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Notes on Tantra: The FAQ's

Here's what you need to know...

• The word ‘Tantra’ generally means ‘teachings’ or ‘book’ or ‘collection of knowledge’. Additional known meanings are ‘extending a thread’ or ‘prolonging and saving’.

• Tantra is an extension of Vedic, Puranic, and Vedantic teachings. It honors the forces of Nature as manifestations of Cosmic Intelligence — similarly in Egyptian cosmology, the ‘Neter Neteru’.

Tantra Yoga (as an application and purpose) is similar to Egyptian Alchemy.

• The Goddess (Devi, or Shakti) has a special importance in Tantra. ‘Shakti’ means power.

• While Tantra is all embracing, it is NOT solely about sex, sexuality, or relationships. It is not ‘made for couples’. This is the biggest current misconception.

• If anything, Tantra is about the ‘inner relationship’, the subtle energetics between one’s outer and inner selves, and that which is Divine and Natural (Purusha and Prakriti)

• ’Awakening the Kundalini’ is a very misunderstood idea and much abused, with harmful consequences. Proper Tantric practices consider many other elements, especially the cultivation and balancing of Agni, Prana, and Soma.

• Lastly, Tantra includes the use of Mantras, Yantras, rituals and meditation for achieving any goal in life — although the highest goal is still considered to be Moksha (liberation).

(Yes, we study various Rajasic and Tamasic goals, those fueled by ego, chaos, or fear and ignorance)

The part that has been MOST DEAR to me in my own journey is ‘Ishta Devata’, discovering the signs of your ‘personal deity/Goddess’ — the one that mirrors your personal karmic disposition most clearly, and thus, the liberating path from it too.

This is the heart intention of next year’s Shakti Retreat…

May we avail ourselves to the mystical joys of the Great Mother Shakti.

Om Maha Prakrityai Namah!

S. Soma Bright

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