When you hear about Tantra, people often fear that they will end up in orgies or being taken advantage of by a teacher or therapist. Could I tell you, hand on my heart, that this would never happen? Well, no I cannot. Though the majority of Tantra classes have no actual sexual activity within them, some facilitators do offer to make space for that. And whilst some teachers adopt strict codes of conduct, others do not. Should Tantra be regulated? Is it even possible to regulate such a system?
The thing is, Tantra is edgy. By its very nature it has to be edgy because a core theme within it is to explore our edge. It is choosing to delve down into realms of fears and shadows, in order to bring the light of awareness to those parts. Therefore, it is kind of impossible to avoid these areas if you want to go into Tantra.
Tantra is actually an invitation to go on that inner voyage into the shadowland. It is creating a space that will hold you in some way to go in and find such places. Ultimately it is the presence within you that will hold these places, but the presence of the facilitator and any space holders will support you on the way.
Having said that, it is important to know that you do not need to endure any trauma to enter tantra. Now the thing is, what is traumatic to one person is extremely liberating to another….so it is not actually possible to point the finger and say “this experience is traumatic” or “that teacher is traumatizing”. It is more about the experiencer, and their response to an event.Trauma happens when we cannot integrate an experience that we have. Due to past experiences, and fears that were given to us by our parents, we each develop different responses to life’s twists and turns. One person will be exhilarated looking over a high viewpoint, and another enters a state of trauma. One person is thrilled to jump into deep water, another would enter a state of panic. And so it is with many life experiences…we all respond in different ways.
So how can Tantra offer us the opportunity to open up without the risk of trauma? Well, the risk is always there, however certain things can be regulated.
There are many teachers and schools who have introduced ethics and boundaries, such as avoiding sexual connection with students. This is to keep students safe from feeling violated or re-traumatised around abuse issues, as they go on their path of healing. Boundaries vary from school to school and teacher to teacher, so check in and find one that suits you.
One of the greatest way to handle this issue would come from the empowerment of the participants. As a student, you actually do have the right to make empowered choices and to choose what is right for you in each moment. This is a great skill to learn in life, as you can never guarantee “safety” from the outside, but you can begin to trust your inner guidance system and learn to communicate in empowered ways.
Here are 8 ways to empower yourself whilst entering the world of Tantra:
And by the way, you do NOT have to have sex with anyone to experience Tantra! Tantra is a world of energy activation, and energy can be awakened with dance, movement, yoga, qigong, shaking, massage and meditation. You always have the absolute right to choose your level of intimacy with another person. It is most empowering to take responsibility for your own choices and choose in ways that you feel will serve your highest good and the highest good of all others.
So should Tantra be regulated? Well possibly it could, and that is an on-going conversation. However, my invitation is to begin right now by regulating from within yourself. Your own inner wisdom, inner guidance and inner awareness is the best guide you have on this journey called Life. To build a deep level of discernment, being able to open to trust, and developing the empowerment to communicate are all valuable life skills, and tantra workshops are a great place to explore and develop them.
© 2014. Shashi Solluna. All rights reserved.