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The Llewellyn Journal
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What Is Tantra?

This article was written by Mark A. Michaels & Patricia Johnson
posted under Tantra

Tantra is:
  • Tantra is an ancient tradition that recognizes sexual energy as a source of personal and spiritual empowerment. This sets it apart from most Western traditions and helps explain why most Westerners have reduced it to its sexual elements alone.
  • Tantra is the magic of transforming your consciousness and thereby transforming your entire being. Your body is the most powerful tool for bringing about this transformation
  • Tantra is a spiritual science. Tantric techniques have been tested and have proven effective for many centuries. If you practice diligently, you will experience results.
  • Tantra can be quite simple. Everyone has had Tantric experiences, but it is not always so easy to notice them.
  • Tantra can be embraced in whole or in part. A few simple practices can often produce profound and lasting results.
  • Tantra is goalless, unless exploring and expanding consciousness can be called a goal. Goal orientation is one of the biggest obstacles faced by the aspiring Tantrika. Abandoning specific goals and focusing on what you are doing in the moment, with as much awareness as you can muster, are the keys to effective practice.
  • Tantra is a way of life. The Tantric approach to exploring your own consciousness is an ever-evolving process of discovery that emerges from daily practice.
  • Tantra can provide you with the means to deepen your sense of connection to self, to your partner, to all that is.
  • Tantra is a technology of mind and body that will lead you to know yourself deeply.
  • Tantra is for people of “heroic” temperament who are already mentally healthy. Ideally, an aspiring Tantrika has done extensive work on the self. Traditionally, this might mean years of Yogic study and practice. For Westerners, psychotherapy may be the best preparation, since it provides tools for the self-exploration that is central to Tantra.
  • Tantra is a practical way to loosen the bonds of unconscious, habitual behavior and thereby start to live more freely and fully.
  • Tantra is the discipline of becoming yourself completely. In the end, there is nothing at all to do.
  • Tantra is pragmatic and non-moralistic. You can utilize whatever tools are at hand for the purpose of expanding consciousness.
One way to define Tantra is to say it is the science of self-exploration.

From Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson


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