What is Tantra? by Tia

What is Tantra? by Tia
April 2, 2017 Laurie

What is Tantra?

Though there are differing ideas about when and where Tantra originated, current evidence is that it emerged in India around 320–550 CE. There are indications though, that it may be quite a bit older, having roots in the ancient Vedas of 1500-1000 BCE. The word Tantra is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘tan’ meaning to weave, spin and expand outward. Thus, as a spiritual path, it relates to the concept of weaving together the threads of our nature and then expanding out into a more unified whole. Regardless of its beginnings and how it has unfolded over the millennia, one thing is certain: Tantra has taken on many incarnations throughout the ages and has permeated throughout a number of different paths including Hinduism, Buddhism and Yogic traditions. It truly does seem to weave and expand!

Unlike many religious and spiritual paths that negate the body and its desires, Tantra takes the approach that one should not reject pleasure but rather embrace it. With proper practices, Tantra shares the view that sexual energy can be practiced as a sacrament, thereby transforming vital sexual “life force” energy into a means of moving towards spiritual awakening. In this context, sexual relations become sacred…

This is a very beautiful concept and here in the “West” many of us have run with it! With America’s long, puritanical history of making sex sinful, bad and wrong, some of us have said enough of that. We choose to embrace the idea that sex is sacred, that pleasure is a God-given right and that feeling fully is not only healthy but vital to our wellbeing. Though practitioners of ancient Tanta may not be in agreement with our focus on the sexuality piece, we are at the very least beginning to understand the great power of our sexual energy and how it can be used for good. In light of this, a term has emerged in reference to our more sexually oriented version of Tantra called “neo-Tantra”. This is used primarily to differentiate between eastern Tantric practices and more “new age” practices.

So yet again, Tantra has been true to itself in its ability to weave and expand, bringing pieces of its wisdom in to new expression and another incarnation… 