The Red ThreadCategory: General   Jun 6th 2011  02:11PM   0

I've had the great fortune of having really great teachers and colleagues. I was first intrigued because I had the most fun with people who were studying and teaching different forms of conscious sensuality. I was thinking though about what's needed to do the work well.

My first teacher, Dr. Juliana Dahl, had these unforgettable Tantric events at her retreat center in the mountains. We would spend the first half of the evening doing really beautiful Tantric practices and then spend the other half of the evening enjoying the heated indoor pool and the gorgeous property she lived on. I was always struck by how open-hearted, grounded, fun, and successful the crowd was at these events.  There was a sense of complete freedom at these events and the Tantric practices taught people how to be respectful and relaxed with their sensuality as well. It was just good clean fun, which was really cool to experience where sensuality was included. Ironically there wasn't a lot of overt sensuality that happened - it seemed that people more enjoyed the sense that it was just wonderful to be embodied - they would enjoy food like they never had before,  dance like they never have before, discover what is was like to just enjoy the moment of a sensual dance with the opposite sex - of really feeling everything about that moment and then letting it go without it needing to go anywhere else - with full appreciation for each other. If there was more physical connections it was with a lot of joy, openness, playfulness, and consciousness. People always left the events glowing and laughing, with a sense that they had been cared for and revitalized.    The events never felt weirdly new agey or purely hedonistic either - the Tantric practices really grounded and centered people so they were just able to just embody the best in themselves and see it each other. It was a truly wonderful experience that I have deep respect for. It felt like something I wanted to share with other people.

I also had really excellent training in how to be with people while they were letting themselves go into expanded states of consciousness. My training was in emotional release work. But, what I loved about the Tantra is I saw people were having the same kinds of healing and positive outcomes from the Tantra as from the emotional release work - which meant that people didn't have to go through all the suffering to get to the same place. So, it was a huge blessing to get that training because I learned how to create a safe space and be with people really letting go. I learned how to have a really wide spectrum of that - from guiding into a really light space to very deep spaces - wherever someone wanted to go. I could receive people where they were at and guide them to surrender to other parts of themselves besides the intellect, and to go as deep with that as they wanted to and keep it really safe and enriching. So, to have that training with the Tantric training allows me to provide continuously engaged experiences with people, which is just so much fun.

The other piece of it is delight - one must find genuine delight in other human beings and in what they want to express. It's completely different from tolerating or understanding.  It's also more than empathy - although empathy is essential. The best word I can think of is delight and openness. Empathy is extremely important but as it's often connected with suffering - we want to go a step beyond that - this is about pulling out the shame, embarrassment, and self-judgment  and really exploring and having fun with these interests.

And that is something that I learned too - the way that I was raised - to look at people with a big vision. What I love most about this work is that I feel like it's really opened me up to enjoy lots of different kinds of people and experiences. It's made my life so much richer to be able to enjoy a fuller range of human experience and expression. Everyday is a true adventure that leaves me happy at the end of the day.

I am always surprised when people are afraid that they have burdened me with something they want to express in themselves. I am surprised because I really don't do anything that I don't want to do in my sessions - I feel like I am relating to another human being - we are having a human connection - not simply a transaction - neither person is an object in this exchange - neither person is using the other - there is a real exchange happening. I think that is really vital because then what you are doing becomes a part of your humanity that is accepted, is appreciated, is enjoyed and celebrated. This is not to say that I am into everything but I've learned a lightness around it all - that even if I am not into it - I have the freedom to steer the person to someone who is into it (this is all providing obviously things that don't harm anyone).  This is also not to say that I don't recognize something that is not coming from a healthy place and talk about it.  But what I do find more often than not is that what people desire is normal and it is the anxiety about it being abnormal  that is causing the most problems. So, a safe space is provided to just be who you are.

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