Since the miraculous bloodless revolution and the dawning of the New South Africa, the Rainbow Nation, South African seekers have had a much easier time of things generally. The wonderful (at least on paper) new Constitution has removed much of the shadow of illegality that apartheid imposed on free thinkers and others of a non state-religion inclination. The country has eleven officially recognised languages and many South Africans speak more than half of these fluently.
Because of these factors, or possibly for no particular reason at all, South African seekers have a relatively easy time becoming trans-cultural – able to connect with and learn from many cultures without being owned by any of them, especially the one they were born into.
At any time, several teachers, students or friends of this school are in India, Sedona, Cologne or wherever there is teaching and/or learning to be done.
South Africa's seekers are in the main, sincere and strong in intent. Owing to the immense practicality required for life in South Africa (One has to respond to situations of all sorts as they are, not as they, according to rules, should be) seekers here tend to have pretty good bullshit filters, and are mostly immune to the Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome.
As many teachers of everything from Reiki to Rolphing can confirm, running groups, retreats and workshops with South Africans is a delight. The sincerity with which they engage and their commitment to action, once they are clear that you indeed have something worthwhile to teach, is deeply gratifying.
South Africa has several teachers in the area of sacred sexuality. Two of the most venerable have a lot of nervousness around publicity, but have been making a difference in many lives over the last fifteen or so years. Naturally, many of our students and some of our teachers have previously worked with one, or both of them.
There are a few sensual massage, loving touch, tantric and taoist massage practitioners. Although we of course, address these areas of sexuality, and use these techniques, we often refer people to these teachers when it is clear they need a significant immersion in that work.
Osho tantra groups happen here every year or so. A few years ago, the facilitator of these was a South African, living in Germany. The last was in November, facilitated by the lovely Halima.
South Africa also exports some teachers. Isaac Shapiro and Leslie Temple-Thursdon are probably the best known, and we love their work. Isaac's way of teaching the philosophy of Advaita is unique and effective. Leslie's mind-processing techniques are simple, and strong. Just what we like in technique.
At this school, the Dakas, Dakinis and Rahasya run a comprehensive programme of individual sessions work, short courses, workshops and retreats in and around Johannesburg, Cape Town, and gorgeous country venues.
In Johannesburg (Josi) in the province of Gauteng (yes, some do call us Gautangorangs when they have had a few too many brandies with cola) the teachers are Dakinis Wendy, Shekinah, Shima and Crystal (reverse alphabetical order, if you were wondering) and Dakas Stephen and Andrew..
Shima was our representative at the Sedona (Arizona) Dakini / Daka conference in 2009. Her impressions of American tantra found their way into a blog article. Currently, she is intent on getting to Sahara in time to film a dance festival and, of course, the famous temple sculptures. It was her camera, unfortunately often without its favourite camera man, that shot most of the footage at our youtube page.
In Cape Town, Director of the Cape School Dakini Shakti and Daka Stephen manage a very busy practice, and have a group, workshop or retreat planned for almost every weekend of 2010.
Gecko Creek in the Cedarberg has become a regular venue for retreats. Dakini Shakti and Daka Stephen will be running the next Introduction to Tantra retreat, which we classify as a level one experience.
At the Osho Oasis in the Knysna forest, Shakti and I present our intensive retreats, the level two Tantric Awareness and level three Tantric Practice retreats. These are probably our most intensive structured group work. Yes, there is a level four … but, as a rough guide, most final stage retreats and workshops, by most of even the big name tantra teachers we would call level one.
We are doing the two and the three on consecutive weekends in March 2010. It is advisable to do considerable work, not necessarily with us, before the two, and you have to have taken the two if you want to apply for the three. So far, around half of retreat participants take to the next level in a year or so. Some will be doing both of these retreats consecutively.
It is also advisable to book soon for this extraordinary work. Accommodation at the Osho Oasis is limited, even including tents.
The Osho Oasis is the perfect venue for intensive retreats. The most important single factor is that absolutely everyone on the property is well practiced in tantra and/or is strongly supportive of the work we do. Of course, we delight in the seclusion, the super-healthy vegetarian food, the wood fired showers, and even get along pretty well with the composting toilets.
Both these venues are quite rustic. Not to everyone's taste, although, of course the bush camp feel of the place is a delight in itself to most South Africans.
Dakini Wendy and I are planning two (2) level one retreats, in May and October 2010. (This levels thing may get confusing … perhaps we should find some other classification?). This Tantra Safari happens at the most gorgeous and luxurious venues: Mount Grace, Sabi Sabi, and the Cape Grace.
For seekers interested in Tantra, and especially for seekers who have had a good taste of the teachings available around the world, South Africa is, at the moment, a very, very special place to be indeed.