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White Tara (c) Healing Into Sexual Wholeness - The Tantric Approach

by Michael Pooley

Americans' attitude about sex represents the ultimate in contradiction. On one hand, we think about sex all the time, we crave intimacy, are fascinated by the erotic, and even equate a "healthy" sex life with personal happiness and fulfillment. On the other hand, we live in an "anti-ecstatic" culture, in which puritanical values and patriarchal ideals repress and distort our perceptions of sexuality and ecstasy.

As a result, many of us experience frustration, pain, confusion, even anger, in our sex lives. We armor ourselves against these intense emotions and feelings. And we develop resistances and negative attitudes or patterns that block our ability to experience pleasure and joy.

From a Tantric perspective, when we get stuck in, numbed by, or avoid our fears and wounds, we are missing out on the opportunity to open to the aliveness and ecstasy of the moment. In fact, stress-related conditions, depression, and dis-ease have their roots in being cut off from the free flow of our ecstatic life-force. Tantra holds that life-force energy, also experienced as sexual energy, is at the root of all life. And all living things are a result of the coming together, union, and transformation of this energy

Tantra teaches us that when the body is relaxed, the heart is open to trust, and the mind is peaceful, our awareness expands naturally and effortlessly to ecstasy – the deepest state of intimacy with oneself. Reclaiming our natural ecstasy – that steady stream of joyful aliveness that connects us to our source – can heal sexual wounds, re-connect sexual energy with heart energy, and ultimately transform carnal lust into divine bliss.

In Tantra, we celebrate the body as the temple of our spirit. Physical pleasure is transformed into the delight of the heart and ecstasy of spirit. When we approach sexuality as a form of meditation, we practice reverence for life itself. In fact, the Sanskrit word for sex is "maithuna" which is translated as "the state where two become one, where duality dissolves into non-dual awareness."

Ultimately, the Tantric approach is to embrace – not pathologize – all life experiences, because every moment, whether pleasant or unpleasant, is an opportunity to enhance self awareness and expand our ecstatic potential. Tantra offers a powerful path for integrating every aspect of ourselves, including those parts that are wounded, hidden, or repressed. Through the practices of Tantra, all of our energies, subtle and powerful, are harnessed to transform our ordinary, limited sense of self into a fully awakened, conscious being of unlimited compassion and insight.

By embracing and honoring our past wounds, and bringing awareness, compassion, and healing into the present, we can transform stuck or repressed energy into our integrated wholeness. We can then carry this awakened state of being into the world to bring life and spirit into our work, our creativity, our parenting, and the healing of our planet.

Namaste. And be well!

The Art of Ecstatic Love
Michael Pooley, Founder & Director
Phone: (408) 309-0962 | Email:

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