Posts tagged ‘Tantric’
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In truth it is likely that there are as many definitions and answers as there are practitioners. Still, it’s a fair question.
Definitions and descriptions of massage ‘techniques’ e.g. Swedish, Lomi Lomi, Thai, Reiki etc. can easily be researched and described definitively but defining ‘relaxing’ in massage is more subjective.
Any relaxing massage experience is hopefully designed to be a pleasant experience, but what of the question defining the descriptions of full body – relaxing – erotic – Tantric. Isn’t it all the same?
Happily it is normal to experience a relaxing massage as an erotic experience even if it’s not ‘full body’. Simple touch, in the right circumstance can be incredibly and surprisingly erotic. Certainly a ‘full body’ relaxing massage, is likely to result in an erotic experience.
Tantric massage sessions tend to be longer than simple full body relaxation massage. Perhaps Tantric massage is best defined as a shared journey, where natural energy and reactions are mutually enjoyed by both receiver and giver.
There is always a ‘safe landing’ and the effects of the experience can last for many days afterwards.
In Tantric massage the experience is always about the journey without undue focus on the destination. Relaxation massage, erotic massage, full body massage, therapeutic massage, Tantric massage, combinations of all – it’s all good.
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Tantric practice encourages the idea of an ‘experience’ rather than a ‘session’, whether or not the time is in massage, ritual, discovery or any combination of Tantric practice.
Such experience is timeless – in that the experience tends to find its own unique pace and is not necessarily divided into hourly segments.
For this reason ‘clock watching’ is not part of Tantric experience. The idea is to provide an experience to relax the mind and body and thereby raise physical consciousness and heighten awareness. How this develops in any individual will be unique to the moment and certainly the benefit can be defeated by watching the clock too closely. That’s not to say that time constraints are not a reality to be respected at times. Just that experiences, short or long, need not necessarily be measured by the clock.
If Tantric practice requires anything from followers, those requirements, at least, are an open and curious mind and a generosity of spirit. So we always approach experiential time with generosity not measured by hours and minutes.
Sometimes the experience will last long – other times it maybe shorter. Always, though, it will be a unique experience – never a ‘timed session’. We don’t always have to make the massage ‘run on time’!
These labels are often simply flimsy figments of imagination, ready to be blown away with a puff of positive energy.
Often, potential peace of mind is denied by imagining and internalizing a self identity – a label that seems to fit in a personal universe.
But are the labels really useful and a best fit? If there are too many mismatches it can be uncomfortable to exist in the world. Since it’s more difficult to change the world than it is to change a few psychic assumptions, Tantric practice works on taking thoughts to more productive and happier places – and so to greater peace of mind.
Tantra deals with personal energy and life forces. Conscious energy and involuntary energy.
The strongest of these energies is sexual energy and the labeling of sexual preferences, fantasies and thoughts often creates much confusion.
Thoughts and fantasies can change, recur, renew etc., as time passes. Self images are created as a fit with what exists in any personal daily universe. The image is purposefully self created but does not always mesh with other involuntary thoughts and fantasies.
What to do? The excluded thoughts and images just don’t go away. It’s not that those thoughts and fantasies are dangerous, unlawful or harmful to self or others. It’s just that they don’t match the self image. So, quite often the thoughts and energies are buried in the back of the mind. But they don’t cease to exist.
Such burials can be a waste of energy and can distract from a peaceful and productive existence.
Tantric practice and massage can help to resurrect and find a useful place for such buried energy. It can find a map to hidden treasures – the acceptance of self, and greater peace of mind.
Tantric practice is about the conscious and enjoyable control of the energies that inevitably play in the mind and body. Always the most powerful and fascinating of those energies is sexual energy. It is disabling to deny that fact and enabling to control and enjoy it.
The suppression and pigeonholing of thoughts can be paralyzing. Tantric practice offers the chance to safely explore thoughts and fantasies and to include them in real life. To make them fit with self image.
To erase some of the useless labels. To learn to enjoy some fantasies and find some happy places.
Posing for Art – in Tantric style
This email was received from a reader in New York. It’s worth reading and she has permitted me to post it, albeit I’ve deleted her name for privacy reasons.
Subject: Your Blog
You might not get many emails like this and you don’t know me but I’m a regular reader of your blog.
I might be an unusual reader because I’m a female artist and photographer. I live in New York.
I wanted to add my 2 cents to the subjects you’ve included in your blog and say that a lot of this turns out to be useful in helping me with my art.
Mostly my art is interpretation of the human form. I use everything from oil on canvass to watercolor to pen & ink. I also often use photographic images to combine. I also teach drawing and composition in private art classes. Please read on and don’t imagine this is a pitch to get you to include my pictures on your blog. Its not about that.
I’ve been a professional artist for many years and specialize in human figure work as its always appealed to me as offering the best chances to produce unique work. Every body is completely unique and ever changing and I like to capture those changes ‘in the moment’.
I have many artist friends who have the same experience as me when trying to find session models. Its not difficult to find female models to pose but not so in finding male models.
If its just me painting or a class its usually not easy to find a male who can pose, often nude, to suit the needs of the artists. I think the convention is that its easier for females to feel comfortable about posing than males. Also conventions in our modern society have tended to prefer to view the female form than the male, although I think some things are changing in regards to that statement.
Part of my difficulty might have been in my approach to what I want to portray and I’ll say how I’ve solved the problem, personally, although I know generally that I’m not alone whatever the artistic approach requires.
Early in my career I found that capturing the human form was mostly a very sterile experience especially considering the excitement that the human body can generate. Artists are usually so concentrated on their work that the actual energy of the subject often escapes. Apologies to the many who do capture the energy of their subject.
In classical works portraying nudes, the energy is often captured, somehow, and we find that shared between the sexes.
My purpose and enjoyment has been to specialize in capturing sexual energy and tension and that is not a sterile task. It means asking a model not just to pose but actually to allow themselves to be part of an energy and image that can be observed by an artist and transferred to a canvass.
That’s asking a lot of any model and particularly a male model. I’m asking someone to pose in a state of sexual awareness or arousal which is a difficult thing for many to imagine in the usual art studio atmosphere. Mostly in figure work we encourage artists and students to ignore the elephant in the room and certainly never to venture personal approval or comment about the model.
My solution to the problem occurred when I met a guy giving massage in tantric styles, mostly to other men. We got talking and I told him what I did and what the problems often were. What he told me was very similar to what’s in your blog which is that tantric experience seems to allow people to be able to get more enjoyment from the sensuality of their bodies and to enjoy themselves for longer. Also to be less inhibited without being antisocial.
I didn’t know much about tantric massage etc. but I asked the guy if he’d like to pose at a small class that I had coming up to see if his ideas worked.
He agreed and I held the session at my studio. I think there were 4 artists at different levels of skill or objective.
At the time I wanted to sketch and paint a male in a state of heightened arousal, combining the facial expression with the genital expression. That was the objective of all of us to varying degrees.
My tantric friend said he understood what I intended and delivered beautifully. He was completely confident in himself and gave the room an energy which did seem to inspire the artists.
Since then I’ve been able to invite, through my friend, many of his clients, also to pose and we’ve been able to focus and capture so much of the human form, in my opinion, in unique ways.
I’ve also come to learn more about tantra and have actually posed for a few sessions myself.
I’d say to any of your tantric readers that this is a practical use of the energy and erotic control that can be learned and that appreciation of the human form is something that should be encouraged and that sexual energy can actually be seen and experienced through the brush and canvass where the artist and model can move themselves to the same wavelength.
I hope this is of interest to you.
By the way, I should mention that as a female artist, equally curious about the male form, and the female form and all gender forms I enjoy working with all sexes.
Whatever the gender mix I say the same thing, that the model is completely deserving of our deep respect and gratitude. Its not an easy thing to reach and maintain a state of arousal in a group of people.
To all participants I say that they will themselves likely experience a sexual energy and they should use that to encourage their work. Often these sessions have given artists a very different view of sexuality in art than conventional figure sessions.
We’ve encouraged requests and positive comments and at times have posed two models at the same time. We’ve created a studio atmosphere that encourages artist/model communication. Although the standard of work necessarily varies, none in the classes are there to judge. Personally I’ll help when I’m asked. The surprising thing for me is how uniquely inspired the finished pieces so often are. Also how much more comfortable everybody is able to become with their physical selves through such uninhibited artistic interaction.
To be able to absorb so closely aspects of the human body that are often only brushed over has been most exciting for me and others.
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Here’s a question that is often spoken – and often unspoken. ‘Is it OK to touch while receiving touch?’
The answer is to remember that the guiding principle in Tantric massage is to work toward total relaxation of the mind and body.
Massage can have the effect of seeming to magnify natural energy. As any massage progresses, and the mind starts to relax and wander, the body can energize, physically. It’s natural to want to reach out and transfer some of that energy. In doing so the energy delivered in the massage is further enhanced.
The fact is that energy is built as much by touching as by being touched. Receiving touch without the opportunity to appropriately respond can remove a critical part of the experiential potential.
Of course it is entirely acceptable and possible to enjoy a full body massage without exploring reciprocal touch. Tantric massage practice, however, is one of the few approaches that recognizes that complete relaxation can also include the engagement of our potential to distribute energy as well as receive it.
Happily, Tantric massage will always look to find the most complete opportunities for a relaxed state of mind and body.
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