I celebrate today, August 15, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary the mother of Christ, the “Day of the Goddess” as it has been reclaimed… by honoring my initiation into Tantra. Yes I know, traditionally, it is women who initiate men on the Tantric Path. My case was different however. 15 years ago I moved to India, and it was a series of men who initiated me into the Tantric path…

Unlike most foreigners I have met, I ended up in India with an office job. I had no desire or even slightest curiosity to visit India. I was certainly not into meditation or yoga or anything “spiritual”. I was a practical, rational, adventurous, successful woman in my late 20s, with two Master Degrees from an Ivy League University, working as a diplomat with the United Nations on Sexual and Reproductive Health. When the offer came to be based in India I thought to myself: “well, it would be good to have experience in Asia on my resume and I can pay off all my school loans this way, OK, I’ll go!”

From the first week I was there, mother India started to re-educate me and show me how little I knew about myself, and how little I knew about the world. I met a man at a reception during that first week I was there, and for the first time in my life I felt a physical magnetic pull towards someone. I felt it from across the room; I HAD to meet him. I wasn’t walking across the room to meet him, I was being pulled across the room. We started to date and in our love making I experienced something I had not experienced ever before: openness, vulnerability, a deep union between sex and love. I found myself crying during our lovemaking, and I couldn’t understand why. This was the first time in my life that I could truly surrender, all of me, to a man, and be seen. Later I would discover that these were signs of my womb opening, but I did not know that then.

A year later I joined my first ever meditation workshop, a weekend focusing on touch and meditation. I became lovers for a short and intense period with the assistant from that workshop. With him I went to an ashram for the first time in my life (just for the weekend though, I was a responsible diplomat still). He taught me how to enjoy the valley, the yin, the non-doing in lovemaking. He taught me how to stay present with his touch and with my breath, and how to expand my sexual pleasure through that. I remember the first time I gave him oral sex, he told me to stop and asked me what I was doing, and that he is not a lollipop. I was mortified, embarrassed, and realized instantly that my usual tricks were not going to work with him. He asked me to just stay present, with his lingam (penis) inside my mouth, without moving, connect to him, and relax. I experienced a sensation that was like fireworks going off on the roof of my mouth. This mouth orgasm came in waves for 3 days! Yes, even after eating, drinking and sleeping. Later I would find out that our entire bodies are capable of having an orgasm, every nuke and cranny. But I did not know that then.

Some time later my re-education and initiation continued, and this time I saw a man (again at a reception – I went to a lot of receptions for work back then!) across the room, our eyes locked, and nothing else existed. Even though the room was full of people and sounds, I couldn’t see anyone else and I couldn’t hear anything but my heartbeat and my breath. The months that followed were a mixture of pain and pleasure, as he proceeded to remove so many of the masks I wore, layer after layer. He could see through them, as if he was piercing through me straight into my essence. I had no idea I was wearing these masks, I had no idea these masks were not really me. To come to terms with these illusions and the purpose they were serving, what they were hiding, was a painful and exhilarating process. Our relationship and lovemaking pushed my boundaries in every way. There was the deep surrender of the geisha, the non-attachment that comes with living the moment fully and only for the sake of the moment, and the exploration of energy within the body and our auric fields.

And still, I met another man with whom I explored the presence of divinity in sex. I began to concretely feel the presence of different aspects of the divine, specific Gods and Goddesses descend upon us during love making. Magically, he would experience the same. Our love making was a mixture of raw, wild and sacred sex. By then I had been given a good taste of shadow work and initiated by these different Shivas into the Tantric fundamentals of: sex, heart and spirit. Still, I did not know of Tantra!

After 3.5 years of living and working in India I had fully paid off my loans and had Asia solidly on my resume. I had fulfilled the goals I had set out for myself when I accepted that job posting. Now it was time to explore the real reasons I had ended up in the bosom of Mother India! I decided to quit my job and go on sabbatical from my career for a few months to explore meditation and myself, before signing a new contract at work. I had spent decades studying global political, economic, and health systems, traveling and working in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, but knew so little about myself or life.

I signed up for my first Tantra course. My introduction was complete and now it was time to journey on this Tantric path full time! During that first Tantra retreat, I became partners with a man whom I called my beloved for 8 years. From the beginning we began to intuitively explore the healing qualities of sexual energy, and what happens when polarities merge.

11 years later, I still have not gone back to my “previous life”. Although I always had a passion and love for what I did, I realized that I mostly worked with the negative or unwanted consequences of sex: STDs, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, domestic violence, family planning. I rarely if ever worked with the pleasure, joy, healing qualities or sacredness of sex. I strongly and wholeheartedly still believe this work is necessary, and hope one day to be able to mix the two, for example bringing Tantra and Sacred Sexuality into adolescent sexual education.

I continue to grow on my Tantric path and share with others what I have learned. I believe that with acceptance, love and awareness, everything that arises from within can be used for transformation. I am very grateful to Mother India for luring me into her bosom through that seemingly unrelated job post. And I am so grateful to those Shivas which Mother India put along my path to initiate me and support me to discover for myself the union between sex, heart and spirit. Om Namah Shiva! To experience the divinity and sacredness of myself, of my body, of the other, of sex, and of the Whole.

I recognize the pivotal role men have played in my life over the past 15 years (since the experiences I have described here), and continue to do so today, in terms of my evolution and what I can share with others. The initiations continue… I am so so grateful to you men! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU