“When I began this trip, I had jetted to the Best Western in Santa Cruz, California, to learn the secrets of sexual ecstasy. For a little over four years, I confronted dualities, and they confronted me. Hinduism versus Islam. East versus West. Male energy versus female. True spirituality versus false opportunism. I had to choose the values with which I wanted to live.”
Tantrika tells the compelling story of a woman whose world travels and spiritual journey bring her face-to-face with the most fundamental dichotomy of her identity. Born in India and raised in the foothills of West Virginia, Nomani moves away from her Muslim upbringing to pursue the Hindu and Buddhist path of divine love.
What began as a professional assignment for the Wall Street Journal to write about America’s hottest new fad, Tantra, became a very personal odyssey. While Tantra is popularly conceived as an ancient form of yoga or as “sacred sex,” the author’s Muslim parents warn her it is a cult of black magic. In her search for the full story, Nomani travels from Santa Cruz to the feet of the Dalai Lama in Northern India, from meditation caves in Thailand to the homes of orthodox Muslims in Pakistan. Nomani’s journey through the geography of her own spiritual conflict is a journey of self-discovery, of reconciling her Hindu ancestry and Muslim upbringing. She confronts darkness in ways she could never have imagined, but ultimately finds the path of the divine within herself and all women – all “tantrikas.”