Most Frequently Asked Questions in 2009
When I wanted to study Tantra in India, I wrote my spiritual guru and asked what I should expect. He wrote, "When you get the calling to go on pilgrimage, leave your ego behind and come be with God.” When I asked how I should prepare, he wrote back: “There is no preparation.”
That may have worked in India, but this is California, and most my students want to know how to prepare… so I’ve put together the following "Frequently Asked Questions"… ultimately, however, direct experience begins when we let go of all expectations.
If you have any questions that are not addressed here, don't hesitate to write or call: Kamala@blisscoach.com 858-272-2254 Enjoy the Dance,
What if I have little or no prior Tantra experience?
What can I expect at your tantra events?
How do I register?
Why do you charge for spiritual events?
Do you Guarantee your events?
How do I prepare?
What if I’m nervous?
Is Clothing Optional?
What are the rules?
Can I arrive Late?
What do I bring to the Potluck?
How many people can attend?
Are your events open to singles?
Will the event be Gender Balanced?
Do you offer events for Gay, Lesbian, transgender and bisexuals?
Do you offer privates or Tantric Massage for Men?
Are you available for public speaking?
1. What if I have little or no prior Tantra experience?
We have a diverse community with a wide range of experiences and beliefs. We welcome people of all levels, and celebrate when someone shows up with beginner’s mind. You do not need Tantra experience to enjoy most of the talks, potlucks, parties and pujas that we offer. The only time you will be required to have Tantra experience is if the event is labeled “Advanced.” Otherwise we celebrate beginners and are excited to share our practices and community with you.
2. What can I expect at your Tantra events?
After finding parking in our busy beach neighborhood, take off your shoes and coats and leave your worries at the door. Someone will likely give you a warm hug and help you with registration. Our house is your house. If you brought food you can put it on the buffet, if you brought blankets you can put them on the floor, if you brought personal belongings, you can set them out of the way. You can mix and mingle until it’s time to open the sacred circle.
We like to start our events on time (within 5 or 10 minutes of the posted time.) Kamala will ring a singing bowl to get everyone’s attention and we usually start with a few breaths or a brief chant such as “Om” or “Namaste.” We will then go over any housekeeping notes and the road map for the event and introduce any guest speakers. We almost always start with a “talking stick” exercise in which will go around the room and ask a specific question. After each person has spoken the group may say “Aho” which is a native American term which means “you have been heard.”
If the event is a “Tantra talk” we will offer a lecture, or presentation followed Question and Answers.
If the event is a “Play Party” we will go over the social agreements (AKA Rules) and do several icebreakers and warm ups before officially beginning the party which is usually two hours of self directed play before a closing circle.
If the event is a “Puja” the participants will form a circle around the room and be asked to pair up for various exercises involving movement, breath and sound which will be described in detail by the facilitator. If you came as a couple, we encourage you to mix and mingle with others in the room, but you are always welcome to stay with your partner throughout the evening. Please discuss this with your partner before you arrive so that you don’t have to work through it during the puja.
If the event is a “Playshop” there will be a variety of exercises that involve the group, small groups, pairs and individual practices or “solo” practice.
All of our events close with a closing circle in which we gather, hold hands, hug, massage and/or chant.
Everything is always optional at all of our events. After receiving the instructions, and if you are not comfortable you are welcome to leave at any time. You will be thanked for taking care of yourself.
3. How do I register?
Our events often sell out, so we recommend you RSVP approx. 3 weeks in advance. Once you’ve cleared your schedule please write firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and phone number.
You can send a check made out to: Zendow, inc. in the mail to:
Zendow, Inc. 1140 Emerald St. San Diego, CA 92109
For weekend retreats we ask that you mail your checks in with at least a $100 deposit to hold your space.
For most evening Play Parties and one day playshops you can pay at the door.
Because space is limited, we ask that you give us at least 24 hours notice if you must cancel. If you have registered, but do not show up we ask that you still honor your agreement and send the full tuition in anyway. Thank you.
We are not currently set up for credit cards, but if you prepare to use pay-pal you can send the tuition to Kamala@blisscoach.com but we ask that you add 6% to the total for the online transaction fee. Thank you.
4. Why do you charge for spiritual events?
We pride ourselves in offering events with high caliber Tantra practitioners and teachers from across the country. The tuition not only establishes your commitment, but helps cover space and administrative fees as well. We are proud to be able to pay for the facilitator's time and energy for organizing the event. We thank you for supporting our vision and our growing temple.
5. Do you Guarantee your tantra events?
We are so confident in the quality of the teachings we offer that we are happy to offer a money back guarantee. If you come to the group and after the opening circle, if you do not feel you've gotten your value, we’re happy to refund your money, no questions asked. We know this is deep work, and that it is not for everyone, and only you know what's best for you. We will always thank you for taking care of yourself if you have to leave for any reason.
6. How do I prepare?
After you RSVP to Kamala@blisscoach.com, you will be sent a confirmation on what to bring and how to prepare. Please Come early to handle parking and registration. Generally speaking you will be asked to wear something that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. Pillows are provided, but you are welcome to bring a blanket, towel and or camping cushion to share with the group. Since shoes are not allowed in the house you can bring socks or slippers to wear inside if you like to keep your feet warm. Most importantly, bring an open mind!
7. What if I'm nervous?
“Fear is simply excitement without the breath.” So take a deep breath, feel the fear, and join us anyway. We welcome your nervousness, insecurity, and shyness. Come as you are. Be yourself. You don’t even have to pretend to be positive and/or spiritual if you’re having a bad day. It's our experience that nervousness shifts faster if you accept it, than if you try to change it! Be authentic, be real, be in the moment, be you.
8. Is clothing optional?
Most of our "tantra talks" and "Partner-Playshops" are fully clothed with no sexually explicit behavior. We sometimes heat our lightly chlorinated jacuzzi and open it to the community; the hot tub is a safe and relaxing space to be fully nude. Clothing is also optional at our "Sacred Snuggle Parties" and some women chose to go topless or during summer months strip down to their panties. Every other month, we offer "Red events" such as "Advanced Sacred Sexual Play Parties" or "Nude Pujas" or "Naked Yoga" wherein we lead a disrobing rituals for men and women. However, unless the event specifies that there will be nudity, you will not be expected to disrobe.
9. What are the rules?
(1) First and foremost: Honor yourself and your own boundaries. You are responsible for your own emotions, thoughts, body and spiritual practice. (You are a divine incarnation of Love, don't let anyone treat you otherwise.)
(2) Treat other members with love, honor and respect, this includes emails as well as MeetUps and Playshops. Tantra is an umbrella for a wide variety of spiritual and sexual practices, we celebrate diversity and do not expect you to conform to any single idea or philosophy.
(3) Hugging is a customary greeting (but not necessary) at MeetUps and Playshops. Touching, cuddling, and other forms of connecting are 100% optional, consensual and voluntary. We implore that you ask someone (verbally or nonverbally) before engaging in any kind of touch, if they decline, please honor their boundaries and give them as much space as they need.
(4) This is not a singles or polyamorous dating group. There are a number of single members who may decide to date people they meet in this group but there are also a number of coupled and/or married members who are not looking to date anyone else. Your lifestyle is up to you. We do not advocate monogamy or polyamory. We do however, insist that all of our members observe a practice of honesty, respect and integrity about their romantic relations.
(5) If you feel you have not be treated with respect, or have any concern about your safety, please communicate with your organizers. Call or email with questions and concerns. Kamala (at) blisscoach.com
(6) If you do not respect the boundaries of other members, or if the organizer receives complaints about your behavior, you will be removed from the email list.
10. Can I arrive late?
Most of our rituals and gatherings are structured with a formal “opening circle,” therefore we maintain a strict rule that the doors will close at a pre-determined time and no one new will be admitted afterward. If you're interested in the event, but have a scheduling conflict, I suggest you look into adjusting your plans to be here as early as possible, and if you cannot make it by the opening circle, we hope you can join us for another event in the future. Please let us know what you decide.
11. What do I bring to the community potluck?
If the event is a potluck, you are invited to bring a yummy dish for about 6 people. We have a number of vegans and vegetarians in our group who aren't comfortable with the presence of red meat, so as a compromise we allow chicken and fish but have drawn the line at red meat. (No alcohol, drugs or red meat.) Most food offerings are healthy and home cooked, but if you live out of town, or don’t have time to cook, we live about a block away from Trader Joes and Henrys which have a deli with a number of fresh and healthy offerings. Please consider protein, rice, pasta, dessert and don’t forget drinks. In order to save trees we are committed to using real plates and we ask that you wash your own dish at the end of the meal. Thank you.
According to REiD Mihalko, "It doesn't matter if your friend is a man or a woman or something in between. You just can't attend solo! Why? 'Cause it takes at least two to tango, and if everyone brings a friend, then we're all guaranteed to have PLENTY of people to tango with! The person that you come with (your Buddy System buddy) is not the person you necessarily have to stay with, but you can't come alone.
12. How many people can attend?
We’re grateful to have such popular monthly events. Our capacity depends on which room we utilize. The Emerald Temple has three great spaces. For deep intimate classes, our meditation room hosts between 6-12 people. But for workshops and playshops our meditation room can comfortably accommodate up to 20 people sitting on pillows on the floor. For parties and playshops we generally use our living room with couches and chairs we can accommodate up to 40 people. During the “summer” season from April to September we set up a beautiful Moroccan tent so that we can accommodate up to 60 people in one room. And then there are special occasions wherein we might open the whole house and have a festival with over 100 people!
13. Are your events open to singles?
There are many warm and wonderful singles as well as couples, and a number of people who are in alternative relationships such as “open Marriage” or “Polyamory.” Your relationship status and sexual preference will never be assumed. Unless the event is already filled up, or labeled “Couples Only” we welcome singles with open arms.
14. Will the tantra events be gender balanced?
We often hold events for women Only. Occasionally we hold events for only men. However, most of our events are balanced with about equal numbers of men and women. In the past we have announced, “ We do NOT gender balance: so if you are a man and you are uncomfortable practicing Tantra with another man, then this event may not appropriate for you.” Many men have experienced profound growth and insight by practicing Tantra with another man.
Recently we started offering "Sacred Sensual Play Parties" and have noticed the male attendance grow disproportionately large. Perhaps it’s a sign that men in our culture need more touch. Or perhaps women are shy in attending a new party format. In any case, we are experimenting with different modes of gender balancing. Sometimes we offer $10 off for women to encourage their attendance. And Sometimes we will hold a women’s event immediately before the play party.
If we are noticing that there is a large number of single men, we may cut off registration and only allow women and couples to register. Men will then be put on the waiting list, where they can attend if they find a date, or they will be notified if a single woman registered so that you can register.
We're also beta testing the "buddy system." Where you are required to register in pairs.
The bottom line is: if you are interested in registering simply write, email@example.com and we will let you know whether the event is being gender balanced or not.
15. Do you offer sacred sexuality events for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people?
San Diego has a huge and vast tantra community, unfortunately however, there are not many gay and lesbian specific events. I am a bisexual woman and I always welcome other bi’s gays and lesbians to my events. Several times a year I host a "Women Loving Women" event for bisexual and lesbian women. I also offer a "Bisexual Women's Circle for Ritual and Magic" There are many lesbian and bisexual people in our monthly "Tantra and Poly Gatherings"….and if you are interested in private sessions or brining me into a gay and lesbian community to teach Tantra…I would love to work with you!
16. Do you offer private sessions or tantric massage?
Yes. Kamala Devi is in high demand. She has narrowed her private coaching practice to 7-14 people per week. And she is primarily working with women, couples and fellow tantra teachers. She only takes sincere seekers who are willing to commit to a 90 day period. Her private practice is currently full. She has a waiting list for 2009. If you are interested in an introductory or initial tele-session for $108 please go to: http://www.partnerplayshop.com/Private_Sessions.html
If you are a man looking for a tantric massage, Kamala recommends her sisters and colleagues: Kypris Aster Drake at firstname.lastname@example.org Mare Asha Simone at Mare@Tantraheaven.com or Goddess Jeanette at email@example.com. Please let them know that Kamala recommended you.
17. Are you available for public speaking?
Kamala Devi is currently booking 3-6 months in advance and would love to co-create an event for your group, conference or organization. Please send me an email with a brief description of who you are and what your group is looking for, what your budget is and if it's a match, we would love to schedule a time to co-create! If you prefer please call Kamala directly at 858-272-2254 or write firstname.lastname@example.org