Throughout the ages, in every culture, through poetry and the arts, the human race has expressed the beauty and the power of love between man and woman. But beyond pleasure, beyond passion, even beyond unconditional love, a profound mystery lies at the heart of physical intimacy… it opens a door that can lead to ecstasy, self-realisation, and union with the divine.

This mystery, though acknowledged by poets and artists, has been ignored by the major spiritual traditions, who preached that the only path that led to the source was through renunciation of the body and of bodily pleasures. Among the major religions of the planet, the Hindu tradition alone acknowledges the mystery of physical love and its potential. The Hindu yogis and sages, those who studied the spiritual aspect of physical intimacy, called this path Tantra.

Several contemporary teachers have delved into this millennial philosophy to develop a tantra adapted to modern couples, a tantra in which the discoveries of psychology, physiology and the therapeutic currents of the twentieth century support the root concept : that physical intimacy can be experienced in a sacred way, and that a mastery of the powerful sexual energies can lead to states of higher consciousness.

Here's a sample of what the contemporary masters of tantra have said:

In the tantra, the orgasm is with the universe. You become a part of the fundamental energy of All-That-Is.

--Swami Virato

Until now, most the human beings have remained quite ignorant of their own loving potential. We human beings are able to love more frequently and more sensuously than perhaps any other animal. Yet we are often disappointed after love-making. Why? Because most of us are like owners of a precious Stradivarius violin that we have never learned to play.

--Jolan Chang, The Tao of the Loving Couple

If you are conscious, you will realise that sexuality is not only sex. Sex is the outside layer; inside, there is love… further inside, there is the prayer… And still further inside, there is the divine. Sex can become a cosmic experience. Then it is known as Tantra.

--Osho, Love and Divine Consciousness

Have you ever wished to be touched at the core of your being, yet felt afraid to open yourself up and be vulnerable? Have you ever glimpsed an ecstatic moment in love and later felt that you didn't know the way back?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you sense intuitively the value of peak experiences in lovemaking -- those special moments, either preceding or during orgasm, when you feel transported beyond the limitations of your personal problems and preoccupations. Suddenly you are flying; you feel gloriously alive, filled with light and laughter, at home in a moment that seems to go on forever, in a space that fills you with awe. It is these rare, intense, often unexpected experi-ences that awaken fresh energies and inspire feelings of closeness and gratitude between you and your partner.

Because we know such moments are possible, each time we enter into lovemaking, we secretly hope that this time we will enjoy them again. We hold the vision of a deeply fulfilling and joyful embrace, in which the vibrant pleasure of the body encompasses the delight of the heart, the meeting of minds, and the mutual recognition of kindred spirits.

Such moments are often described as "a sense of flow." When you let yourself relax into a flow your body knows what to do before your mind thinks about it. You forget everything else, you are totally absorbed. Time seems either to stand still or to move very fast. Your perceptions are expanded. The touch of your lover's hand can send ripples of delight all the way down to your toes. In the embrace of a loved one, you feel floated out of self and time. Naturally, easily, you move into the state of relaxed awareness comparable to meditation.

--Margo Anand Naslednikov, The Art of Sexual Ecstasy
(a longer excerpt from this book)

The Tantra path, as it is practised in the Hindu tradition, requires a level of discipline and devotion that are ill suited for the life-styles of modern couples.

However, the power of tantric love can be experienced through simple practices, accessible to all.

If you are attracted by the idea of learning the practices of contemporary Tantra, we encourage you to read the description of the "Loving Spirit" workshop.

The English-language version of the « Loving Spirit » workshop had its debut in Reading, England, in May, 2001. A series of workshops are planned for the United States and the British Isles. Please consult the Calendar of Workshops, the FAQ (frequently asked questions) and Comments of Workshop Participants. If you wish to receive via email the current program of « Loving Spirit » workshops, please fill out this form. If you wish to organize a « Loving Spirit » workshop in your region, please fill out this form. Workshop organizers attend the workshop for free and receive a percentage of the profits.

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