True Shivaic Tantra is part of an ancient Spiritual practice, which elevated sexuality to a sublime meditative state. The sexual aspect was only part of a bigger experience. Some sources date Indian Tantric origins up to 3000 or more years ago. It generally is not practiced openly and has been underground for hundreds of years. It was Goddess based and the feminine reigned supreme. Some scholars and spiritual teachers express resentment at the adulteration, which has occurred in the West's interpretation of a complex spiritual practice our culture cannot fully understand. However, Western modes of Tantra have emerged that help us refocus our sexuality as a way to connect to the Divine in each other and ourselves. As a society we are still repressed and freeing ourselves from Puritan influences that made sex dirty, secretive and disempowering to women. In this regard, Tantra is a mode of liberation and release from this guilt. It integrates our sexuality into a matrix of worshipful prayer-like awareness. It can be a virtual conduit to the Divine, which transports the participants into a state of ecstatic bliss. A true practitioner is reverent of every touch and glance as a divine gift.

Tantra is rapidly becoming a catch phrase for an elevated sexual experience. It is now mainstream and getting more so. Though many "gradients" of quality seem to exist, any activity that brings more reverence and respect to the world is good. Indeed, seeing our sexuality as sacred is the best antidote we know for things like pornography, perversion and sexual abuse. Supporting a spiritual awareness, which makes us whole and integrated, can be a form of awakening. There are a handful of men and women who have been trained in "sexual healing", a very real experience needed by people who have been damaged in this regard. Some Tantric practitioners integrate this activity. The movie Bliss touched on this.

Tantric practitioners are everything from "the real deal" to sexual therapists cashing in on the term. Nonetheless, there is a general compassion and care which can be refreshingly healing for those who are open to exploration. We have within us aspects and powers undiscovered in our de-sensitized world of indifference to the sacred. Any practice, which can transform us into more loving, caring and joyous humans, is worthwhile, and bringing a prayerful attitude into the bedroom can alleviate most sexual problems.

Kalu Rimpoche, the Dalai Lama's teacher says there are three paths to enlightenment. The fastest is sacred sexuality or Tantra. The second fastest is music. The slowest but the surest is meditation. Because of all the lack of clarity and wounding associated with our sexuality, the danger of misuse of our sexual assets can be perceived as risky. When the higher aspects are in control of our sexuality, movement into the heavenly realms is assured.

The fact that you have a good sex life already, and that your husband wants to explore this dimension with you could mean a quantum leap in your lovemaking and in your life. Aligning your sexual energy center with God brings that energy into your life. Imagine seeing the Divine in each other all or most of the time and treating each other with that reverence, respect, honor and love. The quality of energy this brings into your life is sweet, blissful and immensely powerful.

Many see Tantra as the Yoga of Everything. People who live their life as an art form have more freedom to express themselves in refreshing and powerful ways. Our society both worships and shuns people who have learned to live this way. To take control over the way you want to live your life takes real courage. The first step begins when you say to yourself there must be more to life than this! Some say love is only waiting for us to show up. Indeed love is possible in every moment. On a quantum level the Universe does indeed appear to be making love to itself. To participate consciously in this "dance" takes it to a whole new level.

The fuel for Enlightenment is seen as Kundalini or sexual fire. It rises from the base chakra in a spiraling pattern. There is much written on the effects of too much energy moving up the spine too fast. The effects on the mental and emotional aspects can indeed be stressful and sometimes more than you are ready for. Controlling the burn of passion and dedicating it to higher purposes can produce rapid transformation. From an alchemical view, transforming base instincts into spiritual essence takes significant commitment.

If life is a dance and we are learning the steps, Tantra could be seen as smoking hot Salsa.

High-level practitioners of Tantra see The Beloved dancing in the eyes of everyone. The awakening comes when the dance seeps from the bedroom into every interaction.

Author's Bio: 

Joan Heartfield, Ph.D., director of Divine Feminine, A Modern Mystery School, has been teaching with Caroline Muir since 1994. A counselor, writer, and guide for over 25 years, Joan is passionate about intimacy and sacred sexuality, radically authentic communication, and the health and vitality we can cultivate in our bodies. She and her husband, Tomas, facilitate retreats for singles and couples. For more information view and