Submitted by Graham Mason on
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A while back I read a book by Dianne Richardson. She was a follower of Barry Long and Osho who after running workshops wrote a book call "The Love Keys". Later it got renamed as "The Heart of Tantric Sex". I took the book off the shelf the other day and found that much of the stuff is very related to what is discussed on this web site.

She now travels around running workshops for couples and has written another book on the subject for women. I was wondering if anyone else has had any experience or contact.

Here is a quote from her book: -
[quote] Tantra is interested in non-ejaculation which is not to be confused with ejaculation control. Non-ejaculation means that the question of ejaculation never enters the picture. It is not even an issue because you are relaxing into it. This enables lovemaking to be a prolonged and satisfying exchange. On the other hand to control your ejaculation means that a strong urge to ejaculate is present and needs repressing. It then becomes an act of sheer will where the sex energy is first built up to a peak and then mental control is exerted to retract from ejaculation."[/quote]

So you can see that a lot of what she talks about seems to overlap with what is discussed on this site. It is interesting that through a very different path she may have come to a similar conclusion.

Thanks, Graham

People keep recommending her work to me, and I definitely need to have a look. It's reassuring that a number of us are stumbling upon the same insight from different directions.

For me, there are so many flavors of tantra that it's confusing to describe some of them this way and others as "all about mind-blowing orgasm," you know?

BTW...

Does anyone have any suggestions about the following material, which would appear on the back of Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, above the blurbs by reviewers? I want to gently hint at help for the orgasm-addicted, but without details. Any thoughts?

Ping! Cupid’s arrow skewers a primitive part of the brain. Obediently, we fall in love amid showers of passionate fireworks, bond for a time...and then often get fed up with each other, becoming irritable, numb, or discouraged. Perhaps we try to remodel our mate, turn to porn for solace, or simply seek out a new love interest. Ancient sages recognized this phenomenon and hinted at a way to sidestep it and renew romance: make love differently.

Entertaining, thoughtful, and brimming with candid personal experiences, Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow deftly confronts humanity’s current assumptions about sex and love. Its graceful blend of the latest neuroscience with buried wisdom from around the globe reveals practical knowledge readers can use to temper overuse of today’s intense sexual stimuli, outmaneuver Cupid, and steer for lasting harmony.

Great Use of Words

Its like poetry to me, but then I am already converted.

The real test is how it appeals to Joe Blow in a bookshop. The trouble is that Joe comes in so many flavors it difficult to know what he will think. Nevertheless I reckon it will appeal to the curious who are wondering what on earth is happening in their relationships. It's got a nice eye catching punch to it.

I often find it interesting talking to various people about this subject. Some are receptive and will jump at what I am saying while others think I am a bit strange. Its good that you have kept off the Tantra word cause people have such differing preconceptions with what it means. Then if you say non-orgasmic sex they think it means Taoist semen retention. Its difficult to shift someone's definition of a word once they have got it fixed in their head.

Dianne Richardson's web site is worth a read. www.loveforcouples.com .

Thanks, Graham

I know what you mean about talking to people. I've gradually found it best to confine my sharing to those who "pull it out of me," rather than try to convert anyone. It saves a lot of bruises. *giggle*

It's high time I got on the Richardson material. Will soon. Appreciate the link.

Love Keys book - fascinating!

I read the introduction and first five chapters of the book that are posted at http://www.loveforcouples.com/en/books.html (Update: first five chapters can be found here).

Diana Richardson is clearly talking about a gentle style of lovemaking where orgasm is not the goal and orgasm is generally to be avoided. In other words she's talking about karezza, even if she refers to it as Tantra which is more ambiguous.

I think Diana and Marnia would agree about most aspects of their respective practices. However, I did note one point about which they might see things differently. Marnia talks about "generous touch", acts of kindness (supported by the article about Morita therapy), etc. Diana says something, not exactly opposite, but distinctly different:

In conventional sex, I have found generally, the attention is on the partner first and foremost, as we focus on his or her pleasure. When I started my exploration I found that I was more concerned about my man than me, so my focus was outside of myself. How is he doing? I would ask myself. Does he feel good? Am I doing it right? Is this enough/too much? He was almost more important than me. As I placed my attention on my lover, in these and other ways, I noticed I did not have a real inner connection to my body, or a sense that I was “rooted” inward and downward. I was all up and out, and essentially, I was making love for somebody else.

Tantra taught me to pull my attention back to myself, to forget about the man and to engage with my own energy first. It taught me to bring the awareness inward and downward and back into my body. It taught me to feel my belly and my breath, to make love for myself, before I concerned myself with him. (from chapter 4)

I feel quite comfortable with Diana's suggestions, because my lovemaking practice has always been very karezza-like (basically it was karezza - with orgasm near the end!), and because my attention was, to a large degree, focussed inward on my body feelings. Still, I'm surprised that Diana so boldly recommends that sort of inward-directed focus.

I think Hotspring and others who have studied or practiced massage therapy would be interested in Diana's comments about massage, in the middle of chapter 4.

Hey CuriousFellow - Thanks

Hey CuriousFellow -

Thanks for bringing this up - its an exciting and very worthwhile point to explore - the notion of bringing the awareness into oneself rather than focusing it outside yourself during lovemaking and as a bodyworker. I read Richardson's book about a year and half ago and enjoyed it, but the passage on massage slipped me by that time around. It's fitting that it's being pointed out to me again now, after finally embarking upon the path of biodynamic craniosacral therapy, which is practitioner-centered - not client centered. Richardson says: "I noticed that the more I focused on my body, my hands, the deeper the person seemed to relax, an almost ringing “silence” would emanate from the body."

The techniques I learned in my first Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy class are a 180 degree turn away from all of my client-centered training up to this point. A standard massage training teaches you to cater the massage to the client. But in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) the process is to ground yourself in your own fluid body, ask permission to make contact, and then meditate on the slow tempo of the Breath of Life (also called the Long Tide). The Breath of Life is a term used to describe a scientifically-verified tempo of expansion and contraction that is responsible for all regeneration on a cellular level. The Breath of life is comprised of a 50-second exhalation and a 50-second inhalation (of the universe), often with signifigant pauses or "Stillpoints" between the two phases of the tempo.

So, in a BCST session, after you tune into the Breath of Life and your own fluid body as a practitioner, the client's system will eventually synch up to yours (ie, will become "entrained", or "resonant"), and the client's nervous system will slow down as it remembers it most basic slow tempo. Healing, regeneration, and reorganization towards the midline occur most frequently during stillpoints. The practitioner's awareness remains throughout the session about 80% on the self and 20% on the client. But the "self" begins to expand and extend outward infinitely into space. You become aware of your self three-dimensionally, from the deepest part of your insides and the sensations within, out to the horizon as your self mingles with nature and the innate healing capacity constantly being generated through nature. It's very Taoist in this sense. It is a practice of spaciousness. The analog is the mother-foetus relationship. The client is the fetus getting nutrition from you, but doing the bulk of the self-growth on their own. You just provide the stability. You make a point not to go into their system and "meddle" with their stuff, because you're not trying to activate it. You're trying to access the healing rhythm that lies "beneath" the trauma or problem. So the trauma is not engaged. Instead, the client's body is given a frame of reference point for stillness and potency in stillness, so as to remember their origins (what's more original than the state of being a foetus?) and reidentify with their own autonomy and the love that is bathing their constant self-actualization.

How is it that the person, through synching up with the practitioner's system, doesn't end up taking on some of the practitioner's issues? Simple: the pracitioner, when tuned in to that slow tempo, is in turn linked up to the real Mother, Mother Nature, by the umbilicus of meditation. It is a state of potent stillness, of complete nowness, which is the only time that healing (or anything) occurs.

It has been truly amazing to witness nature repairing and acting through the potential available in pregnant stillness. It is beautiful, one feels almost like crying. If only us humans knew such a force was always available to us! And its strange, before each session, i will feel doubtful that the force of love will show itself, I get caught up in the difficult challenge of trusting myself to do nothing at all except be present to the potency in nature. See, we only think we should get paid as practitioners if we do something to fix the other person. So its quite difficult as a therapist to learn the approach of not meddling in the person's system at all, just holding a space and being witness to their transformation. I've only done it a few times, but it's astounded me each time someone's system synches up with mine.

I have been working on a man who is now in his mid-thirties but was repeatedly raped at age 12. When his system synched up with mine, I began to feel like I was bending, warped, like his spirit was not totally localized in his body? Not sure what was going on there. But in any case, I don't have to know. The practice is to keep the focus on the long tide, no matter what. Because as soon as you start to get interested in the person's "stuff", your attention is taken away from the Long Tide (Breath of Life), and the client loses their reference point, which is you. The work is regenerative precisely because it provides a new reference point. And that reference allows the client to become lucid to the constant potential inherent in both relationship and autonomy, and the potency available to us as we relearn how to become fully embodied in the nonjudgemental presence of love.

This is a very powerful practice. Now I just need to apply it to lovemaking!

CST

How does the client become lucid to the constant potential and potency? I've had CST a few times, and it wasn't like this. Did you mean that it occurs subconsciously? Or maybe you do it differently that what I received? One guy was even completely mechanistic and seemed to think of my body as a mere physical object to manipulate back into alignment.

About the man who was raped, I've heard that severe traumas like that can cause the spirit to disconnect from the body to some degree. If you look into the eyes of a person who's been sexually traumatized, abused drugs for a long time, or has CFS, with experience you'll be able to see a recognizeable blankness there.

They become lucid to it by

They become lucid to it by having their nervous systems slow down enough to notice it (same way the practitioner does, only less intentionally). You probably had a session by someone trained in functional craniosacral therapy, an earlier school of thought that uses a more direct approach (ie, tries to "fix" a problem) and tunes in to the faster tides of the craniosacral fluid. The craniosacral fluid, and other fluid tides of the body, are condisered in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy to be part of the midtide, which holds imprinting of trauma. So while funtctional craniosacral therapy engages the trauma directly in an attempt to resolve it, the biodynamic approach is to access the slower tides that underlie the trauma so that the person can reference it and the trauma can resolve itself, which it will automatically do when it slows down enough.

The biodynamic approach is not tangible enough for some. Many people like to be manipulated. They like a therapy that helps them to continue to reinforce their idea of being fundamentally flawed and in need of fixing. Many people also need a sudden, "cathartic" release to feel like the therapy was worthwhile - proof that a shift happened. But cathartic change, while impressive because of its intensity, can often be harder to integrate into the life than a gentler self-adustment. Biodynamic craniosacral is not a catharsis-based approach. That's not to say that cathartic things won't happen if they need to, but they're not sought out.

I had an interesting experience after this biodynamic training. I went to see a friend who does myofascial release. He started working on my sternum, which is slightly tipped to the right. He was pressing down on it with considerable force, which was compressing my lungs and causing me to cough. He encouraged me to go with it, and I gagged and coughed violently for about ten minutes. Now that was a cathartic experience - gasping for air is intense. Had I received this session prior to the biodynamic course, I probably would have felt like it was a real breakthrough, like i "realeased" something lodged in my throat in that session. Some part of us needs intensity, especially in bodywork, so we know we're alive. But this intensity is not necessarily healing. I didn't experience any majore shifts physically or psychologically from the session, no relief from pain, no real improvement. And because I had just come from a course that had a wary view of cathartic treatments, I was able to see also that my intense coughing might not have been a "release" so much as a very basic mechanical response to having my lungs unnaturally compressed by an outside force for an extended period of time.

I think there's a huge amount of correlation between the philosophies of biodynamic craniosacral and the ideas on this site: both emphasize stillness and presence for healing, both approaches see the seeking of catharsis as a potential distraction (catharsis being the moment of "orgasm" in sex). The more we numb and sedate ourselves as a culture, the more we will be drawn to and need and idealize intense experiences to momentarily jolt us awake and help us feel alive again. But being fully alive in every moment is possible only when we open to the subtlety, depth, and breadth of what is always already emerging.

Biodynamic

I think I should give this a try. I've had a lot of Rolfing, and though I think it's a good system, my intuition has been telling me that I need something more subtle. Rolfing, like Zen, uses a lot of force (physical and painful in Rolfing, mental in Zen), and I probably needed that at the time, but ultimately, force is trying to "push the river." It's appropriate sometimes (bitchy bear.. LOL), but so is the opposite.

The first guy I saw definitely sounds functional, but the second guy was from Upledger. Do you know anything about that system? I've also been wanting to check out Rubenfeld Synergy and other protocols that accomplish the same stuff as Rolfing but without all the pain. (My Rolfers believed they went deeper than other practitioners, which causes more pain and results in their absorbing more toxic energy, but the benefit is greater.)

I believe in what you say about catharsis being hard to integrate. That's why in Zen, Kensho is just the first step. You might get a lot out of B.K. Frantzis, a Taoist guy. A friend of mine had a video of his about expanding the breath capacity, and it helped me immensely. The idea is again to not push the river, and that led to shifts I couldn't get with more forceful methods.

The Upledger approach is

The Upledger approach is also functional. There are a lot of schools of thought. A biodynamic practitioner may not be as easy to find - like I said, it's the approach that is most recently emerging in that tradition. The man I hope to study with, Michael Shea, has a website, and on it you can find practitioners trained by him in your state: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikb4WG8UJRw. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a listing. Shea was also a Rolfer and trained by Upledger before he developed this approach based largely on embryology and the notion of the human as a constantly-unfolding and self-actualizing fluid being.

I think there's a time for more functional approaches, but in general, I find the biodynamic model to get more at the root of things. I appreciate the notion that all movement comes from a state of stillness. We can see this even while thinking of a basic fulcrum, like a seesaw or any movement that originates in a joint - the movement comes from the stillpoint. So, if we have an imbalanced movement pattern, it would be wise to go to the stillpoint and communicate with it rather than applying more force in the opposite direction to try to fix the problem as it manifests further outward in the object or organism.

Rolfing works mostly on the connective tissue system, and connective tissue is a strong as steel in its weigh-bearing abilities. It's what gives our bodies integrity and strength. Most physical strength actually comes from connective tissue, not muscles. Muscles move our bones, primarily. QiGong acts on the connective tissue for strength, not on building muscles. So because connective tissue is so strong (able to carry 1,000 times its own weight), a modality that is going to reckon directly with it, like Rolfin, is going to be hard on the body, tho that's not to say Rolfing isn't beneficial. I haven't had a full 10 sessions but I do think its good work when done properly.

Connective tissue is thought of in the biodynamic approach as thick fluid. So when we focus on the FLUID aspects of ourselves more, it allows the space for the fluid to do its own work on the thicker tissues. The fluid tides are the overall organizing principle for the organism.

Good stuff, thanks for letting me expound on it. I'm just entranced by this methodology.

CST

Thanks for expounding on it. If I weren't sick, I'd be studying all this stuff, but for now I have to content myself with discussions about it only. I was so jealous when I had to watch my friends get certified in bodywork, yoga, etc. while I "went nowhere." (Though that's not true. My path in life is just different, but I AM moving forward.)

I think the link is wrong. It went to "Blue Gold : World Water Wars."

Can you tell me more about what happens when you go to the stillpoint (fulcrum) in the seesaw example? From my experience with Rolfing, I agree that applying more force in the opposite direction (like standard physical therapy does) doesn't address the base problem. Rolfing seeks to release the tension causing the seesaw to move out of alignment in the first place, but I can see now that from what you said, this is still working further out along the lever. What's there at the fulcrum? Is it that as the fluid begins to move, then the trauma stored in the tissue gets released "from the other side" (i.e. internally by the body's own process rather than by outward force on the tissue)? Is it that since the fluid tides are the overall organizing principle for the organism, that to get them healthy then causes healthy change to percolate into the rest of the body like the "thick fluid" of the connective tissue?

How is it that physical strength comes from connective tissue? I've heard this idea before in Tai Chi but didn't understand the mechanism.

Just by way of background, I went through the ten sessions several times in a system called Zen Bodytherapy. (My bodytherapist later founded the Integral Bodywork school, incorporating further innovations.) It retains a strong Rolfing influence (more than influence actually. It pretty much IS Rolfing, just with innovations in the energy aspect.), but the founder, William Leigh, also received teacher certification from Feldenkrais. Supposedly he's the only person to have received that from both Ida Rolf and Moshe Feldenkrais. He then studied intensely with the head of my Zen lineage, the late Tenshin Tanouye Rotaishi, who knew a traditional Japanese system of energywork. Leigh had felt something was missing in his studies with Rolf, so that's why he left to study with Feldenkrais. Only after studying the traditional energy healing did he feel complete, and saw what he learned with Tanouye as the missing link. Unfortunately, I never was able to study this much further, and I didn't see much difference between the bodywork I received and Rolfing. Maybe Leigh, though having gone further himself, had trouble passing it on? People have told me that receiving work from Leigh was an order of magnitude different than anyone else, and they describe it in energetic terms. Perhaps through the Japanese system he tapped into the same thing Shea did? Do you see a correlation between the Eastern medical model and Shea's fluid model?

If you don't, here's a possible explanation. I read something by a naturopath who speculated about why the various modalities, like Chiropractic (nerves), acupuncture (Chi), and others (I forget... I think Homeopathy) are so different yet produce the same result. I think they found that by working in one modality, it brought about measureable effect in the other modalities. In other words, an acupuncture treatment accomplished a measureable chiropractic correction, and vice versa. The speculation was that all viable modalities work through their specific medium which brings about a change more basic than any of the modalities. Maybe there's a level below nerves, fluid, or chi meridians? Or maybe one of them is what's below the others?

Does this stuff turn you on as much as it does me? I've found that a lot of practitioners think that their system is the end-point and stop studying, but the truth is, the human body is a wonder full of wonders so many levels deep, I think no one could ever plumb the full depth. Yet, so deep we can go if only we'd remain humble enough. It's tragic so few are. Like when my friend in Zen got his degree in massage, I got excited and urged him to study with my teachers, each of which was a genius in their particular area. If I weren't sick, I'd study with all of them, getting ever deeper, but he had zero interest, felt he was "done." It's so sad, but I forgive because I think the formal educational process, at graduation or certification, feels like an end-point. I had the benefit of studying informally in many at different times, and thus gained a greater perspective of the depth and breadth of what we are as human beings.

There might be levels below the fluid that you're studying. For example, the various subtle bodies that extend further and further from the outline of the physical one, and I think Shamanism works at that level. It gets into things like soul retrieval and shifting of destiny. Maybe the deepest level is the one single "body" of the whole universe (or God's body!)?

They say Rolf was psychic, that she worked on that level, but what she taught was so body-based because "it's right there." So my thinking is that deeper isn't necessarily better, just different. It's harder to work deeper, but a subtle problem needs it. A more superficial problem might not get better from deeper work though and just needs a more superficial solution. Like a broken arm, say. You could shift destiny to help it, but better to just set the bone. LOL. Or like muscular tension in the shoulders from stress. Regular old muscle massage will have a more immediate beneficial effect, though it might just keep coming back if you don't address the underlying causes.

Sorry for rambling, but hopefully you'll get something out of it and not be bored to tears like most people. Wink

No need to apologize about

No need to apologize about rambling - I love this stuff. And here comes a big ramble of my own. Wonder if anyone else finds this interesting?

Here's the correct link: http://www.michaelsheateaching.com/graduatemap.html

You ask: "How is it that physical strength comes from connective tissue?" It has to do with the ionic bonds of hydrogen and the molecular structure of collagen.

I haven't looked deeper into the science of it recently, but from the perspective of Oriental Medicine, the connective tissue matrix is where chi flows most readily - and western medical science doesn't have a notion of chi or life force that i'm aware of, since it is not a vitalist tradition. It has been noted by Oschman, tho, that scientific studies have proven that oriental medicine and the meridians work through channels that are found in the connective tissue, not the muscle tissue. Tho on a broader level, we can actually see all tissue as different forms of connective tissue. But for the sake of this discussion, we're talking about connective tissue being the fascia that surrounds every nerve, muscle group and muscle fiber, bone, gland, organ, and cell. That's why they call it "the matrix" (an apt title). The connective tissue system is literally so all-encompassing that it is in touch with, permeates, and communicates with every single cell of the body, and even deep within the cell. So, it unites every system of the body and communicates between every system of the body, yet - strangely, it is not usually taught as a system in the body like, say, the reproductive, skeletal, or respiratory systems are. Very strange, how we tend to leave out the most important part of the picture!

My guess is that a lot of modalities, or a lot of healers regardless of modalities trained in, are tapping into the same healing force, no matter what you want to call it, and even if they don't know what it is they are tapping into. The great thing about Shea's work is that he provides a grounded framework, methodology, and language to discuss these things - and it is truly a paradigm shift in how we can see ourselves and the innate potential inherent in us as constantly self-organizing (morphing) organisms.

Shea sees fluid as the basic organizing principle of life. Here's are some excerpts from his "Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Volume II:

"Submicroscopic movement in the fluids generate, maintain, and sustain the fields of cellular activity in the embryo that metabolize the raw building materials of the embryo into the structure and function of the body."

It's interesting that you say you have not pursued studies in the healing arts because of CFS: "Biodynamic craniosacral therapy does not work directly with a pathological medical model; rather, it is primarily used as a method of mutual exploration of perception, self-development, and integration of developmental experience." Something you seem quite good at!

Biodynamic craniosacral therapy is an EPIGENETIC worldview: the whole preceeds the parts. Our current scientific paradigm is reductionistic and mechanistic and glorifies biochemistry and gentics. However, the current scientific paradigm has no explanation for the force that governs morphology, or how genes get the message they do to carry out the orders they do as regards form and embodiment. The biodynamic, epigenetic model would propose that genes get their instructions from the potency of the fluid fields (a simpler example of this on the level of the organs is the fact that the heart begins pumping from the force of fluid tides in the body - they ignite the heart - the heart does not get instructions from genes or from chemical compounds to suddenly start beating). This notion of fluid fields is also quite in line with Rupert Sheldrake's notion of morphic fields. In other words, our current culture has a very specific knowledge of the mechanism through which genes and chemicals carry out their orders to perform certain amazing feats that build the organism, but an explanation of where these instructions come from, ie, the overriding organizational principle, is not only missing, but the fact that it is missing is for the most part ignored.

You ask: Do you see a correlation between the Eastern medical model and Shea's fluid model? Yes, there are correlations. The eastern medical model places a lot of emphasis on the major organ systems of the body not as static literal organs only but as energetic pathways throughout the body (ie, spleen meridian, etc). The biodynamic approach senses different fluid tides as they related to different stages of embrological development, which in turn correlate to different growth stages that involve the emergence and development of the various organs. The tides change pace and tempo developmentally as we grow. Tuning into the tides of the heart is a distinctly different sensation than tuning into the tides of the liver - they have different expressions and tempos as reflects their function. But just as in oriental medicine the organ's character extends and functions throughout the body, so too here the fluid expression of an organ flows and communicates with the whole body and can be felt in the whole body.

You say, "There might be levels below the fluid that you're studying. For example, the various subtle bodies that extend further and further from the outline of the physical one, and I think Shamanism works at that level. It gets into things like soul retrieval and shifting of destiny. Maybe the deepest level is the one single "body" of the whole universe (or God's body!)?" Yes - we don't know the ultimate mystery of this potency and stillness that is self-organizing, but it is safe to say that the iterations of our subtle bodies extend into infinity - for example, in the biodynamic model, the point of fertilization is a big moment, but you can view a person as having begun the process of differentiation and embodiment even before that point, when they were manifest as an egg that was within the foetus that was their mother even as it grew within their grandmother. So, I was born in 1978 but at least as far back as 1948, when my mom was in utero, the expression of me as an egg was there.

At a certain point, if we try to trace our origins back far enough, we have no option left except to call it God, tho rather than focusing on trying to find that original point, we can instead notice the constant "process" of becoming. The continual unfolding of things, the "self-luminous cognition" of the universe, is always continuous. Finding endings and beginnings is a neverending inquiry, and finding where "I"begin and end also neverending: hence, the basic Buddhist notion that everything is empty of any inherent self-existence.

Since the very nature of these stillpoints is that of a witnessing presence, accompanied by a feeling of love and non-judgement, we could say that a stillpoint is God, divinity, presence. You asked: What's there at the fulcrum? I'd say, God, Love. The Stillpoint is an actual point that is palpably felt between the inhalation and/or the exhalation of the slowest tempo, what we call the Breath of Life or the long tide. It's where ignition takes place. What is the force that allows healing to take place at this time? We could call it the force of wholeness. We could use a lot of different words to try to reference something that is essentially preverbal. Shea describes this subtle and powerful directing process/force as moving IN the fluids but is not OF the fluids. This force becomes apparent in the "perception of wholeness because of my senses being totally immersed in it and its three-dimensionality out to the horizon and back. It is outside my body and it orients to specific places called fulcrums and axes inside my body. Where does it come from? I don't know. It seems, however, to trade places in my perception with a deep stillness. I am able to sense it in moments of attending to it by evenly suspending my attention throughout my whole body, the total surface of my skin, and then all around me and out to the horizon."

Massage

My experience of massage is similar. I spent some time with a Thai massage master in Chiangmai. Very Buddhist oriented and a teaching of massage as a gift of compassion. I have yet to master it, but in order to help someone else it needs to come from a relaxed point of non-doing without focus on technique. As we tend to lean on people in Thai massage the givers body needs to be relaxed or else the tension just flows into the client. Its almost like one is breathing into the client and very focused within always sensing what is happening with the body one is working with.

The days starts with an hour of chanting and meditation in this massage master's house. Offerings to the spirits and all sorts of things that this very religious man adheres to. Being massaged by and learning from this guy was quite an experience. Massage has so many dimensions. I love your description of the breath of life.

There are some differences in their approaches. Diana does not have her 2 week period sleeping with clothing on. She has some interesting stuff on polarity and deep penetration. It would be interesting to know how she conducts her workshops. There may be many paths to reach the top of a mountain, but the destination is the same.

Interesting that both Marnia and Diana both have backgrounds in the legal profession.

The T word

Tantra is a hot subject which spells out the word hot sex to a lot of people. If you want to sell something it can be a bit like putting a blond on the bonnet of a car. I get weary of how it gets used. Perhaps its why the title of Dianne's book got changed from "The Love Keys", sells better.

Some comments from Diana Richardson

A few weeks ago I wrote to Diana, and we have had a brief email exchange. She asked me not to copy our correspondence to this website, so I am editing the previous note. At any rate, she confirms that her and Marnia's practices are indeed similar, with her approach based more on meditation.