Advanced Yoga Practices
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Tantra - Much More Than Better Sex (Audio)
July 22, 2010
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?"
While the Western
tantra has been firmly entrenched in the view that
it is about "better sex,"
those who have been around the block a few times know that sex is
only one aspect of the total landscape of tantra.
Better sex? Yes.
As we pointed out in the
very first tantra lesson, this ancient system covers
the full gamut of practices, overlapping into the many variations of yoga,
as well as all the other systems of spiritual practice in the world. In
fact, we could say that all systems have borrowed (or mirrored parts) from tantra, and most represent part of the whole of tantra. The same can be said
for the Western slant on tantra, taking it as an
approach to elevating sexuality to spiritual practice
("neo-tantra"). It is all well and good, but
better to be aware of the whole, even as we exercise our inclinations
in the parts.
In the end, our progress will
not depend on how well we did with our tantric sexual practice alone. It
will depend on how effective we have been in utilizing a well-balanced
routine of across-the-board daily practices over the long term deep
meditation, spinal breathing pranayama, asanas, mudras, bandhas, samyama,
self-inquiry, and so on. Tantric sexual methods have a role to play in this,
and the approaches and techniques in these lessons have been designed to
support a variety of lifestyles.
Our spiritual progress will also depend on how we have gone out and
engaged in the world in our own particular way, infusing the purification
and opening cultivated during our structured practices. While we may find
inner silence (the witness) and a great amount of freedom resulting from our
daily sitting practices, it will be through action in the world that we will
find a full integration of the inner and outer aspects of human spiritual
transformation. It is through engaging in daily activity that we move our
perception of life from "I am That," to "You are
"All this is That."
There are two sides to the process of
yoga, tantra, and the enlightenment
matter what terminology may be used to describe it. It is
always the same
process, because it is
always the same nervous system we are working with, wherever we may be in
the world. The two sides are:
Ecstatic Conductivity and Radiance (kundalini)
The energetic side of our existence, also
called the life force, or
prana. It is awakened and evolves
through pranayama, physical practices (asanas, mudras, bandhas), and
tantric sexual methods, which go directly to awaken the great storehouse
of prana in the body, the sexual neurobiology in the pelvic region.
Ecstatic conductivity becomes "radiant" as it carries
abiding inner silence into daily activity. This is the natural marriage
of stillness with energetic flow.
While we have focused on the sexual aspects in these tantra lessons, we
have also focused on the full scope of tantra in the main lessons. This
broad coverage of tantric methods is analogous with the eight limbs of yoga.
The objective has been to provide
access to all
aspects of spiritual practice,
which anyone can apply with good results in modern
If we have done our job as self-directed practitioners,
we will find both aspects of human spiritual transformation occurring and
merging in us, and in daily life. This leads to a
state of freedom and great loving effectiveness while fully engaged in the
world. We have called it an outpouring of divine love, and also "stillness
It doesn't matter where we begin this journey. We may
begin with meditation, or postures and breathing exercises, or in devotional
service to another.
For a many, it begins with sex. This is why the
sexual aspects of tantra have received what some may consider a
disproportionate amount of attention in the AYP writings. It is because so
many are drawn to spirituality via the sexual experience.
of practices, many will still
a taste of spiritual ecstasy in sexual release.
Harnessing and integrating this ecstatic quality into a full-scope system of
spiritual practices serves to greatly deepen and expand the experience. With
rising experience, we are spurred to go deeper into our own process of human
Yes, It begins with sex for many. There is
a doorway in us leading from sensuality to spirituality. When we know how to
expand sensuality into our higher inner realms, we will see it dissolve into
full time ecstatic bliss, and then gradually transcended to something even
greater than that. We have to keep going until we find out what
We can only
That is the journey.
While we may find a great adventure and a lot
of excitement while traveling the spiritual path, ultimately, we will move
beyond fixations on sensory experiences, and on the myriad inner experiences
that may accompany the purification and opening that occurs in us as we
advance on the path of practices. This is a "moving beyond," not a pushing
away, or an artificial renunciation. It may not even represent significant
changes in our daily activities. But something changes, and that is what
brings the enlightenment and the freedom. It is the gradual fading of
identification of our awareness with the inner and outer objects of
The permanent uncaused joy that arises within us exceeds
joy we may have with objects in our
physical, mental and emotional environments. In fact, our perception of all
objects will fluctuate, seeming "good" at times and "bad" at other times.
Meanwhile, the inner joy continues all the while, once we have cultivated it
in practices. Eventually, our labeling and attachment to "good and bad"
melts in the
permanent inner silence and radiant
joy that never change, no matter what may be going on in our life.
This is not a cold dispassion that occurs, but a
radiant loving dispassion that is able to give much. It certainly enriches
our relationships, and our lovemaking, whenever we happen to be engaged in
that way. The further we move along in our spiritual evolution, the more
effective the techniques of tantric sex become. It is like that with all
spiritual practices. Less becomes more. A smile or a hug can set the cosmos
in motion in waves of ecstatic bliss. At least from our perspective, it
comes to be experienced that way. For what is existence anyway, except what
we see it to be? The methods of tantra and yoga are about elevating our
seeing to the infinite, and beyond.
come to know existence as divine polarity in
constant ecstatic union. Continuous divine lovemaking
occurring within us everywhere. It is the paradox of
infinite unmoving divine, forever moving in
creative expression. We find we are everything and
nothing at the same time, expressing and transcending
everything in the endless dance of stillness. We are
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
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.