"I knew this all along but I didn't trust it", she said, with her eyes welling up with tears, both in disbelief and in relief.
For how many years had she abandoned herself. Ten, twenty, thirty?
If only she knew then what she knows now. Would it, could it have been any different?
It's as if this something was already hidden within her body, within her very gentics. They knew. The body knew.
As I stand in front of women and men, whether its at womens events or a couples retreat, this is the most common response to information we share about the fundamentals of Tantra. (You can view the essence of it in my ted talk here)
There really are so many interpretations of this topic. Following is an excerpt from our Tantric Sex and Menopause.
For us Tantra is essentially this: the ancient art of awareness (mindfulness) applied to the self and to the body - in daily life, as well as in sex.
Awareness directed into the body immediately, almost magically, creates expansion rather than contraction, and requires being conscious moment by moment rather than the mechanical repeating of patterns.
And the miracle of awareness (or mindfulness) is that it has the power to transform your life, dramatically improve its quality, and increase your self-love and your joy. A Tantric awareness amplifies sensuality and can be brought into play at any time of the day (or night!) as an individual,
independently of a partner. And this ‘moment to moment’ awareness is especially powerful when
incorporated into lovemaking.
The essence of Tantric knowledge is that each individual is a complete ‘magnetic unit’
within themselves. The body carries two equal and opposite energy poles; one in the heart/chest
area, and one in the genital area. One pole is male, which is inherently dynamic or ‘positive’ and
has the power ‘to raise energy’ - to awaken vitality. It’s important to note that dynamic does not
mean active or activity. Dynamic means there is an inherent capacity to flow that occurs without
actively doing anything, and arises of its own accord and comes into play when an environment
conducive to its response is created. Sometimes this may happen spontaneously, however it is
possible, through awareness, to consciously create the situation.
The corresponding female pole is inherently receptive or ‘negative’, with the power to
absorb, to receive, to take in. Again here, it’s important to note that receptive does not mean
passive and unengaged. It means to be fully present, yet non-doing. And these two powers –
dynamic and receptive – are ‘equal’ forces. And, at the same time, they are ‘opposite’ forces that
complement each other, and work in unison, as one single unit, as two parts of one whole.
In the last few decades the truth that each individual carries both male and female elements
has been established through chromosome studies - however this highly significant Tantric
understanding is ancient and dates back well over 10,000 years.
So, applying this ancient knowledge to us as woman and men, how does it work?
For women, our breasts are the source of our feminine vitality, not the vagina, which is a grave misconception. When we bring our breasts, and in particular, our nipples, into our awareness, in lovemaking, or any time, we are activating that natural force that resides in our bodies. when you think of it, sex often becomes genitally focussed, which then misses this integral part of our bodies. Thus, many women feel that they can close down, because, well, nothing seems to be happening in a sexual sense. But if she can almost meditatively 'enter' into her breasts, from the 'inside', she can start to generate a whole natural overflow into her genitals. It happens naturally. So we call our breasts, our 'positive or male' pole because energy flows from there down to our 'receptive' pole, the vagina.
And for men, naturally, their 'male or dynamic, positive' pole is in his penis, or more accurately, it is at the base of his penis. It is here that energy for men rises. So for him, it's a natural thing that all his awareness is in the genital area. And this is where it gets confusing for women. And men actually. We think that's where we should be when it comes to a woman's body - like men, in the genital area. The good thing for men to realise is that while this sexual vitality is raised in the genitals, their 'receptive' area is in the heart, the chest. But for men to cultivate his awareness of the heart/chest area, it's helpful to sense this energy moving upwards, not trying to make it move, but just sensing that it can.
What we each must realise, and have patience for, is that it takes TIME for this energy that is raised to move from the positive/dynamic to the receptive/negative. And this is where slow, relaxing, mindful sex, comes to the fore. This allows time for the energy to move to the receptive and where love can start to flow as a natural consequence of giving each other time.
The Magic of it
The thing is ... if love itself does not become part of your experience, then what's the point? When the body relaxes, love automatically is the by product. And this is really where we are heading right?
With so many interpretations of what Tantra is, we can sometimes get focussed on the 'technique', on getting somewhere, rather than on the heart and what generates love. if you interersted in generating love, reconnecting and healing on a profound level, then consider coming to The Making Love Retreat.
I also go into more detail on Tantric and self care practices specifically for women at the Womantime Retreat, if you would like to know more about this nourishing women's only retreat- read more here.
You can purchase my book, Tantric Sex and Monopause here >>
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