All posts by sartho

The Divine Feminine

Last week, I was gifted with the amazing opportunity of coming together with women from all over the world as we experienced the healing teachings of Tantra Goddesses, Caroline Muir and Amrita Grace. After five years on sabbatical Caroline returned to teach Divine Feminine Awakenings with grace and enthusiasm. It was truly an honor to absorb her life’s passion for sexual vitality.

Like Caroline, it was through my journey into Tantra that I discovered my aliveness and felt supported in expressing my full femininity, which possesses both softness and strength. Tantra helped me embrace my vulnerabilities. I also came to understand my desires to be adored, to be served and (to both my and my husband’s surprise) to surrender. At the same time, I found that inner primal passion of Kali, ripping the clothes off my man and coming together with intense lust.

We all have both masculine and feminine qualities and energy within us. As women, we too often lose ourselves, mistaking our masculine power as feminine power. We attempt to cope with the harshness of the world by hardening ourselves. Often this causes us to become aggressive and controlling. We forget the feminine force within us, which is grounded, considerate, determined and–ultimately–more affirming. As women, we must strike a balance. It is good to be powerful and effective, but it is also important that, after the work is done, we retain the ability to soften, let go and be held.

As a teacher, I have promoted inclusivity of all genders. At the same time, I have had a few recent opportunities to dive deep with just women in particular. There is something undeniably special and beautiful about being in sisterhood – a real coming home and softening occurs. Likewise, I am sure that there is something meaningful in the brotherhood of men and the siblinghood that occurs between people of other genders. Being seen and supported by one’s own gender is soul affirming – a basic need. A true gift for any and all genders is to be held by their kin.

Another need is to be accepted. Unconditional acceptance comes after we fulfill a deep ache to be fully seen and heard in our rawness. I believe that is the impetus that drives this new “naked“ generation to share such personal musings on social media. They reach out and say: “This is me.” But are we as skilled at supporting each other when we are cracked open? Do we offer the depth of holding that says “I see you, I hear you, I am with you, and honor you”? Do any of us ever say “I hold you in your pain and I rejoice in your celebrations”?

At one point during the Divine Feminine retreat, I came to a sharing circle feeling restless, aware I had not gotten vulnerable and shared myself emotionally. I feared that I would leave this retreat having missed the opportunity for true meaningful connection with these amazing women. I longed to be with them, to be more of my full self and let them see the aspects of me that I am tired of keeping in the shadows. I wished to know more of each of them, but that was theirs to reveal.

I decided to facilitate my own exposure, to be with each of the women and share the recesses of my private life. I spoke of how I felt lonely and scared, and also about how I am learning to love myself and let more love in. I told of the qualities I have that I celebrate and the behaviors of which I feel ashamed. Progress was marked when I heard myself exclaim, “I love my body.” It wasn’t until later that my body retorted, “Then why do you still criticize me so much?” So far I’ve come and still so far to go.

In the end, I did feel seen, heard, held and celebrated.

I am thankful for the courage that Tantra has provided to me – the validation of my wholeness, by weaving together sometimes contradictory aspects into a harmonious sacred being, which we all are in our own ways.

Sara

A Beautiful Journey

Friends, Eclipses, Tantra, and a lot of Love: Our Beautiful Journey

Our journey started with a flight back to California, where we assisted the Love & Ecstasy Training Cycle 2 (or LET 2, for short). It was our third year of assisting with the LET cycles 1 & 2, and we were delighted to see how much our students have transformed from the first cycle in May. While our students learned how to refine their multi-orgasmic response, we also did some learning of our own—about how to teach the LET’s. We hope to bring the knowledge we gained to the Midwest in about a year or two.

It was during this week that we were lucky enough to experience a rare astronomical phenomenon: the solar eclipse. We watched the landscape grow darker as the moon’s shadow raced across the planet. In the spirit of this extraordinary event, we conducted a ritual to find, befriend and honor our very own shadow sides.

Afterwards, we spent two days in seclusion with other members of the Ecstatic Living faculty at the Earthrise Retreat Center, in the heart of an expansive wilderness, surrounded by friends. Together, we discussed the best course for our class offerings and ways to make our classes more welcoming to people on the LGBTQ spectrum.

After this faculty meeting, we returned home briefly. Then it was back to California again, in order to teach Tantric Massage 2: The Art of Sexual Ecstasy. The class gives couples the chance to deepen their understanding of what it means to be intimate with each other. Teaching this weekend also reinforced our decision to rename the course Ecstatic Touch, since it really is much more than just massage.

We trekked back to Minnesota for two weeks, to see clients and to do laundry (both necessary things). Some friends joined us from California at our MN LET Regional Group. Two of the Tantra teachers-in-training led us through some wonderful practices so that they could get more experience. We also hosted a well-attended and received Tantra Community Night.

I returned to California for training with David Cates in his Belly2Belly work in Yosemite National Park.  Although I didn’t get to see the iconic places in the park, I still felt completely immersed in my surroundings. I was taken in by the huge trees and beautiful weather–and not to mention the wonderful sight of the people around me, melting deeper and deeper into each other with a sense of trust, vulnerability and shared rapport.

One thing David said really registered with me: “Enlightenment arises in the absence of tension.” I took his words to heart and let go of tension in my body. As I stood in the forest, completely at ease, I was able to sense the living presence of the trees around me. Amazing!

The next week, we both assisted Margot Anand and Jim Benson in teaching the SkyDancing Tantra Teachers Training Module 3. It was wonderful to be in Margot’s presence again, absorbing her wisdom and experience. We would stay up with her late at night, simply listening to stories about her amazing life. It was also great to see Jim, who is a wonderful man and a skilled presenter. I learned so much from him about working with groups and holding space.

The first weekend of October, we were back in Minnesota to present Tantric Massage 1: The Art of Ecstatic Touch at Shalom Hill Farm in Windom, MN. This was only the second time Sara and I have brought a workshop from California to Minnesota. The final sharing circle revealed that it was transformative not just for us, but for all of our students as well. One woman in particular told us that the class helped her realize that what she used to think of as “good sex” was only 5% of what’s possible. It was an honor to facilitate the class and to have this opportunity to touch the lives of the people who attended.

 

Tantric Massage for Women

WHAT A WOMAN NEEDS TO KNOW BEFORE BOOKING A TANTRIC MASSAGE

By Shashi Solluna

 

Tantric massage is becoming a big thing.

For men, the ubiquitous “happy ending massage” has been around in many societies for a long time, though mostly for relief of built-up sexual tension rather than any kind of tantric experience. So for men to go for a tantric massage is not a big leap of the imagination. It’s simply the next step.

But on the other hand… for a woman to go and receive a massage for her sexual pleasure from a therapist she doesn’t know is a pretty new concept in most places.

Yet it is taking off, and in tantric circles many people have learned some sort of tantric massage technique. It is now reasonably easy for a woman to book a tantric massage in areas where there is a lot of Tantra. In some countries it is legal and can be found in the bigger cities. And in a few places you can even find tantric spas with a full menu of delights (Germany and Czech Republic seem to be the leaders in this respect).

However, because this is a new trend, there is still a lack of understanding and information that can be really important for a woman to know.

Probably the biggest most important factor to understand is that there is a big difference between tantric massage for pleasure and tantric massage for therapy. This is a vital point to consider on ones quest to find a tantric massage.

Read more…..

A week of Bliss with Margot Anand

What a tremendous opportunity to drink in the wisdom from the “Voice of the Origins”, Margot Anand, founder of SkyDancing Tantra, who brought Tantra to the west.  Last week, we had the honor of sitting at her side, as assistants of the Love & Ecstasy Training (LET) Cycle 3 at Mayacamas Ranch in California.


Building upon the tools we learned in LET 1 & 2, which focused on healing and pleasure, LET 3 brought us into an expanded spiritual dimension. Feeling the healing powers of the Diamond Mind Mantra was incredible.  
The week culminated in the Wave of Bliss, an amazing dance of energy and sensuality.  It was also wonderful to witness participants receive their certification of completion, several of whom travelled from frigid Minnesota. Very powerful indeed!

With the upcoming release of Margot’s book, Love, Sex and Awakening, she is resuming her teaching internationally.  During this week together, she expressed interest in coming to Minnesota in March for a workshop and book signing.  What an opportunity that will be!!  With short notice, if anyone has a venue, or is interested in helping coordinate this event, let us know.  We will keep all of you posted as the details get finalized.

As SkyDancing Tantra Teachers, we have read many of Margot’s books, studied her work for years and heard stories of her brilliance.  Experiencing her teachings in person was even more of a thrill.  As one participant summarized, “I will not experience in 5 lifetimes all of what Margot knows.”

A few quotes from Margot:

“Maybe the bliss is behind the place where there is no bliss?  Bliss is always available if you listen and be silent.”

(If you are discouraged that you are not feeling more sensations or seeing more energy),“Don’t focus on what you’re not feeling, focus on presence, now. Be curious. Look at what you are feeling.”

“One of the keys of Tantra: Can you be desireless at the height of desire?”

With ever growing respect for this body of work, we look forward to continue sharing it with you!

December 22, 2016

Active Meditation

Why are Active Meditations an important part of SkyDancing Tantra?

This question is like asking, “Why is cleaning and house repair a part of home owning?” Active Meditations are a form of decluttering your psyche and healing old wounds. Through breathing and movement you clear out the things that get in the way of loving and expressing yourself.

Most people are not fond of house cleaning. That’s where Active Meditations differ, in that it’s a wonderful experience. You don’t have to do all the work. It’s like going on vacation and returning to a home that feels more welcoming and beautiful than ever before. Most of the process is at an unconscious level. If emotions do surface, you’re encouraged to notice them and just let them pass. There is no need to analyze anything or to try to change them. Your body carries the wisdom to take care of itself if you just provide the opportunity.

When Margot Anand created SkyDancing Tantra, she had travelled the world studying many different teachings of Tantra, psychology, metaphysics and spiritual leaders. She understood the benefit of moving while meditating. You are more able to stay present with the experience and release stored emotions. We begin every morning with an Active Meditation during the Ecstatic Living Institute workshops.

When people talk about traditional meditation, so many say, “Oh I can’t meditate,  my mind is all over the place. I just can’t sit still and focus.” Exactly! With Active Meditation you don’t have to sit still and focus. You get to move and go where your experience takes you. Yet, you still get the benefits of meditation – mindful awareness, expansiveness and inner peacefulness.

The richness of Active Meditation is that every session is unique and personal. Each meditation engages on many levels, so as you clear and open, additional opportunities present themselves. You can benefit from a regular practice. Just as you might from a regular yoga practice.  Common responses are – feeling more emotional presence, increased confidence and building a deeper connection to your divine self and others.

After clearing out your home, you realize that without all that stuff, there is an expansive playroom waiting for you.  Active Meditations create more spaciousness for intimacy.  That is SkyDancing Tantra!

Your Life Cannot Go Wrong

YOUR LIFE CANNOT GO WRONG

In reality, your world is set up so that nothing happens to you, but everything happens for you – for your awakening, for your growth, for your inspiration, for your exploration – even if you forget that, or sometimes cannot see it, or sometimes fall into distraction and despair.

When there is no fixed destination, you cannot ever lose your destination, so you cannot ever lose your path, so nothing that happens in your life can take you off your path. Your path IS what happens, and what happens IS your path. There is no other.

Everything is a gift on this unbreakable path that you call your life – the laughter, the tears, the times of great sorrow, the experiences of profound loss, the pain, the confusion, the times you believe you’ll never make it, even the overwhelming heartbreak of love – even if you forget that sometimes, or cannot see that sometimes, or lose faith absolutely in the entire show sometimes.

But even the loss of faith in the show is part of the show, and even the scene where ‘something goes wrong’ is not indicative of the show going wrong, and so you are always exactly where you need to be, believe it or not, even if you are not.

Life can be trusted absolutely, even when trust seems a million light-years away, and life cannot go wrong, for all is life, and life is all. Understand this, know it in your heart, and spirituality is profoundly simple, as simple as breathing, as natural as gazing up at the stars at night and falling into silent wonder. The universe is more beautiful than you could ever imagine.

Jeff Foster www.lifewithoutacenter.com

Transforming Lives One Tantra Workshop at a Time

A friend of ours wrote this blog post about what it’s like to be in a SkyDancing Tantra Intensive, a week long course where you’re encouraged to go deep, confront any demons about yourself, ask for love and support.  It’s a beautiful process and she does a great job of describing it.  Check it out:

“Picture this… You are in a room with 28 strangers on day one of a seven day intensive Tantra workshop.   You don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know the people in the room, you don’t know what baggage they are bringing with them, and how events are going to unfold. You only know that you are on some sort of journey and you prepare yourself for the ride ahead of you…”

Read more: http://powerofpleasure.com/transforming-lives-one-tantra-workshop-time/

Success

In sports, when it comes down to the last second of a game for a player to make a shot or miss, he often feels like a hero or a failure, responsible for losing the game. Increase the pressure by making it the last game of the season, the last game of the boy’s high school career and the state championship game. This is what my son faced last week.  He was one of five players in a shootout to win or lose the Minnesota State High School Soccer Championship.

As I’m watching him go through this, I recall when I was a senior in high school. The worst year of my life. The school I had attended since third grade closed that summer and for my senior year I was in a new school. I went from a class of 50 where I knew everyone in the school to a class of 250.  And I knew one person. In that transition, my four-year relationship with my boyfriend also ended.  But I had my family. I thought. At Christmas break, when my older siblings were home from college, my parents shocked me with the announcement  that they would be separating, immediately.

Through high school I had been working at a movie theater. After the movies I’d hang out with my coworkers and there were opportunities to party. During my time of distress, it sounded like a good idea to me. I chose to drink and try some drugs.

In the spring my sport season started. I was a runner and was used to doing well. But that was a small school and at this level I was untested. I went out for track and practiced with the team. I didn’t know if I could race down the track over the hurdles and have a time that was good enough. The morning of the first track meet of the season, I quit. I quit, because I was scared, alone and couldn’t face not doing well.

Back to my son, Jared. Ever since he was four, he was always kicking the soccer ball, if not on the field, we would pass back and forth on the sidelines. We would keep a soccer ball in the trunk of our car so we could stop at any soccer field and Jared could “shoot on the net .” Then hours and years of practice to get to this game.

In the semi-finals of the state tournament he played really well and the coach moved him to a position where he would defend against the attacking strikers. Wayzata beat the first ranked, undefeated team Eastridge.

In the championship game it was cold and windy, we had the wind at our back and scored in the first half. Anoka scored in the second half. The teams went through two ten minute overtimes and still remained tied. In a soccer tournament, to determine the winners, they go to a shootout where five players of each team are chosen to shoot at the net with just the goalie defending. Jared was one of those five. The first three players of each team all scored. Then Jared came to the line. He kicked, the ball hit the upper crossbar  – and bounced out. He fell to his knees, collapsing in disappointment. The rest of the players made their shots and Anoka went on to win.

The team was supportive of Jared. The community was supportive. And I hope he felt support from his family. He didn’t want to talk about it for a couple of days but now he can and went to go to the soccer banquet to celebrate their success of getting 2nd in the state.

After the game, during my meditation, I had an image come to me. It was of Jared as an adult leader or coach. He stood talk, confident and erect, referring back to this challenging time in a meaningful way.

Over the years I have gradually left behind that timid teenager. Since I have been doing Tantra, I have jettisoned into another level of empowerment. I have been stepping up.  For public speaking, for taking more of a leadership role, for expressing my feelings more vulnerably and bringing more passion into my life. When Jared dared to step up to that line, he became my hero. He honorably faced one of the hardest challenges that an athlete of his age can face.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is hard to fail, but is worse to have not tried to succeed.”

 

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