Tantra and Relationship By Lokita Carter
Most of us yearn for a long-lasting, happy and exciting relationship. But this kind of relationship doesn’t just miraculously unfold in our lives. We create it.
In the beginning, there is the never-ending honeymoon. We meet “the one” and everything is exciting, even perfect. Lovemaking is simply divine, unbelievable, the communication is brilliant, and we can’t bear to be apart from each other. We are enraptured by the beauty of our new mate, and see the God or Goddess every time we gaze upon their cherished face.
But after awhile, the thrill wears off, things settle down, the excitement begins to fade, the sex becomes less, and more uninteresting, and we get used to each other. Familiarity has transformed the powerful God into a normal man, the irresistible Goddess into an ordinary woman. This is the stage when many relationships become difficult and the risk for separation is great.
At this (or any) point in a relationship it is great to remember that we are the creators of our own reality. If we want to continue to be in that special, enraptured state with our beloved, there are things we can do together.
Tantra For many, Tantra is an unknown yet exciting and exotic subject. Some sources describe it as an excuse to overindulge in sexual adventures, orgies and the like, but nothing could be further from the truth! Tantra, translated from ancient Sanskrit as “tools for expansion”, is a much greater well of wisdom than that.
Tantra offers many different practices to help open doors to fulfillment and spirituality. Only about twenty percent of Tantra is devoted to practices involving sexuality. “That’s it? Only twenty percent?” you might ask. So then, why is there so much emphasis on the sexual aspects of Tantra? The answer is that sexuality is one of the easiest ways to reach an altered state of consciousness, to have a spiritual experience. At the peak moment of sexual union, our minds disappear, we become truly one with each other, and enter into timelessness. Tantra teaches us how to reach those states again and again, and effortlessly, in our love life and our daily lives.
Needless to say, Tantra doesn’t apply to couples only. If you are not in a relationship, you can learn many tantric skills to cherish your inner lover, to prepare yourself to receive the relationship you desire—short-term or long lasting, monogamous or not. By learning relationship and lovemaking skills you are opening yourself to the possibility of getting what you want in your love life. And when the right person finally appears, you will know how to sustain the specialness.
I myself was single for seven years. My previous relationship had ended painfully, and I was not able to trust and open up to another man. I continued my study and practice of Tantra during those seven years, and when I met my now-husband Steve, I was completely ready to embrace him as my partner, and give all my best skills to the relationship. I’m glad I waited and prepared for so long!
Since the very beginning of our time together, we have been living what we call a “tantric lifestyle”. Our tantric journey began long before we met. I spent many years in the presence of a tantric master whose teaching imbued me with my life philosophy. It covers all aspects of my life—work, love, sex, time off—and it transforms even the most mundane tasks, such as washing the dishes, into a sacred and special activity. Similarly, my husband Steve spent years working as a therapist, training with Margot Anand and other teachers. Since being together we have taken many Tantra workshops that have helped enrich our experience of each other, our intimacy and our daily life.
In our private time, we practice twice a week. Practically, it is very simple. At the agreed time, one of us will prepare our sacred space lovingly. It is located in an extra bedroom in our house, and filled with sensuous, special things that help create an intimate atmosphere.
We begin with a heart salutation to enter into sacred time. We bow to each other and acknowledge the god and goddess within the other. The telephones are turned off, so that we can totally let go into being together for the purpose of coming closer together and expanding our intimacy.
We have an agreement that on one occasion Steve can decide what he would like to practice, and on the next occasion it is my turn. In this way we keep a balance and each of us gets to create and receive what we really want. Before we begin, we state our desires, fears and boundaries for the practice. This ritual is designed to communicate our truth in that moment.
Our practice can be very simple. One day we may share a massage, and the next we may have a communication about our love life, or practice the Breath of Love, a breathing meditation for couples. And sometimes our practice leads to making love. Each practice is complete in itself, and once over, we share about our experience. This helps us to understand the other and stabilize the intimate foundation of trust and love that we have as a couple.
Tantra lives within the simplest task—as long as it is done with awareness. It doesn’t have to be a complicated subject requiring eons of study before we can experience and know what it’s all about. Awareness is the key to Timeless Loving. It is this space of timelessness, when all else ceases to exist and nothing matters but the present moment, that most spiritual masters are teaching us about. There is only the present.
Even when the telephone rings off the hook, and there are a thousand and one deadlines to meet…. we can decide, we have the choice, for how we want to spend our life.
It’s not always easy. As much as Steve and I have a deep love for each other, we do have our challenges, just like everyone else. As we come closer together, resistance and fear may arise, with the potential to undermine our good times. Attachment to stress and being busy all the time can block ecstasy and bliss. But I know for sure that, with a little bit of awareness, all that can change.
The other day a friend commented, “It’s so good to see that you’re not the perfect couple either, that you are just like us.” I thought about that for a moment, then answered, “Well, we are the perfect couple. We are just the way we are, and that is perfect”.Our tantric practice has helped us refine our relationship skills, thus we experience our life as an adventurous journey into the unknown. It doesn’t matter where it leads us—the journey, not the destination, is our goal.
Steve and Lokita Carter live in Northern California. They teach “Timeless Loving”, a workshop about living a Tantric Lifestyle, and are scheduled at Breitenbush Hot Springs over Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-27. For more information about their work, visit www.ecstaticliving.com or call them at 1-877-982-6872.