Learning How To Truly Make Love

My First Tantra Steps:

As I shared in my last article about Tantra Myths, at my first Tantra training, I was 34 years old, and terrified.

I judged myself as not Tantra material and almost didn’t attend.  But the inspiring results of a dear friend, whose transformations continued to grow even months after her training, had me push through my resistance.

Ultimately, I attended my inaugural Tantra training with my partner (at the time).  We were taught some things during the day and instructed to practice in our hotel room that night.

I tell you truthfully, it was not the techniques that made the biggest impression.  It was the shift in how we started relating to each other.  As if everything we we did was an opportunity to make more love. 

Shopping together for dinner, it was the first time my partner had held my hand while walking through a supermarket as we chose wine, grapes and cheese.

To my delight, he also had a bag of rose petals to put in the bath for me, and a little trail of petals from the bed to the bath he had drawn.  The entire room was candlelit and I was in sensual heaven.  I had never had such a decadent experience.

When we first learn to be present with one another, people can fall in love (or back in love) because we are all longing for true listening and presence.  Our heart is ignited in these spaces!

Fast forward a year:

After the second Tantra intensive I took, my whole being could see that this was a path for me.  And there was NO SEX.  There was NO ORGY – lol!  There was just a tender repeated asking about, “What is in the way of opening to my sexuality?”

I began assisting the Tantra weekends and got to hear messages about: energy and chakras; about creating a safe container for healing or awakening to happen; and about prayer and ethics.  I continued on by learning Hakomi (a body centered form of psychology), which added to my experience of what it is to find stillness within.

Each Tantra teacher has their own ethos.  Some are about bigger, better orgasms.  That is certainly one of the benefits.

I focus on learning how to truly make love.  

  • How can we slow down to a pace that’s gentle enough for our hearts to open during the journey?

  • How can we play at our edge, but not go so far as to disassociate?

Lots of us had sex without any education about what true connection and love making is.  

There is so much more to what Tantra really is, and I invite you to start with my programs.  I take people along in gentle steps, all the way to advanced practices.

I welcome you to contact me with any questions, curiosities or support for your expanded and fulfilled life of loving!

Blessed be,
Lindy

3 Myths of Tantra

In my experience, there is often confusion around the topic of Tantra.  Misconceptions cloud up what Tantra is, and could be.

At my first Tantra training, I was 34 years old, and terrified.

I had preconceived ideas about Tantra, and I certainly didn’t fit that mold.  Luckily, though, in the back of my mind, I had an example of one of my friends who had done the same Tantra training and continued the Tantra practices she learned.  Each time we visited, I saw she was looking more radiant and more confident.

Most workshops I’ve done create a high without any true transformation. But when I witnessed her Tantric changes staying and growing, I was inspired enough to get past my resistance.

My Tantric path has been a wonderful journey of trusting my body, finding my voice, and feeling the divine nature of myself as a sensual woman. I am so grateful to all my teachers and trainings.

Myth #1 – Tantra is all about hot, and maybe even group sex

Beautiful love making is but one of the benefits of learning Tantra. Healing the blocks to deeper intimacy and heart opening connection is a pathway to: safety, confidence, self-love and more energy!  

A big part of Tantra is authenticity.  Using our voice is sexy!  When we can honestly express our needs and desires, the menu of satisfying options ranges from sexual play to heart centered stillness.  When we tell the truth, our body trusts us more.  We feel more relaxed, and that relaxation opens us to pleasure and union with the moment.

Myth #2 – You have to be young and beautiful to do Tantra

Anyone can learn the practices and teachings of Tantra. Learning the art of Tantra can begin at any age, any shape, any gender. The beauty comes from within as we love and accept ourselves. I feel more beautiful now than when I was younger, thinner and in better shape!

We all have the basic ability to open ourselves to the healing and awakening practices of the Tantric path.  Our sexual energy becomes fuel for living life with magical aliveness!  And part of that path of opening includes self-love, and if desired, relationship with other(s).

Myth #3 – You have to have a partner in order to start or practice Tantra

Tantra offers many solo practices to tune our energy and learn to listen to the inner wisdom of our body.

Additionally, we can connect with friends (sexual or more often non-sexual) to learn the path of love together.  In Tantra, we create a safe container within which we can share: Fears, Desires & Boundaries in any given practice time. I call this: learning with a Tantra buddy.  Instead of waiting for “The One,” we are all “The One” learning together. 

The way that I look at Tantra: It’s a spiritual path to awaken to our own true nature.  Tantra is considered a yoga, a union.  For me, it’s a union with my own divinity and a reflection of the divine. I invite you to join me as we explore the Tantric path to Love, Healing and Aliveness.

I offer private sessions for individuals or couples.  We meet either online or in my home office near Santa Cruz.  Book a Free Discovery Session to connect with me.  Or visit my website for a full list of event offerings.

Dedicated to your fulfillment,
Lindy James

Wisdom of the Body is Calling You

In the beginning of learning to feel energy, most of us (myself included) don’t feel a thing.  I’m sure we had the ability to feel more when we were little.  But as we started to feel overloaded in life, we turned off certain sensory perceptions to be more comfortable.  When tuning out, it’s hard to be selective and many of us tuned out our capacity to be embodied and feel the subtleties of energy.

For some of you, the term energy might be off-putting.  The taoist teachers call it Qi (chee).  In Tantra, we practice rewiring our brain to feel Qi, to feel energy, to feel one another, to feel our own body’s inner wisdom, and to learn to feel each of the chakras.

The heart and solar plexus chakras can be easiest to feel because at some point in life we’ve had huge disappointment or heartbreak.  Big emotion generates big sensation in these chakras. 

Kundalini is an energy, generally a sensual energy that hangs out in the sacrum (tailbone area).  When we activate it, gently and slowly, we can start to feel the deliciousness of a movement up the spine and out into our auric field – often called an undulation or kriya.

I have students tell me, “I don’t feel anything, Lindy.”  

Sometimes we have a lot of noise.  A heavy critic.  Depression.  Things that interrupt our ability to feel.  If we make Tantra a daily practice, yes, we are going to have to feel the things we don’t like as well.  But the surprising benefit is that when you really feel an emotion, it starts to diminish it’s hold on you.  It’s really the effort of pushing it away that causes so much of our suffering.

Activity: Start with something simple like putting your hand over your heart.  Tune into your chest, and to how the skin of your chest feels your hand – the warmth of it, the pressure of it, the size of it.  And notice how your hand feels your chest – the rise and fall of your breath.  Slowly, begin to feel into the heart – the tenderness that’s there, the vulnerability, the joy, the openness or the shut down.The energy in our body speaks to us, guides us.  There are sensations and subtle hints that communicate, “Don’t go there; call that person; speak up; step away; go breathe some fresh air.”  Body wisdom is calling out to us, but when we are distracted, and up in our head, we miss the messages.  We don’t hear them.

Learning how to feel energy is a process.  It’s a worthy endeavor.  If you would like my help: join the guided embodiment practice, or book a session with me and I can give you some coaching around that.  You can practice feeling yourself, the energetics of yourself, tuning to the energy in space with another, and with nature.  And, of course, you can practice feeling love.

Self-Care: is it a luxury!? Or a necessity?

People’s responses to the concept of self-care often exist on a spectrum.  When self-care is seen as a luxury, it’s often judged as being selfish.  If we aren’t getting sh*t done, we are wasting time on something that’s not important.  From another view, filling every minute of every day can be an exhausting habit.  The self-care of reading and naps could be a necessity to avoid crashing.

Growing up, I got approval for being productive; I was praised for what I did for others, and for what I got done.  This gave me a sense of value and lovability.  It also gave me the habit of neglecting my tiredness and needs for rest.

By my mid 30s, I was on the verge of a total breakdown.  I believed that love was won by giving everything and needing nothing.  Self-reliance is great to a point, but it can go too far.  When I finally shared with a friend about how I was falling apart, her shocked reply was, “I had no idea you needed help.

Today, I teach my students about the value of self-care and self-attunement.  It’s true that being productive gives me a feeling of healthy satisfaction.  The problem lies in pushing beyond my body’s wisdom.  When we lose the ability to see the line being crossed, we start doing things at the cost of our well-being.  We are out of attunement.

When I carve out time to read my book, sit by the fire, or watch a movie, I can feel guilty.  When I feel squirmy and on edge during self-care, part of my self-attunement practice is to simply sit and feel it.

It takes wisdom and courage to rest while there’s a voice in my head saying, “You’re wasting time; this isn’t producing; you won’t get approval for this.”  

If we can resist the threat of that productive story, our reward is peace.

When it comes to healing our sexuality and relationships, it is imperative that we keep attunement with our bodies, our spirit and with each chakra –  especially our sexual center.  Attunement is key to opening our creative and joyful sensuality.

 

What are the things that tune you?  

 

Self-care is not a luxury, it’s necessary for our health and well-being!

I hope you give yourself the gift of rest and stillness as we move through this time of winter hibernation.

Warmly,
Lindy James

Holding the Love and Navigating the Holidays

Holidays are upon us.

A mixture of emotions : perhaps joy, magic, confusion.

Plus, a pandemic is still in the air…potentially polarizing friends, family and communities.

There’s been deep conflict on and off throughout history.  Personally, I’ve become more aware of politics in the last 4-5 years than ever before.  I’ve witnessed how anyone can find information to support what they think and believe.  Extremes are causing conflict in the world, in my world, and I imagine in your life as well.

Conflict with people I love breaks my heart, and I feel my instinct to armor up.  A part of me wants to go numb, to place protective shielding around my heart.  I hesitate to share my choices and beliefs.


If this sounds at all true for you, I’m so sorry.  May we keep returning to this present moment and holding the love.

It’s important for me to remember that I don’t need to change anyone else’s mind.  That’s not empowerment.  My empowerment lies in feeling my grounding to the earth, my expansion to the boundless sky, my tuning and attuning inward.  At the core, that is what Tantra does for me.  Tantra helps me dissolve the armor and see through broader eyes.  It can be so difficult, but I keep coming back to a grounded center, as best I can.  Asking spirit to guide me.

For me, holding the love is about community supporting each other in the very basics of: speaking our truth, our boundaries, our desires, and listening openly to others.  Holding the love does not look like fighting for the rightness of my opinion.  It’s listening and saying, “What I hear you saying is…please help me understand.”  That’s been a big challenge of mine.

To be the change that we want to see in the world, it starts right at home in our own hearts (I’m tapping my heart).  Holding the love doesn’t mean we agree.

If polarizing conflict is happening in your life, know that you are not alone.  Finding our way back to peace is more important than being right.  If you’re struggling within yourself, the question I’d ask is, “Am I listening to the story or the storyteller?”  Often anger or unkind words give me the right to be angry or unkind right back.  Underneath those painful expressions is usually fear, sadness or a sense of not being safe.  Listen to what’s underneath and try to reflect the heart of what’s being said.  Listen and get curious.  In the face of big energy, practice grounding.  Get information rather than going into righteousness and war.

It’s so good for me to express this.  Thank you for reading.  I hope to see you in community sometime soon.  This Tantra community is here to hold the love as we continue to open back up back into loving space with one another.

Here’s a song that helps me find my grounding in love:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06sitlJz_Vw

All my love,
Lindy dakini James

How It’s Supposed To Be

We are naturally creatures of connection.  We need touch.  Touch is a part of our health and well being.  Even before the added caution and scarcity of covid, the simple request of asking, “Can you put your arms around me?” may seem foreign and scary.

A few years ago, I was talking to a friend of mine and said, “You know when you cuddle with your other friends…” and before I could finish my sentence she interrupted to say, “Lindy, we only cuddle with you.  We don’t cuddle with our other friends.”  I was shocked.

We are not getting enough touch.  I was surprised to find that cuddling is not what everyone does.  My naivety.

It has been one of my missions in life to show people that simply laying in each other’s arms can be so nurturing, nourishing, and healing.

Back in the day when I had a king size bed, it was lovingly referred to as: the church of Lindy’s bed.  We would pile onto this big bed after dinner or on a Sunday morning with coffee and croissants (oh that’s so naughty!).  We would tell stories, cuddle, laugh, cry and share about what’s going on in our life.

I got so comfortable with this intimate connecting that it spilled over into other arenas of life.  At Dance Church (years ago), there was a strapping young man who was dancing on his hands.  I thought to myself how strong he looked.

Later on, I found him sitting in the chill, rest and whisper corner.  I approached and began with, “Would you do me a favor?”  He said, “Yeah, what’s that?”  I said, “Would you just put your arms around me and squeeze me?”  I know that’s a highly unusual request of a stranger, but he said, “Sure!”  I leaned back into his chest, and he put his arms around me while continuing a conversation with the person next to him.  This man’s energy was very clean.  I wept, I laughed, I felt restored.  Afterwards, I thanked him and went back onto the dance floor.  There was no stickiness.  No fondling.  No rescuing.  It was very natural.  Somehow my instincts could see that.  Even now, I have a smile on my face and an opening in my heart.

When I was a child, there was so much difficulty in my home life.  I remember thinking/knowing, “This is not how it’s supposed to be.”  As I grew older, I realized that loving presence (I didn’t have a name for it back then) and caring for each other is how it’s supposed to be.

Humanity has veered away from that.

Yet we, in our community, in our Tantra bubble, have become that loving presence for each other.  Often, when we feel like, “I shouldn’t come, I don’t feel good, I’m sad…” this can be the best time to come to class, to come to puja.  Puja literally translates to “sacred ritual.”

I invite you to come be with the community and be held.  Laugh, cry, and learn to ask for what you want and what you need.  Also learn to hear, “No, ask me again later.”  The initial sting of a “not now” fades once we come to trust that when someone says Yes, they mean it!

We are all meant to be held, seen and loved for who we are…For our humanity.

I look forward to meeting you again, and again and again.

Love,
Lindy

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