The Beginner’s Guide to a Tantric Love Affair With Life

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There he goes again, that guy that keeps showing up on my street.

He walks by with an easy movement of shoulders and hips, exuding a wonderful, grounded masculinity that wafts around him like an aura. He’s so obviously comfortable in his body.

I watch, trying not to stare, resisting the urge to drape myself round him for a closer encounter. I’m well aware that part of me is feeling a strong desire to take him for my own, and I’m not fighting the feeling. Instead, I’m wallowing in it.  Desire. That beautiful spark which reminds me that I’m alive.

I inhale deeply, soaking up the vitality which he radiates, luxuriating in how good I feel when he’s around, using my breath to spread the energy through my body. Like a warm tide, it flows upwards and outwards from my lower chakras, transforming into a general surge of well-being as it moves.

Yes, he is a very attractive man. But it could have been a woman, or a car, or that amazing designer dress which I can’t afford. It could even have been the smell of freshly-ground coffee, or a pretty wildflower.

Because Tantra isn’t all about sex.

One of the core elements is the transformation of desire. It’s about a way of life, about approaching the world with an open heart and a willingness to embrace desire as an essential component of existence. And for me, although some purists may not agree, this applies to all forms of desire.

Desire shows us that we want more than who we are or what we have; it prompts us to expand beyond the limited version of ourselves that we have been up to now.

It is the energy that motivates us to reaching out and connect with life—it is a potent force when allowed to flow freely, and highly destructive when misdirected or repressed.

So, you want that car, house or man? Or that pretty flower that you know you shouldn’t pick? Go ahead, allow yourself to want it, without beating up on yourself. Enjoy the good feelings that it stirs up in you. Maybe even daydream a little about how good it would feel to have it. Really get into the feeling of pleasure, happiness or fulfillment that you imagine it would bring.

But here’s the catch. (Did I forget to mention the catch?)

Now that you’re really tapping into that feeling of desire and pleasure, you need to shift your attention. Move your focus away from the object of your desire and onto the feelings themselves. No, I’m not trying to ruin your fun. You can still continue dreaming about your beautiful car or man, and I’m not suggesting that you give up the idea of having possessions. Just remember that the wonderful feelings are coming from inside yourself and not from outside.

You have generated them, by focusing your attention on something you desire, and you always have the power to generate them, even without an external catalyst.

And yes, it takes practice. Initially, the mind and ego rebel. We are so used to thinking that satisfaction comes from actually possessing something that it can be difficult to imagine deep fulfillment coming from simply aligning ourselves with an energetic frequency.

When you start to use this little bit of magic consistently though, life suddenly becomes a smorgasbord of delight, rather than a never-ending display of things you want but can’t have. Every hour offers opportunities to practice.

Instead of going through the day resisting—I shouldn’t have that cake, it’s not right to find that woman attractive, I can’t afford that house—you go through the day allowing the desire to flow but shifting the emphasis away from the object and back to the feeling itself.

Step by step, it goes something like this:

Step one: Immerse yourself in the object of your desire. Bring your full attention to whatever it is that’s stimulating your desire. Let it fully absorb your focus, and allow any other internal voices or resistances to fade away if you can.

Step two: Breathe it in. Breathe in the beauty, joy, vitality, or whatever it is that’s attracting you. Imagine that you’re absorbing it through the pores of your skin.

Step three: Spread the bliss. When you’ve really got a good vibe going, use your breath to spread the feeling through the body from wherever it is you’re feeling it most. Breathe in and draw the feeling up through the body as far as you can, spreading it further with each breath. If the feeling starts to slip, just refocus on the original catalyst.

Step four: Say thank you! When you’re ready to move on, don’t forget to silently give thanks to whatever it was that inspired you to remember how good life can feel. Then, release it from your attention.

Congratulations! You have now tuned your vibrational dial closer to the frequency of vitality and joy. And all it took was a few moments, some self-discipline and a willingness to try.

When you get the hang of it, you also start to build up your own internal mood board. The huge selection of sights, sounds and smells that surround us every day give ample scope to store up memories of things we want and like.

Then, on the days when everything just seems more gray and flat than usual, we can revisit our easy-to-carry, internal, mood board and pull out a memory to work with. Instead of watching it outside of ourselves this time, though, we replay it inside.

We use it as a meditation tool—remembering how good it felt when we first experienced it, and then following the same steps as above to rekindle our inner flame and increase our sense of connection with life.

So, how many opportunities can you find today to fire up your desire, increase your vitality and get creative with your personal mood board?

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