The Hridaya Yoga Vision on Tantra and Sexuality
Embracing the Sacredness of Sexuality
Naturally Integrating the Journey of Self-Revelation in All Aspects of Life
The main purpose of Hridaya Yoga is to offer guidance, inspiration, and support in developing Self-awareness in order to reveal our True Nature. This is done predominantly through Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats and Hridaya Yoga Retreats.
The journey of Self-revelation should be naturally integrated into all aspects of life, including sexuality, which offers conscious human beings exceptional opportunities for spiritual transformation.
It is our aspiration to provide our students with a more harmonious and spiritual view on sexuality and sacred relationships. There is an imperative need to transcend fast food culture and alienating Internet sexuality, which has disastrous consequences for intimacy and lovemaking. Sacred sexuality is not about “consuming” anything.
The Format of the Hridaya Teachings
In the Hridaya Yoga Retreat Modules, we give practical instruction regarding brahmacharya (the sublimation of sexual energy as a tool to reveal our Essential Nature, either through abstinence or continence).
We also offer workshops on conscious loving, tantric rituals, sexuality, and intimate relationships. Through them, we aim to reawaken the sacred dimension of sexuality, emphasizing the importance of love, awareness, transfiguration, purity, sexual continence, and adoration between lovers.
The Four Pillars of Sacred Sexuality
In Hridaya Yoga, there are four pillars of sacred sexuality. These essential conditions are:
- Sexual continence
- Awareness—Conscious lovemaking is characterized by a meditative state of mind. It is free from thoughts, worries, labels, and judgments. This “suchness of the moment” involves the energies of pleasure, but there is a simultaneous experience of Stillness, a feeling of being incredibly alive, an awareness of Awareness itself.
- Sacredness, transfiguration, purity, and adoration between lovers—This sacredness and purity refers to our lover, to ourselves, to our intentions, to our perceptions, and to the sexual act.
“The real suppression in the West is not sexual suppression, but the suppression of the union of sexuality, feelings, and sacred love.”
Fausto Antonini, L’amore e la volonta
Lovemaking Is Meditation: Spontaneity and Timelessness
Spontaneity in lovemaking is intimately related to meditative practices that bring calmness to the mind, preventing a blind identification with lust and desires. Naturalness and spontaneity are seen as expressions of feeling without labeling, of sacred wonderment. Direct experience, perceptual sensations, feelings, and the clarity of awareness can provide an immediate, intuitive knowing—an inner guide to acting.
Thus, in lovemaking, we effortlessly and naturally unite as one being.
When sacred sexuality flows in a spontaneous manner, naturally and effortlessly, it becomes timeless.
From the Hridaya viewpoint, sacred sexuality is not just a skill we need to practice (even though its practice will itself bring us countless insights and revelations), it is an innate beauty that anyone can allow to unfold.
Blossoming in Real Love: About Open Relationships and Commitment
Although we respect everyone’s choices, in the whole spectrum of sexual preferences, we do not encourage open relationships. While openness is a very beautiful concept, and when practiced with awareness and clarity open relationships can be beautiful and transformative, we have observed that when the participants lack real maturity open relationships are often accompanied by an unfortunate cortège of betrayal, jealousy, distrust, fear, anger, disappointment, bitterness, and revenge.
Therefore, open relationships may actually encourage closing instead of supporting the flowering of awareness. So, we suggest that the majority of those who are inspired to practice sacred sexuality will find the greatest benefits by engaging in committed relationships that do not encourage rigidity but offer trust, centeredness, and clarity. In this way, we can blossom in Real Love, which is not possession, but freedom.
A Safe Space for All: Community Life and Sacredness
Regarding sexual activity in our community, we recommend discretion, common sense, truthfulness, integrity, and the avoidance of smugness and gossip.
Our aspiration is to provide a totally safe environment in which people can open to sacred sexuality. Tantra and sexuality are very sensitive topics, as many gurus and spiritual teachers have been involved in sexual scandals.
For thousands of years, many Indians, Tibetans, and Chinese people have learned the ancient sexual art of Tantra or Taoism by practicing lovemaking as a sacrament. However, in our times, the practical integration of these teachings often remains problematic. While the content and substance of such teachings are sublime, the context and the ways in which they are shared and applied can be very challenging. We don’t know of many modern schools or communities in which sacred sexuality can be learned and explored in total purity and safety without attachments, cravings, lasciviousness, scandals, jealousy, abuse, manipulation, etc.
This is why we strongly emphasize the need to provide a completely safe and sacred environment for everyone who comes to such teachings. Since we don’t have a perfect example or inspiring model to follow, we simply endeavor to maintain a purity of intention and a constant awareness of the application of the teachings and its effect on our Hridaya Community. If instead of going deeper in clarity, love, and authenticity, the community progressively becomes more involved in lust, dramas, attachments, gossip, confusion, etc., we would rather stop offering such teachings and focus on the main purpose of the school—Hridaya Meditation and Hatha Yoga.
Teaching from the Heart: The Attitude of Hridaya Teachers
Our Hridaya meditation and yoga teachers commit themselves to a journey based on honesty, acting out of pure intention and with integrity. Their aspiration is to help, serve, inspire, and support all students. We are constantly vigilant to ensure that there are not any manipulative tendencies or practices in our Hridaya Community.
May Real Love guide us back to the Heart!