Before I forget, please be sure to check out my article on the importance of stories over at Subversify.com (click here). There's something there for everyone:
What's America coming to? The David thinks it Oligarchy; W.D. Noble covers the Koch brothers, the Tea Party, and a future America; Edward-Yemíl Rosario reminds us why stories are important; A.B. Thomas defends gamers everywhere; A collection of Poems from Bill the Butcher and Karla Fetrow continues her Luke Maverick series in "Clovia" all at Subversify.com
Apparently, a tornado touched down here in Brooklyn not too far from my neighborhood. I was hanging out in the City when it all came down and didn’t notice anything…
Today’s blog photo contributor wishes to remain anonymous, but GAWD! I can fall in love with an ass like that! What an altar that would make... If I woke up to an ass like that, my first act every morning would be to kiss it. LOL
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-=[ Tantra ]=-
Every woman’s nature is to be a priestess, to be an initiator. Only when a man knows how to give her pleasure will she be radiant, devoted, loving, satisfied, and able to be in the fullness of the whole relationship.
-- Margot Anand
I keep trying to write a piece on Goddess worship and it just doesn’t come out… What follows is a very brief and very inadequate attempt to elaborate on tantra.
Sex lies at the root of life, and it is crucial that we learn reverence for it. By reverence I don’t mean to say that sex should only be practiced under certain conditions and only with certain individuals. By reverence I mean that we must come to the realization that sex is an energy – a divine and transformative energy – and that we must learn to revere and cultivate that energy.
Orgasm brings us closer to the divine than any other experience. This is why organized religions have always tried to control sex: because ecstatic people are a free people. In the moment of orgasm, a bonding between the right and left hemispheres of the brain occurs. When the creative, intuitive right side of the brain fuses with the center of logic and thinking on the left side, an akashic field (“zero-point”) of total connection can be accessed. The ego walls come tumbling down, time and space cease to exist, and you become one with energy and consciousness.
This form of sexual practice transcends mere ego needs so often heard in popular culture: songs wailing about “Baby, I need you,” and “I can’t live without you.” Sabotaged by ego needs (the “Mini Me”), sex becomes a quick exercise in tension and release. It obstructs the free flow of energy.
Sexuality is a very natural instinct, a powerfully creative force. From the tantric perspective, each of us can put that force to work in the service of healing, transformation, and the realization of our potentials. Yet, in many ways, we are conditioned to think about sex that confuses us. We straddle the two extremes of viewing sex as something natural that should not be interfered with, or the perception of sex as something hidden, dirty, and taboo. Of course, that last part is what sometimes makes it so interesting and brings violence and exploitation into sex. In this country, we find it so difficult even to talk about sex without defining it in deviant terms, we have to fight through all the cultural taboos to have a good time, it seems.
I write this Friday Sex blog mostly because I feel the damage caused by the condemnation of sex can’t begin to be measured. Instead of celebrating sex as a creative force, we turn it into a shameful, guilt-ridden affair. Religions want to make people believe that a priest is necessary in order to have a relationship with the divine. They discourage any direct attempt to have an experience of “God” on their own. Religious institutions, for the most part, do not want us to wake up to our natural ecstasy. The moment they wake up, a person becomes a free thinker and for those in power, a free thinker is a dangerous individual.
Tantra developed as a rebellion against the repressive moralistic codes of organized religions in India around 5000 b.c.e. It developed particularly as a response to the widespread notion that sexuality had to be denied in order to attain spiritual enlightenment. Tantra means “weaving,” in the sense of bringing together the many and often contradictory aspects of the self into one harmonious whole. Tantra also means “expansion,” in the sense that once our own energies are understood and unified, we grow and expand into joy. Truly, Tantra is the “yoga of love.”
Characterized by what the Tibetan Tantric tradition calls crazy wisdom, Tantric masters scandalized mainstream society and were often condemned and persecuted. Crazy Wisdom is a tradition in which the teacher uses paradoxical stories, seemingly absurd questions, and unexpected behavior in order to tease, jolt, and provoke people to drop mainstream conditioning and conventional attitudes so that they may embrace the whole spectrum of life, with no conflict between the sacred and the profane, the spiritual and the sexual.
There’s no way I could do justice to the Tantric vision in a one-page Word document, but I will say that the Tantric vision accepts everything. There’s nothing forbidden in Tantra. Everything that a person experiences, regardless of whether it is judged as good or bad, is an opportunity for learning. For example, a situation in which you experience sexual frustration is not viewed negatively in tantra, it is viewed as an opportunity for learning.
The best way I’ve heard tantra described is through the use of the metaphor of weeds. While weeds, if left unattended can bring a garden to ruin, one can also use weeds to fertilize the soil and make it richer. In this way, Tantra utilizes energies usually judged as negative as a path toward growth.
I guess I will have to write a part two on this tantra thingee. LOL
According to Tantra, sex is first a matter of energy, and Tantra views energy as the movement of life. For example, the nucleus and electrons of an atom have a certain rhythmic movement. The same goes for molecules, cells, and organs of the human body. Each organ -- the heart, diaphragm, intestines, lungs, brains -- pulsates to the rhythm of life. The vibrations from these rhythmic movements generate bioelectric currents that stream continuously through the whole body. They also generate energy fields that surround the body, and our moods and emotions generate specific vibrations that alter these energy fields as well.
One last thing, Surrender is an essential aspect of Tantra. There is, however, much confusion about what surrender means. People are suspicious of this term, which is often equated with loss of free will and personal power. In fact, they are confusing surrender with submission, which is (to me) a passive attitude that implies giving up responsibility for one’s behavior. True surrender, at least within the Tantric tradition, is a conscious choice made from free will. It means opening your heart and trusting the person you are with.
Tantra is about wholeness, of embracing everything, because every situation is an opportunity to become more aware about who you are and about how you can expand your capacities. Because Tantra embraces wholeness, it embraces opposites, seeing them not as contradictions but as complements. The concepts of male and female therefore are placed apart, forever divided by a gender gap, but are viewed as part of a continuum that meet and merge in every human being. Tantra recognizes that in each individual there exists both a masculine and feminine quality.
Practice: Cultivating Sexual Energy
Man: Sit comfortably on a pillow with your legs crossed.
Woman: Sit on top, straddling your partner with your legs.
Man: Hold your arms around your partner to support her back.
Looking into each other’s eyes, breathe through the nose down into the belly. It is best if your bellies are touching. With the breath, find the same rhythm. If you desire, you can start to rock your hips in movement with each other. Feel into each other as if wearing the other person’s body.
Man: As you enter your woman, feel your strength entering her as a gift. Fill her with your conscious presence. As soon as you start to feel a buildup of energy in your genitals, stop moving, breathe deeply, and have the intention to spread the concentrated energy throughout the rest of the body. If need be, tell your partner out loud when you need time to recirculate the energy.
Woman: Feel the gift of your man’s energy entering you, receive it in your womb, and draw it up into your heart. Give it back to him as love and nurturing through your breasts. Keep focusing on this as an act of worship and giving. You will inevitably get caught in feelings of physical pleasure. There is no need to try to stop them, but do not get stuck there. You will also get caught in strong personal emotions. Allow them, but go deeper. Allow the gifting to pass throughout, not from you. If you continue circulating the energy and allowing it to give through you, after some time your partner will become an invitation into something vast, something much bigger than the personal.
Man: As you keep giving to her with your body, you will start to feel that you are giving through her, to all women, to all of life.
Woman: As you pour love into your partner through your breasts and your heart, and keep opening your womb to receive more freely in undefended surrender, draw this up into your infinitely open heart, and you will feel through him to all men, to the Divine Source.
Unlike sex that is only for physical pleasure and release, the need to reach orgasm may lessen in this kind of sexual meeting rather than grow. Instead of climaxing in an orgasm, keep circulating the energy until you come to a place of absolute fullness and stillness. Remain there without moving, and feel the great union, one you could never feel alone. This is the union of you and your partner, of masculine and feminine, of energy with itself. When you know union in this way, you come to the realization of why there is life.