Preparation Exercises for Your Tantric Session

When the body and mind are tense, awareness is diminished. Your external senses are less perceptive, and you are less able to turn inwards (pratyahara). Tantra seeks to achieve expansion (“tanotti” in Sanskrit) of both sensory and internal awareness, to achieve liberation (“trayotti” in Sanskrit). The contraction of the two words “tan-otti” and “tra-yotti” forms the Sanskrit word “tantra”.

Try an experiment. Slowly shake out your right arm – loosen up the muscles. Then take your left index finger, and move it gently across the hairs of your relaxed right arm, from wrist to shoulder. First do it fast, then do it exquisitely slowly. Close your eyes and repeat it.

Now try the experiment again, this time keeping the muscles of your right arm flexed hard – tense. Try it again relaxed. Notice the difference between your sensation and awareness during tension, and your sensation and awareness during relaxation.

The same thing happens when you try to make love (external senses) or meditate (internal senses) while tense vs. relaxed… you are more aware of sensation, pleasure, and all the other levels of reality when relaxed.

This is why in right hand path tantra (the solo meditative tradition) and left hand path tantra (the tradition that can include the use of sacred sexuality), practitioners are taught how to relax themselves or each other through techniques like abyangha, marma adi, sarangi, kum nye, kundalini yoga, and more.

For now, just try to relax before meditating, making love, or even self-pleasuring! You’ll be more fully present during the experience, more aware! Once you have relaxation and awareness, try to follow the gross sensations back to their subtlest aspect.

Get and give massages, exercise regularly, breathe deeply and slowly, do Kundalini yoga or physical qigong. It’s much harder to achieve self-realization when muscle tension and shallow breathing are preventing your mind from becoming tranquil!

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