My Experience at a Tantric Marijuana Ceremony
After exchanging a few Facebook messages with Zipporah, a Tantric priestess and leader of the Tantric Awakening Experience, I was invited to a very special event on Halloween. Over the course of our conversation, I was told to prepare by wearing lingerie, eating a light lunch and arriving sober at the "exclusive location."
On October 31, I showed up at the Mexican-style villa with a large, open foyer, a glistening kidney-bean-style pool located just beyond my line of sight and a group of older men gathered around talking.
"Is this the tantric experience?" I asked the men hesitantly, fishnet-and-lingerie-clad.
"Yes! Head upstairs and make yourself at home," Tom, 58, the homeowner told me after shaking my hand.
'Tantra creates ritual around connecting with others through sexuality.'
The atmosphere wasn't quite the sacred, spiritual one I expected. Everyone was sitting on the couches upstairs, making small talk with the smell of burning sage in the air. No one else was wearing lingerie.
I had prepared myself to experience a marijuana ceremony and learn about tantric sex. When Zipporah said, "You will definitely orgasm," at the beginning of the ceremony, I assumed that would be with meditation or self-touch, but I had not anticipated the various other people at the event.
"Tantra creates ritual around connecting with others through sexuality," said Dan Powers, a Certified Tantra Educator. "[It] helps to create a new path that is no longer the frenetic jumble of arms and legs in the race to orgasm."
In an orgasm-centric society, tantra shifts away from this goal, with intentions to help people slow down and enjoy the process of sexual touch and energy.
Starting with the breath
"The purpose of the breathing techniques is to calm people down and get them back into their bodies," Zipporah explained. "Breathing slows the heart rate and is like a cardio workout for your nervous system."
After "getting high on our own supply," it was time to get high on the actual supply. We were handed individual joints rolled with chocolate-flavored wrappers. We were told not to inhale through our lungs but to hold the smoke in our heads and third-eye area instead. We took three collective hits together and put the joints out.
Then we laid down for a chakra balancing meditation. During this meditation, my self-doubt began to creep in: I really wanted to bail but told myself, "Just stick with it, Cierra, stick with it."
Heart to heart touch and eye gazing
Zipporah and her co-facilitator, Sebastian, told us to line up with women on one side of the room and men on the other. Until that point, I didn't think we'd be touching each other, so I started to internally panic.
With random partners, we put one hand on each other's hearts and stared into each other's eyes for one minute. One of my partners was an older man that really reminded me of my dad.
Having always had a difficult relationship with my father, I completely broke down in tears. I could barely look him in the eyes because I was crying so hard. Emotionally, I haven't been close to my dad in a long time, so to energetically replicate this closeness proved powerful.
Powers said it's not uncommon to cry during this activity.
"I have had women cry just by being seen with love and safety they haven't known before," he said.
The game of innocence
Following several exercises, we were invited to get comfortable and take off some layers of clothing. We then all put on blindfolds (mine was fuzzy and kitten-themed).
We were instructed to walk around slowly and touch each other, avoiding genitals. I walked around feeling men and women, different body parts and body types. For the first time in my life, sensual touch was not determined by how someone looked or how old they were.
Allowing yourself to be touched, and then freely touching, was erotic and sensual. You could feel a group forming with three or more people at times, exchanging intense sexual energy. At times it replicated the vibe of an orgy.
Next up was the massage, a pillar of tantra that focuses on breathing, intention and slow touch.
The first round was light and energetic, calling for the use of fingertips. The second was slightly stronger and with our whole hands. The third and last was closest to a traditional massage with the most pressure.
Throughout, we were charged with checking in on our partner, asking, "Is there anything I can do better, my prince?" Ultimately my partner wanted a combination of touch one and three, and I loved hearing and granting his request, and then seeing the instant feedback of his gratification.
I realized how amazing it felt to be touched slowly, without the expectation or pressure of sex.
"The massage teaches people to stand in their truth and ask for what they want," Zipporah explained.
When it was my turn to be massaged, I realized how amazing it felt to be touched slowly, without the expectation or pressure of sex. Once I flipped over, my partner touched my neck and other sensitive places, like my legs and waist, and was full-on moaning. I could feel the sexual energy moving throughout my body and felt little pops of pleasure all over, even in my "third eye."
The final smoke
After the arousing tantric massage, it was time to return to the joints. After taking five more hits, my internal critic and self-doubt spoke up again. I felt self-conscious, wearing lingerie in a room full of strangers. It felt too intense, everyone breathing audibly in and out to the sound of beating drums playing through the speakers.
I tried to get into it, but my flight-or-fight reaction kicked in as people started to moan and yell. I tried to put on the blindfold to be less in my head, but I just felt scared. Eventually, I stepped out of the circle, got dressed and left early.
Although the event didn't go as smoothly as I hoped, it opened my eyes to tantra and helped me experience pleasure in new ways. I realized it's important to enjoy the process of pleasure.
Exercises like eye-gazing and tantric massage can be easily incorporated into intimacy with partners, too, helping you connect at an emotional level. Though I probably won't mix tantra and marijuana again, I do plan to continue tantric exercises and encourage others to do the same.