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This is the version of the Neotantra article after I did an extensive rewrite but which was subsequently undone after I dropped out of contributing to its editing due to the consistency of other editors to bias the description of neotantra in favor of fundamentalist Hindu and Buddhist precepts and practices.

I included this explanation for my withdrawing from participating in editing the Neotantra article in the Discussion Page:

Neo Etymology

Webster's - "Etymology: Greek, from neos: new -- recent, Neogene: new and different period or form of". Neo-anything can refer to varying degrees of morphing of the original- from being unambiguously derived from the original as exampled in various art styles- neoclassical, neoimpressionism, neoexpressionism to highly dubious relationships such as the term neofascism as common usage for characterizing religions, politics or philosophies with which one disagrees viz: Religious_fascism The problem with defining neotantra is that there is no guideline for establishing to what degree it should or should not conform to the convoluted and diverse traditions of Tantra belief and practice. The definition is totally dependent on the perspective between the extremes of fundamentalist Hinduism and Buddhism and a new-age, integral spiritual approach which tends to bypass all but the single traditional concept- that sexual ecstasy is a path to attaining absolute desirelessness- the key to realization. To "push" references that are advocates of any degree of Tantra religious tradition is to bias the article in favor of the fundamentalist perspective and deny the open-ended reality of neotantric practitioners. The fundamental dilemma will persist until the neotantra article is taken outside the wikiproject Hinduism (or Buddhism) where it can evolve to reflect that reality. Mayagaia 00:40, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Neotantra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neotantra is a collection of practices based on ancient Buddhist and/or Hindu Tantra writings and teachings that are used by modern practitioners in their quest to attain freedom and enlightenment. The interpretation of how this is done varies tremendously, ranging from very concrete ceremonies and rituals, all the way to the direct and immediate realization of the Divine.

One neotantric path adopts components of "right practices" (dharma) that feature recognition of the visible world as a manifestation of Lila of the Divine Mother with oneness between self and the visible world experienced in the sexual act symbolizing Shiva-Shakti union of the godhead. In this path, the neotantric metaphysical core is derived from a fundamental dictum in traditional yoga practice that all desire must be extinguished through meditation to experience liberation. Many historic Hindu Tantras of the left-hand path, Vamachara, Kaula, Lakshmi, Shakta, as well as some Buddhist and Taoist sexual yoga prescribe a way of meditation through the ecstasy of sexual union to attain absolute desirelessness and awakening. Some neotantriks embrace this core concept, but modify the religious constructs and rigors of traditional Tantras, discarding certain transgressive elements of left-hand practice in an exploration of the extent to which integral spirituality can facilitate access to the ultimate experience of ecstatic transcendence.

Other neotantrikas reject dharma as too constricting, and instead seek to perfect their own inner wisdom. These neotantriks view the entire material world as divine, thus the body is divine, and they use it as a valid pathway for reaching awakening and connection with the Godhead. For this reason some neotantrikas have studied various physical practices, including certain sexual ones, to help them achieve their spiritual goals. Many of these are outlined in the Vijnaya Bhairava, and the Tantraloka of Abhinavagupta (both written between the 7th and 10th centuries A.D).


Contents

  • 1 Practice
  • 2 Criticism
  • 3 Related concepts
  • 4 References

[edit] Practice

The teaching and practice of neotantra includes a wide range of modern or New Age interpretations of tantra that usually disregard requirements involving the guidance of a guru guruparampara and ritual conduct, though they otherwise adopt many of the terms and concepts of the various tantras. They often talk about raising Kundalini energy, activating the chakras, and experiencing full-bodied orgasms. In these circles, neotantra is often a synonym for sacred sexuality, i.e. a belief that sex ought to be recognized as a sacred act which is capable of elevating its participants to a higher spiritual plane. Where any form of worship or ritual is involved it most often revolves around the sacred feminine or Divine Mother as featured in Shakti or Kaula Tantra. At other times neotantra comes to mean a set of techniques for cultivating a more fulfilling sexual or love relationship, like the otherwise unrelated Kama Sutra, regardless of its mystical import.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later known as Osho, used tantra in combination with breathing techniques, bioenergy, yoga and massage in some of his groups. One of many of his students who continued developing his concepts is Margot Anand.

Many other teachers have pioneered their modern understanding of tantra as it relates to its ancient roots. Some believe that tantric knowledge or teachings can be directly transmitted from teacher to student through the modalities of eye contact, playful conversation, touch and sexual contact. Others consider tantra as a way to use one's body to connect with the Divine without the need for a spiritual leader. Some people wake up spontaneously to tantric enlightnement, while others like Nityananda (a great modern tantra master) are born enlightened and overflowing with Kundalini energy.

[edit] Criticism

Georg Feuerstein, a Buddhist who also trained in Hindu Tantra, writes in the epilogue of his book Tantra: Path of Ecstasy:

"Many are attracted to Neo-Tantrism because it promises sexual excitement or fulfillment while clothing purely genital impulses or neurotic emotional needs in an aura of spirituality. If we knew more about the history of Tantra in India, we would no doubt find a comparable situation for every generation." He goes on to say, "Today translations of several major Tantras are readily available in book form, and many formerly secret practices are now, in the language of the text, 'like common harlots'. This gives would-be Tantrics the opportunity to concoct their own idiosyncratic ceremonies and philosophies, which they can then promote as Tantra." He also states that he himself does not consider neo-Tantra "wrong" or "false" but rather "simply a different interpretation for a specific historical situation."

[edit] Related concepts

Meanwhile, both Tantric and Neotantric concepts aside, there is a growing body of accounts that suggest sexual ecstasy experienced by individuals with no spiritual agenda may trigger a range of transcendent episodes as psychologist Dr. Jenny Wade describes in her book, Transcendent Sex. Although rare, there are contemporary accounts where ecstatic orgasm is one of a variety of peak experiences that have spontaneously intiated an unintentional supreme transcendence that compares to that described by Advaita mystics as Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Samadhi-like experience have also arisen spontaneously in individuals under the most ordinary circumstances including sleeping. Such extraordinary episodes manifesting so unconditionally and inexplicably relate to religious concepts of Christian Grace, the anugraha of Vedanta and anupaya of Hindu Saivism.

[edit] References

  • Tantra, The Supreme Understanding, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (1975)
  • The Art of Sexual Magic, Margot Anand (1996)
  • Tantric Yoga: The Royal Path of Raising Kundalini Power, Gavin Frost & Yvonne Frost (1989)
  • Spontaneous Neotantra Samadhi- a first-person account
  • Sacred Orgasms, Kenneth Ray Stubbs (1992)

[edit] See also

Expanded Orgasm

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