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Advanced Yoga Practices
Tantra Lessons
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Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson T39 - Principles of Tantra and Homosexuality  (Audio)

AYP Plus Additions:
T39.1 - Enlightenment is Beyond Gender Identification
  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:28pm

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of this tantra yoga archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "What is tantra yoga?"


Q: Hello. If you would, I would like you to clarify what you mean by "destructive" behavior when responding to the question about pornography and masturbation. Is it the pornography itself to which you refer? Or the obsessive relationship with it? And, what do you mean by pornography? Also, surely you're not referring to masturbation as destructive are you? Is it ejaculation to which you refer? Excessive ejaculation?

As someone who has struggled with negativity and fear surrounding sexual energy and expression, these comments make a deep impression on me. I would appreciate hearing your view on these topics more fully.

Also, I haven't come across any specific mention of homosexuality in these writings. What is your view of homosexuality in relation to these practices?

Thanks for your help and time.


A: From the standpoint of yoga, a destructive behavior is one that weakens our nervous system, and adds physical and karmic obstructions to it. This is in the opposite direction of the aim of yoga, which is to strengthen and purify our nervous system so that inner silence, divine ecstasy and outpouring love can become gradually more a part of our daily life.

In AYP there is not much moral judgment about conduct beyond encouraging everyone to obey the laws of the land and not harm others. The main handle on conduct in AYP is the practices themselves. With daily deep meditation, spinal breathing and other advanced yoga practices, including tantric methods, conduct automatically and gradually comes around to the bright side through the connectedness of yoga in our nervous system. If the desire is there (the divine stirring within us) then daily practices can be undertaken and sustained. Even a little meditation can move a mountain of obstructions within us. We want to be removing the mountains, not making them bigger. It is logical, yes?

If additional help is needed with a strong obsessive behavior/addiction, then using a twelve step program is recommended. See the previous lesson #T38 and the links section for "Twelve Step Programs."

Pornography itself is only imagery. It is designed to be sexually stimulating, and nothing else. So may be a provocatively dressed member of the opposite sex strolling down the street. Clearly the effect of these things is in how we respond to them. We may try and control our outer environment to reduce temptations, and even succeed at that for a while. But, in the end, the transformation must be an internal one. Once we have begun to make inner changes we will be much less a slave to external erotic stimulation. As a matter of fact, as has been discussed in recent lessons, such stimulation can then be used for a higher purpose with tantric techniques.

One will be wise to undertake daily deep meditation and other sitting practices as a prerequisite to using tantric methods. Then even our obsessions can become yoga, shifting from outer objects to the ecstatic bliss of the divine within. The only difference between a sex addict and an advanced yogi/yogini is in what they are obsessed with! This is why desire/bhakti has been stressed so much in the lessons. Always favoring a high ideal with our desire is the key. In the twelve steps it is referred to as "giving ourselves to a higher power in our life." Make a habit of that and be willing to act on it, and positive changes will be occurring like magic.

The same thing goes for masturbation as for pornography. It can be friend or foe, depending on the direction of our desire and how the energy is managed. This is especially important for men, and has been covered in detail in the early tantra lessons.

In yoga, ejaculation is mostly foe, but we are not fanatical about it in the lessons. Occasional ejaculation is not a serious barrier to yoga. Frequent ejaculation is. This is not a moral judgment. It is just a fact of prana/energy management. The neuro-biology of higher states of consciousness cannot reach full potential without sexual vitality available in the body. If we are draining it to excess all the time, we will be limited in how far we can go in yoga.

As our desire/bhakti calls us to a higher purpose, it becomes clear what direction we should gently favor to progress. Notice I said "gently favor." Not condemn, fear, self-hate, chastise, etc. We just learn some good methods and favor them systematically. That is how enlightenment is achieved, no matter what level we are working at -- by gently favoring our ideal in each moment we realize we have strayed off a bit. If we develop the habit of gently favoring our ideal and practice, all can be accomplished. We learn how to do this with the method of deep meditation in the lessons. Then the habit of favoring expands into all areas of our life. AYP is the art of gentle persuasion applied through time-tested techniques that promote human spiritual transformation.

Regarding homosexuality, while this has not been my personal lifestyle, the principles of tantra are clearly beyond such distinctions. For example, celibates have a clear path to enlightenment, as do heterosexuals. Neither is inferior to the other. The principles underlying both are the same, and the methods are similar. If you review the tantra lessons, you will see that this is so. Brahmacharya is the key, which is preservation and cultivation of sexual energy. See lesson #T9 on this. There is no reason why homosexuals cannot travel the road to enlightenment within the lifestyle they are living. I am sure many have over the centuries. The sitting practices will be just the same, including those that cultivate the expansion of sexual function upward in the nervous system. The holdback method (#T4), blocking (#T5), count method (#T23) and other aspects of tantra yoga can all be applied in homosexual relations.

The goal in the tantra lessons is to provide principles and practices that can be used successfully in any lifestyle. AYP does not endorse any particular lifestyle. Neither does it condemn any that does not willfully harm others.

I wish you all success on your chosen spiritual path. Enjoy!

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed instructions on the methods of tantra in relation to the broad scope of yoga practices and the enlightenment process, see the AYP Tantra book, and AYP Plus.

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