a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


POPULAR TANTRA: Two More Examples

Subject: POPULAR TANTRA: Two More Examples

The first is from 'Tantra: The Magazine, TARA 1991'

Why Tantra?
By Robert Frey

The Tantric path with its diverse ways and practices, developed long ago in
several cultures, has begun to emerge from a lengthy dormant period and now
promises to flourish again.  A new Tantra is being created, blending ancient
and modern healing and transformational skills.  The current flow of history
is ripe for Tantra - why?

The nature of the modern industrialized civilization now dominating the
world is separation.  With all its focus on material possessions and the
intense preoccupation with 'getting', a deeply essential human/spiritual
need has been denied - the need to connect, to create union.  The desire to
share has been sublimated to the desire called greed, the urge to have
and control more power and possessions than others.  Getting (as
distinguished from receiving) usually precludes giving, and in doing so
disavows the honoring of Spirit, in others and in self.  Getting without
giving is the outward expression of the inner imbalance of push without
yield, assertion/aggression/control without surrender/flow/receptivity.
It is the yang without the yin.  Getting is about trying to dominate the
world without opening the heart.  The energy only flows one way, and thus
separation is created and maintained.

Separation, extreme as it has become, has begun to arouse in us all the deep
desire to be connected with others.  Separation is maintained by a thinking
aspect of the mind called the ego, whose primary motivating energy comes
from "fear thoughts", fears and thoughts of lack - ultimately lack of love,
for self and others.  Thus separation can be said to have two components:
An energetic pattern in which the open flow of energy and sensation is
blocked, incomplete, or unidirectional, and secondly, a mental state that
displaces love with thoughts and feelings of lack and fear.  In a culture
such as our modern Western materialistic society, people are conditioned
to be unaware of their energy or unskillful in commanding it, thus habitually
blocking its natural flow.  Energetically they live cut off from others and
from aspects of themselves.  Likewise, most people are trained to run their
lives from their fear-based ego thinking, accepting a misconception that
separation and absence of intimacy with others is the human condition and
to be expected.  The pain of this pervasive separation has begun to arouse
a widespread interest in understanding and healing this "dysfunction".

Tantra offers relief from the components of separation on both accounts.
The classic partner energy meditation found in the major Tantric traditions,
as well as the practices for individuals, effectively serve to train
awareness and command of the natural energetic flows both within each
person and between people.  Given awareness and command, anyone with
Tantric skill can reclaim the natural experience of union and connection.
The meditations also serve to quiet the thinking mind and with it the fears
and fear thoughts which maintain and justify separation, offering instead
moments of relief and inner peace.  From the place of peace, openness to
others is possible and through the Tantric practices, openness can lead
to connection and even to the blissful experience of union.  Indeed a
popular definition of Tantra is, "to connect, unite"; to make a deep
connection, to create unity or union is the healing of separation, the
living of "bliss function" - Tantra.


Robert Frey, M.A., Ph.D. candidate in Psychology, has 10 years experience
and teaching in a variety of Tantric schools; monthly transformational
Tantric workshops in San Diego area (619) 943-8639 and San Francisco
Bay area (415) 924-LIVE.  Private sessions and mystical nature retreats
in Sedona, Mt. Shasta, and other sites by arrangement.  Direct contact:
(602) 282-1894, or P.O. Box 2151, Sedona, AZ, 86336.
'Tantra: The Magazine': P.O. Box 79, Torreon, NM 87061-0079, (505) 271-3155.

From 'Utne Reader', an excerpt from 'The Advocate'

Learning From the Masters: A School for Sadomasochism
By David Perry

Karen Mendelsohn is probably the only student of Tibetan Buddhism ever
to open a school for sadomasochism.  Mendelsohn, 46, says, "But I've
always had these schoolmarm fantasies, so..."

The school that mistress Mendelsohn oversees is Quality S/M (QSM),
a kind of community-college extension service for people interested
in exploring S/M.  Operating out of Mendelsohn's storefront apartment
in San Francisco's outer Mission district, QSM offers a wide variety
of classes, workshops, lectures, and hands-on sessions of interest to
both the novice and the expert.

"The average person's image of S/M is of crazed Nazis," says Mendelsohn.
"And certainly before I got involved in it, I thought that people who did
S/M were maladjusted and waiting around the waterfront to drink your

Mendelsohn first encountered S/M when she answered a personal ad placed
by a man looking for 'erotic adventures,' she recalls.  "There was no sexual
energy between us, but boy, did he turn me on to a bunch of groups interested
in the same thing."  She was soon a member of two San Francisco S/M groups,
Outcasts and the Society of Janus.

The magazine rack in Mendelsohn's classroom teems with titles such as
'Quim', 'Taste of Latex', 'Dungeon Master', 'The Sandmutopia Guardian',
and an especially graphic S/M 'zine titled 'Brat Attack'.  There's a
plastic apple on her desk, hooks in the ceiling - they're used in 'hanging
seminars' - and in the corner, a sturdy plastic-covered table used in the
Advanced Fisting class.

"This is not a sex club," Mendelsohn says.  "The fisting workshop is one of
the most extreme classes we offer, but we absolutely do not allow students
to participate in [fisting].  The class watches, listens and learns."

Graphic descriptions aside, one might find it hard to keep an Advanced Fisting
class quiet.  Ditto for the snapping of whips and orders barked during the
Nazi Interrogation workshop or the Branding for Beginners seminar ("There's
no sound quite like the hiss of [a hot] brand meeting flesh," the class
description reads.)

"In the same way that Eskimos have many words for snow," Mendelsohn notes
in a carefully practiced analogy, "people who do S/M should have many words
for pain.  What people not into S/M don't understand is that there is a very
strong element of playacting.  If people in this community say 'Do you want
to play?' they mean 'Do you want to do S/M?'  This is the language of
childhood, and in some ways, S/M is a grown-up version of playing cowboys
and Indians."

Mendelsohn feels "somewhat lucky" that no one has ever been physically
damaged at QSM, although it's "certainly possible," she says.  "Do I think
that S/M can be dangerous?"  Mendelsohn asks.  "Yes.  And a lot of people
see that danger as exciting.  When I was a kid, I loved scarey movies.  I
enjoyed being scared.  Why do people get on a roller coaster, scream their
heads off, and get on again and again?  Fear.  It can be a real rush."

While she is an active member of the S/M community, Mendelsohn does not
look down her nose at what some would consider vanilla sex, nor does she
believe that all people would enjoy S/M.  And she declines to draw a
hard-and-fast line between the "normal" and the "kinky."  "People into
S/M probably wear more leather than others," she says, "and enjoy a
power differential.  I mean, where does rough sex end and S/M begin?"
Mendelsohn adds that the AIDS epidemic has led to a marked increase
in S/M options and fantasies.

"There's a saying among the S/M people: They used to say we're sick,
now we're safe," she says.  "A lot of what constitutes S/M is very safe
sex and in no way involves the exchange of bodily fluids.  You don't
have to have a lot of props to do S/M.  You can practice S/M by serving
someone pizza or cleaning someone's apartment.  The defining element
of S/M is people being consciously aware that they are setting up a
power dynamic for erotic or spiritual purposes.

"Both S/M and Buddhism are about adding intensity to everyday life.
Tibetan Buddhism deals with energy - the chanting, the ceremony, the
ritual - and S/M is about bringing up energy.  And whatever else pain
does," says Mendelsohn with a grin, "it does get your attention."


The Advocate: Box 590, Mt. Morris, IL 61054-7827; A gaylesbian biweekly.
Or call, (800) 827-0561.  This is an excerpt from the May 5, 1992 issue.

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races