Advanced Yoga Practices
Tantra Lessons - Expanded and Interactive
Lesson T1 - What is Tantra
T1.1 - When is the Best Time to begin Tantric Sexual Techniques?
Jan 25, 2004
It is funny, you know, how a perception has crystallized as tantra yoga has crept toward
the mainstream of our modern society. The common perception for most these days is that
tantra is about sex -- better sex, more ecstatic sex, more "spiritual sex." So
the call of tantra has become, "Sex, sex, sex!" Do we have one-track minds, or
what? It is natural enough. For most of us, the peak experience of our life is found in
the sex act, particularly in the overwhelming pleasure of orgasm. So it is no surprise
that we are a culture obsessed with sex - usually for it, sometimes against it, and
always in awe of it. We all know that sex somehow connects us with a greater dimension of
what we are. It is a fact that sex binds us together in love, family, and ultimately our
spiritual life. So, of course we are obsessed with sex. It lies at the root of everything
we are. It defines us. A deep desire we all have is to merge permanently with the ecstasy
contained in this thing called "sex."
To unravel the ultimate mystery of sex, we will be wise to take a broad view of it. This
is where tantra comes in.
What if I told you that tantra is mainly about meditation, pranayama, bandhas, mudras and
asanas? All the things we have been talking about in AdvancedYogaPractices. It is true
that tantra is mainly about those things. Yes, it is about sex too, as we have been facing
up to in the main group lessons since early on. We have not skirted the issue of sex as it
relates to the overall enlightenment process. Indeed, enlightenment is not possible if our
sexuality is not brought into the process of yoga -- the process of union between our
inner divine self and the outer world. In cultivating our nervous system toward that, the
role of sexual energy must be addressed.
Tantra means "woven together," or "two fullnesses as one." It means
the same as yoga really, with some intimacy added. Tantra recognizes from the start that
there are two poles to be ecstatically merged for enlightenment to occur - father
heaven and mother earth, masculine and feminine energies, shiva and shakti, yin and yang
- and that these two poles are contained in us, in our nervous system. We have
already discussed this from various practical angles in the lessons of
Tantra yoga is the broadest of all the yoga systems that approach life as two realities to
be joined in the human nervous system. Included within tantra yoga are mantra yoga,
kundalini yoga, hatha yoga, ashtanga (eight-limbed) yoga, and others. The practices
contained in these traditional yoga systems comprise what is called the
"right-handed" side of tantra yoga. Then there is the "left-handed"
side of tantra yoga, which is concerned with infusing pure bliss consciousness into the
indulgences of sensual life in the material world. The left-handed side is not opposed to
sensual indulgences. In fact, it takes advantage of them for spiritual purposes. The
left-handed side is sort of the underbelly of yoga, the part that upstanding citizens are
supposed to stay away from. That is the traditional view anyway. That was before the
"hip generation" got a hold of tantra. Now it is respectable to practice
left-handed tantra. At least in the West it is. Maybe westerners don't have anything to
lose, being so immersed in material living to begin with. Why not bring the spiritual side
into material living? Let's have our cake and eat it too. It's got left-handed tantra
written all over it.
So, in the lessons here we will take a closer look at left-handed tantra as it pertains to
sexual methods. What you will find is that we will be connecting with things we have
already discussed in the main group. We have done a full work-up on kundalini ("a code word for sex") over there, and begun stimulating
sexual energy upward into the nervous system with important advanced yoga practices such
as mulabandha, sambhavi, siddhasana and yoni mudra kumbhaka. All of these have been worked
into the twice-daily routine of practices to be undertaken in steps according to our
Everything we have done so far has been from the root on up, above siddhasana, which is
systematic stimulation at the perineum. Now, we are going to go below siddhasana, so to
speak. It is necessary. For if we do not get a handle on the huge flows of prana involved
in the sex act, we may find that we are limited in what we can accomplish spiritually in
our nervous system. This does not mean we have to entertain the dreaded "C" word
(celibacy). It does mean we will consider some intelligent methods to bring our sexual
activities more in line with our spiritual aspirations. In fact, you may be surprised to
find that intelligent spiritual sex can be far more enjoyable than the run-of-the-mill
kind of sex which is sometimes characterized by the words, "Wham, bam, thank you
So, let's get into it.
Addition T1.1 - When is the Best
Time to begin Tantric Sexual Techniques?
May 4, 2020
Q: I've been doing the AYP
practises for several months now. It is going really well. I have read the
first two Enlightenment Series books and integrated the Deep Meditation and
Spinal Breathing Pranayama into my twice-per-day routine. Do you think it
would be wise to start the third book and practises (Tantra) already, or
would it be wiser to take it more slowly?
I feel better than ever before in my life. I'm
in mid 30s. Depression is gone. Just this glow and wanting to help everyone.
So thank you for creating this system.
Would appreciate your guidance. Thanks.
A: You have a good starting
routine there. As long as results are good, it is suggested not to be in a
hurry to change anything. Piling on too much practice too soon can actually
be counter-productive, leading to overload, discomfort, etc. Self-pacing of
practices is a very important part of the process, perhaps the most
important, as you will no doubt find out.
While the Tantra book is next in the
Enlightenment Series, it is more of an ad hoc (as needed) approach for
cultivating the spiritual aspects of whatever sexual lifestyle one may be in
-- not a daily structured practice like spinal breathing and deep
meditation. So best to read it for information purposes rather than for what
practice to do next. You will know when it is time to begin applying tantric
sexual techniques, according to your own need, and results from your sitting
practices. Practicing deep meditation over time, cultivating the rise of
abiding inner silence, will make tantric techniques more effective, as the
preservation and cultivation of sexual essences will happen more and more in
stillness, which is the ideal foundation for cultivating ecstatic energy.
The next book after Tantra covers Asanas, and
this may be more appropriate for you at this time. Adding a light set of
yoga postures before spinal breathing and deep meditation can be very
helpful for assisting with the inner purification and opening of the subtle
neurobiology. If you are so inclined, try some light asanas (also covered in
Lesson 71), and then see how it goes. Probably not
much with mudras and bandhas yet, which are also covered in the Asanas book.
One step at a time.
Once you have the asana piece in and stable for
a few months at least, then you have the option to look at mudras and
bandhas (stimulating energetic awakening), or skip to Samyama (next book),
which is very compatible with deep meditation, and can bring additional
positive results, gradually cultivating our daily life to experienced as
"stillness in action," which can improve the quality of our actions in all
aspects of life, and is very liberating. Whatever you do next is your call.
Tantric sexual techniques will come when and as
needed. You will know when it is time. Maybe they will not be needed at all.
It varies from person to person. Tantra, after all, covers the full range of
yoga practices, as discussed in Lesson T1 above. This does not mean that all
practices are needed to promote human spiritual transformation. Deep
meditation is the only essential practice. From there, all the rest will
happen as needed. In stillness, our subtle neurobiology knows best what it
needs to fully awaken.
The advice is to take your time and be
methodical in adding one step at a time, and waiting to stabilize each
addition for at least a few months. You are obviously doing this already,
which is very good. It is best to think about the path in terms of years,
not weeks or months. Rome was not built in a day.
The journey of human spiritual transformation is
a marathon, not a sprint. Very well worth it for those who have the patience
and discipline to make the entire journey. AYP is for providing means,
assistance and understanding at every stage along the way.
Wishing you all the best on your path!
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed
instructions on the methods of tantra,
Tantra Online Book.