If you have a deep interest in the art of meditation, yoga, or spirituality, chances are that you have heard about Tantra and tantric meditation. If these are not you areas of interest, then you’ve probably heard about tantric meditation in relation to sex.
In the western world, tantric meditation is most commonly associated with tantric sex, a form of slow meditative sex that aims to move sexual energy throughout the body for healing, transformation, and enlightenment. Unlike other sexual encounters, the goal of tantric sex is not to orgasm, but instead to enjoy the sexual journey and sensations of the body (4).
While there is nothing wrong with associating sex to this form of meditation, it is only but a narrow part of what tantric meditation is. In this article, we are going to take a deeper look into questions like ‘what is tantric meditation?,’ ‘how is tantric meditation different than others?,’ ‘the history of the tantric meditation concept,’ ‘tantric meditation techniques’ among many other issues.
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What Is Tantric Meditation?
This is a practice that combines movement, breath, meditation and sound, to assist the chakras within us to open. Once the chakras are open, they allow energy to flow freely through the seven chakra system.
This divine energy ‘uncoils’ from the root chakra at the pelvis, moving up along the spine through the other energy centers until it reaches the Sahasrara aka crown chakra. This helps people heal from lifelong traumas, let go of stress and tension, increase awareness and insight, as well as helping them connect better with themselves and others around them (2).
What Is The History Of The Tantric Meditation Concept?
Like yoga and other forms of meditation, the history of tantric meditation as well as its exact origin date remain a mystery and a hot topic for discussion. The only consensus is the place of origin, which has been traced back to the Indus Valley civilization – found an area of modern day Pakistan and Northern India.
When it comes to the exact dates, some scholars believe that it began between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago, when the earliest yoga texts, the Vedas, were written (7). On the other hand, others believe that the practice originated sometime between 300 and 400 CE, when the first Hindu and Buddhist Tantric texts were written down (9). Traces of tantric principles are also said to have been found in the Egyptian old kingdom, and today can be seen in mystical concepts of Islamic Sufism, Kabbalah Judaism, Christianity, and in traditions such as Chinese Taoism.
Tantric Meditation Colours: What Are They And What Do They Mean?
Like the chakra colors, tantra meditation also comes with its own set of colors all related to the practice. Most people in the West may only be familiar with red and white tantric meditation but there are two other colors; pink and black (8).
1. Red Tantra
This is the most commonly known of all tantras and it is centered on sensuality and sexuality and is used in relation to tantric sex. Red tantric meditation can be done solo or with a partner. It involves deep breathing exercises to help you relax and immerse yourself into the experience, engaging all your senses by slowly touching yourself or your partner, gazing into each other’s eyes, taste, playing some sensual music and lighting candles to help set the mood and engage your sense of smell (6). This is often said to help bring partners together, heighten sexual experiences and strengthen relationships.
2. White Tantra
Unlike the red, white tantric meditation is not centered on sex. This practice is used to help you release deep subconscious blocks and heal your body and soul. Those who practice white tantric yoga claim that the effects of a day off of this form of exercise is equal to a year of meditation, and the effects felt on this day can be felt for up to 40 days afterward (12).
What are the steps of white tantric meditation/yoga (11):
- This practice is often done in groups and people are separated into pairs.
- Participants are required to wear loose, comfortable, white clothing and completely cover their heads with a white cotton head covering. The head covering helps to contain the energy created during meditation and focus it toward the third-eye chakra.
- The pairs are then lined up in precise straight lines in order to harness a strong group diagonal energy designed to cut directly through long-held blocks in the collective subconscious. The stronger the group vibration, the easier it is for you to sink into your subconscious and release old trauma.
- The paired partners are then asked to gaze into each other’s eyes. This is said to help break down barriers between them, enabling them to access the power and ability to experience oneness with the infinite and with each other.
Unlike other forms of meditation, white tantra is often a guided experience led by an instructor. It is said that white tantra helps purify and refine the heart so that we may be in perpetual love, even when in the presence of hateful people and evil activities. When we transcend these factors we become transcendental beings like Buddha or Jesus.
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3. Pink Tantra
This is a blend of both spiritual aspects and the sensual means. A combination of red and white tantras, if you may. Pinks help us love and accept our physical desires without the shame placed on us by society.
4. Black Tantra
If black magic had a place in meditation, it would be found in the black tantra. Those who practice it are often said to harness heavy and dark energies to enable them to manipulate other people. Black tantra meditation practitioners go even further to use alcohol, meat, feces, and even human corpses to help strengthen and further their ill intentions (11, 8).
How Many Techniques In Buddhist Tantric Meditation?
While many may speculate in the intricacies and techniques used in Buddhist tantric meditation, the truth is that most of the practices in it remain hidden. Those who practice it are often initiated by a guru. However, after the initiation, the rituals and teachings that follow remain a secret to the public (3).
In as much as they are a secret, Buddhist Tantra is a bit more complex than what is portrayed and practiced in the West (10).
Buddhist tantra is also known as Vajrayana – meaning “Diamond Vehicle” or “Thunderbolt Vehicle – or Mantrayana – which translates to “Path of the Sacred Formulas”. According to Britannica.com and initiate into tantric Buddhism has to go through the following process to achieve enlightenment:
- Undergoing instruction by a master who has been initiated into the mysteries. The master directs every step so that the student learns to control mental and physical processes instead of being dominated by them.
- After this, the student is taught yogic, or contemplative, exercises that help to produce inner experiences corresponding to the various stages of spiritual growth. This is said to involve the identification of the initiate with deities that represent various cosmic forces.
- This is done through the use of mudras, mantras, and icons portrayed in a mandala – a symbolic diagram used in the performance of sacred rites and as an instrument of meditation.
- After this visualization the initiate identifies with the divinities and finds that each in turn is shunyata (‘voidness’).
The first stage involves external ritual acts, and the second combines these outward acts with contemplation. The third stage involves only contemplation, and the fourth is the unification of all dualities in the sexual act, symbolically or effectively. It should also be noted that these Vajrayana practices have been condemned by some Buddhists and some modern scholars as degenerate.
Tantric Meditation Tantra How To Begin?
Unlike other forms of meditation that can be done alone, tantric meditation often requires a certain level of awareness that can be hard to achieve by yourself. In light of this, it is best to find a guru or guided meditation guide to help you understand and do it right (5).
This can be done through online classes with your local tantric meditation groups, or though apps available on both Apple and Android devices.
Tantric Meditation Positions For Intimacy
Here are some positions to help you foster deeper intimacy between you and your partner (1).
It means cuddling with a little direction. It is a form of emotional energy tantric meditation as you are pushing your nurturing feelings and energy into your partner.
- Begin by deciding who needs the most nurturing. This determines who gets to be the bigger spoon (the giver) and who is the little spoon (the receiver). Both of you should then lie on your left side.
- The giver then proceeds to line up his/her chakras with the partner’s chakra. I.e., chest to chest, pelvis to pelvis, etc.
- Be sure to use your pillows to prop head, neck, and shoulders high enough so you can slip the left arm under your partner’s neck and bring your hand to rest lightly on the third eye chakra of his/her forehead or the crown chakra at the top of his/her head.
- Your right arm should cradle your partner, with your hand over his/her heart; your partner should then rest his/her hand on top of yours.
- Synchronize your breaths together. As you exhale, concentrate on sending energy out the front of your body into your partner and as they exhale, they should concentrate on accepting energy through the back into all of their chakras.
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Yab-Yum Or Lotus
This is the most known position for tantric meditation and tantric meditation sex. Here is how to do it with a partner:
- Have your partner sit cross-legged.
- Sit on your partner’s upper thighs and cross your ankles behind their back.
- Breathe in sync and stare into each other’s eyes.
You could also do it by yourself:
- Sit on your knees on the bed or floor.
- When comfortable, begin to arch your back slowly.
- Rest your head on the bed or floor, then stretch out your arms about your head.
- Have your palms facing downward. When ready, use one hand to explore your body.
- While sitting facing each other with a soft gaze, bring your hands to your own heart and breathe up into your heart.
- As you feel the love that is welling up in your heart for your partner, reach across and place your right hand on your partner’s heart (with consent), and they can place their right hand on your heart.
- Each person’s left hand then covers the hand on their own heart. Synchronize your breathing, with slow, deep, nourishing breaths.
- On the inhale, receive breath and love into your own heart, and on the exhale, send that love from your heart down your right arm and into your partner’s heart, making a circuit of love and energy flowing between you. Do this for about 10 breaths.
How Is Tantric Meditation Different From Others?
Unlike other forms of meditation that are well accepted by Buddhists, the practice of tantric meditation is shunned due to its use of rituals and is considered as a degradation. The actual practices of Vajrayana meditation are also shrouded in secrets that only those who are initiated can know and are not allowed to reveal.
The Bottom Line
While tantric meditation is commonly known for its benefit towards a more explosive and intimate sex life, it clearly embodies more than this. It is a wide spectrum that covers more than intimacy and delves into personal enlightenment can also be dangerous if one chooses to try black tantra.
Meditation is the best anxiety-quelling tool out there, so roll out your mat and press the play button.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 3 Tantra Techniques for Deeper Love (2007, yogajournal.com)
- A Tantra Meditation To Enhance Your Love Life (2015, mindbodygreen.com)
- An Introduction to Buddhist Tantra (2018, learnreligions.com)
- Everything you need to know about tantric sex (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Everything You Need to Know About Tantric Yoga (2019, healthline.com)
- How to Practice Tantric Sex: 26 Tips for Masturbation and Partner Play (2019, healthline.com)
- Tantra Rising (2017, yogajournal.com)
- The Colors of Tantra (2018, medium.com)
- The history of Tantra (2007, newstatesman.com)
- Vajrayana (Tantric or Esoteric) Buddhism (n.d., britannica.com)
- White Tantric Yoga® (n.d., 3ho.org)
- YJ Tried It: White Tantric Yoga (2019, yogajournal.com)