Mark and PatriciaMark and Patricia

Jonn Mumford

 

The Essence of Tantric Sexuality

Tantra for Erotic Empowerment: The Key to Enriching Your Sexual LifeIn their highly anticipated new book The Essence of Tantric Sexuality (Llewellyn Worldwide, July 2006), Michaels and Johnson do for Tantra what Kinsey or Masters and Johnson did for human sexuality: they clear the air, explaining Tantra with a frank, powerful and commonsense examination of the history, principles, and practices of the authentic Tantric.

Praise for The Essence of Tantric Sexuality

". . . one of the most important spiritual and Tantric books of the decade!" - Donald Michael Kriag author of Modern Magick, Modern Sex Magick and Tarot & Magick.

"I cannot recommend The Essence of Tantric Sexuality highly enough to those readers who wish to deepen the connection with their beloved partners. This beautifully written, yet scholarly, book makes available the true meaning of Tantra, its origin and how the very words from Tantra's past have led to our present day thinking. The Essence of Tantric Sexuality dispels many of the popular myths about Tantra while offering readers a way to begin to incorporate some of the wisdom of the East into their daily lives."
    - Alice K. Ladas, coauthor, The G-Spot and Other Discoveries about Human Sexuality

"An important contribution to the field of tantric sexuality, this book combines a responsible review of the traditions and lineages of tantra with extremely interesting and useful practices - making it a valuable read for both professionals and the public. [The authors] present complex philosophical information and a whirlwind tour of tantra in a very reader-friendly and accessible way, and fill a very compelling text with powerful techniques . . ."
    - Dr. Judy Kuriansky, author, The Complete Idiots Guide to Tantric Sex, 2nd edition

"The authors [Michaels and Johnson] write with uninhibited lucidity, erudition and humor. . . [and] have made a magnificent contribution to both the classical and contemporary literature of Tantra."
    - Yogacharya Swami Ajnananda Saraswati (Paul Skye), author, Mastery of Stress

"With this work we are given passwords to access knowledge, understanding and power that were formerly available only to the selected few."
    - Bruce Anderson, author, Tantra for Gay Men

"The Essence of Tantric Sexuality is a must-read for everyone just beginning to explore Tantra and an invaluable, nuanced resource for more experienced practitioners."
    - Barbara Carrellas, Founder Urban Tantra and author, Urban Tantra, Luxurious Loving


THE ESSENCE OF TANTRIC SEXUALITY

Mark A. Michaels (Swami Umeshanand Saraswati) and Patricia Johnson (Devi Veenanand)

"The history of Tantra in the Western world is a checkered one," note Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, a devoted married couple who have been teaching Tantra and Kriya yoga together since 1999. "Serious attempts to both understand and explain Tantric traditions to Westerners have long been hampered by common misconceptions that Tantra is somehow scandalous, depraved and even tantamount to black magic." In their highly anticipated new book THE ESSENCE OF TANTRIC SEXUALITY (Llewellyn Worldwide, July 2006), Michaels and Johnson do for Tantra what Kinsey or Masters and Johnson did for human sexuality: they clear the air, explaining Tantra with a frank, powerful and commonsense examination of the history, principles, and practices of the authentic Tantric. The result is a book which encourages a reverence for the body and its potential for ecstasy and an appreciation for the body as an obvious, natural asset in the spiritual quest, rather than an evil saboteur of it.

"Tantra gets at the heart of the most profound and sacred mystery, the essential activity of human life, both in terms of the species and in terms of its potential for connecting us with the transcendent," note the authors, whose book demystifies both Tantra's terminology and symbols and offers a wealth of explanatory diagrams. Drawing on the historic - not to mention delightful and unconventional - lectures of Dr. Jonn Mumford (Swami Anandakapila) as well as rare personal interviews and study with Dr. Mumford, Michaels and Johnson have made it their mission to share Dr. Mumford's rare gift for placing authentic Hindu Tantra, including its sexual aspects, within a conceptual framework that makes it accessible to Westerners, without overemphasizing sexuality, watering down the teachings or coating them with New-Age trappings. Michaels and Johnson offer detailed descriptions of these and other practices - as well as advanced esoteric information - which, for the most part, have been kept secret:

  • Profound Kriya Yoga techniques to regulate the flow of Prana or vital physical and psychic energies, inducing deep states of relaxation and higher levels of consciousness.
  • Vama Marga Tantra practices for focusing the mind and prolonging the excitement phase and discovering new sexual dimensions
  • Concrete methods of masturbation and other visualization techniques which help partners find divinity in the most familiar and yet most challenging of places.
  • Practices of perfume magic, which operates on the most subtle level and draws on the strong connection between the olfactory sense and the unconscious.
  • An examination of the Tantric Erogenic Zones or Kama Marmas, an understanding of these zones' erotic power and an exploration of how these zones can be explored in a systematic, methodical way.
  • Cycles of massage techniques for altering consciousness.
  • The secret of Amrita, the deepest teachings of Tantra and the key to achieving true spiritual life.

"The greatest challenge a human being can face is that of actually evolving through involvement in a relationship," note Michaels and Johnson. "Relationships are extraordinarily complex and challenging, and one always has the option to decide whether or not it is worth it." Neither a sex nor relationship manual, THE ESSENCE OF TANTRIC SEXUALITY offers couples a way of committing and recommitting themselves to relationships, with practices to aid them in maintaining an attitude of reverence toward a partner and in striving for parity, equality and kindness and ultimately experiencing transcendence.

THE ESSENCE OF TANTRIC SEXUALITY
Mark A. Michaels (Swami Umeshanand Saraswati) and Patricia Johnson (Devi Veenanand)
Llewellyn Worldwide
$19.95 Trade Paper
July 2006
ISBN: 0-7387-0900-X; Pages: 240




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.

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