POLY-TANTRA: POLYAMORY & TANTRA, A POTENT MIX
by Janet Kira Lessin



Poly-Tantra combines the best of tantra and polyamory. While polyamory and tantra are paths that each may be practiced by themselves, they go together like two peas in pod.

Tantra, also known as sacred sexuality, is an ancient high art form that means ""weave"". With tantra you learn to master and weave energy in yourself and between you and your lovers.  You connect deeper with your lovers. You feel your oneness with them and the world. The ability to weave energy between beloveds can prove to be essential when you decide to move beyond dyadic relating and practice polyamory.

In polyamory--loving more than one person in an honest and intimate relationship--you balance energy between two or among more than two lovers--a delicate dance. You embrace two or more people in your heart and keep them in your consciousness lest they feel left-out, hurt, abandoned.  We're all psychic and can feel it if we're not primary in someone's awareness.  You nurture and support the Inner Children within each of your partners. 

The Inner Child, the part of each of us who longs for and experiences deep, intimate connections, meets other people Inner Child to Inner Child, when you feel safe to be vulnerable. To make poly work, tune into, let yourself care about your lovers' Inner Children; reveal your own Inner Child to them.  .

Ever notice how a child can play happily outside, unaffected when Mother''s busy inside washing dishes?  When Mom's keeping one eye on her child, the child seems content. But the moment the phone rings and Mom shifts her attention to her friend on the phone, the child becomes aware that Mom's shifted her focus, and the child runs in the house demanding Mom's attention.  A similar thing happens in polyamory when you shift focus away from one lover onto another. So you need to be energetically sensitive when practicing polyamory so your lovers feel supported by your consciousness.  Develop ways to stay connected with all your lovers.

Polyamory can be practiced in groups or you may encounter each of your lovers one at a time. Sometimes group love, sometimes one-on-one loving serves you best.  Employ tantra and you can send energy and our each of your lovers and they can feel you whether or not you and and each of them are present in the physical space at the time you or they make love.

When you're alone with one poly partner and apart from your other poly partner(s), you can be totally present with the one before you, while simultaneously sending love to those who are not.  When you're with one lover, phone your other lovers, the ones physically absent.  Or speak of your experience as soon as possible with your absent lovers.  Especially share the love you felt for them, even though they were absent while you made love with your other lover(s).

Polyamorous sexualloving in groups can be an interesting study in your humanity. Your actual experience up close and personal when your lovers love another people may differ from what you imagined you'd feel.  Some feel joy when watching their lovers love one another. They feel empathy and total delight for what their lovers are experiencing. They feel compersion. Their lover's joy is their own joy. They move into a total empathetic bond with their lovers, almost like a divine spiritual connection of oneness even though they may not actually be feeling the physical connection themselves.

USING JEALOUSY TO REPROGRAM SELF-DOUBT

Other people feel jealousy when watching their lovers. They experience insecurity, anxiety, anger, even rage.  They may compare themselves to the other lovers in the group.  Some put themselves down, say to themselves that another person their lover is sharing sex with is richer, better looking, brighter, smarter, thinner, prettier, bigger, smaller, they have better breasts, better penises.  One woman in our group recently complained, "I hate so and so. She has better orgasms than I do.""

 

If you find yourself locked in comparison, you can use your upset to inspire yourself to improve yourself.  If the person with whom you compare yourself negative, saying she or he's thinner, you can lose weight.  If you derogate yourself because you think your lover's lover is richer than you, make more money.  If you tell yourself the person you feel lesser than has breasts you like more than your own, learn to love your own breasts or get that breast reduction surgery you always wanted.

 

You can't do much about some things--your skin color, body size; you can't enlarge that penis beyond a length. But your emotional pain's probably not about the things you can't change. As bad as you feel when you compare yourself unfavorably with your lovers' other lovers, your pain can be your greatest blessings because you can  look inside and see how you can learn to accept yourself.

OUR THREE WEEKS WITH 9 LOVERS

 

We had many opportunities to compare and look inside recently when our group gathered for an extensive three-week, nine-person experiment in conscious polyamory. While we were not all involved with one another sexually or in an intimate relationship, we were open to explore sexuality in a group. We wanted to move past our limitations and discover what keeps us from feeling connected to one another.  We hoped to get past our resistance and feel connected.  We used a wide variety of psychotherapeutic tools to aid us in this process. We also agreed to keep the lines of communication open at all times. And communicate we did.

 

We moved into a model of no blame or shame.  Each of us pledged to take personal responsibility for our own actions. We went through intense and powerful emotions.  We learned we still have a lot of work to do on ourselves individually and collectively.

 

What makes a relationships work is the individuals and whether or not they're differentiated enough. Differentiated people don't need external affirmation to feel validated. We noticed we create problems when we depend on someone else for our self-esteem.  To the degree we lacked differentiation, we put ourselves down with self-depreciating self-talk and felt insecure at our lovers' sexual sharing with others.  But even those in our group who'd done lots of work on themselves and had high differentiation and-esteem could experience fear, anxiety and jealousy. Yet the more differentiated the members of the group become in the course of our three weeks together, the better our experience got. 

Combine increasing self-differentiation with open communication, honesty and authenticity, and you create healthy, viable, stable relationships. Authentic connections and acceptance lets members of the group to accept themselves, feel love more freely for others and love themselves. You create relationships that survive difficulties that as they arise.

 

Sexual configurations (who does what to whom) have less to do with the success of your relationships than who you are as an individual.  Your willingness to face your fears, evolve and grow by looking at your wounds and healing them moves you past blame or shame to the realization that you come from a wounded society.  Your personal wounds and those of the culture are potential for your personal evolution to grow and become the best person you can possibly be.

 

What can you do if, in those moments in your lovers' get-together, when everyone' runs sexual energy, feels connected but you even in their midst, feel lonely? We deconstructed a situation like that with one of our most experienced, tantra-poly practitioners.  Dr. Love (not his real name) was surprised when he found himself feeling left out when his primary beloved was involved in extended eye-gaze with another.  Love looked around to the others in the group and saw each of them so wrapped-up with what they were doing, they didn't notice he felt left out. At that point he could pout or include himself.  Love tried repeatedly to make a connection with the others, but over and over he met with what he perceived as disinterest. He began to feel more and more rejected and eventually stopped trying to connect. 

He just sat with his feelings, cranked up his sadness and went within.  He remembered the times in his childhood when he felt what he was feeling now. Unable to resolve it then and there, he remained silent not wanting to spoil anyone's fun and remained feeling sad and lonely and fell asleep, only revealing what happened in our sharing the next morning.

 

Love expressed his pain, and the expression cured him of it.  We listened to him complain that he felt left-out, unimportant to everyone else.  None of us, however, had even known he suffered from his thoughts of being forgotten. We encouraged him to cathart, express his pain fully. Love recalled earlier times when he recreated this same experience in more recent relationships and decided to move past blaming others to take responsibility for the behavior was within himself.  We used the situation in our love-in as a therapeutic opportunity for him to access his wounded Inner Child and heal so he wouldn't keep creating situations that reminded him of times in his childhood when he also felt disconnected, left-out, emotionally unimportant to others.

 

Dr. Love's primary beloved gave him the love and empathy he needed. She'd been totally unaware of his pain and vowed to be more responsive if he approached her in the future. She asked him what she could do to help him heal. Love remembered times he recreated this same experience of being left-out in more recent relationships and decided to stop blaming others for his feelings and to take responsibility for his own behavior.  Love asked her to check on him periodically when they are in group-loving situations. He didn't want to give up group sex--so rich and full of love--but wanted help healing his shut-down Inner Child.

 

We''ll gather another time to see if these healing behaviors generated the results we all desired. Perhaps more pieces of Love's personal puzzle will emerge the next time. Or maybe someone else will be triggered. In any case, we see it as a blessing, an opportunity for all of us to heal, learn, grow and evolve.

 

I''ve taken Love's lesson to heart, and I pledge to learn how to master my energy and hold attention on two or more people at once. Focus and intention are key factors to developing this ability. I must maintain awareness we'gathered  in this nine-day poly community.  I'll help us all check with one another frequently, verbally and with thought, gestures, sounds and by focusing attention.  

 

The group's gone now from Maui, but in a few hours husband Sash and my Shivaya, my other beloved come to me in sacred ritual.  We'll explore loving more and move shaktipod--this sacred energy--all around.

 

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