Q: #DearBella, My partner and I have been together for 2 years. Our sex life is still very satisfying, but it’s not as copious as before.
I am interested in exploring practices that could help incorporate not just the body in the act of love but the mind, soul and the divine in both of us.
I am not entirely sure if Tantra is what I am seeking, or even what exactly that entails in practice. There is lots of varying information flying around the interwebs.
Could you please give some insight? Resources?
A: #Dearest Mr. M,
Kudos for taking your relationship to the next level.
Now that you and your partner have officially moved out of the romance stage of your relationship you have the opportunity to deepen your heart connection and sexual communion together.
There are many fantastic options in the ever-expanding field of sacred sexuality. I don’t necessarily think one school of thought is better than the other, it’s really more about aligning your joint personalities, desires, and needs with a body of knowledge that you both can grow with.
True Tantra lineages are harder and harder to find. Similar to many Native American teachings, much of their original essence has been watered down. Tantra has had to travel thousands of years, dozens of countries and millions of hands to land in the neat programs marketed in the U.S today. But there are several wonderful teachers out there committed to sexual healing and education.
For the purpose of more equitable presentation, I will use the term Neotantra when referring to most programs available in the West.
Tantra is a systematic and complex spiritual science filled with ritualistic, arcane rites. It deserves more than just a paragraph, but that’s all you get. Unlike many religions, which shun our sexual cravings, Tantra embraces desire. YUM!!!
Of course, most of us aren’t going to run away to India and become sadhus; rather we want to distill the fundamentals of tantra into our modern, busy lives. So let’s begin.
The word Tantra means to weave, to expand, and to spread. In Tantric sexual practices the masculine and feminine are worshipped as Shiva and Shakti.
Ultimately, Tantra is about unity with the Divine and the awakening of kundalini energy for the purposes of enlightenment through breath, yoga, meditation, mantras, yantras and sexual practices.
American tantric sex places emphasis on heart connection and using our sexual, creative energy for more than a just a genital orgasm.
I’ve listed, in no special order, Neotantra educators that come to mind. This is in no way a comprehensive list. I’m sure there are other fabulous works and teachers who would blow your sexy socks off whom I’ve neglected to mention or simply don’t know about. I have either been to one of these workshops from the list below or know somebody who has and recommended it.
Margo Anand has been teaching Neotantra for over 30 years and is the author of the classic book The Art of Sexual Ecstasy. Margo is the founder of Tantra Sky Dancing. Check out her website; most of her workshops are based in French speaking countries so you can brush up on your French at the same time.
You’ll notice her work is also a conglomeration of the ancient and the new. She incorporates neuro-linguistic programming, bioenergetics and other modalities into the ancient arts.
The father of American (neo)tantra is often considered to be Charles Muir. He is a kind and genuine man who has dedicated his life to this work. He founded The Source School of Tantra in 1978. SST has a teacher certification program and I know many fine tantrikas who have trained through this school.
Many moons ago I attended Ipsalu’s Cobra Breath Level 1 workshop and would highly recommend it. They have done their best to preserve a lineage of tantra and have dedicated teachers in the U.S. Many of their practices come from the book Jewel in the Lotus, a must-have text for every Tantra student.
I’ve heard good things about Daniel Odier, a Neotantra teacher from the Kaula School of Tantra. He primarily offers workshops in Europe. Daniel has a couple of books I’d recommend, Tantric Quest and Desire, The Tantric Path to Awakening.
It’s not tantra but great teachings originating from shamanic legend, Harley Swiftdeer Reagan, co-founder of the Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society, offers Quodoushka workshops, a.k.a. Q workshops. These spiritual sexual education workshops are designed to explore the “phenomenal potential of the human body in relationship to sensuality and spiritual sexuality.”
Another big fish in the shamanic tantra pond is the International School of Temple Arts. ISTA facilitates workshops in the field of sexual shamanism, sexual healing and integrative attitudes towards mind, body, emotions, sexuality and shadow work.
Dealing with shame or hang ups around your sexual history or proclivities, ready to heal deep wounds? Check out the Shakti Shiva Academy’s Sexual Shadow Integration Work online course. It’s a game changer.
Finally, I strongly recommend understanding the dynamics of the masculine feminine dance called sexual polarity. These teachings are core principles I often share with my couple clients. My teachers in this realm include David Deida, Michaela Boehm and John Wineland. Deida has written renown books on the subject including my favorites “Dear Lover” and “The Way of the Superior Man”.
Hope this helps!
PS – Do you have a favorite Tantra teacher, program or practice? If so, please share with our readers in a comment below.
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