Each winter from the 1 Jan, Ingo and I have been really blessed by having the opportunity to take some time out from our day to day life. We’ve been using that time in recent years to explore Asia. What has been so important to me in this time is not that it is time away from the English Winter, although trust me seeing the weather reports does give me a smug feeling of relief of being in tropical places, but actually for me there is a much deeper process, a much deeper place I am able to access when I am away from the day to day reality.
One of the things I have noticed over the last year is that my communications to you seem to be focussed on inviting you along to our events, our festival and diploma week. All good stuff, but often there is so much more that I want to convey and share with you in your personal lives in your spiritual quest. I have thought long and hard about how to do that, and as well as new blogs and articles from me I wanted to create a more informal style of sharing deeper aspects of my personal life and journey with spirituality.
2015 was a mega year for both Ingo and I. I offered new workshops in Oakland (California) and New York and had a very special time going to visit Wildwood and Easton Mountain. I just love both parts of the US, they are so different from one another. Our festival in September was just truly truly beautiful, and our Tantra Diploma week in July was incredible. Not to mention the many other commitments and projects. It was a blissful beautiful year, and we arrived in Bangkok on the 2 Jan knackered ….. but full of love.
Our commitment to you and the programme we offer is unwavering, but this time in Winter for me feels like a deep meditation, a time to reflect and most importantly a time for just ‘being’. You see, when I am in the UK, my days are busily filled with tasks, projects and things to create. For those of you that know me, I have a huge energy and am blessed with an ability to create. In 2012, I had what I can best describe as ‘workshop burnout’, and decided not to teach for 1 year. That was a particularly dark time for me, for many reasons. One of the learnings that came out of that period was about taking time to recuperate and taking time to come back to myself on a regular basis. As Tantra Teacher, we often teach the very thing we need to learn ourselves … another useful lesson in humility.
So in recent years, I have been deeply blessed, taking 3 months out for just ‘being’, spending many days in contemplation and reflection, and, would you believe, lots of silence. I’m laughing because I normally have quite a lot to say.
One of the special places Ingo and I have visited is Tiruvannamalai, a pilgrims’ and temple town in Tamil Nadu (India), by Mt Arunachala, a sacred extinct volcano, the very place where the great spiritual master Ramana Maharishi became enlightened. What attracted Ingo and I to this place is its incredible spiritual energy, and the fact that each winter there is a collection of Satsang Teachers who give Satsang each day. We were there for 8 days and on average attended 2 Satsangs each day. It was absolutely knackering to be in that presence for a whole 8 days, twice per day and when I reflected afterwards I wondered if it was because when you are in Satsang you sit in the energy of an enlightened person. For me, I wondered whether my ego was sitting in that field for all of those times and as it felt that my system was being re-calibrated, I wondered if my ego was struggling to hold onto what it believes is reality. I’m still a little confused about my time there and I am still trying to integrate everything that happened. It was like being in a dream state for a week, and it was really interesting to spend a week not ‘getting involved’ in the illusion that is all around us i.e. life as we perceive it on a day to day basis. The biggest themes that stayed with me was around everything being an illusion, that what we see in front of us is not real. All that we see is ourselves in everything and in others. In truth there is no one else, no you and no me, there is only one pure divine consciousness. When I write this to you it feels that part of, the deeper part of me gets it, and the day to day part can’t seem to reconcile that and tries with logic to make sense of something that cannot be grasped by the analytical mind.
Another realisation that I am contemplating is the relationship between Love and nothingness. If nothingness is the reality (as offered by some Satsang Techers), and everything else is not, then where is the place for Love in all of that. I feel (and I might be challenged), that yes in truth there is nothing. Matter is nothing at the micro level. I can get that, but for me Love seems to be the vehicle that brings us to the door of nothingness. In my supervision sessions I have explored the issues that have come up for me in my reluctance to move from Love into the nothingness. I’m deeply fascinated and feel called to explore this realisation more deeply … to basically, find the truth. Ingo and I debated this over dinner last night (in Bangkok, very glamourous) and we also considered the idea of “Super Consciousness” the idea that we are all one, and everything is part of one consciousness. The conflict inside me is the idea there is nothing, but when I consider the idea of super consciousness I can really get that, maybe it’s another deflection of not wanting to consider there is nothing!
I have over the past months been a man of two halves. One part of me is called to what I describe the exploration of higher vibrations, as I write above. And there is another part of me that is deeply fascinated and even aroused by the idea of surrender and the processes that can support that place, i.e. where can I truly experience surrender. I’ve been dipping my toe into the BDSM pool and for me Tantra4GayMen represents the place where Ingo and I are on our spiritual paths, in that we can only offer you where we are currently. For me when I look at Tantra as a whole, what people were interested in 5 years ago, people are no longer interested in those topics. I can’t work out whether it is me who has moved, or other people, but as I wrote this I notice that both is true. So Tantra4GayMen can only ever be what Ingo and I are and where we are in that journey ….
So the idea of surrender, well what has drawn me is the ability for a person to give up control. To give it to another person, so that you are in a state of total surrender. In Tantra we believe that you can only experience true Bliss when you are in a state of surrender. And I am deeply interested in the processes that are available to support that. In October last year I co-taught a workshop with Santi, the Rope Guru and on the 2nd day of this workshop we used the rope techniques and integrated them with Tantric techniques. What I witnessed and saw was truly beautiful, I have never seen such love between men, I was there with tears rolling down my eyes, in total admiration of what was in front of me. I will be taking this theme further this year in the workshop that I will offer in Oakland. When you are in a process of true surrender how can the Tantric practices enhance that? This excites me very much about the possibilities that lie in front of us. On a personal note on this topic (which I could write much more about), is how that impacts me within my personal life, I’ll write more on that in the coming months. I have many ideas of new workshops on both sides of the pond and new projects which may raise an eyebrow …. Good J
2 weeks ago Ingo and I held our Super Festival Planning meeting, it was about 4 hours long where we mapped out the festival programme. If you came along in previous years you would have wondered if we could improve on perfection, but I have to tell you that this year’s festival sends a shover of excitement down my spine. We seem to be blessed with so much talent and offerings this year than we have ever had. Because the festival is much larger this year, from 48 men to 87, we have 3 ‘zones’ that will each have its different programme. What we wanted to bring you more than anything was high quality choice …. You just won’t be able to do it all. Nearly all of the onsite accommodation has sold out, so if your particular where you sleep would recommend you book your place as soon as possible. In April Ingo and I are off the festival venue to have another meeting, and to sample the food. You deserve nothing but the best. Our new venue boasts its own Spa area, very exciting.
Festival Link: - https://www.tantra4gaymen.co.uk/tantra4gaymen-festival-overview
Our Diploma programme, a deep dive Tantra Training, of 1 week per year over 3 years, we are doing a lot of meditative and reflective practice to create the detailed programme for our groups 2nd year. Exploring the relationship between Healing & Surrender as the gateway to Bliss …. And the Tantric processes into relationship to that. How can you experience deep and profound vulnerability? How can you go the place we often avoid, that place of conscious surrender, very fascinating. If you know us you won’t be surprised that this second week will be deeply explorative, challenging … but with the aim of being deeply transformative and enlightening … very excited about that. Our Diploma intake for this year has just 1 place left, so if you were interested in this programme, the pace is yours.
Diploma Link: - https://www.tantra4gaymen.co.uk/diploma
If you are reading this, you are using our new website. It has taken over a year from design to get us this far, and a cost of over £10k .. expensive, but I really am passionate about creating a Social Network on here that keeps you in contact with others and a Tantra website that keeps the spirit of Love, Freedom and Sexuality available to you. Would you be interested to help us become a tester and admin person? It would require just about 1 to 2 hours per month to do certain tasks and report back how it was. And to also approve new accounts on the Social Network? If yes please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you more information. I am hopeful that a deadline of 1 April will complete all of the Social Network and then I can start to show you in much more detail what I created for you.
Ok, so hope you enjoyed my 1st instalment and this newsletter, has been a joy to share this with you. Tomorrow a Tantra group comes out to Thailand for Ingo and I to facilitate for them an Asia Adventure. We are going to see some amazing sights in Burma, hot air balloons across the tropical savanna and then to a retreat centre in Koh Phangan where we will over the week enjoy the tropical island, crystal clear blue water and enjoy aspects of Tantric practise through massage and most important of all, Love. Just beautiful!
So I’ll be in touch in about another 6 weeks, much love and light to you, Jason and Ingo xxx