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Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Known only for the virtues of its sexual practice, ancient Tantric ideology is a universal and wide-reaching ideology virtually ignored in the West. In Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine, one of Europe's foremost Tantric authors and teachers, Andre Van Lysebeth, gives readers a balanced, well-informed, modern examination of the secret teachings and symbolism of Tantra.
Espou Known only for the virtues of its sexual practice, ancient Tantric ideology is a universal and wide-reaching ideology virtually ignored in the West. Espousing no dogma, Tantra involves a search for reality that contradicts neither science nor religion.
For Tantra, all of the myriad energy forms in the universe -- gravity, nuclear cohesion, electromagnetism -- exist throughout the cosmos.
Tantrists have perceived this unity for over thirty-five centuries," points out van Lysebeth in his introduction. Originally published in , Tantra has become the classic text on the subject, the source for serious students.
Eight full-color illustrations and 36 line drawings complement a comprehensive and contemporary explanation of Tantra, complete with meditations. Andre does a remarkable job of bringing ancient theories into the modern world. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 1st by Weiser Books first published May More Details Original Title.
Other Editions 9. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Tantra , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine. Jul 23, Matt Harris rated it it was amazing. Van Lysebeth was a yogic master who wrote and studied extensively on the topic and passed away in Based in Belgium, but having travelled in India, he was fortuitous to study under Sivananda Saraswati, spreading Ashtanga Yoga precepts through teaching and books, generally in French.
His later studies turned to the much maligned topic of Tantra, exploring the worldview, history, misconceptions and backlash from just about all other traditions and its subsequent burial.
Yoga, with its focus o Van Lysebeth was a yogic master who wrote and studied extensively on the topic and passed away in Yoga, with its focus on breath, body health, mantra and worship of creative forces feeds perfectly into tantric practices leading to long, respectful, tonifying and even enlightening sexual relations. The book is subtitled The Cult Of The Feminine - an interesting choice, given that the word Cult is loaded with varying definitions including moral deviancy, anti-Christian belief systems, and even megalomaniac driven vehicles to madness and paucity.
The reason I take some issue with it is that the feminine is such a universal concept, as directly expounded in this book, and that a narrowing and divisive word seems out of place in its title. Ideology or Wonder would reflect the writings more carefully. If the title keeps certain prudes away, it's a shame, though perhaps that was the intended effect of the author or translator while this body of work is so at odds with the current patriarchal and materialistic world, it will take much time to be nurtured and accepted.
Tantra is somewhat at odds with some of the more doctrinal elements of major religions, but not with the core messages of the religions, indeed it could be a very empowering spiritual path for both sexes. The reader is presented with astounding information about the underlying cruciality of the creative force of the feminine, specifically that the "template" for life appears to be female. We know that the sex of a baby is determined by the chromosome of the sperm - at the six week mark when the ovum absorbs the spermatozoon, the gonads will develop into male or female.
But, for example, in a pregnant doe rabbit, if the embryo is castrated, whether it has ovaries or testicles, the resultant will always be female. This has been shown for many other species, leading to the conclusion that the female is the blueprint from which the male is drawn.
Male fertilisation does certainly assist by allowing a helpful mutation to be spread among females quickly over a generation, increasing the pace of evolution. However the male appears to be a modified female.
Quite a challenge to the viewpoint, for example, of Eve being created from Adam. If you're looking for a "how-to" manual for the more physical techniques you may have heard about, perhaps try something like the works of Mantak Chia, as this book is much more about philosophies.
It explores hindu and aryan gods and the emergence of Shiva and Shakti, the archetypes worked with in Tantric practice. Jewish mysticism and buddhism are also referenced, the latter has a large body of tantric Vajrayana teachings which are related but quite different in practice and aims, monks and nuns being notably celibate! There is however a fantastic story about one of the controversial Dalai Lamas, The Fifth, who appears to have been a devotee and master of the Tantra described in the book, who took lovers, much to his colleagues' disdain.
Buddhist tantra is concerned with one of the faster paths to enlightenment whereby the energy of desires and perceived needs in every moment are transformed into fuel for understanding the nature of our situation. Sexual desire and coupling would be considered the height of desire and so can provide very powerful insights and practice, but only some advanced students enter into this.
It's not covered in this book but Reginald A. Ray and Lama Thubten Yeshe among many others have written about this wonderful subject. The popularity of tantra in the modern world partly came about through new age type workshops, centred on California in the US, and although probably helping people with their sex life and intimacy, unfortunately this "Neo-Tantra" may come without the depth of understanding of this profound practice.
According to Shambati Saraswati, "neo-tantra ritualises sex. Authentic tantra sexualises ritual. Within are some wonderful insights into the universality of the lingam and yoni, connecting these with the mantra Om, the Ahkh symbol and also buddhism's Om Mani Padme Hum mantra.
Witchcraft is discussed at length since it is one of the oldest belief systems, supposedly dating further back than 35, years from cold Europe. It relates non dogmatically to cycles of nature, something which our feminine nature is more able to perceive. There are no core texts or codified beliefs, and the movement has been suppressed by opposing systems, still associated with darkness today. However it's pointed out that where God is thought of as being outside nature during our history, resources have been plundered and respect for the planet wanes.
What a fascinating and revolutionary book, dealing with universality and connection with ourselves and other. The word tantra meaning "loom" or "weaving" does also reference the universe's fabric being interconnected, this study being one way to increase the awareness of consciousness.
Jun 03, Isabel Losada rated it really liked it. A little lengthy and the late Andre used far too many exclamation marks but a wonderful overview of the cult of the feminine in history and including an entire chapter on how to strengthen the sexual muscles. A little hard to find and expensive but a must read for anyone with a genuine interest in the history of tantric practice. Apr 26, Juan Mestre rated it it was amazing.
Fabtastic view of what tantra really is. Not the common, wrong sex-commercial approach that modern authors surround the tantra concept with. I read this book translated into English. If the reader wishes to read a Tantra book which gives fast some tricks for enhancing the own sexual life, one feels deceived when using this book for the own need.
Specially men can find in this book some very profound knowledge about the male body and tantric practices. It is not a book what's easy to read therefor I read this book translated into English. It is not a book what's easy to read therefore my rating is 4 instead of 5 , but it is one of the most profound books on Tantra I have read. This book has introduced me to a very interesting topic, but I could not say I enjoyed the form. It was apparently written by westerner, but as an introduction great.
Despite Lysebeth's criticism of Osho, I am going to read his approach next. Throughout the major part of the book I could not avoid the feeling that this person was more into theory than into practical aspects. But then I reached the end of the book and it surprised me pleasantly. Dec 09, Elizabeth Jacobs rated it really liked it. This was a very down to earth book on the subject. Their is a brief mentioning of the relationship between the two which was defined by the balance of the energies of the masculine and feminine as opposed to physical bodies; but overall it felt like an aside or a brush off.
Presently, I think such a large question deserves a larger answer. Overall it read very beautifully. Feb 18, Inchka Mytteristen rated it it was amazing. Muy, muy completo. Aug 25, Rajan Mogha is currently reading it. This is a very down to earth book on the subject.
André Van Lysebeth
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Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine
He is one of the first Westerners to have practiced and taught yoga. Soon enough, he heard about a famous Indian yoga teacher, Swami Sivananda. In Rishikesh, he met Sivananda and attended his classes in his yoga institute, today known as the Sivananda Ashram. During the following years, he went back to the school of his Master several times, again driving his car all the way to India and then, as the flights became cheaper, by plane.