By Deva Charu Morgan
In my previous article on tantra basics I gave some basic points on the principles of tantra. Here we will begin to explore how to create your own tantric practice. I listed slowing down as having the utmost importance on your personal journey to a tantric experience with your lover. Most of us put our sex life as the last thing on our “to do” list. Once we have worked all day, finished our tasks, spent time with the kids, watched our favorite shows, are full after dinner, and are totally exhausted – then its time for sex. What if you went to work like this? You wouldn’t be employed for long. How do we expect our relationships to grow and flourish and for that to be reflected in our sex life when we begin at such a disadvantage? We cannot even BEGIN to embark on our tantric journey until we have looked at our priorities and have made a conscious choice to make time for each other. Here is a simple exercise to help us get out of this cycle and begin this exploration:
Take a moment with your beloved, sit down and make a list of how you spend your week. Account for each hour, include sleeping, eating, lovemaking, watching TV, talking on the phone, working, driving….anything that you do most every day and how many hours you spend doing it. Be as honest and precise as possible. When you have finished share your list with your partner. Go over your lists together…does anything surprise you about how you have been spending your time? How much time are you dedicating to each other? To your lovemaking?
Once you have discussed your lists, you can begin to think of what you might like to give more time and energy to, and together you can think of practical ways to make changes to so that they happen. One easy, slightly cliché solution is to make ‘dates’ with your partner. This ensures that you are taking the time and giving importance to your union. Depending on your schedule, these dates can be once a month, or several times a week. Be sure to set a goal that you can achieve. Any time set aside just for each other will enhance your relationship. These dates can be as simple as dinner and a movie, or as extravagant as you like. Include time to try things you may both be longing for in the bedroom, but have not yet done due to your hectic schedules. The most important thing is that you treat these times you have set aside with the utmost importance. If you knew that you had a meeting with someone that was going to make you a million dollars, you would not be likely to miss it, or change it around, or push it to a little later… you would make your life work around this meeting. Imagine that you have been putting this kind of importance on your financial well-being, but somehow not putting this weight on your partnership, your love, the truest opportunity for intimacy in your life – something that we all seem to be longing for. These steps may seem a little dry and bog-standard ‘how to make your relationship work,’ however you can’t ‘run’ before you can ‘walk.’ Now that you have set aside your time for a ‘date’ and you are ready to sink your teeth into a juicy evening, you can begin to create your sacred space. Why create a sacred space? Creating a sacred space is such an important ingredient because it can set the stage for what you will share. It is another step that puts out the message to your partner that this is important to you, and that will translate in the rest of the evening. Since often the time we have just for our relationship is limited, making the space special can help you to have the most intimate meeting with the little time you do have.
In a ritual, through your own unique symbolic gestures, you mark an occasion as having out-of-the ordinary importance and the participants as being special. In the same way, creating your sanctuary together will help you to transform your lovemaking into a special and sacred act.
– The Art of Sexual Ecstasy by Margo Anand
You can do this ritual on your own or together, and take this to different levels depending on what you are comfortable with. Tantra sees making love as the greatest act of prayer. To me, this means that it acknowledges this meeting between man and woman, in love, as being very powerful and holding great importance. The space you are creating will be the ‘container’ for this meeting between the two of you. When you prepare to cuddle up and watch a movie, you make some popcorn, put the pillows just so, and grab your favorite blanket. When you arrange your space for tantra, you are setting the scene to open up and feel sensual in an environment that you have created especially for this.
- The Space: Choose a room or a space in your house that you would like to transform. Clean it thoroughly, and take out any furniture that is in the way, old paintings, etc. Create a blank slate for yourself. It would be great if this is a space you can leave set-up and come back to every time you meet. This will create what I refer to as an energy in the room, and if that’s too airy-fairy for you, a body-memory, so whenever you enter this space, some part of you knows it is the time to relax and be intimate with your partner. This sensation has great power, when I walk into my sacred space I feel very safe, and my body immediately begins to open up.
- The setup: What makes you feel sensual? For some of us this can be as simple as making sure the bed is made, for others it will include candles, incense, flowers, etc. See if you can set aside the time to collect little objects that will help make this room special. For example, a sheepskin rug (the best addition to any tantricas room), a vase of flowers, cushions, and wall-hangings.
- Essential Tools: Remember that in this room, the sky is the limit for your sexual exploration, so be creative in what else you will fill your room with once it is decorated. This can include oils, lubes, toys, or feathers. Such tools are also not limited to things you can use to please each other, but might include things that make you feel good or remind you of something sacred about man and woman. Crystals, different flavors of incense, a lovely yoni-shaped pillow, even things as simple as a large stick you found in the yard that just felt earthy and good to you. Trust your instincts, be like a child making a fort in your parents living room, and have fun!
- Music and Sounds: The right music will set the mood. Some of my favorites are B-Tribe and Buddha Bar. For the purpose of our ceremony it is fun to collect other things that make sounds, bells, Tibetan bowls, drums, or sticks you can bang together. Again, remember the energy of a child, and let that guide you.
Note: If this is starting to sound silly to you, I encourage you to remember that this is an experiment and it is only through experimenting that we discover new territory…The Ritual Now that your space is set up you can move on to the actual ritual. Be sure to move very slowly, this is a great way to begin to step out of the pace you are moving at in your daily life, and invite a new kind of relating in for you and your partner. This will set the stage for your evening, and for your lovemaking. As we slow down, we become more aware of our surroundings, ourselves, and our partner. As you look at this space you have created, think about what you can do to make this feel very special and sacred, and what that means to you. Some people like to use sage or incense and circle the room as a ‘clearing’ process. Perhaps you love to cook, making a meal for your love and serving it in this space could make this feel like home. Maybe you enjoy dancing and the space will feel full of love when you and your partner have shared a dance here. All of these are ways to make this place yours, and a fertile environment for your love to grow. Below is one example of a specific tantric ritual for creating a sacred space, it is by no means the only way to do it. Have fun, be creative, and trust what feels right to you.
- Stand across from your partner on the perimeter of what is to be your sacred space.
- Turn to the left and walk around the space in a circle three times. These kind of movements may feel silly, as we are not used to having an awareness of our environment, but they are can be very powerful, so I invite you to suspend your disbelief long enough to try them.
- As you walk, think of all of the things you would like you and your lover to be free from in this space. Speak aloud what you would like to ‘cast out. For example, “I cast out fear,” “I cast out feeling inadequate,” “I cast out self-consciousness.” This will actually change the texture of the space. Trust me…nothing is too stupid to say. The sky is the limit, let go of all the things that are holding you back in this moment, holding you back from your partner.
- You can also make sounds, use your bells, drums, stamp your feet, have fun!
- After three times around, pause for a moment and notice if the space feels any different.
- Then begin to circle in the other direction, this time ‘calling in’ all of the things you would like to be in the room for this meeting between you and your beloved. For example, “ I call in love,” “I call in sensuality,” “I call in playfulness.” You can also use your sound-makers here.
- Now stand still across from each other, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and feel the room. You may now open your eyes and step into this space you have created.
Congratulations! You now have the perfect place to explore your beloved for the first time all over again! You can use your space for anything that feels good for you and your partner, including: reading, massaging, holding each other, and of course, making love. Stay tuned for Tantra Part III and more juicy tantric techniques to try in this new space and time you have created for intimacy in your life.
Deva Charu Morgan is a practicing Tantra expert with over 5 years experience sharing Tantric wisdom internationally and the Los Angeles region. She can be contacted directly via e-mail at: email@example.com .