Sacred Sex: Ancient Tantric Practices for Modern Lovers
BY MARC ALLEN
sacred sex is about the consciousness and awareness which we bring to the act, elevating it from mere physical pleasure to a spiritual experience of growth, expansion and personal evolution.
It is time we saw sex as the truly sacred act it is: It unites us with the forces of creation, showing us the wonder of what is. It is a path to enlightenment.
Sex is a vital force, a force to be understood, and dealt with—and yet so many people have not dealt with it effectively! They run from it, or feel trapped in it or frustrated with it, or keep searching for it—and find no satisfaction in any of these choices.
The great teaching of tantra is that we can find inner peace and joy by plunging into every feeling, every desire, every moment—rejecting nothing, as long as we don’t hurt anyone.
Any activity whatsoever, if gone into deeply enough, will lead to ultimate understanding, freedom, and peace.
This includes our sex lives.
Some Questions for You to Answer
Take an honest look at your attitudes toward sex. Do you like it? Do you want it? Do parts of it seem shameful or immoral? Should you have it with only one person? Are you basically monogamous? Polygamous? Asexual? Are you satisfied with your present sexual situation? Could it be improved? Do you have any views or feelings about sex, sacred or otherwise that might be holding you back from living the kind of life you would love to live?
It doesn’t matter how you answer these questions. You are a free being—your true nature is already absolutely free. So you can feel any way you want about sex, or relationships, or marriage, or anything and everything else. But if you find that your views and beliefs are limiting your freedom, or hurting you in some way, or keeping you from getting what you want in life, it’s very useful to take a good, clear look at those beliefs. Plunge into them, examine them, and describe them clearly to yourself.
Whatever your sex life currently is, you might as well feel good about it! You’re creating it for yourself, so you must have good reasons. You may or may not be conscious of this, of course. But you can become conscious of it right now if you just think about it for a moment, which begins to lead you into the real of sacred sexuality.
The first step is to be totally honest. How have you felt about your sexual relationships? Do you have regrets about anything? Do you feel guilty about anything? Take some time to examine that one—guilt is a popular state of mind in our culture.
Trust Your Self-Expression
The world has changed. The idea that we have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has caught on. We’re free to be ourselves and express our sacred sexuality. We’ve learned that you can’t dictate or legislate morality:Everyone has their own inner moral sense and is free to act accordingly—as long as they don’t violate anyone else’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The best guidance is always found within you in life and in the act of sacred sex. Trust and respect your own impulses, your own feelings. Trust that your inner guidance will lead you to discover the life and lifestyle perfect for you. If you follow your feelings, you’ll never go wrong. You may do something extreme—if so, you’ll find a much greater clarity about yourself afterward, if you examine your feelings carefully and honestly.
It’s all right to do something extreme once in a while. I have a rule of thumb about this: Everything in moderation—and that includes some excess (in moderation).
I’ve known so many people who are excessively moderate, and underneath all their moderation is a fear of their deepest feelings and impulses—they’re afraid of themselves, and stuck in rigid models of what they should and should not do. This kind of moderation will never help us become truly free.
Cultivating and Balancing Sexual Energy
A beautiful, dynamic source of energy in the universe is waiting to be tapped—the energy of creation that we explore in the act of sacred sex.
We’ve all experienced this energy. When you put a man and a woman together, you have the energy of creation. (Or, if you prefer, you can say that when you put two women or two men together, you have the energy of creation—tantra embraces everything, rejecting nothing, so of course it embraces gay lifestyles and every other lifestyle as well. Don’t be put off by the male-female language in this article. Substitute your own changes wherever necessary.)
Much has been written and taught about transmuting sexual energy. For most of us, however, this is unnecessary and redundant, for sexual energy transmutes itself. When our sexual energy moves through our bodies, we experience a physical, mental, and emotional transmutation of that energy. This happens whether we’re making love in the act of sacred sex, meditating, or masturbating.
How does this take place? Our body is an energy system, and different parts of our bodies are different centers of energy. Our sexual center contains a very powerful source of energy, and when we focus on it by physically arousing it or mentally concentrating on it, we find that it is a dynamic force—it moves.
When we let it move as it will, we find that its natural movement is upward, through our abdomen, into our hearts, and still further upward into higher centers of energy and glandular activity in the throat, the forehead, and the crown of the head. This energy can then literally shower over our entire being, rejuvenating, purifying, healing, strengthening, which is one of the many benefits of engaging in sacred sex. Making love opens our hearts and expands our minds. It raises our consciousness, and connects us with the infinite so powerfully that even atheists find themselves shouting, “Oh, God!”
Many people, trying to be either moral or spiritual, cut themselves off from their sources of power in their so-called lower centers of energy. Many people on spiritual paths believe, as those in Shakespeare’s time did, that an orgasm is a “little death,” something that dissipates life energy.And some teachers from India teach that sexual orgasm weakens the system, and that the energy needs to be held in and drawn up into the higher centers to awaken true freedom and enlightenment. The result—except for those rare few who just aren’t suited for sexual expression—is repression, self-denial, and guilt.
I know, because I’ve tried that path. And I’ve known many others who have tried it—and many who are still trying. I found that celibacy doesn’t work for most of us, at least in the West. It requires too much denial of our feelings, desires, and impulses. It leads to a rejection of ourselves and our culture, and even, in a very basic way, a rejection of the life force itself and that is the farthest thing from sacred sex I know.
I don’t mean to deny the value of celibacy for those who feel they’re getting something worthwhile out of it. Tantra embraces all paths—even the path of those who deny or withhold their sexual energy. The path of tantra teaches us to accept everyone and every other path, even those who criticize or condemn us for saying what we have to say.
Every person must find their own path, in their own heart.
For most of us, sexual energy is something to be celebrated, enjoyed, and used as a great vehicle, through the act of sacred sex, to propel us forward on our path to liberation and light. This is the path of tantra.
Our bodies are miraculous creations. They’re to be respected, admired, appreciated, enjoyed. A deep truth that emerges from spiritual study is that we are all God-like beings; we have created our phenomenal bodies through our own DNA; we have grown ourselves from infancy to maturity. If we believe God is omnipresent, that means God is in every cell of our bodies. So when one person admires another walking down the street, it is God admiring God’s own creation. And the one being admired is also God enjoying God’s own creation.
Sex is more than a natural impulse—it is a deeply sacred act. When two bodies are joined, a very special temple is created through the force of two spirits, two energy fields, blending into one. A powerful energy flows between the two bodies that is deeply healing, strengthening, refreshing. It is a profound opening…a letting go…a perfect, wordless meditation on the creative forces of life. This is sacred sex.
Some Principles of Tantric Sex
Ancient tantric sex practices are described, sometimes literally, sometimes symbolically, in many books. Two amazing tantric temples still stand in India, adorned with thousands of statues in different sacred sexual positions and practices (although, from what I have heard, the Indian guides to these temples seem embarrassed by them, and tell people that they are somehow metaphorical rather than physical, when the statues are obviously explicit and extremely un-Victorian).
Many of the ancient tantric practices involve elaborate preparations that celebrate all the senses—including different foods and wine for taste, flowers for sight, incense for smell, bells and other musical instruments for sound, and our bodies for touch. The most important element in the sacred sexual practices is the acceptance and enjoyment of all the things that give us pleasure, and an appreciation of beauty.
Some teachers define tantric sex as sex in which you don’t reach an orgasm but meditate deeply together for a long period. This is a beautiful way to make love—but certainly not the only way to make love. In my opinion, tantric sex includes all kinds of sex, rejecting nothing. Come if you wish, or don’t come—whatever your heart desires.
There is nothing to reject in our sexual energy and our sexual relationships—there is beauty in each moment of our lives.
There is nothing to reject with sacred sexuality or in life in general; there is beauty and wonder in each eternal moment here and now.
Create your own tantric practices—and they’ll be the best practices of all for you. You are free to do whatever you wish. You’re free to live out your deepest, most soaring fantasies.
Tantric Practice: A Beautiful Way to Make Love
Here’s one specific sacred sexual practice. Let it serve as a model for you to create your own. Adapt it in any way you wish.
+ Lie with your partner, or sit together. Bask in the beautiful simplicity of just being with each other, silently.
+ See, and enjoy, and caress each other’s bodies….
+ At some time, the man says to the woman, focusing on her body, “This is the temple.” At some time, the woman says to the man, focusing on his body, “This is the temple.”
+ At some time, the woman focuses on the man’s sacred sexual center of energy and says, “This is the key to the temple.” At some time, the man focuses on the woman’s sacred sexual center and says, “This is the entrance to the temple.”
+ Then the key is slowly and gently placed into the entrance… and each says, in their own way, in their own time, in their own words, “We are in the temple, receiving the blessings of the Universe.”
+ Words here are optional, because you may want to just go on without words.
+ Now feel, as completely and as sensitively as you can, the creative energy of the Universe flowing through you, blessing you, giving you eternal youth, eternal vitality.
+ Feel how good it is to be alive…you are life itself….
Feel your oneness with all of existence….
Feel your natural divinity….
The energy within flows from your sexual area to the highest levels of consciousness….
You are one with All….
You are light, you are life.
It is time we saw sex as the truly sacred act it is: It unites us with the forces of creation, showing us the wonder of what is. It is a true path to enlightenment.
Tantric Practice: Sustaining Sexual Energy
Some men—especially young men—can find it difficult to sustain their sexual energy long enough to give their partners a truly deep and fulfilling experience. Stimulation is so intense for men that they can find it difficult to control. A few simple techniques can help give the man as much control when making love as he wishes, allowing him to reach a climax just as his partner does.
The first technique is mental; the others are physical:
1. In your mind’s eye, circulate the energy through your body when making love. The intense stimulation is centered purely in your sexual center, so move the energy up your spine and circulate it around your body and your partner’s body. This allows you to make love and experience sacred sex for much longer.
2. When deeply united with your partner, if the man moves more in a circular pattern than in a straight in-and-out pattern, the lovemaking will last much longer. This is more exciting for the woman, generally, and a bit less exciting for the man, giving the woman more time to catch up with the man’s level of excitement and to help prolong the act of sacred sex.
The final technique is part of the “chaotic meditation” that was taught by Bhagwan Rajneesh (Osho), a well-known teacher and prolific author from India. If you do this exercise, you will probably discover that it strengthens you sexually, giving you the control to prolong and enjoy sacred sex as long as you want.
Do it when you’re alone. It may seem peculiar—but give it a try. I don’t, however, recommend it to anyone with a heart condition, because it is very strenuous.
1. Put your hands up over your head, and jump up and down vigorously for ten minutes while shouting, “Hu!” with force every time you land on your feet. Breathe from your diaphragm—deeply, down in your stomach, and lower.
2. After two minutes, you’ll probably be exhausted. But go beyond your imaginary physical limits, and you’ll find that you can jump for ten minutes quite easily, once you get into it. Don’t strain, but do jump energetically.
3. Then relax.
Afterward, you’ll find that the muscles in your abdominal area are much stronger, and that you have a source of power and energy within you that is much more potent than anything you might have imagined. Strenuous sit-ups would probably have the same effect.
This article on sacred sex is excerpted from the book Tantra for the West, © 2015 by Marc Allen. Printed with permission of New World Library.
About The Author
Marc Allen is the author of several books including Tantra for the West, The Magical Path, The Greatest Secret of All, Visionary Business, and others. He is an internationally renowned seminar leader, entrepreneur, author, and composer. He co-founded New World Library (with Shakti Gawain) and has guided the company, as president and publisher, from a small start-up to its current position as a major player in the independent publishing world. He leads seminars in northern California and gives teleseminars that reach people all over the world. For more information visit: MarcAllen.com.org or NewWorldLibrary.com.com.org.