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How to Find a Tantra Teacher
Do any of these scenarios apply to you?
You've heard about merging sex with spirit through Tantra. You hope learning to practice sacred sexuality with your beloved will heal the gaps of intimacy in your relationship. You never had a "Sex 101" class and feel as a novice drawn to the Kama Sutra and claims attributed to tantric sex. You're drawn to the claims of multiple cosmic orgasms, lovemaking for hours, reaching an altered state of ecstatic bliss through sexual mediation. You're hoping to find yourself through the spiritual development that is Tantra's heritage and backbone.
Well, all good reasons to embark on the Tantric path. But now you've got a problem. What's the best way to proceed? If you've read anything about Tantra, no matter how valuable the information was, you realize that Tantra is about experience, not knowledge. So the decision that faces you is how to choose a master, a coach, a teacher who can guide you towards experiencing what you want personally. That's what this article is about: what to ask yourself, what to ask potential Tantra teachers, and how to decide whom to get involved with.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF FIRST
The right place to begin your Tantric quest is inside. Inside you, that is. Come to think of it, that's where you'll end up too, but more about that later. Why Tantra? Let's start at the beginning. First you need to understand a little of what Tantra is about: energy, experience, spirit, and surrendering to life -- not just hot sacred sexuality. Some web surfing, book reading, watching a video, and introduction workshops can help you grasp the basic concept of Tantra.
1) What does your partner (if you have one) think about your interest in Tantra? Hopefully, you're looking together. You should know upfront that the transformative power of this spiritual path is profound. If one of you starts changing dramatically without the other's understanding and collaboration, expect lots of stress in your relationship. If you're single and hoping Tantra will help you personally, there's no reason to wait. Not only do you not need a partner to begin studying but much of basic Tantra is based on solo practices you need to master before coupling. So get clear about what attracts you to Tantra.
2) What are you seeking? We're continually amazed how many people rush headlong into group workshops without being clear about what they want to achieve with Tantra. Do you want to improve your sex life, find yourself, or learn to love yourself? Do you want to heal some long-standing wounding, find your soulmate, or deepen the love and intimacy in your relationship? Do you want to develop spiritually, change something else about yourself or your life? Not easy questions, of course, but essential if you want to get involved in the Tantric path of sacred sexuality.
Tantra is above all about consciousness. Enter blind and you may very well wander around in the dark for too long. There's no need to make this an elaborate research project generating reams of facts, figures, and justifications. You just need some personal awareness of the general directions you want to move.
3) How do you want to learn Tantra? Do you want to start with a profound personal experience? Do you want to begin with a personal study curriculum, long-distance instruction, or attend group workshops? Are you willing to travel? Do you want to work privately with a seasoned master? Will you be willing to make time in your busy life to practice?
Above all else, Tantra is a spiritual practice. Practice means regular exercise, like yoga, jogging, or working out. What you're hoping to change in your life has to be important enough for you to be willing to invest some time regularly. Of course, if it's fun and pleasurable, you're more likely to flex your Tantra muscles regularly.
QUESTIONS TO ASK TEACHERS
Today there are many Tantra teachers scattered throughout the U.S., Europe, and the world. Ask friends who have participated in Tantra workshops what they know about various teachers. Use your web searching skills to locate interesting Tantra websites. Check out their links page to find others. When you find a teacher that you're drawn to, read their site in detail. Request their brochures, books, or tapes. Request testimonials from past participants, as well.
While surfing and studying, pay attention to your own antenna. What do your senses tell you about certain teachers? Do you resonate with their approach? There are various Tantra-related mailing lists and news groups where announcements are posted and participant experiences are discussed.
Of course, you'll be curious about how experienced a potential teacher is. Many teachers have decades of successful practice and some don't. In a field where depth of knowledge determines effectiveness, high-quality preparation and teaching experience are vital. But in a spiritual pursuit like sacred sexuality, chemistry, approach and relevance to your personal situation may be more important. A beginner with an open heart and mind can learn something from any self-appointed teacher who is just one step ahead on the same path.
Your decision about choosing a teacher will be more informed if you first find out what kind of Tantra background they have. Did they attend a teacher's training? Do they have a personal practice? Ask them how Tantra has changed their life. With such ancient, obscure, and unregulated origins, every school and lineage of Tantra has its own scent, flavor, and vision. What style of Tantra are you looking for? Heart-centered, meditation-centered, or body-centered?
Style also extends to teaching style. Most teachers offer private sessions to singles and couples as well as group workshops, most of which are weekend introductions. Only the most established instructors offer a complete curriculum with advanced stages. To dig deeper into a teacher's approach, try to discover how much lecture, feedback, discussion, and individual work is included.
What's the balance they hold of thinking, talking, and doing? How hands-on is their course? How explicit are sexual demonstrations and practices? Are intimate exercises done in public or in private? What's their balance of work with the body, mind, spirit, personal energy, and sex?
Many teachers offer introductory classes. Be sure to attend some if you can. Successful teachers conduct public presentations, conference keynotes, and even free evening previews. Experiment by attending various introductions until you find a teacher you like.
Once you've gathered all your information you'll need to make a decision. Tantra must be a personal, spiritual experience for it to have some meaningful impact on you. Your relationship with a teacher, master, or hands-on coach will be intimate, even if there is no physical contact, so don't make this critical choice about your spiritual development with your head only.
Look inside, listen to your inner voice, and use your gut feeling and intuition to sense what your heart tells you. Who do you most resonate with? Who most inspires your trust? To which teacher are you most drawn? What is important is if they create a sacred space and conscious experiences for you to discover what you're looking for.
......This article comes to you thanks to Somraj and Suzie.