What is Tantra and how can it be used to help us lift the consciousness and live a more balanced, joyful life? The word Tantra means expansion. It is a Sanskrit word, connected to an Indian spiritual path, Tantra Yoga. The ultimate goal of Tantra Yoga is the Divine Union between the goddess Shakti and god Shiva. Shakti, also called Kundalini, is in the base of the spine.
In her form as Kundalini she is seen as a cobra, coiled 3 1/2 times, asleep. As Shakti, she is the divine feminine, passionate, strong, an incredibly creative force to be reckoned with. The Divine Union takes place as the Kundalini snake starts waking up at the base of the spine, gradually uncoiling herself as she rises up the spine. She pierces each chakra (7 energy centers in the body) in her undulating movement upward, and meets god Shiva, seen as pure consciousness, at the top of the head. Their merging ends the longing for wholeness. The dance of Shakti and Shiva symbolizes the coming together of the feminine and masculine energies inside a person, as well as the creation of the world.
In Tantric teachings the sexual energy at the base of the spine is seen as the seed of our spirituality. As we fully say yes to our sexual energy, we give it a chance to expand into ecstasy. Having our permission to exist, this energy starts moving up the spine, longing to be met, connecting with the energies in each chakra, creating a rainbow inside and all around us. Finally, it reaches the crown, having grown and matured, to meet its spiritual counterpart, pure consciousness. Ecstasy, silence, and unconditional Love expand through our bodies into our daily life. The Tantric path is an all-inclusive path, it includes everything that is happening.
It is about saying “yes” to what is happening, rather than denying it, judging it, rationalizing it, excusing it. If there is a feeling of anger, I say “yes” to its existence and create a ritual around it. Saying “yes” to anger does not mean expressing it in harmful ways. Only after I acknowledge that there is anger, the next step reveals itself to me. Accepting what is brings us deeper to ourselves. The denial of it creates separation. If I’m having a bad day, and I accept it, the acceptance of it opens the possibility for the experience to shift. The full acceptance of a good experience deepens the feelings. Sometimes, saying “yes” to a positive feeling and the deepening of it gives room to an underlying old emotion and/or traumatic memory to come forward. Because in our culture unpleasant emotions are labeled as “unacceptable” and “undesirable”, we tend not to see this as a good thing.
So, when an “undesirable” emotion comes up in us, we have a choice: either to deny it, try to push it down, pretend it is not there, drink alcohol, smoke a cigarette, or eat sugar to repress it, or to let it come up and be fully felt, knowing that this old emotion is surrounded and held by ecstasy. When we accept this emotion and feel it fully, it dissolves back into its original state, which is ecstasy. Imagine yourself leaning back into the emotion. You will feel it intensely for a while. Feeling an emotion is not the same as expressing it. When you are feeling it, you are looking in, becoming aware of what is inside, and allowing it to be there. When you are expressing it, you are going into action. Many times, we don’t realize that we have a choice, that we could choose to feel an emotion without repressing it and without immediately expressing it.
The Tantric principle is about giving and receiving energy. The giving, outgoing energy is the masculine principle (Shiva); the receptive, inward oriented energy is the feminine principle (Shakti). Because in our culture the outgoing, active energy is connected with men, and the receptive energy with women, we tend to believe that these energies are specific to men and women. This is not so. Both genders have feminine and masculine principles in them. To live in balance, we need both of these energies to be expressed equally within us. And this is the Dance of Shakti and Shiva; the Inner Feminine and Inner Masculine meeting each other in equal terms, after having let go of the old, limiting belief systems.
This article is written by Rabia Erduman. CHT, RPP, CMT, BAA Born in Turkey, raised there and in Germany, Rabia Erduman has a BA in Psychology, is a Certified Hypnotherapist, a Registered Polarity Practitioner, and a Visionary Craniosacral Worker. She teaches Intuitive Touch, Polarity Therapy, Tantra, and Spiritual Awakening workshops. Rabia is a Health and Wellness Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance (MBHA). For more information about MBHA, contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com. Graphic art and photographs by http://www.Pixabay.com
Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.