23 July 2010

Throwing Rocks and Unbounded Teaching

Please note that Tantra was just one of the topics at last year's Sexuality and Consciousness conference. A lot of other useful, healing and generally worthwhile things were discussed, as well as these aspects of tantra.

A lot of ideas exchanged in a short period of time is a bit of a rollercoaster, and it takes everyone a little time to get appropriate perspective on what they have heard, notice the connections and distinctions in what they have heard and so on.

Even then, ideas can get mixed, and incorrect interpolations can be made. Two notions expressed at last year's Consciousness and Sexuality conference got a little mixed, which resulted in a little confusion and misunderstanding.

This is no bad thing of course, and I am sure we will have a higher, wilder ride at this year's conference. The range of arts, sciences, systems and approaches relevant to various levels of consciousness and sexuality related work should be even wider than last year's.

The ideas that got mixed were rock-throwing and boundaries.

Throwing Rocks

Rock throwing is a description from the student's end of things, describing what it is, what it takes to approach a Dakini. The traditional image is that one approaches her cave and tries to get close enough to leave a gift, present her with a gift, engage her in discussion or, ideally, ask for her teaching. She makes this hard, throwing rocks, rubbishing the supplicant's learning to date, rejecting his gifts and so on.

From the Dakini's end of things, the student approaches, and she starts teaching him immediately. What he may feel to be "rocks" … criticism, direction, difficult conditions and so on are his mind-ego's response to her first lessons. It seems to him at first that he advances by overcoming these obstacles and hurdles which the Dakini puts in his path.

It can seem harsh to a student that a Dakini insists on him having no alcohol before a session. It can seem weird that she insists he take a course in basic massage techniques, or insists that he stop taking erection-support or feel-good medication.

A Dakini's more mundane rocks are for the merely curious and the currently horny-and-can-google.
As Shakti puts it on one of her blogs:

I am going to politely send him away or at least question him more:

• If he does not say his name or clearly has to think about what his name is
• if he expects me to be available immediately for a session
• if he wants me to fix a sexual problem but is not interested in inner change
• if he is looking for a 'tantric massage' (which in the South African context usually means he is looking for someone to fulfill a sexual need - not the job of a Dakini)
So altogether, standing alone as a notion in it's own right, this "throwing rocks" thing is a good and useful part of teaching, especially when one has to filter those with the willingness and capacity from those who would be better off elsewhere.

Boundaries and Ethics

Dakinis are not bound by any boundaries, conditions, or, in the conventional sense, even ethics in their sessions work. A very scary notion for some at first sight. It is not a generally appropriate or workable approach to most therapies and healing modalities. These things clearly need boundaries on the part of the practitioner, and helping the student's development/discovery of his own boundaries is sometimes the conscious agenda.

The prevalent view in the culture is that a child needs clear boundaries from his parents, and that boundaries are the foundational expression of parental love.

Dakini Shima describes it in a FB note thus:

When you are little, your parents find your unbounded energy to be dangerous and disruptive. If your energy has no boundary then you may not look before you run in front of a truck.

The regular cultural understanding of ethics and boundaries is that these things are necessary to any conscious interaction. They give a framework for agreement and clarify the context. Their absence implies a lack of caring, safety and compassion.

A Dakini, however, is deeply familiar with unbounded caring, love beyond safety and compassion beyond the realm of conventional ethics. She engages her students at a level beyond the usual agendas of healing and therapeutic work. There are boundaries – the student's boundaries. Awareness of these is  encouraged, developed and, lessons learned, the boundaries are often discarded.
Dakini Wendy uses these lines of Rumi's to describe her sessions work:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.  I'll meet you there.
Dakinis have renounced the Original Sin described in the Christian book. They make no claim to the divine knowledge of good and evil. They work instead on refining their aesthetic, how they would like things to look. Osho once said that aesthetics would be the ethics of the future.

I look forward to further sharing, exploration, discussion and controversy at the next next Consciousness and Sexuality conference in South Africa, happening in early December 2010.


  1. "aesthetics would be the ethics of the future." -- One can see this now within various subcultural milleus -- think of Heavy Metal vs the Deadheads...

  2. Osho was contradicting Lenin's original statement:

    "Ethics will be the aesthetics of the future."