28 March 2012


How much of what I think of as my love is my wanting? How much wanting have I done in the name of love?
M Scott Peck says: "Real love is wanting the other person's good. Romantic love is wanting the other person."    

For the last 2 or 3 years I have been deeply challenged in the realms of romantic rejection and watching the beloved love another.
Comparison, jealousy, feelings of deep deficiency and accompanying depression are well traversed territories in me. 

"God, I am so sick of this! I WANT to be WANTED, DAMMIT!!!" I bang my hand on the steering wheel while tearing around mountain pass corners in my little bakkie. My teachers sit squashed on the bench seat next to me on our way back from dinner, taking in my emotive outburst and boisterous driving style with equal equanimous grace. "So your wanting is for a theoretical state in another's mind?", one says. "Look carefully and see if you can find any dharma in that".

The jealousy and hunger for love (not any kind of love, mind you: Very specific love in specific ways from specific people... in what my teacher refers to as Mind Symbols) makes me feel wild, and desperate like some kind of caged creature that is starving to death... and there is that in me which is dying, because it is time for it to die now.
But it doesn't go down without a fight. This desperate place in my unconscious is the spawning ground for all my manipulation, for my clutching onto intimate relationships, my pushing, my forcing, these insistences that arise from my mind, rather than from my being. 

I am gradually learning to make space for the horrible states created by my thoughts- these deficient, heavy states. 
I give up trying to get my external to rescue me from them - all that manoeuvring I have done in the name of Love to try to get others, particularly the beloved, to convince me that it's not true: This horrible self image I have. And I let myself go... into this frightening feeling, these mucky, sticky, heavy, murky depths.  
Yes- I am worthless. 
Yes- I am so small. 
I lack.
I am so deeply deficient.
I am the loser.
I give up trying to fight these things.
My body becomes so heavy that I can't stay upright.
I slump down flat, sinking into the mud...

And then somehow in this surrender, this death, there is a calm. I find myself looking at the thoughts and the feelings with compassion... And find that I am not that.
In my heart there is value. I can see the value of my surrender, the value of that which has chosen this surrender. 

Today a shoot breaks through the surface of the mud... gradually it climbs through the dark muddy water towards the light...
Painting by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Thank you dear Wendy and Rahasya for your loving guidance last week during our tantra practitioner training. 

27 March 2012

Elitism and the Lightning Path: A Discussion of the Rocky Horror Tantra Book

Following is a quote from the introduction to Rocky Horror Tantra (see previous blog post for more) and ensuing conversation/debate between Rahasya and Anne-Marie Clulow, a tantric practitioner.

"The first task of any teacher of tantra is to scare you off the idea all together. This is a compassionate measure designed to spare those without the calling, saving them considerable effort, pain and time.

Tantra is also known as the Path of Bliss, the Lightning Path and the Royal Road.
 Bliss, because pleasures and pains are embraced, not avoided. Bliss is the integration, the encompassing acceptance, of life’s pleasure and suffering as one suchness.
 Lightning, because the path is notable for its extreme speed.
The Royal Road, because it is a path designed (at least the Buddhist version) originally for the elite of a culture, who’s worldly involvement and responsibilities make a monastic life impractical.

The personal characteristics that produce achievers in any area of human endeavour are essential to tantra: Ambition, determination, responsiveness and especially hubris."

Hmmm. And scared off I would have been. And run I did. And hide. And fear. And then...
You cannot not do it.
You can send any challenge into the universe.
And you cannot not be it.
I am looking fwd to reading this book, as for so long my inner voice/guide/channel told me to learn through my own experience, not through those of others. That my learning had to be my own, that my path was unique. In my opinion I believe that true of everyone now, and I subscribed differently for a long time. Rahasya, I often do not agree with you, finding many things that you say elitist. Yet, I am so grateful to you. For what would any of this be if we were all in agreement? And what does Tantra teach if not acceptance of everything? Part of my path presently is truly listening to those I do not agree with. If I have gathered anything from your posts, it is that you would not be offended by this at all, that you enjoy a great debate, and that your views on many things do not subscribe to the norm?
And I had to look up hubris!! Hahaha!!!

A lovely word, Anne-Marie, and it looks to me like you have at least your fair share of it :)

Elitist - absolutely!

Special forces soldiers consider themselves an elite among the military, although 'regular' soldiers could be offended by that idea.
 Tantra is not something 'everyone can do'. It just is so. Just like not every enlisted man has the capacity for special forces work.
 Acknowledging actual differences is not a superiority/inferiority thing though, any more than Inuit are 'superior' human beings because the handle cold that would kill other people.

Tantrikas often would not wish what they have to go through on anyone, even if they have a worst enemy.

I agree with some of this, and disagree too. False dichotomy... As it is not an either or actually.
I agree that it would be easier to not have this calling which I have perceived through my experience as being a conduit to energy outside of myself as well as using my own sexual energy to specifically channel into another's body, enabling a body experience that leads to many things, emotional release, insight, visions, change in consciousness, increased sexual energy and heightened energy for actual physical healing too. I would have preferred to wear white and meditate a shitload like the Buddhists. Until I saw the hypocrisy of not being able to save a drowning woman because you can't touch a woman, yet completely missing the point of the original precepts of do not kill. Obviously, allowing to die was seen differently. I was
tired of splitting hairs. I wanted something that encompassed all, did not judge, did not deem itself "better than" I wanted to be "holy" not dealing with the nitty gritty of people's bodies.
So I agree with the not wishing it on your enemy, yet I have also known a deeper more connected space in healing than almost any other space. Meditating, singing ( sometimes) and making love are the only other places I have that "flow" although I am wary of terminology as often it leads to dissent if it is not the same as others' .
I do feel that Tantra in the form of opening to self, balancing light and dark, the fullness of the human experience and linking the spiritual journey with sexual energy is not only to be mainstream, but an absolute necessity to the awakening of mankind's consciousness as we move into a new era. Many spiritual teachers in differing modalities are beginning to awaken to the linking of all energies in the body to raise consciousness.
If the folk in the Tantric world keep it elite, and don't share practical ways to open energy up for people to have their awakenings is that not the ultimate separation? Maybe all are not meant to be healers or teachers, but how does keeping it elitist truly share love in its most unconditional form?

"If the folk in the Tantric world keep it elite, and don't share practical ways to open energy up for people to have their awakenings is that not the ultimate separation?"

One better known example, which means that it is not very well known outside of tantra, is the practice called Mahamudra, aka Sacred Union.
This is commonly (in the greater world of tantra as therapy, healing, sexuality, poly, bdsm, etc) taken to mean 'penis in vagina' sex.
In the old and dusty schools, it is ritualised and has mostly lost its power/function.
The 'elitist, secret' version of this practice is a neurological bonding of the masculine and feminine energies within.
Some of the method is known, some is hinted at in old literature. I have taught 'partial' and 'diluted' versions on what we call 'practitioner level' workshops.

The reason for all the caution is simple. It is a seriously dangerous practice. It has very powerful real-world consequences.
If, for example, someone suffers the usual Western condition of a divided, divisive, mutually antagonistic relationship between their inner masculine and feminine aspects, this practice will add rape, not love to that relationship.
This is likely to make the inner war so intense that it consumes all the person's prana (nerve-system energy). This means they become completely inwardly focused and have no outward energy, no capacity or capability of communicating outside of their own mind. In other words, a psychosis. Likely permanent.

We deal in love and other very powerful energies. It is part of our compassion and responsibility that we are careful in how and when we apply them.

Someone who hides the matches when you are in a room full of dynamite may be your friend.
Rahasya, I can only speak from my own experience and from my inner guide. You have more experience than I. I have much to learn and experience, so even though I don't understand this, I will listen to your book. Yes, I get the concept of passing "dynamite" to those who have methods of dealing with it. Perhaps I saw elitism where there was caution. In my learnings with Taoism that concept of passing down carefully to avoid the misuse of "dynamite" has purpose.
Perhaps I have been guilty of drawing conclusions through vocab and words and for that I apologize :)

No apology – I enjoy this discussion much.

As people read on, I wait for much more difficult criticism/exploration (wince).
I did find a lot of it very difficult to read aloud. Different from the quiet hours over the last few years, just me and the muse, just writing it down.
My favourite question so far emailed by a listener/reader:

"in your audio book, when you said Wendy had "ruined 3 or 4 men during her training" Were you speaking figuratively or literally? Might I ask what form of "ruin" are seekers likely to face? (The rocket scientist risk calculator is buzzing in my brain.)"

and, yes, he is a rocket scientist.

…  The discussion continues in the Rocky Horror Tantra FaceBook group.

Listen to the Rocky Horror Book Introduction:

Track 1 Track 2 Track 3

20 March 2012

Rocky Horror Tantra audio Book release

It took me nearly 5 years to write it, about ten days to record it, a few dozen hours to listen through and edit out the worst of page turning, coughing, retakes and other excitements.

My sound engineer, Gabriel, managed wonders through Josi's summer storms and guided me through the process of audio production.

Some of you know him as the muso who did the cool backing track (or whatever it is called) on a guided meditation CD I recorded a few years ago.

This whole exercise (and what is still to be done for the print version) has been a huge learning for me, alongside the nearly ten years in which I have been learning to teach, guided by those who thought of themselves as students.

The stories I tell are all fictionalised to some extent, some quite a lot. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

I recommended an age restriction somewhere around 85. I have banned (with her wise and wholehearted agreement after a little explanation) my own mother (91) from reading it. I still have to work out what to do about my father.

A wise friend has advised me to now do as all authors and story tellers must do. The text/tape/CD/mp3 is a created thing. It has its own relationship with its readers/listeners. It even, as I discovered reading it for the audio version, has its own relationship with me now.

I thought I had good reason to believe that I knew what I was in for.

I was wrong about that. I feel well mauled, but in a good way. It is different writing late at night, just me and the Muse, from reading aloud what I have written. Especially when it gets all sexually descriptive.

Strangely liberating, though …

You may now click the following link to have your own relationship with the thing. Good Luck.


15 March 2012

The Goddess and the Harlot

 “What is the relationship between the harlot and the goddess? I sometimes fear powerful women are untrustworthy as if they’re promiscuous-maybe a lot of powerful women are. I wonder if this is my own fears/projections or if there’s some truth to it.”

Thank you for voicing this. It is a common notion but because we are now encouraged to be so all-inclusive and non-judgemental, it slips into the covert of the culture, rather than being brought out into the light. So much can be written in reply – I hope I have gotten the most important bits here.

To begin: A healthy, unadulterated woman will naturally love or at the very least appreciate sex and sensuality, will likely be tactile and physically demonstrative, will love and trust the wild places both within the human psyche and without, in nature. She will be responsive, exuberant and have keen sensitivity. She will instinctively know that her body is a portal to the Divine and that the power that rises through it as sexual energy is good and wholesome and can be put to use for the health of her own organism and also the health of her family and the community where it can be directed into healing and creativity.

Your question demonstrates the associations that we have picked up from our socialisation, from our culture. The message within the patriarchal system which has dominated for the past few millennia is that the woman I speak of above is dangerous and must be controlled. In the past this has been done with a great deal of violence, particularly by religions like Christianity and Islam and is still in certain parts of the world. These days, within our culture, although it is starting to shift since the feminist movement, it is still very present in the covert attitude and such women are referred to bitterly with words like “slut”/ “harlot” / "whore". The word "Promiscuous" holds the association that for a woman to love sex is an evil thing (where as for a man, it is “normal”).

Can you imagine why such a woman would be threatening to anyone who was wanting to control a society… and why, by extension it was imperative to find ways to make such a one look dangerous? Slowly but surely the oppression of the feminine nature was so effective that even women started to believe that the only way that they could have any power was if it was given to them by a man. Thus, we even began policing each other and routing out those women who did not conform to the status quo, using the weapon of shame for having these very natural wholesome drives, to great and devastating effect, not just for women but for our whole society.

So, the relationship between whore and goddess is in the perception of the culture and also the perception the woman holds of herself. When she has bought in to what the culture has told her about being intrinsically powerless and weak because she is a woman, she may believe that she must manipulate to get power for her survival from the outside and one of her tools is seduction… so sex and intimacy deprivation is used as part of the deal making between men and women, operational within the illusion of scarcity and separation.
... that is when it is in its unconscious aspect. In the conscious aspect there is the ancient roll of the Dakini who's work it is to support you towards your full capacity for awareness, however that looks and whatever it takes, including the tools found within sexuality. 

If your idea of trustworthy is a woman who will consistently behave in a way that makes you feel safe within the illusions held by our culture… (such as those around how love should look) then you are quite right that such women cannot be trusted.

If, however, your soul seeks to awaken into the fullness of your own god-self, then you can  trust the direction of such a women to guide you in whatever needs to be done to shatter the illusions that keep you apart from this. Your fears are those of the ego (that in us which maintains the illusion of duality) fearing for its life and are a good indication of where to aim your rudder if you are ready to let it go.

for more on this topic, see:
under the heading “Tantric Practitioners: Dakinis And Dakas”
and one of my favourite pieces of writing: