A Touch of Tantra 

Meet the sensual goddesses whose mission in life is to help you channel your kundalini.

Page 3 of 4

Fiona, like Bast and the others, advertises on the Internet. The photo accompanying her ad shows her topless. Other women are pictured naked in bubble baths, or placing their palms together in the Hindi style between their pert bosoms. Go to Bast's site (UndercoverPriestess.com) and click on "visual stimulation," and you will see her in all her glory doing nude yoga poses. To the casual looker it may appear that, yes, these women are selling themselves. But according to Bast, the encounters she has with people are so personal that she wants to give the person a sense of who she is physically, since either or both could be undressed in the session.

"We play with sexuality," she said, which is another reason tantric teachers let it all hang out on their Web sites. When you look at her picture and your blood begins to move quicker, her work has already started. You have just sent out an APB to the gods.

Most teachers know there are naysayers who scoff at what they do, laugh at their New Age approach to sexuality, or accuse them of being Shiva sellouts. They don't care. All of the women I met not only claimed to have full-body orgasms by doing something as simple as washing dishes or bending over to tie a shoe, they also had a healthy glow to them, and seemed happy, grounded, and genuine.

Okay, except for one. Margot Anand is the tantric expert and someone whom every tantric educator in America knows about. Her book The Art of Sexual Ecstasy is a must-read for every tantric student. Fiona studied under her, as did many other teachers. She is the mother of tantra in the West. Since tantric experts take great pains to move the discussion of their art form away from the purely sexual aspects of the practice and into its life-giving, spiritual rewards, one would think that a woman who had been practicing it for as long as Anand has would have the grace and serenity of the Buddha himself.

Not so. Anand was contacted for this story, but huffily declined to talk once she learned she wasn't the sole subject. "I should be featured prominently," she said, "not thrown in with a bunch of people I may or may not respect!" She also was upset at the idea of playing second banana to Joseph Kramer, who is profiled in the accompanying story. "I'm more important than Joseph Kramer!" she shrieked in her French accent. "I was the first on this scene. He is less important in scope!"

After more discussion and the suggestion that perhaps her ego had gotten the best of her, Anand decided that an interview would be okay if she was guaranteed a plug of her books or workshops. "Go see what you can do about that," she said crisply, as if talking to a servant.

Anand had a mantra alright, and it was "What's in it for me?," which she said quite a few times during our conversation.

"There are good therapists, and there are bad therapists," said one tantrika when told about Anand's attitude. "Not everyone has fully integrated their spirit like they say they have." Anand may be widely respected for her teachings, but not so for her immodesty. If the grand queen of tantra can't get her own karmic yin-yang balanced, then how can we trust anyone to teach us this stuff?

Tantric educators generally seem to agree that finding a good teacher comes down to intuition and feeling. A good teacher is someone with whom you can feel safe, especially since many people who go into tantra are attempting to reclaim their sexuality from incest, rape, or other sexual roadblocks. A good teacher is also focused on your growth, not his or her own agenda or need for attention.

Bast prefers to work with people who have blockages, are shy, or are plagued with that word that makes feminists cringe, frigidity. She sees herself as a therapist who tends to every inch of a person's physiognomy and psychology.

Speaking of frigidity, I decided to have her lead my own heretofore-dormant energy channels in a breathing exercise. I nestled down into the beanbag, palms up and spine straight. I closed my eyes, and Bast told me to begin breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. As I did this she came up behind me. I could feel her abdomen pressing softly into my upper back. She very carefully caressed my shoulders and face, asking me to breathe through whatever part of my body she was touching. It sounds weird now, but at that moment it made complete sense. Oh, man, could I feel the breath where she was touching me.

Every so often she spoke softly into my ear, her breath wafting across my cheek. "Pretend you are having your last, sweet breath," she said. "If you knew it was your last breath, how would you experience it?" At that point, the cynic in me wondered if she was about to strangle me, but I quickly refocused on my breathing, bringing the breath up through my tummy, abdomen, and chest, then back down again. Nothing yet was happening below the belt, but I had reached an incredibly relaxed state. It was easy to see how, say, three years of this could lead to spontaneous orgasms.

When it was done I felt even closer to Bast, who had moved from being a mere tantric hottie to someone I wanted to feed me grapes and listen to me cry over my unresolved childhood trauma.

Tags: ,

Latest in Feature

  • The Fig Collectors

    The fruit has a cult following, but at what cost to native flora?
    • Jan 6, 2021
  • This Land is Your Land

    East Bay community land trusts look to post-Covid future
    • Nov 4, 2020
  • Powering the Polls

    Despite the pandemic, East Bay residents stepped up as poll workers and watchers in record numbers
    • Nov 4, 2020
  • More »

Author Archives

  • Hot Pants

    West Oakland clothing designers go to the side pocket.
    • Aug 18, 2004
  • Rock Opera of Ages

    Introducing Pyromania!, the show-stopping, arm-severing Def Leppard musical.
    • Aug 11, 2004
  • More»

News Blogs

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

The Beer Issue 2020

The Decade in Review

The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

Best of the East Bay

2020

© 2021 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation