TANTSU as a TANTRIC PRACTICE
Tantra begins in the body . . .
“Tantra is the natural way; the loose and the natural is the goal. You need not fight with the current; simply move with it, float with it. The river is going to the sea so why fight? Move with the river, become one with the river: surrender. Surrender is the keyword for Tantra; will is the keyword for Yoga. Yoga is the path of will; Tantra is the path of surrender."
In Tantsu, we practice “being with, rather than doing something to” our partner. When we do not impose action or a diagnosis, we can arrive at a precious opportunity to engage in a meditative dance of rising and dissolving energies with our Tantsu partner. The cradle becomes the ocean, and us, like surfers. We observe, listen and simply “be” with the other, and when waves of movement and flows of breath arise, like a surfer, we ride them. As we wait for waves of movement, we learn to sense the subtle currents of micro-movement that are ever present between us. As every wave eventually lays itself down on the shore, we too find moments where the more active aspects of a Tantsu session flow into a place of vibrant stillness. It is here that the “individuality” of the wave dissolves back into the wholeness of the ocean. The in flow and out flow of our shared breath remains a constant moving tide, connecting us and reminding us of the ever changing nature of life. We choose not to predict what might arise in a Tantsu which allows us to be in the present, accepting the mystery of the moment without need to explain it.
These moments of dynamic stillness are the jewels of Tantsu; the infinite fullness of Tantra meets the vast emptiness of Zen in a simple shimmering still point of Beingness. It is here that the potential of life pulses.
Zen aims moment by moment to harmonize with the constant flux of life and Tantra harvests the inherent energy of life’s polarities as a vehicle of transformation. In Tantsu, as in Zen and Tantra, nothing is turned away; all that we experience in a session becomes means for embracing and elevating what we are born with.
Tantra is alive. At the core remains a relationship to life and its processes. To negate, go against, control or to try to stop the flux is to deaden its inherent energy. An ancient Tantric meditation describes that when riding in an ox-cart on a bumpy road, to simply allow one’s entire body to move and jiggle and absorb all the ups and downs of the road. Full acceptance of what is, in lovingness and respect for life, starting in the physical body, is Tantsu. By liberating ourselves from the clutches of control, we have access of boundless life force energy that can be channeled into more and more refined states. Sexual energy is one of the most powerful forces in nature and historically, Tantra has utilized sex energy in some of its meditations by accepting its momentum and elevating its inherent energy into more refined expressions. In both Tantra and Zen, nothing is turned away, every experience can be useful.
Tantsu provides a safe contained, intimate, yet non-sexual environment in which to explore acceptance of our vital life force in its wide and varied expressions.
Tantsu continues in this essence of simplicity by disengaging from spiritual credence, philosophical stances or esoteric meanings and offers us a possibility of knowing our humanness more fully. As we open to the wide spectrum of human nature, no authority decides our actions for us, and we can become more fully ourselves. The person in our Tantsu cradle is our doorway to the mystery, what happens from there is the unknowable alchemy of relationship.
As we learn experientially to control less and allow more, the essence of our human nature shines through as joy. Giving or receiving a Tantsu becomes an expression of our joy. We allow the world to be brand new in each moment, riding the flow and flux of vitality itself, accepting all as it is, we learn that life IS change and our ecstasy arises in riding this joy.
“Really, Tantra is for a choiceless witnessing. Don’t be with the animal, don’t be with the divine, and don’t create a conflict. Just go back, just go away, just create a gap between you and this duality and become a third force, a witnessing, from where you can see both the animal and the divine.”