Feb 21 2021
It’s been One. Whole. Year. Four seasons have passed. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, and funerals have all gone uncelebrated, or celebrated with a handful of people carefully spaced two metres apart, or alone in front of a screen. We’re tired, worn down, depressed. Even the exceedingly creative ways we’ve discovered to gather together or create some delight in our lives now feels disappointing—kinda like we’re living half-lives. It sucks. But for the friends, families, and colleagues of more than 2.5 million people around the world who have died in this pandemic, these are all mere inconveniences in comparison to their profound grief.
So, how I dare I talk about ecstatic anything, right? It’s like hearing someone rave about the banquet they attended last year while now all the grocery stores are closed and you don’t even have the makings of a sandwich. But stay with me, okay? I want to talk about a particularly timely flavor of ecstatic experience—Ecstatic Resilience.
My concept of an ecstatic life does not demand that I walk around in a constant state of bliss. My concept of resilience does not mean that I never feel defeated. Ecstatic Resilience means that I have the ability to access ecstatic moments when I want them, and that my regular practice of creating ecstatic experiences makes me more resilient. Even when things are difficult, painful, and upsetting, I know that I will ultimately be able to use the elements of whatever is happening to create an ecstatic experience, if not now, then in the reasonably near future. For me, living an ecstatic life means looking upon ecstasy as a spiritual practice.
The way I see at it, we all have a choice right now. We can tough out the next several months (or more), gritting our teeth and getting more and more numb and resentful. Or we can embrace some tools for ecstatic living that we can use to make life more joyful right now, and prepare ourselves for lives filled with joy, connection and ecstasy when the pandemic has passed.
Here are some tools that have been working for me. I know that some of you are going through extraordinary challenges right now and all of these will not be available/possible for everyone. Just try the ones that feel appropriate or adapt them to suit your circumstances.
Radically accept—everything. Radical acceptance is the practice of accepting things as they are with no expectation that they will ever change. Of course, all things change all the time, but by accepting things as they are with no expectations, and releasing your attempts to change them, almost any situation can be turned into an experience that—if not ecstatic in itself—can lead to a place of peace and no regrets, both of which contribute to an ecstatic life. Radical acceptance also provides the opportunity to find creative and ecstatic alternatives to the situation, and it paves the way for positive change.
Dissolve the boundary between your body and nature. Whether you live in a big city, a small town, or in the country, take a moment each day to establish a connection to a natural element. This could be as simple as taking a walk in which you lose yourself in the feeling of the sun on your skin, or feel yourself absorbed into the blue of the sky. You could hug a tree, listen intently to the song of a bird, or even spend quality time with your dog. A key aspect of ecstatic resilience is feeling connected to all that is. Consciously practicing this connection on a daily basis keeps that ecstatic channel open, even while isolating.
Live what you love. This is hardly a new maxim, but it’s essential to an ecstatic life. Do as much of what you love as you possibly can. Do as little as you must of anything you don’t like. The more you commit to what you love, the easier it is to let the rest be handled by someone else who enjoys it more. Pay attention to your intuitive energy meter. Remember to ask yourself: Do I feel an energy gain or an energy drain in this situation, or around this person? Eliminate or minimize your exposure to anything or anyone that drains your energy. Embrace that which feeds you.
Whatever you’re doing—do it whole-heartedly. Do not hold back. Give yourself over completely. Be bigger than you think you are. Be more than you’ve ever been. Be too much. Yes, even on Zoom.
Embrace and celebrate your inner teenager. What was your passion at age 13? Or age 16? How did you pursue that passion? What was your most compelling reason for pursuing this passion? How did you behave if people told you that your passion was wrong, silly, or a waste of time? Revisit your most ecstatic, stubborn, passionate, activist years. Take notes. See your inner teenager as a vital part of your authentic adult self.
Go to the edge. Fall off. See what’s there. Start a love affair with your own fear. Imagine your fear as your best friend. Throw a virtual fear party. Invite all your friends and all their fears. Make a fear playlist and dance with your fears.
Seize the moment—and stay in it. Slow down! Spend as much time in each present moment as you can. Time is such wibbly-wobbly stuff these days. Create meditative moments in varied areas of your life and stretch each one to its fullest. See how much ecstasy you can savor in each moment of the day.
Live in amazement. I am consistently amazed at life in all its weird and wacky permutations. I am amazed by the infinite kindness and courage of humanity. I am amazed by how much I’ve learned over the years. I’m amazed that I’m surviving the second plague of my lifetime. I’m amazed by how little I know and how much I learn every single day. Make a list of what amazes you.
Would you like some help and support strengthening your Ecstatic Resilience? Would you like to learn some powerful, practical, and fun ecstatic exercises that you can enjoy both now and when we can be with others again? Would you like some techniques to expand your sexual pleasure, even and especially if your only sex partner is yourself? Would you like to sit in a virtual circle with others who want the same things you do? Join me for my four-part series beginning 10 March 2021—Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century—Online via Zoom in partnership with The New York Open Center You can register for the whole series or take individual classes:
10 March: Ecstatic Breathwork
31 March: Creating Tantric Connections
21 April: Sex Magic
12 May: Taking Erotic Risks
Sep 17 2018
On Friday, 12 October, I’m hosting a live panel discussion on Women, Sex and Power at the New York Open Center.
For this Symposium, I’ve called together a group of the most intelligent, radical, and informed experts working at the intersection of sexuality, politics, and power. Together, we’re going to explore the current climate of sexual politics, sexual freedom, pleasure and power that women in today’s world are facing.
The #MeToo movement and the Women’s Marches have given rise to a new era for women, filled with new possibilities for sexual and political empowerment. But what exactly do sexual and political empowerment look like? It depends on who you ask. Not all women have the same needs, priorities, or goals.
I believe that as free thinkers, and erotic explorers, and agents of our own sexual power, the more deeply we can engage with and question our collective sexual landscape, the more sexual freedom we can consciously create for all.
Women, Sex & Power brings together a panel of brave, visionary women from different racial, cultural, social and professional backgrounds to share their visions for this new era.
Alia Adams is a trans woman of color. She was born in Uganda and fled the country in 2015 after the president of Uganda signed the Anti-Homosexual Act. Having been outed by a local tabloid for being transgender, she was forced to flee for her safety. She currently lives in Albany, NY, where she works as a patient care associate. Alia is also a sex worker rights activist, human rights activist and queer feminist.
Diana Adams is Principal of Diana Adams Law & Mediation, PLLC, a boutique LGBTQ family law and mediation firm based in New York City and Frankfurt, Germany, serving primarily same-sex couples, polyamorous and non-nuclear families. Diana speaks internationally as a thought leader on LGBTQ family law and evolving family structure. Diana also teaches Courageous Conversations, her program on empowered communication, Non-Violent Communication and dispute resolution, in diverse venues such as Yale, law schools, Omega Women’s Leadership Center, and corporate trainings. Diana is the Director of the Euro LGBT Family Law Institute, connecting leaders in LGBTQ family law internationally. Follow her on twitter or Facebook @DianaAdamsEsq www.DianaAdamsLaw.net; www.CourageousConversations.Work
Zahava Griss (Z, pronouns: they/them) is a dancer, coach, kink educator, and author. Z directs Do Good Things with Power, a leadership immersion for facilitators transforming our culture of intimacy. Z has supported many people’s empowerment as they navigate sexuality, gender, race, and conscious power dynamics including guiding women’s circles for 15 years. Z focuses on inclusivity in sexuality, somatic, and dance communities. Z leads erotic grief rituals to enliven us, remind us who we are, what we want, who we come from and what we want to contribute to the world we desire, while seeing humanity as our team. www.EmbodyMoreLove.com.
Mollena Lee Williams-Haas is a NYC born and raised writer, actress, BDSM Educator, Storyteller, sobriety fiend since March 14th 2007, and an Award-Winning Executive Pervert. Her opinion and viewpoints on issues of kink, Leather and BDSM are frequently sought after by news and information sources like The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Newsweek, Essence, and Ebony. Consciously kinky since 1993and active in leather and BDSM since 1996, she travels extensively, speaking on topics including kink, BDSM, power exchange relationships and negotiating it all safely. She’s the co-author of the Toy bag Guide: Taboo Play and Playing Well With Others: Your Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities. www.mollena.com.
Please join me for this powerful and important discussion. Get your tickets here.
Women, Sex & Power: A Symposium
The New York Open Center
Friday, 12 October
7pm – 10pm
Members $35/ Nonmembers $40
Mar 30 2018
I created Urban Tantra to serve a community that was desperately in need. I wanted, or rather needed, to create a safe space for my brothers during the AIDS crisis so that they could, once again, experience an ecstatic expression of life in a safe and supportive container.
It was through Tantra that I became revitalized and empowered during this time of great grief. I could keep going, keep learning, keep teaching, and then bring my new skills back to my community. It shifted everything—my mindset, my career, my relationship to healing. It was huge!!
It changed my life.
That was 30 years ago. Today, Urban Tantra stays true to those roots.
My main goal in creating the Urban Tantra Professional Training Program was to facilitate the teaching of these profound skills so that lives and relationships around the globe can be changed by this work.
I’m dedicated to the expansion of this work. My mission is to give skills, training, and support to facilitators, practitioners, educators, healers, and leaders who serve communities and clients who are the most in need, underserved, at risk, and disconnected from the tools and knowledge of conscious sexuality. I love nothing more than to see the ripple of transformation grow.
Here is what The Urban Tantra Training Program is all about:
Accessible language, novel skills, and no dogma!
I want you to walk away from the training able to create real change in your professional endeavors, no matter what your job entails. You’ll be given the tools to strengthen your unique talents, and make a bigger impact in your community and in the world
Facilitated ecstatic experience, embodied learning opportunities, and plenty of processing time.
This program is a place for visioning, exploring, nourishing, and playing with various aspects of Tantra, sacred sexuality, sex education, and business to gain a deep understanding of the variety of directions that this work can support your larger goals.
Better Boundaries, Ethics, & Consent
At it’s core, Urban Tantra was built on a foundation of safer sex principles, sexual ethics, and clear boundaries.
As leaders in the field of sexuality and intimacy, we must strive to be impeccable with our practices of boundaries and consent. We need to learn and practices these skills ourselves, create space for conversations about ethics and accountability, and be able to clearly communicate these teachings to our communities for the sexual empowerment and sexual freedom of all.
Global reach, continued support, and unique avenues for growth.
I want you to succeed, but more importantly, I want you to succeed in your own way. I’ve graduated students from this program for over 8 years, and each one has a brilliantly unique way of engaging with Urban Tantra. Each generation of graduates gets connected with the larger community, their wisdom, and their resources. It truly is a diverse group of change agents, leaders, experts, and explorers!
The Urban Tantra Professional Training Program
24-29 July, 2018 in Greenwich, New York
Ready to Register?
I hope to see you there.
Apr 01 2017
5 Reasons Why the Urban Tantra Professional Training Program is the Professional Retreat We All Need Right Now
Let me guess…you’re a giver.
You’re the practitioner who gives every single client 100%…
You’re the therapist who schedules one more session so you can help one more person…
You’re the involved parent, or the nurturing caregiver that keeps your family going strong…
You’re the compassionate healer who holds space for everyone’s growth…
You’re the driven entrepreneur who’s innovations shift perspectives…
You’re the engaged activist who fights for the whole community…
…and you’re exhausted, depleted, and perhaps even completely overwhelmed.
I know you, because I am you. I’ve held every one of these roles at some point in my life, and I know the pitfalls and challenges that arise when you give all of yourself to your work.
During my more than 25 years in the field, I’ve seen powerhouse practitioners, compassionate councilors, and excited educators burn themselves out trying to make it all work.
That’s why I created the Urban Tantra Professional Training Program—to share valuable tools that make this work more worth doing, for everyone!
Here are 5 Reasons Why the Urban Tantra Professional Training Program is the Professional Retreat We All Need Right Now:
1.) Mind/Body/Spirit Healing
I’ve created a nourishing immersive experience that will gently carry your whole person through a 6-day transformative journey. Breathwork sessions to invigorate your soul, massage to ease your body, expertly facilitated intellectual discussions to tease your mind, and plenty of time for integration, journaling, and making new friends. Also worth mentioning, we have a great deal of fun, frolic, and play during this training.
This is an experiential process, I vary learning styles and subjects daily. We’ll have dance breaks, moments of meditation, deep discussions, sacred experiences, peaceful moments, and more than a few good belly laughs.
2.) Professional-to-Professional Love…there’s nothing quite like it.
An amazing thing happens when you get a room full of practitioners together. There is a mutual respect, a deep witnessing, and expert skill sharing that never ceases to amaze me.
I created this program out of the need for this type of connection. There isn’t another pace quite like it out there. When you step into the program, you’re met with a community of practitioners, teachers and healers. You’re encouraged to bring your uniqueness to the circle, and we’re all better off because you did.
It may sound like a short amount of time, but we pack a lot of connectedness into these 6-days. You’ll walk away with lifelong relationships.
3.) Sweden at Midsummer
The Urban Tantra Professional Training Program is taking place at my absolute favorite Swedish retreat center, Skeppsudden, during the Midsummer Holiday!
We’ll be utilizing the fertile energy of the longest days of the year to bring even more life, creativity, and depth to this generation of the program.
In addition to the usual 6 days of advanced, experiential Urban Tantra technique and training, there will be at least one brand new ritual experience to capitalize on the supple joy and exuberance of the Midsummer Festival.
You’ll enjoy looooong warm days and bright sunny evenings in the quintessentially Swedish woods and on the water. It is the perfect place, at the perfect time to dig into your desire for more, to deepen your connection to your purpose and vision, to learn how to create delicious experiences for yourself and/or your clients.
Did I mention that Skeppsudden has one of Sweden’s most luscious saunas?
4.) Business Skills, Boundaries, and Best Practices
You’re committed to your practice, your vision, your business, and I’m committed to teaching you the practical skills that will keep you loving your work.
You may come in feeling overwhelmed, but you’ll leave with:
◦ clarity around your target market, marketing language, and your mission, so you’ll attract more of the people that you want to be working with and less of the ones you don’t;
◦ marketing knowhow to further your reach, increase your prospects, and create a whole new set of potential income streams;
◦ a new skill-set and practice around setting healthy boundaries that will keep you grounded in yourself, weed out energy vampires, and help you maintain a healthy work/life balance;
◦ easily integrated embodied practices that leave you feeling nourished, connected and energized so that you can show up more powerfully in your work and in your life.
The individuals that show up for this work are incredibly unique folks from all over the world. We will sit in circle for 6 magical days, sharing experiences and wisdom with hearts open. During this time, new Ideas take shape and perspectives begin to shift.
You’ll get to explore your edges. I’ll encourage you to try something new, to take that risk, to ask that question, to peruse that taboo. My hope and deepest desire is that this exploration ignites your passion and creativity.
There is no “right way” to use this work. Yes of course there are standards and ethics, but I encourage you to season what you learn at the Urban Tantra Professional Training Program with your own flavor. Evolve it, explore it’s power, and use it to create more ecstasy!
I am a giver, I’m enthusiastically engaged with my community, and I care about every single person who finds their way to my work.
So if you’re ready to join me for 6-days of sacred soul journeying, community connection, and nourishing inspiration, email firstname.lastname@example.org
20-25 Jun 2017
Yours in ecstasy,