Taoism vs Tantra

What’s The Difference Between Taoism and Tantra?

This video from IATE founder Devi Ward Erickson outlines the differences between Taoism and Tantra. Devi has been practicing and teaching Tibetan 5 Element Tantra since 2008 and was a monk of The Ishaya Order from 1999 -2008.

Highlights from this video:

  • Taoism and Tantra are two totally different spiritual belief systems.
  • Taoism is from China.
  • The most widely recognized text from this tradition is “The Tao de Ching”.
  • Tantra is from the Northern Indian subcontinent. There are numerous texts, scrolls, and “tantras” associated with this tradition.
  • Buddhist Tantra migrated to Tibet around 700 CE and mingled with the Tibetan Bon Po tradition, becoming Tibetan Buddhist Tantra, which is what IATE practices and teaches.


Is there an overlap of these traditions? YES! There is an overlap of some ideologies, methods, medical practices, etc.

The main difference between Taoism and even other lineages of Tantra is THE ENERGY BODY and how you as the practitioner, work with and understand the energy body.

  • Taoism works with microcosmic orbit and the “Dan Tien”
  • Tibetan 5 Element Tantra works with the 5 elements, 5 chakras, and Uma Channel
  • Some Tantric traditions work with a 7 chakra system and circulate energy up and down the spine.


With semen retention specifically, some of the mechanics may be the same, but how you work with the energy during and after your sexual pleasure session will be very different.


In Summary:

  • Both Taoism and Tantra are spiritual traditions.
  • There are points of overlap between these two systems, but they are very much NOT the same.
  • You as the student should determine which tradition(s) and TEACHER(S) feel the most resonant for you and practice under that umbrella.
  • Take note of the results and benefits of the practices, and adjust accordingly.


Watch the video below!

Want More?

You can learn the Tibetan 5 Element Tantric meditation practices in our Tibetan 5 Element Tantra Training Program PLUS get access to our LIVE monthly meditations!

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