The Heart of Tantric Sex
_"Tantra is love effort towards existence._
That is why so much of sex has been used by Tantra: because it is a love technique.
It is not only love between man and woman; it is love between you and existence,
And for the first time existence becomes meaningful to you through a man or woman."
Osho, Indian mystic and spiritual teacher, My Way of the White Clouds, Chapter 6
In The Heart of Tantric Sex, tantra expert Diana Richardson discusses the increasingly popular concept of sacred sex - an ecstatic combination of sex and spirituality that allows loving couples to find spiritual enlightenment outside of the inhibiting confines of church walls. Tantric sex seeks to elevate couples to a sublime spiritual plane through a ritualized static embrace. This embrace binds partners physically while simultaneously blending the male "Shiva" and female "Shakti" energies of the couple to create a transcendent religious experience. Those who practice tantra, like Richardson, wish to establish sex as a sacred act for this reason.
Richardson, a native of Zululand, South Africa, has a storied past in tantra. Her interest in the subject emerged after studying law at the University of Natal when she became a teacher of therapeutic massage in the late 1970s. This first foray into sensual healing piqued her interest in the teachings of Osho, a world-renowned Indian mystic and spiritual teacher. Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh or the "sex guru", was gaining popularity on the international stage at this time due to his public speaking on the importance of subjects like meditation, celebration, humor and love. Osho's teachings resonated with Richardson and she decided to explore tantra. In 1993, Richardson and her husband began to teach tantric thought to couples of all ages to help them make sex more meaningful and spiritually invigorating. Richardson has since published five books on tantric sex, spiritual fulfillment, and meditation and performs around a dozen "Making Love" couples retreats every year. Richardson is currently regarded as one of the world's leading experts in spiritual sexuality.
Richardson's expertise in the field of human sexuality is not coldly analytical, however. Richardson based The Heart of Tantric Sex on primal human emotions, ancient Hindu texts like the Kama Sutra, and her own research on sexuality. Her readers accompany her on a deeply personal sexual journey that leaves them with both a greater understanding of their sexualities and a strong appreciation for Richardson and her methods. In this way, The Heart of Tantric Sex is not so much a book but rather an experience. Anyone who has read multiple books on tantric sex and sexuality will confirm that this is generally not the case; many authors describe these deeply sensual acts in clinical and hard-to-access academic writing.
Perhaps the most interesting points presented in The Heart of Tantric Sex are those concerning sexuality and spirituality. While the world's myriad button-downed clergy may abhor the idea of a connection between religion and sex, Richardson embraces it. To her, sex and the orgasm have deep metaphysical meanings that transcends the base pleasures sought by those who are ignorant to tantric teachings. She share's Otho's thoughts on this subject several times in her book:
"Sex shrinks you, Tantra expands you. It is the same energy, but it takes a turn. It is no longer selfish, no longer self-centered. In Tantra you can live in the orgasm twenty-four hours a day. And your meeting is no longer with any individual person: your meeting is with the universe itself. You see a tree, you see a flower, you see a star, and there is something like orgasm happening."
Phiosophia Perennis, Vol. 1, Chapter 6
The Universal Life Church Ministries firmly believes that its ordained ministers should practice their spirituality in whatever way they see fit, and receiving religious enlightenment through tender sensual acts cannot be excluded from our focus. Sex is an inherent aspect of humanity and should thus be embraced by all sectors of society, especially religious organizations. The Ministries strongly encourages the members of its online ministry who have looked for a way to become closer with their significant other to read The Heart of Tantric Sex; it will have a profound impact on any reader's sex life and may change their outlook on religion as well.