What Is Tantra?


Video Transcript:

Hello there, one of the very common questions I get is "what exactly is Tantra?" and what I'm going to try and do in this video is to give you a very complete answer. So if you have a Google type the word Tantra, so much stuff comes up  and it can mean anything from an erotic rubdown and a wank all the way through to sitting in silent meditation with the Buddhist lamas and everything else in between, and it's like trying to make sense of exactly what is Tantra, it's a bit crazy.
This video is to try and help explain exactly what is Tantra. Now if you look at the original Tibetian Buddhists you'll actually see in their temples that they have different images and different placards of characters that actually resonate with the chakras that I teach, that we teach, in Tantra today. So the original Tantra has its roots in Buddhism and Hinduism and is a pathway to enlightenment or self-realization.
If you look at the Buddhist religion it's all about reaching for a better world or being in a state of enlightenment. Yoga is another pathway to enlightenment, and there are many other like Tibetan Buddhist meditation, there are many many different Buddhist and Hindu practices that take you to this state called enlightenment and Tantra is one of those.
Now in the 1970s for me one of the fathers of modern-day Tantra was called Osho and if you ever want to look at a controversial figure Google Osho look at his ashram, and for me the ashrams that you had were full of scandal full of terrible things that should never happen in an ashram but equally he's an absolutely fascinating person and the ashrams and all of the films and the books about the time in the 70s and 80s both in India and the U.S. were a fascinating topic about how an ashram or community can go wrong ,but move all of that to one side if you actually look at Osho's teachings and you look at the the different practices that he left us with.
So different about tantric practices different meditations and I feel that what Osho really started to create he was like the father of what we call neo-Tantra new Tantra that's here since the 1980s onwards if you look at some of his disciples so for example Margot Anand, she wrote the book The Art of Sexual Ecstasy she also wrote The Art of Sexual Magic, The Art of Everyday Ecstasy, and for me what Osho did was he started to separate the religious parts of Tantra away from the practices and and the philosophy so if you ever read any of Osho's books he's full of many different types of tantric philosophy or what I would call new age new Tantra philosophy.
For us living in in the days today if we were to actually look at Tantra as a as it was in its original practice we'd actually struggle to understand it we wouldn't really understand the texts and they wouldn't really have any meaning and it would to be honest just look like a whole range of what I call gobbledygook but for me if I look at different Tantra out there for example, Kundalini Yoga has its home in original Tantra and also I would say neo-Tantra like what I'm teaching in bringing the world also has its roots in original Tantra and what you would actually hear us talking about in modern day Tantra you'll hear us talking about chakras you'll hear us talking about the masculine energy and the feminine energy not to be confused with gender but almost like a polarity of energy and you'll hear us talking about energy overall you'll hear us talking about meditation and you'll hear us talking about a whole range of different tantric practices and rituals.
So basically Tantra in its modern form today is made up of a collection of meditation now typically in Tantra we use what we call active meditation and normally if you're doing meditation it's okay looking at the candle trying to be very silent very quiet we really try to clear your mind of many thoughts and one of the really good things that Osha left us with is this whole range of active meditations so if you want to look them up you may look at things that have no dimensions meditation Kundalini meditation and lots of others I can't quite remember there's also from Varesh in the Netherlands there was the ohm meditation again Varesh was one of Osho's disciples and basically Osho with some of his disciples had these people that went out in the world and I believe kind of created what we know as neo- or new Tantra today for example Margo Anand.
Now I would say that the Tantra lineage that I come from is actually from Osho, from Margot Anand, I actually studied with one of the students of Margot Anand and created Tantra4GayMen to bring this to you. So Tantra in its modern form is as I said made up of meditation, active meditations, it's also made up of rituals, so doing very sensual maybe sexual but very conscious type of rituals, it's also made up of tantric practices so some of those may be sexually related practices like energy from your cock energy from your arse, very much in tantric practices we're all about the body and all about bringing you to experience sensations that are going on in your body.
It's meditation it's rituals it's different tantric practices and I also feel or as a main construct of the Tantra that I bring is around psychotherapy is around being able to be in a sharing group and to share your experience with other like-minded souls that are doing the same experience as you. Also I think there's another part for me in Tantra which is what I call the mystical or the magical parts and that probably for me is the most inexplicable part of Tantra that I would talk about but let me go back through those a little bit more and explain them a little bit more so as I said tantric meditation is active it's about moving Osho said that our Western minds are often so full of thoughts so full of judgments so full of life that actually to sit down and be quiet would be a very very difficult thing for us and so what he created was active meditations that actually got us moving got the body moving got us doing things and the going into periods of silence afterwards and in the decade that I've been teaching what I found is people having that experience of something almost chaotic and then going into a period of silence has actually enabled them to have a much deeper and much profounder sense of silence so for me that's one aspect of what's making up Tantra in its modern-day practice.
The other thing I talked about was tantric rituals now there for me you'll hear people talking in Tantra about ecstasy you'll hear them talking about bliss and you'll talk about them having very profound experiences now a ritual for me is nothing really magical it's just about bringing your attention so as you've got your attention watching this film hopefully okay as you've got your attention here what I talk about a ritual is about bringing your attention to specific things so it might be that if you've stood in front of another person in a sacred ritual that actually as you're looking into their eyes as you've got your attention with that person that in itself because the intention is the connection between you that in itself is already starting to create a sense of ritual and then whilst in Tantra we get you to do beautiful things maybe it's a massage maybe it's stroking maybe it's something more intimate something more sexual to be honest for me in some ways whilst those are all very very beautiful things they're actually not that important because actually for me what's more important than all of those is the fact that you're in a state of attention and therefore a new attention is the same as being conscious is the same as being aware so if you ever hear anybody using the term attention or consciousness or awareness for me it's about bringing your attention to a specific point or to a specific experience or to something specifically that you're feeling in your body.
I think there's maybe two purposes of rituals one is about increasing your attention and your awareness and the other part for me in rituals is about what it is you're actually doing and what experience that can throw up for you you see for me there's two things in rituals there's your ability to have the attention to what's actually happening and to actually consciously have an experience and there's also an openness to the ritual to the practice that you're doing that is creating the experience that you're having and it's a bit of a contradiction but actually those two things are going on at the same time now the other part I talked about so that's meditation rituals I talked about tantric practices so one of the things for example I said earlier was about chakras and in Tantra there's we believe that there's seven different chakras one starting in your base chakra around where your genitals are the next one being your sacral just underneath your bellybutton the next one just being above your belly button one being at your heart one being at your throat the third-eye and crown and each chakra has a very different meaning has a very different energy resonance has a different aspect of yourself that you can find in the chakras so like through the different tantric practices you'll hear us talk a lot about chakras you'll also hear us talk a lot about energy energy is a very big thing about what it is that you're feeling beyond that which you normally perceive.
For me there's three types of energy that I work with in Tantra there's the spiritual energy there's what I call the white energy or universal energy that's coming in there's the heart energy my ability to love and there's my sexual energy and a lot of the tantric practices that we do are going to be bringing in one of those energies and as I said quite often we're going to be talking about chakras the other thing that we'll talk about in tantric practices is what I call the masculine and the feminine as I said not to be confused with gender for gay men we believe in Tantra that your masculine energy is the energy that's in your cock so when you stroke your cock and you're feeling all of that pleasure that's gonna be all of your masculine energy that's in that place and then when I talk about the feminine energy we believe in Tantra that that's coming from your ass okay and the feminine energy is all about being receptive it's about receiving it's about surrendering so chakras energies masculine or feminine there's going to be a whole ream of different tantric practices that are going to be touching upon any or all of those at any one time but they're different practices to enable you to learn to expand and to learn more about who you are and who you truly are it's like are you more than your body are you more than your mind you know when we talk about spirituality or your spirit what do we actually mean by that like who are you what are the different components of you I also talked about the psychotherapeutic or psychotherapy and that we have sharing circles so if you ever choose to come on to some of my deeper work and even on our weekend often there'll be a sharing circle and there's two reasons for that the first reason is about having witnessed your experience with other people so that if you're having a particular experience having said that out loud and having that witnessed by the other people in the room can be hugely hugely powerful and also what I get fed back to me quite often is that when I'm hearing other people's experiences of Tantra in a group sharing actually that really helps me learn a lot more as well as what I'm learning from having my own experience people come to Tantra for a whole variety of different reasons from wanting to expand wanting something new wanting to ask is there more to life wanting to learn about themselves all of our expansion and we've all got our baggage we've all got the stuff that holds us back stuff that makes us feel less than the stuff that we've been made to feel guilty or shame for or we're working through that's difficult we may have had histories of trauma of experiences where we may have been abused all of that's going to be coming into the room with you as well.
One of the reasons of having group therapy is so that you get a chance to process your experience for me Tantra in its Buddhist and Hindu form was all about a pathway to enlightenment and enlightenment to me is about profound love greater than what I can even talk about and convey to you on video but also for me about truth but enlightenment for me one interpretation of that is about the ultimate truth but how can you experience the ultimate truth and ultimate love if you're not able to meet that and so for me what Tantra does is through meditation rituals through tantric practices and through the therapeutic aspects of group share it for me that continually helps you to grow in awareness to grow in consciousness to become bigger than you were an hour ago to grow and to expand and that for me is where Tantra is a spiritual pathway it's where it's no longer about massage and it's no longer about you know what connection you had with different people but it's wholly about your spiritual journey your growth and your evolution but would you believe that's only the first building block for me of Tantra and as I've been teaching Tantra over the last decade what I'm kind of learning is that there's actually now a new more mystical aspect to Tantra so would you believe once you got to terms with yourself once you've worked through everything that you're dealing with once you're clear about who you are you've experienced bliss ecstasy you're there there's that something about that starts to take you beyond the definition of who you are and this is where I start to lose words a little bit because it's really hard to express some of the more mystical aspects of Tantra but let me like if you could imagine sharing a collective orgasm with a group of 20 other men at the same time that you're all having exactly the same experience and it being shared you'd kind of be like what and I'm not talking about you know threesome sex doing different things I'm talking about the practice of having a collective shared orgasm with would you believe I've done it with 90 people before in one room and opening to a collective experience of bliss it kind of felt like a bomb went off in the room in a good way it kind of felt like a really amazing experience that still leaves me speechless I still struggle to find the words to convey that to you.
So in summary I think what I'm saying to you here is that Tantra has its original roots in Buddhism and Hinduism it's a pathway to enlightenment in the 1970s Osho for me was the father of Tantra or neo Tantra all of Western Tantra schools are gonna be teaching from the Osho lineage of Tantra and basically what they've done what Osho did was they took away all the practices all the techniques left the religious aspects to where they came from and basically added a philosophy of Tantra as a pathway to enlightenment so that us in the West can actually access this that we can go through these practices techniques and that we can be on this spiritual pathway to learning our ultimate truth of who we are so for me I think there's also something at some point in Tantra the sexual energy almost would you believe almost becomes irrelevant because your experience with energy in itself like exceeds exceeds sexual energy but actually using sexual energy in the early days of Tantra as a vehicle to experiencing greater bliss greater ecstasy is for me kind of the starting building blocks about understanding about Tantra so you know if you're watching this and you're wanting to understand a little bit more about Tantra I hope that's laid out some of the background for you and also laid out if you're going to go along on to a Tantra workshop about the types of things that are going to be going on and the types of things that you're going to be doing and experiencing so that you kind of get a bit more of an idea about exactly what Tantra is so I really hope you've enjoyed this video and I hope that answers the question for you and I look forward to sharing with you more so take care.