By Martin Svensson and Celestine Andersen.
This article is based on a lecture which was kept by Martin and Celestine in the International Yoga Congress 2010, which took place on 13-17 of October in Bucharest, Romania. On that event there were kept dozens of lectures and workshops by yoga teachers from all over the world. Among the participating teachers there was made a friendly contest for the best lecture. This lecture by Marin and Celestine won the 3rd place of all the lectures.
We will share our personal experience as a couple, upon tantric lovemaking, sexual continence and polarity as a method for spiritual growth, methods to transform the couple relationship into a spiritual engine through polarity and sexual continence, notions on the differences between men and women, and the game of polarity from a spiritual point of view.
A preview on Tantra
According to the ancient spiritual traditions, Tantra is the science of the consciousness, essentially based on experiencing the most intense and powerful states provided by the senses, in a perfectly controlled manner, in order to use this powerful energy to expand the individual limited field of awareness into the Cosmic Universal consciousness.
Among all the experiences of a human being, the erotic union, full of love and transfiguration between a man and a woman is one of the deepest and strongest. The sexual dynamism is the most powerful physical experience and in the same time so easily accessible, and Tantra offers the method to transform it into a way to spiritual regeneration and ecstasy.
The sexual energy is one of the strongest generators for intensive states we have, and used in a wise and controlled way it can be the trigger for awakening divine levels of our being. Therefor Tantra points out the deep value of the couple relationship and sexual union, because the relationship between the man and the woman holds a tremendous spiritual potential.
Kularnava Tantra states: “Using boring and difficult techniques, nobody can achieve perfection. Perfection can be achieved easily through complete controlled and aware satisfaction of the desires.”
This very courageous approach made Tantra an easy subject of misunderstandings. Westerners misused Tantra for encouraging the so-called free sexuality, which is nothing but a sure path to decadence and sufferance if the sexual continence (in fact implying a very severe discipline in order to be attained) is not practiced!
In order to be able to use the tantric methods for spiritual transformation, one should adopt a new attitude regarding the creative – sexual energy. Spiritualizing and sacralizing the sexuality is a pillar for the tantric path. Without this attitude, all the techniques or procedures are nothing but sterile exercises. What provides the real transformation into a student of Tantra, is this transfiguration of his/her sexuality into a sacred cosmic act of union between the two polarities: masculine and feminine, for recreating the primordial perfect Androgyne.
This way, the sexual union becomes a form of meditative discipline having deep psycho-mental and spiritual effects.
How to use sexuality as a spiritual tool, lies into the mechanisms of the mind and the way these mechanisms can be controlled. Tantra reveals that an intensive state have the power to destroy the self-imposed limitations that we would normally impose in the beginning of our evolution. We all know the experience of the amazing state of freedom and clarity that comes after a very intensive state of pleasure or pain because of the overwhelming amount of emotions. When going lucidly through such intensive experience, our consciousness expands immensely. The tantric system found different methods to produce in a safe way, intensive states and use them systematically to expand the consciousness.
Also here we want to mention the emphasis Tantra puts on our approach on sexuality, that is encouraged to be full of courage without taboos. First of all we have to realise where we are and start from there, as a classical example Tantra gives us. A sense of complete honesty, openness and self-awareness is needed. Everything we fear, will limit and bound us and the way to freedom is to confront and overcome our limiting patterns. Our experience is, that on the base of the intimate love relationship, we became much stronger because we were reflecting each other, giving honest, but loving feedback and guidance. In this way, we became more aware and because of the mutual support, also able to grow and overcome our limitations. The beauty of being in a couple is that there is always one to reflect you and thus the potential for fast and efficient growth, when both have transformation as a goal, and the ability to give feedback with love to help each other and not to criticise. And because we are different, we became examples for each other in different ways. Martin is for example very open-minded and detached and Celestine playful and spontaneous. He taught her to detach from her emotions and become a witness to her life. She taught him to be more free and enjoy life. In this case we helped each other to become balanced, adopting some of the best qualities from each other.
The key to a permanent transformation on the spiritual path, is repetition. An overwhelming, intensive state which is not repeated doesn´t represent a true value for the spiritual practitioner, because only the lasting states marks a real transformation.
And here comes the aspect of discipline that takes the unconscious experience and lifts it through awareness, because of the systematic approach. By putting a conscious goal into the relationship and having practical methods to obtain it, we get the conditions for the experience to become lucid and thus being able to reflect and measure the results. This sounds for some, mechanical and boring, because they are used with pleasure being connected with unconsciousness and “loosing the head” in essence letting go of the control. We see this as a consequence in the society where duty and pleasure is separated and people seek false enjoyment and relaxation through unconsciousness; excess of stimulants, drugs, TV and unhealthy food for paralyzing the senses.
We speak about the conscious erotic intensive pleasure, including all the senses, which can create high states of spiritual ecstasy, when controlled and guided to higher levels of our being.
When we approach the sexual union full of love and aspiration towards the spiritual fulfillment, combined with awareness, we have a perfect set-up for a deep and profound experience with the beloved. If we want to have lasting states of ecstasy and spiritual awakening, it is important to repeat the experience and not to leave it as an outstanding experience based on good luck that day, but to mark it in our consciousness and analyse what made us have that experience - then we can repeat it until we have obtained the aimed goal.
The attitude that Tantra is suggesting is to courageously approach the sexual exercises and should be a combination between the detached state related to karma yoga, the precision of a scientist and the devotion and transformation of a real mystic.
The fundament of the tantric sexuality is love. Even though the tantric approach on sexuality contains methods and techniques to master the control over the sexual energy, this would never be enough in order to reach the truly deep and profound states of divine union in the lovemaking. What really accelerates our states into ecstasy is based on the intense longing and love we have for our beloved, and then applying the sexual continence in the intense and polar lovemaking, we have the perfect recipe for experiencing the divine union with our beloved and the entire Universe.
One of the biggest secrets of Tantra is that the sexual energy hides the greatest potential for transformation and evolution of any human being. The sexual potential is the very manifestation of the creative primordial power at the individual level. Wasting this potential is a fast way to loose all your vital energy. Mastering this potential, maintaining the creative energy through perfect sexual continence, is the way to reach perfection.
Lovemaking with love, transfiguration and sexual continence awakens an enormous amount of energy in the aura of the two lovers. This energy can be used for transforming entirely those beings on all levels through awakening of the superior chakra-s, expanding the level of consciousness over the subtle parallel dimensions, awakening the latent energy Kundalini etc. For this, the process of sublimation is the key. Without sublimation, all the energy resulting after the sexual continence is applied successfully, will tend to stagnate only in the sexual area, lowering its frequency of vibration and possibly generating even negative phenomena such as: irritability, frustrations, tensions, indulging in the trap of sensorial pleasures, confusion, haze, possessiveness, jealousy and attachments.
Through sublimation, sexual energy is directed to other non-sexual aspects of a person such as vitality, psychic and emotional structures, mental and spiritual areas.
Sublimation is a process performed by will. Transmutation of the sexual energies appears almost spontaneously as long as the sexual potential is kept inside during a very intense and effervescent lovemaking (and not wasted through ejaculation or explosive feminine discharge respectively), the energy which results has to be directed and controlled afterwards. If it remains mostly in the sexual area it will have the tendency to ‘condense’ back in lower aspects, producing only an increased sexual appetite and the feeling of erotic desire. It is always a conscious choice to sublimate the energies, either by will, visualization or tantric techniques.
The orgasm: a way to ecstasy
Lovemaking with continence is the way to discover that love, tenderness and sensuality add countless delightful nuances to our whole existence, as well as ensuring excellent health. And, moreover, the sublimation of the energies at superior levels produces powerful spiritual transformations, the goal of any spiritual path.
One of the biggest mistakes nowadays is to equal orgasm and ejaculation (sexual discharge in the case of women). Tantra describes the orgasm as being a blissful state of expansion of the consciousness beyond all the individual normal experiences, in which the usual limits of the selfish ego are suddenly cancelled, the tyranny of the mind is abolished, and the subject experiences a certain form of ecstasy. For a short moment, one discovers in amazement, the abandonment, the death of the egotism, the canceling of the time, and the experience of the Unity, which makes this condition identical with a metaphysical experience; therefore, in terms of the tantric system, often the Enlightenment (the state of ecstasy) is even called "the cosmic orgasm".
In simple words we can say that the orgasm is the door to ecstasy. On the contrary: the ejaculation is the u-turn on that way. Prolonging the orgasm beyond the normal limits through the sexual continence leads to super sensual experiences and enriches us with incredible capacities. The lovemaking experience becomes an opportunity to explore the mysterious land of ecstasy, overwhelming happiness, pure blissful joy, and super sensual games. The feeling of love in a couple is strengthened by the controlled orgasm. Instead of being an exhausting experience, orgasm with continence reveals its sacred meaning.
The true, profound orgasm appears when there is a perfect state of polarity within ones being.
As a very process, the phase of orgasm is characterized by the loss of the individuality (ego). The excitation, previously focused mostly in the genital area, begins now to spread in the entire body, rising towards the head. An intense process of transmutation of the sexual potential takes place and the energy released inside, is leading to an overwhelming state of happiness, pleasure, intuition about the hidden mysteries, insight beyond the ‘normal reality’ and even mystical states. Together with this amazing spiritual experience, the entire physical body feels rejuvenated and regenerated due to the resorption of the rich elements contained in the semen (or sexual feminine fluids) and the re-cycling of them for feeding the inner organs and nervous system. This is the secret process of using the sexual potential (sperm in the case of man and sexual secretions in the case of woman), which is transformed in substances that the organism resorbs inside through the lymphatic network present around the genitals (in this way, all the precious substances that the semen or sexual secretions are made of, are reused and they feed the whole human structure: body, soul and spirit), and the resulting energy become part of the individual global energetic structure.
Once this potential is not lost through ejaculation, the orgasm experience can be repeated indefinitely and thus the couple (both man and woman) can experience the very famous tantric multiple orgasm.
The reason to practice sexual continence appears clearly in this light: it is the only chance to have a wonderful erotic relationship.
The lovemaking with sexual continence allows both lovers to experience peak states of orgasm (in the same time or separately), taking care constantly of the transmutation of the sexual potential (sperm in the case of man and sexual fluids in the case of woman) and sublimation of the resulting energies towards superior chakra-s and refined levels of one’s being.
So both from a human and spiritual point of view, the sexual continence is the wonderful solution to transform our lovemaking in a source of fulfillment and harmony for our couple relationship and, for the tantric initiated ones, to use it for our spiritual evolution [meaning the awakening of superior levels of the being (emotional, affective, mental, spiritual) with the help of the sublimed energies]. Also it is important to underline the importance of the state of orgasm as being an experience of non-duality and transcendence (starting with the limitations of the ego).
Tantra reveals that experiencing long, profound and controlled orgasms a human being has the chance to reach high states of ecstasy and transcendence.
In the tantric tradition, sensuality which is refined and amplified very much through sexual continence, appears as being a natural way to reach divine ecstasy (called in spirituality samadhi). Intense erotic experiences, due to the sexual continence, leads to a transpersonal state together with the other benefits. In the same time, this kind of eroticism is a mysterious way of knowing, the controlled pleasure and intense experience of the senses have here the role of a staircase to superior levels of consciousness.
The success in sexual continence implies some very important aspects. Without grounding the training within them, the practice of sexual continence is very difficult and also, even if the ejaculation could be suspended, spiritual results will not appear. The foremost important one is the LOVE. There is a big difference between having sex and making love. Just to mention few: having sex is a selfish perspective, egoistically oriented only towards satisfying one’s own lust while making love is a devoted and self-giving action of expressing one’s love and adoration for the beloved using the erotic energy. Having sex is limited to the genital organs, leaving behind frustrations and a bitter taste of missing the essential while making love is expanding one’s consciousness from finite to infinite with the help of the ecstatic states of orgasm, reaching hidden spiritual dimensions unbelievable for normal people.
There is nothing better in the world than to love and be loved back and a peak of this happiness is to make love with your beloved one. Tantra says: “when love is infinite, the impossible becomes easily possible.”
When love is missing but there is sexual attraction, you can only have sex. But when two lovers love each other, making love represents for them a wonderful crowning of their feelings.
“If a woman is free and radiant in feminine energy, the man is probably attracted; sometimes more attracted,sometimes less attracted, but always attracted. This attraction is not only natural, but healthy. It is a sign of polarity, the same kind of natural flow of polarization by which electricity flows between the positive and negative poles of a battery. The nature of nature is polarity, from the magnetism that flows between the north and south poles of the earth, to the attraction that flows between the masculine core and the feminine radiance of a woman.”
When there is a strong attraction between a man and a woman, it represents a big amount of energy which has a potential to be used for spiritual transformation. The more energy we have, the bigger is our potential growth. A state of polarity in a human being or between a man and a woman, lies in the game between energy and consciousness. Here the feminine represents the energy and the masculine the consciousness. It is a common knowledge that we attract our match, so a very feminine woman will attract a very masculine man, a more neutral woman will attract a more neutral man. The same is valid within our own being; when we have a lot of energy and emotion we need more awareness in order to polarise our selves, but if we are weak we need less awareness. If a person is very emotional but lacks consciousness, he or she will drown in chaos. If a person is very mental and aware but lacks energy/vitality, he or she will be very dry and unable to sustain hard or long lasting actions.
In Tantra we emphasise a lot on vitality as a base of any step on the spiritual path. A strong vitality is the fundament and hereafter comes the sublimation and awareness to lift our being to higher levels of consciousness. Here we can mention the direct experience of the state of vitality as a measure of the ability for high intense states of pleasure. When the vitality goes lower in one of us, we are not able to reach the highest levels of ecstasy, nor the ability to make love for many hours. The vitality is directly linked with the ability to experience and maintain high divine states.
The game of the masculine and feminine is a constant practise within ourselves to become perfect, balanced human beings. And the couple relationship is a very efficient tool for working with the polarity, where the man will represent the masculine pole of consciousness, focus, direction and firmness, and the woman the feminine pole of energy, emotion, movement and changeability.
The stronger this polarity is between the man and the woman, the greater the attraction becomes and represents the engine in the couple relationship. What we do with this potential engine is up to our direction. If we just enjoy and consume the polarity, sooner or later the attraction will disappear and this is what many couples experience like a drying out of their relationship, the passion gradually disappears and frustrations becomes more dominant between them. Often we experience that as long as one of us takes our part of the pole, the other one follows. It doesn´t help to criticise the other one or waiting for him to be more masculine or her to be more feminine. If you want transformation in the couple relationship, start with yourself.
The mans attraction to women is natural, normal, and beautiful. In fact, it is an aspect of the same desire that will ultimately lead him toward spiritual freedom. The women represents the feminine energy, Shakti, the creation. And the more the man is able to embrace the manifestation of the feminine, regardless if it is a storm in nature or an emotional storm from his woman, it shows his level of masculinity and ability to stand firm. When a man rejects the feminine manifestation, his ability for a strong polarisation diminishes. The more centered, firm and present a man is, the more energy he can contain. A man can practise the state of embracing the feminine in every moment, seeing the whole manifestation as his lover, feeling her, breathing her in and loving her equally in the wild stormy hurricanes and in the warm, gentle breezes. The feminine, even in the non-human forms of a lush tropical island or a favorite tune, is a way to polarise the man. The acceptance of sexual attraction, even with music and places, is at the root of our capacity to experience bodily pleasure.
If we take the same example in the case of the women, it means that the more she opens for her amount of energy, and let it flow freely, the stronger and more intense experiences she has, the more she will become present and aware. In the most intense, profound experiences of lovemaking - and especially in the moment of the tantric implosive orgasm, the woman can experience deep states of consciousness, transcending her ego and thus enter the ecstatic blissful void.
This shows us that the deeper we dive into our natural essence, as a man or woman, the more we polarise ourselves.
The polarity in the couple relationship is essential in order to take high spiritual steps on the path. The more intensity we create, the more we trigger a potential awakening of the consciousness, thus sublimating the energies upwards and enter the gate to divine ecstasy.
An efficient method to create polarity, is the tantric lovemaking done with love, transfiguration and sexual continence, making an intense awakening of the senses combined with a state of lucidity and being fully present in the moment. When we stimulate the senses in an intense, pleasurable way, we become present in the body and open a gateway into the depth of our being. If we maintain a conscious state of witness in the experience, we create the perfect union between the masculine and feminine aspect within our being. In the same time the man can focus on his masculine essence and the woman on her feminine essence and become aware of the polar game in the sexual union with the beloved.
In the game of polarity, if we look at the history of time, men have always enjoyed to watch women, to see them manifest their feminine qualities - and it is a feminine attribute for the woman, to shine and manifest her love and beauty. Men will even pay to watch a woman’s body express ecstasy. In our Western culture, most men are only familiar with sexual ecstasy, and so it is this form of free bodily expression that men pay to see, in movies, on the stage all around the world. However, in cultures that admit a greater degree of spiritual revelation, women’s bodies are viewed with the same masculine awe, but for a different kind of expression: not merely for their capacity to express sexual ecstasy in a way that is foreign, and unbelievably attractive, but also for their capacity to express spiritual ecstasy. Temple dancers in India, for instance, are traditionally feminine women trained from an early age to combine skill and heartfelt devotion in a style of dance which frees their bodies to be moved by divine force, bringing tears to many men’s eyes and openness to their hearts. A woman who is at home with her feminine essence is at home with energy, be it sexual or spiritual. For such a woman, there is no disconnection between sexuality and spirit. Whether in a strip joint or a sacred temple, men have been attracted for thousands of years to witness the feminine embodiment of ecstasy. Women are literally worshipped in such occasions.
A womans sexual surrender, if she is with a man who she truly loves, is the same as her devotional or spiritual surrender.
Recipe for rebuilding polarity
1. Stop bad habits which damage the polarity.
2. Take a break. Use the time apart to regenerate and build your own pole, increasing femininity in the case of the woman, and masculinity in the case of the man.
3. Increase and awaken the sensual erotic energy.
Practice sexual continence and improve it constantly. Contemplate erotic art and use aphrodisiacs.
4. Be romantic as often as possible. Do something, big or small, that your beloved will really like, every week.
5. Be prepared and considerate in the company of your beloved. Prepare yourself for your meetings, and do not show yourself in a non-beautiful way.
6. Increase intimacy and focus on continuous transformation. Use time together to go deeper in your connection with each other. Invoke the energy of the beginning by remembering all the beautiful moments you had in the beginning of the relationship.
In the couple relationship with a base of deep love and spiritual aspiration for growth, it is a constant issue to maintain the polarity as a method for lasting happiness, fulfillment and spiritual transformation. As a man and a woman we have to be aware of our inner essence and consciously manifest and renew our masculine or feminine potential.
First of all we need as a couple to set a higher goal and purpose for walking the path together and then apply all the necessary means to keep the right track. Be honest, courageous and take the necessary actions to overcome any limitation. Aim to have a daring, detached attitude towards your inner challenges.
The more polarity we have between us, the more we are able to accelerate into higher states of consciousness. We should always aim to seek intense experiences and nurture the erotic fulfillment and intimacy in the couple relationship.
And more important above all else; love, love and love.
With love & aspiration
Martin Svensson and Celestine Andersen.
Natha Yogacenter, Copenhagen, Denmark.
International Yoga Congress 2010, MISA.
- (Past events)
Today, for the seventh year in a row Natha Yogacenter holds the tantric festival in Bhoga ashram. The festival has become a wonderful tradition, each year dedicated to deepen a certain aspect of the tantric approach to life. This year the topic of the camp is to understand the game of polarity – and ultimately to transcend the two opposite poles of manifestation by understanding them through direct experience.
This is the 6th tantric festival I participate in and I have been looking forward to this one with curiosity and excitement since my experiences the previous years have been very beautiful and have taught me in a direct way some very valuable aspects of yoga and tantra. Being a yoga student for nearly 10 years now doesn’t at all mean that I have learned all there is to know about these aspects, on the contrary. It seems that the more knowledge I get, the more I realize how many things I still need to learn. Nathas leading teacher, Mihai Stoian, and his wife Adina Stoian, kept the opening conference in the afternoon explaining why polarity is such an important issue on the tantric path. All the yoga practices and advanced tantric techniques are based on the game of polarity between the two fundamental energies in the universe, the feminine creative energy and the masculine energy of consciousness. Without a basic understanding of the interaction between these energies the different techniques will be of little efficiency and you are unable to truly practice tantra. Therefore it’s of great importance for beginners as well as advanced yoga practitioners to gain a deeper insight into the fascinating game between Shiva and Sakti. To support and intensify this process of becoming aware of the game of polarity during the festival certain rules will be applied. Men and women will live separately during the first days of the festival and follow different spiritual programs. It’s a very common misunderstanding in our society today that men and woman are the same and must be treated completely equally, since in reality men and woman are as different as the sun and the moon. It’s a source of unhappiness and frustration when we lose touch with the specific characteristics of our respective natures and become incapable to understand our self as well as the opposite sex. In this festival all participants are invited to join the game of re-discovering the polarity which has as its ultimate goal the transcendence of duality by obtaining the state of androgyny.
After the opening conference some re-arrangements were necessary to make in order to separate men and women, but this unexpected change in the living conditions were received with openness due to a great willingness to gain deeper self-insight by direct experience. The last “common meal” was eaten together before the separation of men and woman took place. After a delicious dinner there was a short introduction of the program of the following days and a meditation on the state of unconditional happiness. The male participants in the festival had to get up 4.30 next morning in order to start a long program of intensive yoga practice for amplifying the masculine energies and were quick to head off to bed. Being a woman I had the (in my eyes at least) privilege of sleeping until 9 the following day, so I stayed with the other woman enjoying a cup of tea and some chocolate cake. It felt really good being a woman and the same sensation appeared when I was woken up at 4 in the morning by the bell announcing that the men’s program started. I snuggled up in my sleeping bag with a feeling of admiration for the men who would spend the next two hours in meditation outside in the cold morning air. I felt how the process of polarization already started to appear.
As mentioned yesterday the woman’s program started at 9 with 2 hours of common yoga practice. It was my first experience to practice yoga together with such a big group of only women and the difference in the energy, compared to my normal yoga class, was easy to perceive. Even if many of us didn’t know each other yet, a feeling of togetherness was starting.
During the day we hardly saw the men. They were all keeping mauna (silence) so the only thing you could hear in Bhoga ashram was the sound of women laughing and talking happily. When the meals were served men and woman stayed at each side of the dining hall and the effects of the polarization was becoming even more obvious. The men were silent and introspective, making the women feel light and joyful. Suddenly it was a striking experience just to look a man into the eyes and the emotional numbness due to the (sad) phenomenon “unisex” and lack of polarization in every day life was replaced with a thrilling sensation of playful attraction.
In the afternoon, while the men continued their intensive yoga practice, the woman met for a conference with Adina Stoian. A lot of interesting material was presented explaining about the ideal of the perfect Sakti, for whom all doors in this creation are open. We were reminded that everything we experience in life is created by our thoughts and we are fully able to create the life of our dreams. Each woman gave a short introduction of her-self and as the hours passed an atmosphere of friendship appeared. By listening to each other and sharing I became aware of women’s great capacity to assimilate the best qualities in each other. A feeling of sympathy and I dare to say even love started to arise between us.
In the evening lecture the woman and men met for the first time this day for a common activity. We were situated in each side of the room facing each other, and the game of polarization was now manifesting in a very obvious way. The field of energy between the two poles was vibrating in the room and filled me with a great joy. The strong polarization made me feel complete and at the same time very energized. Even after a long day full of impressions and experiences I stayed up till late in the night to finish some tasks and just a few moments before the men would start a new day of intensive practice, I went to bed with an even deeper admiration than I felt the night before. If you haven’t experienced it perhaps a little hard to understand what is so attractive about a man getting up even before sunrise, meditating outside in the cold, keeping silence, taking cold showers and doing all other kind of activities that you don’t usually find on a woman list of things she would like a man to do. But not even the best suit and nicest car can match a man who has set himself a goal and without any further hesitation follows it. It gives a feeling of inner security because you know that here is a man who you can trust to follow. I am somehow amazed how many things already start to crystallize after being just two days in the festival. A big chapter of life has been opened and as I start to read it I discover infinite many secrets hidden between the lines.
The third day of the tantric festival was guiding us even deeper inside. Through simple code of conduct, staying in silence, restraining from eating and an intense meditative program our being was purified and lead towards a continuous deepening of our inner world.
How do we find our way in life? In the morning lecture Mihai explained how we often use a different roadmap than the one which actually corresponds to where we are in our life. On any roadmap you have infinite possibilities of choosing your way. There is always a left or right turn to take and only in the moments where we reach a dead end not included in the map do we realise that we are using the wrong map.
We often believe that we are somewhere which we are not and for this reason we often take actions or decisions which are based on pure imagination or superstition, and which have nothing to do with reality and our real situation in life.
This day was the moment of truth for everybody in the camp. Silence and introspection prevailed and only sporadically could the sounds of whispering or the walking across the courtyard be heard. Everybody had the chance to relax deep inside and let go of all tensions and reactions, which often are created inside of us when we constantly interact with our surroundings.
Staying in such conditions somehow naturally give us the opportunity to align ourselves with the truth through a constant awareness on our inner reactions instead of, as we often choose, to project any problem or personal limitation on the outer reality. When the only feedback we receive is what our mind produces, it becomes more clear how all problems in fact derive from our own lack of awareness and honesty about who we are and what we are about.
Everybody received a questionnaire with questions helping and guiding us to go deeper inside and in complete honesty and transparency of our heart consider some fundamental conditions of life. Even though you are not here with us in the middle of this amazing process of tantric self enquiry I invite you here to consider some of these questions in connection with your own life situation. Remember that the answers are for your selves only. It is not to prove anything or create a certain image in the eyes of anybody else. And they are not meant to be answered in a formalised way, creating a certain explanation or correct answer. The questions are guidelines to penetrate deeper inside your selves and unveil all your habitual masks and self images, and slowly to get closer to the true and objective perception of yourself. This is often not even a mental process, but a process of reflection on another level, where the mind becomes still and thereby allows us to access both the deeper realms of the subconscious and the sublime serene intuitions of the superior consciousness. So sit down comfortably and let go of all other projects and worries before you throw yourself into this exercise. Good luck!
Are you happy about your relationship with God? Can you do more for that relationship to get better?
Did you fulfill your goals in life until now? Are you happy with the way you are going for that?
What is the level of consciousness are you at now? Can you define it by describing few of its characteristics?
What is your very next goal to achieve in your spiritual practice? Are you doing enough for the moment to achieve it?
Are you happy with your job? Is it going in the direction you aspire in the deepest corner of your heart?
Is your love life satisfactory? Do you love enough so that you feel your heart fulfilled? If not, how much more do you need? How many times did you express your love in the last week in an exceptional way?
Look back at your life as it is the life of a friend. At first sight, what are the actions of that person (which is you) indicating? What are the real goals of that person if you would analyze those actions? Write down the result of this analysis and after that read it with detachment. Is that reflecting what you wanted in this life?
Would you be able to give your life for something? If yes, name clearly that thing that you would give your life for? Imagine with details a situation in which you give your life for that thing? Is the image vivid or pale? Do you believe that you would do such a sacrifice?
Do you feel appreciated at your real value by the people around you? If not, what is the most important misunderstanding regarding your person that most of the people are doing? Why do you think it is like that?
Do you appreciate correctly the people around you? Have you ever been wrong? When was the last time you told to somebody: “I was wrong, I am sorry.”?
If you were in the last minutes of your life now, what will be the last thing you would like to do? What is keeping you from not doing it right now?
My alarm clock rings at 0345 and in a state of bewilderment I wake up reaching out to stop the alarm. This is the fourth day of the Tantric festival and I have yet to get used to getting up at this hour.
A few seconds after my alarm clock goes off the sound of a gong can be heard in the distance.
This is the summoning of the men to morning meditation.
I am sleeping in a room with 7 other men who, like me, roll out of their beds in a state of bewilderment.
It is an amazing feeling that the body can feel tired and completely broken after just 2 and a half hours of sleep but that the soul can feel invigorated and alive. Putting the physical body in unusual situations can at times make you more aware of the more refined layers of the being. This is a state that I have come to know a lot of since I started my spiritual practice 5 years ago.
Slowly and in a zombie like state we proceed to the big yoga hall. Here we will do one hour of what are called “sublimation techniques” in yoga. This consists of yogic exercises which can raise unrefined levels of energy in our being to higher more refined forms of energy. This is very necessary for men who aim to achieve what is called “sexual continence”. Sexual continence starts with the preservation of the vital sexual energy (sperm) in the case of men. This vital sexual energy which when “un-sublimated” expresses itself as “heavy balls” on the physical level or emotional frustration, lust, desire or stress on the emotional level, can through these exercises be transformed to the more refined feelings of valour, love, intuition, aspiration etc.
Initially I am very tired and my inner dialogue is continually prompting me to return to bed. By ignoring this inner dialogue and focusing in the heart where the soul resides I slowly begin to feel fresh and invigorated as I roll my stomach in circles (a very effective yogic exercise to sublimate the energies). The yoga hall is filled with the sound of huffing and puffing of the other men making the same exercise.
Other men are making the “sun salutation” technique as the sun rises a bit after 0400. I am filled with a quite sense of humbleness and awe looking at my fellow men saluting the sun. I stand for a moment with the palms of my hands pressed towards each other in a yogic prayer position called prathanasana. This is my way of welcoming the sun as I never myself learned the sun salutation.
At 0500 we proceed to the dining hall to pick up our chairs which we carry out with us to the “shiva lingham” statue located in the southern garden.
A shiva lingham statue is a phallic symbol of shiva or the “universal masculine”. The universe is divided into masculine and feminine essence. The masculine essence relates to terms such as consciousness and transcendence and the feminine relates to terms such as energy, immanence and life. By meditating together around a shiva lingham statue men are reminded of their masculine essence and thereby get in touch with their deepest nature.
The men place themselves in a circle around the shiva lingham. The ground is very soft and some of the men’s chairs sink halfway into the ground. A very humorous sight indeed!
After a lot of scraping and moving around we are finally still and await the arrival of our teacher Mihai, who arrives at 0510. We make a short consecration and start the meditation. Meditation is much facilitated by the presence of one who is experienced in meditation such as Mihai. In the course of the two hours of meditation he sits perfectly still and straight, exactly like the shiva lingham statue itself. Many of us (myself included) periodically fall asleep. It is easy to see when somebody falls asleep in meditation. The back may remain straight but the chin falls to the chest. A person who is half asleep makes sudden jerks as he falls asleep but awakens before he gets too far out of equilibrium. It was certainly an amusing sight the first day to see all these men wrapped in many layers of clothes jerking back and forth half asleep in their meditations while Mihai remains completely straight but today the concentration was much better. We were much more awake and there was a strong field in the meditation. It is an ecstatic feeling to see people improve and to feel how we day by day through simple techniques become more and more masculine.
After the meditation I make a round to inspect the premises. The participants have different tasks assigned to them as the running of a camp with so many people needs a lot of work. My tasks are to coordinate the “handymen” to fix things that are broken, to do administration and to update the internet. Our biggest task of the day is to finish the outdoor showers for the men. I drive to Copenhagen with a fellow yogi Martin to pick up all sorts of materials needed at a specialized plumbing store. Up till now the showers for men consisted of two garden hoses connected to the cold water but today we will upgrade them to warm water showers. Cold showers are good for men working on continence but now it is time to give them more luxury up to the pending meeting with women in one of the days to come. Here they need to be well rested and vital.
We come home in time for lunch. Our meals are fascinating experiences due to the special atmosphere created by the splitting up of the sexes. The men eat on one half of the dining hall and the women eat on the other half. They are separated by a long table upon which the food is placed.
The men are in silence, not allowed to say a word, but the women may speak and giggle with each other as much and as lively as they feel inspired to. It is a huge contrast, the giggling laughing women on one side and the stern silent men on the other side. As the women go up to take the food the men gaze at them, some with lust others with longing and others with deep transfiguration. The women are fully aware of this and send teasing glances back at the men. Some make extra gestures as flinging back the hair and blinking their long eyelashes. Just after a few days separation the game of the sexes has become very intense.
In the afternoon there is yet another meditation for men around the shiva lingham statue. This time I have an awesome meditation. I was introduced to a special type of strap on device which goes around the knees and the lower back. When the strap is tightened the back becomes straighter enabling a better and more focused meditation. A straight back is absolutely necessary in meditation. A straight back is a physical suggestion of being awake, being masculine and being alert. If the back is not kept straight, drowsy states appear after a few moments.
The sound of the leaves in the wind of the big trees surrounding the garden is an incredible sound which facilitates to deep states of meditation. Nature loves the adept who meditates and sometimes in incredible ways the meditator joins into a subtle communion with nature. When he breathes, nature breaths, when his mind becomes restless the wind picks up, the leaves make more noise and the meditator returns to the meditation. A kind of communication appears where mother nature is reminding the meditator to focus on his meditation. Often states of Samadhi in the meditator appears simultaneously with sudden changes in the weather. My deepest states in meditation have often been accompanied by the sudden starting of rainfall, as if nature itself starts crying with the catharsis that accompanies the entering of the state of deep communion with God the father.
In this case though, I was very happy that it remained dry!
The weather forecasts promised really bad weather with strong wind and lots of rain, but each time us men made the meditation the rain stopped and at the end of each of the shiva lingham meditations the weather was lighter and more fair.
In the evening we have yet another incredible lecture with Mihai. Again the men were sitting in the eastern half of the yoga hall and the women in the western half.
Mihai expanded more on the roles of men and women. The gist of the lecture was that women provide the choices to men but it is men who must make the decision. As an archetypical symbol of never ending creativity a wise woman offers a series of wise choices for the man to choose from. A woman continuously throws apples (meaning choices or energy) at the man and it is the man who must pull out his sword of discernment to cut the apples, meaning to cut the bad parts out and leave what is good.
A biblical example is when Eve offers the apple to Adam. Adam should have cut of the bad part of the apple and given it back to her. This is what a woman wants, the wise discernment and the generosity of the man. Instead Adam ignorantly and greedily takes the apple and eats it for himself. Adam shows that he has not understood the basic fundaments of polarity and in this way begins the whole misery of separation. They are expelled from the Garden of Eden and we as human beings will remain separated from wholeness until we begin to understand and apply the principles of polarity.
As Mihai gets warmed up offering more and more examples of how polarity applies in daily life, examples that all of us can relate to, the atmosphere lifts and people laugh more and more.
The lecture ends quite late and I make my way to bed. I know I have to get up in a couple of hours for the men’s morning meditation but it feels like more than enough when the soul feels nourished.
Today was the last day when men and women were separated. Until the evening, the program was similar to the other days with yoga practise and exemplifications in the morning and a sakti conference in the afternoon (and the men continued their long hours of meditation). A part of the program for the coming days was revealed and the woman started to prepare for the future activities – let’s keep it a secret for now what will happen, but it made the whole ashram vibrate with joy and creativity.
In the evening the men and woman met in the yoga hall and one by one every participant in the festival made a personal presentation. The men had to perform on a stage, alone, in front of all the women. There were a few questions all of them had to answer but the difference in the way it was done was amazingly big. Some men made the woman cry from laughter other touched our tender female hearts with poetry and acts of love towards sakti. It was very beautiful to see and feel the manifestations of Shiva who until this point had been somehow hidden due to the separation phase. The polarisation was very strong and the (brave) men were met with an enormous amount of energy when they stood in front of us.
When the men’s presentation was finished it was the women turn to be courageous. Our approach was much more soft and emotional. It was beautiful to see each woman express herself, sharing her unique qualities, her dreams and aspiration with the audience. For me the challenge of standing in the spot light was not so hard to overcome, it was more like a spontaneous game and the atmosphere was full of openness and encouragement. Some persons were great entertainers others could hardly speak a word due to nervousness, but all were equally embraced by the audience and appreciated. It’s not really possible to describe in words what is happening in a spiritual camp like this one. There are some very subtle processes creating a stronger and stronger energetic field which is supporting the transformation people are going through. It feels as if we have borrowed a small piece of heaven. People become more beautiful, friendlier, and more alive. We shake off our robot habits that in daily life keeps us locked in all kind of pre-programmed reactions, and we start to discover much more profound aspects of our nature. When stress and agitation begin to diminish and inner beauty appears. People start to smile, but real smiles. They start to laugh much more. They start to look each other into the eyes, and tonight it felt as if we also looked into each others souls for a moment. A magic moment – and I have a feeling it will not be the last in this camp.
Until yesterday evening the different activities in the camp were steps of preparation for increasing the field of polarity. Now the game has fully unfolded. It’s like we have carefully prepared a bonfire, ignited it and are now stepping into the fire. Inside of myself I feel a big energy awakened that catalyze different realizations and states.
The meditations are deeper and more profound than in the beginning of the camp and my awareness about different phenomena related to polarity is increasing. It’s a direct knowledge through experience that is by far surpassing all the theoretical explanations I have received through the years.
In the morning men and women did the yoga practise together doing couple asanas, meaning different yoga postures that a man and woman can do in. It’s very different from doing yoga alone where your focus is inward. In the couple asanas you focus to perceive the streams of energies between the man and woman, and it’s a wonderful, intimate experience. It unites the couple at a deep level and helps to develop the capacity of empathy. It also increases the polarity in the couple because you create an energetic field together amplifying the polar energies.
In the afternoon was made a special tantric exemplification. Aftewardsr, in the evening, men and women made separate meetings to prepare the activities for the following days – and also in this way to experience the effect of avalanche after the exemplification. When a couple separate the energies between them amplify greatly so in tantra it’s highly recommended to experience this process consciously after for example love making.
The woman’s meeting is still taking place at this moment. Imagine 40 women in a room, all full of sparkling inspiration and wonderful ideas, supposed to plan in details the day for surprising the men, but instead making an (apparently) never ending brain storm... Well, only 39 women now, since I silently escaped the event in order to write this text. I felt that there were enough great ideas generated and me adding a few more were really not needed. We had enough suggestions to fill out the whole festival next year and we only have one single day at our disposal (Friday). Sakti is an inexhaustible source of creativity and divine inspiration, but without Shiva to give the energies a clear direction it turns into chaos. In comparisons the men’s meeting which started one hour later has already finished. Or perhaps they just didn’t get that many great ideas, without Sakti to inspire them ;) Probably by the end of tomorrow I will apologize for this remark after having experienced the day of my dreams, since tomorrow the men will surprise the woman. I am very curious to see what they have prepared. Perhaps a gentle massage, a walk in the forest and chocolate cake… A (very) romantic movie, flowers and manifestations of strength, generosity and love. My wishing list is endless, since a man can make a woman happy in infinite many ways.
I apologize, I apologize, I apologize! For my remark yesterday about the men that were perhaps lacking ideas without the women to inspire them. The men in the camp made the most wonderful day possible as a gift to the women!
It started already in the morning. We made a long session of couple asanas and received in the end a red rose each. Already my heart was touched. There is something magic about roses that is irresistible for a woman’s heart.
For lunch the men had prepared fruit salad with cream for desert and other delicious dished that made us feel spoiled and appreciated.
In the afternoon the men made a special angel walk where each woman was sent through a tunnel, created by the men, gently guided them forward and embracing them with statements of love and soft caresses. It created a deep state of transfiguration and surrendering. Afterwards followed a lecture with Mihai Stoian. A man went around and offered all kinds of chocolates placed on a silver plate, decorated with candles and flowers, all kinds of chocolates. Heaven!
The peak moment was in the evening. The men had prepared a candlelit dinner, taking care of every little detail. There were flowers on the tables, nice napkins, wine glasses, candles and soft music. I watched the men while they prepared the meal and I was so touched by their efforts in making this the perfect evening. They prepared the food on plates, arranging it in such a way you felt you were eating in an expensive, exclusive restaurant. It was done with so much attention and carefulness that every movement became an act of love. It was perhaps the most wonderful dinner in my life. I almost couldn’t eat because my heart was so overwhelmed. There was a man serving bread and the way he offered the plate to each woman was a poem of love put into action. I felt embraced, loved, adored, and appreciated beyond words by Shiva. For desert were served strawberries with chocolate sauce – I had tears in my eyes. Then banana split with ice cream – I was speechless. When an enormous amount of chocolate cake was ending the feast I was convinced beyond any doubt that these men were some of the most wonderful men in this world. It was not the actions themselves but the love behind them that touched me deeply. You could feel how the men had put all their heart into giving the woman what would make her the most happy. Every detail was taken care of.
After dinner we watched an extraordinary beautiful movie “Ashes and snow” which were a perfect way to end this truly amazing day. I felt so taken care of and so loved. I thank all of the men in the camp on behalf of all the women for devoting today to Sakti in such a beautiful and perfect way. It has been divine.
Today was the day, where the women should give the men a gift. A gift that they would like to have. I guess I don’t have to explain that the men were getting rather curious as to what the women would come up with especially after yesterdays surprise from the men to the women.
The women had been asking us what we wanted and even set up a suggestion box. It might be that some of the men wrote down their hottest fantasies - personally I said I would like to be shown how to make the women happy. But I guess that was a bit too unclear for the women…
To begin with all the men drew a number that matched a girl that was to be their hostess for lunch. All the girls were dressed very beautiful and began to serve the men food and drinks and made pleasant conversation. I was so lucky to be served by an especially wonderful woman and I must admit I could get used to being served like that…
Later we were literally worshiped by the shaktis! Placed in a big circle with our eyes closed all the women bowed in front of us in adoration. While listening to beautiful music and a soft voice speaking words of worshipping Shiva the slowly rotated around all the men gently caressing them and in all ways showing their adoration. It was such a beautiful experience and it made me feel very solar and masculine. Or should I say even more solar and masculine since that was a state that had been building up during the entire camp.
After a lovely dinner there was a big surprise for desert! Suddenly a curtain was pulled away and there was lying a gorgeous naked women completely covered in fruit! After some minutes of admiration we all started eating until nothing was left. Very tasty! Everybody was overwhelmed and actually it seemed that the naked woman there was the one enjoying the whole thing the most…
And that wasn’t all: After the dinner there were some very skilful erotic dances that left us speechless in adoration. And finally all the women came very lightly dressed carrying candles and danced through the room like a river of beauty overwhelming everybody.
As the big finale of an amazing day the shaktis had prepared the big yoga hall with candles and light curtains that made some small private spaces. And maybe the biggest gift of the entire day: A nice oil massage that could be as erotic as the couple both felt like. To judge from the sounds some of the couples went quite far… ;-)
Feeling happy and loved I decided to head for the tent at 5am. What a beautiful day!
The silence has returned to Bhoga. Most participants have already left, but you still feel the echoes of the intensity that has characterized the last 10 days. It’s the moment for contemplation. When I came last Friday my mind was full of thoughts relating to the daily life, now I can mostly feel my hearts quiet contentment.
We ended the camp in the afternoon with a meditation and after that I went out in the fields to be alone for a while. The camp has been so incredible full of experiences and impressions that I needed to crystalize the essence of it. My main goal for participating has been to deepen my understanding of the spiritual path I am following and to become more conscious of the way I live my life. As I was sitting in the field, feeling the sun, that has finally returned, caressing my face, I was not sure if I had achieved what I came for. My meditations have not been that great, my understandings not that profound. I wondered how to measure what I have learned in the camp? When you set a goal you can measure in different ways if it has been accomplished. You know that you can drive a car, when you are actually doing it. But how could I know if I had truly learned anything from the last 10 days experiences? Was I more conscious? Wiser perhaps?
I went for a long walk. I walked through the fields, feeling I was crossing an ocean of yellow waves. It was an incredible beautiful evening. After almost a week with rain and storm the sun light felt like a blessing, bringing out the colours in everything. The wind was strong and made me feel as if I was almost lifted from the ground expanding into the sky. I walked to the beach and the sight of the sea was breathtaking. The waves were powerful and the golden light from the sunset created a beautiful frame of pink and purple clouds in the horizon. As I kept walking, for hours, something happened in my heart. All my questions were one by one silenced. I could suddenly feel the present moment and realized how unique and incredible perfect it was. I felt polarized and complete. It was as if the last piece in a puzzle was put in place and I could now see the full picture. It had been there all the time, but I had not known how to look at it. It had been right beside me, but I had been gazing forward into the future believing that only there I could find what I searched for. I felt embraced by an endless love created by the game between Shiva and Sakti, between the man and the woman.
I stayed up all night and watched the sunrise. The moment was simply too beautiful to end. How could I go to sleep when I had finally woken up to experience love and happiness? 10 days ago my mind was full of useless thoughts, and from experience I know that they will one by one appear again, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the tears in my eyes are from happiness and not from pain, that the sun is rising because of love and not necessity and that my heart is open to give. The tantric festival has been a celebration of life as it should be lived, full of love and intensity. Perhaps I was looking for something else when I came, but I realize now that I have found what I was really searching for; the essence that is in every cell of existence. Something I can only receive by giving it away. That magic star dust God is pouring into our hearts with infinite generosity. Love.