During this festival there will be multiple tantra workshops per day with different levels of intimacy and depth to them. Some of the workshops will be suitable for partnered practice (on what level of intimacy feels appropriate) whilst others are perfect for individual or group practice, these are taught in English.
You will be supported and catered for in your growth regardless whether you are arriving as couple wanting to deepen your connection or single and wishing to interact more with other participants. Self regulation and feedback are very much encouraged.
Very often the word “tantra” conjures up a range of ideas and myths that can make one a little nervous (or even put one off entirely) until you actually try it.
We’ve put together a little guide to help create more understanding and ease. Our teachers are very experienced and you can rest assured that you will be held in a safe space where your personal boundaries are respected, thus allowing you to experiment and stretch yourself knowing that you are in good hands.
What exactly is Tantra?
Tantra is a path for people wanting to know themselves, deepen awareness within themselves and celebrate all aspects of life. The word has been used to describe a wide range of practices and traditions from the Kashmir Shaivism and Buddhist Vajrayana to more new age practices that include psychotherapeutic approaches and bioenergetics. It has been translated variously as “the weave”, “method” or “technique”. The essence of the path is that it is not so concerned with philosophies about life as the direct experience of it, itself. It gives us methods to directly experience ourselves and actualize our potential. It is not so much a believer’s world but one of alchemy and a knowing that comes from living.
Polarity is a good thing
The interplay between the masculine and feminine is actually a good thing and gives the passion to life. By skilfully playing out these poles we can energize our practice with enough juice to transcend duality (our own limited point of view). If the polarity is neutralized then its like living with a dead battery. The relevance of this is due to many spiritual systems which have actually encouraged us to dampen down our natural polarity, instincts and desires in order to find peace. It is very peaceful being a corpse!
These polarities are sometimes represented by Deity’s such as and Shiva and the Shakti and on a grand scale represent consciousness and its meeting with the manifest world.
Tantra is inclusive
It uses all at it’s disposal in order for us to deepen into our nature. The key word is acceptance – in accepting yourself, your desires and your quirks there is an opportunity to deepen. Unlike other systems which attempt to shape you through control and effort, Tantra allows you to indulge your desires but with awareness so they deepen beyond surface wants and needs towards the ultimate desire for love and awareness.
So there is no effort involved?
Not necessarily, some of the techniques can be quite physical, or involve facing fears and becoming more present. It’s not always easy, but they all point toward you as your natural self, there is a stripping away of false shells of being we have surrounded ourselves with rather than needing to add something to become “enlightened”. Sometimes this can leave us a little shaky because we are accustomed to the comfort of our beliefs, ultimately it leads to a deeply satisfying state which is more rested in our true nature.
Its all about sex isn’t it?
Because of the social repression of sex in most culture, the popular view of tantra is it all about sex e.g “I heard sting did it, and it lasted 8 hours…”.
The act of lovemaking in all its facets (quiet breathing and passionate ravishing of the other) is included in tantra but it is certainly not limited to that. In the classic text the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra there are 112 methods for awakening, and only 6 of these are directly related to the sexual act.
However, life is deeply sexual, the whole energy of life can be seen as sexual energy, of creativity, as the interplay of consciousness and love, masculine and feminine energies. When we expand the limited concepts of sexuality to include all of the interplay of life then we can state that tantra is about awakening through sexuality.
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