Tantra: The Gift of Connection
I’m currently finishing two trainings, one learning how to work with clients with developmental trauma and the other in learning how to teach and coach tantra. I’ve been marveling at how different the two trainings are, especially after my recent week in the tantra coaching module. While we were learning very similar skills for holding space for clients, the feeling I came away with was completely different.
In the trauma training, we’re in a classroom setting, we show up for the day, lunches are not included, and we go our separate ways for the evenings. The learning is very intellectual, organized, focused on methodology and techniques. I’ve learned a lot and feel very grateful for the skills I’ve gained. And, I don’t feel very close to the other students. It’s a larger group but also, there is no emphasis on group bonding. We bond at moments in triads when we’re doing an exercise, sharing various things about ourselves or practicing coaching, but there’s not been much focus on group cohesion and creating connections with fellow participants.
In the tantra training, we sit on cushions on the floor in a large circle with the teachers are at the front of the room, students taking notes, etc. However, we are in a retreat environment: most of us staying on the property in chalets where we share bathrooms, are served 3 meals per day in a dining room, enjoy an outdoor hot tub, long breaks for walks on the property, and meet for early meditations before breakfast and evening sessions after dinner. So these environmental factors certainly contribute to group cohesion. But the other thing I’m appreciating is how much focus there is on creating deeper connections between the participants during class time. In fact, that is a key element of what we’re learning to teach: how to help people feel safe in the room so they can go deeper into intimate connections. In addition to learning how to teach or coach or studying the material, we have peer-led sections of dance each day where we playfully explore movement and music together; we practice intimate exercises where we coach each other or practice gentle massage, meditation or breathing together; and there are times each module dedicated to a closing ritual involving dress-up, mutual appreciation, hugs and smiles. So of course, the content of these trainings is much more intimate, and I feel much more connected to the participants here than those in the trauma training.
What I’ve come to value since the recent tantra coaching module in addition to the valuable material presented, was how much creating an environment of connection and safety can assist our students and clients in relaxing into being present and open. There is so much expansion that can happen when we foster connections between people vs. simply engaging their intellect.
So as I move into this week between tantra training and my last trauma training module, I’ll be curious to see how I weave in this deeper appreciation for how to create safety and connection with my clients and especially curious to see how they respond!
In appreciation for your attention,