09 May 2010

How the word is used: little t tantra and Big T Tantra

Little "t" tantra, tantra in general, as it is widely understood describes sensually intensive massage with candles and incense, enhanced orgasms, a cure for PE and ED, visualisations of diagrams and symbols, systems of chanting, a genre of relationship and intimacy counseling and sex with candles and incense. It uses techniques from the Kama Sutra, temple dances, initiation rituals, sexology, psychotherapy, shamanism, NLP and speed seduction. Many things use the word. Many things are implied in it. Great and miserable books have been written about it. The sublime movie Bliss represents tantra, as does Myers' ridiculous movie,   The Love Guru.

Big T Tantra has one purpose. Making yourself available, open enough, free enough from illusion, beliefs and attitudes for enlightenment, Samadhi to happen. It requires intensity, passion, courage and intelligence. Teachers use any and every technique, drawing from a huge range, even experimenting/channeling/discovering on the fly on the rare occasions that that is required. At least for part of the journey, some form of initiation is essential. Many techniques and approaches depend heavily on personal, direct teaching for their true lessons to be learned.

This school  fits into both definitions. In the greater world of tantra, our practice of Tantra can be seen as complementary to some practices, a next step for others, and master classes at post graduate level for those who have come to the end of what is otherwise available. In the world of Tantra, we are pioneers who have evolved ways of making the true depths of Big T Tantra accessible to westerners.

04 May 2010

Time for authentic Tantra, the complete-path teaching of Dakinis

With delight I notice more and more tantra teaching happening in the world. The next generation of teachers are now teaching.

The pioneering and experimental work (how to teach tantra to people of the modern mindset?) of Osho, Margot Anand, Barry Long, John Mumford, and others has borne fruit.

These teachers and their group work facilitators developed an understanding of the modern cultural mindset and how to work with it.

Nowadays, all worthwhile teachers and schools have the objective of removing the culturally imposed/gathered eroticism and automatic assumptions about sex. Clearing the ground of the weeds, the false, before attempting to plant a garden.

This work is more or less essential for all seekers. At minimum, an awareness of one's erotic patterns is essential to any real progress on any path.

Mainly because they operated in a sexually aware and un-repressed culture, traditional ancient tantra did not bother much with this area of work. They practiced in pl;aces and times that were far less repressed. The erotic sculptures around the temple were the only test of readiness they needed. Until a prospective student could walk around the temple without being attracted or repelled by the explicitly erotic statues, he or she was not ready to enter the temple.

A generation of seekers have benefited from the preliminary outer temple work that has been all Westerners know of Tantra. Only now, teachers who continue their teaching into the deep mysteries of inner temple tantra are becoming available.

One characteristic teachers of authentic, real or traditional-equivalent tantra share is that they engage, directly, closely, intimately with their students. There is, obviously, no other way to teach the deep truths of sex-as-meditation.

Daniel Odier's novel, Tantric Quest gives a hint of this kind of work and what it means to be a Dakini's student. From my perspective, teachers at this level are needed now, and my life, for the last several years has been dedicated to enabling and encouraging a few special women to this work.

They can be found at the Teachers page of our international website, advaittantra.com