Tami Simon: You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today I speak with Margot Anand. Margot Anand is an internationally acclaimed authority on tantra and the cultivation of ecstatic states. She is the bestselling author of the book The Art of Sexual Ecstasy and a much-beloved teacher and founder of SkyDancing Tantra. Margot’s books, videos, and audio programs are widely regarded as the seminal teachings for integrating spirituality and sexuality and for cultivating the art of ecstatic living.

A native of France, Margot received her degree from the Sorbonne in Paris and has spent decades studying with many of the world’s prominent masters of Hindu and Buddhist tantra, including the great mystic Osho in India. With Sounds True, Margot has released the audio program Sexual Magic Meditations and a six-session audio course on The Art of Sexual Magic: Cultivating Sexual Energy to Transform Your Life.

In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Margot and I spoke about bringing orgasmic energy up through the central channel of the body using breath and micro-movements. We also talked about multiple orgasms in both men and women and underlying cultural dynamics that can be at play in exploring multiple orgasms. We talked about the rule of the heart in tantric practice, and also the manifestation process, what Margot calls “sexual magic,” and how we can use the space of ecstasy for creation. We also talked about how meditation can create ecstasy through the whole body and beyond. Here’s my conversation with a true pioneer: Margot Anand.

Margot, you’re well-known as someone who has popularized tantra in the West. And I know that now I’m speaking to you, and you’ve been living in Bali for the last six or seven years or so. And of course, it makes sense that I would be talking to a tantric teacher who is in Bali. Bali seems like the perfect place. And I’m curious how your work has been evolving since you’ve been in Bali. How, perhaps, it’s been changing at this point in your life.

Margot Anand: Well, I decided when I moved to Bali to put the closed on sign the door of my previous life and to no longer be a teacher and to no longer practice the previous spiritual practices I was practicing—to practice nothing, to teach nothing, to say nothing. And I did that for three years.

What emerged is something simple, much more humble, more mysterious, more graceful, and more in-the-moment. So I don’t have a great new method, but I can say that what I’m now most interested in is the capacity of our brain to open up to new dimensions, which reveal themselves through what I call “bioluminescence,” which is the empowering of the pituitary, the pineal gland, and generally speaking, the brain’s capacity to bring us to ecstatic states, to expanded states, in a natural way through meditation practice.

TS: Now, it’s interesting that you’re talking right here at the beginning of our conversation about the brain, because one of the things I wanted to talk with you about is this quote that I found from your work, which is that “the pinnacle of tantric practice is the orgasm of the brain.” And I wanted to know, what do you mean by this? The brain has an orgasm?

MA:with. And then, when the energy’s channeled higher, to the next chakras, you eventually end up in the brain, in the sahasrara, in the crown chakra. And there, the energy becomes a transcendence, beyond the boundaries of the body, into spaciousness and into a feeling of being one with all that is.

Now, that is the movement going from the root to the crown. But there is another movement—that was brought forth by Sri Aurobindo, the founder of Auroville, and by many other teachers since—which talks about the descent of the energy from the sky to the earth. Which would mean that you start with the brain and you start with the powers of the brain to connect with expanded dimensions of consciousness, and then you move that down to the rest of your being.

So after having explored sexuality in so many different ways, I became interested in that second approach. The orgasm of the brain is either the one that is the sexual orgasm transmuted and transformed into a finer and finer experience that doesn’t so much depend on the genitals anymore, but there is also another kind of orgasm, which is ecstasy. The orgasm of the brain is basically the ecstatic experience. It’s a blink into God, I would say. [Laughs]

TS: So, really, one way of putting what you’re saying is that you’re talking about an ascending current as well as a descending current. Is that accurate?

MA: Yes. That’s accurate.

TS: Let’s talk about both a little bit more. Here you are, you’re talking about this descending current as something that has lately been of great interest to you. Can you talk a little bit—how do you bring the energy down through the body? How does that work for you?

MA: Well, it’s not like there is a direction anymore. It’s more like, after doing certain meditative practices and focusing on the empowerment of various parts of the brain, you enter into a feeling that the body is kind of not really material anymore. You become one with spaciousness and with light. So the experience of light is important here, and there is then an ability to touch this deep inner joy, this deep inner source of joy and of freedom. And so you don’t direct things at the point.

Well, you do. Yes, you do. You do, you direct things down from the higher chakras through the throat, through the heart, through the belly with your mind, with your awareness. And energy follows consciousness, so little by little, you empower each of those centers in your body to be opening up to stronger and finer energies of light.

TS: And you’re saying that this exploration is something, through meditation, that you’re opening the top of your head, the top of the crown chakra, and then experiencing this stimulation in the brain that then results in this experience of space and light?

MA: Yes. I am developing an approach which is based on working with certain energy points that are called vortex points, in which there is a connection between touch and certain sounds and focus of the mind in those points. Which then open us up to receive many universal energies, if you wish, or stronger energy than we would normally perceive.

TS: Wonderful! This is so exciting, Margot! What a fabulous development of your work.

MA: Yes, thank you! Thank you. It’s in its infancy, and I feel very protective and very humble about it, because I couldn’t say that I have mastered this one as much as I have mastered the rest. I’m letting it unfold in an organic way and I have my own struggles in it.

my struggles are currently based on the fact that I’m by nature a rebel, and this is a strong pattern in me, and I’ve had to have that pattern to do what I did. But at the same time, the rebel in me has a hard time finding the discipline to have a regular meditation practice, which is really required in this phase. And when I enter into a regular meditation practice, I access amazing space of light and joy, and you would wonder why, if this is the case, I wouldn’t want to have a regular practice.

And then I get to the point where I ask myself, “Well, how much ecstasy can I hold? How much good is possible before it becomes too much?” And this is the ultimate question, even in sexuality: How much orgasmic bliss can we hold at any given time? [Laughs] There’s sort of this sense of la petite mort, or the feeling that some part of us is disappearing, and the ego is holding on for dear life. So this is my current struggle.

TS: You’re exploring your thresholds for ecstasy. Can Margot Anand, the woman who wrote The Art of Sexual Ecstasy, go into even further and further and further ecstasy? Now, you mentioned different parts of the brain that are stimulated. Can you say a little bit more about that?

MA: Yes. I would say that the pituitary gland, which is located behind the eyes, is actually called the third eye or referred to as the gland responding to the third eye because it opens us up to the ability to see energy as light. And so we can see our inner energy in forms of geometric shapes or colors, and this is a sign that we are activating the pituitary gland. And then the pineal gland is the master gland, through which a certain current can circulate, which allows [us] to balance out all of our endocrine system.

So by activating these parts of our brain, we also balance out all of our endocrine system. We’re like a gardener that’s gardening the flowers in the garden.

TS: Now, let’s talk about the ascending current, starting with the orgasmic energy of the genitals, and how it’s possible to bring that energy up to the brain. I mean, I know this is something that you taught on for several decades. Tell us what the essence of what this is. When I start feeling orgasmic, what do I do? I don’t just have a normal genital release, but tantric practice involves a different approach.

MA: Yes, it involves, first of all, the art of relaxing in high states of arousal. So normally when we get aroused, we tense up and we want more and we’re pushing or we’re striving toward a particular position or a particular sensation. And in this process, we often lose what our mind perceives as the maximum potential of that moment or of that orgasmic possibility.

And so the art here is to be willing to let go enough to relax into that sensation, not knowing where that sensation is going to take you. It could be that you lose it or it could be that you lose it momentarily and you come back to it. But the idea of relaxing into it also allows us to welcome more of this excitement energy, of this pleasure energy.

And as we find different ways of lovemaking, we actually can move in the same way that I mentioned before—in a meditative way—the sensations of the energy by placing your consciousness in different parts of the body. And then there’s also, as I teach, micro-movements of the sexual muscles and of our breathing, which gently pull the sensations that are like an electrical current up the different chakras—up into the belly, into the heart.

And so it’s a very delicate yoga which needs a certain amount of practice to be mastered. But the ultimate practice of that is the kings and queens position in tantra, which is the yab-yum, which is the man sitting in lotus or semi-lotus and the woman sitting on his lap. And in this, they can create a circle of energy that moves through their genitals, through their central channels, with their breath, into their third eye, or exchanged via their breath, and create a circle of energy that becomes very ecstatic, and in which they are SkyDancing, meaning they leave the sense of having a physical body and they feel that they’re dancing in the sky.

TS: And is there a difference in this process for men and for women, in this embrace?

MA: Yes, there is. For both, actually, the art of mastering the path of the middle between the yin and the yang—or between being uniquely on the male side or the active, admissive side and uniquely on the receptive or female side—it’s being in the middle and being able to play with both polarities, with each other. So sometimes one is admissive and the other is receptive, and sometimes you switch and it’s the man who’s admissive and the woman who’s receptive.

And it all has to do with movement, with breath, with certain practices that are too complex to explain here, but it’s very, very rewarding.

TS: The actual working with the orgasm process, is that different for a man than for a woman?

MA: Well, yes and no. I mean, for the man, it is the ability to not release his seed and to keep the energy and the excitement within himself so he can move it through the inner central channel that I call the “inner flute,” and move it to his heart and move it to his brain. And for the woman, it’s actually the same process.

But when you consider that our chakras have opposite polarities—like in the female, the sexual center, which is chakra number one in my system, is receptive or feminine. And in the male, it’s active, admissive, or masculine. So the fact that we have opposite polarities in these energy centers makes it much easier for us to share energy and circulate the energy between our sex, between our bellies, between our hearts, between our breasts, between our third eyes. And this is what makes it so fun!

TS: And how do you work with gay couples and lesbian couples in terms of exploring the orgasm and tantric sex? Is there a different posture that you recommend or a different approach?

MA: Well, we have the Gay Tantra Institute in Germany, actually. And we have quite a few people that are in the same-sex couple configurations that can enjoy the tantric practices because even so, there is always one partner who will be, at any given moment, admissive or the doer or the one who is giving to the other, and there will be the other one who is receiving.

So in that sense, the partners can decide how they will share their energies and who is going to be in the yang position and who is going to be in the yin position. So it doesn’t make that much of a different. It still works very well.

TS: Now, you mentioned the breath and mirco-movements, and I’m wondering if you can say a little bit about both of those things. I think our listeners would find it really helpful in terms of working with this energy and moving it up the body.

MA: Yes. I teach a practice which is called Sexual Breathing. And it’s based on the understanding that breath carries energy and it carries the energy of excitement through the body. And so there is a form of breathing where you imagine that you are inhaling or breathing through your genitals and inhaling and breathing in the pleasure energy and the micro currents that are felt, like electric currents. You breathe that in through your sex up to your heart, and then you breathe it out from your heart, down your sex, and you imagine that you pass it to your partner again as you exhale, while your partner is, at the same time, inhaling from their sexual center to their heart.

And so there is a way of combining this breath with micro-movements that are small pelvic rotations backwards and forwards, which are the essence of lovemaking, but in a much smaller, mirco-movement type of way. And actually, in this practice, you can begin to learn how to master and circulate your orgasmic energy, and it’s very rewarding.

TS: Now, you said something very interesting, Margot, about your own ecstasy threshold, if you will. And you were pointing at this place where, if you allow yourself to feel more and more and more ecstasy, that the ego dissolves, and that that’s part of why it’s so scary. And I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about that and what you might say to somebody who reaches some type of pleasure threshold and they think, “God, I just don’t think I can really open to more pleasure or more ecstasy.”

MA: Well, if you’re talking about people that are making love, then it [has to be] mutual—you have to agree on and give the other permission to relax. That’s very, very important, especially for a woman, to hear from her partner, “I love you, relax, it’s fine.”

So the whole movement is in the traditions of the Taoist practices and the tantric practices called the “four joys,” because you climb to arousal and then you relax. And then you climb again and you relax. So in the climbing, you’re doing something, and in the relaxation, you’re not doing anything, but you’re welcoming more pleasure, more energy, and you’re allowing it to diffuse through the body.

And so, in this deep relaxation and this deep non-doing, there is a fear of losing whatever you have, including your ego or your control, the control of the personality who wants to direct the show. This practice, then, is something that prepares you for the deeper “let-go” that happens in advanced meditation practices, where you are leaving the causal plane and you’re entering into what some call the fourth dimension. But I really don’t want to go there because it’s a bit complicated to explain, and I’m not a master of this yet. I’m just a practitioner.

TS: That’s fine. I’m curious, though, you mentioned “the four joys,” and that’s something I’ve never heard of. Can you explain that?

MA: Yes. The first joy is the joy of the body. The second joy is the joy of the heart. The third joy is the joy of the spirit. And the fourth joy is the joy of the divine presence. So you augment, if you wish, the practice of cultivating orgasmic pleasure, and then you relax into it and you move it to your body, through the whole body. And then you augment it again by making love and then you relax into it, and you arrive at the art of moving it into your heart, and so on and so forth. There are several books, including Sexual Secrets by Penny Slinger and her partner that have designs and illustrations of this.

But what I want to say regarding this is that with Sounds True, a long time ago, we recorded a wonderful series of audio tapes, which talk about the power of being able to plant seeds of manifestation, of creation when you are in ecstatic states. Because when you let go of your control over things and you’re just in a field of joy or a field of bliss, if you, at that moment, hold a simple but clear vision of what it is that you want to call forth or call to yourself, it is like telling the universe, “I am feeling totally open, and please bring this on! Please magnetize this, please create the synchronicity that makes it possible for this to be shown to me.”

And in a way, [these are] the ancient practices of sexual magic, which are still current today and are very, very interesting. The only thing is that it’s important to know that you can be trapped by your creation.

TS: So really, what you’re describing and defining as sexual magic is that in the process, the orgasmic experience, we can actually use that open space during orgasm to create?

MA: Yes. Yes, yes, absolutely. You know when you plant seeds, some die because the soil is infertile, and some grow wonderfully because you have fertile soil. And actually, the process of magic is, in parts, about the ability to call forth or to manifest certain things and that is best done when you plant those seeds of manifestation, those seeds of creation into the fertile soil of an ecstatic moment or an ecstatic consciousness or a blissful consciousness.

So that’s what I teach in the book The Art of Sexual Magic that is based on the idea that when [you’re] in an orgasmic moment, you can relax in that moment. And then you can hold a vision of what it is that you want to call forth into your life or manifest, and there is a greater chance of this happening than there would be if you were doing that from a place of being worried or being very much in your mind or not being plugged in your vertical. It’s like when you’re plugged into your vertical, you’re plugged in from the roots of your being to the crown and beyond, to the divine, to the expansive part of yourself.

So it is often said that the universe answers to those who are able to feel into what it is that they want to call forth in their life. Because the universe answers more to feeling in the creative process than to thought forms or mental processes.

TS: Now, I love this, “being plugged into your vertical.” I’ve never heard that phrase. I’ve also never heard the word “heart-gasm” before, so I thought that was—you have some wonderful, original language here, Margot.

But at the moment of orgasm and in this big, open space, am I going to be feeling something I want to create? I mean, I’m not really in my major “manifestor mode” at that moment. I’m kind of, you know, deeply open, relaxed. What do I do at that point? I write something down before it—do you know what I’m saying?

MA: Well, that’s something that I explain in The Art of Sexual Magic. It’s like you actually have to prepare this. You create a symbol, because it’s sometimes easier to call forth an image than it is a word. So you create a symbol or a logo, if you wish, that represents what it is you want to manifest. And then you simply hold this in your heart, in your mind, in your being at the appropriate time. And this symbol or this logo goes [with]—an affirmation or a phrase. “I am in,” whatever it is. “I am,” whatever it is. But it has to—

TS: Now, Margot, I think the criticism that comes up in people’s minds [is] something like, “So am I now having sex to get a Lexus?” Do you know what I mean? To get a new car, I’m going to cut out an image of a new car? You know.

MA: Well, I’m not necessarily talking about lovemaking or having a sexual orgasm. I’m more talking about cultivating an ecstatic moment in your inner peace, in your inner meditation. Cultivating the afterglow of your moment of love, of your orgasmic moments. It’s in the relaxed afterglow that, if you agree with your partner to cultivate a particular manifestation, you can plant that seed, you see. It doesn’t have to be during the time of the orgasm, but it has to be that you have created a fertile soil, which is a deep state of contentment.

Actually, I have discovered that the state of stabilized contentment is my current definition of being awake. Not stars and stripes, it’s not the ultimate great sexual orgasm and the great sexual release. It’s not all that, that the ego makes it to be. It’s a state of inner contentment that loves what is, as Byron Katie so well says.

So you are in that state of openness, and you feel good about yourself, about life, about your partner, if you have a partner at that moment. You may not have a partner at that moment. This whole process doesn’t depend on having a partner, which is the ultimate freedom that I like so much, because it doesn’t depend on having good sex with a good partner.

And so at that moment, you have prepared your symbol, you have prepared your affirmation, whatever you want to call to yourself, and then, bingo! You release it in that field. You pronounce it, you see it. You call for it.

TS: Now, you said something interesting, that it’s important to know also how to “dis-create.” And I wasn’t quite following you there. Can you explain that to me?

MA: Well, I’ll give you an example. I did this practice quite a long time ago to manifest a house. And I manifested a millionaire’s mansion in Mill Valley. And then, many years later, the time came for me to sell it. And I couldn’t sell it, and I realized that I had never considered the option of making sure that in my manifestation there was also the possibility of releasing that manifestation. I hadn’t called for that I, I hadn’t created that. And so people who are interested in doing such practices should include in their practice the option that it will be possible to give this back, to let it go, to transform it, to sell it, whatever it is that would be dis-creating whatever you have magnetized to yourself.

TS: Now, I think there’s a lot of debate and confusion about this whole idea of manifesting. I think some of the debate is, do I really want to be this active manifestor of specific things? Or do I just want to say, “Thy will be done,” and allow my heart to open and connect to light and spirit like you described, and let the universe deliver life through me?

MA: Yes, I agree. There [are] two schools of thought and they go far and deep, all the way to talking about enlightenment or awakening. There are those who say it happens by grace whenever you’re ready, and you have no option regarding this. Others say, no, you have to practice deeply and diligently, and there’s methods and approaches that let you confront your patterns and your resistances until you go through them, and then you’re ready.

So that corresponds to what you were saying. I would say it’s not either/or, but I would say that this process of manifestation is something that I rarely do, but usually when I do it, it works. But I rarely do it because if I’m really, really honest, in order to be doing it properly, I have to be 100 percent aligned with my goal or vision.

I have to have come into a complete agreement in my being with the possibility of this being so and of manifesting it. I have to be at peace and in harmony with that goal and that manifestation. And I have to be with an opened inner channel where each of my chakras can welcome the vision of that manifestation. And then I have to be in a place of gratitude, realizing that this manifestation has already happened. It’s just [that] the timeline is not yet in front of me. But gratitude is a very deep part of this whole process.

So this is a practice in itself. It’s a training in itself. You can’t just sit in the middle of your office, put a poster on your wall, and say, “Blah, blah, blah,” and then think, “OK, that’s enough.” It’s a meditation, it’s a meditation practice.

TS: Now, it sounds to me, Margot, in this conversation, that you spent several decades really focusing on sexuality and moving the orgasm up the body. And now, in this period of time that you’re in Bali, you’re more focused on the meditative process. And so, first of all, I’m curious if that’s true, and if it is, if you’re finding anything different about how we transform through sex versus how we transform through meditation.

MA: Well, yes. For me, and what I observe around me, is that going through sexuality has a tremendous amount of traps. And the traps are those that are revealed when the sexual energy moves through the first three chakras. In other words, the trap of neediness, the trap of feeling it’s never enough, the trap of feeling dependency, the trap of feeling jealousy, and so on and so on and so on. And even on a deeper level, the consideration that desire in itself is a trap.

Desire is the motor of life and it’s the road to hell. It’s a paradox in itself that every truth has its counter-truth, and they both are one in the moment of the experience. You can’t have light without darkness, you can’t have love without hatred, you can’t have—it’s just the nature of things in the human domain.

So in sexual approach, there are all these traps to go through. And when you have finally gone through them and come to the heart, then there are the complaints that, “Well, the sex isn’t so hot anymore.” And so then you turn it into a kind of a friendship. And then the sexuality becomes different, depending on which generation you’re in.

But the other approach, the descending approach, going through light and cultivating meditation down into the body, has a certain freedom. Because you have achieved the ultimate of the tantric practices, because, let’s not kid ourselves, we all think that. And I want to say something about that, kind of give a criticism of what the word “tantra” elicits in people’s minds these days. But that’s another—I’ll come to that.

Meditation—you know, you’re free. It’s between and you and you. You are your partner, you are your yin, you are your yang. And you are opening the door to the Buddha within. So this is, in my estimation, this freedom is absolutely priceless. Because when you reach this inner state of contentment, you don’t need anything or anybody. And then you can be available to whatever comes and whatever is, and you have a tremendous sense of freedom.

It’s like there’s no more of the mental complaints about, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, my life should be another script and it should be different and I’m not happy about this or I’m not happy about that.” What is, is. So deal with it. You are the source of it all. So that’s my answer.

TS: Now, you wanted to say something about tantra and the way people think—you wanted to say something about tantra and what people think tantra really is.

MA: I notice, particularly lately—I went to do a series of lectures in Australia, and there I saw a film. And I had the impression that—and there were a lot of Americans involved in that. And I also teach in America sometimes. And so I see that—currently my impression is that everybody’s into this feeling of releasing the taboos and releasing the constraints that were so long put around our sexuality and the guilt, and looking for new models. And these models have to do with expanding beyond the limitations of, let’s say, monogamous relationships.

So now, many, many people are going, “Whoopee! I’m freeing myself and I’m going into a polyamorous situation and I’m having lots of partners to explore different styles of lovemaking.” Well, that’s fine, but don’t call it tantra. That is a certain level that is part of the path and the process, but the true tantra, in my vision, is a mystical experience that allows you to navigate towards awakening, towards your full awakening as a divine representation of the divine, as a Buddha. And so it’s demeaning to the mystical path that tantra truly is.

So-called dakas and dakinis, people that are basically giving sessions of multi-orgasmic response, and to say, “I will give you an orgasm and I’m a dakini,” you know. Dakinis, by tradition, are female Buddhas that are dedicating themselves to full awakening, with spiritual practice being done with a partner, usually, but sometimes without a partner. And the full awakening requires that there is a lot of practice, but there is also a lot of giving up of things, of letting go of things, and of developing transcendental capacities and potentials that we have in ourselves that go way beyond the polyamorous situation.

TS: Now, you’re saying a couple different things here, so I want to make sure to tease it out. So in terms of polyamory versus monogamy, do you think that tantric practice can happen in both environments?

MA: I think that tantric practice depends on a deep commitment of two spiritual partners that are on the same track and on the same path. That is what will take it to the furthest realms. And that can be in the space of 15 days, when you get together on a hermitage type of journey, or it can be in the space of a lifetime, or it can be in the space of a weekend. It depends. But the idea of coming together—in all sense of the terms, I would say—to explore a certain practice is what is required here.

TS: Now, Margot, we’re covering a lot of ground here. And I can imagine a listener who’s thinking to themselves, “You know, I haven’t explored the fullness of sexuality.” And in fact, what I’ve seen in terms of my own friendships and a lot of people that I know, is that often people turn to tantra or a tantric workshop or a training of some kind when they’ve reached a point in their sexual life, their relationship life, where they feel somewhat dissatisfied. They say, “I’ve gotten bored. I’ve been in this relationship a long time. Honey, maybe we should go to a tantric workshop.” What would you say to that person?

MA: I’d say they’re doing the right move. Unfortunately, our human condition makes it such that we have to come to a dire condition or reach the end of the line before we decide that we take the next step to wake up more.

But it doesn’t matter, whatever the reason is. The point is that you have to know which workshop you choose and which teacher you go to because you will always imbibe the impurities of the teacher you go to. And there’s too many teachers nowadays in these workshops that are trying to create their personal harems out of the participants in their workshops. And I’m totally disagreeing with that. There has to be a lot deeper integrity in the way this stuff is taught. So that’s number one.

Number two, going to the proper tantra training, is that you go through all the dimensions. You go through this dimension of allowing yourself to—excuse the expression—fuck your brains out. The dimension of allowing yourself to understand how you cultivate the orgasmic experience so you can heal your sexual traumas and you can feel pleasure in every millimeter of your internal flesh, in your genitals, and in your body. And then, moving this energy through your central channel, and then getting this energy to expand into the highest states of consciousness.

This is all part of the one tantric teaching, but it doesn’t always happen in a lot of these tantric workshops, that we go to this deeper dimension. And yet, thousands of people still tell me today that I have changed their lives for the better and the work with me was worth 15 years of therapy because they have been able navigate this entire dimension I just mentioned.

Because the best sex is not just to have an explosive orgasm of release. It’s to have an implosive orgasm of expansion, and then, to cultivate this orgasm independently of the sexual context. So you find your deeper freedom and you don’t need a partner. That doesn’t mean you don’t have partners. It means you’re free of the dependency, the jealousy, the “You can only have me” and all this, la, la, la, la, la, which then gets, at a certain point, rather boring.

TS: Now, when you say, “independent of the sexual partner,” you’re not talking here about masturbation, you’re talking more about the orgasmic life, if you will.

MA: Yes. Meditation. Mind you, you can practice self-pleasuring, learn how to pull this orgasmic energy through your heart and to your brain, and develop the implosive orgasm of expansions through starting from the first chakra with self-pleasuring. Nothing wrong with that. Absolutely good.

TS: There is this interesting quote that I read about that you, using your work—and this is quote from Osho, a teacher that you studied deeply with—which is, “You can’t be orgasmic in love if you can’t be orgasmic in anger.” And I thought that was a very interesting comment about the “orgasmic life.” And I’m wondering if you can explain that.

MA: Well, yes, because this is predicated on the understanding that the first degree orgasm is a huge explosion, release, joy, let-go, etc. And so to be able to touch the energy of your anger in such a degree that you can actually accept it, that you can express it, that you can make noise with it, that you can scream it, that you can pound it on the floor, just like you do in bioenergetic practices, for instance.

This is very healthy, because you don’t contract around something that you keep in because you don’t dare to put it out. Whether it’s sex or sexual juice or sexual desire or anger, it’s all this energy that needs to be released. So that’s what I mean by that.

TS: Now, what about somebody’s who’s coming to a tantric workshop because they’re interested in exploring the world of multiple orgasms, whether it’s a man or a woman, and they have a sense that that’s a frontier for them, that they want to experience?

MA: Well, the first key about being able to experience multiple orgasms is that you do not release the energy, but you contain it while you’re still relaxed in it. And this is the art of the tantric practice in SkyDancing Tantra in the level two of the love and ecstasy training, where you, at the same time, guide your partner to stimulate your orgasmic points. And at the same time, you relax in this arousal and you move the energy through your different chakras or different energy centers.

And so at that moment, you become more aware of your multi-orgasmic capacity. But it’s interesting because women are naturally multi-orgasmic. Some women, not all women. But some women can have one release and then continue to make love and have another and continue to make love and have another. And men, typically, unless they have explored this and they have received training, cannot really have that as easily as a woman. They peak and they let go, and then they need a refraction period where they rest.

One of my theories, exploring the world as I did, is that one of the reasons why in some parts of the world the women are so repressed by men is because, I would say—well, I’m not going to mention names or countries, just because we all want to stay healthy and not make enemies. But in some parts of the world, I have explored and interviewed people that thought that they needed to control the woman and prevent her from being multi-orgasmic, because if she became multi-orgasmic, she would be too feisty and she could not be controlled anymore by the men.

So at the root of this tremendous control of the feminine population lies the fact that she’s multi-orgasmic and he’s not. When you start to think about it, it’s a very interesting and challenging avenue of thought.

TS: That there’s an aspect of control that’s going on here?

MA: Yes, because if a man has spent his energy and he’s next to a woman who is ready to go on, he doesn’t feel very good, you know. The more she gets it, the more she flies, the more she wants it, and the more she’s passing beyond his control. And he basically wants her to have, in many parts of the world, to have no pleasure, to have the excision of their clitoris so that they can be completely domesticated and the pleasure factor—which is the liberating, empowering factor—is kept for the man. Because she is multi-orgasmic by nature and he’s not.

TS: Yes. But you’ve worked a lot with men, and do you find it relatively easy for men to become multi-orgasmic?

MA: Yes, indeed. For the pleasure of themselves and for the pleasure of the ladies, because a man is always delighted when he can be the captain of his ship and he doesn’t become subservient to, “Oops! I didn’t really want this to happen,” kind of level. [Laughs]

TS: Now, you know, I’m sure that you’ve dealt with this quite a lot, but the other reason that I hear a lot of couples turning to a tantric workshop is because they’re just not communicating very much or very well about their sexual life. It’s an area where, for whatever reason, one of the partners is perhaps shy or thinks, “I shouldn’t have to talk about this.” So what’s your basic take on that?

MA: Yes. It’s difficult, in a couple, to have one partner directing the show or asking for something because it implies that the partner that’s asking is not satisfied with the situation as it is. So the ego of the other one can be rubbed the wrong way. So it’s much easier when you have a neutral teacher that stays out the equation but [provides] guidance.

And it’s also that a lot of people are not aware of the importance of creating a time-out, or what we call in our trainings, a “sacred space,” where you do a salutation to each other—and before you do that, even, you turn off the telephones and the bells and the faxes and the whatevers, and create a space of quiet in the household where you don’t have any obligations of any kind.

And then you sit in quiet with a candle and incense and then you make a salutation to each other, which says Namasté, which says “I honor you,” and you honor each other and that means that you’re ready to give your full presence and your full attention to the unfolding moment.

And in that moment, you are ready to receive and to give the healing that is required. And that, of course, goes through words. But in that moment, you also agree that you’re not going to be critical of the other or of yourself, that you are going to remember that you are an orgasmic woman and you are an orgasmic man.

And if you choose this mantra, then you will choose the path that is choosing the positive, choosing what works in your direction, and not what doesn’t work, that you forever chew on and talk about and complain about. Because that is not going to get you to be more orgasmic. That is going to get you to become less orgasmic.

So in that Namasté, that moment of creating a sacred space, you are willing to open up to a healing and to a clear communication to each other. But this, again, is a willingness to move beyond cultural patterns or habits.

TS: It also seems like, in order to really explore sexual tantric practice, that two people need to set aside perhaps more time than they’re used to, to engage in sexual practice. This is not like a 10-minute quickie, that’s not what we’re talking about here.

MA: Yes. That’s very true. The tantric practice is exactly like the meditation practice or like the yoga practice. You don’t become a yoga master without spending a very substantial number of hours studying yoga, and even flying to India, for that matter. You don’t become a ski champion without spending seasons and hours and years doing the slalom. You don’t become a tennis champion doing the same. You have to do your practice.

And so you have to choose that domain as being your domain of exploration and study. It’s like that in everything you want to learn. There needs to be a focus and a dedication to whatever it is you want to learn, and then you get it.

TS: It seems like in a lot of people’s lives, they don’t dedicate that kind of time to something like a sexual practice. They’re very busy with their careers or raising children, something like that. The idea of three weeks, dedicated to exploring sexual practice, “What?”

MA: Well, that’s why they have Sounds True! Now they don’t need to dedicate travelling to workshops. They can just listen to whatever wonderful recording Sounds True is presenting.

TS: OK, I like that. Now, I want to end on this one note, Margot. There’s one quote that I found from you in researching for this conversation that I thought was beautiful, and I’d never heard it before said quite like this. And it’s just three words: “Truth is erotic.” I thought, wow, what a beautiful quote from Margot Anand. “Truth is erotic.” And I wonder if you can let us know what you find to be a turn-on about truth.

MA: Well, truth is risky, and risk is exciting. Because when you tell the truth to your partner, you always risk to be rejected or to be disagreed with. So by exposing your fullness, you become vulnerable, any by becoming vulnerable, you are also in a state of surrender. And at that moment, any woman who is in that place is eminently attractive to a man. And at that moment, any man who is in that place is eminently attractive to a woman. The heart is called, and the heart wants to come and be close.

TS: Beautiful. And you know, I just want to end, Margot, by really acknowledging you and acknowledging not just what a pioneer you’ve been in bringing tantric practice to the West, but also here, going to Bali, putting up the “closed” sign on your teaching world and letting your own inner spiritual practice deepen. I find this all quite brave of you and very inspiring. So I want to just acknowledge you for that.

MA: Thank you! Thank you, and I want to acknowledge you for being a very, very sharp and smart woman who knows how to read the signs and ask the right questions and stay on purpose and relax within herself. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for you and what you’ve created in the world. So thank you for calling me for this interview.

TS: I’ve been speaking with Margot Anand. With Sounds True, she’s created two audio programs: one’s called Sexual Magic Meditations, and also a six-session audio learning course on The Art of Sexual Magic, discovering the sacred roots of sexuality as both an erotic art and a meditative tradition. Margot, it’s great to be in touch, and best of luck to you with this new evolution in your work.

MA: Thank you, Tami! The same to you!

TS: SoundsTrue.com. Many voices, one journey. Thanks for listening.