Where Does Tantra Fit into the Year 2020?
By Krupa Balasubramanya - May 12, 2020
Tantra is an ancient spiritual philosophy dating back thousands of years and has recently gained significant popularity in modern western culture. Only problem: It’s often seen as merely an X-rated way to spice up one’s sex life. At worst, it’s a spiritual approach to sex; at best, it’s a sexy approach to spirituality. We’re here to clear some of that up. While it must be said that tantra does have a satisfying role to play in the bedroom, it would be a significant oversight to paint this sacred practice as being solely a source for pleasure-making. In reality, Tantra is a meaningful practice that takes the whole body into consideration—mind, body and spirit—and can serve to bring one closer to the divine, to one’s own self and to one’s partner. It is this aspect of Tantra that makes it a timeless practice for the ages, as relevant to the twenty-first century as it was to the first. (Yes, it is really that old.)
With so many different depictions competing for attention, it’s understandable that things have become a bit muddled over time. Below, we outline some of the main characteristics of Tantra that will actually complement—and even improve upon—your 2020 lifestyle. Because Tantra really is for everyone!
Tantra is Equality
As Dr. Imma Ramos, curator of the new Tantra exhibit at the British Museum, remarks: “The easiest definition of tantra and what it’s about is it is a new world view, it’s a vision of the world as charged with divine feminine power.” The reason for this is that Tantra celebrates the divine masculine and feminine energies of the universe. These energies are portrayed through the Hindu gods Shiva and Shakti, respectively. What’s important to remember is that these energies are inherently equal and utterly dependent on each other. Neither one is greater than the other and neither one can exist on its own. Ultimately, this beloved dependence and respect is what is symbolically achieved through the physical act of sex. As you can see, to focus purely on the act would be to miss the bigger picture of what is actually being achieved.
But Dr. Ramos takes this one step further and expounds upon how this union has also been a symbol of the greater struggle of equality of humankind throughout history. In particular, this tradition of thought fueled by Indian revolutionaries seeking freedom from Britain’s suffocating colonial rule in the 19th century. Their main point? No man is inherently greater than or “more human” than another. To operate so is to go against the very fabric of the universe.
Tantra is Healing
We live in a world where the pursuits of material goods and pursuits of personal fulfillment are often confused—even packaged, marketed and sold—as being one in the same. But if you ask us, this is a recipe for disaster. And by disaster, we mean depression, anxiety and disillusionment.
Instead, Tantra addresses the whole person as opposed to superficial bandaids and temporary wants. What does it take to address the whole person? It requires a deeper understanding of what drives a person’s needs, wants and motivations. There is the physical, yes, but there is the spiritual and the intellectual as well. When taking this into consideration, a person understands that a new pair of shoes or even a well-meaning dietary supplement is only going to go so far. And when that is understood, it means that true fulfillment can be found in things that are going to nurture that whole person as opposed to just one component.
As an example, an approach to sex that elevates human pleasure above all else may disguise itself as tantric, but will ultimately deceive its practitioner by suggesting that if they only follow a prescribed number of steps they will achieve “mind-blowing orgasm.” But the more sensitive practitioner of tantric sex knows this to be false. Rather, a more healing, fulfilling approach to tantric sex understands that the whole person is not only interested in pleasure, but is also more deeply interested in achieving greater intimacy and connection with their partner, that at the heart of the human experience is a powerful desire to be known and be accepted. Partners will be encouraged to meet each other’s needs by establishing a foundation of openness and honesty in their relationships. There is no room for toxic, abusive behaviors such as gaslighting and emotional manipulation—And by prioritizing honesty and trust, such behaviors may be addressed and expunged.
Anyone who has recently been freed from an abusive relationship and wants to get back int the game but is scared about how would do well to apply concepts of Tantric philosophy to their next partnership.
Tantra is Empowering
In addition to insisting on equality and nurturing the whole person, Tantra is an empowering movement because it seeks to release shame and break down socially-imposed barriers. Tantra is about offering unconditional love and acceptance by first extending it to oneself. Where the human tendency is to judge our faults and insecurities, Tantra cries out to embrace these very things as what make us whole and unique. It is about being better by first admitting that you are already whole and good and acceptable just as you are.
Remember: We live in a world where the pursuits of material goods and pursuits of personal fulfillment are often confused—even packaged, marketed and sold—as being one in the same. How often does your world tell you that you would be whole and complete if only you bought this product, if only you subscribed to this membership, if only you had this much money? But Tantra wants to tell you that you’re already good enough.
How empowering is that?
Did this post speak to your heart or teach you something new? Alpha Hearts still has spots available to welcome new clients into our community! Email me if you’re ready to find the Connection, Love, Growth, and Support that will allow your inner self to fully shine and embrace all that your life has to offer you! Alpha Hearts supports your life’s journey with Numerology, Ayurveda, and Tantra.
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