Teaching and practicing tantra and conscious sensuality brings with it a level of responsibility.
As a teacher, I have responsibility to provide what feels like a safe space for exploration of new ways to connect, but also to ensure physical and mental health of my students. As a student, you have a responsibility to your partner. But ultimately, the biggest responsibility for both teacher and students is to be mindful of yourself, your needs, dreams, wishes and boundaries.
When we are able to take full responsibility for any and all of our emotions, we give our partners and ourselves the chance to drop our guard and open those boundaries that are holding us back. Of course, this is valid not only in classes, or when you are with a partner, but in society at large.
Responsibility comes in many forms. Taking responsibility for your own reactions and – when prompted – being able to voice your own sensibilities is one of the most important responsibilities you have. You must become aware of our actual boundaries, hang-ups, limitations, fears, wishes, dreams and fantasies before we even engage with another person.
Just think: how could you possibly communicate any of the above to someone else if you have never given these things a second thought on your own. Not only is it a bad idea to tell people about such things on the go, while you are in the process of figuring it out, but this also shows a level of disrespect towards yourself AND your partner in the practice.
Make sure you decide what you think you are prepared to do, and what you would probably not want to do. Sounds vague? Well, such things are usually not written in stone, and often depend on the partner you are working with. You may not be ready to give a massage to one man, but would happily do this to another, right? Your boundaries change, but the responsibility to be clear and respectful remain the same.
have a base for discussion, yet allow yourself to expand your horizons
Not too long ago, I was sitting on a bus, travelling through town, when I heard a snippet of a conversation somewhere behind me. Two women were talking to each other and one of them said: “I’m learning lessons I wasn’t even aware I could learn.”
That thought intrigued me to a point where it stuck with me until such time that I could pull out a notepad and write it down. What is it about this thought that caught my attention?
I believe that conscious sensuality has a lot to do with becoming aware that there are things you can (and should) do when you engage with your partner, most of which you never knew you could even seek out. It’s similar to the notion that “the more you learn the more you realise the less you know”.
Let’s face it: engaging with someone on any level – be it in a business or social setting or in the bedroom – often makes us slip into automatic behaviour. That is not a bad thing in itself, but this mode of conduct leaves us blind to explore different options. Business or social settings don’t have to remain impersonal, and there is nothing more devastating to your intimate relations than playing it by the book all the time. A bit of adventure and exploring new sensual opportunities might be in order more often than not…
Tantra offers ways to not just be guided by a teacher to explore options you have never thought about, but once you get the hang of the basics, your own mind will eventually take you to places you never knew you had inside of you. In some cases, you’ll end up with completely unique insights, notions you’ll have a hard time explaining to anybody else.
I believe we all can find lessons we never knew you could learn. If tantra can help you learn them, power to you!
stay open for what's coming to you
Last month I found myself standing in the streets and watching the Pride parade, sometimes annoyed by commercial aspects, but mostly moved by the sense of support and community this city can create. Over the years I have learned to expect that I become rather more emotional than I ever thought, so I was prepared. When the parade was done I headed for a pub and sat down with a cup of coffee to watch the crowds and bask in the warm glow of my emotional body.
I then proceeded to visit friends who were throwing a little garden party for a dozen or so people and I found myself with friends and complete strangers alike. Normally, this would not be my chosen place, but after that bout of emotion I felt unusually ready to engage with people.
And engage I did: simply being there brought out all the touchy-feely-ness I had in me (quite a lot, I admit) and did engage with everyone on some level, from chatting and socialising to being seriously touchy. My sensual body was broadcasting something wonderful, it seems, and there were moments I and the man in front of me were on the verge of ripping the clothes off each other. And there were also quiet moments of introspection and a deep communicative connection.
Everyone was having fun, but not nearly as physical as I did that day, drawing in those nearest to me like nobody’s business. I’m wondering if what happened there was just me being a catalyst for sensuality. It felt like I was sending out a growing bubble of tenderness vibrations that pulled in those who were attuned to it – some reacted more physically, some opened up and talked about things that had been buried for a while.
I was just myself, with engines running at full throttle.
For an endless moment, I was love.
find ways to express your real self and you will become
Maybe you have been asking yourself why you’d want to go to great lengths to experience the bliss that is tantra. The simple answer is: you do it to raise your energetic levels.
Sadly, the simple answer does not really help you to understand what it’s all about, and you may even step away from the work because the simple answer has no real meaning to you. Yet.
From the outside, tantra often looks like a lot of touching each other, crossing boundaries that you could not cross outside of this special container, and without those particular people. That is because what you see is the physical side of tantra. Don’t get me wrong: that is an important part of it, but it’s not all that’s going on!
Many of the physical aspects of tantra are catalysts for the energetic side of tantra. Where tantra is concerned, it’s often about kundalini energy – there are other types, I’ll talk about those another time. This energy is usually dormant in the Root chakra. It can be activated through physical means (touch, breath, movement, sound, etc) AND through meditation, focus, visualisation exercises. Those usually go together, but of course you cannot tell internal processes are involved, unless you practice them yourself!
The goal of raising this particular energy is to charge up the chakras above the Root chakra, ideally all the way up to the Crown chakra. Raising that energy depends on the current state (call it the ‘day form’) of each chakra: if they are out of balance, this can hinder the energy work. The more physical side can help balance the chakras. Besides, the chakras have to be ready to receive energy (we perceive them as ‘opened’ in this state).
When kundalini energy finally reaches all the way up to the Crown chakra, you form a connection between the physical world and the higher spheres (call it ‘the universe’, ‘unity’, ‘connected’ or whatever it may feel like to you).
This is, of course, a generalised explanation, and ultimately it’s an experience you have to have within yourself. If you are intrigued, keep reading this blog…
open yourself up to the possibilities
These are my own thoughts on aspects of my work I feel strongly about.