As per the show's request, we rushed around, borrowed a video recorder (Juan's was on the barge with the rest of their things, remember?) so we could film "homey-type" footage for the show. We were so rushed, we didn't even get a chance to copy or view the tape as it had to be rushed to the FedEx office by noon it would reach their editors the next day. We flew straight through to NYC, non-stop, 14 or more hours, beginning 12 noon Hawaii time on Saturday landing 6am at JFK.. We were grabbing a few hours sleep when the show's producers called us to tell us the video was damaged in flight and we had to try again. We quickly showered, wiped the sleepers from our eyes and met the producer, Njya, and her camera-man, George. We brain-stormed while we walked 20 blocks to Central Park only to find it impossible to get across the street because the annual New York marathon was in process and every possible entrance was blocked by runners, supporters and police.
We were rapidly losing daylight, so we quickly found a wall to climb, boosted the girls including Nyja, our producer, over the wall, who squealed from embarrassment (or was it delight?), when she landed in Sasha's arms as he stopped her from falling. Gregg, the videographer, preparing to shoot discovered he had forgotten his back-up battery pack and the red light was flashing indicting the battery in the camera was low. We had a one-shot deal to get things right. On top of it all, we had to invent the script, right there on the spot.
We walked arm in arm in arm and arm and smiled for the camera, supposedly four happy Hawaiians at home in our sweaters and long pants. With the setting sun the temperature dropped rapidly and our teeth began chattering as cab after cab full with exhausted joggers and their fans ignored us. Juan, coatless was dauntless, he ignored the cold as he waived frantically at every passing cab, valiantly trying to be our Prince Valiant.
Jet-lagged and weary, we created Maui home scenes inside our Manhattan Sheridan hotel room. We crowded into our hotel bathroom, clowned for the camera while we brushed our teeth and hair so Americana could see we were "normal" and home-spun, just like them. I giggled at the absurdity of it all while that famous line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. "She shits", ran through my head!
Our room next to the stairwell was the last room available in the hotel because of the marathon, so the queen-sized bed I requested Sasha's long legs was actually a double. With his feet dangling over the end, we attempted to get our first nights' sleep in two days while the door to the stairwell clanged all night. The 7am wake-up call, while annoying, actually rescued us from a long-suffering, fitful night's sleep. We rushed to shower and breakfast to be on time to meet the driver in the lobby as per the studio instructions. We waited and waited then Caileigh accidently discovered our driver waiting outside way down the block. We raced through traffic, were met at the door by nervous producers, and rushed through security. I was zoomed up to the "dubbing" room where I tried to recover my breath and relax in order to do the calm, friendly, voice-over of our taping the night before. Three takes and I nailed it. Was I now a star? Nah.
I was escorted to the briefing room to find the rest of my family was there. Whew. We couldn't even pee without a guard, security was so tight and also to prevent Juan & Cindy from meeting Melanie before their live meeting on the show.. The entire staff of our show joined to go over our "script". We rehearsed a general over-view of what we were and weren't to discuss. We weren't allowed to state our professions, especially that we had a psychotherapist and lawyer in our family, nor our last names, our books, web sites, where we met, tantra, the Loving More conferences or the lovemore web site. I was a bit concerned if people were going to be able to contact us or poly folks afterwards because I wanted them to be able to get the real scoop after the editors got to our performance.
I was to go on first, all by myself (gulp). They swore up and down we weren't going to have any hostile adversaries in the audience. In fact, they screen all the questions so they're not going to allow anything mean or disrespectful. The "challenge" was supposed to be relatively neutral--there just to protect the show to establish that they weren't advocating our lifestyle, simply reporting the issues. However, there was one area we all were in agreement since John Walsh is an advocate for children and Cindy is Calieigh's mother, Caileigh was to be protected at all times and would not be subjected to anything cruel or harsh. The meeting finished at 11am. Our taping was at 4pm. Hurry up and wait. Caileigh picked up an etch-a-sketch and proceeded to entertain us bored adults as only a creative 12-year old can do.
Wardrobe ran to Saks next door and bought clothes for Caileigh and Cindy and they fit perfectly! Makeup lightly fluffed dark-skinned Juan while they caked everything they had on pale-faced me.
At the far right, first row were a handful of polys recruited by Justin Michels, a NY poly networker. I was relieved to find that during the show Mr. Walsh gave the mike to several of our poly supporters who asked relevant questions allowing us to establish our main points. Things were going too smooth. A holy-ruler scolded, "You're disobeying God's commandments." "They ain't my commandments, Lady," Sasha responded. After a commercial break John let her stand again. "You're committing adultery", she reprimanded. We forgot to warn Juan not to get into a no-win religious debate and he launched into a story about Solomon in response. It felt like a fumble, and we no sooner recovered when we were handed another offensive maneuver. One woman said, "I think you're really gross" while another man attacked us because Mel was new to the family, Juan and Cindy hadn't met her, so tried to make us look like swingers. "But wait, there's nothing wrong with swingers, it's about choice," I thought. "No, don't go there", I cautioned myself. "That's another trap hard to escape."
As nervous and afraid as I was, I suddenly found myself feeling a deep sense of peace, compassion and love as I realized how deathly afraid our attackers must be, how fragile their belief structures that they could be so easily shaken simply by someone else's beliefs. In the midst of the lights, tension, conflict and fighting the urge to defend, I got it. I opened up my heart chakra. I beamed love through my eyes. My whole aura swelled with compassion. I felt proud as we as a group showed intense love for one another. We hugged, held hands, looked in each others eyes. We believed and saw the future. We saw the lives we were touching out there in our unseen audience. We knew if we got it, others would get it too just by us showing them that we exist. Just because these people were hostile and afraid today, that doesn't mean they will be so tomorrow.
Another poly supporter was allowed to stand and express how brave we were. Cindy and Juan's children eloquently expressed how they supported their parent's choices while choosing monogamy for themselves. A woman noticed Mel's discomfort and asked how Mel felt. "Thank you caring about my feelings", Mel responded. "Actually, she added, "My grown daughter had discovered polyamory before I had." A light went on over John Walsh's head. He remembered his youth. "I get it, it's like a commune in the 60's." "Yes, we're a tribe", I responded. "People once believed the world was flat. It took them a while to change, but they did," John added.
Final commercial break, Caileigh was escorted in at the end, sat between Mom and Dad and shyly smiled. John Walsh said, "It was a long flight, wasn't it Caileigh?" "Yeah, "Caleigh replied. Polyamory, while not totally understood appeared to be accepted. "Leave It to Beaver" was finally laid to rest. Cindy had to give back her clothes but Caileigh got to keep hers because she's a kid. We had one day to recover, then back on the plane for another 20-hour, grueling flight. I had a horrible allergic reaction to all that heavy stage makeup and my faced puffed up and I looked like a monster for days, even after I go home. I love it. I wouldn't change a single moment of it for anything in the world.
2. EXPLORE & ENJOY YOUR BODY MORE: Exercises for you (by Sasha)
Body Image : Love the look, feel and abilities of your body and your beloved's for terrific tantric sex and listen to the voices of your body. Tantra weaves cords from each levels of your consciousness––––each level conceived as a chakra--into a magic carpet of thrilling kundalini energy that soars along your spine. You experience yourself as a conscious bridge between the earthly and the spiritual. Tantra activates the safe, the sexy, the powerful, the loving, the communicative, the knowing and the spiritual within you, between you and your beloved, and between you and the world.
Fathom Your Physical Form : Feel your physique, its history, needs and voices that affect tantric sex. Create a private, uninterrupted couple of hours in a well-lit sanctum with space to sketch, stretch and sprawl. Provide a full-length and hand-held mirror, pastels or colored pencils, a piece of large drawing paper, and, if female, a speculum.
Scribble The Saga of Your Soma: Prepare pen and paper; then sit, eyes closed, and recall the history of your body from conception to now. Images and memories flash. For each body event, jot a phrase (example: wet dream, age 12). Then number and recopy chronologically the phrases you wrote. Add more as you write your list. Note conception, birth, infancy, childhood, teens, etc.
Leave space under each body event's heading to write about the phase. For each event, note your body's size, weight, appearance. Elaborate on your body at each stage. What were your eating habits, substance intakes, characteristics, discoveries, activities, capacities, joys, frustrations, problems, accidents, illnesses, surgeries, pains? How did you relate to sex, nature, sports, music and dance?
Put your list aside for a few minutes, then read it afresh. See the themes-––––the recurrent body yearning and alternating attitudes––––from the body's perspective. Summarize your relation to your body throughout your life.
Draw Your Body
Draw Your Body on a large pad, with colored pens, pencils or pastels, draw your body. Then, on another paper, draw your genitals. Look at what you've drawn and identify with it. Say what you are like, what your existence is, as the body drawing you made.
Complete the following thoughts: I spent the most time sketching ... (hands, face, etc.). The way I drew my genitals shows me that .... I left out .... I overemphasized these body parts .... The parts of my body I left out and the parts I elaborated correspond to the following overemphases and underemphases in my life .... In my sketch, I didn't show these recent changes in my body .... The parts of my body that I drew separate (example: head not connected to torso) were .... Their separateness in the drawing corresponds to the following separations in my life ....
I placed my drawing on the page as follows .... This corresponds to the way I place myself in life in the following ways .... The relationship between the size of my drawing and how much room I take up in life is ....
Drawing my body, I (circle the correct alternatives or note contrary observations):
a. emphasized aspects of my body that qualify me as attractive to others (shape, hair, facial features, etc.)
b. emphasized parts of my body (hands, eyes, mouth) I use to deal with the world;
c. built it around parts that have a special relation to people and objects in the world;
d. made parts of it prominent, shaded or heavier-lined, proving that my body-image is not an objective record of externally observed reality.
Consider the relationship of your drawing to the way you experience your body and your lived-space.
Reflect on Your Reflection
Disrobe before a body-length mirror. Turn at different angles to the mirror, so see yourself from several angles. Watch your whole body, how it flows as you move. Then focus on head, torso, legs, then crown, hair, face, neck, chest, back, belly, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, shins, hands, feet, toes (but save genitals) as you dance to the mirror. Pick up a hand mirror. See your reflection reflect on your body.
Stand before your image. Say what you like most and least about your body, what you see about your health, your assets and your liabilities. What do you appreciate? Say aloud how you'll improve.
Your Body Talks
Let your body take stage center in your consciousness. Identify with your it; become your body. As body, say what's difficult and what's satisfying about serving as this soul's soma. Say how you feel about the way your person reacts to you. What would you like her or him to value you for? What else would you like her or him to know?
Focus on your genitals. Use both mirrors. Look in your orifices.
Compare the drawing you made of your genitals with what you see. Then become genitals. As genitals, how do you feel. How did you feel in the mirror examination? What's your existence with your person. Say what you want and need.
Pleasure yourself as you look in your own eyes in the mirror. Tell yourself aloud how you love making love to you. Affirm your deepest devotion as you orgasm.
3. CONSCIOUS CONNECTIONS - SATURDAYS 7-10 PM
Dating club for singles, couples and polys where you can find new loves, enhance your current relationship or expand your horizons to loving more. Come meet that person you've been waiting for or that special couple of your dreams. Dance into the night or engage in stimulating conversation. Join the magical mix of the Conscious Connection where adults of all ages, preferences and persuasions meet to enjoy the music and company of other like-minded people. Let your hair down and allow the Maui moon atmosphere transform the evening into an unforgettable moment in time. The Conscious Connection is a social party that is held every Friday night from 7pm - midnight. And if you think that is fun, come back the next night for Saturday Tantra Connection Parties where you merge romance and fantasy in the surroundings of a safe and sensual environment. Both Conscious Connection and Tantra Connection Parties are sponsored by the School of Tantra. Bring your towel for the hot tub! $50 week or $250/10 weeks. For more details see our web site: www.schooloftantra.com or call 244-4103.
5. TANTRA CONNECTION PARTIES - SATURDAYS 7-10PM
Advanced experiential parties for singles, couples, polys or playcouples. Join us at our clothes-optional, private home with seminar space and vacation rental suites in the West Maui Mountains (minutes from the Airport) for Tantra Connection--structured parties for adults of all ages, preferences and persuasions. Beginners, seasoned practitioners and singles enjoy Tantra Connection Parties, where you meet to enjoy the music and company of other like-minded people. Tantra Connection acts as both a dating service for singles and lifestyle couples and as a support group for those exploring tantra and alternative relations. A typical Saturday-night party starts with ice-breakers: friendly, playful conversations, boundary-setting techniques and light energy exchanging opportunities. You get to know others as people and connect in delightful ways at your comfort level. You learn sacred sector massage and allow your Goddess to free her ejaculate (amrita). Practice with others makes the energy in the room electric, exiting and erotic. Flow freely, come together to talk, say your desires and wants, give feedback, share thoughts, express yourself, relax in the hot tub smelling night-blooming jasmine under starlit skies or move into one of our private nests for more intimate experiences. Our mix of tantra, swinging and polyamory lets you experience fun, love and eroticism. Bring your towel for the hot tub! $50 week, $250/10 weeks. See: http://www.schooloftantra.com/Events/TantraConnectionParties.htm
6. JOIN OUR CONSCIOUS COMMUNITY ON MAUI
Apply to join a conscious, tantric, naturist, polyamorist, meditative, psychospiritual community nestled a Maui jungle. You must be kind, honest, loving, open-minded, spiritual, neat, clean, tidy, quiet, reliable, responsible, financially-secure, non-tobacco smoking, environmentally-conscious, sex-positive and committed to work on and heal your family of origin hangups to join this experimental community and create a new model for extended family. We model our new-paradigm community on conscious communities like Zegg and Harbin Hot Springs, based on love and support for one another, kind, open and authentic communication, tantra, intentional family and intimate friendships. Accommodations vary from private bedroom with shared bath and kitchen to private one and two-bedroom apartments. Members work weekly in community garden and grounds. Community activities include emotional support groups, workshops, parties and hosting. Applicants trained in healing arts, music, construction and gardening would help lots. Adults only. No new pets (we already have many). For application call 808/242-5921: leave name, address, phone and fax.
7. TANTRA SCHOOL: December 2-13, 2002 on Maui
Tantra School teaches you (whether you're beginner, seasoned tantrica, single or part of a couple) how to be an experienced lover, sexual healer, attractive date or perfect life mate. The Lessins demonstrate and you practice the art of conscious loving. You learn techniques of All-Chakra Tantra, client-centered therapy, voice dialogue, gestalt therapy, holotropic breathing and tantra and vini yoga so you feel strong, stretched and centered. You also:
Explore your own life history to heal old wounds, expand consciousness, and grow spiritually.
Emotionally distinguish your lovers from fathers and mothers and stop projecting inner conflicts outward onto beloveds
Experience (then lead fellow students through) imago exercises to heal one another's hurts.
Rate and better your relationships
Honor your own inner voices and the voices of others
Unhook from former lovers
Mutually uplift yourself and those you love
Free your inner child
Delve dreams for messages
Liberate yourself from parental and societal programs and slave mentality,
Upload addictions to preferences
Evoke the female ejaculate
Create full-bodied (kundalini) orgasms
Master ejaculatory control
Communicate clearly and authentically; share straight-talk
Understand more about yourself, others and life
Increase your levels of empathy, become self-assured and autonomous
Learn how to turn sexual encounters into transcendent experiences, portals to experiencing oneness with beloveds and the Universe.
Tantra School Prices: $495 per week (Monday-Sunday includes Conscious Connections and Tantra Connection groups), $100 per day or individually by class: 1 hour class: $25, 1.5 hour class = $35, 2 hour class - $50, 2.5 hour class = $65, 3 hour class = $75 * Free classes. For Schedule of Classes for December, see #11, at the end of this newsletter:
8. GESTALT FUN: December 11, 6-8:30PM
Led by Sasha, who has been using gestalt therapy as a basic tool in his practice since 1970. In this engaging experience, you heighten your self-awareness, contact with others, and experience of what it means to be a member of a group so you experience separateness and grow personally. You learn how to integrate thinking, feeling and behavior with lovers for yourself and those you facilitate. $65 by reservation. 244-4103
9. YOGA TWO-WEEK INTENSIVE MONDAY December 2- 6, 9-13
Led by Sasha, who's a Certified Viniyoga Instructor. 90 minutes nearly continuous slow-motion stretching, strengthening, breathing and meditation. Beginners & seasoned students welcome. Free. Call 244-4103
10. LOVE A WOMAN: A DAY-LONG, COACHED TANTRIC DATE: Dec. 4. Janet & Sasha lead.
In this class, you learn how to help a women open all chakras as you communicate kindly and effectively, heal their wounds, remove their (and your) limits to loving in connected lovemaking rituals that bring consciousness to lovemaking, where lovemaking heightens your spiritual awareness. The Lessins demonstrate how to give women the mind-blowing amrita (female ejaculate) orgasm. 11AM - 8:00 PM. $100 per person. See http://schooloftantra.com/Seminars/tantra/HowToReallyLoveAWoman.htm
11. SCHEDULE FOR DECEMBER TANTRA SCHOOL
December 2 - Monday
10:30AM-12 noon CTA 20 Roleplaying and Active Listening
2 PM - 5PM CTA 10 Chakras & Bija Mantra
December 3 - Tuesday
8:30 -10AM CTA 30 Yoga: Breath, Posture, Sequencing *
December 4 - Wednesday - LOVE A WOMAN DAY ($100)
8:30 -10AM CTA 30 Yoga: Breath, Posture, Sequencing *
December 5 - Thursday
December 6 - Friday
8:30 -10AM CTA 30 Yoga: Breath, Posture, Sequencing *
December 7 - Saturday
7 -11 PM - CTA 92 Facilitate Tantra Connection Party
December 8 - Sunday
Sundown: Celebration of the Body, Little Beach, Makena
December 9 - Monday
8:30 -10AM CTA 32 Yoga: Breathing *
December 10 - Tuesday
8:30 -10AM CTA 32 Yoga: Bandhas *
December 11- Wednesday
8:30 -10AM CTA 30 Yoga: Bandha Practice *
December 12 - Thursday
8:30-10AM CTA 32 Yoga: Visualization *
December 13 - Friday
8:30 -10AM CTA 30 Yoga: Review *
December 14 - Saturday
7 -11 PM - CTA 92 Facilitate Tantra Connection Party (Tantra School
December 23- Monday
9 -10:30PM CTA 20 Roleplaying and Active Listening 10 AM - 12 noon CTA 60 Life Chapters 1-5 PM CTA 10 Chakras & Bija Mantra December 24 - Tuesday 9 -10:30 AM CTA 30 Yoga: Breath, Posture, Sequencing 11 AM - 1 PM CTA 21 Choreograph Your Voices 3 - 5 PM CTA 22 Voices in Tantra, CTA 23 Voice of Relating: Benefit from Bonding December 26 Thursday 9 -10:30 AM CTA 30 Yoga: Breath, Posture, Sequencing 11 AM - 1 PM: CTA 70 Remember Mom's Mistakes 3 - 5 PM - CTA 71 Deal with Dad's Delicts December 27 Friday 9 -10:30 AM CTA 30 Yoga: Breath, Posture, Sequencing 11 AM - 1 PM CTA 24 Imago Healing 1: Heal Her Hurts & Yoni Talks 3 - 5 PM CTA 11 Tantra Date 1: Female Sacred Sector Stimulation 7 -10 PM - CTA 92 Facilitate Tantra Connection Exercises December 28 Saturday 9 -10:30 AM CTA 30 Yoga: Breath, Posture, Sequencing 11 AM - 1 PM CTA 11 Tantra Date 1: Female Sacred Sector Stimulation 3 - 5 PM CTA 14 Tantra Ritual 7 -10 PM - CTA 92 Facilitate Advanced Tantra Connections
Tantra School Prices: $495 per week (Monday-Sunday includes Conscious Connections and Tantra Connection groups). $100 per day or individually by class: 1 hour class: $25, 1.5 hour class = $35, 2 hour class - $50, 2.5 hour class = $65, 3 hour class = $75. * Free classes
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School of Tantra, 1371 Malaihi Road,
Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793