August 28, 2010

New-age neo-Tantra bogus Yogis… busted!

Caught in the act

In March 2003 I was in the Bahamas, completing my advanced yoga teacher’s training course. It was an intense month – up at 4.30 every morning; after an hour of advanced pranayama the rest of the day was spent immersed in all aspects of Raja Yoga, until late into the evening.

On that course there were two people that I became friends with who shall be the hero and heroine of this particular tragedy. The first, who I shall call Dave, was a fellow Englishman who happened to come from the town where I grew up. The other, who I shall call Maya, was an American woman.

Dave and Maya had quickly developed a flirtatious relationship that seemed slightly out of place in the austere atmosphere of the Ashram – especially since both of them were married…
As the course progressed, I would see them giving each other massages, stroking each other’s hair, and so on –always with an air of, well, purity.

Dave considered himself a healer (albeit without any training or experience), and Maya was a massage therapist. Both had a rather ‘holier than thou’ attitude that I overlooked, since I was really too busy focusing on surviving the rigors of the course to care all that much. However, in the back of my mind there was a sneaking suspicion that their relationship wasn’t as ‘pure’ as they would have everyone believe.

One day, about halfway through the course, a group of us were sitting around chatting after lunch, and Dave and Maya started to tell us all (rather patronizingly) that Tantra was the fastest and best path to enlightenment; that they were going to set up a business together, because they were ‘so deeply karmically connected’; and share their extensive knowledge of Tantra with others in order to make the world a better place.

All of which would be fine, except for the fact that neither of them really knew the first thing about Tantra.

When I asked what this ‘business’ would entail, they told me that they would help couples and individuals attain enlightenment (using Tantric sex). Lofty goals!

Dave told me (and everyone else within earshot) that he was able to hold back his orgasm indefinitely. He authoritatively stated that that was where his ‘power’ came from.

I suggested to them that sex may not be the intrinsic aspect of Tantra that many people in the West think; and that perhaps the essence of Tantra is actually nothing to do with gratification, but rather more to do with worship and celebration. I also asked them how they knew so much about Tantra without having had any formal training, but they eluded my questions whilst flirting outrageously and I let it go…

Fast-forward one year. I am back in England; I get a call from Maya. She’s visiting and would love to see Dave and I. We organize a get-together, and after a night out in London, they both end up staying at my house.

In the morning, I make tea for them, and take it up the stairs to the loft conversion where they are sleeping… and as I enter, what do I see?! …

(Still reading? Like to know the end of the story? Please visit Grounded Spirituality.

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Ben Ralston  |  Contribution: 13,555