When you hear the word tantra, what images or thoughts come to mind? For some, it is the Kama Sutra, which according to www.thefreedictionary.com is ” A Sanskrit treatise setting forth rules for sensuous and sensual pleasure, love, and marriage in accordance with Hindu law.” At its core, tantra which I have seen defined as “expansive weaving” (as on a loom) is about our connection with Spirit; not just as a means of heightened sexual pleasure, but perhaps enlightened sexual pleasure. It is, I have discovered myself since I dipped my toes (and other body parts) into it in 2004, a way of making love with the Divine in all aspects of my life, not just in the bedroom.
My introduction occurred at a weekend workshop I attended following being widowed 5 years earlier. I had been celibate by choice, for many reasons, some having to do with re-calibrating my body, heart and soul to prepare for opening again after a loving and sometimes tumultuous marriage, illness and subsequent death of my husband. I had been vaguely familiar with the concepts of yoga, meditation, the chakra system, breathwork, mantra and kirtan. Little did I know the massive changes that would rock my world when I learned about what author and tantra teacher Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita, Ph.D author of Divine Sexuality-The Joy of Tantra refers to as “an alchemical transformation of our being.” Once the energies were unleashed, I experienced what is known as a ‘spontaneous kundalini awakening’; feeling as if all of the chakras were blown wide open and for 8 months afterward, had difficulty figuratively keeping my feet on terra firma. I remember speaking with friends about what I was going through and the suggestions ranged from drinking more water, walking barefoot, sitting on a rock and sending energy into it, to doing more yoga and having more sex. “That’s what got me into this in the first place,” I half-heartedly wailed with a not-so-secret smile on my face.
I wish I had had Sarita’s book back then, since it is a thorough compendium of the physical, emotional, spiritual and developmental aspects of tantra. Well researched; it doesn’t dance on the surface. Beautifully lush images of lovemaking embellish the pages, but it is not even remotely ‘soft porn’; rather it is art of the heart. She covers a wide range of subjects including honoring ourselves as the physical beings we are- men and women, as well as masculine and feminine energies, safe sex and contraception, creative coitus, rising in love, sensory awakening, aligning with the Divine, sexual dysfunction as well as sexuality through the life cycle. The pages seem to radiate with light and the texture is smooth to the touch; adding to the delight of reading.
Sarita was inspired to teach this ancient art after an encounter in Inida with a man who would become her guru. Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) opened the door for her lifelong journey into tantra. For 36 years, this seasoned woman has danced on the path of love and loss, ecstacy and enlightment. She will be my next guest on It’s All About Relationships this Thursday March 14th from 8-9 pm on Vivid Life Radio. You are welcome to call in with your questions. 877-903-1396 is the number to speak with us.
To enjoy a teaser, please read the book review I wrote for Elephant Journal: