Ecstatic Living

The Mysterious Wisdom of Water & other articles

By Lokita Carter
At Thanksgiving dinner the conversation at the family table came around to gratitude and everyone was asked to share what their most exciting experience had been this year. Mine was taking two weeklong water classes at Harbin. Having been an aquatic bodyworker for 11 years, these were my first classes in 6 years, and the exciting thing about them was getting back into the water.

The warm water was the reason why I came to Harbin Hot Springs back in 1998, from Australia. I traveled here to complete my education as a Watsu teacher, and ended up with a full time career as a Tantra teacher with my husband Steve. When my mother died unexpectedly earlier this year, I knew that getting back into the water was crucial for my healing, inner peace and grieving.

Being in the warm water always feels good to me. Water is great healer. Water teaches me all kinds of things about my life. In the classes I participated in, I reconnected to some of the principles I have been experiencing in my life, and sometimes forgotten.

Breath Connection & Presence
The breath connects heaven and earth. We begin life in this body with a breath and the last breath ends our life. In that we are all one. Being in the water it is easy to stay with my breath, to feel my body rise and sink while being caressed by the warmth of the water. The power of the present moment is stronger than my mind.

When I hold someone in my arms in a session, I am with them 100%, undistracted, present, receptive to be led by them. Their breath becomes my breath. When we breathe together, we become one. In fact this is also one of the most important things in tantric practice. We disappear into each other. The water holds us in its grand embrace as we dance together into the unknown of the moment.

The breath connects all of us, regardless of who we are, what we believe in, how we look. Thinking about that when I go about my daily activities outside of the water makes accepting others so much easier!

Actions & Effect
In a session, when I move my body, their body moves in a mysterious rhythm of weight and weightlessness, breath and letting go, balance and imbalance. When I move fast, the water around me moves in a different way than when I move slowly. Translating that into my daily activities, I can see how my actions have a direct effect on everyone I interact with. If I respond in kindness, they are more likely to respond with kindness.

Invisibility
In the dance of the session, I become invisible to my partner, so that all they feel is being gently supported, within the frame of my arms. I, as the giver, disappear. They are safely held in their own experience that I know nothing about, and I am just the humble witness.

Really, there is so little we know about others. We might think that we know what they feel, and they might even specify very clearly what their experience of any given moment is, but we may understand something completely different. As I open myself to that reality more and more, I feel more generous, patient and loving towards myself and others.

Giving Space
In the water there is spaciousness. As I immerse myself into the water, it connects with the water within me, my inner body, and the separation between water and skin disappears, and I enter into a realm of limitlessness. So often our lives are led by our minds, and getting back into the water brings to me a spaciousness that allows for new ideas to enter and perspectives to reveal themselves. If we just give more space to the issues and unresolved situations in our life, there is room for the new to come in!

Rhythms
In one of the classes I learned the term “rhythmic field”, a place in which everything becomes a rhythm – inhale and exhale; stillness and movement; tears and joy; connection and aloneness. In these rhythmic fields of life we can explore and delight and be embraced by the healing qualities of the water. There are rhythmic fields everywhere – in our relationships with others, in our work, when we play, when we make love. The water magnifies these rhythmic fields in a way that lets me see them everywhere around me, not just when I am in the water.

Trusting Life
Letting the water do the work – this is one of the principles of aquatic bodywork. Being in the water, I can quietly listen to what wants to emerge, what movement or what breath. The moment reveals the truth of what is now. As I trust the water, I become flow. And how would it be to apply that to everyday life! Instead of pushing to get to a desired result, just to sit back and accept what is and see what emerges in the next moment! And trusting that life will reveal everything. What a concept! Somewhere I read that “stress is the result of not accepting what is.”

Yin & Yang
In some of my sessions, I submerge my partner below the water surface. As a giver, I am led by the receiver and her breath. I become an empty vessel with a willingness to let go into being led while providing a safe structure. As I give, I receive. As I receive, I give. The dualities dissolve. There is no agenda, other than the stepping from doing into being, from static into ecstatic.

These are all profound spiritual insights, and really, this was my main reason for taking the two water classes – to reconnect with the spiritual wisdom of the water, and to dedicate uninterrupted time to my personal healing and my pleasure of being free to play, nurture myself and explore. One could call it a vacation with a purpose, a learning vacation of a different kind. Quality time.

Floating into Bliss
Fortunately for me, in between my two water classes, Steve and I taught a class for couples, “Floating into Bliss” where we explored Watsu moves and combined them with the tantric practices of breathing together, exploring the sensuality of the water, being held and holding another, spending time in the wordless realm and coming closeAt Thanksgiving dinner the conversation at the family table came around to gratitude and everyone was asked to share what their most exciting experience had been this year. Mine was taking two weeklong water classes at Harbin. Having been an aquatic bodyworker for 11 years, these were my first classes in 6 years, and the exciting thing about them was getting back into the water.

The warm water was the reason why I came to Harbin Hot Springs back in 1998, from Australia. I traveled here to complete my education as a Watsu teacher, and ended up with a full time career as a Tantra teacher with my husband Steve. When my mother died unexpectedly earlier this year, I knew that getting back into the water was crucial for my healing, inner peace and grieving.

Being in the warm water always feels good to me. Water is great healer. Water teaches me all kinds of things about my life. In the classes I participated in, I reconnected to some of the principles I have been experiencing in my life, and sometimes forgotten.

Breath Connection & Presence
The breath connects heaven and earth. We begin life in this body with a breath and the last breath ends our life. In that we are all one. Being in the water it is easy to stay with my breath, to feel my body rise and sink while being caressed by the warmth of the water. The power of the present moment is stronger than my mind.

When I hold someone in my arms in a session, I am with them 100%, undistracted, present, receptive to be led by them. Their breath becomes my breath. When we breathe together, we become one. In fact this is also one of the most important things in tantric practice. We disappear into each other. The water holds us in its grand embrace as we dance together into the unknown of the moment.

The breath connects all of us, regardless of who we are, what we believe in, how we look. Thinking about that when I go about my daily activities outside of the water makes accepting others so much easier!

Actions & Effect
In a session, when I move my body, their body moves in a mysterious rhythm of weight and weightlessness, breath and letting go, balance and imbalance. When I move fast, the water around me moves in a different way than when I move slowly. Translating that into my daily activities, I can see how my actions have a direct effect on everyone I interact with. If I respond in kindness, they are more likely to respond with kindness.

Invisibility
In the dance of the session, I become invisible to my partner, so that all they feel is being gently supported, within the frame of my arms. I, as the giver, disappear. They are safely held in their own experience that I know nothing about, and I am just the humble witness.

Really, there is so little we know about others. We might think that we know what they feel, and they might even specify very clearly what their experience of any given moment is, but we may understand something completely different. As I open myself to that reality more and more, I feel more generous, patient and loving towards myself and others.

Giving Space
In the water there is spaciousness. As I immerse myself into the water, it connects with the water within me, my inner body, and the separation between water and skin disappears, and I enter into a realm of limitlessness. So often our lives are led by our minds, and getting back into the water brings to me a spaciousness that allows for new ideas to enter and perspectives to reveal themselves. If we just give more space to the issues and unresolved situations in our life, there is room for the new to come in!

Rhythms
In one of the classes I learned the term “rhythmic field”, a place in which everything becomes a rhythm – inhale and exhale; stillness and movement; tears and joy; connection and aloneness. In these rhythmic fields of life we can explore and delight and be embraced by the healing qualities of the water. There are rhythmic fields everywhere – in our relationships with others, in our work, when we play, when we make love. The water magnifies these rhythmic fields in a way that lets me see them everywhere around me, not just when I am in the water.

Trusting Life
Letting the water do the work – this is one of the principles of aquatic bodywork. Being in the water, I can quietly listen to what wants to emerge, what movement or what breath. The moment reveals the truth of what is now. As I trust the water, I become flow. And how would it be to apply that to everyday life! Instead of pushing to get to a desired result, just to sit back and accept what is and see what emerges in the next moment! And trusting that life will reveal everything. What a concept! Somewhere I read that “stress is the result of not accepting what is.”

Yin & Yang
In some of my sessions, I submerge my partner below the water surface. As a giver, I am led by the receiver and her breath. I become an empty vessel with a willingness to let go into being led while providing a safe structure. As I give, I receive. As I receive, I give. The dualities dissolve. There is no agenda, other than the stepping from doing into being, from static into ecstatic.

These are all profound spiritual insights, and really, this was my main reason for taking the two water classes – to reconnect with the spiritual wisdom of the water, and to dedicate uninterrupted time to my personal healing and my pleasure of being free to play, nurture myself and explore. One could call it a vacation with a purpose, a learning vacation of a different kind. Quality time.

Floating into Bliss
Fortunately for me, in between my two water classes, Steve and I taught a class for couples, “Floating into Bliss” where we explored Watsu moves and combined them with the tantric practices of breathing together, exploring the sensuality of the water, being held and holding another, spending time in the wordless realm and coming close to each other in deep relaxation and trust. Everyone left feeling ecstatic, renewed and refreshed, and connected with each other in ways that had been long forgotten. What wonderful experiences the water holds for all of us.to each other in deep relaxation and trust. Everyone left feeling ecstatic, renewed and refreshed, and connected with each other in ways that had been long forgotten. What wonderful experiences the water holds for all of us.


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The Best 10-minute Investment in Your Love Life

By Lokita Carter

By
Lokita Carter
Going back to the basics can bear great gifts, especially in love and sex. Let’s remember some of the teachings mom gave us on our way. “Look into people’s eyes as you speak with them”, she said. “Be respectful to others. Listen carefully when someone talks with you”, she insisted. “And never interrupt.” This wisdom turns out to be quite useful, especially in our love relationships.

One of our first tantric practices as a couple was a deceptively simple communication experiment about how we like to be loved – physically, emotionally and spiritually. It goes like this: Steve asks me the question, “How do you like to be loved?” I answer as Steve listens, without commentary. If I don’t answer, he will ask the same question again. After 10 minutes, we switch roles, asking and answering the same question.

Are you willing to invest 10 minutes into your love life?
At first, 10 minutes might seem an awfully long time to talk about how we like to be loved. But let’s face it – those 10 minutes are a great investment into a more pleasurable time with your lover and with yourself! You’d be surprised how time flies when you explore this subject matter whole-heartedly.

The Power of Words
Communication takes place on many levels, especially in the bedroom. Yet not many people actually tell each other how exactly they like to be loved. In the early days of a relationship it is easy to intuit what our partner likes, and to flow together effortlessly. But after the honeymoon is over, many of us have we settled into a satisfactory routine, a habitual way of making love. Verbalizing our wishes and desires makes us more aware of our own desires and those of our partner, and creates more spontaneity.

Can you listen to your partner without an agenda?
Listening is a meditation! Being genuinely interested in what our partner says is one of the keys to a great relationship. Possible agendas might be your mental comments such as, “Oh no, that’s how he likes it. I am such a lousy lover!” or, “Aha! I have all kinds of great ideas how I can embellish her wishes, for example.” Agendas distract us from being able to listen with a beginner’s mind and an open heart.

Do you actually know how you like to be loved?
If I don’t know how I like to be loved, how can I possibly expect my partner to know? Taking responsibility for our pleasure, for our life is a key concept in Tantra that applies in and out of the bedroom. Investigating how we like to be loved emotionally, physically, and spiritually will make it easier for us to ask for what we want, and in turn create more passion, peace and harmony in our whole life.

Can you speak without an agenda?
Telling your partner how you like to be loved can be fun, exciting, sexy and challenging – all at the same time. Can you let the words roll off your tongue easily, without self-judgment? Perhaps you feel shy or nervous to share your most intimate secrets – shame, feelings of unworthiness and guilt raise their heads. Or maybe you say things to lash out indirectly at him/her for not giving you what you really want. Do you hold anything back because you are afraid what your partner might think of you? It is an ongoing and very rewarding exploration!

Infinite Ways to Being Loved
The most wonderful thing about this particular question is that there are infinite ways to answer it. In our 11 years together we have done this practice countless times, and we learn new things about ourselves, and each other every single time. Just as life changes with every breath, the way we like to be loved changes. You never know what you are going to say or hear.

The results of this practice are countless. The best for me is that because I listen attentively to him talk about how he likes to be loved, I can give him what he wants without him having to ask for it directly, and of course, vice versa. We both feel loved and cherished, connected and seen. If we all ask and answer this question time and again, the world will be a better place, and that time investment will be well worth it!

Try it out and let us know about your experience with this practice!

Click Here To Read Writing #2


Your Tantric Journey - The 1st Step

By
Lokita Carter
Tantra has become very popular in the West over the past few years as a method for improving our sex life. What many people don’t know is that Tantra is much more than that.

In Tibetan Buddhism, Tantra and its practices are considered the most accelerated path to spiritual enlightenment. Only the most accomplished students receive the transmission of these powerful and secret tools from their teacher. All of Tantra’s methods are concerned with spiritual advancement, and only a small part of them is devoted to practices involving sexuality. Tantra includes everything – the way you make love, the way you cook your meals, and the way you work becomes a sacred activity. Tantra is and has been a lifestyle as well as a spiritual practice.

So why is there so much emphasis on the sexual aspects of Tantra? Because we all want to be better lovers and have a great sex life. Sexual intimacy is one of the easiest ways to have a spiritual experience, to reach an altered state of consciousness. At the peak moment of sexual union, our minds disappear, we become truly one with each other, and enter into timelessness and divine union. Tantra teaches us how to reach those states again and again, and effortlessly, in our love life and our daily lives.

Tantrikas, those practicing Tantra, know that spirituality resides within the body and that the body’s gifts can be utilized to foster and attain spiritual clarity, ecstasy and fulfillment. Hence tantric wisdom traditionally was passed on from teacher to student, from master to disciple, experientially rather than intellectually, and this still continues to be the preferred and most effective method today.

So where do you start? Many great books and videos provide useful and practical information about Tantra, especially the sexual aspects of it. If you have a partner, tell her or him that you are interested in learning more about Tantra. Watch a video together or commit to practice exercises from a book that you both like. Hands-on practice is the fastest and most reliable way to learn.

Many books on Tantra also include practices which can be done by yourself, so you don’t actually have to have a partner to practice Tantra. In fact even if you have a partner, practicing the solo exercises can open the door to a “new you” and that in turn can be very valuable and enriching for your relationship as well as your lovelife.

By far the best way to deepen your understanding of Tantra and get an immediate “aha” is to participate in a seminar. A seminar is a forum for experiential learning, and the facilitators are there to guide you on this journey. There are also a variety of seminars and events; weekends, week-longs and longer trainings, for beginners and advanced Tantra practitioners, for single and couples.

Aside from experiencing what Tantra is, and practicing tools for your love life and daily life, you are also part of a tantric family during the event, and maybe afterwards, if you so choose. Immersing yourself into the tantric community, the sangha, of the seminar environment accelerates your learning process and deepens your experience. And when you go back home, life will not be the same, it will be even better!

Click Here To Read Writing #3

Orgasmic Bliss

By
Lokita Carter
Does Tantra help to achieve a full body orgasm? Can both men and women enjoy multiple orgasms? Does tantric lovemaking last longer? These questions are asked often by individuals who are starting on the tantric path, and they have as many answers as there are people asking it.

We were born with the gear for making love and pleasuring ourselves, but “having it” doesn’t mean that we know how to use it to its fullest. Hardly anyone was fortunate enough to be taught the art of lovemaking. Luckily it’s never too late to learn and expand… whether you are 19 or 90…

In ordinary lovemaking, the feelings, attention, and energy are focused mainly in one area: the genitals. The sensations in our genitals are delightful, however, by being focused on “down there” there is a goal and when that goal is realized, this particular sexual episode is over.

In tantric lovemaking, movement, breath, sound and presence are the keys to expand our ecstatic energy and spread it throughout the whole body. Using these keys allows the expansion of bliss and ecstasy rather than release of energy. This is what we call “orgasmic bliss”.

The body can actually contain a vast sexual energy, and when this sexual energy is built up and held in the genitals, release is inevitable – the point of no return. Instead, you can consciously decide to distribute your energy throughout the whole body, thus increasing the body’s capacity for more energy and more pleasure.

And why not continue going higher and higher in lovemaking, even to the point where there is so much ecstasy in the whole body that you become bliss and you don’t have to do anything to stay in bliss? This can be a spiritual experience – you become one with God, yourself and your partner.

The One Big O and Many Little o’sOrgasm is defined as “involuntary redistribution of energy”. For example, a sneeze falls into this category. So does the One Big O. And so do the many little o’s that we experience throughout the day. Observe yourself. Do you feel a tremor in your body when you taste chocolate mousse or smell a fragrant, perfect rose? Those are more subtle little o’s and they can be triggered by anything that is pleasurable to you.

Generally, orgasm is associated with genitals, as in “the One Big O”. We all know the delicious feeling when we have a Big O – either through self-pleasuring or lovemaking with our beloved. An incredible release of energy happens, our mind stops, our body contracts and lets go, contracts and lets go, undulating in uncontrollable orgasmic spasms. This orgasmic movement feels good.

And it does not have to be related to the genitals. Perhaps you have experienced the following: after a Big O, you relax deeply, you let go completely. This deep relaxation is a conduit through which your orgasmic energy flows into every cell of your being. The sensations could be shivers, your body shakes a little, and you feel as if streams of electrical currents rush through your body like lightning.

The energy moving from the base of the spine upward is what we call a “little o”. This reflex, or the little o’s can be activated anytime, independently of the genitals; for example by smelling that fragrant rose, or enjoying that chocolate mousse mentioned above, or by sharing an embrace. This experience is healing for mind, body and soul, and by cultivating it, pleasure will be abundant in life.

We are blessed to have this phenomenon built into our body. Unfortunately, Western culture has taught us to repress pleasure and our ecstatic self. Knowing this, we can now consciously begin to enjoy the day’s many little o’s and expand all aspects of our daily life into a truly orgasmic experience. Begin to notice this energy, however subtle it may be, welcome this sensuous part of yourself and validate yourself each time you experience a little o.

Our motto is: forget about the One Big O and enjoy the abundance of the little o’s!

Click Here To Read Writing #4

BIO

Writings & articles from the Ecstatic Living website