17 June 2007

Tantric Awareness Retreat - Impressions

A while back, Shakti and I did a workshop thing, our first residential weekend experience, with a gorgeous, brave, sincere and lively group of seekers.

We talk about "healing" in our work. This can lead some to think we're "treating" problematic conditions of mind/body/spirit, that we work with people who are "sick" to help make them well. We use this word because it's the closest our culture has to describe what we do. The older the meaning taken, the more to the origins of this word one goes, the more truthful it becomes as an expression of this school's work.

Healing: To make Whole. Not that something's unwholesome! Just that we have many aspects to what we call our mind, our ego. To a large extent, the work of Tantra is to support the integration of these divided minds.

So no one on this retreat was sick, or being treated. Sure, some got in touch with depths they didn't know they had, some got more aware of the truth, the reality of their relationships, some explored experiences that they had wanted, but repressed, and some found the strength, the capacity to support others in this work.

I drew no line, created no artificial separation of the space we met in from what's called the "real" world. We did not retreat into the "other worldly" to escape the "worldly". Yes, we were in the middle of a forest, in a beautiful meditation retreat, where cellphones don't work too well, and everyone had taken some time off from their regular routine. There's nothing "other worldly" about a couple of days away from the hubbub of life, somewhere beautiful, in nature.

There was no suggestion that people "open themselves" or stretch their willingness on account of this being a "special" place or time, no agreements of confidentiality, no keeping of secrets about the ways in which we work, what "processes" we use. This is not to say that I'm against the participants respecting each other's privacy. These were real people that we shared something real with, in the real world, and it's real to respect that in a real way!

Working with Shakti on this was a special experience indeed. Her insight, her skill with using dance and movement, allowing seekers to experience what can't be taught in words, her loving availability to work with what's required for awareness, however it looks, and her energy and skill in putting the whole logistical mission of the thing together.

My take on the experience was "I've never taken a Tantra, or any kind of group like that, anywhere along my path .. but I'd have liked to!", so, as the NLP guys say, it worked for me.

There was much appreciation expressed all round. My thanks is to all who came and played a bit of the game of life with me. In varying degrees for all of us there was fun, there was pain, there was delight, there was suffering, but most of all there was awareness and love worth calling Love. May your flowering continue...

Planning for a return to the forest is happening. Looks like October 2007 will be right. Watch the events page for it's announcement.

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