Margot Anand’s first sexual experience at age 18 was a far cry from the backseat fumbling of most teens. “I had the most amazing satori experience,” she recalls. “I tasted who I am—before I was born in this body and after I die—pure light-spirit, completely free of time and space.”
Anand was as new to spirituality as she was to sexuality. She’d been born into a wealthy family and groomed to be a debutante. Later she earned a degree in psychology from the Sorbonne, worked as a model and a journalist, and then became a therapist, or “celebration partner,” as she preferred to call it.
Her Skydancing Tantra makes ancient Tantric methods and tools more accessible to western culture.
WLT: Is ecstasy a luxury or is it actually useful in our lives?
Margot Anand: In a state of ecstasy, you stand outside, or beyond, your ordinary thinking mind. It is, as Deepak Chopra calls it, abiding in “the gap between the words” or the thoughts, until you can taste the nature of consciousness that exists in the remembrance of “I am” knowing “I am.” It is witnessing how spacious you feel when you do not identify with every thought and emotion that arises, but remembering to witness and let go, the way you watch birds in the sky. This spaciousness gives us, little by little, a sense of stabilized contentment—fewer ups and downs, a smoother ride, an easier access to inner joy. To exist, to create is an incredible blessing, an orgasm in itself.
So ecstasy is jumping outside of the box of what is static in your mind and into the unknown, entering into a deep intimacy with your soul. One of the privileged ways of accessing such a state is through sexual orgasm. But the journey begins there; the orgasm is usually short-lived. The calling is to know that through the coming and going of sex, mind, life, there is something that does not come or go, because it is always there. The frequency of ecstasy is always available, we need to tune into it—love is the short cut and meditation the way in. Lovemaking, when it is conscious, is a meditation.
How does the religious ecstatic experience differ from the ecstatic orgasmic state experienced during lovemaking?
The body’s ecstasy is orgasm. The spirit’s orgasm is ecstasy. They go together. SkyDancing Tantra starts with sexual healing of our conditioning and wounds in that area. It goes from there to sexual-orgasmic expansion—learning how to have better, easier access to prolonged orgasmic states; and then to sexual mindfulness—maintaining awareness while in the often temptingly uncontrollable throes of our libido. [You make a choice between] “I am so hot for this person that I am ready to forget about everything and everyone else…” vs. “I’m so hot for this person, I am going to ride that wave of energy with awareness of who s/he is, what my commitments are, and how our interaction can happen in an elegant way that does not harm anyone. The moment my orgasmic joy creates suffering, I have not been mindful enough.
The final step is sexual ecstasy, the art of the alchemist, transmuting lust into bliss and sexual loving into an expanded natural high.
So then is SkyDancing useful only during a sexual experience?
SkyDancing is the art of dancing in the sky, which is how you feel in the middle of great lovemaking. It accesses the ecstasy of love and brings it to your daily life. It reconnects you to the primal peak experience of ecstasy.
Can you give us a broader explanation of Tantra?
Tantra is the art of choosing with awareness what brings you joy. That opens the door to your spirit. The ancient teachings of Tantra, which originated in India some 5,000 years ago, were taught through oral transmission of masters to their disciples. These renderings are called sutras, and of the many Tantra sutras, only 10-15 percent have to do with sexuality; the rest pertain to spiritual awakening. However the West, in such need of healing in this area because of the terrible oppression of Christianity around sexuality, has adopted Tantra in its specific aspect of what I call “the yoga of love and sex.” Tantra is not “spiritual awakening through the cultivation of the five-hour orgasm.” Tantra is a spiritual path that leads to awakening and which includes sexuality, rather than rejecting it. Tantra offers “applied meditation” in the area of both love life and everyday life.
Can Tantra help balance the masculine and feminine energies?
One of the well-known contributions of the Tantra philosophy is that man is not just man; he is also woman. And woman is also man. We are born bisexual and each gender, in having both male and female hormones, has the possibility of experiencing and understanding male and female responses. So a man has an inner woman who holds the ability to be flowing and patient, to care and nurture. And a woman has a male polarity, which gives her the option to be a leader, to express clearly what she wants and take initiative, to have goals and achieve them. We fall in love with someone because the outer person is but a reflection of our inner man or woman. We “recognize” the outer beloved as an aspect of our own psyche and heart.
What about sex workers who offer Tantra?
Maybe some people feel genuinely inspired to share the healing aspects of teaching not Tantra, but sexual healing methods. In my direct experience, the people who offer their services for money as sex workers are most of the time in deep denial. They are raping their souls and denying it because of money. There might be exceptions but I have not encountered many
The Real Tantra
Tantra was created to be the path of freedom, a spiritual path wherein one seeks unity with the Divine. A Tantric could be described as a person for whom the removal of limitations is more compelling than the maintenance of any given current reality, no matter how pleasant or beautiful that reality may be. Bliss in sexual orgasm is only one aspect of the Tantric spiritual path.
Tantra also encompasses a healing method known as kaya kalpa, created by the Siddhas, who used it to rejuvenate their bodies. They were said to have lived for thousands of years, finally attaining the state of samadhi, or perpetual ecstasy.
Kaya kalpa treats both the gross and the subtle bodies to prolong youthfulness and revive vitality. It is based on the stimulation of the endocrine glands in the physical body that correspond to the chakras of the etheric body, thus having an effect on the entire organism.
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