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A guide to the history and modern practice of transformative Christianity
• Reveals the original tantric wisdom of Jesus and the early Church and its resonance with the tantric yogas of India and Tibet
• Explains how tantric Christianity views the human body as the primary “temple” of the Holy and erotic energy as the signature of indwelling Divine Presence
• Provides step-by-step instructions for a series of Christian tantric practices, including a partnered sexual practice, mantra and energy work, eye gazing, and work with icons
Unbeknownst to many, the original Christian spirituality as practiced in the early church and by Jesus himself was a tantric spirituality. In the West, Tantra often evokes images of arcane rituals or acrobatic sexual positions, while in reality Tantra is a holistic transformative path of life, love, and being--grounded in practice.
Offering a new understanding of Jesus as guru and master of left-handed Tantra, James Reho, an Episcopal priest and tantric initiate, reframes the Christian story and restores to modern Christianity the tantric wisdom practices that were edited out of church tradition and forgotten over the centuries. He explains how tantric Christianity views the human body as the primary “temple” of the Holy, with erotic energy as the signature of Divine Presence within. Rev. Reho reveals the similarities of the earliest Christian practices to the tantric yogas of India and Tibet and explores the role of Kundalini and the chakras. He details how to work with mantras, icons, and pranayama breathing exercises, as well as with gazing as a spiritual practice. Informed by the insights of ancient texts and early masters of Christian spirituality, the author provides step-by-step instructions on how to practice Christian tantric sex with a life-partner of the opposite or same sex.
Rev. Reho reveals how these heart-opening practices are rooted in eros, the life of deep desire, expressive of God’s grace within us, and are still alive in monastic practices in the Christian East. Integrating his personal spiritual experiences, years of study of ancient Christian mysticism, and an expertise in yoga and tantra, the author shows how we can re-engage the original truths of the early church to affirm the body as a holy vehicle and to utilize the energy of the erotic to achieve ecstatic union with the Divine.
Episcopalian priest Reho peels back the Platonic influence on Christianity to uncover a radical rearticulation of spiritual practice in this engrossing guide. Using a comparative lens to bring together tantric Hinduism with writings by church fathers, he shows how the body-shaming, change-fearing goals of contemporary Christianity run counter to its original message. Reho gently challenges the popular notion of tantra as exotic sexual mastery while showing how eroticism can be holy. He lays out five key roots for a tantric Christian theology: the world is inherently good, activity (not repose) is divine, the body is a holy vehicle for transformation, erotic energy and unexpected behavior are required of the faithful, and Christ meets the definition of a guru. He then offers clear, simple guides to spiritual practices (breath exercises, prayer mantras, using icons, washing feet, and sexual connection) that can open believers up to powerful change. The weaving together of tantric thinkers and Christian theologians is nearly seamless and effectively argues for their compatibility. Some readers might not be ready to fully commit to the complete revision of Christianity, or may balk at the rich theological sections, but the work beautifully serves any Christ follower seeking concrete, simple suggestions for body-based spiritual practice.