An article by Lorin Roche
|Tantric sex is meditative sex. You use meditation to open your senses, all of them. This increases your ability to perceive pleasure and give it. You learn to ride your sexual energies into your inner world, the world of the soul, as well as outward into relationship. Then you practice lovemaking as a form of meditation.
In tantra, you stretch your ability to pay attention, you extend your capacity to tolerate the electricity of sex.
The word tantra has interesting resonances. Its usage here is “the teaching,” and is from the Sanskrit tantram, meaning “loom.” There is the image of stretching threads in patterns across the framework of a loom - a tapestry of knowledge. The Indo-European root of the tan in tantram is ten- , to stretch. Thus tantra comes from the same root that gives English the words “attention,” “tender,” “intend,” “entertain,” “intensity,” and “tendon.” Tantra is to stretch ourselves, to extend our capacity for attention to the utmost. Tantra is also the pattern of interconnectedness that we discover when we do so.
The tra of tantra means “technique.” The same root shows up in mantra (manas=mind, + tra=skill, thus, “a tool of thought”). Each verse of a tantra is called a sutra, (there's tra again) which means “thread,” and is cognate with the English “suture,” the thread that joins together. So we are presented with images of skillfully weaving together all the elements of life - mind, body, emotions, breath, soul, individuality and infinity into one tapestry.
Meditation is about taking one thing and going deeper and deeper into it. Ask your body to teach you and to lead you into the realm of these experiences. If you ask, life will lead you for these are all sensory experiences, and all have to do with how life maintains life. Breath is, after all, something that we do thousands of times a day. Meditation invites us into a deeper relationship with breath, with the pulsing of our hearts and emotions. Meditation is taking a wondering, appreciative attitude toward sensing rather than taking it for granted. This manner of inquiry - wondering, posing questions to life, is an essential aspect of meditation. The attitude that this tantra advocates is simple - a completely undefended looking at and feeling into the essential activities of life: joy, sorrow, breathing, loving, walking, dancing, sleeping, exploring. Meditation is diving into your entire sensorium so fearlessly that you go beyond it into the core of your being and rest there.
Tantric practices awaken us to perceiving the loom of life, the radiant threads of light and substance that connect everything to everything, everywhere to everywhere. These threads or strings seem to be made out of vibration. They are because they resonate. When our senses have, through love and meditation, become saturated with love, then they weave together the apparent opposites of body and soul, head and heart, inner and outer.