In Profile: Leigh Tolson

Leigh Tolson participated in many groups with Sarita before co-teaching the couples training with her. His path has taken him from rock and roll ecstasy to 5 Rhythms to remembering the love that we are.

Natural Dance Bristol

Leigh

So how did I end up teaching Tantra groups?

I guess it all began in the 1970’s (or was it a past life many years ago in the foothills of the Himalaya’s??) My awakening began at 13, dancing at the front of the crowd to the rock and roll greats: Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, the Stones and the Who. It was here that the power of ecstasy took me and inscribed my nervous system with the blueprint of my future path. Well, there was rock and roll, then came sex. I was blessed and cursed with liberal parents who gave me considerable psychic and physical freedom. So I was able to explore my teenage hormonal awakening with nights of timeless touch and endless lovemaking, leaving me completely open and ecstatic, overwhelmed by love and happiness. At the time I had never heard of Tantra, so now, I look back and see the gift of grace. Perhaps it simply shows how natural the Tantric approach to life is….it’s what we become if we have space and freedom from shame’s repressive conditioning.

Alongside all the sex, drugs and rock and roll I discovered Transcendental Meditation when I was 17, which combined with some good old psychotherapy to examine the curse of my liberal upbringing and my parents’ emotional dysfunction, took me to meditation teachers and encounter groups where I met the work of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) and the orange people in the early eighties.

Rather than running off to Pune (Osho’s commune), I had a break from the growth movement to have kids, grow up a little and get earthed to prepare myself for my meeting with Gabrielle Roth and the 5 Rhythm’s in the early nineties. Though not many know this, her work is deeply infused with the radical approach of Osho’s vision, she like me never met Osho in person, but we were deeply touched by his spirit: The One Heart living in freedom with an integrated body, sex, mind, soul and spirit. A huge ‘Yes’ to everything in life woven together with conscious awareness. Tantra. Mmmmmmm!

Gabrielle’s gift is from the feminine, embracing and experiencing the body and all the movements of the physical, of breath and of energy to allow space for expression and exploration into ecstasy. She says her work is shamanic-Tantric-Zen, so I guess it was natural that I would ‘re-discover’ the ‘Goddess Honouring’ path of Tantra sooner or later…first with Barry Long in ’89, then Margo Anand’s Skydancing in ’94 and the School of Awakening in 2000. Working with the school I have found a deep integration of all previous teachings and I think it’s this all inclusive approach and breadth of vision that is one of Sarita’s many gifts, and the expression of the depth of her Tantric awakening.

The last 16 years of Tantra have been a long and rich journey, often beautiful, fun and deeply blissful but also painful hard work as I’ve turned around to face the wounds of the past and this funny old fear of embracing my divine birthright. In this journey, the company of other men has been invaluable. I worked with the ‘greats’ of the mytho-poetic men’s movement in the 90’s and received the initiations necessary for my deeper masculine to be welcome at the table, so to speak. So I offer this to other men in my Holy Sex Wild Love workshops, essential work that I find deeply satisfying.

With women my Tantric journey has been mainly within the container of committed relationship. I guess because for me this creates the catalytic cauldron, the container that can heat up the dense base metal of ego and karma to allow an alchemic transformation into the pure gold of illumined consciousness. Sounds good eh? Well as I live my life on this Tantric trail coming and going through the times of light and dark, there are more and more moments when it’s all deep peace, when love is all there IS, when being awake is easier than being asleep, and when it’s a gift to be alive and gratitude is a natural bliss. I guess this is what I teach, what I encourage in my classes and groups. This re-membering. So may you remember your self right now. All of yourself, your juicy aliveness. And your crunchy limitations And your love for all of this precious life. May you find peace right now.

May all beings be at peace.

Om Shanti x

Leigh currently runs a Natural Dance ecstatic dance class in Bristol on Wednesday evenings, teaches men Sacred Sexuality and offers day long and weekend dance workshops. He also runs a busy corporate events company and is a grandfather!

For further info about his work email him.

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