →
Upstairs has a definite sense of humour i.e. sometimes the Universe likes to play cosmic jokes on us, which can be very funny. A regular way these jokes show up is by way of synchronistic moments. For example, last Christmas, my partner indicated his intention to buy me a piece of jewellery as a present. Neither he nor I are persons to follow social conventions like buying gifts for Christmas, so I was a little surprised by this suggestion. All the same, I liked the idea of being spoilt (!) so I let him know I’d really like a ring or a bracelet. I love fashion jewellery – some stunningly beautiful pieces at much more affordable prices than the more traditional jewellery. So, one day when we were in the town centre, I tried to encourage my partner to keep his promise. However, no matter how many shops I endeavoured to take him to, where there were some wonderful pieces of jewellery, he showed no inclination to go through with his initial suggestion. I wasn’t too bothered about it, although I remember thinking it would have been nice.
That same evening, we pulled one of the Christmas crackers (a very English tradition) that my mother had sent us. (She never tires, year after year, to try to encourage me to get into the Christmas spirit.) Inside these crackers there’s always a small gift. Well, lo and behold, what fell out of the cracker? A ring, of course! Ok, it was plastic (!) as is the norm for such gifts, but it was an attractive blue colour and exactly the shape I would have wanted had my partner bought me a ring at one of the shops that day. Continue reading →