Maybe you have been wondering how to connect with your partner on a deeper level and came across the popular but often misunderstood concept of tantra. Maybe you have been to a tantra workshop for couples, and now are reflecting back on your experience. Maybe you’re just curious of what tantra could offer to your partnership.
Whatever your stance, in this article I will reflect some of the most common themes and topics that come up as questions and comments from the workshop participants.
Various practice partners
Assuming that we see tantra as a broader spiritual path, not just sex, tantra is an experiental method finding the unity within. Experiental meaning that in many tantric workshops we do bodily exercises. This brings up the question about whether you can do the exercises with your own partner, or do you need to be in contact with someone you do not know.
I see the value in having a steady partnership, where the connection and trust can grow and go deeper. It feels safe, so it can be easier to surrender and show all that you are. Sometimes the workshops can have very intimate exercises, and so you may prefer to do it with someone you know. You can have a lot of fun, because you will better know their limits and comfort zone.
On the other hand, it feels very exciting to do something new with someone you do not know that well – or do not know at all. If the workshop facilitator has skillfully created a safe atmosphere and affirmed you to stay aware of your own limits, you can enter an adult playground. It is very important that you discuss this with your partner before the workshop, so that you know and understand what may come up.
Sometimes the question of jealousy arises. How do I relate to this new situation that my beloved is now doing something with a stranger? This can lead to healthy discussion and realizing that we do not own them. And the tantric solution to jealousy is strikingly simple: just feel the emotion, as much as you can, and stay with the feeling. You will be surprised to notice how quickly it will pass.
Presence and awareness, they are more often than not the gist of tantric practices offered at workshops. During your normal daily life, how long do you stay present to yourself and to your partner? Nowadays there are heaps of stimuli trying to grab your attention – you know which ones I mean!?
Staying present in your body, mind and spirit will enhance your ability to relate to your partner. You can see them through their surface layers, and appreciate them as a Divine beings that they are. To really take time to be with each other, without any disturbances is very healing. Being in contact with another will increase the “bonding hormone” oxytocin levels in your body, and your sense of well-being will increase further.
Practices in tantric sexuality will help you to drop any goals and achievements and enjoy and savour the journey. Drop deeper, allow yourself to expand, see how open and vulnerable you can become. You will be very real when you dare to do that.
In tantra, there’s all the time to feel. Touching with full awareness is an amazing experience for both the giver and the receiver. Think of very slow and tender caress on your bare skin – how much pleasure can you feel?
Along our lips and genitals, our hands are amazingly sensitive and fine instruments. It’s just that we are not used to really feel the sensations through our hands. We mostly do things with our hands. Often when we intend to pleasure the other, we hope that our touch will bring them what they want, which may be difficult to define. Instead of trying to please them, go very slow and feel your hands as much as you can and see what happens!
Another simple awareness and sensitivity exercise that you can do with your partner at home: Stand behind your partner, who’s sitting on a chair. Place your hands on the shoulders of your partner. Bring all of your attention on to the contact between your hands and their shoulders. Then, move your attention away from the contact, think of something else, drift away in your thoughts. When the partner notices that you have wondered away, they will raise their hand. See how sensitive you can get. Bring this same level of attention on to your communion.
It will leave a mark
Tantra is about the conscious expansion of our being. So if you are having an authentic tantric experience, it will leave a mark on you. Perhaps you will get an insight, perhaps you will gain deeper understanding of something of value.
The exercises you learn can spice up your relationship even after the workshop. Often the energy is stronger in a group, but there are many ways to bring tantra in to your daily life. Tantra is a way of living, not just practices and tehcniques. Tantra is conscious sexuality. Tantra is knowledge of self.
So here you have some takes on topics and issues that I have encountered, as a participant and as an instructor. If you have any other questions to this topic, please comment below and I’d be more than happy to answer!