An interview with Edwin from Sense of Being
Tell me about yourself and how you became interested in tantric massage?
I think of myself as a life explorer. Open for inspiration by others but with a deep desire to find my own answers to life’s questions. From my mid-twenties, I became seriously interested in personal growth and spirituality. Since then, I have been inspired by a variety of people and paths like Byron Katie & the Work, a Course in Miracles, Marshall Rosenberg & Nonviolent Communication, tantra, Ramana Maharshi and other teachers in Advaita Vedanta (nonduality).
Learning from the experience of spiritual paths and people has been very inspiring for me. It has shown me ways to go beyond my limited self and find deep peace and satisfaction there. My journey has also been difficult sometimes. To go beyond the limited rational mind, a kind of surrender is required. I found it hard sometimes to balance this surrender with staying grounded and following authentic inner guidance. Ultimately, meditative self inquiry has proven to be a safe and profound practice for me to keep bringing me back home to inner peace and joy.
After a technical career of ten years, I started a company in communication training and coaching in 2003. When I received my first Kashmiri tantric massage ten years later, I felt deeply moved by what I had experienced. Since then, I have been passionate about giving and receiving tantric massages.
I love the combination of meditation and tantric massage. They help me to keep a healthy balance between body, mind and self. In 2016 I started ‘Sense of Being’, offering tantric massage and guidance in meditative self inquiry. I combine working with individuals with facilitating groups in the field of communication and tantric massage.
Can you talk a bit about what a Kashmiri massage is?
A Kashmiri massage is an intuitive, fluent, tantric massage. In its original form, the surface of your whole body is touched in long strokes with loving care and attention. The energy raised up by the massage is spread through the whole body. In the massage, you can feel like a baby lying on your mother’s lap, being tenderly caressed by her. One can experience a variation of feelings like deep relaxation, joy, gratitude, excitement and being moved to tears. Some shift into a deep, trance-like state. Others may experience a tearful release of emotions, tied to past experiences of being touched. Or the lack of it… Every feeling and experience is welcome in a tantric massage.
The most sensitive areas of our bodies hide the most intense feelings and possibilities for joy. So in tantric massage, the outside of your erogenous zones (in tantric language: yoni) is typically included. This can expose associations with old patterns of shame and guilt. Many of us have lost an innocent and shameless relationship with our sexuality. In the tantric approach, sexual feelings are considered as vital energy that contributes to a healthy, joyful and balanced life.
What can someone expect when they come for a first session, and how do you approach the issue of boundaries during a massage?
When one would come to me for their first Kashmiri tantric massage, we start with a cup of tea and take time to get comfortable with each other. We will talk in more detail about the massage and the boundaries that will provide a safe experience for both of us. So for example, you can decide to be naked during the massage or keep something on. Also we speak about parts of the body that are sensitive, need extra attention or will be excluded from the massage.
During a tantric massage, your mind easily loses its grip on you. In itself this is positive, because it allows you to explore what is beyond your mind. However, during the massage, you cannot decide to relax the boundaries you shared beforehand. In this way, you are protected from impulsive decision making, possibly regretting your decision afterwards. Otherwise, when the mind reclaims its usual importance after the massage, shame and guilt may kick in. Respecting boundaries is important. At the same time, stretching one’s comfort zone can offer possibilities for growth and dropping inhibitions.
What kind of experiences have women had during a massage?
One woman experienced release connected to a past relationship. In the massage, she went through different feelings, also deep crying from the heart. Afterwards she explained to me that she experienced her sexual life energy again. She had buried it since the break up of her last relationship, three years ago. The associations between experiencing sexual energy and this relationship were still strong. This connection was loosened in the massage. In the days after the massage she further went through this process. In that same week she coincidentally ran into the guy, after three years of having no contact with him. It seemed that she was ready to take the next step in making the connection with him more healthy for her.
Other women experienced release of insecurities about body issues, dropping of inhibitions and tensions, opening of chakra’s and feelings of ecstasy and joy. Sometimes the body starts to shake during a massage, as energy moves through the body’s energy channels and tension is released. I find it a privilege to witness people so close in such delicate processes. In the closeness of a tantric massage, much of what is felt is experienced by both the masseur and the receiver. It is a shared field.
Who could this type of massage appeal to? Do you offer this to couples too?
I offer this massage to women and couples. To help them deeply relax, enjoy and release anything that seems to prevent a healthy enjoyment of intimacy, sensuality and sexuality. Couples are welcome to learn how they can use tantric massage to create more connection and intimacy in their relationship.
When partners experience a block in their sexual connection, tantric massage can help bridging the gap between unfulfilled needs of physical, emotional and spiritual connection. In a couple session, they can learn how to give the Kashmiri massage to one another. Optionally, additional sessions can include learning connective communication to enrich their relationship.