22 August 2012

Shakti's August Tantra newsletter


Greetings from Jerusalem, where we are about to go explore some sacred sites before heading into the mountains for two weeks of silent retreat. I feel my deep love for Africa as I travel abroad. Below, a reminder of the two events I have planned for the rest of this year, and the early bird booking deadlines:

  • BlissDance Intensive and Facilitators Training 5- 15 November, early bird booking deadline 20 September
  • Sexual Awakening for Women Intensive and Facilitators Training 1 - 10 December, booking deadline 20 October (and please note that we have limited accommodation here).

I am also delighted to say that breathwork master Dan Brule is teaching in South Africa in September. Details attached.

My book Sexual Awakening for Women is now available in Wordsworth and Exclusive books in South Africa. You can also get a copy posted to you by Bianca at bianca.bodysoul@gmail.com or you can collect one from Ahrian in Cape Town ahriangaia@gmail.com. The e-book is available on my website shakti.co.za. Createspace and Amazon both have hard copies for sale. And Amazon has the Kindle version loaded too now! So you can get your copy easily anywhere in the world now. I am delighted to hear of all the women's groups starting up in South Africa and the rest of the world using the material in this book.

In the last month, I did an exquisite retreat with Bernie Prior and learnt The Form - a Tantric practices of exquisite subtlety. I look forward to coming to introduce it in South Africa.

Sending you all so much love.


Blissdance Intensive
and Facilitators Training
5 – 15 November 2012
Bodhi Khaya, Stanford, South Africa


Imagine ten days of immersion in the dance of presence and intimacy, surrounded by beautiful nature and the company of kindred souls. Imagine giving yourself fully to the dance, sharing richly and deeply with other dancers, and between dances - dropping into the stillness of the moment with a cup of tea on the porch, enjoying delicious meals, or floating naked between the lilies. Ten days of bliss awaits you. Come dance, beloveds!

Facilitators training

This event will give you an insider's experience of how I create BlissDance events and give you the basic skills to facilitate BlissDance processes. The facilitators training will introduce you to the dynamics that makes the dance so blissful, and also to the unique therapeutic modalities that are built into it. Dances will be filmed and participants will be given feedback on their own dances.

Some themes we will cover are:

Balancing and integrating the flow between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system through the dance
Dropping from the mind into the body
Working through associations held in movement in touch
Breathing into movement
Working with weight and suspension
Exploring boundaries and intimacy, space/closeness
Immersing totally in experience while maintaining a witness
Releasing dysfunctional body armoring
Deepening access to feeling/emotions
Dancing shadow states

Practically, the facilitators training aspect of the intensive will give you a good introduction to
How to choose music for the dance
How to create a playlist
Facilitating key BlissDance dances
Guiding dances that can be done on their own for therapeutic purposes

About BlissDance
is the balance that happens
When we fully embrace
Both our shadow and our light
And come to rest
In love

When we drop deep into the center of presence, every cell of our bodies gets infused with the eros of life. We smell the ambrosia of being. When we open to the full aliveness of our bodies, stillness arises of itself.

Blissdance is an exploration of intimate presence with ourselves and with others, in movement and in stillness, music and silence. We find the authentic expression that comes from within. From the inside out, we let life dance us. We follow the breath. We follow the heartbeat of the earth pulsing through us. We rest in the amniotic fluid of being. We follow the spark of our bliss.

The dance space cultivates non-dual presence in the movement of our daily lives. It is an active meditation space. We learn to be present in anger as much as peace, jealousy and rage as much as tender love and passionate creativity. We dance our territory, and we dance into melting.

Blissdance has been designed with therapeutic intent as well. The dance wordlessly supports the unraveling and dismantling of patterns that keep us from being deeply present in our bodies. Some examples are:

Body armoring: We hold our bodies rigid in an attempt to protect ourselves from feeling too much - or feeling what we have been suppressing. Sometimes what we resist feeling is intimacy - sometimes it is sadness, fear or anger. All these states are welcome in the dance.

Associations: Over a lifetime of suppressing what we feel, we have started to build up meaning through associations. When someone touches you, what does it mean to you? When you enjoy the touch, what fears come up? Do they relate to past experiences or future projections? In BlissDance, these subconscious processes will become conscious for you. In awareness lies the liberation.

Habits of movement: One of the keys of BlissDance is that the dance moves you out of your habits and stuck ways. We act out some of the dramas of everyday life - like having a couple's fight - but do that in a conscious way, as a celebration of the body, and as an act of freedom. In doing that, something gives way, more space gets created, and we can celebrate our freedom more. Sometimes I use ancient shamanic techniques to help shake up the nervous system so that you can slip into this moment with no mind. Sometimes we dance wild and crazy with little structure and limitation, to let that energy be expressed and accessed in the body. Eventually, as Rumi says:

something opens up
I taste only sacredness

The moment softens. We get to feel everything intimately. We welcome what is, no longer resist, and in that we can meet the beloved, in the dance, in this moment. In the first place, that beloved is my very own being. Then I can meet him/her in the other, the group, my life, existence.

All it takes is a little willingness. The music, the facilitation and the group will carry you along into what you really want: A deep opening into this present precious moment.

Blissdance draws on the wisdom of Biodanza and various other dance, movement and meditation traditions.

Who is the event for?

 BlissDance is for those who are yearning for presence, freedom and truth. It is for the brave spiritual warriors who are not scared to dance their ridiculousness and to let their vulnerability be felt in the dance as well. You are welcome to come just for the dance. For those who wish to use BlissDance in their dance or play with others, this training will give you a solid foundation to start using the magic of BlissDance for that purpose. 

The venue: Bodhi Khaya 

Bodhi Khaya (http://www.bodhi-khaya.co.za) outside Stanford, Western Cape, South Africa, must be one of the most exquisite retreat centers in the world. Nestled amongst mountains, covered in indigenous fynbos and close to the ocean, Bodhi Khaya is a lush nature haven for those who want to go deep within, and rest in the bliss of nature. The retreat center has a beautiful wooden dance hall and accommodation is provided in a variety of shapes and sizes, all in Cape Dutch architecture. 


 Shakti Malan

Shakti is a dakini or teacher of the mysteries of Tantra. Shakti is based in Cape Town, South Africa but teaches and practices across the world. Her central approach is to enter the totality of experience as a gateway to awakening. For more on her work, see www.shakti.co.za and www.totalitytherapy.com

Shakti's purpose as dakini is to facilitate your awakening to the essence of who you really are, while remaining fully functional in your body. Many traditions of enlightenment view the body as that which is to be transcended. Tantra sees the body as a vehicle for awakening. The process of dropping through veils of illusion can be very impactful on our nervous system, and every aspect of our physical and energetic bodies. Because Shakti values the body as the vehicle through which you can share your awakening with the world, she aims to ensure that your energetic and physical bodies are fully prepared for the process of waking up. This requires totality of the seeker - the willingness to have every aspect of your energetic and physical reality be purified by the power of truth. As this happens, conversely, the body becomes capable of sensing and experiencing on increasingly subtle and refined levels. Thus, the physical vessel of the body becomes a suitable instrument to transmit the essence of the awakened state.

Shakti has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, a discipline that teaches the practitioner to listen to the reality of groups and individuals from an insider perspective, through immersion in the texture of their lives. She spent many years translating the realities of vulnerable communities to decision makers in government, development organizations and corporates in the fields of poverty management, economic development and environmental management. Shakti's training as dakini comes through the Advaita tradition and many years of immersion in meditation and conscious body practices.

Supporting facilitators

Willem Smuts

Willem is a highly experienced and much loved and highly experienced facilitator in the tradition of Biodanza (see biodanza.co.za), a dance form that has significantly influenced the development of BlissDance. Willem brings a fiery passion, creativity and vitality to the dance which deeply inspires dancers. Willem is also an extraordinary healer.

Ian Light

Ian Light has been facilitating his own unique expression of BlissDance with and without Shakti for the last year. He brings to the dance his deep understanding of the body that comes through his shiatsu practice. Ian has a magical gift with sound, and brings that into the dance. As a dancer and dance facilitator, Ian also brings into the dance his love and deep understanding of Contact Improvisation.

Cost and bookings

 Cost including meals and excluding accommodation: Early bird rate (full payment by 20 September): R10 000 for the 10 days. After 20 September R12 000. For currency, conversion, click here
Bookings and accommodation options with Ahrian: ahriangaia@gmail.com

Sexual Awakening for Women
Workshop Intensive and Facilitators Training
Phase 1: 1 - 5 December, Phase 2: 6 - 10 December, 
Little Karoo, South Africa

Workshop Intensive

In this training, Shakti will take women through an intensive experiential journey of opening to the flow of awakened female sexual energy. This happens through the clearing of blocks in the chakras or energy vortexes in the body. The training is based on the material held in Sexual Awakening for Women: A Tantric Workbook. You will have an opportunity to encounter this work through direct transmission by the author.

Clearing blocks in the chakras

Each chakra or energy "hub" in the body holds specific unconscious patterning that needs to be cleared for energy to move freely up the body. This workshop intensive creates an opportunity for the systematic clearing of blocks held in each chakra. Here are some examples
  • Base chakra (on the perineum): Clearing our love relationship with the body, or relationship with desire, life and death.
  • Second chakra: Clearing tribal and ancestral blockages to the flow of awakened sexual energy, learning to listen to yoni (vagina) and following the flow of her energy through the body's circuits. Working through the virgin/whore/women's union archetypes in our psyches. Feeling safe to be sexual. 
  • Third chakra: Embracing our power, moving through duality, meeting men and the inner masculine. 
  • Fourth chakra: Loving our breasts, connecting heart and sex, dropping false identities, learning how to process feelings deeply and fully. 

Awakening female sexual energy  

When sexual energy wakes up in our bodies, it is called Kundalini. Kundalini is like a snake lying at the base of the spine. When it awakens, it starts to move up the body in an undulating, opening, receptive way. When this energy opens fully in us, it takes us into skydancing - the experience of full body orgasm and an ecstatic opening to the unknown, the mystery, the divine. Shakti will guide you into this experience through breathwork, movement and touch. 

Two phases

The workshop is presented in two phases. Phase 1 contains most of the material we work with in the first two chakras, and Phase two completes the process with the third and fourth chakras. It is possible to do just phase 1, but not just phase 2. The ideal is to do both.  For those who can do the first phase in July, this gives you time to integrate before doing the second phase. For international visitors, it is ideal to do both phases in one go in December.

Facilitation training

The workshop will give women the basic tools, skills and background to be able to facilitate this journey for groups of women. Some of the facilitation skills you will be guided through are:
  • how to hold a women's circle
  • deep listening
  • sexual somatic presencing - feeling what is happening in the bodies of participants, and guiding them deeper.  

Story circles
Subtle movement
Deep listening
Artwork and nature installations

Who is the training for?

The training is for women who have a deep desire to awaken female sexual energy as a spiritual force in their beings. It is possible, and entirely suitable, to do the work just for your own awakening. And the training is also offered for women who would like to facilitate this work for circles of women.

Comments from women  who have done women's work with Shakti

"I reached many times the ecstasy I've been searching for, through my addictions. I met my power, I held it and I promised never to abandon it, I forgave myself for not being gentle to myself, to the Divine in me. I don't know how I can ever be grateful enough. Let me be humble, let me surrender all I am to you Divine."

"To you, Shakti, our amazing leader, and to each of you dear fellow travelers, such gratitude for exquisite times shared, profound lessons learned and in resting together in the simplicity and Okness of Being. The sheer naturalness, openness of those short days will feed my soul forever with the lightness of being. In the nakedness of truth real words are hard to find, yet I need to say how ecstatic I feel in experiencing the depth, strength, love, wisdom and beauty of womanhood expressed in each of you. My heart sings and this means yoni too!
May we continue together as champions of the feminine.
For images and reflections on previous retreats, see http://www.women.shakti.co.za/2009/08/womens-tantra-retreat-images-and.html
The venue

n!au 'ma, Little Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa
The venue for the December events is the farm n'au !ma, which is run in deep respect for nature as a place of retreat and ceremony. It 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. The farm is about 4 – 5 hours from Cape Town, and 3 hours from George.


1 - 5 December 2012: Early bird (full payment before 20 October) R6 750, includes accommodation for seven nights. Bookings and full payment after 20 October: R8 000
6 - 10 December 2012: Early bird: R6 750, includes accommodation for seven nights. Bookings and full payment after 20 October: R8 000
1 - 10 December 2012: Early bird: R12 750 includes accommodation for twelve nights. Bookings and full payment after 20 October: R14 000
Please note that the retreat is out of Cape Town and so participants are required to come the day before the workshop starts and leave the day after. Workshops will consist of five full days each.

Price includes:

Shared accommodation. Single accommodation may be available at additional cost
Full facilitation fees
A copy of Sexual Awakening for Women: A Tantric Workbook

Price excludes:
Meals, which will be done on a bring and share basis. Each woman will be assigned a partner to prepare some meals with.
Transport to and from the venue. The organizers will assist in the coordination of lifts.

Book with Ahrian: ahriangaia@gmail.com


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