Cultivating a Tantric Practice for Deeper Connection
Tantra is often somewhat of a buzz word. A flashy phrase that people associate with deep, wild, multi-orgasmic sexual experiences. When I tell people I teach and practice tantra, their eyes light up with curiosity or they contract with guardedness and often express an immediate connection and association with my sexual energy.
Tantra, to me, is purely a practice of presence. Over and over again. Within the moments. Through the breath. Dropping into the body. And opening up towards connections through the mind-body-heart-soul with the world inside of and surrounding you. This can be experienced on your own as well as shared with life outside of you, including another person or many other people.
Tantra can include your sexual energy and can also be experienced throughout all the layers of your energetic body without being associated with ones sexuality. The work lies in the curiosity and commitment to presence and the releasing of judgement, shame, clinging, contraction, and control.
Each person will choose to explore this ancient wisdom for their own reasonings. Mine are entangled in my spiritual path and my sexuality. And they often are tied together for me. But the why and how isn't as important as the intention one sets when choosing a practice as these answers often unfold and transform along the way.
If you're curious to get started but also feeling overwhelmed or a little intimidated with the magnitude of options and possibilities that exist, I wanted to share with you a simple 4 part practice that you can develop and expand upon that is accessible with little energy, effort, and resources. And you can incorporate most of these practices no matter where you are at. I shared these during my workshop at the studio last month in San Diego and wanted to make them available for anyone who wants to begin, return to, or expand their individual or partnered practices with tantra. Additionally, if you're looking for a book to read, one of my favorites is Desire: The Tantric Path to Awakening by Daniel Odier.
4 ways to Cultivate A Tantric Practice for Deeper Connection
1. Exploring Senses
- Use a timer for 1 minute at a time and tune into the world inside and around you following your 5 major senses: Touch, taste, sound, sight, smell
- Take your time, take it slow
- Pick one sense at a time and tune into the space right in front of you to amplify the witnessing through that sensation.
- For example set your timer for 1 minute for each sense and then turn your focus to the activity that expands it until the timer goes off:
- Touch: Bring your hands together, palm to palm. Let your fingertips slowly press more firmly into one another. Apply different types of pressure or touch to your limbs and various parts of your body. Turn your focus to the ways your touch feels to give and to receive.
- Taste: Grab a beverage or something that you feel comfortable putting into your mouth like a piece of fruit or a leaf of an herb. Close your eyes if it feels welcomed for you and take a tiny sip or bite and hold it on your tongue. Turn your attention to the subtleties of the flavors. The aromas you can feel inside your mouth. What memories or identities come up?
- Sound: If it feels okay in the place you are at, close your eyes and shift your attention to your listening. What do you hear? What noises are loud and easy to hear, what is soften and requires more attention?
- Sight: What do you see in the room? Find objects that are green. Let your eyes land on one object, dissect it. Examine all the shapes, textures, layers, and motion of it before you move on to the next object.
- Smell: Return to your beverage or bite. If you'd like, you can close your eyes and bring the item up to your noise. Take a slow and deep inhale. Feel into the layers of the scent. What surfaces for you? How and where does the aroma sit in your body? What thoughts or memories surface within your mind?
2. Tapping into Presence
- Create space for observation. You can set a timer or you can turn on a song and drop into this practice until it ends.
- For the duration of time you set, just purely find stillness that can exist within you and let your mind wonder and find stillness at its own pace without trying to control it. Witness the flow and follow it rather than trying to control or change your thoughts.
- When the timer goes off or the song ends, reflect back and explore, what exited in the space and time that just passed for you?
- These are practices that can be done alone or explored with a partner. They support deeper connection and presence with this for oneself and at times between multiple people.
- Eye gazing: Sit in front of a mirror and look into your own eyes. Start with looking into your left and then when you reach a point of needing motion or wanting to break the eye contact, blink and shift your gaze to the right. Then look equally into both eyes. Do this for 1 minutes at a time and then close your eyes for a few seconds and turn your gaze inward. If you'd like to eye gaze with a partner, begin with the mirror work, sitting back to back. After 5 minutes or so, turn and face one another and repeat the flow looking into your partners eyes.
- Connective breath: Breathing is something that happens naturally with little to no effort. Connective breath supports us in tapping into guiding and witnessing our breath alone and also sharing this with a partner. Follow a flow of inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Allow your your chest and belly to rise and expand with the inhales and pull them in to contract with the exhales. Do this slowly and with some control until you feel more grounded, present and connected with yourself and if you're sharing this practice with another, with the person in front of you.
- Body contact and touch: You can feel touch and contact on your own and/or with a partner. Begin with bringing your own hands together palm to palm. Press firmly, feel the heat, energy, and pressure. Move your hands slowly then more quickly. Notice the differences in sensations. Move your hands along different parts of your body and in the space surrounding you keeping your attention on what it feels like to make contact through your palms. If you're exploring with a partner, you can allow your palms to come together and tune into what it feels like to both give and receive touch from an outside source. What sensations arise? What feels good and opening, is there anything that comes to surface that feels more contracting?
4. Intentional Touch and Patterns
- Once you've run through the practices 1-3 you can expand upon these by changing the tempo, pace, pressure, pattern, rhythm, flow, and intention of your breath, movement, and communication - verbally, non-verbally, and energetically.
- Try different types of touch and creating space for feedback and vocalizing what it feels like in your body-mind-heart-soul with yourself and/or with a partner.
- Speed up, slow down, and then deepen and elongate your breath and the patterns of it. How does this create different sensations in your body? Does this open or release emotions, feelings, or space?
The takeaway from this is to explore cultivating connection between the way your physical body feels through the senses and how that, when done in presence, can open up depth, feeling, and exploration of self and with others in more enriching ways. When we do this first in a space that feels safe and inviting, we can allow our body-mind-heart-soul to release the blocks that create fear, tension, pain, and contraction that can arise when we share intimacy and vulnerability with others.
If you're ready to be guided deeper into your own intimacy and tantric practices and experiences, I teach classes + workshops monthly in person and online as well as hold space for intimacy mentoring in private sessions for men, people in relationships, and individuals. Join a group experience, book a private session and explore the site for resources and tools to support you along your way. And if you have questions or are unsure of where or how to begin, feel free to book a complimentary connection call and we can find the right path for you.