Misunderstandings around Tantra
There are a lot of misleading information in internet and society, that lead to complete misleading thoughts about Tantra and Tantrism.
That is why we thought to write something more about what Tantra really is according to traditional teachings from Tibet. It is a secret path, which is transmitted from the teacher to student. As a secret knowledge of course it is not a surprise, there are a lot of misleading information everywhere. Nowadays people teaching it are everywhere, but it is worth to know that authentic Tantra is directly connected to traditional Tantric Buddhism teachings from Tibet. Only qualified teachers holding the lineage in Tantric Buddhism and their students are reliable source of knowledge. We want also to highlight what usually is available in internet about Tantra.
Filters on word Tantra
How is tantra understood in society?
Usually this word is connected to sex in society. People understand it as a slower lovemaking or just sex, sometimes as even Kamasutra – sex in weird positions Of course this is totally wrong understanding of Tantra. It is worth to know that sexuality in Tantric Buddhism is just 5%, other 95% are meditation practices and visualisation.
Other interesting thing about this discipline is that it uses the sexual energy as a fuel for transformation. Most of us don’t really know how this should be understood. It is because we mix sexual energy with arousal. Sexual energy in Tantra is not sex itself, it is something broader. That is why open mind is required to discover something new about ourselves. We are much more complicated, many layered and powerful, that we think in reality.
How is Tantra understood in Western spirituality?
Also in Western spirituality we can notice a misuse of Tantra terminology. We apply this word if we speak of shamanic sexuality, sacred sexuality, temple arts or any other spiritual practices.
Misusing the terminology became more a marketing tool for growing the business. It became trendy and is indeed attracting people from all over the world. We can hear a lot of people went to tantric workshops, are tantra masseurs and are how they call the themselves Tantric.
In Western spirituality people speak about it as a path to openness to touch and to other people. It is also often connected to open sexuality and polyamory communities. And indeed it is a path of self-liberation from any kind of obstacles that holds us away from freedom, but not open sexuality itself.
In fact we can practice Tantra alone with no partner and achieve great results. This is a path called White Tantra. Open sexuality and being open to physical contact is also not Tantra.
What is tantra according to Tantric Buddhism?
According to Tantric Buddhism it is a path of transformation. It’s a path of integrating all of the parts of the Self into One. It is the path of transforming all of the shadow into light. Shadow is the suppressed and not wanted part of our psyche.
Simply it is a path of growing in power in order to hep not only yourself but all sentient beings. It is not about your egoistic goals, but about the whole community. The dedication of merits is an important part of Tantric Buddhism and is crucial to develop compassionate heart and dissolve the Ego.
Sexual energy is here a fuel for transformation. A real practitioner knows the value of the sexual energy and has deeper understanding of it’s benefits. So indeed sexual energy is pleasure, but when you overcome pleasure you are no longer it’s slave. In fact you are the master who uses it for your benefit and for benefit of others.