Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Women's Retreat in the Karoo 3 - 6 October 2008

Uncoiling the snake
A women’s retreat by Shakti Malan
3 – 6 October 2008
n!au ma farm, Little Karoo

On female sexual energy

Sexual energy is a tremendous source of vitality and life force. When we own and live our sexual energy, we incarnate – we come to embody the goddess within. We wake up to the moment. Through our sexual flow as women, the worlds are birthed. And yet this potential lies dormant in so many of us. The snake, the kundalini, the origin of our embodied vitality, is there, at the base of the spine, but it slumbers, and it rarely gets touched.

Uncoiling the snake

In my work with Tantra, an ancient eastern tradition that follows sexual energy as a doorway to consciousness, I have learnt that sexual awakening is linked to the opening of the chakras or “energy wheels” (represented by the spirals on the front page image). When the opening of the chakras happens in the body, it literally feels like an energy snake that uncoils at the base of the body and rises up through the crown of the head. For me personally, this rising brings a soft ecstasy that ripples onto the farthest shores of my life… It also brings a deep contentment with existence.

Sexual energy becomes illuminated when the repressions that block us at each of the chakras or energy points in the body are lifted. These repressions are the result of our conditioning, our patterning and the scars that are left by our life experiences. I believe that it is possible to bring our repressions to awareness and release them by working in a sacred circle of women.

What happens on a course

My focus is on the awakening of consciousness, not in teaching technique or improving performance (though these things follow of their own accord). I use the following methods to evoke awareness:

  • ∑ We process body memories through acting and embodiment.
  • ∑ We deepen awareness of female sexuality through breath work and other Tantric techniques.
  • ∑ We reflect on our stories and vision our “this-here-now” realities through creating with the earth and writing.
  • ∑ We meditate and do guided visualizations to deepen our awareness of essence flowing through us.
  • ∑ We use sound, chanting, movements and dancing focused on a particular expression of our sexual energy to awaken the body to its inherent knowing.
  • ∑ We have strong interactions with nature and the elements to reconnect us to our being-of-the-earth, the origin of our sexual energy.

The chakras

My own sensing of female sexuality is that it is intricately connected to the webs of our lives… or sexuality touches everything we are, and all the layers of our existence affect how we flow with our sexual energy. The chakras offer one possible map through these layers. On the retreat, we will be working with opening blockages in chakras as they reveal in any of the participants.

WOMAN EARTHED (first or root chakra)

The first or root chakra is literally like an energy root that grounds us. This is where our sexual energy originates. In this course, we open to the pulsating power of the earth that rises up through us and initiates our own flow. This retreat is really about incarnating, about deciding to be in this body, here, now, fully. It is about claiming the potent gift of our sexuality.

WOMAN WELL LOVED (second or spleen chakra)

The second chakra opens our ability to receive love and nourishment from the other. The other first comes to us as our tribes (family and ancestry) and then as our lovers. In this course, we explore how both our sexual ideals and our repressions have been shaped by our tribal loyalties. We also unravel how our love relationships have created our sense of who we are in sex and love. Through awareness, we bring healing and the possibility that we may feel well loved, always.

WOMAN I AM (third or power chakra)

The third chakra facilitates our individual power in the world. In today’s world, so much of our experience of our own sexuality is entangled in issues of power. In this course, we will do some acting out of the energies of domination and suppression in our lives. By embodying, we bring awareness and reclaim our personal power in sexual expression.

WOMAN HEART FULL (fourth or heart chakra)

The bliss of sexual energy really becomes evident once it reaches the heart chakra. In this course, we hold in tenderness the stories of our hearts touched by love and passion, and we nurture them through creativity and sharing. And then we celebrate the beauty of the heart willing to stand naked and to tremble in the glory of sun and moon. When the heart is open, it fills up, and it flows over, irresistibly.

WOMAN THE GODDESS EXPRESSED (fifth or throat chakra)

The throat chakra opens our higher creative energy and our alignment with divine will. In this course, we take responsibility for our lives and express what we want. And at the same time, we surrender our will to the goddess within. In this course we look at what is that we are expressing through our sexuality.

WOMAN AWARE (sixth or third eye chakra)

The sixth chakra opens our intuition and higher extrasensory abilities. It brings extraordinary refinement to sexual experience. In this course, we use movement, body tracking, meditation, breath work and visualization to find what blocks the transcendent awareness held in our sexual energy, and to open up the blocks.

WOMAN I AM THAT (seventh or crown chakra)

The seventh or crown chakra takes sexual energy into merging with all that is. To say I Am That is to claim your divinity. To claim your divinity is to see that you are one with all that is. This is the ultimate goal of tantra – a total dissolution of the sense of a personal self and the awakening to the cosmic Self.

The facilitator, Shakti Malan

I have been running retreats and courses on the Sacred Feminine for many years. I have a Ph.D. (UCT) in social anthropology. My website is www.shakti.co.za. Swami Advait Rahasya has initiated me into the mysteries of Tantra (see www.sacredsex.co.za)

The venue

The farm n’au !ma, which is run in deep respect for nature as a place of retreat and ceremony, is situated between Montague and Ladysmith, at the foot of the Anysberg. Accommodation is provided in beautiful Karoo style houses with broad verandas, fireplaces, gas stoves and fridges. There is an exquisite kloof on the farm, and some delicious dams. The night sky of the Karoo is something to experience. We will be there in late spring, when the veld is bedecked with flowers! The farm is about 4 – 5 hours from Cape Town, and 3 hours from George.

Bookings, costs and times

The cost for the long weekend (including accommodation) is R2 100 pp. A deposit of R1 200 is required to secure your place and full payment is due by 4 September. The retreat will be limited to 12 women. Previous retreats have been booked out 6 months in advance, so book now to avoid disappointment. Banking details:

Dr S.Malan
Standard Bank current account
Merriman Square branch (02-11-09-00)
Account number: 073152811

Meals will be arranged amongst us.
I will assist with coordinating travel where possible.
For enquiries contact Shakti at 0833010399 or Shakti@shakti.co.za

The retreat will start Friday lunchtime and end Monday lunchtime.

“Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love; and then for the second time in the history of the world, humanity will have discovered fire!” – Theilard de Chardin

Monday, July 28, 2008

Conscious Sexuality Workshop September

Conscious Sexuality
A workshop for singles and couples
By Shakti Malan
at the Osho Neo Zen Monastery, Knysna Forest
Level 1: 26 - 28 September 2008, Level 2: 28 - 29 September

On Conscious Sexuality

If we know how to use our sexual energy, it can take us into a beautiful flowering of the heart, into deep states of bliss and serenity. Sexual energy can also open up our authentic wildness! However, for many of us today, this potential of our sexuality is not being fully realized. Some of the common reasons are:
  • We have been conditioned to suppress our natural sexuality in some way.
  • Out of habit, sex has become a rushed explosion of pent-up energy, rather than an experience of loving, deepening, merging.
  • Experiences that we have had in the past (these can be sexual, emotional, physical, spiritual) got stuck in the body and are blocking our energy flow.
  • We are simply not in our bodies enough, an loving being in our bodies enough!

The good news is that it is infinitely possible to open the flow of your natural sexuality into a conscious expression again, no matter what your age is, and whether you have a partner or not. What it takes is a willingness to shed some illusions, and to get conscious with your life!

The workshop

This workshop is an introduction into the art of sacred sexuality. My specific intent is to design it around the participants; where you are at and what you need. I hope to make some of the basic concepts of conscious sexuality clear to you, and to give you a deep (and blissful) experience of what is possible, in your body. Since this is an introductory workshop, you will not be required to expose yourself in any way that is not comfortable for you. The workshop will also introduce you to practices that you can take into your daily life and/or into your relationship.

For those of you who have already done some work with me and would like to deepen your understanding (and for those who wish to go deeper after the weekend's workshop!) I offer an additional day (Sunday 4 pm to Monday 4 pm) in which we can explore some more. You are welcome to bring your questions and requests.

What you can expect

dialogue, discussions, roleplay
dancing and movement
touch exercises
more delightful discussions around fires and food

The presenter

Shakti is a full time teacher of conscious sexuality. She has a passion for embodied awakening - using the body as an alive, responsive vehicle to help us discover the truth of who we really are. Shakti is based in Franschhoek and runs workshops and retreats in Cape Town and elsewhere in South Africa. She also does private consultations. Shakti has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology. For more information on Shakti see www.shakti.co.za. She is a member of the Advait Tantra School (see www.tantraschool.co.za)

The venue

The Osho Neo Monastery is a unique forest venue run by Mira and Hamid, two beings that glow with love and creativity. Hamid has created this venue with his own hands, mostly out of wood. Accommodation is provided in A-frame huts. The gathering hall rises up out of the forest and opens up to it on all sides. This is a back-to-nature weekend, the best way to get back into our natural sexuality - with manually heated showers, candles and fires. Food is vegetarian and always exquisite.

Costs and bookings

Please note that the retreat can accommodate a maximum of 12 people, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Costs, including accommodation and all meals, are:
Level 1: R1 600 pp
Level 2: R500 pp

Contact Shakti on shakti@shakti.co.za or 0833010399

Private consultations

Shakti will be available for private consultations in the Garden Route on Tuesday 30 September and Wednesday 1 October.