Upasana: You have been participating in tantra group work for the past year in both sydney and brisbane. What is it that drew you to working with Martina Hughes and her ‘Tantric Blossoming’ workshops?
Tim: I had heard about Martina’s work through friends and was intrigued, I had been interested in tantra for a while. I attended a mens retreat in March this year held in Sydney, that was co-facilitated by Martina and David Anderson. It was such a great weekend and opened my eyes to a different way of being & living, a much more beautiful way of relating to people, and a way of generating more energy & vitality, this experience touched me deeply and ignited a spark inside that has been smouldering ever since.
Upasana: As you have attended more groups, has your understanding of what motivates you changed?
Tim: Yes, have much more understanding about my patterns of behaviour, and what triggers them, just becoming more conscious of this instead of just running on autopilot allows me to make more sense of things and take some action around making some changes.
Upasana: What misconceptions did you walk into tantra with? and in what ways has your understanding deepened?
Tim: I guess I was a little nervous about attending a retreat or group as I wasn’t sure what was involved, whether or not I would fit in, and what sort of people would be involved, how sexual it would be, in all I found it a very heart opening experience, a little confronting at times but I guess from my past beliefs had limited views about expressing my sexuality or feeling comfortable with that, to be around open, heart centred people in a safe nurturing environment is extremely liberating to the soul, the deeper I go into tantra the more I get an understanding of how beneficial it is to all areas of my life.
Upasana: Is tantra just about sex, or does it extend to other parts of human experience?
Tim: Tantra is not just about sex, or sexuality, it’s a way of living, a different way of relating to this world of ours, an exploration of getting to know your body from the inside, feeling into yourself and becoming more conscious around your body and pleasure, exploring masculine & feminine dynamics, and importantly for me about our relationship with ourselves.
Upasana: Is sex ‘just sex’? or is it something more?
Tim: For me sex was never just sex, there were so many different dynamics involved , depending on my partner, mood at the time, how I was feeling about myself, I was always so in my head, through tantra I’ve learned to relax into my body more, to go with the flow, to be more present, to breathe into the moment and connect more with my partner, and I believe sex can become so much more, a melting into each other, a timeless experience, not so much doing sex or having sex, but being sex, if that makes any sense.
Upasana: Why is this work so important to you? You have shown such commitment…
Tim: I feel so drawn to it now I understand more about Tantra, it is helping me in so many areas of my life.
Upasana: How do you feel you have you grown through this process?
Tim: One area of my life I struggled with was relating to other people, I have been a shy person for most of my life, I have gained an understanding of how my relationship with myself has been affecting this, for if we do not love ourselves fully and be comfortable with who we are it affects all areas of our life, through this work I am learning to show more vulnerability, to take off my mask and let people see who I really am, stop trying to be how I perceive other people want me to be. The breath work practice has been a real eye opener, I’m constantly amazed at how correct breathing and feeling into my body can free up so much energy and help to relax more and free up emotions to come into consciousness.
Upasana: Have you attended other groups or trainings of other kinds in the past?
Tim: I have attended meditation groups.
Upasana: What does working in a group context do that can’t occur elsewhere?
Tim: I think working in a group has many benefits, you get to know that other people have the same concerns and worries about life that you do, and helps you to feel more involved and less isolated, to be in a group environment where there is a high level of trust, intimacy, love and acceptance is a very opening experience, why I have been drawn to Martina’s groups in particular is I feel she has a unique skill in creating this environment or group space, it is so much easier to open up, to show people more of yourself, to release past conditionings and unhelpful beliefs, a very life expanding, cathartic & beautiful experience.