Sacred sexual union (Tantra) provides a way to balance our own masculine/feminine energies. The balance of these energies opens the door to radical self-acceptance and love. And this “practice of balance”, extended into an intimate relationship. provides a way to raise our consciousness and expand our awareness.
Women who are awake to their own Divine Feminine energy can lead the way to a “new way of loving” and “a new way of being” by finding wholeness within themselves. When a woman is honoring her own true power, she will not “need” a man to complete her. Instead, she will want to love and honor an awake man who is willing to balance his own energy also. As his consort, she empowers him to fully embody his own energy of “Divine Masculine”. Then true love can be made without pretense or manipulation of any kind.
The world needs more love, so we need to remember how to “make love”. Complete acceptance of ourselves as a whole person is the starting place. When we experience true love (unconditional love) for ourselves, we will manifest a more loving world!
Tantra: My Perspective
We’ve all seen the magazine headlines in the grocery checkout line: “10 Ways to Drive Your Lover Crazy in Bed.” “How to Have Better Sex Tonight” “Mind Blowing Sex Moves You’ve Never Tried”.
Many people associate the word “Tantra” with those kinds of beguiling “sex tips”, while authentic Tantra isn’t about any of that! Fundamentally, Tantra is the practice of being transparent, present and absolutely relaxed and real with your intimate partner.
Start by considering this: People these days are busy, constantly on the move, getting everything accomplished, checking off the to-do list, building careers and making money, taking care of kids, squeezing in social obligations, etc. How much of our time do we actually spend making love”? Very little!
Intimacy is usually relegated to the “leftover time”. So sex can become merely functional, especially if you’ve been with your partner for a while. Sooner or later, it can become a little ho-hum. It drops to the bottom of the list, or maybe it drops off the list altogether. You could start to tell yourself that sex is unimportant. You could convince yourself that your sex drive is petering out. (Does this ring a bell?)
Maybe we convince ourselves that we aren’t relaxed with our partner because there’s a huge, uncrossable gap between men and women. I think that ”the war of the sexes” is a lie…it’s a lie that has permeated our culture, and it has been perpetuated everywhere! It’s all over the media, so of course it plays out in dramas and power-struggles in our intimate relationships: cajole, dominate, be aggressive, be subservient and submissive…all kinds of power plays, half-truths, second-guessing, manipulation and hiding. “I can tell you this but I can’t tell you that because maybe you wouldn’t love me anymore.” If that’s a foundation for intimacy, the B.S. is going to compound to the point where you can’t even find the truth any more. (No wonder sex is considered “dirty”.)
Then there’s the “bargain” mentality. “I’ll do this for you if you do that for me.” Or the stress of being inauthentic. “I’m trying to fit my partner’s idea of who they think I should be!”… (Or who I think they think I should be. ) Or what about, “If only I could shape/change my partner.”? This doesn’t get us anywhere near true intimacy…no wonder we’re feeling disconnected.
Practicing Tantra is a way to bypass those types of power plays and the second-guessing. I think the practice of Tantra, even though it’s been around for thousands of years, is important to explore right now, in a culture that seems to value “doing” over “being”. Tantra offers a way to slow down and practice being together. If we can practice transparency (being real) with the mirror of our partner, if we can practice relaxing with the truth of how things really are, we could establish a ground for true love to flourish. Tantra is the practice of making love…actually producing more love.
What gets in the way of someone being transparent in their relationship?
Fears. We all have them. Fear of...
Not being enough
Not being loved for who we are
Rejection based on how we look
Being taken advantage of
Not trusting ourselves
Not trusting our partner
All these fears are knitted into us through beliefs that we probably bought into in the old paradigm, and we probably don’t even realize it. I think it takes a lot of courage to recognize and face those fears.
For example, there’s the fear that our bodies aren’t perfect. “I’m too fat…my breasts aren’t perky anymore.” We may have hypnotized ourselves into thinking that we aren’t lovable if we aren’t “perfect”. Is it really true that someone loves you for your perky breasts? I don’t that that’s actually what someone truly loves about someone else. Although the body is a way to express love –and to practice love - we are not talking about body parts here.“
If I’m transparent, my partner will see all of my shadow-stuff.
Well, that’s true. Actually, they probably already see all of your dark stuff, and you see theirs too. I would bet that all the things you really wish you could hide are pretty obvious to your partner already.
What if there was a way to be accepted (and accepting) as the beautiful imperfection that you already are? What if two people could allow themselves to just be real with each other? Celebrate that? That’s true intimacy, in my opinion.
Why would someone want to move through all those fears?
Well, it’s an opportunity to show up with your whole self, to find true love and acceptance for yourself. To discover that you’re not only enough, you’re actually an unlimited being, an empowered being, a being capable of anything! So you start there, realizing that you’ve been sold a bill of goods to think that you’re not enough, or that you aren’t lovable, or that someone’s not going to love you for exactly who you are. With Tantra, if you can practice transparency with someone else by letting them see you completely, then they can love you for who you really are.
Since the old way isn’t working so well, why not try something new? Why settle for less? That’s why I think Tantra is really worth exploring. Practicing truth. Practicing transparency. Practicing vulnerability. Practicing unconditional love. Practicing being relaxed together and enjoying the moment in a sexual context. Why not?
What if it seems too hard to go there?
I actually think it’s harder is try and maintain a “contractual” relationship that isn’t opening you up, evolving you personally or evolving the relationship. If you can’t relax completely with the person you’re most intimate with, if you can’t ride the waves of inevitable change together, then I think there’s definitely something that needs to be looked at.
I know this because I left a very long marriage where we couldn’t do it. Leading up to the divorce, I just couldn’t relax, and I think relaxation is one of the fundamental keys to intimacy. On a very deep emotional level, a woman has to feel honored and she has to feel safe to be in a healthy intimate relationship. As a collective, I think we’re coming from a paradigm where, in general, women didn’t feel honored and safe. And I think a lot of people are unfulfilled in their intimate relationships because of this, and they probably don’t know what to do about it... I didn’t.
If the woman is in a relationship where she is not honored, where does she start?
I began by looking at the dysfunction in my marriage and why it didn’t work. I looked at the half-truths and the subsequent compounding of mistrust. Both of us seemed willing to make the marriage work, so to speak, but the problem (for me) came from my own feeling of not being truly seen and honored. Now I can see that I wasn’t honoring myself. That led to toxic behavior.
When I look back, I can see that as I grew spiritually, I started to discover a deeper love for myself. I was beginning to connect with my own Divine Feminine energy, (but I didn’t know this at the time). I certainly didn’t have that kind of love for myself when I was relying on his opinion and his approval of me. Actually, I can see now that I had been depending on him (subconsciously?) to gauge my own self-worth, and I didn’t even know I was doing it. I was using his opinion of me to confirm my identity. (What the heck?) I was trying to be who I thought he expected me to be…so I wouldn’t upset him. I think I’m a fairly intelligent person, but that’s simply nuts! That seems to be (exactly) the antiquated idea of the “little woman”.
I think a lot of it had to do with fear. He may have been afraid of who I was becoming (because I was changing so radically and quickly). And I was definitely afraid of becoming too intense for him, or too unfamiliar to him, maybe even too much for him. I was afraid of his rejection of the “new me”. So I was hiding out, emotionally unavailable, hiding behind my work…sort of a protection thing. And he was emotionally unavailable too. (Who knows which came first?) The point is that even though we were trying to connect, there wasn’t the fundamental ground of trust that would have provided for the complete honesty, transparency, willingness and vulnerability that can accommodate rapid changes.
Finally I had to admit, “This isn’t working. I’m changing and I have to be my authentic self. I have to move on.” I don’t blame him and I don’t blame myself--either you can do it or you can’t- but that’s why I had to let the marriage go. That’s when I started to explore Tantra as the ground for intimacy, and it started to become compelling to me. I had known about Tantra for quite some time, but I hadn’t explored it or practiced it. Now I’m convinced that anyone who is seeking a deeper level of connection and intimacy should explore this path.
1. ”Tantra, Sex for the Soul" by Niyaso Carter
2. "Making Love: Sexual Love the Divine Way" by Barry Long
3. "Tantric Quest" by Daniel Odier
4 “The Magdalen Transcripts” by Tom Kenyon and Judy Sion
5. ”Karmamudra: the Yoga of Bliss" by Dr. Nida Chenagtsang
6. “The Heart of Tantric Sex" by Diana Richardson
7. “True Love is Real” by Suzanne M. Baker
8. Also, this wonderful article by Tom Kenyon
I don’t personally agree with every detail in all of these books, but in the myriad of books I’ve read on Tantra, this is my short list of recommendations. If someone has interest in exploring this topic, I suggest checking them out and seeing which one resonates, as they’re all quite different from each other.
In exploring Tantra practice, it doesn’t matter if it’s a new relationship or if you’ve got twenty years or more under the bridge. If both partners are willing to start fresh with a different approach to intimacy, it’s worth a go. Take it on as a course of study and explore making love in a new way. It’s probably not going to happen overnight because we’re so conditioned to think of sexuality in the old way: using sex for physical fulfillment and considering orgasm as the goal.
If we relax enough, with just a few key insights on board, we could discover that true intimacy is instinctive, natural and simple. It feels like coming home. And the interesting thing about this type of intimacy is that the sex is going to be hot, because the connection is going to be real. Being loved for who you really are and showing up transparently while loving another person? Wow, it’s going to be naked in every sense of the word. Can you imagine? I think that whatever energy is brought to intimacy is going to compound. True intimacy starts with the willingness to see and be seen, touch and be touched, open and be opened, love and be loved… then that creates a dynamic of true love that pervades all areas of your life.
Did you have any insights about women in particular?
When I thought about how women are so concerned about getting older, I started to wonder if “aging” had to mean contracting and diminishing your energy. I realized that there was a choice! Your life experience can expand you. Why not?
So I decided to expand myself! I’m expanding my mind. I’m expanding my physical health. I’m expanding my imagination. I’m expanding my joy. Why not? I don’t think we have to buy into “People over a certain age aren’t sexy”. Really? If you’re “over a certain age” (whatever that means), I think you have to ask yourself, “What am I doing with my own energy?”. If you don’t feel sexy, go find a way to feel sexy! How about, “I don’t know where my sex drive went… It used to be strong, but now I don’t care about sex.”? If that’s the story that you’re telling yourself as a woman, it’s because you’re not being honored, probably because you’re not honoring yourself as Divine Feminine.
True intimacy and acceptance starts with your relationship with yourself. How do you show up for yourself? Honor yourself? How can you bring yourself back to the awe of being in your own body? How do you dress this body that you’re walking around in? How do you take care of it? How do you really love yourself? When I looked into these questions myself, I started to feel sexy. It’s not about trying to be somebody else, some made-up standard of excellence. It’s about finding your own fire, connecting with your love for yourself and your love for life. If you’re not living in your passion, that’s your responsibility. If you catch yourself thinking, “I’m too old” or “I’m not pretty enough”, don’t buy that lie. I think it starts by doing what turns you on. Are you relaxed and empowered in your body? Playful? Sensual? By the way, how much do you dance? Where’s your passion? What are you doing that turns you on and lights you up?
This all sounds great for me, but I don’t see how I’d ever entice my husband to go for this kind of thing.
He doesn’t know what he’s not going for until he knows what it is. So just start by reading one book from the list and see if it floats your boat. And none of it is complicated – it’s not like you have to have a certain belief system or become a Buddhist. (Tantra is an aspect of Vajrayana Buddhism.) Anyone can practice sexual Tantra. I think if you check it out on your own, then you could invite your husband to join you.
Also, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a partner. Tantra has ways of working with your own energy if you don’t have a partner. A note on that: If you start to work with your own sexual energy, you’re likely to attract a partner.
What emotions came up for you?
I felt my mind open and my heart open when I let myself out of the box. See, I want to live an authentic life in my full power for as long as I’m taking a breath, and Tantra is a way to do that. I feel hopeful because there are books and resources to show people how to get back to making love instead of having functional sex where the partners are not truly honoring each other.
Then I started to get a bigger vision of the impact that Tantra could have on the world. I started to wonder, “If enough people actually did this, how could it impact others? Could the love ripple out to change things for the better? Could it create more love for everyone? A more loving world?” (Hmmmmm!) Think about it. If we evolved our way of loving, wouldn’t that evolve our way of showing up as a more loving person in the world? Wouldn’t it evolve how we love everyone, everywhere? I believe that our personal energy certainly impacts the world around us...it ripples out. So if we spent more time really loving and less time running around doing everything else, wouldn’t we be putting love first? That’s how we begin to change the world into a more loving place, in my opinion.
Why is this type of practice intimidating to some people?
Complete willingness to be truthful and honest in an intimate relationship can be disarming, daunting, even downright scary. To see yourself in the mirror of your lover with no way to hide anything? Your stuff is going to come up for you to look at. Wow, if you don’t develop a sense of humor on the Tantric path, then it probably won’t go so well for you!
From your exploration, what are your primary takeaways?
Women must remember who we really are, not who we’ve been told we are. We must remember our own powerful essence, which actually resides in the womb. Connection with authentic Divine Feminine energy opens up a connection to love without conditions. So by connecting with our own authentic feminine energy, and then balancing that with our own masculine energy, we can accept and love the whole of who we really are.
Women aren’t the “weaker sex” at all. Women have the power to create life, give birth to life. We have the power to intuit, feel deeply, be vulnerable, fluid, expressive, creative, nurturing and giving. That’s powerful. And when a woman is in her full, authentic Divine Feminine power, she empowers the Divine Masculine as well. The opposite energies can unite to form a whole, which becomes Divine Union.
In the bigger picture, practicing Tantra could spark a whole new paradigm of unconditional love! The women can go first and the men will catch up. Men haven’t experienced women in their divine power because we haven’t been embodying it, probably because we’ve all bought into this huge misconception of how women are “supposed to be”. Also, the men have been wounded because, as of yet, women haven’t been manifesting their own authentic power. (We all forgot.) But if women start to show up as Divine Feminine, then the men (those who are awake ) will appreciate it, and come forward and honor it. I think they’re actually longing for it. We have to give the men an opportunity to understand who we really are, so they can be who they really are as Divine Masculine. So hire yourself for the job. Sign yourself up. Put yourself on a mission.
Tantra is much more than a personal adventure.
To embody Tantra is to first understand it, reflect on it, and then practice it. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of words on a page, so who cares? Being truthful in intimacy is probably one of the hardest things to do. Being vulnerable and transparent with a partner is a tall order. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But I think it’s a noble undertaking.
If Tantra is practiced as a lifestyle, this transparency, this willingness to see and be seen can be extremely transformative. Not just for the two people who are practicing it together, but for everyone around them. It can ripple out as huge waves of Unconditional Love!
It seems to me, if Tantra became your lifestyle, and you cultivated unconditional love for yourself and for your partner, you would be completely free. That doesn’t mean sunshine and puppies all the time. It means you’d be completely free if you were having a challenge. Or completely free if you weren’t well, or if stuff came up for you that you had been repressing or ignoring. You’d be completely okay with things as they are, willing to look at it, accept it and work with it, personally and interpersonally. And cultivating that type of acceptance and willingness is a worthwhile endeavor. It’s exciting. It’s a big vision with a big promise that requires a big commitment.
Tantra is an ancient art that offers us a new way to love. Honoring our Divine Feminine energy is the seed for unconditional love. So where does that love start? It starts in your heart…loving yourself...then loving your partner...then it moves out from there. You can’t march on Capitol Hill for unconditional love! That’s the old paradigm... marching! We’re talking about something very personal that has the potential to change the world on a fundamental level. We can practice Tantra to create a new paradigm of love! More love! We can make more love! I think Tantra practice is for anyone who wants to create a more loving world, a New World Paradigm of Unconditional Love!
Tantra practice brings potential for:
self love and acceptance
unconditional love for self and other
expansion of love in all directions to everyone, everything, everywhere
losing yourself in bliss
honoring yourself and other
discovering love for the first time, over and over again
loving deeply and fully
not buying the “old programs” of labels/limitations
taking off the mask
allowance to “just be”
expansion of consciousness
experience of delight in small things
providing a mirror for each other
allowing old wounds to be realized and released
empowering your largest vision of yourself
giving and receiving openly
cultivating gratitude (the ultimate state of receivership)
experience of “coming home”
not looking for “easy fixes”
not giving up on self or other
loving ”what is”
opening up fully to the human experience of being mortal, impermanent, vulnerable…
living in the present ephemeral moment, choosing expansion…
discovering the joy in the ever-changing dance of life
"When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you, yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast. All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart. But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love. When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God. And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy. To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips."
- Khalil Gibran
“Laughing At the Word Two”
That Illumined One
Who keeps Seducing the formless into form
Had the charm to win my Heart.
Only a Perfect One
Who is always Laughing at the word Two
Can make you know
From: 'The Gift'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
Voice of Divine Feminine to Divine Masculine:
She says, "See me, know me, honor me. You have forgotten my power, my majesty, but now you must remember me fully. You must find me all around you so I can remember you inside of me as well, calling you back to your true power.
Find me in your heart as your consort, Queen of Space. Let me fill you with the fierce and unapologetic love I have for you, and let me rock your heart awake with my wild, wide mystery. Remember me, know me, honor me once again. I am your forgotten Beloved, calling you home to yourself.”