... bringing Tantra from the realms of the esoteric and exotic, into practical daily life...
Osho Times Germany
Interview with Satya
Puja and Raja who together work as tantra teachers focusing exclusively on
couples. Puja, (Diana Richardson), has written about this form of Tantra. "Zeit für Liebe" (Time for
Love) which is published in April 2001 by Edition Innenwelt (Innerworld
Edition) of the Osho Verlag in Germany, is the title of this undogmatic
approach which in simple easy to follow steps shows how one can live a
fulfulling sexuality and inticmacy with a partner. This book was published in
English as "The Love Keys" in 1999.
November 2000 it was published in Italian by Sonzogno under the title of "Come fare l'amore al massimo"(by
Q: Puja, how did you
come into this work?
Puja: For many years I
was teaching bodywork, including at the Osho Commune in India. Most especially
I loved massage. At this time i began to experiment with the power of
relaxation whilst touching people. Another aspect was to focus on remaining
centred in myself and not getting lost into the other. What I noticed then, was
that the contact between me and the person who I was touching could be
enormously deepened through my relaxation and my being centred. So the
"Love Keys" which i now share in the tantra groups for couples, some
of them go back to that time when I was teaching massage. Through my work as a
body therapist I quickly found the key points in the body which are important
for relaxation. These points can help one to stay relaxed in the here and now
while making love.
Q: When did you
start to teach Tantra to couples?
Puja: In 1993. I
started with a five day group. All the participants were from the Tantra
department of the Multiversity in Pune. The group became popular very quickly.
I had never actually had the intention to teach tantra to couples, but so many
friends asked me about it, and it was easy for me to talk on the subject.
Because I had been teaching bodywork for years, and because love is made
between two bodies, it was a natural step for me to offer Tantra for
Q: What is in your
opinion the difference between the way you teach Tantra and other
Puja: Tantra, as we
understand it, is the transformation of sex into love, and it happens through
the awareness. The sex energy then becomes meditative energy and love grows.
There are only very few tantra teachers who focus on the connection between sex
and meditation. Most forms of tantra focus on ecstatic experiences, to get a
better or longer orgasm. You have to do something, to get something. In
contrast we try to take away all doing and be completely in the moment. The
intensity is created through awareness. And then sex happens all by itself. In
lovemaking we must learn to relax and find a new form of communication between
penis and vagina. This communication exists in reality, whether we are aware of
it or not. So the biggest difference is to drop all doing. Because in reality
it is about becoming more authentic, and more and more people come to the point
that they want to apply this in sex.
Q: What exactly are
these "keys" in lovemaking? Earlier you spoke about different places
in the body where we can relax. Can you say a bit more about this?
Puja: There are a great
many keys to help a person to be more relaxed during sex. The basics are of
course your awareness and presence. The breath can help in the same way as do
certain body positions. I will give an example: in general woman hold the
vagina tight during lovemaking, and this constricts the penis. Therefore women
must learn to be as wide and open as possible in the vagina. This contradicts
many common beliefs. Many woman have real phobias that their vagina is too wide
and relaxed, and that the man will not be able to feel anything. She thinks
that she must "entertain" the penis. The basic idea with us is: when
the woman is not open, then also the man is not able to flow with his energy.
As soon as the feminine canal is open, then the male energy begins to flow. For
men this means to relax the pelvic floor and buttocks. As soon as the buttocks
get tense the genitals automatically become tense. Another important aspect is
the polarity which exists within our bodies. Osho spoke about this a great deal
(see discourse) The first chakra in man is positive and in woman it is
negative. in the heart chakra it is exactly the opposite. through this a circle
of energy can be created between man and woman. the breasts of a woman are the
doorway to her sexuality. The vagina does not open itself until the energy in
the breasts is flowing.
Raja: Men often have a
strange idea of how to excite a woman, for example by rubbing the clitoris. But
if they knew that they simply have to place attention on the breasts, and women
becomes automatically open. We must love her through the breasts. Men always
think that women function in exactly the same way as we do, and even the woman
begin to think this, they must also function like men. But when we are able to
value our opposite polarities, then a circle of energy is created.
Puja: The breasts of
women are often blocked because they have many complexes regarding their
breasts, they are too big, too loose, too small....these blocks must be
released so that the female pole of the woman can become clear and energy can
flow. Basically we have to unlearn everything what we have learnt in sexuality
Q: So do you
basically teach meditation and use the sexual energy to become more conscious?
Puja: You cannot really
separate these two things. Whether you meditate or want to make love, it is the
same way in. The beauty of lovemaking is that the genitals keep you present.
And here I am not speaking about genitals in the old understanding where you
use friction to give pleasure, to excite yourself and then to discharge the
energy. No, we understand the genitals as bio-electrical poles, the penis as
the positive and the vagina as the negative - and together they create an
energy. This energy is also the meditative energy, the source of ecstasy. The
first step in lovemaking is to come back to yourself and not place the
attention on the other person. The more you can allow yourself to open, the
more this energy can flow.
Q: Are there any
keys which in the beginning help more to stay in contact with yourself?
Puja: Not only the
beginning but all the time you have to stay in contact with yourself.
Raja: We want to really
look at what we are doing in sex. We do not say that you must change something,
we say only: "Let us bring awareness and consciousness into the act to see
how we make love." Then there are many things to discover, for example
what thought patterns we approach sex with. We do not use a special technique,
we only bring the awareness into play, and this changes the way we make love.
In the very moment that you can see that you follow a fixed programme, and sex
has become mechanical for you, then naturally you want to come out of this
pattern. As soon as you recognise your life energy as a unit, as one energy,
and you start to relax into the base of this energy, namely sex, then in
general you will be more relaxed in life. All the other areas where we express
our energy become more relaxed, with less goal orientation, less ambition, less
excitement. One participant came to us at the end of a group and said"
Wow! this was the most important experience of my life. I see the world now
through totally different eyes."
Puja: Now and then we
also get very young couples in our groups, who are just nineteen and twenty,
and they say to us: " Hey, that was a relief! " because they were
just starting to feel how much performance pressure and expectation is
connected with sex. " It is fantastic, i do not necessarily have to have
an orgasm and i do not have to help my woman to an orgasm. I do not have to
come every time". From the beginning we try to take this excitement out of
sex, because as long as the focus is on the excitement, the more subtle things
happening during lovemaking are completely missed.
Q: What about the
people who are coming to your groups? What do they expect from the group? Are
they interested in meditation and spiritual growth or do they simply want their
relationships to improve?
Puja: They come from
all age groups from nineteen to sixty nine. They come because they have a
longing for a deeper experience, an experience which is more fulfilling. They
have the feeling that they are stuck in a one way street. And even when they
change partners they eventually come to this same point. Each one, and
especially women, feel intuitively that there must be more. The possibility to
bring sex and meditation together is for many a genuine revelation.
Q: Osho speaks in
his Tantra books about holding the energy in and not releasing it. How does
this aspect come into your work?
Puja: What we have
learned is to keep the energy down in the genitals, and during orgasm to
discharge it. But when you keep the energy in the body it automatically rises
upward. the only thing we have to do is to break our habit of releasing energy
and discover that there is something beyond this climax. For the man it means
beyond ejaculation, and for woman it means beyond orgasm - which is hard work,
to first build up the energy and only to discharge it. What we need is a new
orientation concerning our sexuality. Within each of us exists an intrinsic
energy circuit, but we always use only a part of this. We must learn to allow
energy to circulate within us, so that it can rise. We must also ask ourselves
"What does an orgasm really give us? Why is it so important for us? Make
yourself a list of all the things that go with orgasm: hard work, tension,
performance pressure, pretending, competition etc....when you have orgasm as a
goal in sex then you cannot enjoy the moment, then you miss the present. We
have to learn that lovemaking can happen without any effort. The body wants to
make love, and it does not need the mind. Another important point for couples
is how they manage their emotions. Often we do not notice how emotions can
destroy love.. This is because we are not aware of how our emotions function.
We work a lot with emotions and look at them from a totally other perspective.
Raja: We also work a
lot with the body in our groups. Ultimately it is the body that makes love, and
not the mind. The society brings us to live a sexuality of the mind: through
fantasy and imagination , for example, pornographic films and magazines. It is
important to develop awareness of the body, because most people are living in
Puja: Our work revolves
around a change in consciousness, not the learning of a special technique. We
do not want people to have the impression that one way is right and the other
is wrong, we only want to encourage them to enter sexuality with consciousness
and awareness. It is not about breaking with your past and the old way of
making love, and then to learn something new, but to experience yourself in sex
with awareness. If this is the were the case you would try the new for a few
weeks and then your old style would creep in again through the back
Q: Can we come back
to the point where you said you work a lot with emotions and feelings? Can you
say more about this?
Raja: We make a
distinction between emotions and feelings. Feelings happen in the moment - that
what you are experiencing and feeling here and now. Each feeling makes you more
open, more vulnerable, more intimate, and brings you ultimately closer to your
partner. Emotions on the other hand have their roots in the past. In emotion
you make the other responsible, you feel rather separate, and you start blaming
the other. As soon as I can see the difference, and for example realise that I
blame Puja, then i know immediately that this is an emotion and it is coming
from my past. Puja was only the trigger, not the cause. Then I can take back
the emotions to myself and I can find a way to release them, and come back to
my partner fresh. We have the tendency to dump our psychological garbage on the
other, on the one we love the most, because we believe he or she is the reason
for our not feeling well. In general women are seen as more emotional than men,
but that is absolute nonsense. Men that are only concerned about satisfying
their own sexual needs, deposit in the woman all their tension while making
love. And what remains is a container of tension in the woman that she keeps in
herself. And then this manifests in emotions. We believe that many problems,
like for example premenstrual syndromes or problems with menopause have their
roots in a life of making love in a tense way.
Q: What are the
concrete signs that I am caught up in emotions?
Puja: You are emotional
when you start to blame the other. Or when you feel separated and not
connected. And when you cannot look somebody in the eyes. Or you hear yourself
repeating the same sentence again and again over years. " you always
do.../ you never do ...." or : "you are never.../ you are
always....", then you know that you are in emotion and that the past is
ruling your life.
Q: What do you
suggest to your participants how to deal with their emotions?
Puja: First we tell
them that it is not important to understand the root or cause of these old
emotions. Second it is important to tell your partner that you are emotional.
We suggest that they move their body in a physical way, go jogging, shout or
beat a pillow, or to do dynamic to get rid of those emotions. The most
important thing is that you stop dumping emotions on your partner.
Q: Do women find it
easier to have an access to this way of tantra than men?
Puja: For sure women
recognise the truth of what we teach much faster than men. The old form of love
making with tension and too much doing does not acknowledge at all the female
energy. Therefore women suffer more through superficial goal oriented sexuality
Raja: Of course it is
difficult for men to let go of the old conditioning, if for example you are
told that you are a lousy lover, this is the worst hit on you ego imaginable.
This shows how important sex is to us men. Often we do not know how we can
simply be in sex without doing. And to let it simply happen and flow with it.
Puja: With this new
approach of awareness and not doing in sex finally the man can also relax and
does not need to keep things together anymore. Already after a week men can
feel the difference of sensitivity in their penis. So therefore there is no
truth in the prejudice that tantra is good for women and men do not have fun.
Only if the women are able to open sexually men can experience the flow of his
energy. In the sexual area women play a key role, she creates the climate and
she has much more power in sex than she might realise.
Q: You said that
many couples that come to you are not directly interested in meditation but
what you both are doing is nothing else but working with consciousness. Can
your participants integrate their experiences into daily life?
Raja: For most people
the love making is at the end of their priority list. First you have to finish
a thousand and one things and then at the end of the day short before falling
asleep, or in the morning, you have got fifteen minutes for lovemaking. And
this we call spontaneity, but it is rather accidental. We tell the people that
they have to put it back on top of the list. And when they are very busy that
they should even make appointments for lovemaking, and put it in the calendar.
Generally it works very well when you know that on Thursday afternoon at 5 pm
you have 2 hours to make love to your woman. Our participants have had good
experiences with this - instead of going to the cinema, or having a chat with
friends, or reading the newspaper, to use this time for lovemaking. And that
really changes their lives.
Puja: People see that
they do many things in life that are not really important and which do not
really give them anything. Then they let go of the more unimportant things, and
focus on meditation and love. We have a lot of contact with our participants.
They write to us, call us, or send us emails. and our first question is always
"How often do you make love?", and couples who make love often are
usually in a much better state than those who take time for it only once a
month. The more love you make the more loving you become. It is also
interesting how parents behave with their children at this point. They always
think they have to do something with the children, have to entertain them, and
do not have time for making love. But children are very sensitive how the
parents are with each other. Some children of a couple who did the group with
us even sent their parents off to bed to make love, if there was a lot of
tension and fighting between them!
Q: Puja you wrote a
book The Love Keys with the German title Zeit für Liebe, where you explain
your way of Tantra. What was the intention behind the book?
Puja: I wrote this book
to change our awareness in lovemaking. And I already had some feedback from
readers who report that after reading it, their love life changed completely,
with out doing anything for it. The book is not only intended as a group
support but it is very much addressed to people who cannot come to the group.
Raja: The actual
difference from other ways of Tantra is that our approach is very simple,
without specific rituals or techniques.We do bodywork, teach a new orientation
in sex and practice lovemaking. We always tell people: "We do not give you
the flowers, just the seeds. The real work starts after the group. You have to
take this information back home and integrate into your life. And you have to
take care of the seeds, that they can grow, get sun, nourishment and love.