Years ago I started hearing about Tantra, an oriental system that teaches how to use sexuality for spiritual enlightenment. I loved the concept, because I felt that this great treasure of sexuality we had been given, as human beings, had to be much more than physical pleasure and procreation. I still have much to learn, but the information I’ve been gathering has been profoundly fascinating.
And now I am married to a man who is also a Christian and also has a strong desire to get closer to The Divine, which is a wonderful “coincidence” (no, I don’t believe in coincidences, rather in synchronicities). So when we heard about this “introduction to tantra massage course,” we jumped at the idea of attending. It ended up being something quite larger than that, though.
This whole-day event (from 10 am to 6 pm) was held at Natha Yoga Center in Malmö, by Adinatha and Ananda who are the leaders of the Tantra Temple in Copenhagen. In their premises they teach yoga, tantra yoga, and offer tantra massage. As it turns out, their concept of “tantra massage” is a very holistic and healing experience, not just for comfort, but something that heals body, emotions, mind and soul. The teachers have also been a couple since 8+ years ago, and they spread a beautiful energy of love, sweetness, and glittering bliss – especially Ananda, who has a delicious and charming laughter.
We were a rather large group: 12 men and 13 women, plus the teachers. We first started with an overview of what it implies to be fully present in the moment (of course Eckhart Tolle had to be mentioned), and how marvelous and unfortunately unusual it is for us to be really here and now. For the most part, if we have a void moment in our lives, such as sitting waiting for a bus, we desperately try to fill it with something – like the omnipresent Facebook in our ever-present smartphones. Would it really be so catastrophic if we dared spend those minutes in silence, gathering our thoughts?
In the next section, women and men went to separate rooms. Tantra wisdom teaches how men and women should strive to boost their male and female energy, respectively, in order to keep a proper polarization. This polarity is what enables a couple to still feel a strong attraction to each other in spite of having been together for many years.
With the other “Shakti” ladies, we started with another introduction. We introduced ourselves, and found out that our teacher (who uses her yoga name Ananda) had cured herself of a life-long asthma by doing yoga. How very interesting, I need to look into that. After some theory, we had the chance to play with our female energies. The warm-up, 10 minutes long, made me realize that I rarely move my hips freely. The energy quickly started flowing and the whole group of women suddenly seemed so much more vigorized and alive. Playing around as cats (we were told the cat movement is a very seductive way to approach our lover) we then did a “catwalk” – ie, taking turns to walk across the room between the two rows of women, in a rather cat-like manner. How very fun! Here I noticed how the women who previously had seemed shy and low-key now were smiling, glowing, truly radiating their female energy. Here we also got some practical tips as to which essential oils were best for a massage and how to decorate the room and take care of all the senses – aromas, sounds, music, colors. No wonder they are having such success in their massages in Copenhagen – I have been to massages all my life and I’ve never encountered a massage therapist that had such a complete approach to well-being, harmony and beauty.
We had a lunch break, with a fantastic mingle with our very interesting seminary mates. Most had decided to purchase the vegetarian lunch organized by the Natha center, which was varied and colorful, as usual.
After lunch we went deeper into the concept of a triple awareness: in yourself, in the person receiving the massage, and upon the connection itself. By being intensely present in the moment, we can be aware of what feels good to me as a giver, how the other person is receiving it, and the effect it actually is having deep inside. I was moved when hearing how this kind of massage has dissolved life-long psychological issues, depressions, and other difficult things.
We had some fun and pleasurable polarity games, where the men had to stand rooted as strong trees, and then the woman would play to be flowers. Now I could feel the point of having been able to let loose our energy in the Shiva and Shakti groups, respectively. We had more fun and could play more openly that we would have if we had done this exercise first thing in the morning.
And finally came what we had been long expecting: the practical class of massage for couples. It was magical to learn how to approach my husband in this new way, with complete respect, striving to be fully present in body, mind and soul, feeling myself and feeling him. First we had the chance to connect, sitting in front of each other holding hands and just feeling the energy, then opening our eyes and gazing deeply into our souls. Then I received some wonderful 40 minutes of spontaneous caresses from my husband, and then I offered him another 40 minutes of sheer bliss.
Ananda went by, giving a little touch and an occassional suggestion to all couples. When she came to us and started caressing me softly, I was amazed at her tangible level of presence. Well-acquainted with massage as I am, I have rarely felt a therapist (who was not a friend) passing on affection as well as doing a massage move. And the amount of complete presence, “being here and now, feeling you, aware of me” that I could feel was totally amazing. Well worth traveling to Denmark to get one, indeed.
I have had many massages over the years but I had never had the experience of sitting in a room with 12 other couples giving massage to each other. The feeling in the room was amazing: so relaxed, so peaceful. With loads of affection and equally much respect, each approached their partner from the center of their heart. There was nothing uncomfortable, lascive or sexual about it, but rather full of love.
When the teachers proclaimed the session over, it took us all a fair amount of time to actually want to leave that blissful state of relaxation and profound peace. Eventually we had some group sharing of the experience we had had – each was different, but each had felt deeply touched, moved, and uplifted.
As we parted ways that night, the hugs we gave each other showed clearly that this group of strangers had almost magically become friends.
Thank you so much for sharing, Adinatha and Ananda! We look much forward to learning more from you.