Green Tara
Green Tara

Tantra is a holistic approach to the study of the universal from the perspective of the individual. The study of the macrocosm through the study of the microcosm. Tantra makes use of all the sciences available to us – astrology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, alchemy, psychology etc. – as practical means to realize the highest ideas and ideals in daily life. Instead of separating and categorizing the different areas of human knowledge, Tantra ties them together like pearls on a string. This beautiful necklace forms a unique instrument to expand the physical, mental and spiritual life of humanity.

Harish Johari – Tools of Tantra

What is Tantra?

In Tantra we work with all the energies that are available to us as human beings. Since we as humans are subject to a programming of categorization and separation through logic, it is difficult for us to create a complete picture of Tantra. Tantra tries to break down these categories and divisions and go beyond them in order to expand the universal possibilities of our human consciousness. In Tantra Yoga, the goal is to refine our thoughts, desires and emotions to create peace and balance. Tantra is a completely open concept in this sense. In Tantra we work with every energy that exists in nature.

Tantra, Yoga and Tantra-Yoga

The difference between tantra and yoga makes the concept of tantra even clearer. Ashtanga yoga, the eight-limbed division of areas in yoga, is about stopping processes. We stop bad behavior (yama, nyama), stop movement (asana), stop breathing (pranayama), stop the senses (pratyahara, dharana, dhyana) and stop “being” ourselves (samadhi).

ashtanga wheel
Acht Limbs im Ashtanga Yoga @Ian Alexander

Chakras, Desires and Kundalini

We can illustrate this well with the chakras, the typical characteristics of a chakra and the desires that each chakra brings with it. We naturally pass through the chakras in stages of our lives.


Mother Nature as a goddess

tara statue
Tara Statue

It is also true in tantra that often nothing is as it seems. Even if someone uses blood or bone skulls in a ritual, this can be a humorous reference to our mortality. Just because a teacher sells himself as wise and profitable, we should nevertheless always remain critical. Mother Nature is a role model and therefore the ultimate goddess that we align ourselves with in order to move our consciousness from the microcosm to the macrocosm.

Mantra, Yantra, concentration and ritual in Tantra

These tools also help us to classify things better and give us something tangible to work with:

  • Mantra is a composition of syllables whose sounds have an influence on our human system. Mantras are a fundamental tool in transforming our gross consciousness into more subtle states.
  • Yantra is the visual representation of a mantra to promote the ability to concentrate.
  • Concentration is the essential skill in yoga and tantra. The ability to focus on an object without interruption of thought is important for success in the transformation of energy in tantric practices.
  • Rituals are a language to communicate with the spiritual world. In addition, rituals are performed in all cultures to support the individual in the psychological and psychic transformation to a higher consciousness.
meditation lernen
Gayatri Yantra

Meditation as a tantric practice

In meditation, these tools all come together. We can use the mantra as a meditation object, a yantra to improve concentration and concentration itself to get into deep meditation. We can perform a ritual before and after meditation to strengthen the spiritual connection. As students of tantra, we are thus able to energetically charge our yogic practices with tantric practices.

Openness vs. tradition

In Tantra, the student-teacher relationship plays an important role. The teacher will give his form of tantra that he has learned himself and is subject to rules. A master may live in a cave and work with bone skulls or blood. Another teacher may work with completely different materials such as flowers and lovely objects and with completely different rules. However, both traditions have the same goal of expanding the student’s consciousness. The openness of Tantra has thus given rise to many different traditions which contain rules. The transformation of energy can accelerate our spiritual development, but at the same time we can fall further behind. That is why there are traditions, rules and teachers.

From teacher to student

Perfection is an illusion

But we should also not be too obsessed with our spiritual path. The desire to learn Tantra and find a teacher should therefore be a natural desire and not characterized by egoistic drives, although these are always a part of our human behaviour. Perfection is an illusion and the path of Tantra is fraught with beautiful mistakes. Especially when we go through difficult emotions and negative thoughts in these processes, we should try to adopt a relaxed attitude at the same time.


Tantra is an extremely open system and follows many traditions. There is a teacher-student relationship as well as tools that can be defined. The transitions between Yoga and Tantra Yoga are fluid and difficult to define. Therefore it is important to respect the tradition. If you are interested in bringing the mantra tradition or learning more about Tantra in an authentic way, please contact me.