One Woman’s Journey to Intentional Loving and Living in a Tantric Community
I arrived at Delhi airport for the beginning of what was supposed to be a yearlong sabbatical to India and Argentina to work on myself. I decided to travel in order to work on my relationship issues, get to know myself better and understand why I have commitment issues. While in India, I remember meeting a man from Sao Paulo, Brazil who invited me to a tantra ashram. I declined. In my mind, tantra was all about sex, and I pictured a place where there were a bunch of orgies taking place.
Six years later, I am now living in a tantra community and I was wrong. In that time, I stayed in India for three months where I looked at relationships within the Indian culture. They are not allowed to have sex until they are married. I dated a man while there. It was interesting because I was not allowed to go into his house or else people would begin to think that we were having sex and would speak badly about us. So we always met in public places. It was quite strange for me as I was 35 years old, completely independent and carefree. As much as I heard that women were seen as objects and the rape rate was high, I was fortunate to meet many wonderful people there without any problems arising.
The next nine months were supposed to be spent in Buenos Aires, Argentina but the freedom of traveling led me on a journey throughout South America. I went to Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, with an eventual unplanned move to Brazil. As my goal was to work on my relationship issues, I was very observant of relationships everywhere I went. I noticed in South America most singles lived with their parents, and even after marriage they often continued to live in the same household. This meant that after a date the man would take the woman to a hotel for sex. This is quite commonplace and there are many hourly hotels throughout South America. Once the couple is in a long-term relationship, the girlfriend or boyfriend is then brought into the home.
I arrived in Brazil February 2011, where I immediately fell in love with the country. Because I spent over five years in the country, I was able to delve deeper into Brazilian relationship culture. Many men immediately invited me to a hotel or to their home, if by chance they lived alone. They would not invite me on a date. This is not to say that this is the norm, but what I encountered. I remained single for a long time because I do not find it productive for me to have sex with someone without dating and getting to know him first. It was in Brazil that I noticed many couples would have sex immediately before dating and then would jump into a serious relationship soon after, sometimes moving in together after a couple of months.
I decided to study Transpersonal Therapy and Shamanism in Brazil as I was fascinated with these topics. I was already a licensed and practicing Psychotherapist in the United States but wanted to continue my studies as I saw a difference
This was living tantra. I
didn’t just read about
it here or listen to talks on
tantra, I lived it.
with the psychology of Brazil and that of the States. Here in Brazil they believe in spirits and magic. It is quite plausible to speak with an ancestor or spirit guide, or believe that someone could put roots (or harmful witchcraft) on you. In fact, this is widely believed throughout the countries I visited in South America. My eyes began to open and I no longer saw people as crazy because of their ability to connect with other beings. Transpersonal Therapy and Shamanism gave me a new vision of how I can work with people as a therapist.
During an event, I met a lady from California. We began to talk and somehow the subject of tantra arose. She began to explain tantra to me and I learned that it isn’t about sex. Sex is only a small percent of the topic. We decided to plan a tantra night at the space where I was working as a Reiki practitioner and therapist. We planned a night of events to awaken the senses of the participants.
Participants would smell, feel, taste, hear and see (or not see, as we used blindfolds at some points) various fruits, scents, objects and sounds. We also planned activities such as meditations, breathing exercises and dancing. I really enjoyed this and longed to learn more. A year later I learned of another American who lived in tantra communities in India and Thailand, so I connected with her and offered my space for her to do her six week tantra course.
It was awesome. We learned about the philosophy of tantra, tantric yoga, and exercises to awaken the kundalini (which is a powerful dormant energy at the base of the spine), as well as sexual techniques to prevent ejaculation, since ejaculation is believed to cause one to lose energy in Tantra principles. I wanted more, but there wasn’t anything else that I could fnd related to tantra until the day I learned of a tantric massage course I completed the frst module and was quite impressed. Soon after, while at my shaman course in Sao Paulo, I met a woman who told me about the local tantra community. I was so excited to hear about this community.
They offered many different workshops for personal healing and growth such as “Journey to the Heart,” which is a path where friendship, trust and surrender develop in a profound way. They work on releasing suppressed emotions thereby healing phobias, anxieties, fears, obsessions and depression. They also offer “Melting”, which is a powerful course in which you die and are reborn, additional courses in rebirthing and the tantra therapist course. Since I was living in Salvador and the community was in Sao Paulo and expensive for me as I was only teaching English 15 hours a week for income, I didn’t know how I could afford to pay for the courses and workshops. Luckily, the friend who initially told me of the community shared that they have a ﬂowing program where you can live and work in exchange for points to take the different courses and workshops offered. I knew right away I would go live there.
I wrote to the community and the coordinator said I could stay for a week so that both they and I could evaluate if this was a good ft. I told them how I lived in Salvador and would need to plan and that I wanted to stay the maximum threemonth length of time. After many exchanged emails, they accepted me and allowed me to stay beyond the week trial period. In this community, we practiced yoga at 7am every morning and I participated or led meditations, breathing exercises, and dance meditations at 5:30pm and 9pm daily. It was a strict schedule of practices and work. No days off. Every weekend was a course.
They taught me eagle vision, how to see things from various angles and how to be more
observant. They taught me how to be disciplined. I had to arrive on time to each daily practice. I had to be disciplined in my work schedule. They emphasized work meditation. We were not allowed to really have loud conversations during work hours. Many of days I wanted to leave and would become frustrated. I often heard “ﬂowing is overcoming”. Many times I felt like I was being tested. I had a goal and knew I had to persevere to accomplish it. I needed to finally do what I felt to be the last bit of work to overcome my relationship issues. I traveled through India and South America staying at Ashrams doing meditations, yoga, and spiritual work. This was the next step.
I had to remain strong through the disagreements with peers that I ate, worked, meditated with and slept beside in the same dorm. It was 24 hours with no privacy. I had to remain strong through the challenges of the coordinator being disappointed with my work at times, or making me go work in the kitchen instead of participating in the meditation due to arriving two minutes late. I had to remain strong to work 7 days a week with no days off for three months. This was living tantra. I didn’t just read about it here or listen to talks on tantra, I lived it. I was/still am experiencing tantra through living it day in and day out. I have been living in this community now since July 2015. After my three month period ended I was offered a position to continue working as the website translator.
I decided to stay on as I was growing and learning invaluable information about tantra and myself. I think back to my invite to the community while I was in India and realize that what is meant to be will be. What we are supposed to learn or experience will continuously present itself to us until we go through the process. Traveling has helped me to fnd that path and experience what is meant for me. Through travel I have gained numerous PhD’s that can never be taken away. Through this tantra community, I learned to communicate and express myself. I learned how to respect myself and demand respect. I learned how to not allow my ego to take over; the ego will always exist in me but I am better able to manage
The Metamorfose Commune is a Center for Human Growth, a meditation laboratory where quantum leaps occur for those who experience the Tantric Vision of The Path of Love. Only 120 kilometers from São Paulo, the Commune is located on a stretch of land of 35.000 square meters at the top of the Mantiqueira Mountain Range, which offers the ideal environment, weather and energy fields for therapeutic activities. Visit www.centrometamorfose.com.br for more information.
it. I learned how to love myself and made wonderful friends that I would have never made otherwise. It is through travel that I am able to grow, heal, learn about myself, make friends from other cultures and learn about different cultures. I am forever grateful for the ability to travel! And it is through tantra, that I have matured, connected with my innate nature, and learned how to trust and respect my body for the temple that it is. It is through tantra that I can now be open to give and receive love!
Renée Marie Adolphe is an international psychotherapist, transpersonal therapist, Reiki Master, and medicine woman, currently training to be a tantric therapist. She is a world traveler, journeying throughout the Caribbean, South America, North America, Europe and India. Her repertoire of healing modalities include dance therapy, art therapy, Reiki, massage, shamanic ceremonies and rituals, regression therapy, and counseling. She is currently residing at Metamorfose Center in Minas Gerais, Brazil studying tantra where she is working on her certification in tantra therapy and rebirthing.