Tantra Blog

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reflections of a Scottish Student

What a treasure Shakti Malan’s visit to Scotland has been. As many can attest to, Scotland is a hardcore place ~ the climate, the history and the land provide the perfect training ground for kamikaze and renegade seekers. There is so much cultural, religious and historical conditioning to push through here, that it really calls forth the craziest, toughest and wildest of us to be fully visible in tantric practice whilst opening to the perpetual risk of getting mobbed. And even then, most of us are still terrified in one way or another… it’s a truth that witch-hunts still happen although they aren’t actually allowed to stake us anymore, which is some consolation I suppose.

Like other places around the world, there is currently a process of Dakini-activation taking place here, and it’s akin to the explosive timing mechanism kicking off in a sleeper cell. Lifetimes of acquired training and intensive initiation have led to the inevitable moment when our skillful means and capacity to facilitate profound transformation is activated as our true offering to the world. But it’s not an easy or pleasant process. For many of us, opening to Dakini practice is in alignment with our deepest core calling and purpose, yet it is also the moment that many of us have been in denial and avoidance of throughout most of our adult life. And this is partially because of the above…

Basically, I’m sharing these sentiments because it takes courage and awareness to call forth courage and awareness… And this is why we needed Shakti Malan in Scotland.

It’s been clear to me for some time that the work of the Advait Tantra School in South Africa and Totality Practice is really some of the most profound tantric transformation work being offered right now. Worldwide, there is an exotic array of schools, teachers, practices and approaches available within the tantric field but my experience of some of these has been that they either work bottom up, i.e. saturated in the pleasure body and sexual exploration and play, or top down, i.e. awareness cultivation and pure consciousness development through lineage-alignment, guru-yoga and deep meditative ritual and retreat. Totality Practice would appear to bite the heads of both to consume one big, fat juicy mouthful. So, for a gritty Scottish seeker that basically shares the motto ~ ‘this life or bust’, Shakti’s visit was pure manna.

I participated in both of Shakti’s workshops, although my initial interest was in the work connected to releasing sexual trauma. But it became clear very quickly that I needed to say yes to all the transmissions Shakti could offer, so I participated in her Beloved workshop also.

I have worked a lot with my polarities over the years and have (or so I thought) a strong, healthy, defined relationship with my inner male and female as the Beloved and didn’t feel a particular light towards the content of this workshop.
So, what a surprise it was for me to experience ultra-expanded, full-being, multi~orgasms with in the first hour. Huh! I cracked open to the Divine so profoundly that the experience completely blew the lid of what I previously knew as Bliss. This maybe the norm for some tantric adepts but it’s not in my world. Like many people coming from a rich spiritual background, I am actually only just embodying for the first time in this life. I’ve spent most of my years disincarnate through intense esoteric spiritual practice and a good dose of body-shock trauma. Like a lot of Tantrikas, my sexual history has been challenging to say the least, including experience of rape, abuse, violent and wounded lovemaking and emotional incest. Of course, I’ve done a lot of work with this material and I’m eventually learning that the locale of wound is actually where the treasure resides, and that the process of claiming treasure is not about healing, but rather reintegration of the pained body-mind into Awareness.

Throughout the day, this initial process led me deep into complexities playing out between my male and female energies, mirrored shockingly accurately through out my life and outer relationships. These revelations enabled transformation to literally insert itself through the connect to the Beloved within.

But for me, the second day was where I really went off the map. Shakti specializes in work related to the release of sexual trauma but in truth it is actually centered on our centre. In other words, this is serious solar plexus work with it’s innate connect to our sexual centre. At least, that was the emphasis for our group and perfectly so. And the journey I embarked on with this work has exemplified it to be one of the most profound, courageous and powerful modalities I have encountered.

For me, this involved deep stimulation within the sexual-psyche and the related cataclysmic imprints created within the body-mind. However, what makes this work so effective is that Awareness is activated and brought the whole way through into the physical, rather than stunting within the realms of subtle body and mental processing: the elegance of which is that there are no allowances or short cuts for spiritual bypassing when the body is fully engaged and present. I would add here though that this process of stimulating and reliving deep trauma through the body is extreme work, and it is advisable to care appropriately for one’s self in the days following such an experience. I needed gentleness, grounding and support for over a week before I was able to come up from my depths for air. But everyone is different…

My experience of Shakti is that she is strongly rooted in her corporeal and sexual centre. Yet, she also embodies deep, authentic conscious Awareness. And this is what makes this caliber of work possible, and provides the container for others to travel far within the wounded body-mind and access body-shock and emotional trauma so that reintegration can begin to take place. These dark places of pain are akin to opening Pandora’s Box and can often be terrifying. But the skilled practice of inserting and anchoring pure awareness transforms wounds into the true treasure that they are. Through this process, the medicine available from the wound is fully ingested and is able to finally nourish the entirety of the being.

In many ways it is difficult to articulate this level of work. It is clear that Shakti draws from the immense richness of her own life experience, and that she has spent years in intense self-enquiry and deep exploration within her own totality practice. But this work is also beyond training. This is authentic Dakini medicine. It is part of her incarnate purpose and her core offering. And that’s not something that can be taught. It is literally inherent, and Shakti is basically coded to offer this practice. Simultaneously, you will also encounter a very human, compassionate woman who is ready in each moment to surrender to deeper truth, to greater awareness and to simple humility.

For me, working with Shakti is the wonder of opening to a moment that changes everything! I feel graced because I approached Shakti in my ripeness. I was ready ~ ready to get naked, ready to enter my treasure chest of pain, ready to follow my eroticism into my deepest wounds, ready to blow the lid of my known bliss-body, and ready to bring all this back into myself, into totality and anchor it with expanded Awareness. Thank you Sister. Thank you.

With Love… Annu Tara



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