Flashback Friday: Tantric Yoga

A very ’70s look at the so-called “art of sexual union.”
Flashback Friday: Tantric Yoga
The sacred yantra [mystical diagram] of Kali/ Wikimedia Commons

From the very first issue of High Times published in the summer of 1974 comes a tantalizing tale of Tantric tendencies that reflects a dated, problematic attitude towards heteronormative sexual intimacy.

An ancient Hindu philosophy revered in India and Tibet, Tantrism is a refreshing approach to the beauties and intimacies of sex. It is a soothing balm for the weary senses of modern man and woman.

Concrete and direct, the Tantras provide the formulas for fullest achievement of human sexuality, through which, they teach, we attain marriage with the cosmos.

According to the Tantras, the sex act of “maithuna” duplicates the rhythm of the universe. This rhythm is called “ajapa mantra” or the “breath of God.”

In Tantrism the bliss of coition is absolutely essential to those who seek wisdom and release from materialism. The Tantrics call the search for perfect union “Sadhana.”

In the deep valleys that divide the snowy Himalayas, devotees of the Tantras are schooled in the realization of divine release and cosmic orgasm, union with the eternal flow. They have been doing so for many hundreds of years.

Today, in our modern world of a million rushing images and sounds, sex has become for too many a competitive series of one shots. Unhappy faces at single’s clubs and cocktail parties are proofs that mere conventional orgasm cannot fulfill the soul’s longings.

Enter the divine satiation and total sensual involvement of Tantrism.

Tantrism is a doctrine of secrets passed from teacher to pupil and it insists we all be students of the body and the delights it can bring the spirit. The goal of Tantrism is utter illumination.

He who realizes the truth of the body can then come to know the truth of the universe.
—Tantric Verse

In the Tantric biophysics, the woman is magnetic. The man is electric. As they join organs inexpressible universal ecstacy and knowledge is theirs.

To the Tantric, the stimulation of sex and sexuality is centered in one of the six vital centers of energy. These vibrating seats of divine light are known as “chakras.”

The “Muladhara” is the first of these centers and its energy is the energy of creation. It contains the ever-burning coil of Kundalini, the erotic. This chakra is situated between the yoni (the vagina) or the lingam (the penis) and the anus. It is through this chakra that we enter the realm of sensual delights.

Sex is devoted and gentle in Tantrism, seeking to rouse the erotic nerve endings in a slow-building crescendo. The partners choose each other out of admiration, perceiving mutually the incarnations of the male and female principles. They are ever attentive to the beauties before them in human form; they are ever worshipful of the divine force that emanates from their respective “muladhara.”

The steps to intercourse in Tantrism are eight in all. They concentrate on the need for correct surrounding colors and sounds; the need for flowers and scents is also elaborated in the Tantras.

Before the sexual act, the partners should bathe together; they should anoint one another with precious perfumes and soothing lotions derived from musk, jasmine, patchouli, spikenard or sandalwood.

Vases of the sacred red hibiscus or Chinese roses should surround the room.

Gentle wafts of dhoop incense should rise around the bed where the partners sit, naked, meditating on the “muladhara.” They should be within six feet of each other.

A soft violet light should bathe the woman’s form, and the two eat sparingly from a tray of assorted meat, fish and cereals. Wine is sipped and they continue to meditate in silence. The vital forces are slowly rousing and the man and woman become aware of their infinite sexual possibilities. Their eyes meet and entwine. Smiling and careful they kiss with increasing fervor.

They lie side by side and embrace, nibbling and licking at breasts, arms and ears. The man is roused to hardness and mounts the woman, placing his lingam within her yoni, but ever so slightly making small smooth strokes at her outer labia.

They remain locked and unity accumulates; the electric and magnetic forces are being commingled; the current is most intense where their organs meet.

The Kundalini power, the twisting red flame of sensuality is being fed by the conjunction of warm, loving bodies. The entire body is alive with awareness. Now the lingam is forcefully but gently inserted into the deepest recesses of the now eager yoni.

This total union is achieved in two ways: the woman can raise her knees to her breasts, expanding the yoni, all the while pulling the man into her with tugs at his body; or the woman can rise and straddle the erect lingam and embrace the male, who sits motionless and meditative.

Color, smell, sound, taste and touch meld. The partners are aware of absolute cohesion with one another and thus with the universe.

Their life forces merged, their personalities fuse, they remain united. It has been suggested in some Tantras that pleasure is greatest between the 28th and 32nd minutes of coition. The couple experiences ever rising waves of sensation, then separate, kiss and sleep the refreshing sleep of the totally aware.

Conventional orgasm should be contained as long as possible. It is suggested that one roll back the tongue, hold a breath for seven counts and contract the anus to prevent orgasm.

There is also in Tantrism the “subtle embrace.” This is the realization of the pleasures of “maithuna” without genuine physical contact. This is usually achieved by placing oneself within the unaware partner’s vibratory range (i.e. six feet), and dwelling upon the sex chakra or “muladhara” of the person.

The chakra is visualized as a triangle flame of Kundalini. The meditator’s attention must not waver for a period of one minute. Then he is allowed to freely associate upon the body and spirit of the desired.

Breathing is then paced to that of the desired, the anal sphincter is rhythmically contracted, while a mantra is mentally repeated: “Hang-sa”; “Hang-sa.”

Body temperature around the genitals will rise and a subtle force field will flow from sex chakra to sex chakra; individuality will be overcome and unity achieved. The basic bio-electrical impulses will be discharged along the force field and ultimate pleasure achieved without actual embrace.

Truly, in this era of quickies and cheap thrills, Tantrism offers graceful and cosmically satisfying sex.

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