In Sanskrit, Tantra means “netting, web”. It can be translated in many other ways, for example: “a fundamental for increasing consciousness”. The word is made up from the root “tan” that means expansion and from “tanto” that means string or wire. In the Tantric view, the entire physical and mental universe is perceived as a weave in which the parts unify in a whole and in which the whole reflects its parts.
Tantra is different from the other religions and philosophic teachings as it brings forward the personal experience, the present moment, which it permanently transforms in oceanic joy. This is why the tantric mysticism is based on the concrete, it is deeply connected to the reality we live.
Tantra is a life celebration, a feast of “now and here”, of what happens regardless what or how it occurs. It is a cult of nature and life in which no aspect is denied: inside, outside, joy, sorrow, laughter, weeping, anger, confidence, doubt, shadow and light. Tantra is neither repression nor impiety, knowing that one is the other one's vector. It is what it is in a conscious way.
Applied in a couple, Tantra is a kind of meditation performed in two that finds its source within the unification between the feminine and masculine principles and whose dynamics is the sexual energy. It is an invitation to discovering the sacred dimension of the amorous meeting and a means of making the body, the soul and the consciousness vibrate in unison. This cannot be achieved in a single day. It is a path of engaging in every moment. It is the art of intensely living each moment of life as if it was the last one.
Tantra is neither a philosophy nor a religion in the dogmatic meaning of this term. It does not oppose to either of them. It is an essential spiritual experience. It is religious in the sense of binding again. It re-establishes the link between up and down, between the sky and the earth, between the sex and the divine consciousness. In its profound nature, Tantra is a science, a unitary experience of the body, the soul and the mind. It shows us a spiritual path whose practice generates a checkable experience of expansion of consciousness that allows liberation.
The following principle in Tantra is described by Lama Govinda: “Good and the evil, sacred and profane, sensuality and spirituality, material and transcendental, samsara (ignorance) and nirvana (enlightenment) are not completely opposite, but two faces of the same reality.” This fundamental distinguishes Tantra from the majority of the spiritual paths that separate the sacred and the profane, the love and the desire, the spirituality and the materialism. Tantra makes disappear the gap between sin and virtue; it unifies “what it is” with “what it should be” and it reveals the inseparable continuity of spirit into matter, of mind into body and of the infinite into finite, of what is beyond with what is here, of the eternal “to be” in its becoming “in time”.
From this perspective, Tantra aims to use each part of life as a tool on the path of spiritual evolution because it does not deny the primary processes such as: sleep, feeding, the removal of excretions or the sexual needs. The energy of passion and desire should not be lost but controlled.
“Each process, each desire, no matter how unevolved they could be, bear a spark of sacredness that Tantra aims to identify and bring forward.”
The practice of Tantrism involves a rigorous discipline
The awakening, increasing and, especially, the control of the sexual force need a rigorous discipline. First, this implies unchaining from our own conditionings, fears, prejudices, taboos, negative emotions in a state of self-love and peace with our inner being.
The practice of meditation and the breathe control are an excellent training from this perspective. There are numerous methods and secret initiations, which, once we have started the tantric path, we can access and successfully practice.
However, making love consciously is not just a fundamental but rather an art within which it is essential to devote with whole our being and to completely and lucidly abandon ourselves in order to fully feel what occurs in the heart and to go deeper inside each time as deeper we go inside, closer we are to the Divine Self.