When you initially get interested in Tantra initially be a little daunting to start your tantric journey. After all, where do you start?
The word ‘Tantra’ can conjure up wrong connotations. When you hear the word “tantra,” what instantly pops in your mind? The idea of spending hours upon hours lost in slow-motion, lovemaking? Well, tantra is a little different than what pop culture would have us believe and if you weren’t thinking of the long haul sex sessions claims of Sting and were instead thinking of some sort of dangerous mind controlling black magic practice, then you will be disappointed to learn that Tantra is a 5,000-year-old Eastern spiritual practice and it is a way of life that is not focused upon sex but harnesses sexual energy.
If you are still unsure about taking the plunge into Tantra then why not start with tea? Yes, that’s right tea! I caught up with a lady called, Lera Zujeva who practices the art of taking tea ceremoniously and when I asked her about taking tea she said, ‘’I love tea, tea can be a totally orgasmic experience’’.
Lera was attending a talk given by Mal Weeraratne on his work as founder of Tantric Journey School of Healing and Awakening. After a captivating talk from Mal and testimonies from some of his clients about his work. As Mal received a round of applause for his presentation, tea circulated the room and Lera took the stage and gave a talk on the art of Tantric Tea Ceremonies.
There was an overwhelming sense of calm emanating from Lera and as she talked about tea her whole face lit up enthusiastically. ‘It can be hard to fit meditation into our busy lives ‘, she said, ‘but we can usually find time to drink tea and tea gives us the perfect opportunity to calm down and focus and it is such a beautiful and peaceful way to bring meditation back into our daily lives. Many spiritual teachers, such as Osho, Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddha all talked about tea and how drinking it slowly and with awareness can lead you to enlightenment, or at the very least – to seeing who you really are and experiencing harmony in your life.’’
Closing her eyes in ecstasy Lera took a sip of tea and then continued, ‘basically Tantra to me is all about being alive, being in life, being part of life, through our senses, through our body, though being present. Embodiment and senses; feeling of life are extremely important on our journey – whether it is to cultivate the Love of Life, enjoyment of life, or for healing and awakening. So to me any Tea Ceremony by its very nature is already Tantric. It’s all about being in the present moment as it is, without judgement, without wanting it to be anything else, embracing it fully, surrendering to it completely. And one of the most simple and direct ways to connect to this state is through our body and senses. ‘
Mal explained that as part of his treatment he does not partake in a tea ceremony, but instead uses the process of talking and listening to his clients, then Kundalini meditation to still the busy mind and yoga to loosen the stiff body to create a deep sense of calmness and presence before performing deep relaxing bodywork.
Lera offers Bespoke Tea Tours, Tea Workshops, Tea Ceremonies, Private Tea Events and Tea + Energy Healing Sessions. I have never before encountered anyone as enthusiastic about tea before, ‘’ Tea Ceremony is all about feeling, seeing, tasting, smelling. If we are in our heads we are not able to experience Tea Ceremony and enjoy Tea in its full potential. Hearing the sound of boiling water in a kettle, tea leaves falling into the teapot, water pouring into the teapot from the kettle, feeling the clay bowl in our hands, its surface, it’s warmth, sensing aroma of the tea rising above the bowl, taking the first sip, tasting tea, feeling how it flows into us, into our bodies and how the Tea affects us. Tea creates focus, alertness, relaxation, and cultivates awareness’’, she explained.
Well, it seems that when contemplating a ‘safe’ way to begin our Tantric Journey, tea might be the perfect solution.
Image courtesy of Natalia Medvedeva Photography