Touch can communicate such a deep place of viable, intimate presence, caring and free flowing energy, that the body relaxes, vital life force is freed and the serpent energy moves naturally of its own accord. -MSinger

Author Self Portrait, drawn during a crone wisdom circle, 2001

For me the word “Tantra” refers to the pulse of life itself, as well as all ways we can possibly devise to appreciate being part of that pulse or rhythm. Tantra becomes an organic experience — both mental and visceral, of being awake and alive. Tantra is fire, water, earth and air, male and female, dark and light in mysterious communion. Whether we are speaking or arguing, sniffing a young honeysuckle shoot, executing a flawless mudra or engaging in a delicious romp with a lover, Tantra is a consciousness of the moment. It is the science of how to develop that consciousness, how to be the moment. As the highly esoteric discipline of learning to awaken, contain and raise the kundalini, it is nevertheless synonymous with the heart or core, of any mundane action or activity as well. It’s about loving and being loved. It is about mystery. Tantra is the balancing of tensions of polar opposites so that a conscious middle path is followed. Tantra is a way of life, a way that often yearns for the ecstatic, as well as that beyond any emotion or state, no matter how wondrous. Tantra is transformation and Divine recognition.

My discovery of naturally high states, led me initially to dedicate my life and spiritual practice to exploring ecstatic passageways. I was content to be so preoccupied, seeking to find natural pathways for myself and my clients or friends. Yet I sensed that any “way,” or any moment fully breathed, fully committed to, might yield rapture. In exploring “Tantric massage,” for instance, I even refer to the spine and nervous system as the physical “rapture circuit.” Touch, like eye contact, is a fundamental, most basic, primal means of communication. It is also the most highly and consistently regulated communication channel among humans. Its power is recognized in every culture, although our own challenges us in a most dramatic fashion. Studies have shown the United States, along with Great Britain, to be the two most touch-phobic nations on the planet.

If Tantra is the art of courting a full-bodied, even ecstatic approach to life, and touch is a primary tool for communication, we can at once determine that Tantric touch might be any touch given fully from the heart and free mind. Touches from the Heart have the power to heal, to awaken, to allow merger and communication to occur. Yet in a society afraid of touch, leery of all instinctual impulses (including feelings, sexuality and sensuality), spontaneous, nonsuspicious, wholehearted touching rarely takes place. This article, then, seeks to reach out to all of you with the desire to restore your touching acts to the primary status as a natural communicator, healer and empowerer they were designed to be. Whether you are simply caressing someone you love, professionally giving a deep tissue massage, or laying of hands as you listen to someone’s energy body, you can impart tremendous information to your touches about Life, and vice versa. In fact, a touch never lies: we do communicate whatever is happening within us. Unfortunately, much of the scanty touch research shows how abundant are instances of abuse, via touch, beginning even in the womb. Early in my private practice, two female clients reported being “shocked” by “electrical storms” via the amniotic fluid during womb regressions, as they recalled their mothers having intense anxiety/fear attacks. Apparently the fluid conducted the emotional electricity.

Tantric touch is your opportunity to consciously communicate the depths of your being. If you will be honest in your touching, even if you are not happy or feeling well at the time, something intimate will take place. It’s good. As an amazing example, certain massage clients reported having received the “best massage ever” from me ever, while unbeknownst to them since their eyes were closed, I was even weeping! It was a time of breakup with a boyfriend, and my thoughts and the music I had on the stereo moved me into instances of grieving. Instead of holding back, I let myself feel it all, within, not suppressing, being with it,embracing it. This honest, intense state was transmitted to clients as “energy,” inducing highs for them!

Thus Tantric touch is about honesty. We could also say it’s about harmlessness, humility, deep appreciation for others, beginning with a deep honoring of the self. It’s about communicating whatever you feel and experience via bodily contact. Although we usually touch with our hands — and rightly so when one third of the five million sense receptors on our skin surfaces belong to our palms and fingertips — you can touch with any part of your body. And be touched by a willing partner. Touch everyone with a gracious welcoming for them. Watch a docu-video of Mother Theresa to see a real tantric pro. She sees only Creator in everyone, often “Jesus in distressing disguise.” She urges, “We must touch with love.”

When we do, astounding experiences may occur. The more I touch with total acceptance, of myself and those who place themselves in my hands, that all manner of healing takes place. Sometimes, and increasingly often, this happens on my therapy couch (table, in my case), with visible kundalini awakenings. These vary from mild rushes or shakes, or oceanic wave-like ripples, to lightning-like jolts. This is not just the province of clients who are already tantrikas or others who are metaphysically or spiritually savvy. Not at all. It comes from the simple fact that your touch can communicate such a deep place of viable, intimate presence and caring, as well as our own free flowing energy, that the touchee’s body relaxes, vital life force is freed and the serpent energy moves naturally of its own accord. Indeed, I utilize the term Tantric massage to accommodate this happening, occurring more and more frequently in my practice — finding out soon after that lots of other people use the term, too!

I also needed to find a way to work with the sexual arousal experienced by so many of my male clients. It took several years to arrive at the clear-headed/hearted perception that a state of turn-on is a welcome first step to the awakening of the kundalini. Indeed, in sexual arousal is an awakening of life force, creative energy. Now, I use “heartbreathing,” connecting that to the genital sensations and awareness to help teach others how to produce what I sometimes call “k-movements.” Of course the idea is to help them experience the rejuvenating, mind opening (mind blowing?!), potentially ecstasy-serving moments this disciplining allows. I also have discovered that using my hands to trace a pathway along the spine, placing them in the regions that correspond with the chakras, while I imagine sending energy to those vortices of energy, I can assist persons with no previous awareness of those energy wheels to sense them. I sometimes refer to the chakras as “way stations” that the serpent or river or energy current will touch along its journey. (Many metaphors work, so just be creative!) You may also discover, as I have, that orgastic energy movements at the heart (ecstacy), the brow (rapture) and the crown (bliss) are wonderfully different from one another.

To recap, your magic Tantric touch could lull someone to sleep or into the Dreamtime, induce reverie, or stimulate a very eroticized state. It might suddenly call forth a volcanic eruption, or shivers up and down the spine. You may get laughter, tears, or even loosen deep memories of ancient traumas and hurts that call up rage. It happens as you are prepared for Truth to be known. Whatever is waiting below the surface will rise along with the kundalini. Grief and ecstasy can be a breath apart. Indeed, that was my introduction in 1990, unintentionally bidden.

You may augment your physical touching with the touch of music, fragrances, stimulating gustatory, or visual aids. Develop “sense-you-all-ity.” I find music that is very tribal or primitive especially awakens the fiery aspects. I recommend Tantric teacher Kutira Decosterd and her partner Raphael’s tapes for moving into the Oceanic states. Play with breathing in and out through either the nose or mouth at various rates and depths to see how these affect your touching techniques. Touching in patterns or designs, and clockwise or counterclockwise also has definitive results, although you need to be able to attune to very subtle differences sometimes to catch them.

Babies in institutions have withered away from lack of touch. Children who are not touched often enough with loving acceptance determine unconsciously that the world is an unwelcoming place. They grow into self-conscious, unhappy, alienated adults. Our world is full of them. Use your awareness of Tantra, the art and science of being fully, consciously alive, in awe of the mystery of our Being, to touch the world of people, animals and plants around you. Breathe easier and allow others to touch you, too. We’ll all be glad we did.



Marcia Singer, LoveArts Foundation

Seven decades of exploring the Inner Life, writing down the bones. Careers: singer-entertainer, tantric-shamanic healing artist; mindfulness/shakti educator