Enter tantra, a spiritual philosophy with vibrant historical lineages. According to religious scholar Christopher D. Wallis, the Western world rediscovered tantra about 100 years ago, and today, Westerners largely associate tantra with sex. Though this esoteric tradition encompasses more than sexuality (I recommend reading Tantra Illuminated for more information).
I’m a serious yogini, a student of Christopher D. Wallis and also a sexual being! Thank you for providing some background on classical tantra here, as there is a lot of confusion about this term. Tantra Illuminated has very much become one of my reference books and I must say that I’ve approached some of the practices through a sensual lens, the outcome of which has been for me to get a better understanding of the contours of my own desire. In this sense, I think the boundaries between different expressions of self-inquiry needn’t be quite so impermeable (note that for what it’s worth, I’m quite certain Chris Wallis would disagree).
While I’m here, I’d also like to share with you that I am half French, which is anecdotal in the context of this piece. I wanted to share that I’ve really enjoyed reading your experience of the contrast between Anglo-saxon culture (I’m half British originally but I’ve been living in the Bay Area for a decade now) and French culture specifically. Un grand merci à vous, Nadège: nous ne sommes pas si nombreuses à pouvoir bénéficier d’un tel regard critique, avec tout ce que cela revêt de positif, bien entendu.