Ethics For Tantra Teachers
Sexual trespasses are what I see very common in the tantra world between the teachers/healers and students/clients. I had unfortunately also experienced such trespass while in the role of client, that's why I feel the need to speak up on this subject and also the need to share the following article written by Ma Ananda Sarita.
I echo what she said strongly that it is extremely essential for tantra teachers/healers to hold safe space for students/clients to allow genuine transmission of love and conscious healing happening.
It is interesting that Osho gave the following guidelines regarding Tantra:
1) That the main teacher of Tantra should always be a woman, and that no man should ever teach Tantra alone, but only if he is accompanying a woman teacher. The reason he gave is that if a man teaches Tantra alone the temptation will always be there to sleep with his students.
2) If there is sexual attraction between a teacher and a student, or between a session give and client; both need to wait at least two weeks after the group or session is over, and then, the teacher or therapist needs to make it very clear that he or she is no longer the teacher, but just a simple, ordinary human being. Only if this has been done, can the two people then engage sexually together.
In this approach, it is not a question of being prohibited from following love and attraction, it is only a question of the inappropriateness of the ‘rush’ to do so. The question is, why do certain Facilitators or Session Givers in the arena of Tantra feel the need to act on their sexual impulses so hurriedly? Can they not allow a two-week minimum ‘ripening process’ to develop with the person they are attracted to? If the attraction is a true one, it will stand the test of time after the group or session ‘high’ has worn off. It is the mixing up of the role of therapist, ‘father figure’, or ‘mother figure’, role model, with ‘lover’, which jams up the whole energy dynamic of the situation and leaves a trail of chaos in the Facilitator’s / Session Giver’s wake.
For a clear and transparent transmission of love and conscious healing, clear boundaries are needed. Safe space is essential for students or clients during a group or session. A group or session is like a journey, having a beginning, middle and an end. There are many landscapes during the journey, all of which have been carefully mapped by the experienced guide. During the journey, there is a powerful bond which is greatly influenced by the energy and integrity of the guide.
In my experience, when someone is in a student role, or in the role of receiving a session, there will always be a tendency for the inner child to surface. The inner child is always vulnerable, and great delicacy is needed to nurture a healthy rewriting of the inner child script. What is taking place when seduction happens by a facilitator of a group or by the session giver, is that the student or client automatically becomes an abused child in a certain level of their psyche. Instead of healing, this can be profoundly damaging.
I have seen the effects of such a scenario, numerous times. The problem is that the woman who has been sexually abused as a child will be just the one to be attracted to an abusing male therapist. Visa versa is also the case. True healing can happen when the role model, i.e. the therapist, does not go where the abusing wound will invite them to go, i.e. to repeat the wound, but simply holds the space for the person to unwind the wound in full awareness.
I speak from my own deeply lived experience on this subject, and in the role of healer and facilitator, I have witnessed the effect of Sexual Trespasses over and over. I have also been the recipient of such trespasses while in the role of client.
Having said that, there is a truth that you can cure a wound by repeating the same action with love, thereby popping it. However, I believe that the best way for this to happen is for the facilitator to be a guide for someone else to do this, such as the lover of the person. The facilitator should not be the one to do the ‘popping’, because they cannot be detached enough while engaged in sex, (unless they are enlightened.)
I have seen so many times that Male Tantra teachers will often be attracted to teaching Tantra or to giving Tantra sessions specifically in order to ‘pick up women’. Often times they are men who would not be able to attract women otherwise. This is a very sad state of affairs.
If a man or woman who is a facilitator wants to have sex during the time of a group, he or she can simply bring a partner with them rather than resorting to seducing the participants of a group. If a male or female facilitator believes that they cannot be happy unless they seduce their students, then it needs be considered that most likely the facilitator themselves are in need of healing.
A commonly stated belief from such Facilitators is that, “I am having a healing effect on the student by having sex with them. They are in need of sexual healing and I am acting out of deep compassion.” It is true that a great many people need sexual healing. So the question to be asked in this respect is, is it appropriate to do such healing during a group or session? Is that not a specific role, which is under a different category? If someone becomes aware that they need sexual healing during sex and of their own volition go through effort to seek out a sexual surrogate and pay for this service, knowing that they are paying for penetrative sex therapy, then this will be a different situation, with it’s own set of protocols and boundaries.
It is very different than a Facilitator entering a group room, scanning the new participants, and choosing the most beautiful, vulnerable woman, approaching her, and letting her know from his position of full charismatic power that he would like to make love to her. Or, in the case of session giving, that a Tantra Massage Therapist whispers to the receiving client during the session: “would you like me to enter you now?” or worse, simply penetrates the receiver sexually with no advance warning!
A facilitator is in service to the well-being and wholeness of the clients or students. If a facilitator is in service to their own sexual desire, then this is not being a support for the student, but rather, locked into a classic abuse of power. A test of this would be that the facilitator or session giver decides to consciously abstain from having sex with students during the group / session he or she is holding. If this is difficult, the question has to be asked, “Why is it difficult? In what way is it challenging? Why do you need to reach out to vulnerable students or clients for your sexual gratification? What are the personal issues calling you to seduce your students and or clients?”
Such a Facilitator / session giver may be benefitted very much by consciously abstaining from his or her addiction to seducing students / clients, and receive healing on the pain or discomfort which arises with the letting go of this addiction. If there is personal pain and symptoms of withdrawal when the Facilitator lets go of their habitual seduction of students / clients, this would be a clear indication that they have been using students to mask their own unresolved issues around sexuality. Compassionate healing and support from wise and loving peers would be most valuable during this period of withdrawal.
If a Tantra Massage Therapist is called to take up sexual surrogacy work out of deep compassion, there is an in-depth training for this kind of work, which has it’s own system and protocols, as outlined by Masters and Johnson, based on clinical trials. If someone reading this is interested in this work, I know of a professional trainer in the field and you can ask me for her contact details.
A question may arise: what to do when sexual energy begins circulating while giving a session? It is natural that sexual energy circulates during a session. This is simply part of being human. However, there is no need to get hooked by this. It is important that the session giver or teacher of Tantra is living a fulfilling sexuality in their own day to day private life. This will greatly lessen the need to project your sexual energy and desire for gratification onto your client or student.
When sexual energy moves during a session or group, simply breathe with it, fully and deeply, and allow it to circulate, becoming the Tantric circle. Allow the full flow of bliss and even ecstasy, but hold the space of integrity with it, allowing it be just as it is, a ‘flow and circulation,’ not a ‘stopping and hooking into.’
Apply meditation and witnessing to this flow, and in that meeting of ‘feeling’ and ‘witnessing,’ you will discover deepest compassion, the bliss which comes with being in service without egoist self-gratification.
Love & Light