In the past, the only thing I knew about Tantra and the practice of it was from an old Rolling Stone article I read featuring Sting, in which he was quoted as saying, that because he practices Tantra he can make love for 8 hours at a stretch without ejaculating. Naturally, that comment aroused the attention of many, whether they were fans of Sting’s or not.
Ana Polnerova is the owner of Rich Tantric Touch and is a Tantra practitioner herself. After meeting her and having many discussions with her on the subject, I thought that it would be fun and interesting to bring the discussion to my blog so that others could get in on it.
1. Ana, for the unenlightened…what is Tantra?
I would say that Tantra roughly translated means “to weave” body, mind and spirit. Now, what this literally means is that you can expand your whole being through increased awareness of your senses, feelings and energy. This also includes awareness of your breath, which is the basis of all forms of meditation. Then add your sexual energy which increases your ability to feel- particularly feel pleasure – making this meditation different from others.
2. How long have you been studying Tantra?
We are born with Tantra inside of us. It is only as we mature that we tend to lose Tantra through stress and factors that we have no control over that come our way. Tantra came back to me in my early 40’s when after a heart attack, I realized stress was killing me.
3. How long have you been a Tantric masseuse?
Being a Tantric masseuse now for close to 10 years, I have across many different types of people. Basically, what I found was that people feel little if anything. They are mostly living their lives inside of their thoughts, judgments, assessments and appraisals: living in their heads. When their bodies give signals, they miss or ignore them because they are trained to value only what the mind thinks. In other words, their “gut feeling” is not in tune with their awareness of their surroundings.
4. Who are your clients (without naming names of course)?
My clients are of different ages, characters, nationality and diverse professions. Many of them feel that they have become automatons rushing to work, doing, doing, doing. But when it comes time to relax, take a breath, they have difficulty and cannot seem to do it. For most people, it’s a little frightening to stop and focus on breathing.
5. What is the most common misconception about Tantra?
When people hear the word Tantra, that’s if they’ve heard of it at all, they usually think of kinky sex, the Kama Sutra or something they saw on TV. I do not think of Tantra as simply a sexual practice; for true Tantra goes beyond Tantric sexuality to encompass the whole being, utilizing that profound, powerful and nuanced life force that poets and we sages call the “mind.”
6. What is the most important element of Tantra?
Feeling good. You do not need a reason; you can feel good for no reason at all.
7. What are the benefits of practicing Tantra?
To tell you all of the benefits of Tantra would be too long because there are many. But I would say that the major ones are: Feeling fantastic about yourself, empowering your well-being, focus, uplifting your relationships and becoming your own beloved. Once you change your attitude towards life, your outlook on your life changes.
8. If one practices diligently, how long would you estimate that it would take for him/her to see substantial changes in their overall wellness and state of being?
Results do not come overnight. The length of time it takes to get results depends on your physical, mental, and spiritual preconditioning when you begin. Your willingness to learn and practice and your dedication to Tantra will play an important role. Essentially, Tantra is a spiritual path you choose for the long run. It is like many other things in life: if you do not practice, you will not benefit as much as you possibly could. Fortunately, for us, Tantric practice is stimulating, gratifying and easily integrated into our everyday life. If you do practice regularly, the fruits of the universe are yours to possess. If not, you will experience some exciting training which could possibly have a long-term impact.
9. How, specifically, would the practice of Tantra benefit a writer or singer?
Pay attention to what you feel-savour your feelings in all parts of your body. In essence, it is honoring yourself. You will naturally feel happier, better, passionate, more alive. Once you feel them, you learn to release stored toxic feelings and memories from the past. You also learn to transmute the sexual energy into a spiritual connection with our “higher selves.” The outcome = pleasure, sanction for unembarrassed life at its fullest – body, mind and spirit connected working in union.
10. How popular would you say that Tantra has become and in what countries is it most popular?
I could not specifically say in percentage how much Tantra has evolved in popularity but if I type in Google the word “Tantra”, 6,690,000 hits come up. Impressive I would say. For the moment, I believe North America is the most popular but in my continual research on this topic, Russia has recently shown a great interest.
11. Is Tantra in any way at odds with religion?
Tantra is not a religion therefore, it does not require joining a church or leaving your faith. Due to the sexual aspect of Tantra, most religious organizations frown upon it. It is solely a spiritual path whereby the physical, sexual, mental and spiritual practices guide you towards improving whatever aspects of your life you desire. You can learn how to integrate the two within your own beliefs.
12. Tell me about the eBooks you have written? What are they called and who are they written for?
My first eBook, “Power of Male Orgasmic Energy” is dedicated to all men. However, for women, they discover powerful male sexual secrets and more. The eBook guides men to think beyond sex and gain knowledge into the power of sexual energy. The teachings permit men to unlock their potential in all possible aspects. My next eBook, “Tantric Goddess Erotic Massage” is dedicated to all couples who are working towards a deeper connection to knowledge and comprehension of the natural intricacies of the female. It’s an influential guide on how to ignite your inner Goddess with touch. There is a third one in the making and which should be out by the end of April. The subject I felt was an interesting one, the mystery of sex transmutation.
13. You gave me an article to read by self-proclaimed tantric master and spiritual teacher, Barry Long, an Australian born in 1926, who at the age of 31 began an intense spiritual journey that led him to the practice of Tantra. He moved to London, England where he began his teaching and in 1986 he returned to Australia and established the Barry Long Foundation International. He is the author of numerous books and audio teaching tapes, including The Origins of Man and Universe, Stillness Is The Way, The Myth of Life and Making Love. After reading the article from Enlightennext.org, I was left questioning just how much of his own ego, Long had truly transcended. Do you believe that he was in fact an influential spiritual teacher and tantric master?
One should remember that Long started his tantric journey around the middle of the 1950’s where sexuality was not to a great extent talked about. For that era, he was a pioneer and an influential spiritual teacher and tantric master.
14. Can you explain the term “spiritual sexuality”?
Spiritual sexuality is the unification of sex with the heart and soul. With this, it also adds to your life a most divine capacity for love. Contrary to the beliefs of the western world–that sex and spirituality are divided–Tantra joins both to create peace of mind and reduce stress in a loving, reflective self. Through this pleasure centre, spirituality flows and embraces your physical, passionate and intellectual self.
15. Do you feel that Long abused his position as a spiritual leader by having five women as lovers at the same time?
The first answer that comes to mind it that he needed to practice. 🙂
16. Long stated in the article that “When a tantric master makes love to a woman, it’s different from anyone else making love to her because he gives her a greater knowledge of the love of God.” Do you agree with this statement and have you ever experienced this greater knowledge yourself?
It is true that a Tantric master does make love in a different way from anyone else. Isn’t that what they should know how to do anyway? But that “because he gives her a greater knowledge of the love of God”, no, I would say it is more “because he gives her a greater knowledge of the love of herself. Yes, I have experienced such lovemaking and if you have never been there, then what are you waiting for?
17. Long also said that “Woman’s job is not to teach; a woman’s job is to love, for God’s sake!” As a female tantra teacher, what do you think of this statement?
Long was quite the philosopher of words for his time.
18. Long was asked in the interview with Andrew Cohen if he stressed that it’s essential for the man to prolong the period before ejaculation or even to avoid it altogether so that he’s able to experience profound intimacy with a woman. Long relied, “Yes. In the beginning, he has to, as much as possible, practice retention, but without doing it by suppression. And it’s just very difficult to get the distinction between those two. But eventually, because this is a divine thing and it is God who is making the love, not any person, there’s no focus on retention or nonretention; there is just what is. And that’s because the person has gone, whereas the retention has a certain person in it, a certain intention in it.” I’m not sure I believe that it is “God” who is making the love. What is your response to this?
Long does often mention “God” during his interview. I do not believe that he is literally referring to the “God” where most of us would automatically think of religion. It is a feeling of spirituality flowing inside of us while embracing our physical, passionate and intellectual self.
19. Is “retention” part of what you teach your clients?
It is very important to learn ‘retention’, especially for men. When a male has an orgasm, this is considered an outward explosion. All of the energy is released. In comparison, when a female has what is called, an inward explosion, where the energy remains within. From the perspective of Tao, the sperm carries the sexual vitamin essence out, leaving the body drained and lacking in energy. When the semen is retained, men do not experience the reduction of sexual energy. Actually, it is the opposite, energy is renewed.
20. What is the number one most important thing to remember when embarking on a tantric path?
If it is worth it to you, then do it.
Thank you so much Ana for sharing your knowledge and expertise on the subject with me and my readers. I look forward to continuing this discussion in a further blog in which we can discuss the teachings of Margo Anand.