I can give thanks to the singer/songwriter Sting for my first impressions of Tantra, when more than 10 years ago in an interview he was quoted as saying that he used Tantra techniques to make love with his wife for 8 hours straight. This left an indelible mark on me, and the rest of the unknowing world for that matter.
Even today, mention the word “Tantra” to people and ask them to comment on what comes to mind and you will get a cacophony of responses. Though you can be certain that they will all pertain to sex, in one form or another.
At the present time, I find myself walking the Tantric path, having fully embraced its principles and techniques. As a result, I have a much more clear understanding of what it was that Sting experienced and I’m writing this article to set the record straight.
I think it’s important to start with a little background on Tantra, though describing it (and its history) is not an easy thing to do, if not altogether impossible. Grab a handful of books on the subject and you will quickly find that their authors have varied ideas on its origins, while having great difficulty in encompassing this massive topic. Simply put, Tantra is all encompassing. It doesn’t exclude anything from the realm of experience, which is why it has been called by many as The Path of Acceptance.
And this is where agreement, for those following the Tantric path can be found – that Tantra is the holistic study of the universal, from the point of view of the individual experience. We can get a better view here by breaking down the very term Tantra, which actually comes from two Sanskrit words, Tanoi and Trayati. Tanoi meaning to expand and Trayati with two meanings – to weave together and also to liberate. So it can be said that Tantra is the expansion of mind, body and soul and the weaving together of universal Truths, resulting in liberation (ie. enlightenment).
How does Tantra expand the Mind, Body and Soul? Many historians suggest that Tantrics, many thousands of years ago, were the creators of yoga, a yoga that is much more than just the demanding physical postures we have become so familiar with in the West today. This ancient brand of yoga also included (amongst other things) breathing techniques, meditation and yes, the practice of sacred sexuality in which the man is multi orgasmic yet never ejaculates. Something that our friend Sting, I believe, knows a little something about. But to say that Tantra is about sex is completely missing the point. It’s like presenting a Paella to your dinner guests and what they are served is a plain bowl of rice. Its incomplete.
Tantra presents its followers with the whole, and they must in turn take this holistic approach and weave it all together if they are to experience spiritual growth and ultimately liberation.
Interestingly, Tantra gets quite a bit of its opposition from fellow Eastern Philosophies, due to its acceptance of desire. Many (most) Eastern ideologies expound on the idea of unattachment as the means to enlightenment and many spiritual leaders teach that desire is the root of attachment and should be overcome. Though I have yet to hear a good answer to the Tantric counter point – “How does one achieve desirelesness without the desire to be desireless?”
Tantra says that desire is a natural human trait, built into the very fiber of our beings, and should not be suppressed or repressed, but expressed in healthy ways. There is a line in the movie The Matrix that goes – “To deny your desires is to deny the very thing that makes you human.” Tantra agrees with this statement. Denial in any form is a form of resistance and whatever one resists, persists. If this persistence goes on long enough it turns into repression, that if not expressed, in due time results in blocked energy and bad health.
Sexual desire is certainly one of, if not the most powerful human desire, and as such holds a key part in healing our holy trinity of mind, body and soul. Tantra (and Taoist sexuality) holds that sexual union between two people is one of the keys to deep spiritual connection and longevity. And if you are someone who has learned the techniques that lead to 8 hours of fulfilled love making, you are well on your way.
Yet, the point of this article is to redirect a world opinion that has been misguided by an interview that was taken out of context so many years ago. To show that sex is just a branch on the Tantric tree, and it appears that Sting knew this all along. I recently did some research and uncovered an enlightening interview with him where he addresses his world wide Tantra acclaim –
“”Sting is a famous proponent of tantric sex. I ask him to give the frustrated Guardian readers a few tips. He looks indignant and says it’s about “a journey”, not “fucking for eight hours”. OK, I say. “I try to be lighthearted about it,” he says, “but at the same time, there is some serious information about couples and how they can relate and sex is only a tiny proportion of it. It’s about ritualising a period of the day with your partner; it can be looking at each other, touching each other, running a bath, a massage, deeper levels of connection. Sex is only the surface. Once you really connect, telling the truth, talking, all of that. Tantra is much too complex for me to discuss. But it’s about reconnecting with the world of the spirit through everyday things. My church happens to be the person I live with. She is my connection to the sacred. I don’t know how that’s going to look in print.””
So my thanks to you once again Sting, for having at one time added to my vivid imaginations as a young man. And now, more than a decade (and one brief investigation) later, for giving me and a world full of truth seekers, the beautiful clarity we all needed.
As OSHO says – “Only Tantra allows you total being and total FLOW. Tantra gives you unconditional freedom, whatsoever you are and whatsoever you can be. Tantra puts no boundaries on you. It does not define you; it simply gives you total freedom. The understanding is that when you are totally free, then everything is possible.”
Sarvaan discovered Tantra during his extensive travels in the East and immediately knew it was the path he wanted to walk. Together with his Tantric wife Eva, they run the School of Free Flow, an organization offering Tantra massage, workshops, and training for people looking to live a “Zorba the Buddha” life. For more information please visit his website at www.schooloffreeflow.org