South African Tantra a Dialogue

What is South African Tantra?

Tantra is a current which has emerged many times in human history. These spiritual forces are like that  when the time and place is right they upswell and blossom into expression.

South Africa in 2000 happened to be such a place.

  • A place with the right blend of acknowledgment and owning of shadow, a certain compression releasing and a general intensity
  • A place with receptive beings who could hear the call and respond
  • A place where the rising tide from the west and the setting tide from the east merge and mingle
  • A place with Shakti pouring into it

Like Tibetan Buddhism, Thai massage and Greek wrestling, South African Tantra (SA Tantra) is an arising of a form with a distinct enough flavor and body of practice and practitioners that it warrants its own name.

So its Practiced by South Africans?

Yes, but also by other people all over like Nashqabandi Sufism, Greek Orthodox Chrisitanity or Tibetan Buddhism.

Well What is South African Tantra?

Thanks for asking! SA Tantra has a lot of the trangressive intensity of the original Hindu Tantric sects like the Kaulas, Kapalikas and other Shaivite lineages. Any practitioner of SA Tantra would be very resonant with the spirit of instruction in certain left hand path root tantric texts such as the Hevajra Tantra or Chakrasamvara Tantra.

However this is not the 6th century CE and so the forms of practice are more modern and aligned to our times. There is not much chanting in Sanskrit, intensive mantra or visualization practice although certain Sanskrit terms and names are still used.

Although the direction and sequence of work in South Africa has a very different emphasis to neo-tantra a handful of neo-tantric practices and techniques are used in South African Tantra

What about the Advait Tantra School?

This is the place where South African tantra was first forged – like the Nyingmapa school was the first school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Why not just refer to the School Then?

Because like any current with a lot of energy and especially a current with the rebellious attitude of Tantra some initial practitioners of South African Tantra have headed for the hills and are forging their own ways of practice.

However all these ways are recognizably South African Tantra – the general flavor is clearly the same even if the emphasis and focus is placed on different areas.

Examples of this are school/sects/orders within the different traditions like the Rinzai schools of Zen.

I don’t Even Know that Much about Tantra. What is South African Tantra Again?

It is a spiritual practice of the left hand path.  It confronts the contractions of the human condition directly through expressing and exploring them. It uses high energy states to expand consciousness.

It is also a non-dual practice but unlike middle path non-dual practices like Zen and Advaita it collapses polarities through a lived experiential approach rather than purely through insight,

So in SA Tantra you may well find yourself working directly with so-called shadow states such as anger, eroticism and pain. SA Tantra maintains that by fully experiencing these states the energy will spontaneously liberate.

Osho’s summation of Tantra is appropriate here, “Indulgence with awareness”

You use a lot of Spiritual Terms I still don’t Quite get it

Find a guide or work with a practitioner.

Maybe I Will, How Does the Teaching Look?

Like all Tantra the core initiation is via transmission: a 1-1 lighting of the flame – guru to disciple.

However around the work there is much possibility for learning and deep healing and many people who don’t necessarily identify as Tantrkias have received tremendous benefit from the work done by the practitioners of SA Tantra.

How Dare you Compare it to Nashqabandi Sufism or Tibetan Buddhism! Those are REAL spiritual lineages.

Which themselves were new once.  Good to have got that particular dualistic contraction addressed…