May 4, 2010

Tantric Sex (and the City).

I’m watching Sex and the City, tonight, instead of hanging with my best friend and some of his good friends at a bbq at his place. One of those nights when you feel sorry for yourself, confused, tired, and all you want to do is cocoon. Couch, blankets, dog, movie, Ben & Jerry’s.

The episode I’m on includes this rather…er…intimate, and ultimately messy scene. We’ve talked before about how Tantra really has nothing particularly to do with sex, traditionally—and how, in the West, it’s all about sex. It’s an irritating, funny contradiction, and says a lot about our fascination, and boredom both, with Eastern spirituality.

Tantra, rather, is another name for Vajrayana—the third turning of the wheel or teachings of the Buddha, and one mostly closely associated Tibetan Buddhism. Sure, there’s a little depiction of yabyum here and there, but mostly the tantric path involves a whole lot of meditation practice.

From an earlier post re the Tantra Chair (NSFW):

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.


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