Ultimately tantra is an internal solo experience. It is the uniting of the male and female energies within the body. That is why many of the male Hindu deities have an effeminate appearance; the male and female combined in one perfect body.
Achieving that perfect state of tantric union is very difficult and takes many lifetimes. On the way is much confusion and distraction that often leads the aspirant down what can seem to be wrong paths, but which are actually a necessary part of that individual’s path. That is, everything is perfect and necessary for an aspirant to achieve total union with the Divine; what they go through is perfect. In the final analysis there is no right or wrong.
The path of relationship is perfect for moving through a significant amount of the ignorance that keeps us from that ultimate inner experience. The growth that happens when working with someone for decades to make a great relationship is truly a deep spiritual practice. Using couple’s tantric techniques will add to that growth and help to facilitate deep spiritual experiences.
These techniques are a part of yoga and other traditions. They are demonstrated in images and statues with male and female deities together. While specific techniques can be found in scripture and images, much is handed down through traditions and lineages.
Here is a tantric technique you can practice with your partner. It needs to be someone you are intimate with, preferably a long term relationship. It can be practiced with a friend as long as it works within your relationship. Female/male relationships are ideal primarily because, while it can work out fine, the energy will be significantly different with same sex couples.
You can both be clothed or not as long as there is agreement. Start sitting apart from each other with knees/lower legs touching as the photo above shows. Allow whatever contact is needed so you can be as close as possible.
The first exercise is to gaze into each other’s eyes. Put your attention on the non-physical individual that they are. It doesn’t matter if you know what that is or not, the experience will be what is perfect for you. Intend to experience that divine being directly and eventually you will.
The ideal length of time to practice this and the other exercise described here is 40 minutes, but 20 minutes is okay to start with. Agree on a time and set a timer.
After your gazing technique take two to five minutes each to say what you experienced. It is very important that you only talk about yourself; avoid saying anything about your partner’s experience. There is a lot more that can be said about not laying trips on your partner, but that is for another article. As long as your intention is rooted in love you are sure to be okay.
The next exercise is done with your hand on your partner’s heart cakra (often written chakra because Sanskrit ‘c’ is pronounced ‘ch’). This energy center starts just below the sternum in the soft area at the top of the belly, and extends to the top of the sternum just below the hollow of the throat. It includes the area to the sides all the way to and including the arms.
Place the heel of your hand at lowest point of the center of your partner’s heart cakra. Having your hand higher is fine, especially if practicing with a woman who might not want her breasts touched.
You can also experiment using your left hands if you like. Some consider the left hand to be better. What is best is what works best for you and your partner.
The energy comes from the sex center, the second cakra. Intensify the sexual energy by allowing your energies to come up. Specifically, allow the energy that comes with being turned on sexually to flow. Draw on the desire you have for your partner while being open to their intensifying energy as their desire for you increases.
Draw that energy up and flow it into your hand and to your partners’ heart while experiencing their energy flowing from their hand into your heart.
With practice the sexual energy begins to transform to higher levels. The second cakra is usually considered more base than cakras that are higher up in the body, so energies in the higher cakras are considered as being of a higher nature, more divine. It is still sexual energy as is all energy, but its function and objective is of a higher nature.
Directing energy takes time and practice. Even people who are good at directing their energy will gain more experience and mastery with practice.
This transformation of the sexual energy is aided with continuous eye gazing with your partner as you did in the first exercise. Be open to experiencing the divine being you are partnered with as you allow the sexual energy to flow and transform from desire to love that has no reason, that is divine.
This transformation is the heart of tantra. Sexual energy is divine as is all energy (and everything for that matter!), drawing it up into the higher cakras is the transformation. In other words, the energy transforms as it moves up. It can even be drawn up to the third eye and more with this technique. The energy transforms from merely sexual to a divine connection with the divine being that is your lover.
In this practice, the animalistic sexual energy transforms into loving heart energy. Gradually it can grow to the highest level of seeing the divine nature in everything and everyone at all times.
You can stimulate the sexual energy with a more intimate level of physical contact by taking up the yab yum position with your partner. This position is an embrace with the woman sitting on the man with her legs wrapped around him. The right (or left as you prefer) hands are then placed on the heart cakra from behind with the energy moving from hand to heart, then heart to heart as your chests press against each other.
There are many more transformational practices you can do with your partner in yab yum. For example, breathing techniques can be added that increase the connection and energy between you. Also, there are other energy moving techniques and different points of contact that can lead to deep experiences.
Remember, the goal of the path of relationship is to grow closer to your partner by deepening your relationship with the divine being that they are. This happens when your intention is to treat them well as it is in a long term committed relationship. Tantra adds to the process with spice and deepening connection.
Let me know in the comments if you’d like more articles and perhaps videos on deepening your relationship through tantra; your questions inspire response. You can also contact me if you would like to ask privately, or schedule a private session, Skype sessions work well with this work.