Tantra for Erotic Empowerment
Tantra for Erotic Empowerment: The Key to Enriching Your Sexual Life
When is a Book on Tantra Not a Book on Tantra?
Surprisingly, most books on Tantra available to Westerners today have very little to do with Tantra and have resulted in massive misunderstandings of the subject. They are usually nothing more than sex guides or relationship manuals. Now, Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, experts in Tantra and are holders of a traditional Indian lineage passed to them by Dr. Jonn Mumford, reveal the true history, philosophy, and practical techniques of this ancient spiritual path in Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, the thinking person's guide to Tantra and sexual self-discovery.
This book is literally a course that will train you to become a Tantric in mind, body, and spirit. It's like having a private Tantric guru to instruct you in the underlying concepts and guide you through the practices.
All fourteen chapters follow a specific pattern and are filled with exercises and practices to help you incorporate the Tantric ideas into your life. They begin with a brief quotation from a classic text that sets the mood for the chapter, and then you get a specific meditation to perform. This is followed by the major part of the chapter, which features information and practices that will help you become grounded in Tantric technique and understand more about real Tantra than many of the people who claim to be Tantrics! Although there is a lot of information, Tantra is traditionally experiential, so the many included exercises are designed to help you internalize the information. Finally, you'll get a special message from the authors and several questions you can answer to make sure you understand the material.
Tantra is Not Sacred Sexuality
What? This sounds like heresy. But the authors clearly point out that Tantra is far, far more than sacred sexuality. Sacred sexual practices are often included (among an array of other ways) to use the body as a tool for spiritual development, but Tantra is not limited to just sexual exercises.
If Tantra isn't merely sacred sexuality, what is it? That's exactly what you'll learn in Tantra for Erotic Empowerment. You'll discover that Tantra is an ancient tradition that recognizes sexual energy as a source of personal and spiritual empowerment. It is a spiritual science that can transform your mental, physical, and spiritual being, a technology that will lead you to know yourself deeply. You can adopt any or all of it, and it's ideal for adults who are single, in a relationship, in polyamorous relationships, straight or gay. In short, if you are a breathing adult, you can use Tantra for personal empowerment.
Praise for Tantra for Erotic Empowerment
This book speaks of sexuality with ease, delight and appreciation. Refreshing, crisp and engaging, Tantra for Erotic Empowerment does not focus on techniques and gratification. This is sexuality as a way of being in the world. Good sex requires that we be open, present, and knowledgeable of our bodies. Michaels and Johnson bring us a step closer, and make us a bit wiser in expanding our erotic pursuits.
- Esther Perel, Author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence
"Tantra for Erotic Empowerment. . .offers a refreshing perspective on the connection between Tantric teachings and sexual power. . .Although it's a serious work based on a great deal of study and rooted in ancient traditions, Mark and Patricia have made it accessible to the everyday person. In fact, it's simultaneously traditional and completely new and radical."
- From the foreword by Tristan Taormino, Village Voice and nationally syndicated columnist, and author of Opening Up
"If you are seeking a more meditative or esoteric approach to sexual awareness, this is the best resource I know of. It is thoughtful, intelligent, and free from much of the hype and self-congratulation that often goes with 'Tantra.'"
- Paul Joannides, author of The Guide to Getting It On
"With illumination should come empowerment and the exercise of illuminated power. Mark and Patricia have once again given generously of themselves to all seekers fortunate enough to read this marvelous and enlightened work. Profound, practical, and precisely what the western psyche is ready for!"
- Lon Milo DuQuette, author of The Magick of Aleister Crowley
"Tantra for Erotic Empowerment will show you how to be born again, erotically speaking. Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson offer a Tantric practice that can transform all aspects of your life-beginning with sex and love. A profound and delightful book!
- Barbara Carrellas, author of Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century
"Tantra for Erotic Empowerment combines traditional wisdom and insight with true sensitivity and compassion, to become a valuable guide for the modern Tantric seeker. Mark and Patricia weave classic teachings with the reality of living in the modern western world in a thorough and grounded way, accessible to students of all orientations."
- Christopher Penczak, author of The Mystic Foundation and Gay Witchcraft
"Mark and Patricia have written a book on Tantra that deals with my favorite kind of sex- with oneself. Without having to wade through Eastern traditions, even a professional masturbator like me learned a few new tricks that furthered my own Erotic Empowerment."
- Betty Dodson, PhD. author of Sex for One
"Informative, challenging, inspiring and readily accessible to the serious student of tantric practice, Tantra for Erotic Empowerment is unquestionably one of the best books on tantric sexuality to be recently published in English. The exercises and specific instructions it offers are powerful, enjoyable and enlightening. Although it is provocative and even controversial in certain respects, this is an outstanding source of teaching and required reading for anyone open to tantric ways of growing and becoming more empowered in our lived bodily experiences."
- Barnaby B. Barratt, PhD, DHS, author, What is Tantric Practice? Director, Center for Tantric Spirituality, Past President, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists
"Tantra for Erotic Empowerment is a very authentic Tantra book, but perhaps more importantly, it's commonsensical and easy to understand. Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson present Tantric principles and philosophy in clear, accessible ways. So even those with no background or interest in Eastern traditions can benefit from the great treasures Michaels and Johnson have to offer. Read it and be erotically empowered, because you're worth it."
- Dr. Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., author of Dr. Sprinkle's Spectacular Sex: Make Over Your Love Life
"If you are embodied enough to seek authentic teaching about your erotic potential, try out the wisdom, exercises, reflections and meditations that make up this book. Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson are teachers whose intention is to guide and inspire you on your own exuberant journey. Their approach is astonishingly creative."
- Joseph Kramer, Ph.D. The New School of Erotic Touch
"With Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, Mark Michaels (Swami Umeshanand) and Patricia Johnson (Devi Veenanand) have risen to the challenege of writing a practical guide to Tantra. They have taken a tricky subject that could easily have been mishandled, and created a useful tool that could easily become a classic preparatory text in this genre."
- Raven Kaldera author of Pagan Polyamory, The Urban Primitive: Paganism in the Concrete Jungle, Myth Astrology: Exploring Planets and Pantheons, Handfasting and Wedding Rituals: Welcoming Hera's Blessing, Hermaphrodeities: The Transgender Spirituality Workbook, and Dark Moon Rising: Pagan BDSM and the Ordeal Path
"This is a fearless and brilliant work, at once scholarly, technically accurate, challenging, and immensely readable. The writing is economical and lucid. The exercises are absorbing and profoundly therapeutic in the 'human' sense. It is a genuine original, and I enjoyed it immensely."
- Paul Skye (Swami Ajnananda Saraswati), author of The Mastery of Stress, award-winning poet and short story writer
"Michaels & Johnson are a Masters & Johnson for the 21st Century. Written with clarity and a passion for mystical experience and rigorous logic, Tantra for Erotic Empowerment is grounded in ancient spiritual truth, practice, wisdom, and personal experience. Radical, practical, and open-hearted, this book is a straight-forward transformative guide to self-knowledge. Michaels & Johnson's vision of Divine pleasure as a spiritual and sensual path of liberation is a gift to all seekers -- for the curious, the novice and initiate alike.
- Donna Gaines, Ph.D., Sociologist, author Teenage Wasteland and Misfit's Manifesto, and Usui Reiki Master/Teacher
"Tantra for Erotic Empowerment is packed full of useful exercises that can help individuals and couples discover their best erotic selves and find a holistic way of making sexuality a positive force in their lives and in their relationships."
- Helen Boyd, author, She's Not the Man I Married and My Husband Betty
"This book delivers the possibility of profound pleasure. Most books on Tantra are either impenetrably obtuse or annoyingly simplistic. Mark and Patricia, with honesty and integrity, present a clear map that is accessible for the beginner, and has enough depth for years of fruitful ecstatic exploration. Bravo!"
- Tyr Throne, founder of Tantric Fire Yoga
"In a culture where sex and sexuality are so often shunned and scandalized, it's refreshing to see a book focused on this sacred aspect of our human nature. As one of our greatest gifts as humans, sex can empower and spiritually connect us. With wisdom and maturity, the authors present a concise guide to the magickal, powerful force that dwells within us - one that we often fear or take for granted. Michaels and Johnson clarify that the practices and beliefs of Tantra are not solely focused on sex – contrary to popular misunderstanding. Tantra for Erotic Empowerment goes well beyond the realm of sexual energy and covers significant elements of sensual mysticism, including proper techniques for consciousness expansion, meditation, gender exploration, cultivating balance, and how to evolve in one's loving relationship with another, others, or oneself. Gorgeously written and practical, this book is a must for anyone seeking to strengthen their connection with the Divine and incorporate expanded bliss into their spiritual path."
- Raven Digitalis, author of Goth Craft: The Magickal Side of Dark Culture & Shadow Magick Compendium: Exploring Darker Aspects of
Mark Michaels (Swami Umeshanand Saraswati) and Patricia Johnson (Devi Veenanand) are a devoted married couple who have been teaching Tantra and Kriya yoga together since 1999. Their teachings have been featured in several publications, including the Village Voice, Now Magazine, and Breathe Magazine. Senior students of Dr. Jonn Mumford, Michaels and Johnson have been named lineage holders of the OM Kara Kriya system for the Americas and Europe. Both have studied Bhakti Yoga with Bhagavan Das, Tantra with Dr. Rudy Ballentine, and have been featured in Dr. Judy Kuriansky's Idiot's Guide to Tantric Sex. Michaels is a graduate of New York University School of Law. He holds a master's degree in American studies from NYU and Yale. A playwright and translator, Michaels is past co-president of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America. Johnson is a professional operatic soprano who has toured the United States, Europe and South America, and has performed with the New York City Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Berlin Komsiche Opera.