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How the truth helped us run a tantric community

Blog posted by Christian

Last summer Michelle and myself coordinated a 2-month Community in the centre of France.

What was extraordinary about this was, that the owners of the centre had come up with this idea to extend their course season with a community; in this way the place would still be ‘alive’ (normally the place would be empty from October till March) and the community members would make good advertisement for their main work: giving courses on Tantra and Yoga.

So, they asked us to coordinate this… knowing that we had no previous experience in doing something like this. We were working with them for some years as teachers and therapists, so they knew we could handle classes and clients, but a group of 30 people for 2 months, providing them not only with food and shelter but also providing them with guidance into Tantra…Which we had experience in as course-members, but teaching it…?

But, we all said a big YES to this idea and so, starting in October the first community members came in.

Although we had some quick adjusting to do and came across some challenges here and there, it went amazingly well. Everyone had a nice bed to sleep in, we actually invited a professional chef to join us and cooked the mist delicious vegan food we’ve ever tasted! We arranged a system where everyone did their share in volunteer work in and around the house. And, being teachers, we made sure there would be a workshop and yoga class every day, focussing on the teachings of Tantra, Hatha Yoga and Healing.

Almost all the members were young travellers, that came to us through Workaway; a global organization that helps connect people whit too much work to travellers that would like to do that work in exchange for food and a bed. None of them actually had any experience with Tantra, many had few experiences with living in a community. Like I said, my wife and I had followed courses on Tantra and had gone through quite some challenges to get to where we were as a ‘tantric couple’ but were still progressing and learning. Could we teach them about Tantra? Would they acknowledge us as teachers, as leaders of this tribe?

It worked.

Why? Because from the beginning we decided to be completely open and transparant about who we were. Since it was a community, we were ready to share everything. This can be a very scary thing, and not for everybody. But I am completely convinced that the strongest tactic one can have to get through any situation is… THE TRUTH.

With the help of some of the more experienced tantrikas and community people, we invited all the members to regularly come together for a group-sharing. In the sharings, as well as in our classes, we set the standard by willingly sharing our own fears, expectations, etc. and got beautifully reflected upon them by the others, which made us grow so much. Important to note: we didn’t choose to be transparant as a strategy to gain their respect or anything, we strongly felt it to be the only way to approach this, it felt as a natural thing to do. We witnessed others over this period who tried to gain respect by ‘faking’ transparency but it was pierced through instantly, leading to quite intense situations.

The truth is such a powerful thing. Once you see the power of it and experience how others can do nothing else but appreciate you for speaking it, you will never choose falsehood ever again.

It’s such a waste of energy trying to uphold a lie. And speaking from the perspective of energy, the only reality is truth; falsehood is just imagination; it simply doesn’t exist. Then trying to make something work that isn’t real, is a real…waste of effort.

The power of a group-sharing (a group can be you and some else already) is that you agree on certain concepts. we agreed on the following:

  • always try to speak from your own perspective
  • try to listen neutral to the other, not filling or coloring in what you hear
  • try not to judge
  • try not to turn to “yes, I have that too” or “but wait ’till you hear my issue, which is much bigger”: sometimes we used the talking-stick; it is there for the one sharing to continue their story until they feel it is done. Only then (or  in case of the talking-stick; when the stick is placed in the center again) is there room for feedback, if the speaker desires this.
  • speak mostly about what you feel right now. It is really difficult to do this, but such a powerful way of communicating
  • As with any conversation, set an intention to make it a valuable one; one where everyone involved is brought to new insights, better understanding and eventually to the unconditional love to everyone and everything

… The last one sounds a bit too ‘spiritual’? Perhaps, but I felt this so strongly every time we ended a session. Just this total respect for all who were attending, this awe for existence, this humbleness to be part of it.

You know? I think I will leave it like this. In my next blog-attempt I’ continue on whatever feels fit, but for now…

Namaste. May you be happy for no reason.

Christian Schindeler-Knibbe

Christian Schindeler-Knibbe

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