The Sacred Texts Beyond Our Grasp

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A contemporary interpretation of Kali; one of the common participants in the Tantras in the Śakta tradition.

Today we call it “Tantra” — and what we mean by that can vary, sometimes widely. (See also: “The Heart of Tantra” and “Origins of Tantra”)

But there was a time when “Tantra” basically meant: “book.”

“A Tantra” or “The Tantras” referenced a book or the collection of books that contain the wisdom of the ancient lineages.

But there is no collected edition, no “Bible” of Tantra, and it would be wrong to think of them that way. Although often composed as a dialog between Shiva and Shakti (in her specific form as Kali, or other goddesses), these were not holy scripture given by the divine… these were artistic and mystical “cliff’s notes” to an oral tradition. …

I am a miracle.

From two entangled molecules the full information of my manufacture unfolded, and now I am trillions of copies of that, trillions of cells in highly balanced, orchestrated, structured engagement. The creation of a being is a miracle.

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Unknowable and uncountable chemical and electrical processes are unfolding simultaneously within the edge of my skin, maintaining an elaborate balance across thousands of interconnected and interdependent structures. Breath, blood, bone, ingestion, digestion, excretion. The panoply of the senses: consider the rods and cones of my miraculous retinas and the miraculous spiral of the cochlea. All this, and the deep mystery of consciousness itself. …

And how to cultivate the experience of freedom.

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When The World Is Your Oyster.

The question was — what does freedom feel like, in yourself and in relationship?

When I think of the feeling of most expansive freedom, I imagine taking my first steps into the air of a new city, traveling alone, with no agenda, itinerary, or duty. That first touch of sunlight, as from a different sun entirely, on the skin; the first breath of new air laden with exotic scents. Anything is possible. Adventure awaits.

But what is freedom, really?

To avoid philosophical confusion, let’s assume — as a thought experiment — that we have freedom of choice. Let’s not tangle ourselves up in the causality of neurobiology, and mental gymnastics of determinism. I can choose to get out of bed today, or I can choose to stay put. Whether or not this is philosophically or scientifically sustainable, it is the experience that we have in this world. …

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The Four Sights… A depiction of the suffering witnessed by the Buddha.

It begins with comparison. Comparison seems like a simple enough thing. A tiger is different from a rabbit. A blueberry is tasty; a pokeberry is poison.

In fact, scientists call our brain a comparison device. Neurologically, it is a pattern recognition machine. We match sensory inputs to patterns wired by genetics or experiences into our neural structure. We identify perfect matches (“Oh, there’s my friend Jack!”), similarities (“Gosh, that sure looks like Jack!”), and differences (“If that guy had a smaller nose, he might look like Jack.”)

The never-ending work of the brain is to process sensory data, build internal models of that data, and compare the two. …

An Exploration in Tantric Relationship

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Happy people enjoying life!

We had taken to using the word ‘monogamish’ because nothing else seemed to fit. Our church friends wouldn’t call us monogamous, because our sexuality could sometimes include others. (Not that we told our church friends!) Perhaps most obviously, living in the vocation of tantric massage, sensual massage, and other work of the sacred intimate, it would be ludicrous to call our sexual energy exclusive.

We batted around some other labels: polyamory, ethical-non-monogamy, open, swingers, relationship anarchy. Nothing quite fit, nor captured the unique devotion we feel toward each other. The squish of monogamish seemed best.

Deepening in tantric spiritual practice and philosophy, I came to understand that there was another factor at play. Labels are normally thought to be the way we use words to describe or point to reality, but in the classical Tantric view, labels construct our conventional reality. Our conventional reality, of course, is not real at all. Conventional reality is a prison that we build around ourselves using the materials of everything that is ever said to us, and everything that happens to us. Our parents, teachers, and peers; movies, television, videos, books, and games; our own actions, our mistakes, our triumphs — all of this feeds into a mental ‘matrix’ that forms an illusionary reality that we think is real. Concepts beget assumptions; assumptions breed expectations; expectations become obligations. As humans, we all end up in service to our own unconscious collection of illusions. …

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The Ancient Lineage of the Sacred Intimate

The Temple

A warrior entered the Temple, and a leatherworker emerged.

Dusty from the road, sweating from exertion in the noonday sun, bruised, fresh with scars, and haunted by the things he had seen, and by the things he had done, the warrior stepped into the cool air of the Temple. A strong man in a plain robe welcomed him and led him past the fire and the pool of cool, clear water. A girl not yet of age, an oblate sister, took him to a place where smoke rose from braziers and a fierce priestess draped in robes of red gauze held him with her gaze and chanted a blessing over him. He felt as though he had stepped into a dream. The oblate then led him to a place where several of the Sisters of God bathed him, thoroughly cleansing every inch of his body. When he grew erect under their touch, they moved on, tenderly cleaning his wounds with clean, cold water and an astringent salve that stung. Another priestess came and stitched some his scars a little tighter. He winced as the bone needle pierced the redness of his wounds. …

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Extensive training, extraordinary skill, intense discipline, good health, good rest, good diet. These are the pre-conditions that make that rare event possible for the best athletes: being “in the zone.”

In the 1970’s, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi developed a psychological description of what he called “flow state” describing an experience of being fully immersed in an activity while also being expansively conscious. Csíkszentmihályi called out eight characteristic descriptors of this state:

  1. Clear goals and feedback;
  2. A balance between skill and the challenge;
  3. Pure concentration on the task;
  4. Perfect merging between action and awareness;
  5. Loss of self-consciousness (but not self-awareness);
  6. Altered sense of…

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Perhaps you are thinking about getting a tantric massage (or a yoni massage, or a lingam massage, or a sacred spot massage, or a tantric healing session, or a sexological bodywork session, or even just a sensual massage). Maybe you already have your session planned. The difference between a good time and a powerful, life-changing session is not just a matter of finding an amazing practitioner—it is also a matter of taking your experience into your own hands. …

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I was in a cab, headed home late at night. Coming down the road towards us was an ambulance, lights flashing. As the cab pulled over, I had a flash-vision of the ambulance smacking into cross traffic. I wonder why that doesn’t happen more, I thought. And then it happened.

I dreamt of an airplane smashing into a building, billowing orange flame and falling debris. A man came running out of the flame and smoke crying: “Call 911! Call 911!” I awoke from this strange dream fifteen minutes before the first plane hit.

In the world we normally experience, time is an obvious, undeniable aspect of our life. We remember the past, experience the present, imagine the future. The “flow of time” brings the future (correctly imagined or otherwise) into the (now inalterable) past. We generally think of the past as fixed and knowable, while the future is fluid and unknowable. Throughout human history, much effort has been made predicting the future, with, shall we say, mixed results. …

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Whether you call it sexual healing, sensual healing, tantric healing, sexological bodywork, tantric massage, tantric instruction, or good old erotic massage… finding the right practitioner can be hard!

Are you interested in learning tantra, but don’t know where to start? Are you curious about tantric massage (or yoni massage, or lingam massage, or sensual massage) but are terrified of booking an appointment? Have you heard about tantric healing (or sexual healing, or sexological bodywork, or sacred intimacy, or sexual surrogacy, or erotic energy work) but have no idea how to find the excellent practitioner who is exactly right for you?

You are not alone. …


Matthias Rose

Guide to sacred sexuality and sexual spirituality.

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