The Fact Behind Tantra

With a guarantee of both spiritual and physical elation, Tantra workshops entice partners who are in search of the ultimate satisfaction from their internal bonding. Let’s see what’s exactly happening there.

Adam Busby was born in a small Northern town was the son of a navy man. Danielle Busby, the daughter of a priest grew up in the same neighborhood. Coming from a military and Baptist background, duty was the most important word to abide by. This included everything in their day to day activity-including sex. Adam says, “Since my early teen I was made accustomed to the idea that sex is just an obligation for a wife towards her husband”. He added, “Though I was not really comfortable with this idea, he never came across anything different”

Mrs. Busby says, “I was not really happy with my sex life, and this was indeed for a long period of time”, she added “we were just repeating the same thing which we did years ago being inexperienced kids. There came a time when there was nothing left for me to experience. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted a beautiful sex life too. Then one day a dear friend of mine came up to me with the idea of visiting Tantra workshops. I was not really into this until suddenly one fine day all things just aligned and in my heart, I knew that I need to resort some help. Being honest, sex was not the only thing I wanted, I also desired to connect with my heart chakra and my sacral chakra. I wanted to experience open heart energy into everything. And the Tantra seminars seemed to me like the perfect place where I can learn this art.”

There are many couples like Adam and Danielle who tried to consult priests, ministers and even rabbis to try to incorporate more passion and love into their relationships. Beginning from the ‘50s they have visited a psychoanalyst, and in the late ‘60s they must have resorted to a therapist that helps with sex. Well, these options still do exist. But a noticeable change has been observed in the Americans and the Europeans over few decades.

Instead of meeting priests or setting an appointment with a sex therapist they have turned their attention towards books, seminars, videos coming up with content related to the use of sexual energy. Books like Spiritual sex, The art of Sexual Ecstasy, Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving claimed to align sex with spirituality together in a whole mix that helps to completely transform the use of sexual energy into physical and ecstasy and paved a way for personal growth and above all towards enlightenment.

Do dissatisfied couples resort to tantra?

Sexual dissatisfaction is not the only reason that the seekers consciously want to gain a spiritual knowledge of sex. They subconsciously have a feeling that relationships and sex have a lot more to offer. They consider sex to be sacred thus helping couples to experience a deeper relationship with each other and with the energy of the Universe. People also resort to learn scared knowledge about sexuality after meditating in the Eastern tradition for years. All these Eastern traditions do offer a huge insight into methods for attaining Spiritual knowledge but these traditions often overlook idea surrounding sexual pleasure and the wisdom this sacred act offers. Well, these were practiced by chaste nuns and monks during the ancient times, hence can’t really blame anything.

From the Kama Sutra and the extensive teachings on sexual art by the people of the Middle Eastern and the Taoist to the conventional sex therapy, the west sacred sexuality teachings include everything. Above all, the Western modern sexual teachings have drawn most of its revelations and ideas from the most ancient spiritual teachings- Tantra. Hatha Yoga which we try nowadays is based on the same ancient spiritual teachings.

How Did the West come to know about Tantra?

With the announcement of Margot Anand’s “The Art of Sexual Ecstasy,” Tantra became a household name but there were writers and leaders of workshops that were long mining on this spiritual and sexual techniques study and incorporating different understandings of psychotherapy, western sexology, and self-transformational techniques that is made popular in this New Age. Charles Muir a disciple of Swami Satchidananda was the first one who came up with these teachings and techniques until he became disenthralled by the revelation of immoral sexual relationships of Satchidananda with some of his devotees.

According to Muir, he was being rewarded with a few of the exceptional women in his life that put into him the insight about Tantric sexuality. He said, “It was after the first marriage that I started to re-examine my ways of relating to women.” Then Muir started studying more and more texts from ancient Tantraand tried to bring forward this knowledge into his yoga workshops. From just being a yoga teacher Muir became a full-time Tantric teacher imparting knowledge about Tantric sexuality, Muir made a big switch in his career in the1980s.  Muir and his wife Caroline is probably still the most popular Western tantric teachers even after two decades.

A Walkthrough the Tantra Workshops

The first night at the workshop at Rio Caliente titled “The Art of Conscious Loving” in a spa the outside Guadalajara, 18 people (9 couples)gathered around each other. They all had a different sense of expression on their faces. Some were happy, some were nervous and some were a bit tensed.

Tom and his wife Leslie sat entwined around each other had a beautiful honeymoon glow of their faces. Leslie was a social worker having a small grin smile and his husband Tom was a psychologist who was raised in the Sated but was born to Central American couples. In contrast, Bill and Susie sat like a still wall towards each other. Bill seemed to adjust himself in the small space turned against him. Next to them was the 67-year old outgoing couple Liz and Stan chattering about their second marriage. They both were from a Southern California suburb and came from a wealthy background. Then there was Anja and Merle who seemed quite peaceful with each other sat quiet and relaxed. Anja was a healer and was an inhabitant of Denmark, her husband Merle was an American.

The couples that came for the workshop were all from different backgrounds. Not only occupationally but geographically as well. There was a teacher, an architect, a social worker, and a psychologist, a government bureaucrat retired and working as a volunteer worker, a Zen doctor, an art psychiatrist, an accountant, several entrepreneurs several and four energy healers. Few of these participants were devoted towards the spiritual practices of the Eastern.

The Zen doctor, Matthew seemed to have attended a comprehensive meditation retreat “sesshin”. Anja, was a yoga teacher for 17 years and had her own school which she closed down to open a place for hermetic energy healing. She lived in the boskalone for 6 long years to gain deep spiritual knowledge. Merle has knowledge about vipassana meditation which practiced for many years and she ran a bodywork school. There was also another bodyworker that mentions that she has worked with the Yogi Bhajan’sKundalini Yoga community a decade ago.

When Charles asked the participants of the workshop about what exactly drove them towards the workshop, Anja started by saying that she visited the Tantric temples in central India and was so inspired by their art and knowledge that she decided that will definitely get a man for herand she can share the knowledge of Tantra with him. There were two participants in the group that have appeared in the workshop before and this time they are happy and are back with their newfound soul mates.

When Charles asked the participants of the workshop about what exactly drove them towards the workshop, Anja started by saying that she visited the Tantric temples at Khajuraho, central India and was so inspired by their art and knowledge that she decided that will definitely find a man for herself with whom she can share the knowledge of Tantra. There were two participants in the group that have attended the workshop before and this time they are happy and are back with their newfound soul mates.

The Muirs stared by comparing the contrast of sexual education in different cultures. With humor and tactful language Charles says “we have a little too much information about sex but hardly do we have any knowledge about the divinity of this sexual pleasure.” He continues “Most of the knowledge and the wisdom that we have about sex is from our mother and father. The rest of the information or misinformation is derived from the talks in the locker room, confusing messages from adults pop cultures and a lot of things. “Some say that sex is “bad” while some say “save it for your marriage”. What should we consider? This makes us so confused.

Caroline started the workshop addressing the participants saying “ people reach adult sexuality traumatised by childhood and adolescent experience of sexual abuse or incest”. She says that finally when we start our first sexual exploration we often come across partners that are misinformed, ignorant as just as scared as we are and this experience often doesn’t end good. Caroline continues “It is true that most of us don’t even have the understanding to make love.” We all have learned about sex and different ideas but never learned how to incorporate sex and increase more passion and in the relationship.

Caroline then started pointing towards the ancient Indian culture. She says that ancient times Indians knew sex was a divine gift from God, an art form and kept the tradition alive by teaching these secrets to theiroffsings. She continues “Sex is not just the join of two bodies but a unity of two divine souls two lovers and dance in the sacred energy of theCosmos.” She stresses “this week we will remind you how to attain that divine sexual experience.”

The Yoga for relationships

Ahead of starting the evening, Muir outlines the audiences about the three interconnected topics that he and his wife Caroline will teach and will be the main topics of the workshop for the week: increasing intimacy: increasing sexual energy and pleasure: and silencing the mind. He adds that he will teach many skills for increasing the flow of energy and the pleasure that one feels in the body. There will be many techniques that will be based on White Tantra-exercises that one can try individually like the pranayama, asana, echoing of Mantras, and the other teachings will be based on Red Tantra- exercises that involves aligning energy with a partner.

Charles says, that there will be techniques help foster intimacy and are basically devised to allow couples to heighten the power to share and to accept each other’s love energy. He also added, that there is nothing new to learn in this workshop rather than allow themselves to abdicate and just be their natural self.

He emphasizes, “these techniques cumulates in quieting the mind. Participants will also learn more about cultivating the techniques to make chatterbox quite and being more receptive. “Tantra is ultimately a meditation” he notes. Orgasm, the one and only meditative experience that is being shared universally and the only one that cuts through all barriers and cultures. At the time you experience orgasm, you reach a point where the brain is more receptive, you’re not in the normal thinking brain: this is the time when you are totally drowned in the moment, you enter eternalness.

The students were given lessons on kissing, touch, oral sex. They were taught how to strengthen and elongate the orgasm experience using breath, how to increase sexual pleasure hardening the muscles of the pubic-coccygeal region. Some of the information and exercises preached by Charles and Caroline became explicitly sensual and sexual as the week progressed one session was especially dedicated to men focusing on a variety of practices for lengthening and delaying the orgasm.

Charles and Caroline showed to the students using hand puppets how they can use hands to give pleasure to their partners, how they can mutually give each other pleasure using a man’s “soft-hand” rather than a “hard-on”, how to incorporate an infinite variety of intercourse just by adjusting the depth, speed, and the angle of insertion. Asking theparticipants to gather, Charles and Caroline physically demonstrated (though dressed) a graphic workshop on sexual positions, how to make use of pillows to help a hurting back. They also demonstrated how to gracefully shift from the back to the front and to the sideways without losing the touch and intimacy.

The workshop also devoted time and energy on methods that were less exceptionally sexual and way more esoteric. Most of the day, the class started with half an hour of easy hatha yoga. Routine followed in the workshop wouldn’t bear much physical confrontation for a routine practitioner but the focus of the Muir’s was somewhere else. They always emphasized on the awareness of the use of the exquisite energy in the body and the various chakras. Charles says the chakras in our body contain passive energy, intelligence and consciousness and the technique taught in the workshop focuses on arousing and harnessing that dormant energy.

The workshop also devoted time and energy on techniques that were less explicitly sexual and far more esoteric. Most of the day, the class started with half an hour of gentle hatha yoga. The routine followed in the workshop wouldn’t pose much physical challenge for a regular practitioner but the focus of the Muir’s was somewhere else. They always emphasized on the awareness of the use of the subtle energy in the body and the chakras. Charles says the chakras in our body contain dormant energy, consciousness and intelligence and the technique taught in the workshop focuses on arousing and harnessing those dormant energies. He also adds that practicing the asanas shouldn’t be taken as something that would improve your outward form rather these asanas will help you to get in touch with your real self and reunite with the body as the way it is.

“Don’t conclude the asanas as exercises; they are sacred geometric poses for awakening the dormant energy that lies in our body” Caroline chimes. The participants in the workshop were directed to use their breath to guide the various energy circuits inside the body. They were asked to breathe energy from the lower body part all the way from the legs, the torso and bend forward and release the energy from the crown area before repeating the next cycle. Charles said that exercises like side bend, balancing poses, forward bends, etc will help them to utilize that energy that is dormant sitting inside the body.

Instructions on different breathing techniques (pranayama), using full breathes, advanced poses like the bandhas (to embrace and increase the divine energy inside the body), and using rapid forced breathing to direct the energy to the area that lies between the crown chakra and the third eye also known as “Kapalabhati”  were given by the Muirs in the workshop. They were also taught “Brij mantras” many scared “seed syllables” and different vibrations that would awaken each chakra in the body.

The Muirs also taught how to visualize various geometric diagrams, yantras that would also nurse the same exact purpose; mudras and various hand gestures to help maintain the flow of energy in the body. These were all stag yogic techniques. They also taught their students how to practice breathing with their partners. The members were taught to coordinate and harmonize the inhalation and exhalation of breathing with their partners. They ran sessions on how to link their breathing with their partners and thus create a circular flow of energy (reciprocal breathing). As one partner would exhale the energy the other partner would inhale the same energy and vice verse thus maintaining circular flow.

What is Sacred Spot Massage?

Though the workshops presented a wide variety of exercises and information but the main focus of the workshop was on the use of “sacred spot massage.” Each couple performed this intimate rite in the confidentiality of their own bedroom. For a whole week, the man would act as a sexual shaman giving his partner his companionship and touch helping her to recover the cold wounds and help her to experience her full divine sexual power. The following week all couples reverse their roles and women help their men in healing and feeling more empowered.

Tantra believes in arousing women’s full potential sexual power and helps them reach orgasm which opens the door to channel the energy Shakti and both the partners can tap into this ever-increasing powerful energy.  Shakti is the underlying energy that runs the Universe and the source of creation. On the contrary, men have finite, less renewable sexual energy that depletes every time one has an orgasm. For men, they should not waste their sexual energy through ejaculation rather should learn to embody and experience a higher degree of ecstasy. According to Caroline “Humans have long forgotten the potential of women’s limitless sexual power. Women are not only generally multiorgasmicthey can also experience passionate clitoral orgasms, deeper and longer orgasm accompanied by vaginal ejaculation.”

Massaging the “sacred spot” is the key to awakening female sexuality. Also known as the G-spot the sacred spot is a highly delicate tissue that is located just two inches above the vaginal wall. The term “G-Spot” was first coined by Ernst Grafenberga gynaecologistwho described it in Western medical literature. Loving massage of this “sacred spot” also helps to release sexual confusion, pain, repression, and abuse. These memories are long forgotten by the mind but remain inside our bodies particularly in the tissue around the genital area (second chakra). According to Tantra the second Charka is the store-house of our divine energy. Muirs believed before experiencing the ultimate joy and pleasure of our unconfined divine sexual energy, the pains surrounding these memories should be released from our bodies.

They stressed, “The goal of sacred spot massage should never be only to experience orgasmic fireworks rather couples should view this process to nurture trust, intimacy, care, and greater vulnerability.” Charles says “Orgasm is just a part of a usual tide of occurrence, so don’t run after only orgasm rather take them as signposts in the journey towards sexual oneness” The Muirs spent hours to impart instructions and education to help theparticipants imbibe the idea of how to blend loving connection with the sacred dedication of sexual intimacy.

Charles takes all the men to a separate class to coach them how to serve their partners as a sexual healer. He teaches them how to make the evening a fete for the partners and honor her senses. He tells them to ornament the room, assemble fire, garner flowers for her, dress up-everything that would make her feel special and feel loved. “Give a loving massage to her, prepare foods and drinks for her, draw her a bath, above all, respect and love her,” He tells that by doing all these they are inviting the love energy into the room which is nothing more than God. With asmirk, he adds “This makes the best threesome!”

Charles coaches each man in the workshop to be present in the moment-give her your concentrate loving attention. She may come with various emotional experiences but be there for her. The real intimacy does not lie in the techniques or poses but rather in your undivided attention towards her. He says “Don’t think from you head rather and think from your heart. She may come up with difficult emotional experiences but be present. Remember it’s not only her stuff, it associates to you both.” Charles motivates his men to consider the evening as sacred meditation; a sacred journey towards more empathy. He adds perfectly “Make the whole evening a sacred peace healing ritual for your women and collectively towards the whole womanhood humanity, towards every woman that has ever been molested, raped or been belittle in any way”

Before Charles sends the men and women to their “home play” he predicts “ For some this will be the most crucial night in your entire life” The sacred spot massage will be the most ecstatic experience for 25 percent of the couples, about 25 percent will experience shadow of their own emotional residue that needs to be released and the rest will have a diverse experience.

The following morning as the couples sat and share their personal experiences about the last evening, Anja says “ I would like to say that last evening was the most intimate time of my life, happiest day of my life. Now I feel so peaceful and so connected with myself. I feel that I am reaching a higher level of consciousness that I am never experienced previously and I am sure this is going to impact my work too. During the class, Anja mostly discussed her spiritual experiences that she experienced last night but later during the conversation she mentions that she experienced tide after tide of divine orgasmic energy running over her body like currents flowing for two long hours. She says, “I have no words to describe the feeling “

Other than Anjano other women report transports of elation but they talk about increased intimacy with their partners, their observation and progress. Leslie and Tom the most passionate couple in the group, last evening was something indeed different. It was not really sexually arousing rather more emotionally vulnerable. Tom says, “the colossal gift for me was Leslie weeping holding me tight in her arms. Previously this never happened and I was overwhelmed.” While some enjoyed the freedom of performance anxiety while others executed the role as a healer perfectly.

It was not really a gentle sailing for everyone in the group. The sacred spot massage was really painful for Susie- both emotionally and physically. She says “The moment Bill started with the sacred spot massage it was really uncomfortable at first and then suddenly it brought forward in front of my eyes all my emotional wounds. I couldn’t stop but scream and cry, I shouted and raved but couldn’t help and Bill also cried” She continues “It was indeed a healing experience for me. What I understood is that healing doesn’t happen in just one fell sweep and I felt a sense of healing last night.” Looking at Bill, Susie says “I really appreciate that you were present there all through.” Then staring towards the whole group she confesses “Bill was there for me all the time. Last night made me realize that he was really up for me the whole time but I just overlooked his presence.”

Looking back at Susie, Bill said “She yelled at me the whole night but honestly I cherished it. Though I felt a little culpable because the healer should have been me instead I gained so much. After sometime, I realized that I didn’t have to put any effort to shut the chatter in my head rather it happened all by itself. The greatest blessings of the night are that for the very first time in my entire life I really tried to be a giver.”

Is Tantra for real?

The scholars and the teachers who followed the pathway of traditional Tantra criticizes the Western interpretation of Tantra something that has little similarity with the original knowledge of Tantra that has its roots in India, Tibet and Nepal and is being practiced over the centuries.

Since the beginning, Tantra has followed radical teaching that always questioned the prevailing religious orthodoxy. During the period of 500 A.D., Hinduism and Buddhism began a distinct Tantric movement which finally reached its peak around 500 to 800 years later. In Buddhism, Tantra always opposed the beliefs of the ancient Brahmins. These Brahmins used to consider them as a priestly caste and considered themselves to be the epitome of purity and the lower castes to be less deserving. According to the Brahmins, religion is all about fancy rituals and severe obedience to the concept of purity. According to Miranda Shaw, the religious studies professor of The University of Virginia says “In Buddhism, Tantra was a practice that developed outside the Buddhist monasteries as a riot and was initially uphold by the general public rather than strict nuns and monks.”

It’s not really easy to specify Tantra as it comprises of a huge and varied range of contradictory practices and beliefs. Though Tantra has many philosophical mentions but above all it basically a compilation of techniques that helps to achieve liberation and enlightenment. “Tantra” is derived from Sanskrit word that means “to entwine or enlarge.” The actual practitioners of Tantra have always accepted it as practices that help to increase wisdom and knowledge and helps in understanding that the whole Universe is simply an interwoven web.

Tantra holds great respect for the divine female energy (shakti). According to the Tantric view of Hinduism , the Universe is created from the seductive dance of Shiva (the divine male energy )and Shakti t(he divine female energy). Creation happens when Shiva provides the indispensible ovule but Shakti provides the energy that is required to bring all things into being. According to Tantric Buddhism, the male foundation is far more active and powerful but they do also emphasize the relevance of female energy way more than other structure of Buddhism.

Tantra is not only just a practice to attain liberation and enlightenment but is also a practice to attain supernatural powers. There are certain type of Tantra that emphasize on attaining magical powers like the ability to externalize objects at will, the ability to fly, to be present at two different places at the same moment. The term siddhi also comes from the same term that means “ supernatural power “ or “spiritual perfection.”!  Tantra acclaims to impart knowledge that helps the practitioners to master how the Universe is interwoven together. All these insights about the spiritual world help the students to gather higher knowledge about the world around and including own physical bodies. According to Tantra, it is considered that the body is just a microcosm in the universe and the female divine energy is sitting as a serpent coiling at the base of the vertebrae and is present in every individual as Kundalini. Most of the Tantric practices focus on inciting and transmitting this dormant energy to attain enlightenment.

If we consider the mainstream Indian spirituality that preaches that the whole world is abaitand everything is just a delusion, and they focus more on self-control and a skepticism of the body and the pleasure towards the senses. But Tantra considers all experiences to be holy and preaches that the Universe is just a manifestation of divine energy. This is perhaps one of the crucial characteristics of Tantra which states that rather than considering our body and our desires as an impairment that needs to be chasten and should be overshadowed, Tantra considers manifestations and desires to be a necessary vehicle that helps to attain enlightenment.

Tantra’s idea about appreciating the body shaped it asa common practice among the yogis that continuously explored with ways to chasten the body so that they carry around the colossal energy of awakened kundalini. George Feuerstein, a master of the Tibetan Tantric Buddhism mentioned “ Hatha Yoga originated from the concern of creating an alter body – that is completely under the manipulation of a Yogi, that person can materialize and dematerialize anything at will, an immortal body just like the way the Taoist mystics wanted to develop.”

The idea of purification often leads the Yogis to practice self-denial. But Tantra, on the other hand, headed towards the opposite direction. You may expect that the cosmos is just a constant blend of sexual copulation but the Trantriks didn’t only seek sex as a metaphor but rather conceived it as animportant activity toward the path of spiritual enlightenment. The Tantra practitioners rejected the idea to see activities as purer or less pure. The most severe Tantric groups carried out their rituals by meditating atop of dead bodies, on charnel grounds, smearing their bodies with the dust of the deceased, gulping from cups made of skulls, and carrying the activities that is frowned as non religious in most traditions like eating fish  and meat, taking drugs and alcohol. These Tantrics believed engaging in sexual copulation as a way to explore and increase divine spiritual energy.

The scholars have noted that not more than 10 percent of the Tantric texts deals with sexuality, half of the text deals with the practice of mantras and the other half focuses on the devotion towards deities and the formation of visible aids for magic and meditation. Well, this is indeed true. Over time, the right hand Tantric group (the more traditional Tantric group) minimized their practices of the daring activities, revolutionizing vetoed activities into a symbolic representation of spirituality. The more radical practitioners, on the other hand (left-hand Tantric), tended to remain under-covered thus saving themselves from the attack of the mainstream Indian culture. Starting from the orthodox Brahmins to the West’s recent curiosity, outsides always fascinated Tantra as something always related to sex.

Tantra is Not all about Sex

According to Feuerstein, Neo-Tantra (the term popular with the Western version) the main focus of Tantra is on relations and sex. He says “Tantra could be an outbreak for people that have been brought up in the atmosphere that suppresses the idea of sex and intimacy. ” He adds “it also helps to add significance and optimism for people that have outgrown the concept of conventional sexuality” but he also raised concerns related to the Neo-tantric teachers saying that they hardly have studied the Tantric texts to get a proper knowledge and understanding about the texts and have not been trained under the guidance of proper Tantric guru.

It’s a fact the ancient texts come along with a whole set of warnings related to practicing Tantra, but Feuerstein doesn’t believe that the practicing the techniques imparted by the Western Tantric teachers can pose any severe danger upon the students. He mentions that unless one is being trained under a real Tantric guru (someone how has prospered in heightening his/her Shakti) there prevails no danger in raising energies that would lead to an unbalance in the physical or mental energy.

Feuerstein also raises a concern that Neo-Tantra masters can often get involved in egoistic inclinations rather than louring to sidetrack ego. He says in the traditional Tantra followed by the Indians , the masters never started with their second charka (sexual midpoint) but rather started with opening the heart chakra (fourth chakra) or the third eye (sixth chakra). He continues “the extreme jeopardy of Neo-Tantric practitioners is that they may fool  themselves thinking that they are going through a spiritual experience rather in reality they are just experiencing the overflow of life energy (prana).” He fears many Neo-tantric practitioners may confuse spiritual blisswith physical pleasure and may often miss out the original reward that the knowledge of Tantra offers- the deepest connection with every Being.

Being a right-hand Tantra teacher, Rod Stryker also echoes most of the concerns that are brought forward by Feuerstein related to the modern Western Tantra. Rod Stryker studied Tantra under the guidance of master Yogiraj Mani Finger and is also an initiate in the tradition of Tantric master Sri Vidya. Stryker says “Being a yoga practionersI’ve worked with many people, treated many people and according to my experience most of the people were scared trying to open their sexual energy as a tool to attain enlightenment”

Maithuna- one of the powerful techniques of the left-hand tantra practitioners was regarded as a catalyst to awaken psychic energy. This technique was so dominant that it was regarded to cut through underlying techniques like the pranayama  andasana. Stryker says that the high –hand Tantra practitioners never concluded sexual practices as a substitute for the steady use of Pranayama, asana, and meditation. He adds “the main danger lies when someone’s energy channels (nadis) are not clear or open, the practice of the sexual tantric techniques can lead to psychic turmoil and can even have dangerous consequences.” He continues, people that decide to go for a Tantra weekend often seem to have done little work of Pranayama and asana. As a result, they may sense a lot of energy shifting inside the body, and if their energy is unstable and they outset to stimulate their Skakti, they may end up capacitating their instability.

Stryker also underlines the contrast between bliss and pleasure and the need for a real tantric guru. He says that he has learnt to approach Tantra in three different stages of ecstasy-physical, psychic physical and spiritual. In the second stage of Ecstasy, the seeker achieves the heightened sensory awareness and also becomes aware of the necessary energy that aligns with the awareness of spirits and can change his/her life. Finally in the third stage, once the seekers have awakened the consciousness related to all the Chakras of the body, he/she can apply the appropriate state to any situation and the ecstasy becomes constant. According to Stryker, without any proper guidance from a real Tantric guru, the seekers will never be able to outgrow the first stage.

According to Stryker, all Tantra students should examine their teachers bearing in mind two questions, “Till what degree does the Tantric teachings live within the teacher and what is the relationship the teacher follows?”, “to what degree the Tantric teachings live in the lives of this teacher’s students?” Whether the Western Tantra teacher is well knowledgable to be a full-fledged Tantric guru but he hopes that at least he will be able to educate the student and make them realize that physical pleasure is just a reward of Tantra.

The advocates of the Western Tantra are really passionate and keen to know about the ability that the practice of Tantra can bring in one’s life and collectively the world. Though there prevail many limitations in the teachings of the Western Tantra teachers but in wider view it really offers good things to the society as a whole. Margot Anand says once you have opened all your senses and have reached a high level of understanding you will find yourself to be completely transformed. You will not be willing to go back to your previous self. Charles and Caroline Muir stressed on their workshop that “ You are not just doing it for yourself and to enjoy a sexual life rather you are doing to maintain a healthy sexual legacy for both your children and grandchildren”

Charles insisted that the Knowledge of Tantra that he and his wife Caroline imparts is based on the spirits of ancient practices though the outer form may be a bit different from the traditional practices.

According to Charles the main focus of the workshop is to awaken and integrate the dormant energy of the Charkas, just like the way in ancient India. He adds “to experience the real benefit of Tantra we really don’t need the trappings of the Indian philosophy and culture”

Though the Western Tantra may not seem exactly like the traditional teachings but just like yoga, Tantra has been reviewed age after age molded according to the needs of the people. According to Charles, his version of Tantra believes in worshipping the feminine energy and helping the male to use their “warrior” energy and guiding them to heal the rift between the female and male energy.

The last morning of the workshop at Rio Caliente all the participants of the workshop gathered sharing their thoughts about the weekend. But no one was really concerned whether or not they reach enlightenment. They all were too busy discussing the benefits that they have drawn from the week’s workshop. Comparing the first day when the couples came in first for the worship to the last day everything was much different. All the couples were holding hands, snuggling each other, smiling at each other and some were sitting in a peaceful companionable silence

The couples shared that they got much more than they have expected. Anja said that the sacred spot massage as the most beautiful moment in her life and she will continue with the hatha yoga which she left years ago and others present give gave her the determination to continue with yoga after returning home.

Stan took out a note and read a heart-touching poem that left everyone with tears. The Zen practitioner Matthew said that he views the participants of this workshop “beautiful green field filled with love” and described Charles and Caroline as the “cultivators of the field”. His partner Amy says “in this workshop, I have learned that nothing is more important than loving each other.”

Bill and Susie were sitting at the corner with their legs entwined and just like shy teenagers they are occasionally exchanging glances at each other. Caroline titled them as the “most improved Campers award”. When Bill turn came to share his experience for the weekend, he said: “This week has helped me to tear down the gap that I and Susie have built over a period of 25 years”. Susie finally quips in and says “I have been on a self-healing journey for a long time and I thought I had to leave Bill behind. But now I can say I have finally discovered my partner in healing”

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