Indian Tantra and Western Neo-Tantra Practices

Published | Updated July 26, 2020

Indian Tantra and Western Neo-Tantra Practices

Tantra systems, philosophy, and practices originate in India and became more widely known in the country around 500 CE. What Tantra is exactly, is still highly debatable, and there are many, many interpretations. We will not discuss all that in this post, but we’d like to give a general idea of what Tantra and Neo-Tantra is about, just to put things a bit better into perspective.

Now, Tantra is a system or methodology in Indian Hindu spiritual, cosmological, and religious traditions. The scope of topics is enormous. Subjects deal with the evolution and history of the world, male Gods and female Goddesses, ritual worship, magic, sorcery, divination, esoteric practices, the awakening of Kundalini Energy, techniques for the purification of body and mind, self-realization and enlightenment, and divine sexuality. Techniques and methods range from rituals, pujas, exercises, meditation, chanting, devotion, mantras, Yoga, dance, massage, among other tools.

Then, at the end of the 1960s, Tantra practices saw a strong revival in the Western world, which today is usually labeled as the Neo-Tantra Movement. Neo-Tantra practices, like for instance contemporary Tantric Massage and Tantric Breathwork, draw from a wide range of techniques containing elements from traditional Indic Tantra philosophy and rituals, Yoga, Bioenergetics, and modern Sexual Therapy, but also using elements from various contemporary massage and bodywork teachers and psychologists such as Wilhelm Reich, Carl Jung, Carl Rogers, Alexander Lowen, Mantak Chia, Joseph Kramer and Annie Sprinkle. You name it!

Today, it seems the Tantra-thing has gone completely wild. Many offerings of Tantric Massage Therapy for instance, are very often only focused on erotic pleasure elements, incorrectly using labels as Tantric Massage, Sacred Yoni Massage, Lingam Manhood Discovery, or Tantric G-Spot Prostate Massage, just to give a fashionable and attractive name to what are simply plain Happy Ending or so-called Full Service massages.

In fact, it has become increasingly hard to discern what’s what and what’s not, and the number of Tantric trainings, Tantra Retreats, and Tantric treatment offerings is simply dazzling, with regular additions of new schools, trainers, therapists, and treatment modalities.

Whatever the case, in past decades it has become crystal clear that the world, not only the West, still struggles with questions around suppressed and distorted sexuality, sensuality, and eroticism, and tries to find updated ways to solve those.

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Article Categories: Spirituality, Enlightenment, and Self-Realization, Tantric Massage and Genital Treatments
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