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Lesson T2 - Meditation, Bhakti and Tantric Sex  (Audio)

Jan 27, 2004

It was not an arbitrary choice that way back in the beginning of the main lessons we started out discussing desire and meditation. We got our desire focused enough to get started meditating. The process of diving deep into pure bliss consciousness in meditation brings up silent awareness and an instinctive recognition in our nervous system. This recognition resonates with more yogic knowledge we encounter, and then we have more desire for the divine, which leads us to more practices. This rising desire for divine experience is called "bhakti." Bhakti is a product of our desire, combined with purification occurring in our nervous system. And it is intentional on our part - we enter into the divine desire by our own choice. With daily practices, bhakti goes up like a spiral, spurring us onward into ever-higher levels of yoga practice and divine experience.

What has this got to do with considering tantric sex?

For starters, if we approach so-called tantric sex looking just for better sex, under the best of circumstances that is about all we will get, some better sex. A short-lived victory. If we come to tantric sex on waves of bhakti spawned by our daily routine of advanced yoga practices, then it will be a completely different ball game. Then we will become filled with permanent divine ecstasy. So, the first recommendation regarding tantric sex is to put a strong foundation of daily meditation, pranayama and other advanced yoga practices underneath. Then tantric sex will come naturally, and have real spiritual potential, even before we start doing it.

It was the same thing when we started taking on advanced yoga practices such as mulabandha and siddhasana, both for the purpose of stimulating sexual energy upward into our nervous system. Had we done mulabandha and siddhasana first, before meditation and pranayama, we'd be trying to send energy up through mostly clogged pipes, so to speak, with limited potential for a successful outcome. Better to do some house cleaning first, and continue it daily as we begin to move sexual energy upward into the higher realms of our nervous system. The same thing applies in beginning tantric sex.

How will we know if we are ready for tantric sexual techniques? It is easy enough. We will want to do something regenerative with our sex life. It will become important to us. The more we want it the better it will be. The level of bhakti in us is easy to feel, and easy for others to notice as well. It comes as the nervous system purifies itself as a result of advanced yoga practices. It is a kind of magnetism that rises calling us toward more. It takes a strong call to get us into a new spiritually oriented mode of sexual activity, because we have to do something radical. It takes a radical desire to undertake tantric sex. We are embarking on a journey to alter the course of a mighty river. In tantric sex, we are learning to engage in sex for the purpose of cultivating sexual energy upward, and putting our deeply ingrained obsession for orgasm second. Spiritual cultivation of sexual energy first, orgasm second. A big shift in our aspirations. If our bhakti is strong, we will be able to expand our sexual functioning to a cultivating mode, just as we train our arousal brought up in siddhasana to a much higher function over time. It is like that in tantric sex - a gradual training over a long period of time. Tantric sex is not an overnight accomplishment. It is an evolution over time - over many months and years. As our bhakti strengthens it will happen, because it must to fulfill our journey to enlightenment.

The sexual journey through yoga will not be the same for everyone. It will be as different for each of us as our sexual inclinations are.

For those who are light to moderate in their sex life, there is not a great necessity to introduce yogic methods into sexual relations, though learning tantric sex certainly will enhance lovemaking, and the rest of advanced yoga practices as well. Occasional sex is not much of a deterrent to enlightenment. The traditional methods of yoga (right-handed tantra) discussed in the main lessons will be more than enough to get the job done.

For those who are very active in sex, it is a different story. Though the storehouse of prana in the pelvis is huge, there is a limit to how much one can expel and still be spiritually vibrant. This is especially true for men, where large quantities of prana are released during orgasm with the ejaculation of semen. It is somewhat true for women also, but not anywhere near to the same degree. It is the man who holds the keys to tantric sex, for it is he who experiences the greatest loss of prana during orgasm. Because of this, it is also he who determines the duration of the sexual joining, and, therefore, the extent of cultivation of sexual energy that can occur during lovemaking. While a woman may be filled with bhakti to bring sexual energy higher and higher in herself and her partner, it is the man's bhakti that will determine to what extent this can be accomplished in sexual union. So the roles of a man and woman in tantric sex are somewhat different. Yet, in another way, their roles are the same. For tantric sex to occur, both the man and the woman must be involved in the intelligent management of the man's ejaculation. This is true in the beginning stages of learning tantric sex, and remains true for some time.

In time, and with practice, the man becomes the master of his semen and is no longer dependent on help from his partner to control his ejaculation. When this level of proficiency has been reached, both partners are free to cultivate sexual energy virtually indefinitely - the equivalent of an ongoing super siddhasana, if you will. We have all seen Asian visual art of tantric lovers in union playing musical instruments, reading poetry, meditating, or joined in long loving conversation. This is not usually what we think of in the West as sex, or even tantric sex. Nevertheless, this is what real tantric sex is - long preorgasmic cultivation of sexual energy in lovemaking.

It is important to mention a couple of things.

First, tantric sex does not make a good end in itself. It does not stand alone as yoga practice. By itself, tantric sex is a weak practice for globally purifying the nervous system. Meditation and pranayama are the primary tools for this. Once some purification is coming up, traditional bandhas and mudras, siddhasana and kumbhaka are very useful for stimulating sexual energy upward. This leads to a rise of ecstatic conductivity in the sushumna (spinal nerve) and the thousands of nerves in the body. Tantric sex can play a role in this, especially for sexually active yogis and yoginis. Tantric sex is not something we do to get ourselves to be more sexually active. It is something we can do to improve our yoga if we are already sexually active. So, this discussion is not for the purpose of calling everyone to have more sex in a tantric mode. If you are light to moderate in sex and happy in your advanced yoga practices, you are in very good shape. Don't dive into sexual escapades for the sake of these lessons. These lessons on tantric sex are for people who are sexually active already and are seeking ways to bring their sexual activity into the overall spectrum of their yoga practice.

Second, it may seem like a bad idea to some that we are leaving orgasm somewhat on the back shelf while we develop the ability to cultivate sexual energy endlessly upward. It might seem like we are throwing the baby out with the bath water here. After all, orgasm is the deepest pleasure we have known in our life. This is a normal and valid concern, and we are right to ask,

"What about orgasm? What happens to it?"

These lessons are not anti-orgasm. In fact, the path of Advanced Yoga Practices is a path of pleasure, a path of ecstasy. Orgasm is an ecstatic response in the body that is elicited by a particular type of stimulation - sexual stimulation that is biologically oriented toward reproduction. The condition in the nervous system that we call "enlightenment" is also an ecstatic response in the body that is elicited by a particular type of stimulation - stimulation by advanced yoga practices that is biologically oriented toward the birth of our awareness in unending pure bliss consciousness and divine ecstasy.

Is enlightenment at the expense of orgasm? No, enlightenment is a flowering of orgasm, an expansion of orgasm into endless full bloom in the whole body.

Ramakrishna said that divine ecstasy is like innumerable yonis (female sex organs) in continual orgasm in every atom and pore of our body.

So, while in the beginning it might seem like we are putting something important on the back shelf, what we are really doing in Advanced Yoga Practices is gradually expanding our orgasmic response into the cosmic realms through our purifying and opening nervous system. There we find ecstasy to be unbounded in magnitude and duration. It is only a matter of cultivating our nervous system to reveal what is already there inside us.

It is through our desire that all this is accomplished. Each day we choose our path anew.

Okay, let's get into the specifics of the practices of tantric sex.

The guru is in you.

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Note:  For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the Deep Meditation Online Book. For detailed instructions on the methods of bhakti, see the Bhakti and Karma Yoga Online Book. For detailed instructions on the methods of tantra, see the Tantra Online Book.

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