“Tantric enlightenment” sounds like the enlightenment tantra leads to is separate from some other type of enlightenment. This is not the case. The wholeness within is ultimately inherent within beings on this planet – the same stardust that is one is that same in all. Yet we come embodied in so many different ways, so many differing dispositions. In a crowded place, look around and you may be amazed at the diversity immediately on display right before your eyes.
Tantra is a natural path; one which is simply counter to the unnatural forms and imprints handed to one via societies, religions and governments. Much as any form of meditation addresses the control of the conditioned mind over the experiencing of life by the meditator, so tantra is a path that shows one, by experience, what life feels like to be in a state of natural flow. Perhaps it is our collective karma to be born in such a realm where it is necessary to undo all we spend out formative years learning, but alas; this is a mute consideration that is more an idle curiosity than anything of substance to linger within.
The power of the breath, the force within living things, in yogic terminology, is prana. This Sanskrit word is not a substance than can be discovered via dissection or under a microscope, yet once one feels into the living vibrancy of this force, there will be no question about the finding of sages, ancient and modern alike, that this is the very lifeforce within all that moves.
While yoga works with prana and the forces of connection by using willful direction, tantra is a tiered way of experiencing this energy from the opposite intentional direction (both arriving at the same ends); in tantra, the wisdom of prana, sexual energy, kundalini and aliveness within the tantrika is allowed to teach in a more open and unrestricted way.
The wisdom of the body, the wisdom of the elements, is not a philosophy; to know, one has not choice but to walk the path themselves. Books on tantra and meditation are nice – nothing wrong in reading and expanding one’s exposure – but should one become a tantra academic, it is of little consequence on a transformative level.
Pranayama, breathing techniques, are yogic methods that are amazing to begin playing with how the breath, and the energy within the breath, move within the body. Nadi shodhana, analoma villoma … methods exist, best introduced from a teacher, that make the esoteric anatomy which yoga, meditation, tantra hold so central, come alive! A lived experience.
Walk in nature – prana all around. Walk in a city – an energy graveyard.
Sit in your yard in the morning sun – the radiance. Sit in front of your computer watching videos – slowly you become only a mind (perhaps minus some pain in the body or other video distraction).
The point is not to dismiss the value of living a life you love in the city or joy of entertainment; the point is that our life is intimately connected with natural, with natural forces.
Dive deep into breath. Mindfully engage with sexual energy. Feel alive in the exhilaration of some physical activity. Then you will know the power of prana.