Tantra: A Transmission From East to West

Sarita talks about how she has brought her experiences with Osho in India to her Tantra workshops in Europe.

Bombay India, 1973, I found myself in a modern style apartment, the walls covered from top to bottom with books, with a group of about 30 people all dressed in the traditional orange of ‘Sannyas’ (this means one who has renounced the world in order to follow a spiritual path.) The people, a mixture of Indians and Westerners, all sat in respectful silence. The chance acquaintance who had brought me here had said by way of explanation, “there is someone I think you should meet. I am going there tonight. Come with me.” I had no idea what to expect.

Osho in 1973

Osho in 1973 when Sarita took Sannyas

A man entered, or rather floated, into the room. He wore a simple white robe and had a long black beard and balding head. He was radiant, with mesmerising eyes and with each of his gestures endowed with mysterious grace. A deep pool of peaceful silence followed his steps as he walked down the hallway and crossed the room to sit in an upholstered easy chair. I had never seen a human being like this and was stunned. He looked at us in silence for a few moments and then proceeded to give a 1 ½ hour discourse on the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, a treatise of 112 methods of Tantra given to the world by a Master named Shiva who lived approximately 5000 years ago. The passage he was commenting on was, “while engaged in sexual union, stay with the fire in the beginning, thus avoiding the embers at the end.”

As he spoke, his voice was soft, lilting and direct. I felt my belly grow warm as his voice caressed me from the inside. He spoke of things my soul had always yearned to hear, of bliss, of our birthright to know divine union on all levels and of the potential for sex to become a gateway to super-consciousness.

I was 17 years old, and this was my first encounter with the man who was to become my Tantra Master. I stayed by his side from that time until his death 16 years later. I spent those 16 years working intensively on myself, cleansing all the wounds of body and psyche from this and other lives, experimenting with countless methods of Tantra meditation both alone and in love relationships, expanding my sensitivity and consciousness in all dimensions of being. I had no idea during those years that I was receiving a powerful transmission which was destined to be shared with countless people in years to come. I didn’t know I was being prepared to transmit the Tantra message to the world at large. I only knew I wanted above all else to find the very essence of life.

London, 2006, a person from the audience of an evening presentation on Tantra asks, “How can we make the timeless ecstasy which is contained in sexual union part of our everyday lives?” My co-teacher and I, long time Tantra partners, answer from our own lived experience. “The key is to be found by bringing together the contradictory elements of love and meditation, or sex and spirit. Whenever two opposite polarities meet, in that very meeting we discover ultimate bliss. One of the best ways to discover this is through the practice of Tantra methods. Many of these methods are deceptively simple. For example, we may bring awareness to the act of a caress. By using a devotional, conscious touch while caressing a loved one’s body, the one receiving will be able to use the sensation of pleasurable touch to enter a profound state of meditation. Pleasurable sensations in the body help us to enter into the present moment. When we are deeply absorbed in the present moment we are in touch with eternity. The phrase Shiva uses to describe this method is: “While being caressed, sweet princess, enter the caress as everlasting life.”

We are often conditioned in our society to cut ourselves off from sensual pleasure, particularly if we want to attain spirituality. Tantra is a life approach which says yes to all of who we are; body, emotions, mind and spirit. In actual fact, there is nothing the human being is which is not divine. All aspects of the human being, if lived with awareness, become gateways to super-consciousness. Through the practice of Tantra methods, an awakened state of being sneaks up on us in unexpected moments, because we have created an invitation for life itself to become our teacher. Orgasm is a state provided by nature which offers an excellent opportunity to experience the eternal moment because in that moment of deep let go, we move beyond time and mind, a state of being which is identical to spiritual ecstasy. We can learn to allow this state of letting go into the eternal moment while engaged in other aspects of life, whether this be sipping a cup of tea, working or walking in nature.”

Bombay, India, 1973: I am in a private meeting with my Tantra Master. In such meetings, generally he will ask me how my meditation experience is progressing and give me counselling for deepening my experience. Today however, he remains in silence and simply begins caressing my skin with a touch which is so penetrating in it’s consciousness that I feel exposed to my very core. A dam breaks inside and I begin sobbing and crying. He stops and asks me, “what is happing? Tell me.” The truth wells up from my very guts as I sob, “I hate my body!” He continues his caress, and begins speaking, in a soft melodic voice, “love the body, love the body, love the body. It is through the body you reach the divine.”

This day is a turning point in my life and his simple transmission becomes the keystone for my Tantra path. From that day onwards, my every waking moment is devoted to discovering the divine through the body, instead of my previous attitude of condemning the body while reaching for an illusory spirituality somewhere beyond physical life. And contrary to popular belief, I have found that the divine is truly encoded in our every cell and in each of our sensorial experiences. We simply need to learn the art of bringing our loving awareness here where we are.

England, 2006: We are 40 people in a group venue in Somerset exploring the theme of Sacred Sexuality. The room has been decorated with an Eastern theme, colourful silken wall hangings, an alter with a statue of a male and female Buddha entwined in exalted sexual union, flowers and the fragrance of a specially prepared natural incense. The sound of a melodious eastern stringed instrument creates a soothing atmosphere. The people attending have come from several nations and from all walks of life. Their ages range from 21—70. They want to discover the secrets of Tantra or are here to heal wounding and wrong conditioning around sexuality.

Sarita guiding a Tantra group

Sarita guiding a Tantra group

Over a 6 day period, my co-teacher and I guide them on a dynamic experiential Tantra journey which helps to heal psychological and emotional wounding and to open up the potential for inner ecstasy. As this is a singles Tantra group, we do not ask them to practice meditations which involve sexual union.

We offer all the support necessary for overcoming limitations around loving oneself or relating with the opposite sex, while at the same time respecting people’s sensitivity and vulnerability. This multidimensional journey includes active and silent meditations, dance, massage, emotional release, breath-work, sacred ritual, partner exercises, and group sharing. The structure gives birth to a magical alchemy which helps the sparkling nature of each individual to emerge. By the end of the group, 40 strangers have become 40 friends, laughing, crying dancing and hugging each other with overflowing emotion and tenderness. My co-teacher and I look at each other with tears in our eyes and hold hands in silent gratitude. The miracle has happened again.

In my life and work, I have become accustomed to a steady diet of miracles. It makes me realise that actually, bliss is everyone’s birthright. With the Tantra journey, we are just bringing to light what is already inherent in being born human. We are in a process of remembering our true nature. So what looks miraculous is simply that which was lost, being found again.

Pune, India 1976: My Tantra Master offers my fiancé and I an inscription for our wedding ring, “Love doesn’t mean but be.” He blesses our marriage and for the next five years offers us intimate guidance for our soul searching, passionate learning curve of a relationship. The lessons I learn during that time serve as a powerful foundation for my research into the depths and heights of Tantra in love relationship. The art of bringing together sex love and meditation becomes a focus for my ongoing journey over the next 30 years.


Love island in a couples Tantra group

Love island in a couples Tantra group

England, 2006: A group of 10 couples have come to a Tantra Intimacy group, the first of 7 levels we offer to people in love relationship. The group room is dotted with individual floating islands, in the form of mattresses on the floor, each one covered by a pink sheet and decorated with inviting cushions and a red velvet heart. Each couple chooses their island ‘temple’ which will be their special space to hang out during the times they will be in the group room. During this 6 day group we initiate them into Tantric meditations to be practiced before or during sexual union. Each day, they go to their bedroom for 2—3 hours to practice Tantric sexual union in privacy.

At intervals during this Tantra journey, we have group sharing to clarify issues which may be arising through the practice of the methods. We also share with them techniques we have found helpful for opening up clearer communication in relationship, or how to release anger in a creative way. Some of the couples have issues of sexual dysfunction which trouble them, such as premature ejaculation, impotence, or inability to orgasm. For these issues, it helps that there are many group structures which open up a dynamic flow of life force energy in the body. However, we also offer private consultation and healing for people who need it, using a variety of very effective holistic methods we are trained in.

In this particular group, one couple is on the verge of separation due to the 9 years they have suffered the husband’s premature ejaculation problem. After just two days in the group, and including the support of Colour Light Therapy treatments, he is cured of his problem and is able to experience lasting sexual encounters with his now radiant wife. An older man, suffering from lack of erection needs 4 days to discover his potency again. His energy is renewed when he is finally able to release the anger and grief of a childhood spent in a Catholic School, where he was repeatedly sexually abused by the teachers. His wife of 30 years weeps with gratitude to embrace her now openhearted husband. A woman who is in menopause, and has lost a great deal of her libido, shrinks from the advances of her much more virile partner. After three days they share with the group about the divine sexual intimacy they have shared during one of their Tantric meditation sessions in the bedroom. They said they had never before experienced such sexual fulfilment.

People often come to Tantra because they have tried other systems of personal development and yet continue to have difficulty in relationship or with their sexuality. Tantra offers tools and methods to bypass the quagmire which can happen if one has not received a solid education in the art of love. However, Tantra doesn’t end there. It is in essence, a path for the awakening of consciousness in all dimensions of being. We can enter this path from wherever we are right now, using our present state as a jumping board into our full potential as flowing, alive, ecstatic human beings.

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