This is my story of studying Tantra Yoga during 2009-2012 at Agama Yoga on Koh Phangan, Thailand. I wrote it to inspire others to explore the subject of authentic Tantra in a full immersion environment, which makes a huge difference to the impact it creates on the life of the practitioner, as compared to doing same back home on “low fire”. At the end of this article I share tips for those who dare to take a similar path.
From Sex to Spirituality
Until age 35 I was suffering from premature ejaculation. In year 2008 I decided that I can’t continue living my life with that handicap and resolved to overcome it. After a quick research the term Tantra popped up, which promised to fix any sexual problems and make the processes of sex into a divine experience. I said: “Amazing! And thank you!” and embarked on taking any and all workshops and trainings that had anything to do with Tantra.
My first training, happened to be a Tantra massage, which was mind-opening from one angle, as far as working on sexuality in a group, yet it was very unsatisfying in the theory and practical matters that were taught there.
Luckily, my second attempt was of a totally different caliber and it put me on the path of transforming my whole being, which started with my sexuality, and later opened me to the divine in all aspects of my life. I stumbled on a training offered by Swami Vivekananda Saraswati in Vancouver, BC, where he was invited to be a guest teacher at a local yoga TTC.
Over the years of studying with Swami, I talked to many of his students. Some resonated and comprehended his teachings and the mindset better than the others. For me his teachings were very easy to absorb, integrate and accept. Perhaps this is because both he and I are Electrical Engineers by education. Jumping ahead, his system offered zero solutions of working with emotions, other than transforming them into energy and sending them to your higher self, but otherwise completely bypassing the human aspect of emotions. At that time it was just what I needed and what I was open to. Only recently I felt the need to go back and dig into the raw emotions and feelings and not use a spiritual bypass to reduce suffering (which works oh so well if you know what to do!). The beautiful thing was that Swami has always been very authentic about his offerings. He always said:
“I teach you what I know and my mindset is the mindset that I live, and some of you may or may not resonate with some or all of my teachings and my ways of being with you. And you’re very welcome to go and find other teachers that work better for you.”
There are quite a few cults out there, this isn’t one, because it failed the most important rule of cults, where the head of the group does everything to make you stay.