Tantra is not about having wonderful sex. It is about becoming open and awake in our whole being – which makes sex as wonderful as it makes any experience. Much of contemporary Western Tantra is focussed on the pleasure and beauty to be found in sexual and sensual intimacy, and good that it is so because it helps people get free of the heavy conditioning – whether repressive, or shaming, or exploiting and sexist, or merely crude and trivialising – that still shapes mainstream sexual attitudes. Good too because the idea of finding more enjoyment in sex attracts lots of people who might not otherwise discover the deeper and higher mysteries that lie beyond the entrance hall of erotic pleasure. They can be discovered through Zen meditation too, but there are not so many takers.
As we venture beyond the entrance hall, it is not just that we experience more; we BECOME so much more of our own magic and beauty – more perceptive, more sensitive, more playful, more creative, more loving, more understanding, more intuitive, more trusting, more graceful, more passionate and more serene too. If we keep opening to our inner being, one day we open beyond the things of this world – beyond even ourselves. We come to our soul, the bridge on which we balance between our being and eternity, open to both. Whatever we do now is with soul-consciousness.
The Tantric journey is this inner progress: from sensing into feeling into heart into being into soul. On the journey our life becomes a mystical adventure, in which, as we become adept at being with whatever life brings, we are also not contained within it or limited by it. We play, work, love and make love with total presence and in all of it we are one with the eternal spirit: this is the meaning of mystical.
This is what Tantra is really all about, but because Tantra can mean just the preliminaries going on in the entrance hall, I prefer to call it Mystical Tantra. If we never get beyond the entrance hall, pleasurable though that sexy state may be, it keeps us limited; it is always the experience that matters. If we are tuned in enough to recognise that all the gratification leaves us still longing, then we need to go further in. Searching for what we are still missing, we find ourselves discovering WHO we are still missing. No matter what the experience may be, our adventure becomes the quest to transform the experiencer. This is mystical Tantra.