Saturday, 12 March 2011

In Conversation - Menstruation, Tantra, Neo-Tantra

... Jane wanted to be reassured, that the session would NOT include meditation, breath-work or intimacy exercises. During the past 2 years, she has spent over a thousand pounds on workshops retreats - angry and fed up with, what she called the "tantra industry" in England, having read books on authentic, original Tantra.

It is true that fundamental aspects of ancient tantra, relating women, remain taboo subjects. Menstruation and menstrual blood has occupied a central place in tantric practice and ritual. This is hardly ever mentioned today, yet just by talking about it, menstrual mythology and iconography for women (and men) can be a liberating, empowering, and healing experience.  (Particularly, as in our culture a negative view of menstruation, social and religious conditioning has left a deep scar on women's psyche and body image.)
‘‘Blood is the female (Vama) elixir. Mixed with wine and semen, it is the Absolute.’’
‘‘Sri Sankara said: The first menses appearing in a woman who has lost her virginity is Svayambhu blood. In a maiden born of a married woman and begotten by another man, that which arises is Kunda menses, the substance causing the granting of any desire. Devesi, a maiden begotten by a widow gives rise to Gola menses, which subdues gods. The menses arising in the first period after a virgin becomes a married woman is the all bewildering Svapushpa.’’
‘‘A brahmin goes to heaven by endless washing of the feet and mouth, whereas a person repeatedly making a forehead mark of Kunda, Gola or Udbhava menses destroys various ailments such as leprosy and smallpox and is free from all disease in the same way that a serpent sloughs its skin.’’
Menstruating Dakini