What is Tantra?
The word Tantra refers to a system, containing some technology, for the purpose of expansion, liberation and self-realization. The word Tantra also refers to the divinely revealed scriptures containing these technologies.
It is a science. It is the science of the elemental make-up of Consciousness. It is the exploration of the nature of our shared reality.
It is not philosophy, although it has many.
It is not religion, although it has influenced and been influenced by some.
It is a way of tuning into nature, bringing balance to the elemental make-up of our existence, and harmonizing the opposing energetic forces of the body/mind. It is experiencing the totality of ourselves and the interconnectedness of all beings and forms.
While very few Tantras DO describe rituals involving the sexual act, Tantra is NOT SEX. It may however enhance the experience of our sexuality as we become more attuned to ourselves and others.
Tantra is not pleasure.
Tantra is not orgasm.
Let me explain...
Non-Dual Tantra's View of Reality - In a Tiny Nutshell...
1) The entire universe is Self-Aware. It is the only thing (non-thing) that can know Itself. This Divine Self-reflective Awareness (Consciousness) is the one and only thing that exists. There is nothing other than or separate from That which is pure awareness, for I am That, You are That, That is That, and That is all there Is. Everything that is experienced in the manifest universe exists only as modulations or patterns within this Consciousness.
2) Consciousness and its infinite modulations are not separate from one another, but two inseparable parts of its innate wholeness. Just as a wave cannot be separated from the ocean, the world of form and experience cannot be separated from its essential reality as Awareness. These two parts are known as Śiva (SHEE-vuh) and Śakti (SHUCK-tee). Śiva means Primordial Auspiciousness and Śakti means Primordial Power.
- Śiva is the aspect of reality that is personified as the masculine divine. While He is often depicted as various archetypes, He is most often understood to be Pure Consciousness. He is the ground of awareness within which everything is created, experienced and dissolved. He is the absolute Beingness or 'I'-ness within which all that can be perceived and experienced rises and falls.
- Śakti is the aspect of reality that is personified as the feminine divine. While she is often depicted in her many forms as the Goddesses of Tantra, what is being given form is Her as the entire manifest universe. She is the creative power and forms of the cosmos. She is dynamic. She is movement. She is EVERYTHING that can be felt, seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and thought about.
3) Awareness chooses to manifest, permeate, conceal, and awaken itself within the created universe. It does so due to its innate desire to creatively and freely know itself in infinite forms and modulations of its own Self. It is free to be and do anything. On some level you already know this, because you are an individualized wave within this ocean of Consciousness, and everything you feel, think, and perceive is a modulation of the one Self--the universal "I".
4) Everything in existence is inherently Divine, for there is nothing that is not this Awareness. This means that there is deep meaning in every atom, particle and wave in the known universe, and perhaps beyond. This means that everything you ARE and everything you experience IS divine beyond measure.
Will I have to be naked in one of your sessions or courses??
NO! You are never required to do anything you are not comfortable with, or anything you do not consent to!
It's important to know that we're primarily interested in sharing with you a technology that will guide you towards freedom from your suffering, and the remembering of your truest Self.
No nudity is required for this.
You must know upfront that Tantra is really isn't about sex at all!! In fact, there are only a few references to sexual practices in the Tantric scriptures that have been translated.
We do not wish to dilute or further pollute Tantra with the hyper-obsessive sexual focus primarily seen in the west.
While we do our best to respect, honour, and preserve the original teachings of the Tantric lineages that have influenced our lives and work, we're also personally passionate about the great potential of human relationship as a Yogic path of self-realization.
We feel this is one of the most appropriate and accessible paths for the modern western house-holder, and we've taken the delicate task upon ourselves of helping Tantra to survive and modernize with this in mind.
Interestingly enough, Tantra is considered a "house-holder path".
Some of our work is focused on the Yoga of Relationships or Conscious Partnerships, as we like to call it. Some of this work inevitably and playfully addresses the joy of sexuality and intimacy.
Some of our sessions do have clothing-optional components to them, but this information will always be stated clearly in the class description. And while other participants may be nude, you are always welcome to remained clothed.
Is there open sex involved?
No. There is never any sex taking place at our workshops or private sessions.
While we love sex very much, we also know that for sex to be effective as a doorway to unification with another, discipline, time, practice, healing, and feelings of safety are required.
We feel that it is dangerous to put a group of people together--especially considering how many of us have unresolved traumas--and encourage them to act out sexual practices branded as "tantra".
If you want that type of workshop, look elsewhere, but buyer beware: the majority of these are facilitated by individuals with little to no proper training in the Tantric/Yogic sciences or in working with Traumatized populations.
Tantra has nothing to do with any of that nonsense. You would be better off to sit and stare at a blank wall for an hour, if you want to learn Tantra, than to attend the latest tantric sex workshop. (Seriously, that is an actual Tantric practice).
Do I need a partner for this work?
NO! The focus is on the Self. This has almost nothing to do with sex and other people, and yet it has everything to do with sexual energy. EVERYTHING is that.
This is the science of the Self.
Relationships can be a powerful catalyst for joy and Self Realization, but the work begins with the Self.
Sex is beautiful and so powerful, but don't be fooled into believing that this is what Tantra is.
Want to work with Aaron or Alissa on your own? Book a session here.
Will I have to touch other people at a workshop?
While our workshops occasionally include exercises that invite safe, consensual and non-sexual touch, our workshops never involve any type of sexual contact between workshop attendees. (With one exception: a massage or touch workshop with couples who know what they're signing up for. But even then, every touch is optional.)
It's common to find people selling orgies with a "spiritual" disguise. This is a dangerous practice that has been sold as "tantra" and has often shown to invite trauma and drama.
Message us if you have more questions about this hot topic!
Are you LGBTQ+ friendly?
Of course we are! You're welcome to practice with any partner of your choosing, or no partner at all, depending on the type of workshop or session.
While we do speak of the masculine and feminine polarity at times, for the sake of illustration, it's important to understand that we're only talking about principals or archetypes and not gender-specific roles, body types, or sexual orientations.
Everyone and everything has both masculine and feminine qualities or energies.
And . . . the Tantra world is evolving into using new words to describe these polar energies, such as solar and lunar.
If you want to share your thoughts about this, send us a message. We're always open to learning new ways of developing our language!
Email: [email protected]
Or contact us here.
What is your background?
We have received over 2000 hours of training, over 25 combined years experience practicing, and 10,000+ hours teaching Tantra + Yoga to individuals, couples, and groups and training new teachers.
Visit the About Us page for bio-specific details. (Coming soon. Contact us if you can't wait!)
Are you trauma sensitive?
Excellent question! We are trauma informed. Much of the somatic work we do specifically relies on understanding the nervous system and knowing how to work with traumatized populations.
Our trauma awareness is always growing. In 2021, both Aaron and Alissa are beginning their Somatic Experiencing training.
If you're working through your own trauma and would like to add Tantric practices to your tool belt, we're here to help with that piece of the puzzle.
It's always recommended to work with other professional modalities as well, and we have specific recommendations for other therapists with excellent trauma education.