tàn qí (Chinese) - to seek unusual scenery or place
What is TanQi?
TanQi is the collection of the more or less proven physical activities and spiritual practices, helping to obtain and preserve the emotional balance and well-being. It is NOT an ancient practice, having a deep historical heritage from the East, or from the West. It is NOT the religious program, and is trying to minimize use of the wordily expressed references to the sounding nice, but having unclear meanings, like Eternal Divine, Mother Nature, or similar.
We will explore, what does works to make the life better. In some cases, we will try to bring some scientific explanation, if available, in others we will just review the approach or activity, and explain the possible theoretically assumed benefits, which yet to be proven by the properly staged studies and published in the peer-reviewed magazines.
Meaning of the name TanQi
Translation from Chinese sounds nice, but the original background of the word is mixing two important paradigms, which are among the essential pillars of the system: Tantra and Qi.
There are more lifestyle components, which were included in the system, and we will explain them in the process of the blog development and the program popularization.
“Tantra“ is now a buzzword in the modern Western world. We see it on the covers of popular magazines and books, usually linked with a vaguely suggestive and titillating notion of some kind of superlative sexual experience. Though almost everyone has heard this word, almost no-one—including many people claiming to teach something called tantra—knows anything about the historical development of the Indian spiritual tradition that scholars refer to as “Tantra.“ What these academics study as “Tantra“ bears almost no resemblance to what is taught under the same name on the workshop circuit of American alternative spirituality.
If we investigate the original Sanskrit sources, we find an inclusive general definition of Tantra. Tantrik scholar and guru named Rāma Kaṇṭha, who lived around 950-1000 CE, says tantra is:
A Tantra is a divinely revealed body of teachings, explaining what is necessary and what is a hindrance in the practice of the worship of the Divine; and also describing the specialized initiation and purification ceremonies that are the necessary prerequisites of Tantrik practice. These teachings are given to those qualified to pursue both the higher and lower aims of human existence.
Well, we promised to minimize using the “high language” in our description, so we are bringing this original description just to suggest, that we use word tantra, meaning the definition, like it is presented by Urban Dictionary.
Tantra is not well understood in the western world, but is a key to healthy living and awareness that can transform you into the person you were meant to be.
The Sanskrit word Tantra is related to the concept of weaving and expansion- it derives from 'tan', meaning to expand, spin out, and weave. We weave the strands of our nature into a unified whole. Tantra takes the approach that one should not only not reject the body and its desires, but actually embrace them on the road to enlightenment. Tantra shares the view that sexual intercourse can be a sacrament and a means of spiritual transformation. Tantra is the transformation of vital energy in all its permutations ultimately toward the goal of spiritual attunement and enlightenment. In this context sexual relations become sacred.
The common view by most western men regarding sex is that you become stimulated, erect and ejaculate all in a short time for the relief of tension and for pleasure sake. It is a narrow point of view and leaves a lot to be desired for the powerful erotic energy that has the power to heal and transform. In tantra, ejaculation control is cultivated and you go beyond sex into a new realm of awareness.
However, we extend the tantra meaning beyond the sexual activities to include the wider range of the sensual activities, helping to clearly separate these two meanings, and highlight the non-sexual character of the sensual exercises.
Tantric sex is about devotional and erotic love, basically sex and spirit and how you can integrate spiritualty into your sex life. Many people short-change themselves when they focus on sexual goals; tantric sex is about pleasure, communication and connection.
Tantric sex also takes us on an inner journey that lasts a lifetime as we learn to access within us sensations of intense pleasure, and an incredible range of beautiful emotions. It reveals an inner place of deep knowing.
Tantric sex is also used as a form of sexual healing. Many people carry old wounds that prevent them from opening to the sacred, enjoying their bodies and expressing their sexuality.
Essentially, Tantric healing can be defined as releasing emotional wounds or armoring that manifests past traumatic experiences into the physical realm, where they are stored in the muscle tissue of the body including the genitals. The physical symptoms can include vaginal pain during intercourse, inability to orgasm, numbness, premature ejaculation, inability to ejaculate, dry vagina, burning sensations, weak or loss of erection, cramping and loss of libido.
This armoring needs to be dissolved so that our bodies can release tension and function properly — and so we can be free of old memories that create unhealthy beliefs that steer our lives in directions we may not necessarily want to go, causing us to limit our full range of sexual and spiritual experience.
A lot of people are so used to this armoring that they are not even aware of it. It has become their understanding of reality, and it is only brought into their consciousness during sexual experiences that trigger old hurts when they are with their present lover/s. Tantric healers can create a safe space where people can go within and become aware of their wounds, and support them in healing the shame and hurt that binds them.
People who practice Tantric sexuality understand that the mind cannot change the mind; real change and real happiness is not a mental process, conscious sex that achieves bliss is the greatest healer there is. Conscious, physically and emotionally integrated sex is a powerful way to heal ourselves and our relationships — the resulting ecstasy heals the unconscious.
Why are some people uncomfortable about delving into Tantra?
Many people in our society have been conditioned from a very young age to see their bodies, their sexuality, their pleasure as something that is wrong or shameful or just something not to be spoken of. There seem to be only a few contexts within our society where the discussion of sexuality is considered appropriate, those being in a medical, religious or seedy context. As Tantric sex is outside of the western medical and religious contexts of sexuality, people usually automatically put Tantra into the context of the seedy side of life and therefore feel uncomfortable about it.
At this point in time there is no context for ‘pleasure’ or ‘sexual healing’ to be considered as important parts of health and wellbeing or to be considered as an appropriate treatment plan when working with sexual dysfunction. Our society does not even honor sexuality or view pleasure as a celebration of our humanity, which is exactly what it should be.
Some people may feel that Tantra is something only practiced by more enlightened people, or those who’ve traversed a deeply spiritual path. Nothing could be further from the truth: everyone has the ability to tune in to their own and universal energy.
Another reason why people may feel uncomfortable about Tantra is because they may have low sexual self-esteem. This is a term that most people are unaware of even though the effects of low sexual self-esteem may permeate all areas of their lives. During childhood is when we start to develop our sexual self-esteem, which in turn affects how we see ourselves sexually. We learn our sexual values from our social environment — our parents and families, media, schooling, television and our religious background. Our sexual values and attitudes determine our behavior and conduct, as well as our judgements about people who may participate in behavior that is outside of what we were taught was right or wrong as children. In other words, we use our childhood interpretations as a way to determine our course of action in adult life, so it is natural for people to feel uncomfortable with Tantra if it is outside of our family’s values and attitudes to sexuality.
Some people do break free of their programming, although not many people are living out their lives, never really being able to let go and experience their bodies in a healthy, sexy way and to reach their full range of sexual expression.
Many women live through their roles, i.e. mothers and wives, suffering in silence, living in ‘mediocre chronic depression’. And it saddens me at times to hear how many women have lived their lives never ever getting anywhere near reaching their full potential sexually, some never even having had an orgasm. They tell themselves they are happy in their lives or that they are happy if their partner is satisfied, maybe saying that is enough for them. While deep down inside, if they are honest with themselves, they know they are abandoning themselves and probably feel a deep sense of loss from never having come close to a spiritual experience through sex or to understanding the beautiful power that lies dormant, waiting to be discovered, like a majestic bird that’s never been able to fly. With awareness comes choice and once people realize that their life experience is essentially self-created they then have the power to choose.
How will Tantra improve my relationships?
Couples who want to sustain love and passion for a lifetime together, and who are open to new ways to make their sexual relationship richer and more meaningful, may find some valuable lessons in Tantra. We all want psychological security from one another: we want to be able to trust one another; we want to support one another, emotionally as much as economically; we want to share similar experiences, to be playmates as well as responsible partners; and we want to improve ourselves through our relationship and we hope that the relationship will improve with us.
Tantric ‘lifestyle' was designed centuries ago specifically for householders—that is, couples. The tantric texts are explicit on how the differences between the sexes can be used as a positive force in a partnership, how the proper combination of these differences can produce a near alchemical reaction, an ether in which everything flourishes, in which the garden of your relationship bursts with color and a new life and growth, and you and your beloved thrive.
Lovemaking in the tantric sense, conscious lovemaking, does not come naturally; it must be learned, and couples must learn it together and at times be teachers as well as students to each other.
Some people talk about how Tantra sounds exhausting and not something achievable for the average person with work and other commitments. It is true that practicing Tantra does take more time than having a quickie once a week to keep things ticking along in a relationship. However, in practicing Tantra we become energized, rather than exhausted and this feeling stays with us beyond the sexual experience.
It’s important to note that Tantra is not an easy fix for personal or relationship problems. Although practicing Tantra together can be a powerful way for two people to deepen their intimacy, it can also magnify existing tensions. Just as individual practice — particularly meditation — can often help to relieve personal problems, this is not always the case, particularly if the problems are serious in nature. That, however, is simply a cue for healing.
Is Tantra and TanQi all about Sex?
Sex pleasure, sex fulfillment, and intimate communication is a large portion of the Tantra teachings even in the Western deviation from the original practices, but it is not the only direction. You may find mentioning on Tantra Yoga, Tantra Meditation, or other references. While TanQi uses the Tantra word as part of is abbreviation, its lifestyle even less focusing on the sexual practices, considering them as very important, but not the only essential components of the physical and emotional well-being.
What is Qi?
Qi, as mentioned before, is symbolic second pillar of our system. You can see it as part of the well-known TaiQi or QiGong, so ancient masters also considered it as very important concept, governing the human existence.
Qi is the Chinese term for life energy, or life spirit, a vital force that flows through all living things. It is an essential part of acupuncture, qigong, reiki, and the martial arts of the East, among other things.
The nearest Western equivalent to qi energy is inspiration. But there is a decisive difference between Eastern and Western attitudes. Westerners tend to regard this sweet spiritual inebriation as something that either fills us or deserts us, completely out of our control. In the Eastern mind, though, this is something that you can control. You can awaken, stimulate, increase and utilize the qi energy, according to your will.
We will discuss the meaning of Qi for us in more details as we move in the practical aspects of the TanQi system.
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