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Why Is Neotantra A Bad Word?

The union of Shiva and Shakti. The purifying of the mind through mantra and sacred geometry. The evolution of mind body and spirit by harnessing your sexual energy.

Tantra has been described in many different ways. I myself describe it in many different ways. I express it through poetry, fire/rebellion, compassion, storytelling, practice. But do I have that right?

For me, Neotantra is any tantra that focuses on sexual energy. There are so many energies in the body and in the universe. In Neotrantra, the focus is on awakening our sexual energy.

Tantra from India is a complete set. It covers so much more than sex and sexuality. So why in the West do we start there? Why are we obsessed with relationships, intimacy and orgasm and call it Tantra?

When I began studying tantra with a teacher, it was confusing. I read everything I could from the Kama Sutra, the Baghavad Gita, the Upanishads. It didn't make a lot of sense to me at first.

I had a full blast Kundalini awakening at the hands of my teacher that left me saying "What the fuck was that. I want more."

I took an entire year off from the world. I did not work, I rarely left my apartment, and I immersed myself in my own energy, in prayer, in ritual.

During this time, creative gifts I'd never realized started to pour from me. I wanted a structure to this energy, so I began practicing Kriya yoga. I was disciplined with my body, my mind and my energy.

This discipline in my practice created chaos in my life.

I didn't care about the things I used to. I had moved to New York City to pursue architecture, but I no longer wanted my brain to retain formulas and facts that were not liberating.

I didn't know where to go or what to do, so I turned to my teacher. She wanted me to join her team. To continue teaching through coaching. So I poured myself into it.

Except, I knew that there should be more structure. I created formulas and combinations within the tools my teacher handed me.

And this is where it gets dicey. I know that it works. I see the results in people's lives, but is that mine to give?

I traveled to India this year to ask the questions of "What is tantra? Are we doing it wrong? Are we disrespecting the lineage holders in the East? Why am I so drawn to it?"

Arriving in India, I felt a surge of electricity, warmth and presence that I have never felt before.

I was being welcomed by a presence I couldn't see.

Meeting my guides in Assam, we traveled to Kamakhya, the Mecca for left hand Tantra.

We would spend all day in the temples and then each night we would have a puja of East meets West.

We would have a traditional puja from a master and lineage holder. Then we would either have talks and ask questions, or move into a "neotantra" ceremony.

Whether it was a Saddhu in a cremation ground shaking a rattle over my body, or the hands of a priestess opening me to the universe, I was holding more energy than I have ever experienced. It was changing me, opening me.

It was a roller coaster of openings, transmissions, death, release, and so much burning. I still cannot put into words most of my experiences. It comes out as a song or a poem instead of a retelling.

What is left me with was a longing to go deeper. So I am.

Traditionally, I am not a Tantra teacher. I was given permission to teach Neotantra by someone who was not a guru.

The things I am passionate about: Liberation, Empowerment, Protecting and Educating Children, Releasing Shame and Destroying Our Systems of Governing- Can I do this without any label? I'm still waiting for the answer.

In the West, I hear the word Neotantra scoffed at. It's seen as a bunch of hippies having an orgy. When in reality, Neotantra can be incredibly healing. It can be sacred and deeply connect you to God and your soul.

I get invited to "play parties", "kaulas", and "ceremonies" and I will admit that I see most of it as manipulative or bullshit. A rush of sexual energy with no practice or container to hold it. An opening with no boundaries to protect it. A rush to heal without understanding the journey.

Sexual healing is important. Understanding our own energy is important. Having a path to enlightenment is important. Can Neotantra be enlightening? I can absolutely testify to this. Except I myself see the energies underneath collective neotantra and recoil. Can I hold both? Can I keep going and let it unfold and reveal itself?