Tantra. Most people don’t know anything about it. Those who do have images of beautiful women and handsome men lounging on pillow-strewn beds in candlelit rooms filled with the aromas of foreign incense. Music with strange harmonies played on stranger instruments fills the air as the people begin to engage in delicious sex that lasts for hours. The musician Sting once said that he practiced Tantric sex with his wife for eight hours at a time.
The truth about Tantra is far more exciting.
Tantra is a complete spiritual system that goes back at least 10,000 years. It developed over time in an area on the west of modern India. There, the people known as the Indus Valley Civilization developed around the Saraswati river. When the river began to dry the civilization disbanded, traveling east to India, northeast to Tibet and China, and even west into Europe. It is the beliefs and practices of the Indus Valley civilization, and their evolution over time, that became the basis of Tantra.
Most of the concepts we consider “Eastern mysticism” began with the ancient Tantrics. Their medical concepts and self-defense techniques are the source of Kung Fu and Chinese traditional medicine, including acupuncture. The practice of yoga and the ideas of karma, prana (the universal energy), kundalini (personal energy), the chakras, paths of energy throughout the body, astronomy and astrology and much more began with the Tantrics. These concepts were adopted by later cultures. In Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, a word for tree (dru) combined with a word for knowledge (vid) to form Druid. The Druids were the spiritual poets who guided the ancient European Celtic people. They were known for having the wisdom of trees.
Real Tantra is a spiritual system that covers all aspects of life, including sexuality. Although Tantric sexuality was known to some people in the West as early as the late 19th century (and hinted at earlier), the focus on Tantric sexuality really expanded in the 1960s and 70s, along with the sexual revolution. Real traditional Tantra, however, is much more, and you can use it to improve your life.
One aspect of Tantric philosophy can be described like this: Life is wonderful! This contradicts many other philosophies. For example, in Christianity, our world is a place of pain where we suffer until we die, then may go to a wonderful place: Heaven. In mainstream Buddhism and Hinduism, life is also seen as a place of suffering, and you have to experience it repeatedly through reincarnation until you learn your spiritual lessons and can get off of the “wheel of rebirth.” But to Tantrics, life is wonderful.
How can any sane person agree with the Tantrics? What about war, poverty, disease? Who hasn’t felt sorrow at the misery of children in poor areas or the innocent victims of wars or disasters? Life isn’t wonderful, it’s harsh. If you haven’t experienced its harshness, you will.
The Tantric, however, sees something differently. Tantrics believe in reincarnation, and the idea that our world is a wonderful place to educate ourselves on a spiritual path leading to enlightenment. Experiences are just experiences, and are neither good nor bad. Let me give you an example. If I took an axe and cut off your arm, you’d probably say that was terrible. But if we were in the wilderness and your arm was so badly infected that the only way to save your life was to cut off your arm, then the same action would not only be called good, it might even be considered heroic. How can the same action be considered both good and bad? The answer: it’s neither. It’s simply an action.
In your life today, try this experiment. Don’t consider anything that happens to you as good or bad. Instead, assume it is nature’s way of giving you some information. So what information is it? If someone yelled at you wrongly, perhaps it’s because you didn’t communicate well. If something great happens to you, perhaps it’s a sign that you are doing things right. Which things are they, and how do you continue doing them?
By taking this Tantric attitude, you will discover that things will go more smoothly, you’ll be happier, you may even have less stress and complaints. Just try this for one day, and share your results here.
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy, and has become a certified hypnotherapist and Master NLP practitioner. His book, Modern Magick, is the most popular step-by-step course in real magick ever published.