Friday, September 21, 2007


Posting material of any kind on the internet can be a very challenging experience; you open yourself up to all kinds of attacks, especially if you allow people to comment. We've posted clips of some of our appearances on youtube and have received some harsh criticism for what we say. Most of the negative comments are inane, ill-informed or dogmatic, and the posters frequently resort to name-calling. None of them reveal any awareness of the difficulty one faces when trying to explain something as vast, complex and contested as Tantra in a brief television appearance for an audience that presumably knows nothing about the subject.

We did have one interesting set of critical comments from an Indian poster on YouTube, and we've copied it here, along with our response:

"These people are indulging into money making and sensationalising Tantra and projecting it what it is not. Tantra is not Kaam Sootra. Tantra is visualisation and modelling the entire cosmos into which we as part of and menifestation of the cosmos and reflection of the larger model look into ourselves. If sex is symbolised as ceation, that is nearest to the truth, but sex seen merely as hedonistic activity, and practiced so in the name of "Nirvana" is just rediculious.

Meditation should be done on one's own Ātmā as one with the Saviour-goddess (Tārinī). the Dhyāna of Devi, that the Man who meditates on the unattached, attributeless, and pure Ātmā which is Tripurā as one with, and not different from, his own Ātmā becomes himself Her (Tanmaya).

Sādhakas, possessed of the knowledge of Kula, then meditate on the Yoga-blissful (Yogānanda) form (Mūrti) of Śiva and Śakti present in the hearts of males and females and, calling to mind the meaning (Artha) of the Mantra of their Istadevatā, do Japa of it.

Depiction of females like this is clearly against the spirit of Tantra and merely low grade sensational gimmick.
Kindly practice kamasutra freely as Hindus did but do not call it Tamtric.

I have gone through it agin and comments below besically are reactions to clips shown at "kailash" site. Otherwise what ever has been satated is a sanctioned practice for a "Couple" (husband and wife). Turning one self into a "Veer" from "Pashu" for meditating upon Aadishakti(the orginating source) is one of the prescibed path."

We replied:

Thanks to ******* for the thoughtful, generally well-informed comments. We recognize that his perspective is one that's widely shared, but Tantra is neither monolithic nor moralistic. We teach as we do with the blessings of our Guru and out of a desire to serve and enrich the lives of others. Nothing we teach is derived from the Kama Sutra, with which we have very limited familiarity. As for making money, there are many much easier ways to make far more of it.

To expand on this initial reply, it's important to bear in mind that Tantra is an initiatory tradition, and the texts are not entirely transparent; their real value lies in the way a teacher elucidates them. For example, it's our understanding that "Veer" (hero) "Pashu" (beast) and "Divya" (spiritual person) don't really refer to three categories of human but to qualities that exist in each of us. We were also baffled by the poster's comments about the depiction of women, and this comment leads us to think his perspective is shaped by the puritanism that's characteristic of modern, Hindu orthodoxy, which has little or nothing to do with Tantra.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Fantasy seems to be a loaded subject in the Tantric community and elsewhere. Recently, we talked about this with a friend and long-time practitioner, and she expressed the view that engaging in sexual fantasy is almost antithetical to the Tantric approach, since it takes you out of the moment and prevents you from being present. Others argue that fantasies are negative for a variety of reasons; some people in relationships feel that fantasizing about others borders on cheating; some people are ashamed or disturbed by their fantasies. While some who believe that we create our own reality suggest that fantasizing is dangerous because it borders on committing a thought crime.

We don't share these opinions and feel that the conscious exploration and use of sexual fantasy can be a valuable way to expand your sexual repertoire. Fantasy is also a key component for building a high level of arousal for the purposes of the sex magic practice we describe in The Essence of Tantric Sexuality. Imagination is one of the most powerful resources we human beings have at our disposal, and what is fantasy (or any form of visualization) if not an act of imagining? If you find yourself becoming too limited by or dependent on a fantasy, it is a good idea to try something new. We don't advocate fantasizing when you are with a partner (although we are not categorically opposed to it, especially in the context of mutual exploration), and retreating into the realm of fantasy to such an extent that you find it difficult to be present for your beloved is probably a sign of serious problems in your relationship.

The key is to be conscious and intentional when you fantasize. If you can view your fantasies as tools for discovering more about yourself and expanding your sexual capacities, you will not be using fantasy to escape; instead, you will be using it to enrich your life and enhance your ability to present.

We'd be interested in your thoughts on this subject, so please comment.