What is Tantra?
The Sanskrit word Tantra represents the expansion of consciousness.
Tantra is an age-old practice that integrates all aspects of life.
The origin dates back to the Indian Vedas where the first written references were found about 3500 years ago. Essentially it is initiatory wisdom conveyed from teacher to student. The basis of Tantra is the acceptance of what is. Awareness of what it is. Presence for what it is. One of the Tantra precepts is that everything is perfect exactly as it is. It is the non-denial of the reality of what it is. It is acceptance. The other polarity of conformity or immobility. The greatest transformation that can exist is to accept what it is. It is to leave the posture of doing, of wanting to do, of wanting to change, for the alignment of being. From accepting what is.
“Sex is a seed, tantra is the tree”. OSHO
Tantra is the expansion of consciousness. Tan – tra, expansion and awareness. The practice of every individual in the expansion of their consciousness.
The ecstasy of life in every moment is expressed in this two syllable word. Energy, alive and moving, is the omnipresent base of the universe. It is the consciousness of this energy in every moment that takes us into ourselves and all that is, and incorporates in its universal expansion process. Everything is tantra, everything is bliss.
Tantra, according to its Sanskrit meaning is the expansion of consciousness. This language, due to its deeply poetic nature is full of different interpretations and meanings of the same word. Throughout this book, we will understand the word Tantra as the expansion of consciousness that leads to ecstasy through Tantric practice. Tantra starts in the body, because the body, unlike the mind, is always present. There is no possible dichotomy between body and matter, between body and soul, between matter and energy. The body is an atomic chain reaction, an expansion of energy emerging from the big bang until right now. The body is energy.
We are a combination of atoms with many different origins- the food we eat, the air we breathe, everything we receive and then incorporate which transforms into energy to be released again. We are the energy of a sperm’s contact with an egg, creating life. Death is, in itself, completing the life cycle, and the transformation from the energy of consciousness to an inevitable, perpetually expansive, vibrating immateriality.
The energy of each body, contained in the permanent transformation of its atoms, will continue circulating in the form of other atoms and eventually in other forms of life, digested by earthworms, bacteria and unicellular beings. These will somehow remain part of us and we also will be part of those beings. Grass grows, which feeds a rodent, which is hunted by a bird that will be killed and eaten by a fox. Or we will be part of something immeasurable, resulting from the release and dissipation of carbon in our body through the air, through the crematorium fire. This energy will heat the living and inanimate beings. Then only ashes remain, which will too be integrated into the life we call nature on our planet.
Science today suggests that in the beginning of Earth’s history, there was no life. In a way still unknown, life arose, or at least some carbon-based life forms did. Any known matter, any rock or mountain, is formed by energetically interconnected atoms, and contains a reasonable amount of potential energy.
We too are only formed by a somewhat faster chain reaction resulting from the energy flow between atoms, which we call life. We contain genetic information of the dust from the stars descending from the Big Bang. We contain in our DNA the memory of the land itself, as well as the moment life occurred on this planet that welcomed us.
We are descendants of no-life, and yet we are life. While we live and up until the moment that the predominant concept ends, and then returns as part of atomic motion of the energetic cycle. The personal expansion that leads to the full consciousness of this energy is Tantra. Death is therefore a theme dear to Tantra, as the understanding of atomic movement in the energy circulation somehow gives its own dimension to the life of Dharma. Awareness of the cycle of life and non-life offers a timeless perception of what is real, of the moment and the present. Tantra sees the present as a godsend because we are all divine; we are all atoms, a tiny yet essential part of the whole of God. So this current of life and energy, which circulates from, through and beyond us, is permanent, whereas death ultimately reveals the great illusion of life.
The understanding of death is transverse to science itself, which somehow, with all its achievements, remains in constant pursuit of consciousness, its wisdom and its permanent expansion. Tantra is the practice of observing and accepting this, that this reality we have is divine. Everything is a spark created by energy, which is part of everything, because everything is made up of the energy of combined atoms constantly transforming. Observing this is to be in touch with ourselves, with the world and with God. With all. Tantra is a knowledge, a wisdom and a practice that dates back between five and seven thousand years ago.