Tantra

Find out more from Shawn Roop about Tantra Quest's approach to Tantra

What is Tantra?

Shiva/Shakti

The merge of heaven and earth, as taught by Tantra Quest founder, Shawn Roop

Tantra is a system that comes from India that developed around the 5th century, reaching its peak in around 1200. Some point to the 4th Buddha, Saraha, as the enlighten human who first learned Tantra from a female Arrow Smith who shared with him the great magic and wisdom of the teachings of Shiva and Shakti. Tantra seeks to find balance in opposites. The merging of masculine and feminine, light and dark, as well as both fierce and graceful aspects of nature. Tantra supports liberation of the mind and body as they merge into one. It seeks to remove the divisions that keep us from our full magnificence.

Tantra is a holistic approach towards living life and finding union in communication, emotions, spirituality, psychology, sexuality, psychic ability, self-healing, relationships and material success. It includes sacred art (Yantra), music (Mantra or Japa), movement (yoga or mudra) advanced breathing (pranayama) and so much more.  This sacred practice is huge in scope. There’s much confusion to those first learning Tantra due to its rich history of mysticism and ritual.

The more one sets out to learn, the more one can find libraries of ancient text, scriptures and sutras. It’s deeply rooted in (what’s now known as) Hindu deities and tradition, ancient aboriginal practices, and yogic approaches. The teachings of Mahamudra Tantra release many from the need to put Tantra into specific box.  It offers freedom to explore and experience life in full awareness, with bliss and ecstasy, while having success on all levels of life.  To be able to witness we are not ruled by karma but rather allow karma to be our teacher as we learn each footstep on this planet creates a ripple effect.

Living life in the blissful moments of awareness allows less karmic debt to be gathered, as our eyes are more open to see both the inner and outer universe.The ability to see all that life has to offer is powerful insight that guides us towards simple joy and bliss. The simplest things in life can seem so complicated. Moving out of our own way is key to fully unlocking the secrets of Tantra. You have most likely already experience the beautiful nature this life has to offer.

Tantra gives us the roadmap to experience this more often, and with practice of full awareness, can obtain life in a constant state of ecstatic nature. In the United States, there’s a large movement over the past 40 years that has illuminated Tantra after years of being kept in great secrecy. Social norms have created a population that has repressed the natural and sacred aspects of sexuality.  Tantra offers clear wisdom for using sexual energy in all aspects of life.  As social transformation is occurring, more and more people look to be educated in the arts of higher sexual energy.  As this information is becoming more available, the context of Tantric wisdom has been somewhat diluted, and techniques of advanced sexual union have come to the forefront.

Most Western beginning students of Tantra are looking to receive sexual technique that will allow them to become a better lover or experience more sexual pleasure.  Although this is a wonderful residual effect of practicing Tantra, the totality of Tantra is often overlooked. Connecting to and using sexual energy is like tapping into an endless source electricity.  To just keep this electricity at the source is wasting the full potential of using this energy across the whole body.  Nevertheless, Tantra allows us to not only create and move this energy, but also looks at things that might limit this energy so that we can correct it. Using this same metaphor, the full practice of Tantra allows us to transform and grow as we become able to produce more positive electricity.

Tantra FAQ’s

Q: So the question is, is Tantra about sex?  
The answer is yes and so much more.  Sex is a very limited aspect of Tantra yet is very powerful all the same. To understand why Tantra and sex are related, a new definition of sex is needed. Tantra explores sex far beyond the act. In fact, the act is rarely spoke about, it’s more the meditative, magical and energetic aspects to speaks of. Sex is often spoke of as a way to reach no mindedness and entering into the place of all creation.

Q: Can I use Tantra to have better sex?  
Yes, but why limit yourself to just great sex when you can have great life. Pleasure is just a part of it. Tantra has 3 levels of experience: pleasure, joy and bliss. Pleasure is external, Joy is internal and bliss is spiritual. This is a very import part in understand sexual teaching in Tantra. Not all pleasure brings us joy. Not all joy leads us to bliss. So, one increases pleasure, and stays aware of what opens us to joy. Being aware of the state of joy unlocks bliss. I know, it sounds overly simple, that’s because it is simple.

Q: I have heard Tantra is NOT about sex, is that true?
There are practices of Tantra that do not include the sexual teachings as many might think. Even in celibate Tantric practices, use of sexual energy is still taught, it is just used for your own spiritual growth. Today there are three main areas of teachings…

White Tantra a very spiritual approach that includes ritual, pure, self practice, yoga, breathing, Mudra, chanting and esoteric studies. More internal, and very Zen like.

Red Tantra- tribal, sexual, hedonistic, heavy emphasis on ritual, esoteric, and earthly. Takes more of an external, natural perspective.

Pink Tantra- A more modern, western hybrid of white and red Tantra. Has become very popular with a New Age movement as it attempts to merge spiritual practice and sexual practice as a seamless form. Seen as taking the best of both worlds Tantra has to offer.

Q: Do I have to commit to Tantra for a lifetime of practice? 
The life path of Tantra is not for everyone. I like to think of it this way… if you are going to martial arts class for one month, you will not come away with a black belt; however you may learn a few techniques that you could use for the rest your life. Tantra is the same, there are multiple lifetimes of lessons you can explore, but there are also very simple and practical techniques that will support your life today, now. So the answer is no, you don’t have to commit to anything, however you might find its fun committing to a practice that supports every aspect of your well-being.

Q: Is Tantra a cult?

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary lists five different meanings of the word “cult”:

1. formal religious veneration. Worship.
2. system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
3. a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
4. a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator
5. a great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b: a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

Similarly, the Random house dictionary lists: 1. a particular system of religion, especially with referring to its rites and ceremonies   2. a group that devotes itself or venerates a person, ideal, fad, etc.   3. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist   4. the members of such a religion or sect

So sure, you could say that Tantra is a cult, but most people don’t use Cult in this way. It usually is in reference to anything that is counterculture to Orthodox Christian type beliefs or those who are psychologically and more financially exploited by group or an individual. Tantra can be perceived by many as a negative type cult due to their lack of knowledge or education. Most people who practice Tantra are very empowered individuals who seek to connect deeper with other Tantricas because of the profound experiences one can have with one who is also on Tantric path. Some take this to extremes, and like any extreme, it can become extremist.  Many modern Tantricas seek to experience the middle path, the path of non-duality.

Q: Can you practice Tantra without a partner?

Yes! Tantra is very much about the inner journey. The more one begins to identify with the internal, the more one has to offer in relationship. The idea here is learning to love yourself more gives you greater ability to love others. Clearing the path and having your own deep personal relationship with yourself has huge benefits. Very much of the Tantric wisdom available supports Tantra without a partner. Self-practice is still an extremely important part of Tantra even if you are in relationship.

Q: I am in a same-sex relationship, can Tantra is still be useful?

Yes! Tantra works on the principle of polarity, and most same-sex relationships follow polarity. One of the wonderful aspects that is so appealing to many about Tantra is it offers great wisdom in maintaining healthy relationships. The truth is relationships are relationships. Tantra very useful for all people.

Q: But what’s so different about normal sex and Tantric sex? 

Nothing and everything. Normal sex is great, it feels good and allows us to connect deeply to who are with. It’s pleasurable, passionate and exciting. Tantric sex expands on more than just the pleasurable aspects of sex and takes it more to an intense and rich level. It merges spirituality and sexuality as one. It allows you to have profound experiences that are more on a constant basis. It heightens your awareness beyond the normal levels and enhances overall well-being. It takes pleasure to the new place. It offers extreme healing, deep integration and huge awakenings. The more one experiences Tantric sex, the more possibilities of releasing limitations that are decades old, maybe even centuries old. It provides an opportunity for core issues in our psychology to be eliminated so that we may be in our full God/Goddess state. Physically speaking, Tantric sex allows us to extend lovemaking and interpersonal connections. It’s a deeper way to communicate. The teachings go into detail about the benefits of surrendering and flowing your energy, relaxing your body, breathing and using sound while moving your body in sexual union while have greater awareness and non-judgment. It offers men and women greater possibility to become multi-orgasmic. It calls for greater intuition is a lover and releases us from limiting goals. 

Q: As a man, does this mean if I practice Tantra, I will never have another ejaculation?

No. Tantra offers great wisdom and techniques to support you in maintaining high orgasmic states found just before ejaculation.  The means being able to ride the orgasmic wave rather than having the wave crash on you. Extending this area of orgasmic peaks becomes just as addictive as the feeling of ejaculation release. Allowing yourself to master the moment of ejaculation is beneficial not only to yourself, but also to your partner in your ability to extend their pleasure, thus sharing a grand ride.  An ejaculation is a sacred offering, becoming more aware and mastering your ability to make a decision of when to ejaculation is a skill that offers benefits on many levels. This is called ejaculation mastery. It’s your choice.

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