Because it is such a special subject and so full of the interrelatedness of spirituality and sexuality I believe it would be best to go to the web sites that live and breathe the teachings.
Following are some of the Tantra links and teachings familiar to me.
New Frontier.com Virato
Sacred Centers – Chakras are energy centers of the body. Look here for books, articles, workshops, and information on this ancient and profound healing system.
http://www.spiritsound.com Spirit, Sound, Music and Health
Those with Tantra links are asked to email me to be added to this page.
See the below digest of Passionate Enlightenment by Amanda Shaw. It is an incredible book.
Passionate Enlightenment - Miranda Shaw
Abstracted by M. G. White for the reader for the purposes of speed in understanding and encouragement to learn more. all ( ) m.g.w.
Main theme: Proper deference toward religiously advanced, spiritually powerful women.
Exponents of the tradition also write in depth and with precision about embodiment, which is understood to be not a "soul: in a "body" but rather a multilayered mind-body continuum of corporeality affectivity, cognitivity, and spirituality whose layers are subtle interwoven and mutually interactive. P11
spiritual companionship between men and woman and sexual union as a vehicle of religious transformation p15
Goal for women; to discover accomplished women of the past, to savor words they had written, and to be nourished by inspiring understandings of female embodiment.. p 17
Tantric Buddhism insists that enlightenment is attainable within one lifetime.
Tantra prides itself on being a path for intense, passionate people. therefore, the Tantric path is not without pitfalls, because passion becomes an obstacle for one who does not have purity of heart and mind. p24
the goal of this journey is not only freedom from suffering but an expanded capacity for creativity and joy. p25
Anger is transformed into mirror like wisdom,. arrogance becomes the wisdom of equality, desire becomes discriminating awareness, jealousy turns into all accompanying wisdom and ignorance becomes the panoramic wisdom of all encompassing space p27
Wrath and anger, are not totally eliminated on the spiritual path because it may be necessary to wield the appearance of wrath in order to rescue, liberate or protect someone. p31
Buddhas do not reify the experience if union, approach it selfishly, or allow it to create neurotic attachment, for their passion is transposed to a higher octave by the realization of emptiness. p31
The spirit of carefree joyousness and festivity surrounding the companionship of men and women is the antithesis of the ponderous mood of male domination attributed to this (much) literature p38
envision the rags you pick and stitch as empty space.
see your needle as mindfulness and knowledge. thread this needle with compassion. and stitch new clothing for all sentient beings of the three realms. p57
Training themselves to see woman as female Buddhas gave men a chance to deconstruct unenlightened thought patterns, most notably gender pride and prejudice. p70
Women would tend to select as companions men who would mirror their own sense of dignity and empowerment, and this selection process could well have been a factor in determining the constituency of Tantric circles and formation of Tantric partnerships p 71
In response to the initiative of the Tantric yogini, the yogis respected women in order to bring their own vision into alignment with the ontological reality of women’s divinity and to become capable of the kind of relationships required for success on the Tantric path. p72
the triumphal tone of this material suggests that the men’s respect was not a gratuitous or grudging concession but a genuine admiration for the talent, energy, and passion for enlightenment of their female companions and teachers. p73
It is possible to remain in this state (the present) as long as one does not attempt to grasp the ongoing stream of experience in any way. to release a thought or sensation "on the spot" means to allow it to remain grasping it by judging, accepting, fearing. rejecting, or desiring. then process could be likened to relaxing on a riverbank watching a fish leap out of the water, sparkle a moment in the sunlight, then dive back in a graceful arc. there is no need to engage in a mental dialogue about the merits and demerits of the fish, emotionally react to the fish, or jump into the water to try to catch the fish. Once the fish is put of sight, it should be out of mind. p 88
A woman who attains this state undergoes no transition between formal meditation sessions and daily life, for the heightens clarity that is sought through meditation has become an integral part of ongoing, everyday consciousness. p89
When a woman (person) recognizes that the objects of waking consciousness are simply the products of individual and collective imagination, she becomes less absorbed in them. p91
there was no area of Tantric Buddhism in which women did not participate and attain mastery, including , p 99
Magical techniques and incantations, the performance of rituals, the visualization of deities and mandalas, advanced techniques of inner yoga, and the loftier realms of pure contemplation and philosophical reflection. p99
Having made the secret offering (of sexual union) and the natural offering o(Of enlightened awareness the union of the divine couple produces white elixir with a reddish glow The stream enters the crown of one’s head The four goddesses on the wheel unite with their KHATVANGAS (staffs symbolizing male consorts) Streams of elixir flow from their secret places and, coming together in a meditators crown Flow down into the four places (head, heart, and navel) Purifying the impediments to enlightenment. p108
A woman can tap a never ending stream of energy within herself and choose to direct that energy to her own liberation and the liberation of her disciples. p 112
Hayagriva, (Horseneck) a wrathful but nonetheless compassionate protective deity associated with the Buddha of Infinite Life. p 121 (the wrathfull manifistation of Padmasambava)
the deities oat the secret place burn The chiefs of the four cakras also burn completely The fire, having touched the A at the navel Burns (the A) and touches the Ham ( at the Crown) Whereby a stream of elixir drops, filling the four cakras (Whose ) deities burn, increasing their great bliss All the Buddhas of the three times Living beings, love, hatred and so forth Become inseparable from the breath and are condensed and absorbed The fire burns away impurities in a state of emptiness and deep compassion The natural mind doesn’t do anything (In) the authentic state if nonconceptual clarity Maintain stainless intrinsic awareness Hold the breath and purify oneself of all biases (of dualistic thought) A rarefied state of inner combustion P 124
Your face shines with a full moon splendor your eyes like lotus petals, are exquisitely tapered Fragrant and white as a snowy conch shell You hold a glistening rosary of immaculate earls You are adorned by the beauteous blush of dawn Like Lotus lake, your hands exude nectar Youthful one, white as an autumn cloud Many jewels cascade from your shoulders The [palms of your hands are tender and fresh as delicate leaves Your navel is soft as a lotus petal Source of eternal bliss, you cure old age and sickness p129
How to attain spiritual bliss through the expression of passion. p135
One principal of their selectivity is clearly gender. One reads of men of noteworthy attainments but when one looks more deeply at the history one realizes that these men were surrounded and trained by women.although men are celebrated in the biographical anthologies, their religious lives are embedded in a female matrix that determines and even defines their lives. p137
Apart from women their will not be bliss p143
Practice with a human partner, or KARMAMUDRA, is intended for a more highly qualified person, while practice with an imagined partner, JNANAMUDRA, is intended for those less qualified. Meditation in union with a human partner is deemed to offer a significant advantage over solitary meditation. The partners energy also heightens the intensity and power of the meditation. p146
Tantric Buddhism hinges on the belief that negative emotional and cognitive patterns become lodged in the psychic body in the form of knots and blocks in the subtle psychic channels (nadi). The purpose of the inner yoga is to "untie the knots:" and bring all the energy that is released by this process into the central channel that traverses the body vertically. This energy can then be used to untangle the karmic knots, clear the pathway of the central channel, ignite inner fire of CANDALI (gTumo, and kindle the lights that dawn in inner awareness as the central channel is cleared. Ultimately, since the heart is the site of the deepest fears, hatreds, and self centered distortions of reality, the openness, mutual transparency, and total trust required by the yoga of union make it an ideal discipline to bring the negative emotions to awareness and transform their poison into the ambrosia of enlightened awareness. p147
The mandala can be a diagram for ritual practice that is drawn with colored powder or rendered in painted or sculpted form, and it can also be a circle of yogis and yoginis who have assembled for Tantric practice. p151
Any discussion of Tantric union therefore requires that range of commentaries be consulted, as well as the original tantras themselves. The commentaies show that the psychological, yogic, and aesthetic dimensions of Tantric union are ever present possibilities of meaning. 152
The man cultivates pure vision by seeing the woman as a deity, her sexual organ as the throne of enlightenment, and her sexual fluid as divine nectar. the poetic and symbolic terms for the sexual anatomy and for the stages of union shape the attitudes, meditations, and experience of both a woman and a man engaging in these disciplines. the use of specialized esoteric vocabulary serves at once to hide references from noninitiates and to create intimacy between yogic partners Because Tantric union involves passion and intimacy without neurotic attachment, its higher octave of passion and intimacy is sometimes called "great passion". this passion is free from ordinary lust, desire, and the taint of aggrandized ego. What is sought in the yoga of union is a quality of relationship into which each partner enters fully in order that both may be liberated simultaneously. 168
The texts testify that women as well as men developed their minds and bodies on the Tantric path by engaging in mental disciplines, learning stylized bodily movements (yoga and mudra) for communication and self transformation. and using their bliss and passion as a basis for attaining enlightenment through the sublime yoga of Tantric union. 172
the practice of union. at least as it was originally designed, was not inherently meant to be an exploitative process from which one person-the man- derived unreciprocated benefit. by the time a practitioner had attained readiness for this practice, which is a highly esoteric inner yoga, he or she would be aware of the broader context in which the practice occurs. The process ultimately is reciprocal and is meant for the benefit of both . on many levels. both Tantric practice. Both partners should be similarly motivated and committed to Tantric practice, and both engage in the practice intending to progress toward enlightenment. 173
The language used to describe Tantric union is not the vocabulary of domination or exploitation. It is a language of symmetry, complimentarity, and independence. 173
Tantric union has explicit intellectual, emotional, meditative, and visualized content that cannot be circumvented. If the prescribed attitude is not present, the activity becomes ordinary sexuality masquerading as religion, a form of hypocrisy that can be spiritually disastrous.. Acts undertaken I the wrong spirit can never bear spiritual fruit. in order to be transformative, a practice must me undertaken with the requisite content as well as the proper ritual form. the requisite content is reciprocity, intimacy, and mutual aspiration to attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. p176 &7
Buddhism already offered an array of techniques for the solitary and monastic pursuit of liberation. Tantra introduced a method that could be pursued in the context of intimacy with another person. 179
the five senses is engaged and satisfied; sight by gazing, hearing by sweet words, smell by perfume, touch by rubbing with scent and embracing, and taste by kissing. 185
Holy bliss is stabilized by pleasure by supreme delight in bringing others happiness 189
If exploitative dynamics were interjected at any point in the history of the tradition, as some have conjectured, it is important to investigate what social, institutional, and doctrinal configurations accomplished then abuse of women by means of practice they originally helped to develop. Any degeneration that can be documented will have to be acknowledged as a betrayal of the original spirit of the practices as women designed them. 194
There is a built in psychological resistance to acknowledging the existence of views at variance with one’s own --a naiveté regarding the social constructedness of sexuality. 196
My study has "discovered" a different gender pattern by working with different theoretical assumptions.. By assuming the subjectivity of women with regard to their own lives and their possession of intrinsic motivations for their actions, my approach to the sources has been different. for instance, in some cases I have worked with data--biographies, lineage histories, and Scriptures--that have already been translated and interpreted by other scholars. The differance in my case has been that I have treated the references to women as a blueprint for their lives, rather than a placemarkers in a blueprint for male domination... Instead of dismissing-or tokenizing--each example of a woman’s activities or accomplishments as an anomaly as evidence of women’s subordination, I have accepted such examples as documents of women’s history and have tried to weave or quilt those references together into a coherent pattern ...197
One of the main symbols of enlightenment in Tantric Buddhism is that of a Buddha couple, or male and female Buddha in union. This maithuna symbol is an image of unity and blissful concord between the sexes, a state of equilibrium the interdependence. This symbol powerfully evokes a state of primordial wholeness and completeness of being. The perennial appeal of this motif is not that it commemorates a successful seduction or cosmic manipulation but rather that it offers a vision of authentic humanity in which women and men are restored to wholeness through a delicately balanced, joyous state of harmony. p200.