Tuesday 30 December 2008


I am off to India for a three month visit! Yippee! It is a sort of pilgrimage. Like all pilgrimages it is an outer journey which is a reflection of an inner journey.  The inner journey is towards deeper self-knowledge and connection with the Self an inward journey to a Divine core; a central tantric insight, actually that of all mystical traditions, that the way to the Divine is within. 

In particular it is a journey to discover a better understanding of the deep masculine; Shiva at my core.  In the West we have had such a distorted conception of the masculine for so long, partly from two
 world wars last century and then the reactions against them, that so many men and women have no idea of what a man is.  After; being told that we are all potential rapists, then just used as sperm and then cash donors, then given role models such as professional footballers who are permanently juvenile and now portrayed in almost every TV sitcom for the last twenty years as emotionally teenage; men are pretty confused. Much tantra in Britain seems to be based on the idea that tantra is workship of the divine feminine and that men should just get on with that. This is a long way from most classical conceptions of the relationship of Shiva and Shakti. I shall be in Varanasi, the city of Shiva and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, for Mahashivaratri, the great festival of Shiva at the end of February and also studying and practicing from the Kashmir Shavite tantric tradtion there.

I am also going to further my study and practice of mantras for healing. Particularlymantras that are chanted on to the body to release the trauma and blocks in the body.  To begin, I will be in Tamil Nadu. The people of South India are desecended from the Dravidian people who lived in India before the Aryans took over several thousand years ago. The Shiva temples of the South are ancient and full of power.  I will visit the five Shiva temples in the South which are connected to the five elements; earth water, fire, air and space. Whilst there, I will be doing a tantric meditation of seeing the whole of the world; every sense-aspect, every phenomena, as the opposite gender. This is easier in India which has a lot of feminine energy. So for me, everything is Shakti, to be honoured, worshiped and connected to with passion, presence and awareness.

I may write more on this blog as I travel; but right now, I am not sure.  Writing can serve to distract from being immersed in the experience. Shiva, consciousness is very much about awakening to what is; not writing commentaries on it.  Either way, I am back by Easter.

Monday 22 December 2008

Winter Solstice

Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, the sun at the lowest point in the sky; the night longest and the day shortest. In our ritual, we chanted "Om Namah Shiva" 108 times to Shiva the God of light - his lingham is often translated as "wand of light". We dropped yellow rose petals on to the giant lingham outside and they were carried down on the waters outside our temple, symbolising light returning.

Ancient peoples, at Stonehenge and elswhere, marked the mid-winter solstice with rituals to persuade the sun to return so that fertility would continue; there would be a Spring, plants would grow again, animals would reproduce again and life could continue. This is part of the link between tantra and paganism; the deep spiritual link between sex, reproduction and the fertility of nature.  The shadow of the heel tone would penetrate the womb of the circle of stones marking the commitment of the sky god to fertilise the earth. It was then, and still is, a great Mystery. Reverance for Life is not an option; it is the basis for all spirituality

Monday 24 November 2008

Erotica 2008

I went to Erotica 2008 at Olympia in London at the weekend. It wasn't very erotic! There is something about trailing around past lots of stands which exercises the feet and legs not the genitals or the mind. Its always this way - it was the same at the Yoga Show and the Festival of Mind Body and Spirit. As the venue has to be commercial, and as a decent stand costs a few thousand pounds for the three day event; it can only attract the high-profit commercial sector.  

The real problem is that a show can only show easily what is on the outside, the exterior of what is a very interior world. What is erotic is a space in our mind, in our imagination and perhaps in our energy. What is shown are corsets, whips, jewelry and bondage gear. The external paraphenalia of a hidden world, of internal dramas.  Only the art exhibits could point beyond themsleves to the inner world of the artist - and there were some lovely statues and pictures.   The floor show, and we only saw one hour of it was more like circus and acrobatics; very skilled but any traditional Indian dancer would have been more erotic.

What is most erotic is what is hidden, or hinted at, rather than seen. Like a stripper; what is hidden is more interesting than what is exposed.  The erotic has immense power and if you are in touch with your erotic energy you can tap in to this power; So, for you; what is really erotic? Can you experience your erotic energy as it moves in our body?  Bringing awareness to your aliveness is the basic prescription for living; as well as the shortest definition of tantra. My work as an erotic healer, and tantric masseur as well as a therapist is all about this and removing the blockages to living from our erotic self. 

Sunday 26 October 2008

Are you your tension?

There are two sorts of tension we can experience in our body. If we can easily feel that we are tense, then it is usually from a recent or current event in our environment.  Somone shouts at us, or deadlines loom or we feel overwhelmed by emails......life really.  This is a sign to us to deal with our stress,....relax, breath rest...all the things we know we should do and are good for us. 

There is another sort of tension in our muscles which is so old, so familiar that it feels like us. It has structured our bodies and made us into the shape that we think is us, is normal, is who we actually are. This chronic tension is invisible to us and proabably happened in the first five years of life as the impact of our upbrinding and the "civilising" of our parents did its work.  This is the really tricky one, our "body armour" our comfy layers of tension and habit which imprision us and stop the free flow of life energy in our bodies. This takes work on ourselves and, dare I say it, therapy and bodywork to gradually dissolve.  
Early trauma and abuse leaves this sort of mark. It seems to define the very shape of our body, how we hold our chest or inahbit our bodies, how we breathe.  The easiest to spot are people who don't use their diaphragm when they breath. Their chest and someties their shoulders move but not their belly, indicating that the diaphragm is held; sometimes they even suck in their belly as they breath in.  Not connecting with our belly, pelvis and sex is a sure way to cut off from our sense of being powerful and fully alive.  The good news is that with some perseverance this habit can be changed and a fuller emotional and sexual life started. 

Thursday 2 October 2008

How we get wounded

As babies we need to be mirrored, to experience ourselves and have our needs and desires validated. People generally have no problem in mirroring and validating a baby's need to suck for comfort and nourishment. A feeding baby soon evokes coos of approval. But, when babies and toddlers discover their genitals ... its a different story. Embarassment, distraction, or anger often follow. The child soon gets the message that meeting some of theirneeds is OK and others aren't.

Later as young children, caught in the trianlge with our parents we so much want to be validated by the parent of the opposite sex and not seen as rivals. We need our natural erotic longings to be gently appreciated and also contained and given the message that our genitals are fine as a source of pleasure.

In teens we need the opposite sex parent to give us a message that we are becoming a beautiful young man or woman. We need our delicate (particularly in girls) sense of being a sexual being in a sexual body to be seen and appreciated; but of course not invaded. Often, for fear of being seen as lecherous or fear of their own sexual feelings, fathers push daughters away or try and still see them as little girls or get so protective of them that they give the message that it is dangerousto be a woman. If the mother also doesn't model being a sexual woman who if fine about her body; then the teenager is likely to be psychologically in trouble; still not getting the accurate mirroring and validation needed to get a healthy self-image and body image and to feel good about their sexuality.
In my work I often come across this scenario and provide the permission, validation and healing to enjoy who you really are http://www.shivoham.asia .

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Why Do This?

Is this just vanity publishing I thought to myself; a vain attempt at making something permanent in the shifting virtual world of cyberspace? I don't think so. I want to share some of my experiences of how people can change; as that has been the passion of my professional and personal life through communal living, therapy, personal development workshops, tantra, relationships, inner and outer travel and much more. There is a lot of theory and a lot of experiences - all references to others are heavily annonymised!