12 Ancient Secrets of Tantric Energy Exchange
Tantric energy exchange is often misunderstood, in a limited perspective, of the true potential of Tantra.
Tantra, originally a set of Eastern spiritual practices, became synonymous with sex as it was brought into our western culture. The adaptation isn’t surprising given the long-standing repression of sexuality in America where, for many, sex has become a “dirty” word. Many men and women alike have craved something deeper when it comes to sexuality and have looked for a more honoring and sacred relationship to this powerful act. Still others have had “phenomenal” experiences sexually that spurred them to look for the explanation Tantra can provide.
Although in Eastern traditions there were actually 108 Tantras, or spiritual practices, less than 10 have anything to do with sex. Yet in the West, Tantra has come to mean sex. The original practices incorporated spiritual activities like tantric meditation, tantric yoga, tantric chanting, tantric symbology, tantric art, and tantric rituals. The practice of Sexual Tantra, also referred to as Red Tantra, incorporates all these spiritual practices in its pursuit. Each designed to bring the “practicer” closer to God or the Divine.
So with that background, you now know that Tantra doesn’t mean sex, although it does include sex as one of its sacred practices. You also know it’s founded in spiritual tradition for the purposes of becoming closer to God. With that being said, you don’t have to believe in God or the Divine in order to practice Tantra, or what we’ll call here, Sacred Sexuality. You do you have to give up, change or shift any religious or spiritual belief system you already hold to practice Sacred Loving. Tantric living will fit in right alongside and complement your spiritual traditions. As a matter of fact, most religions, when deeply studied, incorporate many of the practices mentioned here while also respecting the sacredness of sexual union.
The 12 Ancient Tantric Secrets shared here will look at how to bring sacred loving and divine union into all parts of your life, not just the bedroom.
1) It’s All Energy (Tantric Energy)
Pleasure, power, connection, awakening and even personal growth and healing happen solely because of the movement of energy. Yet, most of us remain unconscious and unaware of its literally constant contribution to the experience of life for us and for those around us.
Have you ever felt a person’s presence as they walked into a room before you could even see or hear them? That’s energy. Have you ever noticed that certain people “feel” good to be around, while being around others might leave you exhausted and depleted? That’s energy. Have you been making love and felt a spark or bolt of “something” within or between you that you couldn’t explain? That’s energy. In Tantric Living and Tantric Loving you not only recognize the importance of energy, you learn to intentionally move it, exchange it. And that kind of tantric energy exhange awakens, heals, connects and brings immeasurable pleasure to you and the ones you love (not just sexually and it’s awesome there!). Energy exchange happens all the time and you’ll become especially aware of it in hugs, kisses, lovemaking and simple touch.
Energy follows consciousness and breath, and it’s amplified by sound.
2) The Yin (Feminine) & Yang (Masculine) Must Dance in Harmony
The yin and yang have been known, expressed, studied, and even revered for millennia. Unfortunately, for most of the adults in the western world, we’ve witnessed (whether we knew it or not) society attempting to neuter or neutralize these two very important energies in men and women alike. Both of these divine and tantric energies are needed within us (yes, we all have both energies within). They will serve us well, if we let them. The dance of tantric energy exchange happens in our lovemaking. It happens in our parenting. It even happens on our corporate teams and in meetings. They interplay and are exchanged all the time whether we realize it or not. The wisest among us know that when we recognize and honor their co-creative power, life unfolds more naturally, effortlessly, and “perfectly”.
3) Tantra is a Way of Life
Tantra, we now know, implies sacredness, or in other words, it’s a practice of honoring the divine within, between, and beyond ourselves. So again, Tantric or Enlightened Lover practices happen not just in the bedroom, but everywhere… all the time, if one desires to be an awakened masterful partner and lover that is. Some of the basic core practices we learn in sacred or Red Tantra include presence in the moment, acceptance, non-judgment, goal-less exploration, and innocence as well as breath work and tantric energy exchange. Every one of those practices can, and in an ideal life, would infuse all of our waking moments and interactions. Imagine a present-moment, kind, compassionate, accepting, loving and ecstatic experience of life… that’s what is possible if you truly practice Tantric Living.
4) We’re all Divine
What is divine? Divine, as defined by Google, means of, from, or like God or a God. That is exactly what we are speaking of here. No matter what our religious, spiritual, or even anti-religious backgrounds, each of us is an expression of a higher power both beyond us and within us. The word Divine speaks to the silent yet profound essence of all of us. It speaks to the undefinable higher power that lives within and between all of us. Most of us believe that we’re each unique and totally separate. We are so not… and the ancient lovers and mystics knew that.
Have you thought spontaneously about someone who lives across the country and they call you a couple hours later? That’s a divine exchange of energy. Have you thought “wouldn’t it be great if…” and your “wish” manifested shortly thereafter? That’s also a divine exchange of energy (tantric energy). In other words, our nature is union – union with one another, union with all. Which shows us that our nature is love. Let me say that again. Our nature, our essence, is love. So no matter how someone behaves, no matter how they show up in a given moment, we can still know that their essence is love. (And, sometimes the pain from our life buries our essence deeply away, but it’s still there. It cannot leave.)
5) You have an Infinite Pleasure Potential with Tantric Energy
It’s strangely curious that we actually have boundaries or limits on how much pleasure we are willing to experience. If you think I’m kidding, start watching how often you cut yourself off from more fun, pleasure and joy. We’re often much more aware of our fears of something bad happening than we are aware of our fears of something good happening. Yet, we often fear the good because we imagine that if we let it feel so good and we “lose” it, the heartbreak or disappointment might be unbearable. So we stop ourselves from experiencing the true pleasure and joy genuinely available to us. On top of that, to make matters worse, we can also imagine that if we start enjoying too much, we’ll actually stop being responsible. That also makes us cut ourselves off from pleasure.
Sexually, it’s interesting to notice how often when it’s starts to feel really good that… we sense that if we really allow the pleasure arising… that we could lose control. We fear that loss of control, not knowing what might happen next. It’s quite common when we hit that hidden “pleasure boundary” that we change positions, or start speaking instead of feeling, or start paying more attention to our partner’s pleasure, so we don’t have to feel our own.
All of these are ways we can avoid our pleasure and hence we create pleasure boundaries that limit our pleasure potential. The truth is you have an infinite pleasure potential. And, no matter how much pleasure or joy you’ve experienced in the past… no matter how great you thought it was… there is more pleasure available to you, which we learn in the tantric way of life.
6) You Must Be Authentic and Vulnerable
If we want to live in love… if we want to experience sublime ecstasy… we must be authentic and vulnerable. As one of my early teachers Bill Ferguson said, “We don’t fall in love with someone’s greatness. We fall in love with their humanness.” What that means is that we don’t fall in love with (or stay in love with) your accomplishments, we fall in love with the you who has made mistakes, who has fears, who has been hurt and disappointed, who has dreams you don’t know if you’ll manifest. That’s your vulnerability and it’s very very loveable.
Intimacy is the life force of deep and lasting love and we can’t be intimate without being real and authentic. Too often men and women approach relationships trying to be who they think their date or partner wants them to be. But being what someone else (or what you think someone else) wants you to be, isn’t being you. And, that self-abandonment actually builds resentment and destroys love. That’s the realm before tantric understanding. The only way to true sacred love is by being authentic. That means being vulnerable. And, I promise it’s worth the risk.
7) In the Being, Doing Happens
Knowing that Tantra expresses itself all the time, in all you do, you discover the arts of the Tantric lover happen in the being, not in the doing. The art – the love, the pleasure, the intimacy, the ecstasy happens as a result of you. What do I mean by you? I mean the essence of your presence in life including the energetic sacred expression we mentioned above, including masculine-feminine yin-yang energies that express through you. The essence of you is the unique combination of energy, emotion, thoughts, inspirations, and desires that make up the one-of-a-kind you. Seriously, one-of-a-kind. There is no one and nothing that exists identical to you in the world.
Tantric loving happens because of who you are being, NOT because of what you are doing. In the doing you’ll focus on the goal, the performance, the reaction you’re looking for, or the orgasm you seek. As such, these will often elude you. In the being, you’ll focus on the love, the nurturing, the connection, the movement and tantric energy exchange energy… and the results will be entirely different. You’ll experience much more intimacy, connection, love AND pleasure from the being.
8) It’s a Whole Body Experience
Practicing Tantric Living and Tantric Loving means your heart and your sexuality must unite. It means that heart, mind, body, spirit, and soul all unite in your loving. That doesn’t mean sex has to be all sweet and tender all the time. Or that it’s never hot, raw, and passionate. It just means that the hot, raw, and passionate sex has heart too. It’s that heart that forms the center of the union and fuels your tantric energy exchange. That union, that integration of the whole of you, then opens the door to entirely new levels of ecstasy and connection. For men and women alike, Tantric practices can open the doors to heart orgasms and full body orgasms, as well as multiple orgasms. Yes, men too can have multiple orgasms.
9) Give AND Receive (And not at the same time… until they’re one in the same)
Lovemaking… and life… are a continuous series of giving and receiving moments. Sadly, the majority of us, in general, are much better givers than we are receivers. And, if we do let ourselves receive, we’re often trying to give at the same time. Unfortunately, trying to give and receive simultaneously actually limits our happiness, energy, and our sexual pleasure potential. We experience the deepest and most intense pleasure when we have the space to actually feel the sensations and stimulation we’re receiving.
Many of us imagine that we’re always supposed to be doing something… touching, pleasuring, speaking, moving. Tantra teaches us that the greatest moments of pleasure arise when we’re doing nothing… except allowing ourselves to experience being pleasured.
The Tantric principle of Selfish Generosity, shows us that when we’re deeply practiced in separating giving and receiving, then they can once again merge and the giving is receiving and the receiving is giving.
10) Create Sacred Space
When we’re living and loving Tantrically, the environment in which we spend time impacts our experience. With that being said, it’s important to create “sacred space”. Sacred space can be created anywhere anytime… in your home, your bedroom, a hotel room, a tent, even your office. So what makes a space sacred? A space is made sacred by anything that reminds you of and helps you feel the presence of the divine. You can set the space through intention as well as through your decorations, lighting and energy.
For some people, they will permanently set up an area in a room or two of their home where they keep symbols, pictures, tokens that remind them of their spiritual nature and divine essence. Some couples create a sacred space in their bedroom where they display items and pictures that remind them of the commitment they’ve made to each other to live in love.
Singles often create a similar space in their bedroom that honors the divine masculine or feminine within themselves as well as honoring the relationship they intend to create.
Tantric meditation or prayer that invites the presence of the divine to be felt in a space is yet another way to create sacred space. Last, but not least, it is a powerful practice to consciously invite the divine into any space where you are practicing Tantric
11) The Body is Sacred Temple
The body is the vehicle through which we get to experience tantric energy exchange and enjoy our divine nature. It’s the playground of our loving, whether we’re loving through our eyes, touch, a hug, a kiss, or intercourse. Without our bodies we couldn’t enjoy any of the pleasures of life. Yet, many of us pay little attention to the needs of our bodies. In the busyness of life, we can neglect and ignore the genuine needs of the body. Others vehemently judge their bodies and maybe even try to hide them. How can we truly make love if we judge and hide our body?
At the same time, the body of our partner plays a critical role in our loving. And, again, we don’t typically honor it as sacred either. We don’t tend to help our partners care for their bodies. Worse yet, we forget that it’s an honor and a privilege to get to play with another’s body. It is truly a privilege to touch it, smell it, taste it… to enter it or be entered by it… to feel its arms around us or its weight against us.
Without our bodies – and particularly without our well-loved bodies – we can’t have a powerful, pleasurable, and passionate relationship.
12) Sex is Spiritual Experience
There is a reason many men and women alike say “Oh God” when we orgasm. Lovemaking, and the moment of orgasm in particular, are one of the times that we can most palpably experience our divine nature. Again, it can be the time and place that we most vividly recognize that we are all divinely connected. As our bodies become “one” during lovemaking… or when we fall into each other’s souls as we tantric eye-gaze in our pleasure… or as we see spiritual, even god-like or angelic energy, when we make love to a beloved… we can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the divine lives within. It lives within ourselves, our beloved, and each and every other human being on the planet.
Remember as we talked about in the introduction, several but certainly not all, of the original Tantra practices were sexual in nature. Your sexuality can dissolve all boundaries between you and another as well as between you and God.
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.