Posts Tagged ‘tantra’

Hypnosis and Tantra

March 24, 2010

Another one of the many many many fantastic experiences I had at Dark Odyssey this year involved Tantra; I’ll probably need to dole this out piecemeal over the course of a few posts, because it’s kind of a big topic to get into, but I’ll start by explaining what Tantra is for those who have only heard of it as “that thing that lets Sting have sex for, like, seven hours”. (Obvious and immediate disclaimer: I am not an expert on Tantra. I am, in fact, about as far away from being an expert as you can be, having only spent parts of a weekend fiddling around with it. I not only accept, but encourage correction on anything I get wrong here.)

Contrary to popular belief, Tantra really isn’t about sex. It’s a religious philosophy that involves sex, and that’s kind of made it “about sex” in Western culture because to us, religion and sex tend to be such polar opposites that when a religious practice involves sex, we kind of tend to focus on it to the exclusion of all else. 🙂 But it’s basically a philosophy that believes that the god Shiva and the goddess Shakti are constantly providing the universe with energy through their lovemaking, and that you can use rituals to evoke and channel that energy yourself. (Or with your partner/s.)

But lovemaking doesn’t just mean “sex”. This is where Sting got all tripped up. 🙂 Tantric lovemaking involves focusing on the moment, really being aware of your partner and doing more than just, um, thrusting and grunting, as it were. The first hour of lovemaking could be something as simple as staring into each other’s eyes, or touching each other’s hands and focusing on the feeling of their skin against yours. The point is that you build arousal slowly, and you let it build for a long time, in order to achieve an altered state of consciousness and touch the divine.

Apart from all the divine stuff, this should sound pretty familiar to readers of my blog. 🙂 I’m actually something of a skeptic, and not a very religious person; my general spiritual leanings run along a spectrum from “lapsed Catholic” to “Catholic heretic” to “deist” to “agnostic” to “atheist”, depending on my state of mind. But Douglas Adams wrote a very good essay (reprinted in ‘The Salmon of Doubt’) about separating the literal aspects of a belief from the philosophy that underpins it, and since reading it, I’ve tried to keep an open mind about esoteric teachings (while trying not to keep an empty one.)

Even so, I’ll admit that I was a little bit nervous going into Dark Odyssey. Lady Ru’etha had told me She wanted to try Tantra, and I was willing to give it a go, but I really wasn’t sure if I’d find anything of value to it…and I was worried that She’d be upset if I couldn’t see what was so fascinating about it to Her. But as always, I’m game for anything She wants me to try. (Thank God She hasn’t asked me to eat escargots.)

As it turned out, I was worried about nothing. The philosophy of Tantra translates very well to my experiences with hypnosis. It’s all about achieving a state of focus and altered consciousness, and experiencing a profound and mystical connection to the divine as a result. This is all very familiar to me from being hypnotized, perhaps even moreso than the usual hypnotic subject because so much of my tranceplay with Lady Ru’etha is erotic. Basically, I found out that I’ve been doing Tantra all along. They just have different words for everything. 🙂

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