Tantra of solitude? Tantra is something you practice with your lover, right? Isn’t it a dance for two? So now that many of us are quarantined away from our partners, it might seem like our tantric practice has been put on hold. Don’t despair, solitary tantrikas! Now is actually an amazing time to practice tantra on a deeper level. We can come out of isolation as an overflowing cup, ready to pour our love and high energy on a world that will need it so much.
Aloneness vs Loneliness
The first step is to make a distinction for yourself between aloneness and loneliness. Being isolated is a fact. Within that is the option to feel lonely – like you are missing something – or to feel simple alone. Aloneness is a state of completeness. It is feeling content and whole within yourself. It is the sense that everything can be found inside, and therefore nothing is lacking: no need for an external mirror to validate your own existence. This inner solitude, in fact, can be felt as much in the middle of a crowd as at the top of a mountain. Most of our habitual socializing comes from a need for distraction, a feeling of incompleteness and a need for external validation. With deep meditation and spiritual practice in solitude, these needs start to lose their bite.
As the great Christian mystic Thomas Merton wrote, “Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say. Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.” Go inside yourself. Find that presence, that depth of your being that is always there and always complete.
Work With Your Own Energy
Just because your partner isn’t here, there’s no reason not to work with your own sexual energy. You will come out of this “retreat” as a stronger tantric practitioner thanks to tantra of solitude! For men, focus on sublimation. If you aren’t yet consistent in non-ejaculation, now is your time to stabilize, practicing with self-pleasure instead of with a lover. For women, enjoy this time to explore your sexual power without the complications of a partner. Self-pleasure, jade egg practice, belly dance, and just being deeply present with your body and its capacity for pleasure in so many forms.
The energy of self-quarantine actually is very feminine, in a way: a season for withdrawing from the world, resting, nourishing ourselves, germinating like a seed under the ground. And for all genders, it is the perfect moment to go deep in hatha yoga, an essential element of tantra. Use this time to become intimate with the energies of your own body. If you’re interested in specific practices and guidance, feel free to contact Aum Tantra Yoga for our free tantra video, or join one of our Facebook Live sessions.
Explore Both Polarities
As tantrics, we like to play the game of polarity. Men cultivate their masculinity and women their femininity, so we can meet each other with the greatest energetic charge possible. But to be truly balanced in your own polarity, you need to have contact with the opposite within you. It’s like the yin-yang symbol, where there’s always a dot of white inside the black and black inside the white. Stabilizing your latent polarity (since of course each of us contains both, only one is usually more expressed) allows you to go deep into your expressed polarity, without losing balance.
You can be a feminine force-of-nature woman, all charm and sensuality and flow, while keeping your center and verticality. Or a super-masculine man with power and presence like the eye of a storm, yet profoundly sensitive and sensual. Exploring your masculine and feminine side together will help you feel stable and complete without a partner, and when you finally come out of isolation—out of tantra of solitude—you can enjoy the dance of polarity with a lighter step. Your particular expression will be a conscious choice blossoming from an understanding of the whole picture.
Tantra traditionally is divided into two branches: “left-hand tantra”, where the union of masculine and feminine is enacted as sexual union between two partners, and “right-hand tantra,” where sexual energy is used in purely ritualistic form, a union between a practitioner and a deity. Mantras and yantras, plus a healthy dash of devotion, are the tools of choice for right-hand tantrikas. True right-hand tantra is not easily accessible, as it calls for a high level of sublimation and yogic practice. However, in solitude it is the natural choice.
During your self-isolation, you can begin to explore this attitude and practice tantra of solitude. If you are used to encountering God or the Goddess in the form of your partner, go to it directly. Make love with Shiva or Shakti in your heart. And do it with as much passion, as much desire as you would with a flesh-and-blood lover. This is the real test of your tantric practice: can you truly go beyond form? How are you experiencing tantra of solitude or tantric practice during your time in isolation? Share in the comments!