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December 7, 2008

NSFW! Is Tantra about Sex? XXX? In the West, it is.

[The Tantra Chair; The Worst Horse; Rod Meade Sperry]

It’s even eco, more or less.

Click here to enjoy a few tasteful softcore how-to videos and photos…then go meditate and see what kinda thoughts pop up. Label them as “just thoughts,” and return your attention to the breath, again and again. Now that’s Tantra!

I grew up in an American Buddhist family, as some of my readers will be all too well aware. In Buddhism, Tantra (or Vajrayana) is not about sex. In fact, I studied it as a child (and not at night with a flashlight and a blanket over my head).

There are teachings within Tantra that have something to do with the art and practice of spiritually-directed, transcendent sex—but even those, a very small part (say .00005% of Tantra) are intended to help the Bodhisattva (a Buddhist dedicated to helping others) clarify his or her mind and heart and so better be able to help others.

Bet you didn’t notice the Buddha, top left. Neither do practitioners of ‘modern tantra.’

Of course, in the West, Tantra equates with sex 99.00095% of the time—as in this titillating slash insightful post on buddy* Rod Meade Sperry’s The Worst Horse, a leading American Buddhist culture and practice web site devoted to spearing spiritual materialism and yet cataloging Buddhism’s effect on our culture, and vice versa.. That’s all fine and good—if it weren’t just a slightly “Asian” flavor of softcore how-to porn for bored yuppies in couples therapy.

elephantjournaldotcom hearts The Worst Horse. I recommend all American Buddhists subscribe to it.

*Rod and I first (virtually) met through Jim Gimian, publisher of The Shambhala Sun.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.