Tantra Blog

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sessions Questions and Answers

More on how sessions work: See http://www.totalitytherapy.com

What happens in a first session?


The first session is an opportunity for us to meet, for me to identify what would be most useful for you right now, and to introduce some catalytic factors. Meeting involves a discussion of your personal journey and your sexual history. While we talk, I am listening to your words but also sensing what is happening in your physical and energy bodies. From there I may take you into an activity that can catalyze the area of your awareness that is priority at the time. This may involve movement, sound, breath work and touch.

Naked or not?


I may give you the option at some point to be naked if I feel that nakedness would be supportive to the work. Please note however that this is not the place to come if you are looking for titilation.

How many sessions are required?


My advice is that you take it one session at a time. For some people, one session catalyzes as much as they need for this lifetime. Some people come for a regular session once every two weeks or once a month. The choice is yours.

How long will it take to learn Tantra?

This is a lifelong learning program, if you want to give it dimensions.I could answer the question with another: How long does it take to drop all the illusions standing in the way of full presence?

In my experience, Tantric awareness deepens rapidly in people, particularly if you come for regular sessions or start participating in other activities.

Can I come without a partner?


You can certainly learn Tantra on your own. If you are in a relationship, you are welcome to come with your partner or on your own. If you come on your own, the awareness that you gain, will benefit your relationship, in that it will increase the general level of awareness around.

Should I be scared?

Yes. This could change your life.

Do you work with men and women?

Yes. I have a male colleague who assists me in working with women if the woman requests this. I do group work with men and women, and also with women only. My colleague may soon be starting some work with men only.

Will Tantra cure premature ejaculation?

Tantra is not a medical or therapeutic discipline, it is an awareness practice aimed at your awakening. The suppressions in your sexuality which get expressed in sexual functioning will drop away smoothly as a consequence of the work. But this is not the first aim.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tantra with or without a partner?

At our recent Tantra Girls' Night Out evening, women asked me questions about what happens in Tantra workshops where there are both men and women present. The concern that they expressed was that, if they come without a partner, they may have to be intimate with strange men beyond what they are comfortable with. I appreciate the question and respond here; the writing is applicable for both men and women.

Modalities
The main modalities in my Tantra workshops are
  • breath
  • sound and
  • movement

Exercises

The main types of exercises that occur in my workshops are:
  • active meditations
  • guided breath meditations
  • partner meditations using the above modalities
  • dance and movement
  • roleplay and dialogue
  • conscious touch (this will usually be specified).
Partner work

On my workshops and retreats, you will be working with different partners during one event. The women choose who they want to partner with. Partner work usually takes the form of meditations, so the process is guided and very conscious. Couples have said to me in the past that they wished they had done the work with different partners. The reason for this is that you get to know your own energy by working with different partners. If you are working with your lover only, part of your experience will be influenced by the projections and associations that you already have with this person. Exercises are structured in such a way as to bring more awareness rather than drawing you into the unconscious associations and dynamics that are often there in our relationship play.

Nakedness

Nakedness is usually not required in workshops, though in some workshops nakedness is an option. There are advanced workshops where nakedness is required, but you will only be invited to these when we feel you are ready.

The choice is yours

Our approach in the Advait Tantraschool is to create opportunities and then be guided by the level at which you feel comfortable to engage them. At all times, we encourage you to follow your bliss; go according to what feels good for you. Also, in Tantra the woman is always the decisionmaker, and we structure exercises as such.

Intimacy

My work is an encouragement to intimacy, in the sense of an opening to feel what is real for you in the moment. Tantra is about totality, it is not about hiding from your feelings. But here too you have a conscious space to learn to discern what is real, and what is fantasy or projection. If you would rather protect yourself from feeliings, then Tantra may not be for you. If you are ready to be fully present in your life, and to feel the rich complexity of that, then I would encourage you to come explore.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sweet Prince(ss)

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"Sweet Princess, while being caressed, enter everlasting life" - Vigyan Bhairav Tantra

This is a verse that I love to use. Andries du Toit, who loves that I use it, wrote the following exquisite poem, which I have to share with you.

To a guide

“Sweet Princess —”

I say the name: ancient words, anonymous.

One man’s name for

one unknown woman, lost in the drift of years.

Someone’s heart was pierced. Someone

met one day a shy-bold curious glance;

or saw her naked back

golden in the sunlit water; or saw

all in a moment, in the fierce ecstatic dance,

her graceful dusty feet, the hollow of her throat, sweat on her skin;

or someone heard, once

— just once —

a woman’s voice

a throaty chuckle in another room

behind a paper screen.

We don’t know what happened, or who

fell in love with whom.

We know that matter yearned for matter, that a body

found itself unfinished, opened: found itself

mortal, undone, bereft —

and found that longing sweet.

They are gone now, dust, forgotten. But

that sweetness lives. That sudden opening,

that being-lost, still speaks. Words

are a channel. So are bodies. Today

one specific body, one woman, one mortal self

awakes, finds courage, enters the dance. The heart

welcomes the heart. Life

caresses life. One broken body —

particular and frail, unfinished, beautiful —

opens to itself. Invites delight. Becomes

Sweet Princess: Universal. Mortal. Tender. Brave. Beloved.

- Andries, 28 February 2009, flight SA 208, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Inner masculine and feminine

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The following is a conversation that I had with a friend recently about the relationship between the masculine and feminine in me. I found it insightful and decided to share it with you, as this is a theme that is very close to my heart and also an important one in Tantra.

Friend: When you talk about the inner marriage.. what do you feel the masculine in isolation to essentially be and the essentially feminine?

Shakti:
My feminine is intuitive... she feels life around her... she is directed by the heart. She feels the bigger space. her desires and motivations come from deep inside, and are a response to all she receives through her perception. She is receptive and perceptive in the subtle realms.

My masculine is directed and focused... he can do great things, overcome obstacles, build things, make plans and execute them... he has one pointed focus and goal oriented. He functions best when he is guided by the feminine. When they work together, they are a magnificent team. He can really make things happen - but when he doesn't have her direction, he becomes an ambitious, driven bastard

If my feminine isn't clear about what she wants, or she doesn't clearly ask my masculine what she wants him to do, she becomes weak and self doubting

But if she trusts her inner knowing, then the impossible becomes possible. My masculine is really cool - if she dares to have big wishes, he will do his best to make them come true

My masculine is the one who enjoys pitching the tent, collecting the firewood, bundubashing a path. My feminine is the one who enjoys the view. Without her enjoyment, all his effort would be pointless. Without his effort, she would not be able to enjoy

Friend:
What is your feeling when you have gone to far in the direction of the masculine...what happens to your awareness?

Shakti:

Yes, an interesting experience. It feels like this. My masculine gets driven, competitive, goal oriented, starts to compare himself to others, and conjures up all sorts of imaginary goals.

My feminine feels that she is alone - I feel lonely and feel that men have never been there for me - she starts to doubt herself and become insecure, she tries to win the masculine back but feels it's hopeless.

The masculine on the other hand is not really satisfied either. actually not at all, although he seems to be running the show. Because he doesn't actually want to run the show. He gets confused if he doesn't have the direction of the feminine. So net result is that he loses his desire to live, actually. It starts to all feel futile and empty

Friend:
OK. And what happens to the quality of your awareness when it goes like that?

Shakti:
It clouds over and becomes confused. it hardens and becomes less sensitive

Friend:
less connected to beauty and god...

less connected to the subtle

Shakti: yes exactly

Friend:
less connected to the causal

Shakti: Yes

Friend: At the mercy of causality instead of behind it

Shakti: Yes, but still the masculine will believe that if he just tries harder he will be in control

Friend:Sticky awareness.. get attached to stuff and aversive to stuff..

Shakti: Yes very sticky

Friend: Is there such a thing as going to far into the feminine in your view?

Shakti: For sure. Years ago my feminine was running the show and didn't want to know about the masculine. That''s no use. It makes her hard, and she can't really live her full beauty in the world, because the masculine is not there to actualize it

Friend: So becomes dreamy self-obsessive like?

Shakti: :Yes... or insecure and insubstantial.

I think masculine on his own can be as self-obsessive as feminine, though feminine is likely to be more internal with the obsession - self analysis - whereas masculine obsessiveness is focused on changing the external.

Friend: Does the masculine have a role to play in the subtle, in meditations etc?

Shakti:

Yes he has.
When the masculine's will is following the feminine's receptivity, then you can enter the realm of choiceless choice - which is real meditation. It takes attention and an aligned will to drop thoughts in stead of following them

It takes a very strong willingness - masculine presence - to enter formlessness. The masculine has to trust the feminine there, else the feminine on her own can just fall into depression when she meets undifferentiated space

In the beginning with meditation, it is useful to have some focus - such as the breath, or the bindu - for your awareness. This focus is held by the masclune, so that the feminine can relax into formlessness, into the subtle.

In time, that changes so that the masculine develops the will to also drop focus and still stay present and fully there

For me it's like this: In stead of focusing on something, I sense the places where my will is creating a "self", and identity, a boundary between me and existence. And I very gently - very gently - just drop that insistence. Then meditation happens.

The masculine has to really cooperate and trust the feminine to go there.

So, I would say that the inner marriage is essential for real meditation to happen.

Energetically, if I am either in masculine or in feminine and the relationship is not strong, I will be pulled into the ida or pingala (the masculine or feminine energy streams) in my awareness in stead of resting in the shushumna (the central energy channel of subtle awareness.)