What Is Tantric Meditation?

Andy Hill

The practice of tantric meditation revolves around the key theories of interconnectedness, enlightenment, and visualization. Introduced in India during the sixth century, the practice of tantra was adopted by Tibetan Buddhist monks and incorporated into the framework of Tibetan Buddhism, or Vajrayana. Buddhist tantric meditation encourages visualization, most particularly the visualization of results. This has led to the practice also being known as the Resultant Vehicle.

At its most basic, the Buddhist practice of tantric meditation promotes harmony between the body and the mind.
At its most basic, the Buddhist practice of tantric meditation promotes harmony between the body and the mind.

As a concept, tantric meditation has been given an overtly sexual label, although this is not strictly correct. The sexual nature of the process stems from seeking the same mental and physical state as that experienced during orgasm. It is said that, in this state, the energy flow through the mind and body is at its highest and most consistent level. The art of tantric meditation is the search for this state in everyday life along with the ability to control it.

Buddhist tantric meditation comprises two components: generation and completion.
Buddhist tantric meditation comprises two components: generation and completion.

Visualization and mantras are core components of tantric meditation. The Buddhist practice of the art comprises two main stages; these are generation and completion. The generation stage consists of the visualization of the self as a deity of the Buddha figure. By creating a self-image in this form, it is said that it is possible to adopt the enlightenment and self-awareness of the visualized being.

Tibetan Buddhist monks have incorporated tantric meditation into the framework of Tibetain Buddhism.
Tibetan Buddhist monks have incorporated tantric meditation into the framework of Tibetain Buddhism.

During the second, completion stage of tantric mediation, energy flow through the body is the focus. This stage often takes the form of an inner heat yoga practice. By managing energy flow through the body during this second stage, the practitioner can be led into the desired state of tantric bliss.

During tantric meditation, the practitioner focuses on regulating the flow of energy throughout his body.
During tantric meditation, the practitioner focuses on regulating the flow of energy throughout his body.

Inner heat yoga, also known as tummo and one of the six yogas of Naropa, also addresses visualization along with breathing techniques. During the practice, one must visualize energy channels and symbolic mantra images while undertaking the filling-like-a-vase breathing technique. The vase breathing technique is carried out at the naval chakra and involves first drawing the air from above then energy from the airs below. By bringing the energies from above and below to meet and dissolve at the naval chakra, peace and longevity are said to be achievable.

The art of tantra can be helpful in the general practice of meditation through two key areas. For tantric meditation to be successful, both the mind and body must be in harmony. Secondly, by creating a mind and body partnership that is free of tension and self-perception, the awareness required for other forms of meditation can be found.

Visualization is a core component of tantric meditation.
Visualization is a core component of tantric meditation.

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Discussion Comments

turquoise

I know that tantric meditation can unlock hidden sexual energy. Can this type of meditation be practiced with a partner to improve sexual life and fertility?

literally45

@feruze-- I've heard of many misconceptions about tantric meditation, but you have added some new ones today.

I have no idea why tantric meditation has such a bad reputation. It really has nothing to do with what people assume it to be. It doesn't involve any curious ritual or physical act. It's just meditation that requires one to concentrate on the pure energy inside us, in an effort to unlock it. It just involves breathing exercises, chanting mantras and concentrating on certain thoughts like all other types of meditation.

I really hope that you will try tantric meditation classes sometime because it's a blissful thing and not at all weird.

bear78

Anything with the name tantric in it kind of scares me. I don't know about Buddhist tantric practices in China, but in India, tantric methods and rituals are very controversial. I believe there is a group of tantrics in India who do very unusual things in the name of tantric practice. And when I say unusual, I mean things like drug use, black magic and cannibalism.

I know that it's not right to make generalization about anything. But based on what I've heard about tantrics, I would not want to practice tantric meditation techniques.

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