We had the pleasure of being guests on the Super States: Practices of TRANCE-formation Podcast hosted by Joshua Peters.

In this episode, titled “Exploring Tantra for Personal Growth with Sara and Thomas Stout,” we delved into the transformative practices of Tantra and its profound potential for personal growth.

You can listen to the podcast episode here:

 

During our conversation with Joshua, we covered a range of topics that can offer valuable insights into Tantra and its benefits:

  • Understanding the essence of Tantra and its principles
  • Exploring SkyDancing Tantra and its unique approach
  • Discovering the three keys to ecstasy within Tantra
  • Unveiling the two fundamental tools of Tantra practice
  • Exploring how Tantra strengthens trust on multiple levels
  • Learning ways to initiate body-based practices for personal growth
  • Simple practices that invite more aliveness into your life
  • Exploring Tantra both individually and within the context of partnership
  • Guidance on determining if Tantra aligns with your personal journey

We believe this podcast episode serves as a valuable overview of Tantra for those curious about its potential.

As we reflect upon our recent weekend retreat, The Art of Loving: An Introduction to SkyDancing Tantra, we are deeply moved by the authenticity that permeated our time together. It warms our hearts to know that our students appreciated our commitment to authenticity. We didn’t expect that acknowledgment since it’s just who we are – a value that lies at the core of our shared journey.

Authenticity is the art of living without masks or pretenses, allowing our true selves to shine forth in all our rawness and vulnerability. It’s about embracing our humanness—the messy, imperfect, and beautifully flawed aspects of who we are—and finding beauty and strength in our authenticity.

Throughout our retreat and beyond, we’ve witnessed the transformative power of authenticity.

It’s in the moments of shared laughter and tears, the honest conversations that flow from the depths of our souls, and the genuine connections that form when we show up as our true selves.

In a world that often prizes perfection and conformity, authenticity is a radical act of self-love and self-acceptance. It’s about owning our stories, embracing our uniqueness, and finding liberation in our truth.

Authenticity is not about being unfiltered and rude.

Self-expression without sensitivity of impact is reactive and unaligned with your soul’s truth.

Authenticity isn’t always easy. It requires courage to show up as we are, even when it feels uncomfortable or vulnerable. But in embracing our authenticity, we create space for deeper connections, meaningful experiences, and profound growth.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I found so much freedom, space, expansion, love, and acceptance, which allowed me to expand my love with myself and my partner. Thank you.“   Marc

Let’s welcome authenticity as the norm, inviting voices and expressions of our uniqueness.

It begins with each of us welcoming our contrary and unexpressed selves to be present. In this moment, the question that we inquire – What is my authentic self now?

What are you waiting for?

The right moment, a sign, a companion, enough money, free time, or to not feel nervous?

Waiting is one of the quickest paths to regret. 

During our recent conversation on our tandem bike (where we often appreciate our life and each other the most), I told Thomas that I feel no regrets with him. That is not an easy state to achieve together. It takes a lot of intention and coordination of multiple desires.

Of course, like any long-term relationship, there are still harsh tones and words I wish I hadn’t said or affections I wish I had expressed, but primarily, my hopes and dreams feel fulfilled. There are no looming unmet needs.

Living fully in the moment is an essential tool for a happy life. 

For many years, we could not have said we were living without regrets.

It was easier to focus on why I couldn’t do or have something rather than be living as much as possible. When I thought I was waiting for more money and more free time, what I was waiting for – was to trust life. I didn’t believe in abundance or that I deserved to receive what I wanted.

Tantra helped me listen to my desires and dreams and live in a state of trust and abundance. I could also access the feeling of joy and pleasure around me and within me throughout my day.

I wasn’t waiting for something outside myself to make me happy.

This week, as I recoat our wooden kitchen counter, I am struck by how much I enjoy the golden color and glistening grain. My fingers in the soil weeding the flower bed feels so nourishing. I pause and appreciate all the greens, yellows, and colorful leaves just budding.

We know it can feel like we’re waiting for our time to travel or do what we want when our children or work can be consuming. But even with a busy schedule, there are choices for fulfillment.

Thomas has been my best teacher for making time for pleasure. When we had little babies, I was up to my elbows in diapers and didn’t think I had time for myself, he persuaded me to take a night off each week to take an art class. Coming home happy and excited gave me energy for the rest of the week. And for him.

Having future dreams and intentions doesn’t mean you are waiting. It means focusing on what you have and trusting that joy will happen or can happen as it becomes more important than our current choices. Thomas wants to work less so he can bike and relax more. I’d love to have more time for writing and art.

Is it time to no longer wait?

Can the answer be Now?

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and not have lived. 

“The one that can not do something is not the real you.”

~ Margot Anand

 

Carpe diem ~ Seize the moment.

By Sara Stout

In most Tantra programs, there are opportunities for pleasure, fun, community, and personal growth.

What makes SkyDancing® Tantra stand out?

SkyDancing Tantra supports higher, conscious living from which a sense of freedom and full self-expression flourishes. Some Tantra schools have a reputation for wildness and hedonistic activities. Others are meditative and dismiss the body. SkyDancing supports the body and consciousness. Freedom without consciousness can lead to harmful choices. When one develops tools of awareness beyond the mind, they are less likely to compromise their boundaries but instead, stay on their truly aligned path and find their grounded freedom and ecstasy.

People love Margot Anand and her books. Margot is world-renowned author and teacher who brought Tantra to the west and has made it accessible to everyone through her step-by-step methods. It’s a gift to receive Margot’s transmissions through SkyDancing teachers.

SkyDancing Tantra is a well-established Institute, supporting students for over 32 years. It teaches ancient Tantric practices and incorporates modern-day cultural and psychological considerations.

People trust SkyDancing Tantra for its high ethical integrity. 
In the world of programs on sexuality and spirituality, it is tragic how many other institutes have received reports of abuse of power and sexual violations, SkyDancing Tantra Institutes are highly respected and trusted around the world. And the institute continues learning the most current trauma-informed practices and refines its policies as needed.

When people want maturity, they appreciate the depth of teaching and accessibility for all ages and diversity.

Spirituality is supported on this path of awakening.
SkyDancing Tantra invites individual expression of spirituality and holds reverence for all of life and human existence. Oneness is the basic principle and through awareness and vitality one awakens to wholeness and a non-separate sense of self.

All relationship configurations are supported. 
Whether wanting to dive deep into profound intimacy as a couple or explore the expansion of self, alone or with others, all are welcome.

Feel the quality of heart-centered presence with SkyDancing Tantra. It is possible to experience profound acceptance and love more than you imagine.

Teachers receive extensive training for over three years and maintain their ongoing personal practice.

There are many reasons why SkyDancing Tantra is recognized at one of the premier Tantra Institutes. If you have any questions about the Institute the program, we welcome curiosity.

Live in a state of curiosity and courageousness, be open to inquiring.

These are inspirations from one of our favorite books, The Way of Liberation by Adyashanti

If we open our awareness to what IS, instead of what we wish it was or what we want to make it, we live in a state of completeness. There is no need, no longing for something different. A sense of fullness satisfies our hunger in each moment.  

Through opening to inquiry, we expand our sensory input and allow the richness of life to flow in. 

Recall the innocence and curiosity of childhood. You may have been mesmerized by a bug or playing in a mud puddle. The rest of the world disappears. Nothing else matters. There is no right and wrong, no success or failure.

Free yourself to find comfort in not knowing. “I don’t know.”

Our expectations confine us on a path of fulfillment or disappointment. And do we ever reach complete satisfaction?

Live in a state of curiosity without judgment, without qualifying bad or good.

If your mind hijacks your experiences, invite inquiry within oneself. Come back to listening through expansiveness instead of hyper-focusing on details. 

Expand your field of awareness as if you are listening for the origin of the most precious sounds. But beyond hearing, include all of your senses – and being. Here you will find openness. And fullness in your expansiveness.

Take in awe of the whole night sky.

To be happy is to live as the unknown. Adyashanti

 

Photo by Fermin Rodriguez Penelas

My life, as I have known it, is unravelling, is shifting and transforming at lightning speed. This past month a confluence of circumstances has collided and had me spinning in a new direction. To where?

For 21 years, I felt stuck in a job that, while it fulfilled my obsessive need for security, it stifled my full expression and passion. For years I couldn’t figure out how to let go of the corporate trap of income and medical insurance.

This job has also limited my travel and Tantra studies. Even though I was a magician, arranging chunks of time away, it became increasingly harder to meet the ridiculous productivity and performance standards, and I cared too much. It sucked the creativity and ability to thrive from my bones.

September was a whirlwind. First, an expansive trip studying and teaching SkyDancing Tantra in France and Belgium. It was such an honor to teach alongside Margot Anand, the founder of SkyDancing Tantra.

Thomas and I celebrated our 30th anniversary and 10 years since we started studying Tantra.

We were home for four days before we jumped back on the plane to achieve my dream of teaching, what I consider, one of the most life-changing experiences available. Cycle 1 of the Love and Ecstasy Training cracked me open ten years ago. And since then, an excitement awoke within me that is hard to contain.

Teaching this course was delayed 1 1/2 years due to Covid, so we were more than ready to gather in this magnificent energy and community of people who wished to evolve through this healing journey.

At the end of the week, during the final sharing circle, Thomas was in tears listening to all the beautiful stories of openings people experienced. Mika, my co-leader, and I were thrilled teaching in a forum that nurtured face-to-face, heart-to-heart, loving connection.

I knew my life was about to shift again.

After great consternation about how to put the time, money, and energy into promoting our Love Passionately online Coaching business three days before the LET course started, I made a brave choice to invest significantly in this dream. I wasn’t sure how it would fit together, but I knew I was more worried it would not ever happen.

The next day, I unexpectedly received notice that because of Covid, I would no longer be working for that organization that had provided comfort with security and had also held me back. My security was unravelling.

I felt both relieved and in shock. I had been asking for the Universe to help me decide about this job and manifest my dreams, so here it was, I received a kick in the ass and an open door simultaneously.

My friend, Vicki, said, “Sara, You’re letting go of the side of the pool, aren’t you?” Yes, I am! Although it feels more like I let go of a pier as I set sail, freely out to sea.

I still have my private practice and had to decide not to load up that schedule. It would be too easy to continue the same pattern by leaving one job and exchanging for a similar over-commitment, holding on to security in exchange for fulfillment.

My life has revolved around this intense schedule for so many years; what will it be like to no longer have to say, I can’t because I have to go to work? My schedule is unravelling.

I had dreamed of this freedom for years, and it’s truly hard to believe it’s here. I feel excited and nervous, wondering how it will play out?

Can I trust the universe and all the signs that this is my true path?

During my manifestation meditation practice this week, instead of guiding the process with my scripted steps, I let my chakras and body lead. It was astonishing to witness my body unravelling and unwinding as it twisted and contorted, stretching and releasing years of tension. I was in awe, watching how my body knows how to heal itself when I give it space. 

My life is unravelling from the ties that bind it. As I handed my boss my computer and badge, I was surprised that the anxiety that I had imagined would be there all these years was completely absent. I feel so high with the excitement of what is possible; I am buzzing!

Unravelling must occur before we can shape the bow we desire.

Thomas and I launched our first couples coaching program and love seeing the smiles and yumminess as these couples discover new ways of being together.

What will come from this long-overdue freedom?

~ By Sara

Harbin Hot Springs

Everyone needs a place like this.
A place where pressure to be busy and accomplish disappears.
A place where the mind quiets.
A place where words are not needed.
A place where everyone is welcomed with unity and respect.

For most of us, our surroundings are cluttered with projects just waiting to be attended. When we try to relax, the papers on the coffee table need attention, the dust bunnies are nipping at our heels, the unfinished projects ask to be completed, and the unanswered emails call. It’s as if once we have been active in a space, it holds active energy. The challenge is to override the intensity that’s alive in order to get to a deeper level of quiet.

Going on vacation is one way we try to get away from the noise of doing. “What did you do on your vacation?“ most people will ask. Even on Facebook, we post the sights we have seen, the food we’ve eaten and the many adventures we’ve taken. Rarely do you say, “I’ve had the most wonderful vacation, doing nothing.“ What if the greatest adventure is just being? Not doing anything, just being and having a place that facilitates that delicious state. 

Last week, I was able to return to my sweet spot. A place where I first learned the depth that can be experienced of profound letting go and inner peace. When I name this place (for those of you that it is familiar) notice your visceral reaction……..

Harbin Hot Springs. And specifically, the sacred waters of the warm meditation pool.

For 3 1/2 years, while recovering from the fire that destroyed it, I have longed to return. I anticipated this venture might invoke many responses and still I had a lovely surprise.

The surprise was not the blackened trees that lined the road up to Harbin. It wasn’t the tears of grief for the devastation of what made up it’s character, lush greenery, old lodging structures, and the Temple. The surprise wasn’t the joy of seeing life sprouting from the trunk of the big fig tree that had canopied the warm pool, nor the compassionate Quan Yin statue sitting serenely in it’s spot. My surprise came while blissfully meditating in the pool, one thing made it more sweet, Thomas. 

I nestled against his warm chest. With the body-neutral water already dissolving the edges of our skin, our bodies melted together. Without thought, our breath synchronized and the words came to me, “I have missed who we are, when we are here.”

The noise of our busy lives disappears in these waters and tension between us is replaced with a tinge of sensual excitement. We discovered a newness about each other here. We were initiated into the magic of SkyDancing Tantra at Harbin. For a moment, we returned to innocence, curious, love struck. What could be more lovely than calm, pleasurable excitement?

The waters of Harbin flow. 
The heart of Harbin beats.

Harbin’s a special place. So special, I feel it’s presence in my bones. Although it has changed due to the fire in 2015, each of us carry it’s essence alive within us. During moments of distress when I seek refuge, I visualize walking down the steps leading into the warmth of the meditation pool. Aaahhhh.

Until we soak in the waters again, Thomas and I find elements of deep connection by dropping into our state of being every week when we create our Tantric practice of Sacred Space.

~ Sara

Harbin Hot Springs Entrance

Establish a sacred place in your home or nature to visit for reflection, meditation and quiet. Savor these times, drinking them into your whole being. The real gift to yourself, is returning to your personal place of being. Return again and again, with mind, body and spirit, either visualizing how your body felt, the sensory details and emotions, or in person.

SKYDANCING TANTRA/SARA AND THOMAS

You think you know about tantra? THINK AGAIN! Meet Sara and Thomas, SkyDancing Tantra enthusiasts and teachers. In this episode we chat about how they got into tantra, how it has changed their life, and how they hope to end the negative stigma associated with tantra by educating others and helping their participants live full and present lives.

Tantric traditions are extremely diverse so there is no single label that is universally accepted. One popular definition of tantric practice is “the systematic quest for salvation or for spiritual excellence by realizing and fostering the bipolar, bisexual divinity within one’s own body. Another definition I came across is “ a set of spiritual practices that direct the universal energies into the practitioner, thereby leading to liberation.”

The term “tantra” and the tantric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism have been subjected to a great deal of misunderstanding over the years, and a relatively widespread association with sorcery and immoral sexuality. The word “tantra” came into use at a time when Buddhism, Jainism, and the various Vedic traditions we now call Hinduism were dominant in India. A core part of each of these religions were “sutras” or key texts. Perhaps the most famous sutra is the Kama Sutra, the book of love and erotic arts that, by the way, is completely unrelated to tantra. Etymologically, sutra has the literal meaning of ‘thread’. If a sutra is a single thread of thinking, a tantra is the whole system of thought. The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word tantra is ‘loom.’ It implies the interweaving of traditions and teachings as threads into a text, technique or practice.

Neotantra is the modern, western variation of tantra often associated with new religious movements or alternative spirituality. Many teachers of this version of tantra believe that sex and sexual experiences are sacred acts, which are capable of elevating their participants to a higher spiritual plane.They often talk about raising Kundalini energy, worshipping the divine feminine and the divine masculine, and activating the chakras. One of the pioneers and famous figures in neotantra is Osho.  He was the author of many books on meditation, taoism, buddhism, and mysticism, and at least six on tantra.

One of Osho’s students, Margot Anand, founded a school called “SkyDancing” tantra. According to Margot’s website, SkyDancing Tantra is a unique path that weaves together studies in many therapies: sexology, yoga, music, and metaphysics combined with work in human energy systems through the use of light, music, movement, visualization, and particularly the energy map of the chakras. SkyDancing Tantra also blends modern techniques such as psychology, bioenergetics, and neurolinguistic programming (NLP), with meditation, sacred rituals, and other practices. SkyDancing Tantra teaches you to choose with awareness what brings you pleasure and joy—which opens the door to a deeper connection with spirit and a greater sense of aliveness.

Check out this awesome podcast by Kelley B from In My Spare Time – a podcast about unconventional hobbies and the people behind them.

#3 – SKYDANCING TANTRA/SARA AND THOMAS

Posted on Oct 18, 2018.

 

How does SkyDancing Tantra celebrate and support you in expanding?

Where can you find respectful and loving connections in relationships?

I especially want to speak to those who identify as feminine, who long for touch and yet feel cautious.

These days we are aware of how many women have received unwanted touch. In my 20s, I worked at a sexual assault center, a battered women’s shelter, and have been committed to women’s rights ever since.  I came to realize how important it is for your body to be your own. It is my desire for women to have refuge from harm, where you can explore your physical and spiritual essence, your sexuality, and intimate relationships. 

This path has brought me to SkyDancing Tantra, which was founded by Margot Anand. Her teachings celebrate the power of women, where you give voice to your needs and desires, and help you feel honored and beautiful as the divine feminine.

 

Through SkyDancing Tantra, I have seen many women come alive and feel radiant.

See what is possible for you,
Sara

 

 

A friend for ours wrote this about her Tantric Journey.

“Ten years later after first dropping down the rabbit hole of tantra, this key distinction has risen to the top for me: all this hype about “sacred sex” is best applied as a metaphor for the relationship between polarized aspects within ourselves.

Emphasis on Inner Union is the central pillar of the way I practice tantra and the way I support others in their own practice.

* So what is Inner Union? *

It’s finding the Beloved Within. It’s the ongoing cultivation of a steadfast and loving relationship between your body and your mind. Between spacious awareness (the masculine aspect) and the embodied felt sense (the feminine aspect) within yourself. No partner needed.

Of course engaging these practices can and will transform your relationship with lovers, not to mention your relationships with the trees, your dog, and the neighborhood kids.

It’s my pleasure and passion to support folks who are going beyond the glamour of peak experiences that are so common in the neo-tantra realms, so that they can

* Get down to business with the deeper work *

This means lovingly and firmly addressing the trauma-based compulsions, fixations, and insecure/avoidant attachment patterns that unconsciously drive so many of our relational behaviors and which can leave us disconnected or depleted.

This Western, psychological and somatic approach lays the essential groundwork for accessing the boundless presence that Eastern spirituality offers, minimizing spiritual bypass along the way. When we see ourselves clearly and with compassion, no longer avoiding or indulging, we become able to connect with the wellspring of our own creative life force as a source of nourishment and fresh possibility.

* This leads to the long game. *

Now we engage the joyful work of creating healthy, regular, integrated habits of thought, speech, and behavior, lived in devotion to the mystery, to the divine, or to what some call the zero point–the great void at the heart of all things, from which all things spring, to which all things return.

Bowing in devotion to that mystery, with you.”

Robyn Lynn