How does Tantra affect your daily life, relationships, money, etc? Marc Allen, internationally renowned author and speaker, shares his thirty-year experience studying Tantra and explains how it’s more than just about having great sex.
What is Tantra?
Mark explains in his book, “Tantra for the West: A Direct Path to Living The Life Of Your Dreams“:
“Tantra is the awareness that every moment is a direct path to love, freedom, fulfillment, and enlightenment” p 23
“Tantra is not just “the yoga of sex”; it is the yoga of everything- of every moment. Yoga means “union”, so a good way to define Tantra is “union of everything” or “the practice of every moment”. P23
Mark Allen: Youtube Video :What is Tantra?
- 0:23 What is Tantra? Westerners think of Tantra as sex with a little mysticism. However, Eastern practitioners (Buddhists) consider Tantra a direct path to enlightenment. Tantra for the West was Mark’s experience of integrating Tantric concepts into a Western lifestyle.
- 1:44 Mark’s first book was written and released in his early 30’s. After the book went out of print, he began receiving requests for reprints. In writing the revisions, Marc found that with age came wisdom to state things more simply. He shares a quote that epitomizes his experience writing this book “The higher the truth, the simpler it is” Abraham Isaac Kook.
Tantra: A direct path to enlightenement
Marc describes Tantra as the path of leaping into the fire of our feelings. He references a Tibetan teacher who talked about how Tantra is a direct path to enlightenment. As characterized by this teacher, Tantra is going off the straight-and-narrow path towards your goal and plunging into the poison of your negative emotions. Walking into the center of the poison will allow you to see the emotions as they are – an empty void of your story. As a result, you discover your true nature as a being of lightness and wonder.
Mark Allen: Youtube Video : How tantra is different than other paths?
- 6:18 Marc discuss his experience leaving the monastery and how he was able to apply those teachings into his “real” life as a householder.
- 8:10 What is the direct path to enlightenment that Tantra promises?
- 9:11 Marc explains the 3 paths that the Lama considers to be on a spiritual path: 1) the path of renunciation, 2) the path through poison (negative emotions -anger, jealousy, greed, etc), 3) the tantric sees the poison and goes into the center of it even though it may take them off the path. The mission is to go into the center of what is happening at that moment.
Tantra: How can you transform your negative feelings?
One of the Tantric practices that Marc shares is confronting the negative feelings many of us tend to hold on to. Afraid of what would happen if we expressed them, we inadvertently allow these negative emotions to accumulate in our bodies and minds like toxic sewage.
“ It is not the world causing your problems, it is your own mind, your resistance to what is” P32
By expressing anger, accepting a situation, and letting it go in a way that doesn’t harm yourself or others, you can transmute these negative emotions and receive the gift that they bring. Marc shares the following poem:
“A Message to Myself
Don’t reject the sadness
Don’t reject the sorrow
Don’t reject the suffering and the pain
Blessed are these things
For through them we grow
Into the true understanding of our way.” P37
Mark Allen: Youtube Video : Tantra –Letting go of confusion or doubt (meditation)
- 11:06 Marc walks us through a Tantric exercise to use when feeling doubt or confusion. You first name that part and then shine the light of conscious awareness onto it. Have a dialogue with that part; draw attention to it by asking, “What is going on?”
- A Course In Miracles (ACIM) highlights 2 basic emotions, love and fear. The focus of the Tantric exercise is to love and embrace the parts that are in fear.
- 14:28 Marc shares Eckert Tolle’s experience of surrendering into his dark moments.
- 15:34 What spiritual practices have influenced Marc on his path? Marc talks about the prominent techniques he used in his life – yoga, meditation, and Zen.
- 22:13 Marc shares how we would can use Tantra in sudden flashes of distress like when someone cuts us off in traffic.
Tantra is more than just Great Sex
Sex carries with it vital life energy. Marc describes this as a life force that so many people fail to understand or have dealt with effectively. Instead of feeling trapped or frustrated with a situation, Tantra is taking any activity, including sex, and using it in a way that leads to understanding, freedom and peace.
“When our sexual energy moves through our bodies, we experience a physical, mental, and emotional transmutation of that energy. This happens whether we are making love, meditating or masturbating. Our sexual center contains a very powerful source of energy, and when we focus on it by physically arousing it or mentally concentrating on it, we find that it is a dynamic force- it moves. When we let it move as it will, we find that its natural movement is upward…into higher center of energy.. This energy can then literally shower over our entire being, rejuvenating, purifying, healing, and strengthening. Making love opens our hearts and expands our minds. It raises our consciousness and connects us to with the infinite..”p87
Mark Allen: Youtube Video : Tantra and sex
- 18:37 What does sex have to do with Tantra? Tantra is the spiritual practice of every moment. As such, it involves changing your perspective during common activities like sex, politics, eating, watching television, or going to the bathroom.
- Marc shares some of the wisdom he gained from a recent lecture lead by Alan Watts, who talked about having an experimental attitude towards our lives without any preconceived ideas. He advocated letting go of biased beliefs and seeing life as an experiment in spiritual growth.
- 23:26 Why do Westerners focus on sex? Some forms of Tantra refer to combining female and male energies to feel a sense of wholeness. Marc talks about how Kabbalah helped him integrate the female and male aspects of himself by focusing on the parts of our body where the male/female parts intersect (3rd eye, heart). He illuminates the idea of having a focused thought and merging it with heart.
- 31:13 Marc discuss the power of our subconscious mind and explains how we learn from the imagery, how we relate to our present situation, and how the same imagery is used to create a more helpful image.
- 34:39 Meditation Practice: Imagine your crown chakra is being showered by light. It is releasing any tightness and travelling down your 7 chakras.
- 36:55 What is Kundalini in Tantra? Kundalini is about life energy moving through our bodies.
Tantra: Creating a Positive Relationship with Money
Many spiritual folks are hung up on contradictory thoughts about money and wealth. Marc advices that we don’t need to struggle for money or feel pressured by it. Instead, we must understand the principles by which it operates and make decisions based on what we want to create for ourselves.
For Marc, making money was about removing his limiting beliefs and creating a mindset of abundance. Using his own experience, he summarizes his understandings below:
“Ask for the money, the lifestyle, the things you dream of and want in your heart. Ask for it in any way that feels good to you. Ask for it in prayer. Ask for it in meditation- visualize it coming to you. Ask, and you will receive.- that is the law of the universe, reflecting the power of creative thoughts and words. Just try in and you’ll see the powerful truth of these words”. P130
Mark Allen: Youtube Video : Tantra and mastering Money
- 40:43 Marc, a millionaire, describes how his relationship to money changed over the course of life. How can we merge the spiritual with making money? Marc describes a beautiful meditation that helped him truly understand money and finances.
- 44:34 What does it look and feel like when you master money or time? The path of making money (or time) can be just as powerful as any other path. It’s about mastering these concepts so they don’t interfere with your spiritual life.
- 49:17 What were the affirmations Marc used to master money? I am sensible and have control of my finances. I’m creating total financial success in an easy and relaxed way.