TANTRA
AN ANCIENT SPIRITUAL PATH FOR A PLANET AWAKENING
TO A NEW AGE OF LOVE AND ONENESS
by JIVANA KENNEDY

If you're like many people I know, the word Tantra conjures images of generously endowed gods and goddesses in lusty cement poses, circling ancient temples in the Far East. At a glance, it may generate thoughts of a hedonistic culture that fell to it's demise through over indulgence in the physical senses. When you hear it in a modern context does it cause discomfort for reasons not fully understood by the conscious mind?

Please allow me to attempt to demystify the ancient spiritual path of tantra, and try to reveal how it may relate to a great healing of our planet and Her people. I use the pronoun 'Her' because in Her fertility and Her ability to recreate life, the earth may be seen as a 'she'....and in that sense she requires the male principle to spark and protect her generativity so that she may continue her cycles of replenishment. The yin and the yang that make up the whole. No higher or lower is implied here. Both are vital to the creation of balance and wholeness.

The ultimate goal or essential experience of the ancient tantrika was union with God. Oneness with all life. Sometimes called nirvana, or samadhi, or enlightenment. The ancient tantrikas had awakened to the reality that in the depths of sexual union, partners became gods and goddesses, illuminated by the uninhibited flow of source energy. Thus the union of the lovers became an energetic prayer that blessed the relationship, the family, the community and the world. These ancients were a matriarchal culture honoring the abundant capacity of the feminine principle to open, energize and shine light, beauty, and replenishment upon all within her energyfield. They understood that all sentient beings emerge from the union of male and female and to honor this aspect of life was to bring honor to the forces of nature, and nurture their divinity.

But to think that tantra was all about sex is akin to thinking the tail is the elephant. The tantric path was about bringing awareness and balance to every aspect of life. And thus the use of meditation to quiet the mind, bring attention into the body and into the present moment was one of the vital disciplines of the tantric initiate. They saw themselves as a part of a much greater interconnected whole and dedicated their union responsibly to the balance and upliftment of the whole. Does that make you wonder what kind of world we might be living in now if that path had flourished? It does me.

Emerging out of the awareness of the physical empowerment and spiritual enlightenment that became available in the union of two, came the path of yoga, which also means union with the divine, and seeks to harness the power of source energy through awareness of breath, postures and disciplines, and create a meditative awareness in the yogi and yogini. Tantra yoga is the aspect of yoga and one of a very few spiritual paths on our planet that uses the most vital force of nature to create more consciousness of the god that dwells within and animates physical form.

Well then, where did we go wrong? I suppose if we look at our current planetary predicament from a place of non-duality then everything is at this moment, perfect as it is. All is just grist for the evolutionary mill. But a quick look at some of the historical elements (and forgive me here... I am a very simple historian), may evoke a spark of a ha..

The postulation that Christ and Magdalene were adepts in the Egyptian mystery schools, married and tantric lovers is not the exclusive idea of Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code. Many contemporary religious and secular writers believe this, and I have heard it said that Christ evoked the power of their sacred union to endure the crucifixion. Then as the Christian religions were forming, and men were exerting their dominance and control, Magdalene became a whore and sex became a sin, except in situations deemed virtuous by the all powerful patriarchal church. And humanity as a whole, began to fear and mistrust its own basic nature. I ask you, what might the world look like if Christ were not the celibate son of a virgin mother, and Magdalene was not cast as a prostitute? The implication that sex is bad is buried deep in our collective psyche.. The contemporary theologian Matthew Fox calls the church's attitude towards sex the mortal sin of religion. And the Indian Tantric master Osho claimed that sex was the elemental pathway to the flowering of love and consciousness.To repress a society is to be able to control it, and limits growth, awareness and spiritual development.

In my practice for the past 16 years I see daily the fallout of this. People starving for touch and intimacy, who are as though traversing a foreign territory. We have all the tools to dangerously overpopulate the earth, but have we yet harnessed the love to sustain it?

We need to reclaim and honor the wholesomeness of our natural humanity, forgive each other for our past blindness, and emerge a victorious people moving purposefully into a new age of love, peace, sensuality and enlightenment. This then frees us to replenish our beautiful planet with our love, and the ecstatic recognition of our intrinsic and eternal Oneness..