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The Intimacy Scale

We share our selves with lovers on many levels. Its easier to share some aspects of our selves than others. Its as if we have a personal gradation scale of intimacy. We’re pretty open about the things at the lower end of that scale; but the things at the top of that scale are guarded until we know the person really well. Some lovers never get to see/ feel/ hear/ know the things that are at the top of our intimacy scale.

For some people, having a lover gaze at them naked is unbearably intimate. For others, crying in front of a lover is the last thing they’d share.

For me, showering with someone is pretty high on my intimacy scale. But the thing that I keep most secret is my meditation practice. When I can have a lover next to me while I meditate, thats when I’ve shared the most precious part of my self.

What’s your most secret thing?

 
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Posted by on 08/04/2012 in Love, Romance

 

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The Ethics of Kissing with an Open Mouth

In esoteric yogic-tantric literature, bodily fluids are considered to be potent expressions of self. Blood, sweat, saliva, semen are more than bodily emissions; they carry a person’s essence in them. When you sweat, you release droplets of yourself.

The same body of literature considers the breath to be the link between body and mind. Breath hovers between the physical and subtle and is a potent psycho-physical force. Either physical or mental exertion can alter your breathing pattern. You’re probably holding your breath right now – its a natural reflex to hold our breath when we concentrate on reading or listening to words. The exertion of mind alters the breath.

When you kiss with an open mouth, you mix breath and saliva with the person you’re kissing. You leave a part of yourself in their mouth and take their essence into your own. I always think of exchanging breath in a kiss as a magical moment. Not in the romantic sense but in the alchemical sense. For me, wishes fructify in the exchange of breath.

From an esoteric point of view, kissing is a big deal. Who do you want to share your essence with? Who’s do you want to imbibe? For those on a yogic-tantric path I suggest choosing kissing partners with care. Then the fun can really begin.

 
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Posted by on 12/03/2012 in Sex

 

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Less contentment, more bliss please.

At some point towards the end of last year I decided to dedicate 2012 to being the best lover I’ve ever been.  Because the idea thrills me. Because for me love is a practice and pleasure. Its my core passion. In the last few weeks, I’ve been paying keen attention to my physical and emotional sensations to get a clearer sense of  what I really want in this endeavour.

In November I was interviewed for Imago People TV by The Barefoot Doctor. He asked me what new things I’d been exploring. I said that in 2011 I had learnt to appreciate contentment in relationship. I’ve never naturally been drawn to the placidness of contentment. But in exploring it, I had come to appreciate its gifts.

I’d contrast contentment with the sweetness-‘n-sharpness that relationship can offer. I’ve always been naturally drawn to the poignant sensations – both sweet and sharp – of tasting another human being.

Contentment is soft and safe, but in large doses I find it a little dull.

This year, I want to experience more sweetness and less sharpness in love. I know that some would say that the two are inseparable, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think that sharpness starts to dissolve in the light of self refinement.

My yoga practice is my template for love practice. The aim in yoga is to move beyond being pulled about by the duality of pleasant/painful, good/bad, positive/ negative experience, into an awareness characterised by non-dual bliss. Bliss – ananda in Sanskrit – is not the same as happiness. Happiness has an opposite – unhappiness.

Confusing bliss (ananda) with happiness (sukha) has led to one of the biggest fallacies in the contemporary world of self development. When Joseph Campbell said, ‘Follow your bliss,’ he was referring to ananda. He had come across the word when studying the Upanishads – esoteric Sanskrit texts on the nature of being and existence. When most people repeat, “Follow you bliss,” they mean something along the lines of, “Follow what you think will make you happy.”

Following bliss is not the same thing. Its an endeavour in changing your state of consciousness. Its a yoking (yoga) of attention to self in a subtle and often searing manner.

For the purposes of this discussion, ananda is perhaps best described as a state of fullness, radiance and self-sufficiency. Yogic meditation practice aims to induce that state of awareness. But the next step is where it gets interesting. The next step is about bringing the qualities of ananda into the sensory (and sensual) experience of daily life. Its about bringing those qualities into the arena of duality. This is rarely understood or taught in the context of yoga or meditation, which are seen as ways of withdrawing from the stresses of the sensory world in order to grab some peace before returning to daily life.

Duality of pain and pleasure, happiness and sadness reside with poignant clarity in the space of romantic relationship. I’ve found that something interesting happens when I introduce the qualities of fullness, radiance and self sufficiency into that space. The sharpness of painful sensations soften, and the sweetness of pleasure heightens. I don’t understand it, but I like it. And I look forward to experiencing more of it. And perhaps beginning to understand it.

This year I want less searing and more subtlety, less sharpness and more sweetness. Lets see if I get it.

A clip of my interview with The Barefoot Doctor is here. We discuss romance Discussing romance for Imago People TV

 
 

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Pleasure Salon: A Date for Women

NEW in my series of dates for women is this Pleasure Salon which introduces you to tantric principles to keep your love life juicy and fun.

Would you like to bring a new dimension to your enjoyment of erotic pleasure?

In this salon we’ll explore the dynamic of leading and being led; taking charge and surrendering in intimacy. This polarity is at the heart of erotic play. Working with it brings great pleasure; misunderstanding it can lead to upset, boredom or confusion in the bedroom. You’ll learn some of tantra’s most significant insights about giving and receiving, and how to make it work for  you.

You will also be introduced to The Pleasure Pillow – a beautiful erotic accessory, created by British design house Darkest Star. The pillow’s discreet design hides a silken blindfold and soft wrist ties. Whether of not you are familiar in erotic accessories, the Pillow will provide a tangible metaphor for the polarity of intimacy – mentally and emotionally. The way we engage in physical intimacy reflects deeper patterns and beliefs. How completely can you surrender to another? How completely can you take charge? The more you are able to go into both modes, the more fulfilling your love life will be.
 This is a safe space for you to explore your own patterns in intimacy and expand your possibilities.

Date and time: Thursday 24th November, 6.45pm to 9pm

Location: Dru Cafe, 131 Drummond Street, Euston, London NW1 2HL

Fee: £40.00. Includes light refreshment. Payment by bank transfer.

To book, email vena@venaramphal.com


 
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Posted by on 20/09/2011 in Erotic Pleasure, Events, Sex

 

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Unlocking Your Body’s Sexual Power. A salon for women

I’m delighted to be teaching this salon, hosted by the exclusive erotic boutique – coco de mer.

Date: Wednesday 16 March, 6.45pm

Place: coco de mer, 108 Draycott Ave, South Kensington, London, UK

Ladies, to find out more and to book, click here

http://tinyurl.com/Body-s-Sexual-Power

 
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Posted by on 07/03/2011 in Events, Gender

 

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Tearing Up the Good Girl Script: A Date For Women Of Substance

 Would you like to come on a date with me?

Our date will be dedicated to two questions: 

  • Where in my life am I trying to be good instead of aiming to be happy?
  • What shifts need to occur for me to be happy in that area of my life?

We are brought up to be good girls. Its a script that runs so deep that, as adults, we can keep playing it out unconsciously. Our date will be structured in an informal workshop style, including guided exercises for you to access your embodied wisdom, as well as shared conversation over exquisite food. I’ll share some information from contemporary gender theory and the yoga/tantra traditions that I have found invaluable in helping me to shift from being good to being happy. I’ve had quite a journey with this so far, and I look forward to more!

What time: 11.00am – 2.30pm 

On one of the following:

wednesday 17th Feb

thursday 18th March

Where: Dru Cafe, 131 Drummond Street, Euston, London NW1 2HL

How much: £50.00 for the event and for delicious, freshly cooked organic lunch, juices and afternoon tea ‘n cake/ energy bar

The group will be small so it will be a very rich experience. 

To book, email venaramphal@hotmail.com  stating which date you would like to come on.

Previous participants said:

When I saw the title to this event I was intrigued. I sure had the good girl script running and wondered what was the other side of it. The day was not only revealing but freeing and I cannot recommend it highly enough in such a safe environment and intuitive hands. I feel I have gained new and exciting insights as well as gaining the courage to keep re-writing MY script.

Jo Noon, Director :: Creative Services Consultancy

 

“Tearing up the good girl script” proved to be a compelling and insightful exploration of where we as women give up our power and our willingness to ask the question ‘what do I really want?’ and to stand up for the answer. Vena is an excellent guide for such an exploration because she has lived and breathed it in her own life. Everything she does is given exquisite care, and you will be in experienced and safe hands if you decide to take this next, exciting step on your own journey into being the beautiful, bold woman you are. My advice? jump right in…!

 Joanne Sumner, Coach and Holistic Therapist

 

I experienced the workshop as a wonderfully safe, exploratory space. I greatly appreciated your skills as facilitator, ensuring safe boundaries while bringing focus and insight. I continue to reflect on the tensions between being ‘good’ and being happy in my own assumptions and behaviour, and I the workshop has given me perspective and confidence with which to challenge myself – on a pretty much daily basis!

Rebecca, Art Psychotherapist


 
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Posted by on 05/01/2010 in Events, Gender

 

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