Truthfully, I never thought that I would ever get married. Marriage seemed such a doomed relationship model with its "until death do us part" commitment, and the ironclad sexual contract. I was always a free spirit (still am, actually), exploring life and loving as a single woman, and within different couple styles.
Steve and I met when I was 35. Two weeks into our love affair, synchronicity's magic brought us to Hawaii, to assist a week-long SkyDancing Tantra retreat, and this intensive workshop set the tone of our relationship very early on. At the end of the week, Steve proposed and I accepted. SkyDancing has been a major part of our life as a couple ever since.
At this point I must mention that our understanding and teachings of Tantra include traditional Tantra as well as other forms that have emerged in the past 20 years. See our previous article about "Tantric Practice: Beyond Sexual Technique".
For me, the most important thing for our marriage is to keep it fresh. Ah, how convenient it is to become complacent and settle into a comfortable routine of relating! In one of our regular tantric practices we create what we call "a sacred space", a setting that brings us into the present moment together.
Being in this sacred space and sacred time together gives us the opportunity to be fully present with what is now, and to co-create what feels best for the moment. We have done the sacred space ritual probably a thousand times over the years, and each time -- yes, every single time -- there is something new and fresh that is said, experienced, and seen. It is amazing how the same practice over and over again can bring a different result every time! And the added beauty of such simple practice is that its effects continue long after.
As a married couple we are not separate from the rest of the world. Attractions to other people are a natural part of life and our commitment to an exclusive sexual relationship does not suddenly make that go away! But how do we handle it? A powerful preliminary to every tantric practice is communicating our desires, fears and boundaries.
Someone once told me that since I had boundaries, I was not a "real tantrika". (I suspect he said it to lure me into his bed!). According to him, boundaries are limitations and hence "unspiritual", and that I was "untantric".
Steve and I define boundaries in a different way. A boundary delineates a space. It creates a container within which we are free to explore and delight to our hearts' content, in trust and respect of our agreements with each other.
So to me, being in a monogamous marriage means that I can honor myself, and at the same time honor my husband and our relationship by being true to our joint desires, fears and boundaries. They might need to be restated and adjusted from time to time, and clear communication is the key.
Being married, living and working together 24/7 for over 11 years, getting used to each other is a natural byproduct. Taking each other for granted. Thinking that I know every thing about Steve. But as a SkyDancer, I endeavor to elevate myself above all that as much as possible. Remembering that Steve is a god, a representation of the divine mystery, a tantric Shiva, helps me to move beyond any boring daily routines and stale ways of being together and relating to him. Simply shifting the perspective on how I see my husband invigorates my Shakti energy, and also helps me rise above the mundane of everyday life together into immediate presence and connection. I can look beyond the "stuff" and see the divine in him and in our union.
The SkyDancing Tantra treasure chest contains one particularly precious pearl for Steve and me -- the Yin Yang Game. Both of us are strong willed, determined people who'd like to control each other and life at large. In the Yin Yang Game we take on roles of leader/follower, giver/receiver, yin/yang for a predetermined amount of time. Sometimes we do it for an hour each, other times we have practiced it for an entire day. It is quite a confronting practice, especially when the one who is usually the leader becomes the follower, or vice versa! Making ourselves vulnerable in this structured setting helps us to trust each other more, and to open our hearts more deeply. The practice also yields, again and again, great personal learning and expansion!
We are intensely committed to the tantric path -- teaching it together full time, living and practicing it as a couple, embodying it as individuals. It is the major reason why we continue to be together joyfully in this marriage. And while I had been rather skeptical about the marriage model before, looking back at all these years of marriage with Steve I can honestly say that I am happier than ever before! We have forged a path for ourselves that continues to nourish us and helps us grow in many ways. For that, I am eternally grateful to Margot Anand and her SkyDancing Tantra practices, as well as to my beloved Steve.
Lokita Carter, together with her husband Steve, is the lineage holder of Margot Anand and her SkyDancing Tantra teachings in the USA. They have been teaching workshops and vacations retreats since 1999 in over 350 events. Learn more about their work by visiting ecstaticliving.com. The practices mentioned in this article are described in detail in Margot Anand's book, "The Art of Sexual Ecstasy".