Friday, July 17, 2009

Is That Atemporal Tantra You're Having?

A lot of people associate the term Tantra with sex; vastly improved sex, if the marketing materials are to be believed (and some of them are definitely not to be believed!)

As one respected academic who researches and writes about the esoteric depths of Tantric philosophy (David Gordon White) notes:

(Phony, modern) "Tantra is about ritualizing sex", whereas original Tantric practices where about "sexualizing ritual".

Beyond the standard "beats filling your sinuses with oily incense" .... what's up (pun fully intended) with that??

Are sex and spirituality mutually exclusive?

Au contraire -- Tantric philophies and systems are arguably the most ancient spiritual systems in the world ... and were developed long before sex stopped being seen as a natural aspect of life - every bit as natural (strange as it may sound to social conditioning; obvious as it will seem to anyone paying attention and willing to drop social conditioning) as breathing, eating or sleeping.

And, per the meaning of Tantra (from the Sanskrit "Tan" - to expand, and "Tra" - means of saving) -- Mantra is a tool which can be used to be "saved" (back into original consciousness) by mind ("Man", in Sanskrit) -- Yantra is a tool which can be used to be saved by form ("Yan", in Sanskrit), and Tantra is a tool-set which can be usedto be saved by expanding ("Tan", in Sanskrit) awareness via various methods, utilizing body-mind ... including, but not limited to, practices involved breath, bodily position (yogic asanas), mudras, mantras, sex, and whatever else proved useful.

Hence, a conventional meaning, in ancient India, for "Tantra" was also instruction-set, or, if you will: user's guide.

For instance: the Vijnanabhairava Tantra - 112 techniques for accessing conscious awareness of the true natura of Self (just one example amony many).

Which includes, quite actually, becoming aware that awareness itself precedes, supersedes, succeeds, comprises, creates, maintains and dissolves space-time itself.

And, *SAUH* - here's intending All Full-Blown Atemporal Tantra!

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