What is tantric sex

Fallacies About TantraHow did sex get into Buddhism?

Mistake # 1:
Tantra courses in the West that offer sex massages or ritual couple sex continue a 2000 year old Hindu tradition.

Instead of thousands of years, you have to calculate in decades. The neo-tantra movement of the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in the 1970s and 1980s was formative for the tantra image in the West.

"I don't believe that Bhagwan was a student of a tantric tradition at any time. Rather, what he has to offer, he primarily read through his time as a student or as a professor in the philosophical faculties of India."

Says Jan-Ulrich Sobisch, once a Tibetan professor in Copenhagen, now a researcher at the Ruhr University in Bochum.

The controversial Indian guru and sect leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in 1984, later called Osho. (dpa / Dieter Klar)

"He actually took up more elements from the West. For example, psychotherapeutic ideas. What you can see today with the remaining Bhagwan students and later followers, the offers that are made, especially the sexual workshops and so on - me I think that fits in with the western idea that like mindfulness or yoga, people want to have the religious out of these exercises and actually want to have mindfulness as an improvement in their everyday life. Perhaps it is similar with the clientele of people, who go to such sexual workshops. They want to experience an uninhibited, non-neurotic form of sexuality, but that actually has very little to do with the Indian tantristic tradition. "

Break taboos and overcome inhibitions

The modern tantrics in the West apparently practiced more of a type of sex therapy in their courses. The religious background no longer plays a role. Even if you still use the old terms like "Tantra" or "Shakti" for the female energy.

"One would just wish that they didn't pretend that they were continuing a religious tradition. But there is no copyright on it either."

Mistake # 2:
Sexual union is the main element of the ancient tantric religion from India.

No, says Jan-Ulrich Sobisch: The tantrics of ancient India broke many taboos. They wanted to overcome their own inhibitions and norms. They stole and lied, drank alcohol and ate meat.

"The ascetic is rejected. What otherwise happens in religion, namely to taboo the sensual, is reversed, namely the sensual is used more as an opportunity and possibility. The sensual reflects the power that one wants to incorporate want to come to power. "

By breaking taboos, the tantrics wanted to show that all things are essentially the same, the dirty and the pure things. The aim is to overcome duality.

Therefore, the tantric yogis went to cremation sites, which were considered particularly unclean.

"The other thing is the sexual. And that is probably based on the fact that the power that is at stake, this power that one would like to draw upon, that was seen as feminine very early on. That means, it is one interesting and unique turn to the feminine. Then over time this feminine is also sexualised because in the ascetic world sexuality is something that can be transgressed, that can be transgressed. "

Meditation, mantras and yoga

So: Narrowing the tantric practice to sexuality would not do the tantricians justice. In addition, they interpreted the provocative practices very early on as symbols for overcoming duality. Tantrics understood the shocking invitation to parricide as a call to turn away from the traditional.

Mistake # 3:
In Tibetan Buddhism, a student can make rapid spiritual progress by having tantric sex with her guru, her teacher.

There are countless sculptures that show the gods in sexual union with their partner.

Sobisch says: "Of course there are also sexual exercises. But they can also be visualized very early on. This means that it is not necessary to have a sexual partner in order to carry out a visualization. This is the way that most Tibetan- Buddhist schools have gone to internalize these exercises in the imagination. "

There is an abundance of exercises in tantrism: you meditate, sing mantras, practice yoga. One identifies with a deity on a higher spiritual level. Entire three-dimensional palaces of gods were visualized in the completion world. Sexual tantric exercises outside of the imagination would be the absolute exception, says Sobisch.

"And if it actually still happens, it actually happens in private. And if a Buddhist teacher would come here and propose to a woman who is completely inexperienced and has no high level of realization herself, does not have a great meditative experience that prompts him to enter into such a tantric connection, then that is a situation of abuse. Very simple. Such a form of tantric sexuality can only take place between two highly developed personalities. That applies to both sides, you cannot take any student and say: You are doing here now somehow the highest tantra practice. It just doesn't work. "

In case of doubt, a statement by the Dalai Lama will help. He had said that he currently did not know anyone who was qualified to practice these highest sexual tantric rituals.