How to get started with Tantra and Conscious Sexuality?
How to get started with Tantra?
When I heard about Tantra the first time about four years ago, I instantly knew that this wor(l)d would accompany me from now on.
I could sense that kind of mysterious, ominous, promising, sensual vibe. I don't want to lie to you, but really...this is what I felt at first.
Little did I know about all the depth that would await me.
I could sense that it holds some deep healing tools and would be a major step on my own healing journey.
In fact I even felt a lot of resistance and my mind came up with all kinds of scenarios and reasons why it would be good to stay away from it.
"It is not good to be so much surrounded by sex", "maybe it will spoil me, or what if I ruin my sex life, because after workshops I will have seen it all and not be interested anymore"
In the beginning I (and so many others! - you are not alone with that! :) ) thought that Tantra is merely about sex. Which sounded promising.
Like fun, pleasure and healing for my own sexuality.
Which it turned out to be.
Without Tantra I wouldn't be where I am in my life.
But you know....that little tricky mind with it's friend the ego....when they feel they are in danger and that there might come some powerful healing method that is threatening the ego...they will first find all kind of reasons to NOT start. Anything. That doesn't only count for Tantra.
I did some research on google what it is and got even more allured.
I wanted to start immediately!
Practice eye gazing and experience connection, surrender and ecstasy and do meditation and manifestation and feeling one and and and....
During my travel and especially since I'm working so much with Tantric Bodywork I get asked more and more "how to start?"
So I thought I'll write you this little guide with my personal experience and recommendations:
1. First of all feel into the question WHY?
What for and why are you interested in Tantra?
Are you interested in Tantra as a spiritual path or for learning about your sexuality? (Those two don't exclude each other but can be fundamentally different)
Do you want to deepen your spiritual practice?
Do you want to get into tantra to deepen the relationship with your partner?
Do you want to learn more about your own sexuality in general?
Do you want to overcome and heal certain topics like trauma or shame?
Are you on the search for pleasure experiences?
Do you want to learn how to connect to other beings on a deeper level?
Are you looking for sexual adventures? Is tantra even the real thing for you?
...this are just some ideas why you might be attracted to tantra and of course there are a myriad more possibilities. But this in mind will give your search a direction where to start. During your journey and with time, that focus will most likely shift and you might want to explore different angles of tantra, but it is good to have a starting point.
2. Keep your eyes and ears open
Now, that you know you want to learn more about tantra and begin practicing, start keeping your ears and eyes open.
Really, this is one big step already.
Like, when you start thinking that you want a red car and all of a sudden you start seeing red cars everywhere. It is not, that they haven't been there before. YOU simply didn't put your focus on them and hence didn't see them. The same it will be with Tantra possibilities!
3. Search your area for Tantra studios, teachers and offers
Here you will most likely have two possibilities:
Go and visit a workshop or book a massage.
A Tantra workshop can be as unique as their teachers.
If you are not sure if a certain workshop is what you want you an always contact the facilitators or studios and ask more questions. Good questions for you to ask could be about possible nudity and intimacy in exercises. It is totally okay if you prefer a course in the beginning where there is no nudity.
And in fact: Tantra doesn't require any nudity or intimacy! If you feel hesitant to go to a certain workshop or massage…listen to your guts!
My rule of thumb is: If it is not a euphoric Yes, it is a NO!
If you are considering to receive a massage, but are not sure yet….well…I totally recommend it! (surprise ;) )
Just be aware that this is not all what tantra is about!
Tantra is a holistic spiritual approach to liberate yourself and lead you towards Self Realization.
Did you know that in the original teachings of tantra not even five percent are about sexuality?
A massage can support you to start to feel your own body more. To reconnect to yourself and to get a feeling of your sexual energy, your life force. You can experience your own divinity and practice to sublime your sexual energy so that you will feel energized and alive when leaving.
Ask for recommendations before you just go to any massage or practitioner. (If you want to read more about what to consider, when picking a tantra massage practitioner, you can read here in my article about yoni massages for www.beducated.com )
I also want to make you aware that nowadays the word Tantra experiences quite a misuse unfortunately and many erotic massages are sold under the title Tantra. Nothing wrong with erotic massages, but there are some grave differences!
Although a Tantra Massage CAN work with the sexual energy it is not the focus, touch is one way and most practitioners will be dressed. Also in Tantra there is the practice of brahmacharya which means non-ejaculation for men, so that you keep that precious energy within you, instead of loosing it and feeling drained.
4. Retreats and Workshops
For a more holistic approach I recommend you to attend retreats or workshops that go over a couple of days. This allows you to go to much deeper levels of understand and above all….embodied experience!
From my personal experience I can totally recommend the following teachers and retreats:
Hridaya Yoga (not teaching tantra in any sexual sense, but deep meditation and preparation for inner growth and healing according to the teachings of Ramana Maharshi)
Always ask for recommendations! Friends, local Tantra communities, facebook groups, etc
5. Books and Reads
If you are more the person that first wants to do some home studies, get some more ideas of what is around, then I recommend you the following reads, but please google them for yourself.
Georg Feuerstein - The Path of Ecstasy
Swami Shankaranandas - The Play of Consciousness
Barbara Carellas - Urban Tantra
Diane Richardson - Slow Sex
David Frawley - Inner Tantric Yoga
Christopher Wallis - Tantra Illuminated & Recognition Sutras
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait - Tantra Unveiled
Lorin Roche - The Radiance Sutras
There are also great books and links that will introduce you to more awareness and/or self practice:
Eliyah Matsliah - Orgasm Unleashed
Sofia Sundari - Liberation into Orgasm
Christiane Kosoul - Sacred Blood
Throw yourself into the world of podcasts and youtube - that's mainly what I did in the beginning to bridge the time until I would finally find a workshop that resonated with me :)
Betty Dodson and Staci Haines. Those two are not teaching tantra in the traditional sense, but are amazing people and sources to turn to, in case you are on your path of sexual healing.
7. Well..there is no real seven for now ;)
calling in the right people
trusting it will come in exact the right timing and whenever you are ready for it!
Let me know if you have any further questions and....enjoy the journey!