Spirituality

Ethical sexual behavior in Tantra

Ethical sexual behavior in Tantra

The responsibility of teaching tantra and the question of “open relationships”

Teaching tantra is no simple job. Contributing to spread this ancient knowledge that has led to the liberation so many human beings over the centuries must be considered a real mission.
This requires exemplary preparation, both theoretical and in the direct experience of what is taught, with a complete integration of this knowledge into one’s life.
It is necessary to specify that it is not possible to separate tantra from yoga, as the first is considered a branch of the second.
In the last decade, with the boom of yoga in the West, the oriental holistic disciplines have become very fashionable but, often, they have lost the depth of the teachings. Instead, for the most part they have become yet another entertainment for the Western mind always in search of new stimuli. Yoga has become a gymnastics and tantra is a very fashionable thing to improve intimacy, exchange massages or indulge in the pleasures of the body and s*ex.
Tantra is a spiritual path that aims at the recognition of the Supreme Self in each of us.
Tantra is the search for God in the most intimate part of ourselves.
Nothing less than that!
Only by maintaining this approach it will be possible to avoid losing the depth of this ancient spiritual path. On the other hand, it is true that, by taking the path of Red Tantra, which includes the practical use of s*exual energy to access the Divinity that is in each of us, s*exuality becomes something never experienced before, opening up to unimaginable levels of pleasure.
It is also true that, in this journey, partners can find an intimacy so profound and sincere as it is unlikely between two people in bed. But until the two lovers drop the illusion of their identity to become One with the everything, merging into the Supreme Source from which everything derives, it cannot be called tantra.
Along the tantric path, due to the integration of s*exuality as an important human aspect, strong morality and correct behavior are absolutely essential.
S*exuality is one of the most integral aspects of the human being but, for this reason, it is also the most sensitive. It can be the source of the most powerful energy, recharging and regenerating all aspects of our being and our life, or a huge obstacle that blocks the free flow of energy and stifles our human potential.
S*exuality can create the strongest attachments and cloud the lucid vision of the mind and discernment, leading to conduct that does not respect oneself and others.
A tantra teacher must constantly check the purity of the intent and make sure that he/she does not use tantra and the role of the teacher for personal purposes and s*exual gain.
Creating a safe energy space is a primary responsibility of the tantra teacher.
Due to millennia of repressive culture, many women still have difficulties in navigating in the sphere of their own s*exuality.
A high number of women who was abused, often very early in life, approach tantra in search of healing.
This sacred approach can really be a great resource in this case. Experiencing that there are many men willing to honor the body of a woman like a Goddess is already a great healing in itself.
Despite this, these students may feel very vulnerable in the circumstance of a tantra workshop. The teacher has the responsibility to create a safe space where they feel protected and supported.
Many girls idealize the teacher and hope to receive help in the process of freeing their s*exual energy. This could actually happen, as the tantra teacher is an expert, but it is necessary to take very good care to the circumstance.
A girl who is approaching s*exually her tantra teacher out of idealization or projection, most probably can end in some unclear situation which will bring a lot of frustration, jealousy, attachment and pain. It is the responsibility of the teacher to pay attention to this and avoid any unhealthy situation, sometime evaluating that is better to avoid s*exual intercourse with students, for the benefit of the teaching and of the student.
Recently, in different spiritual environments around the world, we have been witness to so many scandals exactly for this reason.
Let’s clarify this: despite what many people think in the modern tantra world, this path does not have to pass necessarily through “open relationships” or promiscuous s*exuality. People often use tantra as an excuse to justify frivolous and shallow behaviors.
You can practice tantra in your long-term relationship as well and this sometimes is even better. By knowing each other so well, the level of intimacy can be really amazing.
Open relationships can be a possibility only if both partners are deeply willing to explore it and no one is suffering. Otherwise this can bring about a lot of difficult emotions to deal with and waste a lot of energy. This is absolutely counterproductive.
Big suffering due to disharmonious relationships can leave traumatic memories in the psychic apparatus that can take years to heal.
Every time, in name of s*exual freedom or the erroneous use of the concept of tantra, suffering is created and also negative karma is created. We do not consider this beneficial for spiritual accomplishment.
Whatever you choose to do in your relationship and in your s*exual life, this is an invitation to be aware not to use the name of tantra as an excuse for dwelling in superficiality and to escape depth and commitment.

Teaching Yoga in the Twentieth Century: Pro’s and Con’s of the Modern Era For Spirituality

Teaching Yoga in the Twentieth Century: Pro’s and Con’s of the Modern Era For Spirituality

What does it mean to be a spiritual seeker in modern times, in the Internet age?
Before the world became so technological, if you wanted to receive the teachings of a master you had to travel across the world, by land, to go and knock at the doors of a guru who likely would test your determination by letting you wait days or months at the doorstep.
Once accepted, the student had to serve the guru and revere his guidance as a servant. In return, he received knowledge. How many of these stories have been known for millennia, in the Himalayas and on the banks of the Ganges! That was the price you had to pay, the fair exchange to receive the teachings of a guru.
Now it’s all different. You can access everything with a click and pay with a bank transfer.
On the internet, even we Westerners can access some of the ancient knowledge of yoga and tantra without moving from home or receive it in a concentrated way in a few weeks, without so much effort.
On the other hand, the “market of spirituality” is so inundated with any kind of information and concentration of disciplines that for those who want to seriously deepen their spiritual research, it’s not so easy to find the right source of knowledge without running into superficial surrogates rather than any authentic kind of yoga or especially tantra.
In the era in which yoga has become only gymnastics and tantra has been transformed into so many things except the original teaching, how do you find your way? How to avoid taking paths that leave you confused and make waste so much time?
Even those who hear the call to teach are confronted with the modalities of modernity. The teacher no longer waits for the students to arrive guided by the law of karma.
If a teacher now wants to fill his or her courses, he must use trendy language, have a website with gorgeous photos, advertise on Facebook, write a book that becomes a bestseller on Amazon, etc…
The truth is that a yoga teacher must spend a lot of time in front of the computer (which is not at all yogic) if he or she wants to spread this knowledge. He must adapt to the language of the world. To carry his message, the yogi must leave the cave where he has meditated for so long and force a foot into the “system.”
He must practice using the computer, write interesting articles and put on a good face to shoot videos to post. Only then he can attract attention!
The “job” of the yoga and tantra teacher has become inflated. What’s more, let’s not forget that while most yoga teachings now are only oriented to the well-being of the physical body, more spiritually oriented teachers must find their place in the same crowd.
So any teacher who feels in her heart that she must bring the more spiritual and esoteric teaching, and that this is what matters the most, must nevertheless jump into the jungle of competition among the millions of teachers who are out there presenting a mainstream, physical version of yoga.
It is not easy to maintain a yogic mental state in these conditions. It is very easy to fall back into mental agitation and lose the “detachment” that is so much taught in yoga.
It is also easy to enter into competition patterns with other teachers, because in any case a school must also survive economically in order to have a future and to be sustainable.
What we see in the world of yoga teachers in the twentieth century is that those who are successful and attract many students are not the teachers who have such strong spiritual aspiration and capacity to inspire other human beings – a fundamental requirement of a teacher – but those who are economically strong and can invest in marketing and advertising.
This is an invitation for every yoga teacher (including us of course) to remain fully aware of ourselves, to understand how the compromises we make in order to teach in modern times affect our own integrity.

Amita

 

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