My Tantra Journey
So today I will share with you a little of my story. How I came to this very spot, holding spaces for people to dive into such a depth of beauty that its exquisiteness continues to take my breath away. I am often asked how I got into Tantra. Well this is my story.
About 10 years ago when I was still living in South Africa, my beautiful homeland, I was in a relationship that stretched me in every way I never knew possible (I thought the previous relationship had stretched me, taught me, wrangled me as far as I could go - boy was I wrong). The one thing about deep love experiences it that they do this. These loves do not come into our lives to simply plod along with us, they come to take us to a new place within ourselves, even if they are not aware of it. I was in this relationship for 2 years - 2 of the hardest years of any relationship I have been in. Yet rewarding. Not hard as in I didn't want to be there, but it forced me to look at myself, to strip away so much of what I thought I knew. And if that comes at you from out of the blue, it can knock you senseless.. or for the first time in your life, actually be fully aware of them.
The aliens, the conspiracy theories or the fanatical Star Wars/Star Trek wasn't what stretched me (though to this day I still put my foot in it with fans for mixing them up). It was Tantra. You don't know what you don't know until it is in front of you and Tantra had never even been a blip on my radar. If you had asked me what is was, I would have answered 'Isn't it something weird Americans do?' (That would have been my same answer years previously if you'd asked me about BDSM - my apologies to my American friends..lol). A few months into this relationship Jack (not his real name) gave me a book to read as he wanted to explore Tantra. The book was A Tantric Awakening by Valerie Brooks. I began to read but pretty soon I threw the book across the room in indignation. You see, in Valerie's story, sex with her Tantra teacher was a very big part of her Tantric journey. And that is what John wanted. Now stay with me here because I am being serious - to John, he was put on this planet to save the Goddesses of this world.... Through his penis. Apparently you men are already ok; just us women needed saving, and so he wanted 6 women to live with us.
I picked up the book and continued reading and although back then I didn't see any benefit of sex/penetration in a session and I still don't, there were parts of the book that really began clicking with me. So I went on my first Tantra retreat with Ma Leandra and Nils Kriedner. It was only 3 days but those 3 days changed my life forever.
Bear with me but I need to back track a little bit. One of my favourite meditations is to dance naked until the sweat is pouring from me and I can dance no more, collapsing onto a towel and then laying in silence. One evening as I lay, Ganesha came to me - the first time I had ever seen him, and he gave me a snake. Needless to say I was confused - snakes are not my favourite pet if I had a choice, but I did a bit of research the next day and it turned out to be the first day of Ganesha Chaturthi, a 10 day celebration of Ganesha (Ganesha is the Hindu elephant head god and is the remover of obstacles and the god of new beginnings). I began doing on own daily pujas (prayers) during the period and the last couple of days overlapped with the Tantra retreat. On the eve of the last day of the puja, my Kundalini surged through my body. I later found out that last day was Ganesha's birthday - He had given me the snake to awaken on his birthday. What an amazing gift. I still have a very close connection to Ganesha to this day and every year offer puja. (our kundalini is our primal energy or Shakti that is located at the base of our spine - depicted as a snake coiled 3 and a half times that when awakened moves up the central energy channel to our crown that form part of our spiritual awakening).
But it wasn't only this that changed my life that weekend. I found such stillness within my being that leaves and branches told me their stories. I touched a piece of steel railing and I knew its journey from being formed to where it now lay. I experienced connection with others in a depth unexplored to me (all fully clothed). My heart opened in a totally new way. Every sense was awakened, taken to a new level yet the stillness was still there. I am sitting here trying to find the words to describe it to you, but there aren't any.
It was a while after this that I came across Tantra Massage and I felt as if I had 'come home'. Over the years so many people had said to me I have 'healing hands' and I tried Reiki, Quantum Light Healing etc but it wasn't me. Tantra Massage was. The stillness, the presence, being guided by the heart together with the deepest, most gentle of touch, touched me and still does in every session. I am continually humbled by what Tantra has brought into my life and I am humbled by being able to share other journeys every day.
The relationship with John came to an end. Although I was open to him having his little harem, it never materialised (I am thinking the Universe didn't quite agree with him). Because Tantra will bring up the nasty stuff you have shoved under the rug as well as the beauty of a rose, I kept having to take down a lot of my 'stories' that I had built, my preconceptions, my 'black and white' thinking and so many times when I thought I was bare, there was something else. I questioned the questions. There were many wonderful aspects of that relationship. And many that were not honouring or good. And it took me a long time to love myself enough to know that I could still love him but I could love myself and remove myself from the relationship. And knowing that allowed me to do it without a tear or and sadness.
Since then I have grown so much and every day still brings a new awareness. Don't get me wrong. There are many a day when I wish for the days of just living, the walking dead, and I am often heard saying ''Awareness can be a bitch!'', but there is no going back. How could you possible not choose a life so full of desire for something as simply as the sweet caress of your breath, to live with a heart so open that love just flows and to know that in each moment, a whole world of possibilities are waiting for you to dive into them. Tantra is not about sex. It is about life.
Karen O'Moore June 2015