27/08/2010

New age neo-tantra bogus yogis… caught in the act!




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 all aspects of Raja Yoga, until late into the evening.

On that course there were two people that I became friends with, (and 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 slightly '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 wanted everyone to 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 is not 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?

Dave and Maya fucking like rabbits. I don’t like to swear, but only a swear word can adequately describe what they were doing.

Whether you call it fucking, or shagging, or screwing, or banging though: there was absolutely nothing sacred, spiritual, or enlightened about what they were doing. They were simply going at it, hammer and tongs.

I thought about tiptoeing silently back down the stairs, but you know what? I couldn’t resist surprising them! So I set the tray down quietly at the top of the steps and wished them a hearty “Good Morning!”

The looks on their faces were priceless; rabbits caught (f*cking) in the headlights.

Thankfully, neither of them mentioned Tantra all morning.

17 comments:

svasti said...

That is hilarious!

As I've just written recently on someone else's blog... I don't pretend that the Tantra I've been studying for the last 7 or so years is the Tantra that's exactly the same as what's been handed down in India from teacher to student for hundreds or thousands of years.

BUT, it's pretty much absolutely more traditional and more in-depth than anything that's taught in most places in the west about Tantra. People who talk about Tantra and sex in the same breath make me shake my head. I mean... what???!!

LOVE your story. Love it! :D

Ben Ralston said...

Thanks Svasti,
What Tantra is it that you study? I'd love to know more...
I have the same head-shaking reaction by the way :)
Love, Ben

Victoria Klein said...

Hahahaha - that is a hilarious story that will likely be shared many times over ... and it is already on the internet. :)

Anonymous said...

Funny story! I always thought that tantra was focused on sex. What other forms are there?

Ben Ralston said...

@ Victoria,
glad you enjoyed it. Yes it's been told many times BEFORE getting online.
Ben :)

Ben Ralston said...

@Anonymous,
Tantra is an ancient spiritual tradition that can be viewed as brother or sister in a group of 'triplets' - Ayurveda, Yoga, Tantra.
They are all at once similar and yet different.
Tantra has many branches and practices, and the idea that is all about sex is (predictably) a Western mis-conception. Sexual ritual is a part of Tantra, but only a small part.
With love, Ben

bobzane said...

Didn't like the ending! what a rip.

Nicone said...

How appropriate that they were up in the loft - with their lofty attitudes, while being caught in the act. Very funny!

Esther Kochte said...

Haha, well, there's nothing bad about rabbits! ;)

svasti said...

Hi Ben,

I study with Dharmanidhi Saraswati and have done so since 2001. His guru is Satyananda but our school is an off-shoot, traditional non-dual Tantra school and not part of BSY.

You can read more about our school and retreat center in north-east Thailand here: http://www.adiyoga.com/

I'm meant to be there in October but sadly, things are not aligning in such a way that I can afford to be there. There's always next time though!

Anonymous said...

Ben you may want to check out ISHTA with Katrina Repka in London. Tantra is multifaceted and there is so much more to it. The main concept that I have gotten is the aspect that we are all conected to each other and the Universe. Good luck and great article!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this article. Some one with a little knowledge tantra yet has been called Master by this group http://www.meetup.com/Sacred-Heart-Tantra/members/11387514/ It's clearly a way of making a few bucks while being with others unclothed & aware it helps his self esteem to do so! Too many are quick to put others on a pedestal, especially the vulnerable. Around 10 years this excellent book was published 'Sex in the Forbidden Zone' by Peter Rutter http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Zone-Peter-Rutter-M-D/dp/0449147274 The main theme of the book is that when a man or woman abuse their position it's damaging yet if the same person is aware of what is going on & acts in a responsible manner by remaining professional it can be turned into a healing moment for the client.

Dyeve said...

Hi, there!

Lovley post!
Dualistic appearance is the appearance to a mind of both its object and inherent existence.

The only way to abandon these subtle dualistic appearances is to realize emptiness directly with a very subtle mind of clear light.

Have a lovley Day!

Dy,
xo

Rosy Moon said...

The way I have come to understand tantra is that first of all there are a multiplicity of misconceptions about it and second, that a part of the glorious benefit of the teachings is that we get to open our awareness to feel all of life in as vibrant and holy way as we do when we are engaged in love making.
This goes back to the Einstien quote you used in a previous article: "The rational mind is a faithful servant. The intuitive mind is a sacred gift. We have created a mind that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
To develop the gift of intuition, one must begin by being willing to feel. To reach bliss we must be willing to feel all that is in the way of bliss. And then to feel all sensation as bliss.

Jade Goh said...

This is interesting and funny how you had described it. :) Enjoy your style of writing. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Now, what is the act that we are all catching you in?

Max said...

This article seems quite judgemental and vindictive to me. Ben needs to pay more attention to his own bedroom activities perhaps and not be so critical of others for simply sharing love, having sex, having fun. I sense there is perhaps a bit of jealousy going on here. While there appears to be much truth and benefit in practicing the Tantric forms of yoga, either individually, as a couple, there is absolutely no benefit to gossiping like this. Most likely Ben initially flirted with Maya and was disappointed when Maya chose Dave over him and this is his way of venting his hurt and disappointment. As to the couples being married, that is only between the couples involved and has absolutely nothing to do with Ben, the author of this article. People use the phrase, neo-tantra like a swear word; they assume that anything new, anything fusionist, that which takes an eastern philosophy and applies it to western cultural paradigms is somehow unpure; less true that the original teachings of tantra. In fact one is simply taking an eastern tradition and updating it somewhat to be more relevant to the 21st century and to incorporate new knowledge that the human race has gleaned since tantra was first espoused, many hundreds of years ago. Yoga is alive and still being cultivated and refined to this day; it is not carved in stone. As far as "fucking like rabbits" goes...While there are definite spiritual, emotional, physical benefits to practicing Tantra, there is also something to be said for the mad passion which often overcomes young and newly in love couples; practicing Tantric yoga does not mean that you can never just have a good old raucous, on the kitchen table, i want you right now and i'm going to fuck you so hard sort of experience; one does not need to pretend to be the ultimate yogi 24/7 as our writer Ben appears to. I would say that in one sense, the "fucking like mad" is actually truer to our essential natures than the complicated and "lofty" ideals of Tantra. Who is Ben really to be speaking about enlightenment as though he has it and his friends Maya and Dave have not, and meanwhile gossiping behind their backs and judging them harshly for their words and actions. Who are you to be the judge of others Ben? I also suspect that Maya, realizing that Ben was jealous and criticizing them behind their backs, invited herself and dave over just to piss Ben off and make a point; the point being that "i'll fuck anyone i want and in any way that feels good to me and it's no business of yours"

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