The philosophy of tantra, which most people mistakenly think is only about sex, is actually about weaving. The word tantra literally means “loom” and the verb tan means “to stretch.” Tantra is the spiritual practice of weaving together opposite energies, specifically the upward and downward currents of Shakti and Shiva, of yin and yang. Sexuality, a subset of tantra, is a sacred act that embodies this union on the physical plane. The ultimate balance of these two forces, however, occurs when we bring them through all the chakras and balance them in the heart.

Tantra seeks to obtain enlightenment not by renunciation, but by embracing the full experience of living. Tantra delights in the senses, desires, and feelings, and is focused on the expansion of consciousness that comes from a dynamic, sensate connection to life. Tantra does not advise us to cease action, but to transform our acts into creative evolution. Tantra is the harmonious weaving of primordial opposities: mortal and divine, male and female, Shiva and Shakti, spirit and matter, Heaven and Earth.

Anodea Judith’s “Eastern Body, Western Mind,”


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