Tantra is about Self-Realization and Liberation ('Moksha').
It may be disappointing, but no, the essence of Tantra is not sacred sex.
Tantra doesn't even require a partner.
'Shiva' and 'Shakti', the divine masculine and divine feminine, exist within each of us..
>> So, if Tantra is not just about exotic ways of love-making with special effects, and enhanced orgasms, then what is it?
Tantra enables us to experience all of life as a flow of Grace.
Tantra helps us see all as the manifestation of Divine Intelligence - as the Play ('Leela') of the Divine Power ('Shakti').
>> Who practices Tantra? ...
Tantra does not depend on any specific belief system.
You do not need to be a devotee of Hindu gods, or be a Buddhist to be a Tantrika.
As long as your heart is open to the great Mystery, it does not matter whether you call Her Amma, Ma, Kali, Durga, Shakti, Vajrayogini, or Mother.
It does not matter if you call Him Shiva, Brahman, God, Babaji, Father, Allah, Beloved, or the 'Unknown'.
But your heart must be calling.
Your heart must be bursting open or you will not know your Beloved, you will not know Tantra, and you will not know the fullness of your Self.
Tantra requires just that one thing:
Sincere availability to go beyond your limitations - including the limitations of your unconscious impulses, your repressed emotions and your socially-conditioned beliefs.
Tantra requires for us to drop all these clothes that veil our Self and to stand naked before Life.
>> Simple? Complicated?
Tantra is not just a way of passively, placidly, accepting all that we experience.
It is a way of accessing the creative power within us so that we may live and love to our fullest capacity... so that we can experience That which has been called 'Divine'.
If you're not consciously on the spiritual path, then "What does this have to do with me?", you might ask.
Ultimately, as much as we may try to experience realization and success, nothing less will satisfy us.
Nothing less than the taste of the Infinite. The taste of Freedom.
>> So isn't Tantra some form of religion?
Tantra covers such a vast array of approaches to Liberation, that inevitably all paths to Self-Realization, or to God, or Liberation, contain some elements of Tantra..
Although forms of Tantra are originally found in Hindu, Buddhist, and even Taoist and Sufi culture, the essence of Tantra can be seen as a non-sectarian, spiritual 'technology'.
This spiritual technology opens us to experiencing our full potential as incarnated spiritual beings, enabling us to drop our limitations and conditionings and ultimately, intimately, know the Creative Mystery as our very own Self.
>> Isn't this the ultimate heresy - displacing God? The ultimate madness - seeing oneself as the Creator?
Maybe yes, maybe no... Certainly this has been what ecstatic saints of all traditions have experienced in some form - the melting of boundaries of the self and the divine.
But Tantra includes all whole-hearted paths, including the devotional relationship to the Beloved.
>> Where can I find a teacher that can I learn from? How do I recognize a genuine teacher?
A genuine and skilled Tantra teacher will be able to share tools with which you can navigate through life in such a way that, in all activities and in all circumstances, you can find the sacred dimension of Beingness - whether in sexual stimulation, in your greatest successes, in the most challenging failures, or even in the face of death.
Tantra, properly practiced, brings peace.
Whatever path, teaching, or teacher you choose, remember, Tantra is not just for sex.
Tantra is for life.