Tantra For Beginners: My Experience And Lessons Learned From Taking A Tantra Course
Last January started off as a particularly cold January for me, both weather-wise and dating wise. To spice it up I decided to take the leap into Tantra, something that had sparked my curiosity for quite some time. I was single, with not even the possibility of a relationship on the horizon. But when I stopped by the yoga studio, the friendly instructor assured me that there would be both singles and couples taking part in the course and that we all would benefit from each other’s energies. I signed up, and a week later it was time to start energizing.
The couple holding the course looked to be in their 50s. They both had long grey-blond hair and if one can judge yoga experience by the perfection of the lotus position, then these guys were the real tantric deal. The room was beautifully set up, with candles, incense, colorful fabrics, and meditation pillows. Big windows overlooked the dark January morning. Despite my natural skepticism, I felt instantly at ease.
The women introduced herself as Shamila and asked what we thought Tantra was about.
“It’s having sex without orgasm,” one woman offered as an answer. “It’s connecting all your chakras to the sexual experience” another woman said, “it’s about lasting for hours and amazing orgasms” a man chimed in. Shamila nodded and said there was some truth to each answer in its own way. Her and her partner, whose name was Brad, regarded the Tantra they were teaching as ancient wisdom applied to modern bodies.
From my previous experience with middle eastern culture, I had the idea that a lot of Buddhist and Hindu practices and philosophies are aimed towards extinguishing desire through non-attachment – freeing yourself from Samsara; the cycle of life.
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Learning the truth behind Tantra
In this course I learned that Tantra is the opposite, tantra is living life to its fullest, feeling every breath, tasting the sweet honey of being in a body, and filling your heart with love.
Tantric sex is also only one branch of the tantra teaching, the one that most people connect with the word tantra. But tantra is a much broader philosophy that covers all aspects of life. Tantra means to weave energy. In tantra, you connect your body, mind, and soul and eventually, you will be able to raise your energy through your chakras.
We started with a breathing meditation. First separately, everyone being their own temple, sitting on the floor. After that, we did a similar exercise together with a partner. If you wanted you could sit in the Yab Yum position, but only if you felt comfortable. I had been matched with a friendly guy, so we tried it out. Breathing in and out in tandem, one person breathing in, the other person breathing out. The experience was surprisingly intimate, and I wondered if I had signed up for more than I could handle.
As we finished the Yab Yum meditation we continued with massaging ourselves for what felt like hours. After a short lunch break, we moved on to give each other massage. We switched partners every half hour. It was a beautiful experience. Seldom you take so much time just giving your body the experience of touch.
Shamila and Brad told soothing tales and shared their wisdom. They kept encouraging us to be present with all our senses.
I had always shrugged away from physical contact with people I didn’t know. Sometimes even feeling uncomfortable with the hugs and kisses between friends. But I never felt uneasy during the course. Both Shamila and Brad were very intuitive with the needs of the different people in the group. No one had to do anything they were not comfortable with. There was always the alternative to pass on an exercise or do an individually adjusted version. I felt completely calm, aware of my own borders and at the same time open to do things I’d never done before.
Learnings from the course
Since the course, I feel like I’ve become more comfortable around strangers. I can see everyone around me as divine beings with good intentions and I can share my energy with them. Even on a more intimate level, much more freely than ever before. We had started as a room full of strangers, but when the first day ended we had all become companions. Being comfortable in my own skin is another thing I’ve struggled with. I had heard that Tantra could help and this was indeed true. Filling my heart with energy, transporting that energy to the rest of my body did something to my skin. By the second day, I could feel a difference in the way I moved, talked and even laughed.
Our sexuality is something deeply personal and sacred. We all have both masculine and feminine energy within us, and in tantra we try to unite those opposites. This is the reason why tantric meditation works both on your own and as a couple exercise. One reason for participating in the course was to get a deeper understanding of my sexuality. Although hesitant at first, by the third night I took the teacher’s advice and when I returned to my flat I tried a solo tantric meditation. I touched myself, I was both the one who was touching and the person being touched. This sort of tantric meditation doesn’t have to lead to touching your intimate parts or an orgasm.
But I wanted to try and go all the way. I wanted to get to know myself as a sexual being and to fully accept that part of myself. I raised my energy level through massage and meditation, and I let all the energy from my groan raise up through my body and to my crown chakra. I stayed in a blissful state for a long time and when I went to sleep I felt calm and peaceful
Another benefit I noticed from Tantra is that it teaches us how to use our sexual energy as a way to raise our general energy level. After the course had finished, both my family and my friends commented that I looked different. Some of them weren’t even aware that I had taken the course. They still told me I radiated. And now since I finished the training this summer, I meet conflict and problems with newfound ease. I have always been an anxious person. Tantra made me calm and energetic in a way I had never been before and I will definitely join my teachers level 2 course.
If you are thinking about this path, I can highly recommend it. Normally I’m an intellectual and logical person but it still worked from me. I feel like I have tapped into ancient wisdom and actually obtained instruments that I can use in my day to day life. I’m grateful for Shamila and Brad to have showed me the way.
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