Tantra Blog

Monday, June 7, 2010

Releasing sexual trauma workshop at Neil's yard, Covent Gardens London

6 June 2010

This morning, London is still outrageously, sunnily happy. Uta and I have tea in her beautiful temple room while I admire images on her walls: a Mary Magdalene in tones of deep sanyas red, two large Tibetan dakini paintings and an exquisite oriental watercolor of a couple in Tantric love.

Uta, my fabulous guide, takes us through the maze of the underground in a jiffy while we discuss Tango milongas in London; we have discovered that we share this passion too. Our other shared passion, we discussed in some detail last night. It is so lovely to spend time with a woman who takes as much delight as I do in sessions work, and fascinating to hear how she goes about sharing the energy of the taoist tantric practices.

Here we are, at Neil's Yard in Covent Gardens. Outside, it looks like we may have been in Goa, Kalk Bay or any other spot where bright and professional modern-day hippies hang out. We descend down to the basement room where Uta has booked us a sound-proof venue. How delightful to meet a room full of people for the first time, all of them here with a shared desire to move deeper into the present moment, and through whatever keeps them from that presence. In the group are some men and women who are sacred sexual healers in London and surrounds, there are people from all nationalities and cultures, widowers, housewives and people from seriously mainstream professions.

Our theme for the day is releasing sexual trauma. As we go around in the circle and share what brings us here, a tapestry unfolds of lives lived and felt deeply, with desire, terror, vulnerability, insecurity, optimism,and everything in between. We are all moved by the bredth of experience that human beings are capable of.

London is a place of extremes. People come to London to party, to let out their wild side. I suspect that this after-hours wildness is an attempt to balance the social constraints of daily life. The results are interesting. One participant talks about his difficulty in feeling any arousal without the help of a cocktail of drugs. In public spaces that hold the volumes of people you find here, it is rather important that people behave considerately. Culturally, this habit of being considerate can in its extreme of course contribute to suppression of feeling. The first step in this work is to find some way to lift the lid on what is there to be felt. Sound it seems, is an issue in London. Making sound I gather, especially while making love, is largely taboo. This, of course, is one of the reasons why I get workshop participants to start roaring at each other. Purposefully, with intent, and with eyes wide open. My one big demonstration roar was enough to initiate processes in the room. Trying to find their own roar added the extra touch that started the process of participants feeling the emotions and sensations that had been suppressed in us.

This began a beautiful and moving process of sitting with the feelings that had been touched. In the process, I provide presence, tenderness and holding while the person in process has intense nervous system movement happening through their bodies: contraction, fast, almost hyperventilating breathing, heat and cold, numbness and tingles - all of this as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems work through the trauma memories that are now being released from the cells.

It takes patience, presence and faith to do this work. It takes all of this from the rest of the workshop participants to witness this process, which can seem scary and quite out of hand. And yet the energy chances that occur when someone is allowed to feel things in their entirety is visceral and transformative for all that are present.

In the afternoon, after tomato soup and a coconut wheat-free muffin in the square, I guide the group into looking at the erotic. Our fantasies and our erotic attractions are such accurate guides to the unconscious. There are fantasies around in the room, for sure, and they are potently to the point. We do one simulation of the energy contained in someone's fantasy. I feel the rest of the participants go through everything from fear, apprehension and deep empathy to flushes of heat and arousal. The lid has been lifted for sure.

I know that several people walked away from today's experience feeling very surprised, and hopefully excited, about things they have discovered about themselves today. There is that particular light that comes on in a person's eyes when they see themselves in a way that they never could have imagined before, and suddenly they are delightfully home in their own skins.

Here is an example. There is a man in the group who has found much joy in being taken by his lover to meet and potentially seduce unknown other women. He got that this was hot for him. What he hadn't gotten yet, was that what made it really hot, was the fact that it was so 'bad' of him to do this. The secret for him, then, was that he lets himself in on how bad he is being when he explores this fantasy again. I listen with empathy as the psychiatrist in the group gives case studies to explain why such work could be dangerous with his patience. Yes, this work is only for the pinacle of seekers, for those few who have done enough inner work, who are clear and strong enough to go all the way, to even move beyond and through the dualities of good and evil that keep us trapped.

My experience of the English to far: diverse, complex, but certainly with shared suppressions not dissimilar from those of middle class South Africans, and trauma experiences not necessarily less so than South Africans have either. As with us, there certainly are some deep wounds and distortions running through family relationships. I am left with an awareness of how easily adults can conspire to keep shut the mouths of children who have been sexually victimized. I am left also with another impression: That often those who have been through severe sexual trauma, develop exquisite sensitivity that is a rare and valuable gift if used with enough care and presence.

Now I am on the train back to Wellingborough where my lovely mother is picking me up for a few days with her in the countryside. Everything is endlessly green and beautiful. The trees grow and breathe around me.

7 June 2010

Oh, what a delight to come home to mother! I got home cooked food and a special berry compote for dinner. Today, I am entering the day with slow delight. Tomorrow I will be off to London to go do sessions, attend a dinner with Tantra teachers in London, a talk by a visiting Tantra teacher from Boston on Thursday night, and then off to Salisbury to present the weekend's retreat: http://www.tantra.uk.com/shaktim.html. The focus here is on building sexual energy or vital life force, and then powerfully directing this energy into the heart. The result of course is that one has to ask yourself this question: How much bliss can you stand?

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