For many people Tantra has become a term that denotes hedonism, sex, and obscene amounts of eye gazing.
And while tantric techniques do help a man last much longer and increase intimacy between couples, that was not its original purpose or the extent of its benefits.
Tantra is an ancient Indian spiritual philosophy and set of practices. The majority of these practices engage the senses and utilize the mind’s focus to allow people to arrive fully in their bodies. When you are fully in your body, appreciating rather than shaming your humanity, miracles happen.
Your potential for pleasure is dramatically increased. Your awareness and desire to shift unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors increases. Your ability to find your center and truth blossoms. And your devotion to life, nature and your loved ones ripens.
So, how does Tantra accomplish all of that? Well a lot of it has to do with breath, sound, and focus. But another very important method is the awakening of the senses. And while some people choose to awaken the senses with pain or shock, the majority of tantrikas, use pleasure.
We cultivate an aesthetic awareness. We surround ourselves with beauty and we also find the beauty in the ordinary. You’ll often find me surrounded by red velvet, candles, meaningful art, things that bring a relaxed joyful feeling to my spirit. This isn’t an accident. By surrounding myself with luxurious delights, I delight in my surroundings, my life, my purpose. These delights will look differently for each individual, but it’s important that they invoke curiosity, awe, sensuality and relaxation.
Friends often marvel at my capacity for indulgence: a fancy meal, a full day of massage, the finest teas. They appreciate getting to learn it and express it with me. While of course, like anything, one can overdo this. But I dare to say that many people don’t realize the importance of this. They live in apartments with bare walls and fluorescent lights. They’ve never bought a piece of art that sparks their imagination. Candles, incense…aren’t those just for hippies?
No. They are tools that help you awaken the senses, bring you fully into your body and into deep resonance with nature and the innate joy that is your birthright. So indulge. Treat yourself. The little things add up, and before you know it you will be surrounded by beauty from the inside out.
When I realized my students were struggling with this, I decided to add some luxurious add-on options to my sessions to help. Perhaps you’ll enjoy…
- A foot bath with epsom salts and rose petals followed by a foot massage with invigorating Ayurvedic oil
- Warming up your massage with hot stones
- Indulging in carefully selected essential oils with an aromatherapy treatment
- Sensual eating—fruit, chocolate and a few surprises to awaken those taste buds
- Opening your curiosity with some delicious tea and a talk about the deeper magic of Tantra