My work is to be at peace with all aspects of myself and life. To me this means to be
connected, clear, honest on all levels. I consider “you” an extension of “me”. I appreciate the
work that you do and I do not want to poo-poo that in any way. Therefore, I have the need to
call your awareness to some things. It is often confusing to people when one says that they
teach or study Tantra. What is this “Tantra”? Is it a sexual thing? Actually, No.
The name. Tantras are the books, scrolls, texts that hold the information, practices, etc, that
are the seed knowledge of the neo-Tantra or sexual Tantra practices.
See the links below to connect to the original source texts.
The meaning. The word Tantra itself means to stretch, as if on a loom. Therefore one could
also imply; to weave, or to expand. The word yoga, which of course most know means union,
or to yoke, join (as in all aspects of ourself) I think gives a lot of permission. The lesser known
meaning of yoga is to go where we have not gone before. In the Tantrik tradition yoga means
‘the state of attunement’. This all together very much says ‘Yes’ to me, to you, to the work that
we do. Yes, to the evolution of yoga.
The tree. For a healthy evolution It is crucial to know your roots. The sexual practices are
about 1% or less of the tree of Tantrik practices, a little tiny branch on the tree. Yes, our world
needs healthy sexual practices right now, I agree. Sexual suppression and the resultant
wounding that has ensued is a sickness deeply rooted in our cultures. The healing has begun.
With integration of all parts, it will deepen.
The honoring. It is time to once again honor our bodies, to honor pleasure as a gift of the
Goddess, to be open and clear with communication and learning, and to learn how to channel
these energies. It is also a time of great revelation. The feminine has been repressed for far
too long and her truths are now being revealed. It is time to bring the Goddess back. This
means to me that we need to do some research and learn about where what we are teaching
and practicing came from. Let us be sure that we are not being a mouthpiece for the
patriarchy and perpetuating diluted truths and straight up lies.
The real deal. Much of what has been handed down to us in the yoga / Tantra world has been
extracted from the original tantras by a Goddess suppressing uprising of patriarchy and by
westerners who didn't know any better, mis-translating these incomplete extractions.
The teachers. I have been blessed to study these past 6+ years with two passionate, world
class male western teachers who are doing their part to shine a light on what has been
suppressed, ignored and where we have been misled. These two light beings are rich with
wisdom, humility, and integrity. They truly revere the Goddess in all of her forms and are two of
a rare handful of people in the world that can translate ancient Sanskrit /Tantrik texts. They are
dedicated truth seekers. I'd like to give thanks to Hareesh Wallis for introducing me to the true
Tantra. His work has been an invaluable source of inspiration and guidance. Currently, I have
been working with Christopher Tompkins who is finishing his PhD on this subject and has
uncovered some great revelations. The Goddess is coming back in all of her fullness with the
help of these two.
My history. I have been practicing asana and studying the science of Yoga since 1994. I, like
at least 1/4 of our population has had some deep sexual wounding; molestation, rape and the
ensuing self hatred, fear, acting out, etc... I moved to San Francisco and took my first (Neo)
Tantra training in 2000 with a powerful Dakini named Malia Ma. I had just had a baby and
during that process, including the bonding with her amazing, honoring Daddy, did lifetimes of
sexual healing. When I finally took my official Yoga teacher training in 2007, and was directed
to the primary texts of The Yoga Sutras and The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, etc., i instinctively felt
that something was missing from the texts. I habitually (like women have to do most often) read
past all of the “he” to find myself, and as a modern person, blocked out the strict teachings
against sexual energy and even denial of the body itself. I was in a hatha yoga training after all.
At this point I knew that sexual energy can both take us to God and be a big problem. I did
meet Chris Tompkins in that training and fell in love with Sanskrit via his teachings. It wasn't
until my Anusara training in 2011 though, that I was truly introduced to Tantra with Hareesh
Wallis and finally found my philosophical yogic home. I have been incredibly blessed and
overwhelmingly obsessed since then.
Seeing what our world needs. Meditation has given me much space for reflection and
receiving pratibha, which means “instinct, intuition, inspiration”, the knowing beyond words. I
can see the big picture, how everything on my path and the (tho sometimes painfully slow)
unfolding of the world makes sense. We are learning our Oneness through the pain of our
separation. The opportunities are great right now. As I said earlier, it is clearly a time of
revelation. A big part of this revelation is the reclaiming of the feminine, for all. Feminine to be
clear, does not mean female. (But that's a whole other subject to dive into in another writing)
All areas and aspects of our selves have latent energy. Returning to the Tantra focus here,
I'd like to mention Kundalini, as so often Tantrikas do. Kundalini is the movement of life force
energy, not just sexual energy. It is not a ‘thing’ laying there at the bottom of your spine
awaiting some ultimate orgasm. It is shakthi, spiraling through you, on your breath, 21,600
times a day. Your energy can be more or less stagnant in areas depending on the fullness of your breath,
the movement of your body and the movement of sound through your body. Yes! You are alive
and have great potential in all areas of yourself to live more fully alive, to vibrate higher, to
celebrate life in all its fullness, sexuality included and undistorted.
What to do about it. Watch out for getting hyper focused on any one aspect of yourself or life.
The juice is in the connections. The relief, in my experience is seeing the big picture and the
way that all things weave together. The true power is in the integration of all parts.
Energy gets boxed in by our words and stories. It is easy to feel that a part of you is sick or
dormant if you are told that it is. If your kundalini were dormant, you'd be in a coma. I
encourage you to open up to “what else?”. All of you is spiraling with Shakthi as Kundalini
descending and ascending your whole life long. All of your experiences, ecstatic and traumatic
are rich with energy waiting for you to claim it, name it, & channel it. Your energy goes where
your awareness goes, where your mind goes, where your words go. Where are your thoughts
going? Choose wisely the ones that you focus on.
Vibrational practices. There are many powerful vibrational practices in the tantras that help
to clear stuck energy in the body mind in order to renew ourselves and live our fullest, most
vibrant lives. You probably know some already; repeating japa mantra, simply AUM-ing,
expressing your self in song or orgasm with an open throat, etc... Do what you know and keep
seeking, singing, playing, discovering for yourself. The original practices have largely been left
out of modern yoga but are currently resurgent. See ways below to learn more.
Resources. Check out the excellent book, ‘Tantra Illuminated’ by Christopher Hareesh Wallis
for history and practices. Look at www.Tantrikstudies.org, for more from him as well as
TRUeducation.com for online recordings and ongoing workshops. Find exciting new work,
including new translations of things you thought you knew about, from Chris Tompkins at
YogaVidhi.org. He has recently translated and compared scrolls that reveal many lost
teachings which he will be revealing at upcoming events in the Bay Area and online.
Chris Tompkins and I will also be holding space together, w/live sound science by EEnor, for
“Vishuvat”, an Autumnal Equinox day long retreat, immersing in Kundalini on Saturday,
September 23 in Lafayette, CA.
We will also be leading a retreat to Maui in February with Chris Tompkins as a special guest
teacher and EEnor as our sound scientist and musician. There, we will dive deep into the
Tantrik Yoga teachings, and many other ecstatic practices.
See my website, www.lucidyoga.com or
lucid yoga on Facebook for more info on that.
Thank you for listening, for expanding, for being a true yogi and allowing your knowing to be
open. May you feel the nectar of life overflowing from your heart. Blessed bee...