Tantra: The word Tantra is Sanskrit, the sacred language of Hinduism. It derives from the root word tan, which translates as "to extend, expand, spread, continue, spin out,weave; to put forth, show, or manifest." Like the universe we inhabit, Tantra is continually expanding, spreading, and manifesting itself like a "cosmic weave," made up of different energies. Tantra is the use of the senses as a way of transcending sensuality and achieving liberation, enlightenment, "Divine Union". Tantra emphasizes awakening the kundalini within the body and allowing this energy to rise, circulate in the body, and uplift consciousness. By embracing Tantra, we become more "real," more "complete." How? By recognizing and stimulating our inherent sensual spirituality, we discover parts of ourselves that have remained asleep or have been repressed. With Tantra, an energy is released that is evolutionary and "upwardly motivated." We can learn to use this energy for pleasure, for achieving our worldly goals, and for aiding our spiritual evolution. Familiarity with Tantra can help a person to enjoy life to the fullest. It can help do away with guilt or fear, break down self imposed or limiting cultural boundaries, and guide us in our search for solutions. Tantra teaches us to become familiar with our mystical nature, and when we do so, our boundaries expand. We enter into new domains of awareness. We become empowered, more fulfilled, and more perfect.
Tantra Yoga: (from the pages of Chakras, Energy Centers of Transformation) Tantra Yoga is a practical type of Yoga wherein the body and mind are considered to be one, and the body is believed to be a vehicle of the mind. According to this system the mind is abstract, the body concrete, to work with the abstract mind we need to use the concrete material stuff called body. It is in the body that the psychic centers are located. The functional aspect of the cerebrospinal system is called the mind. The spine is the seat of all responses. Tanra's basic principle is shaki (female power), which is manifested as matter and mind, though supreme consciousness is mindless. When there is no mind, there is no limitation, and man is then pure consciousness. To go beyond the mind, one stops its vehicle so that its activities become suspended. Prana (breath) is the mind's vehicle. Apana is prana that exists in the region extending from below the navel to the anus, and is responsible for all activities in the pelvic region, including ejaculation, urination, and defecation. If his prana, which is charged with negative ions, is made to function with apana and is forced to enter through the central canal in the spinal column, there is a fusion between the negative ions of prana and the positive ions of apana. This generates great amounts of energy which, in turn, help in the ascent of the dormant energy that is at rest at the base of the spine---Kundalini. Before the generation of this energy is physically possible, the aspirant must become prepared through bodily purifications, asanas (yogic postures), mudras (gestures), and pranayama (yogic breathing). The system of working with the Kundalini is basically tantric in origin. It works through the union of the psyche with matter, and the mind wirh physical body. In principle, the body plays a great role in producing various moods, including the highest mood, Samadhi, the mood of bliss. This state is achieved by channeling energy through the nervous system and through the spine. The energy ascends through a narrow passage in the spinal column and passes through six psychic centers before it reaches its final abode, the seventh center. The seventh center is located in the cerebrum, the hollow space between the twin hemispheres of the brain, where again a fusion takes place, and where activities of the mind are completely suspended. Both hemispheres become calm, he inner dialogue stops, one loses all sense of time and space, and identifications and false motions of the phenomenal world melt away.
The Chakras: Chakra is a Sankrit word that denotes circle and movement. Because everything in the body is of a circular shape and is constantly in movement, the centers of those movements are called chakras. Chakra is a word also used for wheel. Chakras can be thought of as wheels of the mind that dwell in the forest of desires. And desires, like wheels themselves, are great motivating forces. Each chakra is a stage-by-stage playground of desires. Throughout life one dwells in this forest of desires, and one thinks and understands life's situations from the standpoint of the chakra in which he normally feels mos comfortable.