Tantra is.. a way of life.
What is Tantra?
The amount of persons you’ll ask this question to is the amount of varying answers you’ll get. Tantra has become a very empty word, often (and sadly so) catering to the desire of its audience. Nope, Tantra doesn’t provide with us with a magic pill to all our problems, but it certainly can help to put our problems into perspective and recognize them for what they are; an ever moving dance of energy in this infinite existence.. On this page I’ll share a little about my Tantric education and path, feel for yourself what resonates for you!
- Tantra is a path that fully embraces life as its Guru
- Tantra departs from a wholehearted ‘yes!’ to every situation.*
- Tantra is the discovery of inner spaciousness
- Tantra is Love
- It is not a highway to sex or a dating school
- It is not a quick fix solution to our problems
- It is not a way to sedate or distract ourselves from hurt or loneliness
- It is not a lousy excuse for non-commitment
*Including - of course - a wholehearted ‘yes!’ to a wholehearted ‘no’
What has it brought me?
Not taking anything for granted.
It slowed me down.
It humbled me till my very bones.
It brought a freaking lot of clarity on where I still confuse attachment for love.
It showed me Love, like nothing before.
Mostly it brought me intimacy, with myself, with my partners, with life itself. And sure - it resulted in mind blowing experiences in the bedroom too. It deeply invited me to perceive every aspect of life as sacred, to move from the personal to the universal, from gross to subtle energies, from ‘needing’ circumstances to move my way, to dancing through the ever changing fluctuations of life with thankfulness in my heart. Also, or especially, when the shit hits the fan. Tantra invites me into radical honesty with myself and my surroundings, and honesty has never, ever, let me down.
A little insight in tradition
In eastern spiritual practices there was a firm conviction that you could only reach liberation (call it whatever sparks your gut; freedom, enlightenment, oneness, is-ness) when you’d fully retreat yourself in a cave and denied all earthly matters, everything that could seduce or distract you from ‘the truth’, the entire world of sensorial pleasures..
They were convinced that one could not achieve ‘wholeness’ in the world, the body and the mind were perceived to be annoying obstacles that should rigorously be banned.
Well.. not in Tantra. Tantra arose as a countermovement to this dusty, old-fashioned and patriarchal way of thinking. It has various translations but the three most common ones refer to the verb ‘to weave’, indicating a ‘weaving’ or a marriage between heaven and earth. The Tantrikas (people who have chosen Tantra as their active path) believe we’ve been incarnated in this human form to fully utilise this experience of being human. To say ‘yes!’ to this life, to embody it in its totality and embrace every experience with fascination and curiosity.
In reality that boil down to situations such as my partner pushing my buttons where it hurts and instead of reacting to him and projecting my own unresolved shit onto him, I feel the hurt, I am present for it, I hold it in the light of awareness and - by all means, it can still freaking hurt - the first thing that rises is ‘wow, thats a big reaction.. interesting, let’s explore deeper..’
Many texts and methods find their origin in the ancient Eastern Tantric tradition. However, the entire societal conditioning differs like day and night between the East and the West, therefore many schools and teachers have devised approaches that are more appropriate for the Western mind. All of them are designed to lead us to freedom within. My personal offerings dance between a variety of styles, my original training in Tantra has been very classical, yet throughout time I’ve highly adjusted my teachings in ways that - whilst deeply respecting the tradition - are relatable to our society and upbringing.
A sweet little fact is that Tantra is the only spiritual lineage in which most lineage holders and teachers were women. Evidently, Tantra is the path of energy, of Shakti, of life-force and in a world where nearly everything has been categorized into ‘masculine’ boxes, this emphasis on our innate fluid nature is more than welcome.
“Just love. More than I could have dreamed of. Indescribable. Addictive.”
“Wow! More! Delicious, free, deeply moved. Breaking boundaries.. Unable to put into words.”
“It made such a deep impact on me, I can’t believe it. The amount of energy you gave and how present you are in every moment. And your authenticity.. Very special. The way you led the group felt as if you were coaching us one on one.”
“What can I say, you threw your heart and soul into it and never let up ,and the results of that were clear at the end.Never saw such a bunch of happy ,elated people as our family huddled together on the final evening .Having been a teacher myself for a few years I really appreciated your never ending enthusiasm. I like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what YOU did with us. It gave me days of Euphoria afterwards.”
“Brilliant. Reborn! Yes, truly! Intense, connective, relaxing, breaking boundaries.”
“A great journey of love. Painful, gentle, ravishing, healing. Complete.”
“It felt liberating, inspiring, free and alive.
I felt insane.
I felt happy.
I felt like I was discovering my true self.”
“It is not the love we seek, but the obstacles that keep us from it.”
Why walk this path?
Tantra takes you by the hand and reveals that the very thing you always have labeled as ‘wrong’ or ‘unwanted’, might just carry a golden potion in its essence. It shows you that your fear is like the mud from which the fragrant lotus flower grows. As it constantly invites you to slow down and become the observer of your experience, you get to perceive the experience as a temporal reality, you get to feel the joy in its full expression, the anger in its raging madness, the sorrow in her deepest depths. And, moving through all these colours in ravishing aliveness, you discover that there is an essence of life-energy always present for you. It is you. It has been you all along. It will always be you.
It takes you by the hand through the miraculous world of your own body and mind, to reveal the blockages and create space for your divine nature. It shows you that inner peace and stillness hold hands with sizzling ecstacy, and they are always just around the corner: they want to be lived!
Yes. That tastes like more, tell me, what do we do then?
In a nutshell, we emphasise two parallel pillars:
1 → Deconditioning our old patterns, habits, believe systems and convictions
2 → Embodying our divine nature, our inner radiance, our ‘true essence’
In short, we taste our ever present potential and explore what keeps us from experiencing that potential as an everyday reality.
In workshops or retreats we work with a beautiful mixture of approaches, such as: Psychosomatic exercises, inner-child explorations, partnerwork, massage, breathwork,
active and silent meditations, tantric rituals and expression through movement, voice liberation and enactment.
Recurring themes we work with are a.o.; sexuality, inner radiance, aliveness, intimacy, truthfulness, death and immortality.
Curious? Come and plunge into the unknown! You are so welcome!
“I imagine my time at the retreat as a kind of flower, a daisy or a frangipani. It was full and alive but delicate in its power to change. I felt my partner allowed himself to be vulnerable in a way that I had not experienced before and this of course both empowered me to communicate more truthfully and honestly with him, as well as allow myself to vulnerable with him. Lovely, loving, and love-ful thank you. Thank you once again for all the beautiful wisdom you have been able to impart in our short times together. It has moved me forward into a fuller, more wholehearted life.”
There are three platforms through which I offer these teachings, the first one is ‘Unveiling Intimacy’, where I am the lead facilitator. Then there are several loose collaborations, either arising from ‘Unveiling Intimacy’ or from different initiatives. And finally I organise various tantra retreats in collaboration with Bart-Jan Dokter named ‘Aliveness Retreats’.
Who is Bart-Jan?
Bart-Jan Dokter has been traveling the path of Tantra with enthusiasm for over 6 years now. ‘What I like about Tantra is that it offers a broad spectrum of tools for researching the way we choose to move in this lifetime. The more aware I became in all aspects of my life, the more freedom and abundance I experience on a day to day basis. Acting less from fear, daring to be me, recognising the mesmerizing greatness of life itself.’ At this moment Bart-Jan follows the Tantra Training at ‘Centrum voor Tantra’, hosts tantric and massage workshops, works as a massage therapist and is the director of PLAY! Community.
What do participants say about Chris and Bart-Jan?
- “Together they make such an authentic combination. A mind blowing beautiful dance in balance. I felt safe, seen and loved by Chris and Bart-Jan, beautiful souls.” ~ Anke
- “Safe, dedicated, real, know-how, vulnerable, practising what you preach. Alive.” ~ Linda
- “Separate and together, you were great! Bart-Jan: sweet, calm, reliable, the big rock in the middle of the sea. Chris: Wow, what a woman! Free, sensitive, sensual. Strong Shakti. Together, you are a great combo… The work of a rock in the ocean and a sweet warm breeze. Does that make sense?” ~ Severine
- “Amazing. Authentic. Real. Everything with care and attention. They really know what it’s all about. They see me, see the group. Vision & Presence. They create a super safe space. You are you, above all - you. That is what Tantra is for me. Such
“One day the sun admitted,
I am just a shadow.
I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The astonishing Light
Of your own Being!”
What is Tantra?
Please read all (or most) of the above 😉
Do I have to go naked?
No, when nudity is desired for a particular structure (for example a massage or a specific exploration of our body image) it is always mentioned beforehand and you are never(!) obliged to undress if that does not meet your integrity. We are committed to carefully take your needs and process into consideration and will always respect and honour your boundaries. When nudity or sexual activity is explicitly/mandatory invited it will always be mentioned in the event-text.
Do I have to be intimate with everyone? What about my borders?
No, you never have to be intimate with anyone if you don’t want to. At times we’ll invite you to explore what intimacy or sexual energy brings about in your being. Sometimes you might end up doing a partner exercise with someone you absolutely love to work with and other times you end up with someone with whom you experience resistance.
Both scenarios inform you about you and precisely in the space of that observation is the real exploration.
You’ll often hear me speak about ‘tantra-buddies’, meaning that every single person comes to a retreat for their personal development and exploration and we can help each other through mirroring each other, triggering each other or holding space for one another.
That is why it is always very important to explore these vulnerable topics within a safe framework, which is always ‘closed’ at the end of an exercise. That way it’s easier to keep the experience to yourself instead of projecting it on the other person, your tantra-buddy.
Is tantra always fun?
No. Often you’ll ‘meet yourself’ in ways that are scary or groundbreaking, it’s usually liberating, but not always ‘fun’.
When someone says Tantra, I think ‘sex’, is that true?
Yes and no. Departing from traditional tantra sexuality is a minute (and very advanced!) aspect of their practices. However, tantra invited for a complete embrace of life. Of which sexuality is an inevitable part. Tantra works with cultivating and liberation our life-force, our prana or kundalini, our creative and sexual energy. But this doesn’t necessarily point towards sexual activity or lovemaking, it is the flow of aliveness which you can experience in yourself, with a partner or even when smelling a rose in summertime; your vibrating divine nature.
It is the energy from which we have all been conceived and she is incredibly powerful. Many people experience this force of energy when they are making love and henceforth a strong association between one and the other is made.
An important mention here is that ‘we’, in general, from our western conditioning carry hundreds of years of sexual repression and taboo in our (unconscious) system. Because of this, sexuality and living the (full) expression of your sexual energy is a topic that quickly brings up blockages and resistances. Meeting these blockages eye to eye invites us over and over again to expand our personal paradigm and look at ourselves and the world around us from a broader, more compassionate and vibrating perspective.
Should I be experiences if I want to participate in a longer retreat?
Is tantra for everybody?
You don’t have to have experience in tantra (unless explicitly mentioned), we do, however, ask you to fill in an intake form through which we can decide together if that particular retreat is suitable for you at that moment. There can be instances where we consider ourselves unable to give the personal attention which a process might need. Many people experience our retreats as therapeutic, however, they are certainly not a form of therapy in and of themselves, which is why we ask the participants to take honest responsibility for their own process. And of course we always have a team of facilitators and experienced assistants to support your process where necessary.
What age are the participants?
Our activities are designed for all ages. In reality we find that we attract an audience between approximately 20 and 50 years of age.
Do I have private time as well on retreats?
Yes, even though a period of retreat can often be experienced as a rollercoaster, we always make sure there is enough time for integration.
Do I have to participate in every exercise?
No, you don’t. We highly invite you to trust that we’ve carefully created the program for your optimal process, however, if you feel it is genuinely needed to rest or not to participate for another reason, we always invite you to listen to your intuition.
What about food and accomodation?
The accommodation varies per occasion. Usually we are equipped with a team of experienced chefs who spoil us with highly nutritious, vegetarian and organic deliciousness! Take a look at the event itself for the specific details.
What are the costs?
This also varies per location and event, but globally you can estimate 75,- euros for a full day, 375,- euros for a weekend retreat and 750,- for a full week.
When your budget is very limited you can always contact us as we usually have a couple of budget tickets available. See the specific event description for details.
Example daily retreat schedule:
08:00 - 09:00 (Active) Morning Meditation
09:00 - 10:00 Breakfast in Silence
10:00 - 11:15 Sharing Structure
11:15 - 11:30 Tea & Pee
11:30 - 13:30 Morning Session
13:30 - 16:00 Lunch and Integration Space
16:00 - 18:30 Afternoon Session
18:30 - 20:00 Dinner
20:00 - 22:00 Evening Session
Is your question not yet answered?
Please contact me through the form below and I’ll do my best to answer your inquiry as soon as possible.
“Love tells me, “I’m everything”, wisdom tells me, “I’m nothing”, between the two my life flows” — NISARGADATTA MAHARAJ
— NISARGADATTA MAHARAJ
More info? Other questions? Please write us!
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