“For a brief moment, at the point of climax, the mind becomes empty of thoughts. It is like a moment of meditation. The ego is extinguished by an experience of supreme bliss. And yet all too soon that moment has vanished – we are left feeling disappointed, dissatisfied, wanting more. Am I right?”
I nodded uncomfortably, reluctantly admitting myself into the bedroom of his first person plural.
“This is the moment the practice of Tantra aims to expand. The tantrika regains this moment through sexual activity but gradually he – or she – must learn, through meditation and control of their desire, to reach that same experience without releasing energy or becoming the slave of lust.”
Mastering the art of orgasm without ejaculation is an act of self-discipline involving the awakening of the kundalini, the serpent of female energy lying dormant, coiled eight times at the base of the spine, blocking the opening of the genital organ with her mouth. When the kundalini is aroused it can be channelled up the body through the chakras – psychic energy centres ranged between the perineum and the brain – piercing them like a shaft of brilliant light.
Experienced tantric masters, the professor explained, can raise their kundalini up through these chakras, experiencing different states of awareness, right up to the highest head chakra. From there, they can channel the female shakti energy through the top of the skull so it can unite with Shiva, the male aspect of Pure Consciousness pervading the whole universe, thereby opening the 1,000-petalled lotus of the sahasrara chakra and flooding the being with indescribable bliss.
In Buddhist terms, he said, the attainment of mahasukha, the great bliss, is achieved by the same resolution of polarity; through reuniting the cosmic aspects of male and female.
“The goddesses you see there are generating shakti, the creative desire which arises when the kundalini is awakened. We only see images like this on the outside of a temple. Inside, the inner shrine is very simple, totally unadorned, like the seed embedded in the womb. The inside of a temple represents the internal state where this energy is directed; where the mind becomes free of struggle, where there is stillness, where Shakti finds union with Shiva. So ‘tantric sex’, as you Westerners call it, is not about surrendering oneself to the sensation of pleasure, it is about learning how to direct it; about uniting the body with the vast expanse of the mind.”