What is the secret of tantric massage?
In our modern culture, where answers to anything can be found at the click of a mouse, are there even any secrets left to be uncovered? Bede Griffiths, the British Benedictine monk who lived in India and became a noted yogi, once said:
For me, the great discovery in India is the discovery of the sacred. In India, everything is sacred: the earth is sacred, food, water and taking a bath are all sacred, a building is sacred.
What does this really mean? Here in the west, we have lost this understanding and attitude. We have become used to instant gratification. But the problem with instant gratification is that the experience does not last … By its nature it is fleeting—and one desire leads to another and another and another …
Sacredness implies honouring a deeper part of ourselves, which leads to more permanent contentment, fulfilment, inner peace and the feeling of total satisfaction. The experience of being in the moment, rather than doing. This is what we all really want, but there is an underlying pressure in our society to strive to compete, to achieve, to spend, to perform? These are the things we are taught to do. No one teaches us simply to be and to honour our deepest essence. So although it should be the simplest thing to do, it has become the hardest. While this applies to all areas of life, we are now here discussing tantric massage. Many of our visitors nowadays are so stressed by the time they arrive, they even find it difficult to just lie on the massage table and BE. Why so? Let us look more closely at the below issues:
According to Ayurveda, the human body consists of 72,000 nadis, or subtle nerve channels, which cannot be seen by the physical eye, and 107 marma points, which are the neuro-muscular junction boxes of the body. In order for the body to truly relax, it is helpful to not only work on releasing the tension in the muscles, but also on restoring and revitalizing the energy flow. The subtle energy needs to be unblocked and re-directed to flow through the energetic pathways. This enables the individual to become more vibrant and alive, as well as relaxed.
Massage styles with long strokes, such as Abhyanga or Esalen-style massage, which encompass the entire body, rather than massaging just the legs or just the back separately are helpful in this process. A skilled masseuse can enable the receiver to experience his/her body as an organic whole. The entire body includes the genitals and the entire energetic system.
Our minds are very subtle instruments, easily affected by the atmosphere around us, as well as by our own thoughts. Our clients come to us with many different issues on their mind. They may feel guilty, nervous, ashamed, shy, or unsure whether they will receive what they are looking for. So it is very important for them to be greeted with an attitude of acceptance and understanding. When a masseuse empathises with and honours the client, this helps his/her mind to calm down spontaneously. We also teach basic meditation and deep breathing techniques, which combined with the peaceful vibration in our studio, all help to still the mind and encourage the flow of internal energy throughout the body.
This may all sound quite simple and obvious, but energy is a subtle entity. Keeping a studio clean and beautiful and lighting candles is one thing, but maintaining an upflifting vibration in the atmosphere is another. It helps if meditation has been practiced in the room, or if meditational mantras are played for long periods of time and even more so if the masseuse is a meditator. Mantras are used to purify the atmosphere and the feeling of peace can be very tangible. This can help lift the mind out of its habitual patterns of thinking.
Some clients have a tendency to get into their own individual fantasies while receiving the massage, particularly during the more arousing part. We do not discourage this as it is important to feel at ease. But we do encourage them to become an observer, a witness to the the workings of the mind and senses. The more we are able to do this, the deeper we go within—thoughts dissolve as if by magic and bodily sensations become much more powerful. This is basic meditation and it is not hard work; it is a very natural process.
Some who are in a committed relationship may have a sense of guilt about receiving a sensual massage from someone who is not their partner. There are also times where their partner is not open to the idea of accompanying them. Hence, we always seek to explain that a tantric massage is different from a purely sensual or erotic massage.
While they may be receiving the tantric massage from a stranger, our tantric masseuses are qualified and have been trained to lead them to a certain experience which they can then share and develop with their partner at home. Of course, they are always welcome to come for tantric tuition on their own or as a couple, and will receive even more personalised instructions. Many single clients also come to us in a bid to prepare themselves for a future relationship.
The idea is not to titillate the senses. The individual is encouraged to go deep within and to access the inner feelings, which are much deeper and more satisfying. This can lead to a total body experience which can be extremely powerful.
It is important to honour oneself and consequently one’s partner, to see the partner as sacred and to treat one another with the utmost respect. This will lead to a flowing meditation, in which each person is able to actually feel the love and respect in their heart and ‘flow’ from that place. We emphasise that there are no goals. The idea is to go with the flow of the inner experience. These inner feelings and sensations come from a raised consciousness and are far more powerful, blissful and much more satisfying than the outer senses.
Rigidity dissolves when the pressure to do and to perform melts away. It is replaced by a blissful feeling of inner connectedness, which leads to a much more spontaneous and flexible interaction between a couple. They understand that there is not only one way to be together or to do something. Nothing is wrong or right. They just both need to be in the moment. So, for example if a man loses his erection, that is not a problem for sexual or sensual play can still take place. If one of the partners is not feeling sexy, the other can give him/her a massage. There is an infinite variety of ways to connect.
These inner feelings can be accessed and strengthened whether an individual simply comes for a tantric massage, or whether he/she has tantric tuition, or decides to bring a partner for tuition. Once these feelings have been experienced, they can grow deeper, more fulfilling and even more explosive with time and practice. It is a question of turning the attention within, instead of without. To quote Osho*:
In your body there exists a subtle current of electricity, very subtle. But the subtler it is, the deeper it goes. It is not very visible. Tantra is alchemy, it can transform your centers… it is like bringing electricity into your house. Then you can turn it on and off whenever you want…. You have to imbibe the Tantra spirit—it is not a technique to be learned.
That is part of the secret of sacredness, of being rather than doing—the secret of tantric massage and what differentiates it from a regular sensual or erotic massage.
*We have also quoted Osho on this subject in a previous ARTICLE
Article republished with permission of Tantric Massage London
Featured image courtesy of Pexels
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