Apropos article on westerners imagining they are doing Tantra

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Apropos article on westerners imagining they are doing Tantra

Post#1 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:50 pm

A pretty good, not too long article that seems appropriate ... as around here of late, the "T" word seems to be popping up in a lot of posts that really don't have anything to do with Tantra.

TL:DR ... no you're probably not doing Tantra. Especially if it's just something you made up.

"Part of my current PhD research focuses on the overlaps – and divergences – between ideas about what practicing tantra means in ‘traditional’ or ‘indigenous’ Asian contexts and in what can be called ‘neo’ or ‘New Age’ tantric settings.

Recently, I’ve been coming across a great number of (white) people who describe themselves as ‘Tantrikas’ and ‘Dakinis’, traditional terms for somebody following the path of (an often but not always non-celibate) tantric practitioner and vow-holder. The (often, but not always) white people who use these terms most liberally frequently seem to be operating well outside of the boundaries of traditional Indian or Tibetan tantra, that is, the native religious system of someone like His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

As an anthropologist, I’m not interested in categorically dismissing or merely debunking these white self-avowed tantric masters and goddesses – after all, what they are practicing is still meaningful and transformative, and has its own complex histories and lineages. Many of these people are very decent and accomplished individuals. But, for the most part – despite their claims at times to the contrary – what these individuals are practicing tends to be something other than both Western sex magic traditions (which are developments in Western esotericism that focus on the harnessing of sexual energy and orgasm to manipulate reality) and ‘traditional’ tantra (which has only very little to do with actual physical lovemaking in a conventional sense). Their practices fall instead into the domain of what we could call contemporary ‘sacred sexuality’ and sexual self-help. These trends tend to emphasize becoming ‘more blissful’ or ‘unlocking one’s orgasmic potential’ as a form of personal empowerment and self-growth, and focus on transforming individuals’ relationships to their bodies and sensual pleasure in ways that resonate in particular with the concerns and cultures of late or neo-liberal capitalism." (Rest of the article at the jump: "So, You Want to be a Tantric Wizard, Huh?")
Cheers,

Prov

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Ars non Fortuna

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