TaoTantra is an approach to life that celebrates feminine essence. It includes sacred practices that work with energy to refine, harness, enjoy, and offer it to the world. This practice may be for you if you are interested in accessing that shine that a woman who truly loves and enjoys herself often has. Over time, the capacity to remember and claim our unique feminine gifts grows. Core practices include massage, qigong, meditation, light work, and jade egg.
The majority of practices are sourced from Taoism and Tantra, which have been merged by Shashi Solluna and Minke de Vos, who met as roommates while studying with Mantak Chia. Together they recognized the possibilities of creating a lineage that streamed Taoist teachings with Tantrik teachings --specifically for modern women.
A Brief Description of Taoism and Tantra
Taoism is about working with nature and being in flow with it. There is recognition of a natural order underlying the substance and activity of the Universe. Practices associated with it include qi gong and jade egg. Tantra is also about harnessing energy. Classical Tantra is about exploring and harnessing all energy, while neotantra often focuses on a small subsection of that: sexual energy.
I've studied classical tantra since 2008 years with my teachers Dharmanidhi Saraswati, Christopher Wallis, and Laura Amazzone. My first encounters with Taoism and Neotantra were via TaoTantra; I couldn't imagine a better entrypoint.
My Story with TaoTantra
In 2016 I was 4 years into working with at-risk teens and young adults with severe trauma. I didn’t know it then, but people in community based mental health typically have a 5 year limit before burning out. I was starting to feel precursors to burnout: exhaustion and compassion fatigue. I needed a vacation. A long one. I found Shashi and Minke’s 5 week course for certification in Sacred Feminine Practices in Bali. And I went.
I landed in Bali a bit ashen and doughy. I had been numbing myself from some of the chaos of my work with moderate amounts of glutinous food, alcohol, and netflix. And although I had been a long term practitioner and teacher of yoga, my personal practice had been waning as I balanced a long commute with racing around San Francisco all day, attempting to connect with youth in their schools, homes, or in the community. I was also a single mother, half time, and felt stretched thin as I attempted to give my daughter the nurturance I wanted for all my clients.
Escaping to Bali is a common stereotype. For a reason. It’s beautiful; there’s a chance to breathe; an obvious wisdom in the lifestyle of blessings and prayers every morning, and swimming in beauty all day. I connected with 30 other women who were in pursuit of expansion, evolution. I wanted rest and expansion, both.
Each day I awoke naturally at 6am. I started each morning with lemongrass or ginger tea, then did yoga on a platform facing the ocean. Then a group meditation, followed by an hour of qi gong. All that before breakfast. The rest of the day was filled with dancing, shaking, psychological work, massage training, meditative practice, jade egg practice, womens circles. The days were full; exhausting and replenishing all at once.
The women around me started to shine. We were mirroring each other as our adrenals, thrilled from the routine structure each day, started to regain health. My ashen tone became peachy with dusty rose blush; weight shed easily without trying; the plant based diet was agreeing me, and so were the daily massages for $12. I didn’t miss coffee, alcohol, meat at all (though I consume and enjoy them all in moderation now) —living in community this way was heavenly.
At the end of the month, we invited men to our women’s temple to share some of the gifts we had learned. These gifts were energetic. Nurturance, generosity, compassion, playfulness. As the Dalai Llama has said, “The world will be saved by the western woman”. I would add to this…”…by the western woman who has learned how to shine and share her gifts; express herself clearly without ego or shame; how to love herself and other women; how to honor men; not emasculate them; invite them to step into their best selves so we can collectively overturn patriarchy and nurture each other effectively.
I speak in polarized and gendered language here, as a way to represent common energies; if you are non-binary or gender fluid, you have your unique gifts to claim and offer, and I can't wait to experience them.
The transformation that can occur in only a month is remarkable. It’s taken me a while to integrate the lifestyle effectively with the demands of an American lifestyle, which lean lean toward "hamster wheel" more than "blessings and beauty". But I’m finally in a rhythm. And I would love to share some of the potent practices with you. Or if you’d like me to facilitate a women’s circle for you and your friends to explore feminine essence and radiance, it would be my honor. This is ideally in person, though possible by Zoom as we all navigate coronavirus. Contact me to inquire about an individual or group session.