Great sex is just the start
==========What: Tantra classes, also called a puja or sacred circle, taught by Brenda LeeWhere: EdwardsWhen: Four Tuesdays in February, starting Feb. 6, from 6:30-8 p.m.Call: 390-4221, or check out http://www.taralotustemple==========
EDWARDS – When people find out that Brenda Lee teaches tantra classes they usually have a quick retort.”Oh, you teach sex?”But it’s not that simple, Lee said.”No, it’s sacred divine healing,” she said. “Sex – that’s just the fingernail of it.”Proponents of tantra brag about hours-long sexual marathons. That’s part of it, Lee said, but that’s not the whole point. It’s about getting rid of baggage and clearing channels. Tantra’s goal is not to get you to orgasm. Instead, a deeper, spiritual connection is the objective.”Tantra opens up the way to enlightenment,” Lee said. “Your sexual chakra is an energy center, one of seven, that you’re going to be opening up with these practices.”
Puja timeOn a recent blue-sky Sunday afternoon, 10 people, some valley residents, some visitors, gathered in an Edwards home for a two-hour tantra class – or puja, which means sacred circle – with teacher Brenda Lee. Sitting atop cushions, people were scattered in a circle around the living room. Lee started the class by moving from person to person, purifying each person with smoking sage, thanking them for coming and ceremoniously touching each person’s forehead with essential oils – “to open the third eye for insight,” she said.Afterward, Lee instructed people to join hands with each other, left atop right. They practiced breathing in and out together as a group – in through the noses, out through the mouth.”Breath is spirit,” Lee said. “In most cultures, the words breath and spirit are the same.”Lee instructed the group to imagine a circle of light coming down into the crown of their heads – “bring in the divine energy to our hearts and send the love out to your right,” until we were moving the love energy around the circle.As in other Hindu and Buddhist yoga traditions, mantra plays an important part in tantra when it comes to focusing the mind, Lee said. She had the group chant different words together – yang, rang, om, among them – while focusing on seven geometric shapes on the wall, each correlating with a different chakra, or energy point in the body. This would help awaken the chakras, Lee said.From here, Lee had the five women stand in a circle in the center of the room, with the five men in a circle outside of the women. After more breathing and chanting work, Lee instructed the women to turn around and greet their new partner. Staring into the person’s eyes, Lee instructed each person to behold the divine beauty in the other person.
“We connect eye to eye because the eye is the organ of intimacy,” she said.Moving from partner to partner, always to the left, Lee had each female/male partnering to different exercises. At one point, each person knelt in front of their partner while the other breathed divine energy into the crown of their head.After switching partners, Lee asked each person to close their eyes and imagine the male or female part of themselves. “Now open your eyes and show that part of yourself, that balance, to your partner,” she said.”That was to balance the female and male energy within each of us,” Lee said. We all have yin and yang, whether we’re male or female, and it’s important to balance those energies.”The men and women took turns laying on the ground in a circle, heads in the center. Lee had the men hold chocolates and peppermints in front of the women’s noses, before feeding the treats to them. The women moved silky scarves over the men’s bodies to wake their senses. The point, Lee said, was to awaken the senses.’A sense of peace’
After the partner activities, Lee asked the group to sit in a circle again. Each person talked about how they felt. One man said he felt peaceful, and thankful that he could connect with other people, even people he didn’t know. One women said she felt energized, another said she felt a sense of peace.The afternoon class was Erica Garza’s first experience with tantra. Garza, a California resident visiting Vail for vacation, said she felt at peace. “I feel like I let go of some of my insecurities,” she said. “And even though my boyfriend wasn’t there, maybe I can take some of what I learned back home to help connect with him.”Edwards resident Francisco Calderon has been practicing tantra under Brenda Lee for the past year and a half. A day after the class, Calderon said he was still feeling “tingly” from the energy flow during the class.”I feel light, not worried. Peaceful. The energy, definitely, makes you aware of what’s going on. In a relationship, it really makes you feel connected to the other person. Even being intimate, it really connects you and makes you feel like one whole energy that melds together.”Calderon agreed with Lee that tantra is not just about great sex, but about a deeper spiritual connection. The sex, however, is pretty good too, he said.”It sounds like a fairy tale that a woman can have 10 orgasms with very heavy moisture. It’s not bragging, it’s just that energy flowing. Next thing you know, an hour and a half has gone by. It’s really hard to explain unless you experience it. Like Brenda was saying, it’s not an orgasm just with your sexual parts, it’s a whole body experience. You feel that energy flow through you. It’s truly love making instead of satisfying a sexual need.”
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