Song 🎵 for an Open Heart

 

Hello dear ones,

In these times of uncertainty, numbers are going up and down…Can we take our masks off?  Do we have to stay indoors?  Is the variant coming around the corner?

We need our center more than ever to put one foot in front of the other and to keep our hearts open.  The thing that’s most important to me is to hold my heart open, even if we disagree.  What’s most concerning to me is the discord around the world, and especially in our country.

Ultimately, I might find out that some of the things I’ve learned are incorrect and you might find out the same.  May we all keep our hearts softened and open to help the world be a better place.

This song, by Grace Potter, came out at the beginning of the pandemic.  I think the words still apply and I find it so sweet.  I hope you enjoy it.

I hope to see you either on the screen or in person sometime soon.

Love,
Lindy James

The Felt Sense: A practice for opening to inner wisdom & peace

I want to start with the invitation to take a deep breath, and a slower exhale.

*** Breathe IN ***

******** Breathe OUT ********

Shift from Thinking to Feeling:

How does it feel, this breath and this slowing down?

Feel the movement of air as you breathe into the nostrils,

as the chest expands,

and the lungs expand.

Breathe so that the belly expands on the inhale just slightly.

{Repeat a few times}

This simple breathing practice helps us quiet the mind.  With a quieted mind, we can experience “the felt sense” of the body.

What do I mean by the felt sense?

I completed a two year training in a very body centered method of psychotherapy called Hakomi.  One of the primary distinctions was called the felt sense.  Tuning into the felt sense is a way to shift ourselves from any story we may find ourselves lost in.  Let me explain how this works.

In Hakomi, they would say: listen to the storyteller, rather than the story.

What does that mean?

My story was (it’s less now) that I grew up in a home where I didn’t feel safe. The adults were not behaving in a way that was very adult, or appropriate.

Now, if you were only listening to my story, it may provoke curiosity and take you into a lot of sideroad questions about who, when and why…the drama of it all.  By contrast, if you listen beyond the story into the storyteller, you can identify fear and anxiety. There was a sense of not being safe..

Identifying a core emotion (like fear) allows us to work with the felt sense I spoke about above.  If my client says, “I feel scared,” I might ask, “Where in your body do you feel that fear?”  And we keep focused there — on embodiment, on the felt sense.

We put aside the story of why I feel afraid, and focus on the storyteller, the embodiment of how it feels.  Where in your body do you feel that fear?  I feel that fear in my belly.  How does it show up?  It shows up as tension, and it shows up as difficulty digesting food.  And at this moment, my stomach is tight.

We are discovering the different distinctions of tightness that show up.  When we give attention to the felt sense, then understanding arises.  Yes, it comes as a kind of thought, but it’s different than figuring it out.  From there, we start to move the story’s stuck energy out of the body, freeing space so that there’s more flow of energy or chi (as Taoists would say). More freedom!

Stories keep tension stuck in our body because we have been telling and retelling the tale, sometimes over a lifetime.  But after separating the story from the felt sense, now, when I feel anxiety come up, I have another option. I can sit in the present moment with anxiety and take several deep slow breaths and listen for what anxiety needs. I am present and compassionate with what I feel, and slow down.  As the story arises: “it’s because of what so and so said to me or did to me, or I’m lonely, or this and that…” I simply refocus on the feeling of the storyteller, rather than lose myself in the story.  Doing this transforms the flow of energy in our body!

This is a brief taste of learning to be embodied.  When feelings really are too much and too scary to process ourselves, then we work with a practitioner, like myself, who can help us be present in the body and not leave. Hakomi is a beautiful training.  It changed how I live my life and the freedom I feel. Embodiment is now second nature; it’s how I feel into the world.

We learn more about this process in the 6 month Tantra Program.

Can You Feel Me?

I see perception of energy as one of the *magical* foundations of Tantra.  We can develop sensitivity for the feeling of energy in our body, in the room, and in our partner’s energy field.

There are times when my students tell me, I don’t feel anything.”  I invite them to rub their hands together, using friction to create heat.  Similarly, you can shake your hands for a minute and then hold still.  In the stillness, you’ll feel a kind of tingling in the palms.

In Tantra, we train our mind to be more present to the body, especially to the chakra centers.  Two of which are found in the palms of our hands.  

I feel with each of my chakras; there are a few I’m especially good at 😉.  I’ve learned their language and can usually sense what is being communicated.

For example:

–A lump in my throat means I’m holding back my voice.

–An expansive feeling in my heart points to safety and excitement.

–Tension in the tummy is connected to something I dread happening.  And so on…

One big thing that gets in the way of perceiving energy is a busy mind.  We may be buzzing with thoughts of how we want to turn someone on, or how we can earn this person’s love, as opposed to quietly and reverently feeling ourselves, spirit, god, the other and the room.  

To the best of my ability, I teach students how to feel into a Tantric experience.  We let go of preconceived ideas about Tantra and what it is to have a sexual experience.  We slow down and listen deeply, being guided by that.

What Does it Mean to Walk the Path of Love?

I want to talk about the Path of Love.  More than that…the Tantra Path.  What I often tell my students is that we are all Love.  We are all “the one.” Many people are looking for “the one” to be with in life.  The way I teach Tantra, or sacred sexuality, is about really stepping into love together.  This may sound kinda funny, but Tantra is about opening our heart and seeing the divine in each person.  To find “the one” is to find (or truly see) each other.  We are all “the one.”  We are all the beloved.

I’d like to distinguish this from, let’s say, finding a partner to live with.  Partnership can be more concerned with the logistics of finding someone we get along with well, day to day.  Yet from a Tantra lens, you can be the beloved even if our lifestyle and sleeping rhythms are a complete mismatch.  I can feel a deep love for you and not wish to be partners with you.  Deep love doesn’t mean something else – it’s simply itself. 

The Path of Love, the Tantra Path is about being loving with each other – and that does not mean being sexual with each other (it can include that, of course).  We walk in Love when we open our heart, open the energies of our body, our kundalini, our aliveness, and share that with each other.  From this place, we can create a community of support.  Whether or not you have a partner, practicing Tantra can be a space to feel met in Love.  

One of my favorite quotes from a fairly new student to the group said, “I had no idea that in 3 hours I would fall in love with a whole room full of people.”  That’s what we do.  If you are interested in learning about Tantra and finding out what events are the best fit for you, I welcome you to contact me.  We can figure that out together.

Contact me for a free connection call: lindy@lindyjames.com

How can Community Enhance your Tantra Experience?

One of the things that feels important to me about the work I do, is creating community.  As we learn tantra, we are learning the skills to speak lovingly and to care for one another.  In our tantra community, we have each other to practice good communication with, to practice loving and supporting, to practice moving the energies of our sexuality and sensuality.

It’s such a gift to have the support of community as we break the rules and taboos that may have held us back and made us smaller.  There are so many of them.  For instance, I often say that I’m a recovering good girl or nice girl.  In this role, we give at our own expense.  It can be extremely challenging to break the habit, or dare I say addiction, to being nice and being liked as opposed to risk disappointing others by being authentic.

Yes, being a pleaser or a nice person can be outside of our truth.  That said, being kind and loving can be authentic.  We don’t have to abandon being nice, to be authentic.  But loving kindness can look like saying, “No.”  It can look like saying, “This doesn’t serve me.”  Here in this tantra community, we can learn ways to speak in alignment with truth and love.

During my group events, we build a trusted community where we can be an evolving mess!  We can come into the room in tears, in rapture, or in fear and ask for what we need.  It’s a place to play and practice asking for what we need.  To lay in each other’s arms.  To laugh, to cry, to be held.  To be witnessed, as we grow.

And in addition to being witnessed, we get to witness!  It is an incredible gift to behold another’s transformation.  I invite you to experience the wholeness of tantra, as we learn to breathe through everything and stay in our truth, in community, in love.  

A Tantra Course from a Horse

Last week I spoke about the importance of embodiment – the practice of tuning into the body and its wisdom.

For me, embodiment is a cornerstone of tantra and has made the biggest difference in healing, in relating, and in truly knowing and trusting my inner wisdom.

Embodiment is delicious.  It’s enlivening and dynamic to become present to hearing ourselves, the people around us, or even nature.

As we develop the ability to bring ourselves into the present moment, the body trusts us because we are aligning with what is true.  Our lovers and friends start to trust us more.  Even horses trust us more!?!?

I’ve been with horses my whole life.  Their body language is elaborate because they don’t make much sound.

Similarly, our feeling heart doesn’t make much sound, but it does speak.  For example, the tightness of your throat is a message.  It’s not “words or sound”, but it is speaking.  The aching of your chest or the expansion of your lungs is a communication.

Back to horses.  They speak all the time.  But they get dull and disappointed in humans because we aren’t paying attention and listening.  Believe it or not, horses get excited and super communicative when they notice we’re listening and not forcing them to only do what we want.

Our bodies are the same.  When we listen, rather than forcefully lead with judgment and supposed to’s, we can become attuned to how our bodies and hearts communicate.  If we are true to ourselves, the energy begins to flow and open.


The Importance of Embodiment

What I’ve noticed is that a lot of people are more comfortable in their left brain – a thinking mind figuring it out – and less comfortable in their right brain of awareness.  Awareness allows for intuition, insight and presence.  Although the thinking mind is necessary for building bridges and creating programs, the awareness brain is equally important to life.  In awareness, we come to understand our truth about things, and to notice how our body speaks.

When you feel an emotion, where in your body do you feel it?
If you feel sad, what sensations occur with your grief?

It’s common to feel a sensation and then start to ask WHY.  But analysis can cut us off from our body.  In truth, we don’t need to effort so much trying to figure out the whys or the causes.  As we are present to what happens in our bodies, understanding often arises.

My biggest ethos, you might say, is embodiment – that practice of tuning in to the body and its wisdom.

Listening to the body can tell us what we want.  The body can clue us into what foods will best nourish us, who we want to spend time with, and what decisions we authentically desire to make.  And in conflict, long before we are fully triggered and seeing red, there are warning messages the body shows.

Listening to the body can tell us how to be in relationship with friends, family, or our beloveds and partners.

What do I want?
How do I want to play?
In the realm of sexuality – what would feel good?
How do I open to this?
How do I dance with the beauty of what my yoni or lingam wants?

If we follow what arises as inner knowing rather than the thinking mind, we can stay unhooked from  habits and stories that lead us astray.  We can be present in the truth of the moment.

And in my world of teaching Tantra, we listen to the body and practice connecting that with our voice.  In this embodied awareness, we find our clear boundaries and do the work to heal any hurt, abuse, or fears that may be holding us back from connection and love.

Tantra gives a loving container to shift the fears that can come up with having Beliefs like, “I won’t be loved or I’ll be abandoned.”

For me, embodiment has made the biggest difference in healing, in relating, and in truly knowing and trusting my inner wisdom.

I invite you to take my hand and explore how transformative embodiment can be.

If you are new to sacred sensuality, I welcome you and your beloveds to attend A Taste of Tantra, which is an introductory (and free!) tantra course that I offer on a regular basis.  Please see my online events for more.

For couples or pairs of friends, you may enjoy my Neo-Tantra class (a 5-class series) which I offer on an ongoing basis.  Zoom gives the perfect medium for community and privacy, as we engage in lovely practices to re-spark connection and deepen intimacy.  If you’ve been curious, now is the time to lean in!  See my events page for all my offerings.

With warmest regards,
Lindy James

The Art of Conscious Intimacy & Masculine Presence – A Video Interview with Lindy James

This video interview is a must-watch!  Recorded in May, 2021, this video was part of an online webinar with Nancy Moonstar called ‘A Man’s Guide to Intimacy, Bold Love With Passion Virtual Series.’ This interview with Lindy is a wonderful introduction to Lindy’s work and her depth of knowledge of the necessary ingredients for creating intimacy in relationships. Lindy offers practical and compassionate coaching for men of all ages who want more confidence and skill in creating intimate connections.

When a man can feel his own pleasure, and be sexual with himself to feel a spark of pleasure, it creates a kind of radiance that makes you attractive! Rather than “I need to have sex” …  “I am a radiant being!” – and she will be attracted to that.

What is Tantra?

What is tantra?  For me, tantra is a path – a personal path – that blends stillness, meditation, connection and love making.  With Tantra, less is often more.  Focusing on stillness and presence takes us out of goal orientation, out of being in a hurry.  It is here that we arrive at true intimacy.  True intimacy is a little scary for some.  People can have sex and never really look into each other’s eyes.  Never really look into each other’s heart.

Taking time to slow down and touch with presence, brings such joy.  It brings such love.  At this gentle receptive pace, we learn to find our voice, to speak our boundaries, and to move energy when it’s stuck.  Just the other day I was making love with my partner and I needed to cry.  I knew I needed to cry because I didn’t feel anything.  My sense of heart, my sense of connection sexually, was disappearing.  Rather than fake it, or stop, I said, “Something’s up, I think I need to cry.”  He paused and held me.  After a little bit of tears, the opening happened again and I felt incredibly alive.

Tantra teaches us how to listen to our bodies, how to listen to our hearts and energies and be true to ourselves.  On this path, we naturally become and gravitate toward partners who meet us, who accept without trying to change us, who are supportive.  In the groups I teach, we are all that partner for each other.  We are healers for each other, and we are teachers for each other.  Most of us are not sexual together, though we often run beautiful sensual energy.  We have our clothes on and our hearts open.  When we sit across from our partner, we see The beloved in them. 

 

Sexuality and Aging, A Discussion with Lindy James and Evalena Rose

Sexuality does not need to diminish as we get older  – it can flourish! This is an inspiring discussion on the topic of aging and sexuality between Evalena Rose and Lindy James, two dear friends and elders who have lived the Tantric life for decades.

You can be any age and have a satisfying experience of deep compassionate connection. Sexuality transforms as we age but it doesn’t have to go away. No longer run by the chemistry of our youth or the urge to reproduce, we now have the spaciousness to connect with a slow, lingering heart-to-heart love. In this spaciousness, sensual interaction becomes more fulfilling and joyful. Find us on Facebook at Evalena Rose, The Alchemy of Love and Permission Zone with Lindy James