I was raised in a tantric tradition. From ages 23-33 i lived in an ashram that had as it’s lineage kashmir shivaism- a tantric kundalini practice largely based on Siddha Yoga teachings. I was a bahkti student, and the scriptures of the lineage weren’t nearly important to me as the experiential practice and the daily living of it.
What a surprise it was to me to come out of the ashram and be introduced to the new age practice of tantra, which largely seems to focus upon sex. In the ashram, tantra was “applied” to all of live. It was life. From cleaning the toilet bowl, to cooking food, to sex. It was all a sacred practice of love.
I get that that isn’t much of a sell for the modern society, so I understand why and how tantra got hooked up with sex- bc sex sells. And, sometimes you have to get tricky to help people wake up. David Deida, for example, has done a great job and luring people into spirituality under the guise of sex. Unfortunately, some people never grow past that, and think the main point of his teachings is about sexuality (I’d find that somewhat adorable if his followers weren’t often so sexually predatory in nature). People even misunderstand Osho- thinking tantra is about the ecstatic.
Tantra at it’s heart is an embodied, eNstatic, practice. Sure, it can include practices that take you “out”, but the design is sustainable: available at all times because it comes “from within.” I see OMing the same.
OMing might easily be seen, and practiced, as an ecstatic practice. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is fun to go out- or, “up and out”, as we say in the spiritual biz. But embodied and sustainable it’s not.
I figure that’s why Nicole’s design of the practice included a tight container and a strong emphasis/basis of no agenda- particularly with regard to what people often have as an agenda in sex related practices- climax. OMing, at heart, is not about the kind of experience you have. Because anyone in the spiritual biz know that “enlightenment” has nothing to do with experience. As such, this removal of agenda, and focus on experience, puts OMing as more an enstatic practice.
What’s cool is that the design of OMing can help one to really grok this- if the container is truly followed. It actually becomes self evident, no pun intended.
While it’s certainly possible to have an embodied climax, it’s not the norm- attention most readily goes OUT during a climax. As in “mind blown.” It takes more conscious effort to bring a climax down and in. So much effort that it can be impossible for most people.
The beauty of OMing is that it is orgasm focused- and orgasm is sustainable because it comes from within. Orgasm *can be* (if consciously practiced as such) embodied as it can easily be approached enstatically. Again, this becomes self evident if the container is deeply followed and practiced.
I’ll always be a tantra girl, because orgasm just lives and breaths in me (thanks kundalini!). But these days i prefer to think of myself as more zen. Maybe i’ll think of myself as “tantric zen”. Hell, it’s probably already a thing.
Zen quickly strips down the focus from experience- something to achieve- into that which is sustainably present at all times. It’s not flashy like the “modern day” tantra. It doesn’t promise thrill. It won’t give you a quick high.
And, luckily, it doesn’t feed our culture’s heavily addictive personality. Zen won’t be attractive to those who want to get lost in seeking peak experiences, going “up and out”, dissociation, and “feeling good.”
Zen is the opposite- about fully landing here, and now. I happen to think tantra is about that too. But our culture has fucked up that message left and right. So i’ll leave tantra to all those that want “more” and “better”.
My nervous system thanks me for it. OMMMMMMM