Ecstatic Moments on the Tantric Path by Bob Theiss
“Sunday morning arrives. We practice morning meditation and drink our ritual cup of tea. There is an obvious innocence and passion in our morning greeting as we embrace each other. Today, like every Sunday, we take a break from our full time jobs, community service and parenting responsibilities. We have agreed to make every Sunday a day of complete rest, play and lovemaking, in the tantra tradition. This is a spiritual practice—our bedroom becomes our temple, our home our sanctuary. We have arranged candles, incense and other artifacts that speak to our hearts. An altar displays memorable photos, special gifts received and cards with words spoken from the truth of our being. We make our bed into a sacred temple and, sitting before each other, we invoke deities, our guides and family members who have passed over, to join us in this celebration of spirit and body. Sometimes we connect our breathing with our attention on our energy centers, or chakras. Other times we sit in silence, deeply connecting with God and each other, even as our minds continue to mutter the importance of unfinished projects, unfulfilled deadlines. For the next several hours, we massage, caress and stimulate each other, riding the waves of energy that build upon each other. Slowly, we begin to sense a presence within us that is profound and exhilarating. Gazing into each other’s eyes, we see the face of divinity reflected back to us. It is truly breathtaking, even as the mind so dutifully questions the reality before us. We inhale deeply, taking in the next wave of ecstasy that flows through the body. The energy builds, but this time it is more powerful. The sense of losing ourselves begins to merge with another emerging sense—that of connecting deeply, profoundly, in healing and touch. Yet another wave, and our bodies feel the energy intensely, like a sweet honey swimming within every cell, touching parts of ourselves that remind us of a feeling almost forgotten. My God, it feels like home, bringing tears and laughter, embracement and gratitude. Did we experience a physical orgasm? Sometimes we do, but it doesn’t matter, for we have experienced trust, intimacy and whatever we call this divine quality of ourselves. The mind’s agenda is now but a whisper. We give thanks for this opportunity to know the pleasures of being a physical, human being. We offer our blessings to all who, like us, were misled about their inherent beauty. We bow before each other, recognizing the courage to be so vulnerable, so present! Thank you spirit for this gift of love!
Ecstasy & Balance Tantra is about ecstatic experience. Ecstasy is not a word often used in this culture to describe our day-to-day reality. In fact for many of us, an ecstatic or blissful moment happens so seldom that we have grown reluctant to believe it exists at all. We’ve learned to accept a poor substitute, a diminished self that has become easily satisfied by daily routines. And yet, the yearning to connect with something greater than ourselves continues.
Tantra is also about balance. We recognize our male nature as being aligned with the mind. This aspect of ourselves is very good at doing things, perceiving the rational, logistic side of life. Our female nature resides within our heart, offering an intuitive, nurturing ability to perceive our life from an unlimited perspective. Learning to maintain a balance between these seemingly polarized aspects of our selves requires absolute honest reflection. The ecstasy experience of union with another is the byproduct of achieving this balance within ourselves. These ecstatic moments offer insights to our conflicts, resolution to dilemmas that appear unworkable and fresh ideas to a weary and tired mind.
Tantra is a map to that place greater than ourselves that we so yearn to connect with. It is about trust, open communication and freeing our passions. It is about revealing our creative potentials, loving ourselves and sharing that love with others. It has become our way of life, finding those ecstatic moments while mowing the lawn, washing the dishes or driving down the freeway. Each moment is another opportunity to stretch ourselves and open our senses to the divine moment, no matter how mundane the activity. Tantra is about using our imagination to create change, feeling inter-connected to life. It is about bringing balance, cooperation and partnership to the male and female aspects within us. Ultimately, tantra is a journey within, looking and feeling for that authentic voice. It is a path that seeks solutions without blame, action without violence.
If you are reading this article, perhaps you feel the pain of this planet’s ills and are disillusioned by the state of human affairs. Such feelings can depress the way we experience personal life. And yet, denying ourselves a connection to our natural birthright—to feeling fully connected to our body and the universe—makes our efforts to change this world less effective. We are being asked to do nothing less than energize an emerging culture that values and respects all of life. To do this successfully, we are also being asked to break the fetters within ourselves that diminish our abilities. I feel we are being asked to look duality in the eye with a love that has no agenda. This is tantra.
Divinity through Sexuality Some of the greatest gifts and the grossest misconceptions about tantra have to do with sex. Although it is true that lovemaking has become our yoga— an opportunity to experience the truth of ourselves—it is equally true that it has taken me and my wife many years of exploring into our true natures to arrive here. I spent most of my adult life searching for the elusive quality of divinity, only to find it in the most unlikely of places. Like most people, I was taught to separate my sexual experiences from my spiritual relationships. I was surprised, overjoyed and overwhelmed to experience what I call my divine nature through the art of making love in the tantra tradition.
Perhaps, in a different lifetime, my awakened divinity would find me ascending into my God self, leaving this earthly plane behind as I am embraced by my angelic family. But my life’s real story has been a journey to discover my divinity within this body, coming full circle from years of guilt, shame and denial. Like peeling an onion, the layers of conditioning have been stripped away to reveal a truth about a collective wound that we all seem to share in common. I now embrace this wound with tremendous compassion.
Where did we ever learn to believe that we don’t deserve and are not worthy of love? Why do we believe that this is not a safe world to express love in? And how do we move from this place that fears being vulnerable, hurt and disrespected? How do we learn to trust our heart? How do we openly communicate with our partner what gives us pleasure? How can we learn to stop identifying ourselves as the by-product of our social upbringing? Can we simply listen to our partner, without taking it personally, when they find the courage to give voice to all the lies we inherit? When are we going to reveal in our relationships the magical, spontaneous and adventurous soul that got lost in all the pressures to not be that?
A lot of us are in relationships now, or have had past relationships that feel disconnected from our passion, ability to trust and receive love. We have learned to maintain a mask that serves to protect the wounded aspects of ourselves. We have discovered that by removing ourselves from our emotions, we don’t feel the hurt.
Paradoxically, practicing the art of touching and receiving presents a new relationship for many couples. Re-establishing our connection with spirit and earth shifts how we draw our energy and needs from the finite source of each other to an unlimited source of abundance. Learning to maintain this connection, we stop looking to others to do for us what we feel we lack within ourselves. This energy work is a vital part of our tantric experience. Learning to feel the energies all around us allows us to more deeply explore the merging of our bodies and souls.
Learning to explore our sexual identity asks us to relate to our emotions as the powerhouse behind our thoughts. As I learned to trust my ability to use love to transform my fears, I began to safely explore the deeper traditions of tantra. Intimacy and vulnerability became my ally in my relationship with my partner. Now we choose balance, acceptance and self-love as our spiritual foundation.
We feel deeply honored to share with others a spiritual practice that has transformed our sexual experience and our perception of our day-to-day reality. It is a way of life that honors and respects all aspects of ourselves as being whole and worthy of love. As much as I desire to live in a world that honors and respects all of life, I know that it begins with me. Learning to be the peace I desire in this world, be self-respect, honest and tolerant, it then becomes more than just another concept, prayer or idea. It becomes reality.
Robert Theiss is the founder of Ancient Wings, a spiritual based organization that teaches the Tantric Path. He is a spiritual healer/teacher, nationally recognized artist and visionary. He has been facilitating workshops on personal growth since 1989. Kosejenka Filipovic is a spiritual healer/teacher, designer and artist. They are married with four children.
Robert & Kosejenka will be co-teaching Tantric Path workshops this fall in Portland, Oregon. For more info, contact: www.ancientwings.com. Or call 541-937-3051.