Tantra, Zen and Yoga.
In Tantra everyone can find what they are prepared to look for. We are looking for answers, sometimes they are intellectuel questions and sometimes they are questions about the longings of our bodies and our souls. Tantra answers questions that have been asked for thousands of years and have up until now not been answered by science or religion – and are now more timely than ever.
There are tantric answers, which are not always intellectuelly comprehensible. They are drawn from a body of knowledge, filtered through countless spiritual as well as bodily/sensual experiences. Tantric questions presuppose nothing – they are the natural, innocent curiosity of children from all cultures.
Tantric answers connect the worldly and the religious, the sexual and the spiritual to one all encompassing unit. Body and spirit are one. It is not easy to historically classify in any exact way the origins of Tantra, too few records have been obtained from the early times. There are sources which date Tantra back 5000 years, the peak time was definitely betweeen 600 and 1200 A.D.
The two main strains are Hinduistic (India) and Buddhist Tantra (Tibet). The origin of the Buddhist Tantra reaches back to Gautama Buddha. Buddha brought meditation to the people, and meditation strives for higher consciousness. So it is clear what tantra is about: consciousness – living in the moment, being. Simply put: meditation and tantra are identical at their cores.
From the descendents of Buddha two lines were created which spread his teachings in the world. One direct descendent was Saraha, who founded the Tantric branch. Another was Bodidharma, the founder of ZEN. Bodidharma ‘s ideas conquered China, Korea, Japan – Tantra conquered Tibet. The current Dalai Lama refers to himself as a Tantrist.
Tantra, Zen and Yoga strive toward the unity of body and spirit. The experience of the divine, the dissolving of the ego is the goal, since the ego is our prison. Without ego you are free. While Zen and Yoga go the route of discipline and asceticism, Tantra does the exact opposite: without exertion, since exertion strengthens the ego. Zen and Yoga are ego- oriented and only at the end attempt the the jump (dissolving of the ego). Tantra does this from the beginning on.
The old Tantrists discovered that spirituality and sexuality were two sides of the same coin. This means, that experience of the divine is possible through sex/love as well as consciousness/meditation. The older Hinduistic Tantra goes the path of sexuality – as symbolized by the gods Shiva and Shakti. Sexual ecstasy and love are direct paths to the divine and for the majority of people experienceable without committing to a special spiritual path.
Tantra says: be relaxed and natural and let yourself flow like a river, awake and spontaneous. Don’t fight with yourself, don’t force yourself into structures, into an armour of morals and dogma. Don’t discipline yourself or that discipline will become chains. Live from moment to moment and enjoy life with all the senses, since Tantra is endless freedom.