When the word “tantra” comes up in conversation, we are often moved to illusions of complex and complicated rituals with candles burning and incense alight, chanting and new-age music, deep breathing and strange words to address some sacred self and divine lover.
While all of these things can be incorporated into tantric sex, none of them are absolutely necessary. The most vital aspect to any couple’s tantric practice is the daily ritual, those habits and routines that allow us to go about our mundane lives with a sense of devotion and love that brings us back to the sacredness which is our relationship.
Your relationship with your lover is about more than just the bond between you; it is a reflection of your life as a whole. Your lover shows you a mirror of yourself, and you do the same for her. Giving each other this space to truly look into your own hearts and find what really matters not only brings you the individual happiness that comes from living a fulfilling and worthwhile life, but the bliss and ecstasy that can come from sharing this happiness with someone whom you love.
In most traditional cultures, getting a few moments to spend with your lover wasn’t nearly the ordeal we make it out to be today. Even if you spend twelve hours every day toiling away at a mind-numbing job, you can use daily tantric practices to bring you closer to your partner… and with time it may just bring you close enough to your own true heart that you suddenly find yourself doing exactly what you love instead!
Morning: Wake Up and Focus
Stretch and set an intention for the day. The morning is about getting up, awaking the body and getting together on the same page about the hours ahead. Watch the sunrise and greet the day. If you don’t wake up together, it is important to find a way to connect. You can try leaving notes for each other to check in at the next point in the day. If you can, try to spend some time actually looking each other in the eyes as you decide on the day’s intent. If not, the next best thing will do – webcams, telephones, even texting works if you must. Come up with a basic plan to achieve the day’s intention, and then head out into the world to do it!
At noon, you may still be a part for the day, but if you can stop to share a moment together before eating lunch, do it. Even an email will do. If you absolutely must, simply take some time alone in quietude around the noontime hour to remind yourself of the day’s intention and look forward to seeing your lover in the evening. Check in to see how you have progressed on the day’s intent. If you haven’t started one yet, expand your at-home action plan into a full-blown to-do list. Get it done!
When evening comes, it’s time to reunite after a long day apart. Watch the sunset and allow the day to fade away. This is a time to relax together, before turning on the TV or checking your email, before eating dinner or going out with the boys. Take a few moments with your lover to reconnect, look into each other’s eyes, breathe together, and talk about the day’s intention and how it has progressed so far. What things can you do together in the evening to bring the day’s full potential to fruition? Do them!
As you head into the dark of night and prepare for bed, it is time to come together fully again for another slumber curled up together. Do you have evening prayers that you share? Do you tell your lover how much she means to you, how beautiful she is, how much you love her? Do you kiss and cuddle? I like to recount the very best part of my day, and if anything particularly difficult or challenging happened, the most troubling part of my day as well. I share comfort with my husband and let go of all the day’s stress, so we can enjoy our time together in bed, until morning comes and it’s time to set our intentions on another day ahead!