THE BLOG
09/13/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Secrets to Lasting Intimacy: Ancient Tantric Wisdom Transforms Modern Love

Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, North American Quodoshka, and others, hold secrets to creating fulfilling love and intimacy that are not known to the Western world. One of these ancient traditions is Tantra which was born over 5000 years ago in East India and practiced by people that called themselves tantriks or tantrikas. You might wonder "What is it and how does it work?"

Here is a taste of what it's all about: In the Western world we look at our bodies, relationships and life in a way that is often compartmentalized. For example, we think of sexuality being separate from spirituality - as manifested in our bodies and our practices. In Tantra a possibility is offered that teaches how to integrate one's sexual with one's spiritual energies. This allows for a divine experience with oneself and ultimately with a partner. Rediscovering our innate energies that are sexual-spiritual in nature we then are able to express ourselves more fully - free from constraints and habitual patterns, e.g., shame, guilt, fear, suppression or obsession. And this in turn allows us to experience our full potential of pleasure and creativity.

In learning about Tantra many years ago I experienced a big opening namely the connection and integration of my pleasure self with my divine being. This rediscovery is one of the fundamental breakthroughs Tantra offers and now I witness these breakthroughs in our students at the TantraNova Institute all the time.

How does it happen? In the TantraNova approach we use the breath, energy awareness, meditation and healing practices with disciplines based in human development, generative language and creative self discovery. The breath is the key to activate and move energy including aroused energy. Through specific breathing exercises you can learn to connect the lower energy centers (related to feeling centered and save as well as pleasure and joy) with the higher energy centers (related to feeling love and spiritual connection). To get a first hand experience of "energetic flow" try this solo practice:

- Sit in a comfortable position

- Take in a deep breath and feel your belly rising on the inhalation and falling on the exhalation.

- Put your right hand on your belly below your navel (this is your creative energy center), and your left hand in the middle of your chest (this is your heart or love energy center).

- Take in a deep breath, expanding your belly into your right hand and then breathe up into your chest into your left hand.

- On the inhalation feel your energetic breath moving from your right hand on the "Creation Center" up into your left hand on the "Heart Center"

- On the exhalation visualize sending the energetic breath from your "Heart Center", the left hand, down into your "Creation Center", the right hand.

- Continue in this breathing pattern for eight breaths.

- Slowly take your hands off and let them rest in your lap.

- Stay with your breath and the connection between your Creation and Heart centers. Notice how you feel right now.

- Come back by opening your eyes.

Creating intimacy has all to do with being aware of where desire originates from. Tantric tradition holds that men and women approach sex and intimate relationships in fundamentally different ways. For men, sexual energy originates in the sexual center, while for women it originates in the heart. The result is a big disconnect: He's feeling it here, she is feeling it there, and eventually no one's feeling it anywhere. Tantra comes to the rescue by helping you get on the same wavelength.

Therefore we teach men to channel and master their sexual energy by integrating their sexual with their heart energy. Thus they become present and available to more deeply connecting with themselves and their partner. Women learn how to open their heart so their sensual intimate self can receive and trust.

We are all full of sexual energy - it's our life force energy, also called chi in the Tao tradition and Kundalini in the tantric tradition. It's our most profound life source - part of what created us, and the key to helping us achieve our dreams, including better relationships. Unfortunately, most of us have no idea what to do with that energy. The tantric practice allows us to learn how to use our sexual creative energy as a doorway to our most intimate spiritual, emotional and physical selves.

Dr. Elsbeth Meuth and Freddy Zental Weaver are internationally renowned seminar leaders and relationship coaches. They are the founders and directors of the TantraNova Institute in Chicago and the producers of the best-selling DVD series Creating Intimacy & Love. They have been featured on Showtime's Sexual Healing (TantraNova on Showtime's "Sexual Healing"), NBC's Starting Over, in Women's Health Magazine, and many more.

To learn more about their upcoming workshops and retreats for couples and singles go to http://www.tantranova.com.

(c) 2009 TantraNova.com