Jana believes that the spice of life can be found in the exploration of other cultures, good food, and wine.
You Are the Beloved
In tantra, there is a beautiful term for one's partner, and that is “beloved.” Tantric couples use this word with genuine affection when they refer to one another. For the lone practitioner, you are your own beloved. This isn't some freaky thing where you see yourself as two people. It's actually a superb way to nourish your own self-worth. At first, it may feel unnatural to think of yourself as “beloved,” but stick to it. Eventually, the word helps to repair what the modern world tends to damage:
- Always putting ourselves last, physically and emotionally
- Marketing techniques designed to make people feel good about themselves only if they buy a particular product
- Bad relationships where a partner/parent made negative body comments
Solitary Tantra as a Coping Strategy
Realistically, it's very hard to put ourselves first without sacrificing some kind of responsibility. As adults, we are caregivers and breadwinners. Those who depend on us cannot be shoved aside. Sometimes, we struggle not because of our responsibilities but from the scars of low self-esteem. The wounds of our past can whisper that we don't deserve to be first.
Faced with these two realities, solitary tantra can instead be utilized as a powerful coping strategy. Again, it's immensely nourishing and not just in a sexual sense. Half of tantra doesn't even touch on the physical aspect. The art also balances, rejuvenates and returns joy and confidence in those who study it.
Benefits of Solitary Tantra
Think there are no benefits that equal tantra between two people? Think again. Apart from the aforementioned perks, the single man or woman can draw great value from learning the sacred ways alone.
- For beginners, it might just be preferable. Many are uncomfortable because it makes them vulnerable to others. Private study allows the beginner to advance at their own pace, explore and drop barriers safely without fear of judgment
- Tantra is also about knowing yourself mentally. In this case, solitary sessions can reveal your dislikes and preferences about certain techniques and concepts
- To know beforehand what you don't like and won't be comfortable doing is empowering. When a partner enters one's life, these boundaries can be mentioned beforehand, as they should be. A lover cannot respect your wishes if he or she doesn't know what puts you off
- When it comes to relaxation, tantra is the perfect hat trick. You will rejuvenate on a mental, physical and spiritual level
- It teaches you a great truth and one that happens to be the only secret to a successful relationship. You have to love and respect yourself first.
Ask Yourself out on a Date
Far from being the pathetic suggestion it sounds like, this is something every single person deserves. Chances are that you are already doing it. To go out on a date with oneself needn't mean going to a romantic restaurant alone (unless you want to). A date is doing something that is both special and so enjoyable that it hopefully leaves you with a refreshing glow.
Show yourself the care and respect you would for a partner you love with your whole being. Again, this is not some freaky thing where one must pretend to be two people. Boiled down to the basics, a tantric date-for-one is all about you. Truly, there's nothing wrong with spoiling yourself a little.
Tips for a Successful One-Person Tantric Date
That being said, to do a one-person date in the tantric manner, it's not enough to hang around in pajamas and paint toenails. Would you do that on a date with another person? Not likely. Here are some tips.
- If you plan to stay at home, make the place nice like you would when expecting a guest.
- Take a luxurious shower or bath—a scented and clean body does wonders for one's self-esteem and is also very relaxing.
- Wear something comfortable that makes you feel good.
- Go someplace you actually want to, even if it's the museum or a slow walk somewhere special.
- Make it a point to enjoy some of your favourite foods.
- For the first few dates, the monkey mind might tell you that you are wasting time playing around with a single's date—you're not, and keep telling yourself you deserve it.
- End the date with a special gesture; buy yourself a small gift or drink good coffee or a glass of wine.
Taking Classes as a Single Is Acceptable
If you are completely new to tantra but decide to join a class, you might be surprised to find that several of the other students are single. In tantric groups, both couples and unattached people are welcome. Often, during exercises where two people are required, singles will pair off to do them. This is not considered strange and will usually not be deeply sexual, such as getting naked or actually doing something that constitutes as lovemaking.
During novice classes, couples (including strangers that just met and became pairs for the duration of the class) are taught more about the energy, healing and honouring that tantra can exchange between two people. The option to study alone at home is also available. There are many classes, books, tutorials and videos available that can teach the new tantric everything they need to know.
Tantra Broadens the Chance of Meeting a Soulmate
We all know that meeting one's soulmate is hard. Few ever connect in a way where both are equal, happy and can compromise without enmity. The lucky ones run into their perfect partners by accident. Too many others feel like they are the only ones who cannot find the girl or guy Disney promised them since birth. Therein lies the problem.
Few people escape the conditioning of the media, the perfect standards of high school dating and one's own fantasies. One might feel that it's “settling for less” when dating somebody who is older than we'd like, who has certain physical attributes considered (even subconsciously) as flaws or who doesn't have a glamorous job. Truly, in what romance novel is the hero a plumber? But in the end, ruthlessly weeding “imperfect” partners narrows the chances of meeting one's soulmate considerably.
Tantra Teaches Us to Look Beyond the Superficial
As students progress with the tantric path, a remarkable thing happens. All the fluff that is superficial preferences start to fall away. Attraction grows from the ability to see people as they are, not because of a shallow liking for a certain hair colour, weight or age.
In return, a true tantric would be attracted to you without being judgmental. This is the safest kind of love one can ask for; to trust that one's partner doesn't mind that bodies age, that you dropped out of school, already have kids, don't have the most exciting life or don't resemble a model.
As a single tantric, dropping shallow preferences feels amazing. The good news is that as the practitioner grows, this process occurs on its own. Not only does it open you up to loving somebody unconditionally but also to learn how to accept your own perceived shortcomings and have a wholesome self-respect. It's at this junction that the famous happiness of tantric couples blossom.
© 2018 Jana Louise Smit