Ireland, at Fore Abbey

DateAugust 2014
LocationCorfu Island in Greece
EventOne week tantra retreat
RitualA face & mouth massage

It has been an intense week of connection, emotional exploration, sensuality and sexuality, but ignoring traditional spiritual aspect of tantra. The experience was so profound it has taken me more than half a year to sort it out into a form that can be contained within words. I was irrevocably changed by this experience. Here is my experience, I leave its interpretation to your own imagination.

Opening my eyes I regained awareness of the world around me. My partner in the ritual, the room around us and even of time itself. The first sensation is of beauty. Beauty beyond comprehension, impossible to describe. I knew I had been connected to that infinite beauty before opening my eyes yet there was no sense of self during that boundless moment, not even the sensation as if I had been asleep. Had it been a few seconds? Minutes? Hours? Days? I could not tell. All of eternity had been contained within that timeless moment. I would have remained within that profound beauty forever were it possible.

I looked up and saw not my partner, a beautiful woman from Poland, but a goddess. The pure essence of the divine feminine looked down upon me and smiled, a sight I will cherish forever.

My growing awareness of the world around me shattered the connection to that immeasurable beauty. The loss of the connection to that pure still place of absolute beauty was a poignant sorrow every bit as indescribable and profound as the beauty itself. If the oceans of the world were sorrow and loss, the entire volume of the oceans of the world would be insufficient to describe the feeling of the moment. Yet it was not a sorrow of sadness, it was a sorrow of joy. It was a recognition of the nature of the universe even as I return to the limitations of a physical existence.

I was alive. Utterly and completely alive to a depth and breadth of aliveness which is utterly inconceivable until it is experienced. Alive and aware.

That was when I knew I had a problem. Every ounce of my being cried out to hold on to that moment and remain within the sensation yet I knew at some fundamental level that to do so at that time could only lead to disaster. Simply put, I was not ready. I could feel my conscious mind slipping away, overwhelmed by the sensations I experienced, overwhelmed by an infinity of inputs. Every cell of my body vibrated with seemingly boundless energy. I could feel every living creature around me, every object within the room and beyond. It seemed I could see the energy binding it all together. Later I would describe the sensation as akin to downloading the entire internet into a cell phone.

All this took a handful of seconds. My memory of what followed is a jumble of near incomprehensible moments with neither sequence nor connection. Here is my experience as best I can piece it together.

I ask for help, indistinctly and weak. I don’t remember what I was saying nor the intent behind it, just a few scattered words: please, beauty, help, loss, happy, and ground. I remember knowing my parter in the ritual was rapidly becoming concerned and I have some memory of attempting to be reassuring between my pleas for assistance.

I remember the woman conducting the ritual arriving. A serene, calm and confident presence that helped provide an anchor to myself. I do not think I would have been completely lost without here yet I am certain it would have taken a lot more time to find myself.

I remember thinking, “white protects.” I picture myself surrounded by a white light. It may have helped or perhaps it merely distracted the part of myself groping blindly for how to manage the intensity of the experience.

I remember suddenly sitting upright (I had been flat on my back throughout the ritual). Once there I had guidance on what to do next. It felt as though invisible hands were guiding me through movements which slowly but surely helped me regain my sense of self and dissipate the energies flooding through my body. I felt a certain knowledge of what to do next as if someone were whispering in my ear at each stage. I was literally unable to act for myself so I simply placed my trust in my unknown saviors. I have no clue the source of that invisible guidance.

I remember doing something to heal my left knee. It took only moments and eliminated lingering issues that had caused me difficulties for fifteen years. Today it remains healthy and strong, an enduring testament to the reality of the experience.

Eventually I stood. I reach out to pull in parts of myself that had scattered far and wide. Scattered throughout the room or only within my mind? I will never know. Strange movements followed which seemed to place limits on my perceptions and a directed flow to the energy overloading my system. At times I would feel what seemed a bolt of lightning shooting through my body. Up the spine, along channels through my limbs, around and around my skin, throughout my organs, into my bones and eventually down into the ground below me.

Eventually I was my own self yet something was profoundly different. Every sense was magnified. Colors brighter, edges sharper, scents exquisite in their complexity, textures endlessly fascinating and a single bite of food could have me enthralled for minutes. A sense of peace, alignment and serenity flooded me.

Those sensations faded over the following week. Perhaps I became accustomed to the different way of experiencing the world or perhaps it went away entirely. But the memory of that experience is more vivid and clear to me than any other event of my life.

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