top of page

Grounded Path of a Tantric Retreat Teacher: Balancing Ego, Tantra Ethics, & Social Embeddedness

Embedded Responsibility: Anchoring Our Sanity

In my journey, I've assumed that our sanity was solely an individual pursuit, located deep within us. Yet, through my experiences and mistakes as a man, a tantra teacher and facilitator of tantric retreats, courses, individual sessions, and by undergoing an accountability process I've come to realise that our sanity and ethics are also shaped by our social interactions. This understanding has led me to appreciate and cultivate an environment that continually reinforces our responsibilities through our social connections. This embeddedness in our community acts as a constant reminder of the ethical and personal standards we strive to uphold.

The Responsibility of a Tantric Retreat Teachers: Balancing Ego, Ethics, and Social Embeddedness.
Tantra Retreat Teachers, Facilitators, and Practitioners

The concept of social embeddedness suggests that our mental, emotional, sexual, and spiritual well-being is deeply interconnected with the social frameworks we are part of. Being socially embedded doesn't ensure unwavering sanity, as the influence of our social circle can be both beneficial and detrimental. A support network operating with integrity can create an atmosphere of stability; however, individual agency and accountability remains paramount. Conversely, if our support network lacks integrity, it can impair our sense of ethics and sanity. Nonetheless, a supportive and ethical social structure enhances our chances of nurturing a more stable mental and emotional state, which is essential for practicing our vocation ethically.

The Tantra Teacher Ego Trap: Keeping It in Check

As tantric teachers, facilitators, and practitioners, wielding the potent force of sexual energy places us in positions of significant influence, and it's easy for the ego to become inflated in such a power differential. Speaking from personal experience, I can attest that the allure of this potent energy can easily lead one into temptation.

The concept that sexual energy, when cultivated in a focused manner, can be a transformative spiritual force further complicates this dynamic. Traditional texts and experienced facilitators caution that accumulating this potent energy without the harmonising effects of meditation, spiritual practice, and mentoring can lead to various forms of imbalance, both mentally, physically, and sexually. Mismanaged sexual energy can manifest in heightened sexual desire devoid of emotional or spiritual connection or even result in neurosis and other psychological disturbances. Ironically, these imbalances contradict the tantric practices we aim to facilitate.

In this context, the importance of social support, ethics, and responsibility as guiding principles becomes even more critical. They serve as the anchors that can keep us grounded in more ethical behaviour and mental stability. The risks extend beyond an inflated ego; left unchecked, it could escalate to something far more problematic like malignant narcissism or a messiah complex. A robust support network not only reminds us of our responsibilities but also highlights the importance of a harmonised perspective in our unique, fascinating, and transformative vocation.

The Role of a Tantra Community: Navigating the Cave

Picture a bat lost in a cave; it discerns its position by using echolocation with signals echoing off the cave walls. In my journey as a tantra facilitator, much like other practitioners, I've realised the importance of regular feedback from our social and professional circles to understand who we are and where we need to make adjustments. Without these mechanisms, or when they become distant, we, including myself, risk isolation and lack the essential checks and balances necessary for maintaining ethical behaviour.

Beyond Subjective Identity: The Negotiated Self

The overemphasis on subjective self-identity, which I too have grappled with, can be precarious. We are not only what we claim to be but also what we negotiate with others. In my experience, without a surrounding community of responsible educated individuals, we lack necessary markers for ethical behaviour, particularly in areas of our greatest personal weaknesses. Thus, individual spiritual growth is not just a solitary journey; it's deeply practical. By entrusting aspects of our identity to the community we serve, as I have learned to do (and still am), we adopt a more fortified approach to maintaining ethical behaviour.

Cooperatively Striving: Be Your Best Self

In my role as a tantric teacher, alongside other facilitators and practitioners, I've observed how easy it is to fall into the trap of thinking we need to know it all, or be perfect—or believing others expect that of us. This is, of course, an unrealistic standard. Yet, it's essential for us, myself included, to constantly evaluate if we're genuinely living the principles we advocate. The quality and strength of our support network profoundly impacts this introspection. A strong support network, I've found, offers more than just comfort; it fosters a 'cooperative tension' that encourages us, sometimes uncomfortably, to strive towards our highest potential and acts of service.

The Importance of Wise Counsel

The concept of a 'beneficial adversary' resonates deeply with me, serving as a reminder that we, including myself, should surround ourselves with individuals who constructively challenge us—optimising our performance in life's challenging journey. These beneficial adversaries form a vital part of our support network and wise counsel. Personally, I recognise the importance of prudently choosing supervisors and advisors who embody higher principles like integrity, empathy, and ethical responsibility. Their alignment with these values is crucial in guiding us, myself included, through the complexities and challenges of life. This strategic selection and the guidance it provides are indispensable in our personal and professional growth.

Ethical Grounding is a Tantra Community Effort

In my own journey, just as in others', it can be tempting to believe that we don't need ethical grounding and guidance. However, the truth is that most of us, myself included, require this level of support to maintain ethical behaviour. Establishing these supportive structures isn’t merely beneficial; it’s essential. Whether we are newcomers to the tantric path or have been walking it for years, we must remember that ethical grounding and sanity aren't solitary pursuits. They are deeply intertwined with the community we engage with and serve, reflecting a collective effort towards ethical living and practice.

Collective Engagement

'Collective engagement' refers to active involvement or interaction with a group or community. It suggests that individual responsibility and ethics in the realm of tantra are not standalone entities but are enriched and supported by active participation with others. This collective involvement could encompass a wide range of interactions—discussions, feedback sessions, collaborative practices, and even holding each other accountable for ethical conduct. Essentially, collective engagement underscores the idea that ethical and fulfilling practice is a community effort that goes beyond individual actions and beliefs. It emphasises that collective insights, experiences, and checks and balances can enhance individual ethical practices and principles. Embedded Levels of Responsibility: A Choice

The choice, as I've come to realise, is to embrace the embedded levels of responsibility with gratitude. This fosters a path that not only acknowledges but enriches our internal principles through collective engagement, feedback, ethics, and accountability. In my experience, this approach is key to a fulfilling and ethical practice in tantra, suggesting a shared journey of growth and mutual support, rather than a directive. It's about nurturing integrity within this transformative field through communal involvement.

425 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page