Adventures in Asia: Tantra festival, India

I arrived at Zorba the Buddha, an eco village on the outskirts of Delhi, from the fresh mountain air in Dharamshala to a smoggy haze so thick that I could not see the blue of the skies above me. Despite being surrounded by beautiful greenery, I spent the first two days coughing up my lungs so that my throat was raw and I lost my voice. It was a daily inner struggle deciding to stay, but I’m so glad I did.

This was my first proper introduction to Tantra. I was also not so familiar with Osho. I felt a little intimidated while talking to others around me, as though one needs to be qualified to be allowed to attend, when all that is needed is that one is present with an open heart.

There are lots of misconceptions about Tantra and many places practicing questionable versions of it, but the love I experienced at Zorba, connecting deeply with many from all over the world, was utterly beautiful. It’s quite rare to have a hundred or so individuals from various walks of life, cultures, socio-political-economic backgrounds and ages all dancing joyfully together every morning, without agenda and only the desire to bathe in the glorious light of loving being alive.

There was some structure to every day — early morning meditation or yoga, followed by breakfast, then dancing and morning meeting, gathering in our small family groups to share experiences and the rest of the day filled with various workshops — and we were free to decide what we wished to attend.

My initial big takeaway was really encountering my own boundaries, being challenged to feel my “yes” and my “no” with consent. It was also a revelation to learn to embrace and even worship that part of me that was so ignored and shamed — my sexuality. Sexuality has always been quite uncomfortable and difficult for me. I have a history of having a sexual disorder, one that very few in my life even know about and one I was in therapy for for a long time. What an incredible gift to be able to invite healing into this area of my life and let go of the shame I had been carrying!

Another incredible encounter was one with the divine sisterhood and learning to embrace this sacred bond. In our modern world ruled by patriarchy, this is something that is so necessary.

I was quite skeptical about so much of this spiritual and sexual journey when I arrived, but the experience has been life changing. Just learning to allow and to be so present was a huge shift for me.

I have run out of words to describe the gratitude I feel for this transformation, the people I met and the journey I went on.