What is Tantra, Really? + Tips for Your Own Tantric Play

July 25, 2014

In our culture, the concept of Tantra is associated with taboo kink and alternative sex. But in reality, the sexual aspect is minimal to the true understanding of what Tantra really is.

Tantra is an alternative worldview and spiritual practice that at its core is about the union of Shiva (Lord Shiva), the ground being and masculine principle, and Shakti (the Goddess Shakti), the feminine counterpart which is understood as the energy that makes up the universe. These two forces are joined in perfect union to make up the universe and keep it in balance and in harmony. While this is just a base understanding of Tantra, this union is the primary focus of this spirituality. These principles are based on each other’s opposite yet complementary partner (Shiva, the unmanifested consciousness, Shakti, the manifested energy). Their connection to one another forms the cosmos, or simply put their unity is what births the universe.


What is Tantra, Really? Plus Tips for Your Own Tantric Play - Peaceful Dumpling

One of Tantra’s meanings is “to weave,” that we are all, as a universe, part of this interconnected fabric which through our manifested energy seems to change and evolve, and from which everything seems to emerge and separate from each other. At the consciousness level, we are not different from each other. We are all part of the same thread that weaves the fabric; we are all one in the same.

Sex in Tantra can be traced back to this union, where Shiva is implanted in Shakti. Sexual rituals in Tantra had originally been centered around the guru-disciple relationship, where, I kid you not, a disciple would drink the semen of the guru as a form of initiation, among other transformative bodily concoctions. Modern Tantra is not as hardcore as the early days, with less of a focus on the sexual rituals and more of a focus on this union with meditation, visualization and yoga.

And while tantric sex may appear removed from the authentic tantrika movement and more like a hip, new age trend, I do feel that the sexual experience should not be separate from our spirituality. The Shiva/Shakti union when fully present within the sexual experience can actually advance our spirituality and enlighten us. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate Tantra into your sex life for a richer, more spiritually conscious sexual experience.

1. Visualize
Before having sex, sit comfortably facing your partner and stare at each other, zoning in on each other’s third eye, where your intuition rests. Visualize the third eye between your partner’s eyes . Focus on nothing but that third eye, seeing into your partner’s soul and dreams.

2. Chant mantras
Before, during, or after sex, chant mantras to help awaken and stabilize the energy you are cultivating. I suggest chanting a series of different mantras to help enhance the experience. You can chant “Aum” repeatedly and bring the universe into your lovemaking. In addition, chant Shiva and Shakti’s mantras to fully bring their divinity into your experience.

Shiva mantra:
Om Namah Shivaya

Shakti mantra:

3. Channel Kundalini
Kundalini is the dormant serpent energy associated within the Divine Feminine or Shakti, that when uncoiled and awakened moves from the base of our spine like a wave through our bodies opening up each chakra and spilling out the crown of our head in a burst of enlightenment. Channel each other’s Kundalini energy by awakening each other’s chakras through touch. Place your hand on your partner’s root chakra, while your partner simultaneously touches you; feel the energetic warmth exude and chant together the mantra associated with this chakra, “LAM,” visualize the color red associated with the root and then move your hands to the sacral chakra repeating the process again. Continue this until you have reached the crown chakra. Optionally, allow your partner to kiss each chakra as a way of opening the chakras instead. Full list of chakras’ sounds, colors, and locations below.

Root chakra: located at the base of spine, sound is “LAM,” color is red
Sacral chakra: located at the lower abdomen, sound is “VAM,” color is orange
Solar plexus chakra: located at the upper abdomen, sound is “RAM,” color is yellow
Heart chakra: located at the center of the chest, sound is “YAM,” color is green
Throat chakra: located at the throat, sound is “HAM,” color is blue
Third eye chakra: located at the forehead between the eyes, sound is “SHAM,” color is indigo
Crown chakra: located at the top of the head, sound is “AUM,” color is violet

4. Become the Divine Couple
Part of Tantra is seeing ourselves as divine, that we as part of this woven fabric have Shiva and Shakti already within us. Divine power is accessible inside us. Let it come out when having sex. Think of one of you as Shakti and the other as Shiva, and that you are joining forces to create the cosmos simply through your connection. See yourselves as these divine beings, and see each other as god and goddess.

Related: Yoga for a Better Sex Life

How to Embrace Your Sexuality in a Healthy Way

Also by Jessica Renae: Letting Go of First Love

4 Ways to Bring More Peace into Your Life



Photo: Alice Popkorn via Flickr

Jessica Renae is a freelance journalist based out of Northern California. As an eight-year-long vegetarian, Jessica is obsessed with everything veg. Some of her favorite things include endless hikes through her backyard forest, challenging yoga poses and lazy days spent with her cats. Follow her on Instagram @jessbuxbaum.


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