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HOW I CAME TO PRACTICE & TEACH TANTRA KRIYA YOGA

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In 1990, at the age of 45, I was invited by a romantic friend in Taos, to read the book Jewel In the Lotus, " The sexual path to higher consciousness", by Bodhi Avinasha, and also to watch the corresponding video tape series.   I decided to go to Mexico for the Winter with my romantic friend, and we agreed to take the book with us, read it, and work through the exercises together.  As it happened, we split up before we got a chance to practice the book together.  However, after reading the book, I was really keen to learn more about Tantra.  I had experimented with the "Transmutation Breath" described in the book, which is a "watered down" form of the Cosmic Cobra Breath - and had some remarkable results.

The book described a paradigm in which sexuality and spirituality were not only reconciled and compatible, but enhanced one another. It described, and gave actual techniques on the power and benefit of how a man and woman could have their bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits in the same place, at the same time. I had never heard of the idea that men and women could combine their sexual and loving energy as a means to pursue spiritual growth and awareness.  Immediately, it made sense and resonated with me.  Besides, what could be a more worthwhile and fun idea to pursue?  Even though I had been on a conscious spiritual path since I was 12 years old, and studied many world religions and esoteric techniques, this made astoundingly perfect sense to me.  I decided to seek out every book I could find about the techniques of Tantra.  However, In those days, there weren't very many available.  Libraries either had books on esoteric Tantric philosophy, or ones with erotic artwork which were not available for circulation and were locked up in the back room - so only the librarians got to enjoy them!

Eventually, I found another book on Tantra, and began practicing techniques to postpone my orgasm, stopping on the brink, and moving the orgasmic rush of energy - to my heart center (fourth chakra).  Naturally, this re-opened my heart, which was pretty closed down after the breakdown of my twenty year nuclear family marriage.  Looking back, it completely changed who I was, what I presented to the world, and what kind of people I attracted into my life.  Since that time, it has remained open.

Practicing on my own was worthwhile, but I really wanted to attract a Tantric partner into my life.  After a year and a half of solo practice, my wish was fulfilled.  While trekking in Nepal in 1992, I met an Australian woman who was interested.  In 1993, she accompanied me for the first time to visit the USA.  When we arrived in Los Angeles, I called my (architectural) business manager to tell her we would return to New Mexico the following Monday.  She informed me that she had made an appointment with some potential clients to interview me for an architectural design project. The clients turned out to be the couple that had originally passed the book Jewel In The Lotus on to my romantic friend. Their project was for me to design and supervise the construction of a solar heated "Temple" to hold a 21-day International Tantra retreat being taught by Bodhi Avinasha, the author of the book.  Would I be interested?  I immediately arranged to trade some of my professional fees for attendance at the workshop.

Within a month, Bodhi Avinasha arrived in New Mexico and taught a weekend introductory Tantra course - which we attended.  One of the greatest Tantra teachers in the world had fallen right into my lap!  The first day I was skeptical and thought the workshop was a fair amount of airy-fairy hype.  Nevertheless, we went home that night to explore the homework assignment we had been given.  That night we had the most amazing lovemaking I had ever experienced in my 48 years.  I thought I had a good sex life up until that time.  Looking back, I would have to say that is when my sexual/spiritual life actually began.  Or, perhaps more accurately, I now believe that most people spend their whole life exploring only the "first floor" of sexuality, thinking that's all there is.  However, I had just been admitted to the second floor!  The next day, we arrived an hour late for the workshop due to our extended homeplay session, using breathing practices to transmute sexual energy to higher consciousness. This second day, I was keen to learn more, and sat in the front row so I didn’t miss a word!

That afternoon in a group sharing, I found out there was a couple in the class who were Tantra teachers in another state.  At that moment the light bulb first went off in my head, which said, “We could be better Tantra teachers than they are!”

I designed and supervised the construction of the solar heated Tantric Temple, and attended the 21-day intensive workshop with Bodhi.  The experiences I was having with Tantra were unbelievable.  At the end of the three week workshop it was time to return to Australia.  Bodhi asked if I would be interested in sponsoring her on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, because she had 35 responses to a coupon in her book from that part of the world.  I heard myself saying, “Yes.”

I arrived in Australia three weeks after my partner. When she met me at the Melbourne Airport I told her we were going to teach workshops all across Australia and New Zealand.  Being a shy, quiet, children's librarian, she thought I was totally out of my mind.

In 1994 we toured 10 cities in Australia and New Zealand with Bodhi, assisting and co-facilitating weekend workshops.  We started our business in Australia with $300 seed money I had, which primarily went to purchase posters and pay for telephone calls from a phone booth.  We didn’t even have a telephone – we were living on a shoestring.  I made arrangements from a phone booth for Bodhi to have an interview on national Television on the 'Good Morning Australia' show.

At the end of the tour, the night before Bodhi returned to the USA, she called us into her room.  She told us, to our complete amazement, that we had taken the Tantric practices in her book further than anyone she knew, including herself.  She asked us if we wanted to be inducted into the lineage of teaching the Cosmic Cobra Breath.  Again, we heard ourselves saying, “Yes”.

At that time in my life, I figured that there were six critical global issues facing planet earth: 1) Nuclear Disarmament, 2) War, 3) Famine and food distribution, 4) Disease, 5) Ecological survival, and  6) The rift between men and women.  I figured I couldn't have much of an effect on the first five, as I didn't have the relevant expertise.  But the last one, I had a desire to address, and reckoned we could make a significant contribution, since we both came from 20-year marriages that had failed.  We decided to go for it.   I wanted to retire from the practice of architecture, of which I was burnt out at that time, and to become a Light Worker.   I wanted to work with people, from my own culture, doing something that would be of service to humankind, and hopefully contribute some healing to this planet.  I already knew I liked the Workshop business from my Architectural forays.  To me, nothing could be better than getting paid to talk - combined with travel.

I decided to adapt the professional name, Icarus.  I wasn't sure how something as alternative as Tantra would be received in my new home of Australia.  It might be more prudent to have a professional name in order to maintain some semblance of privacy. Besides, if Sting and Madonna can navigate society on a single moniker, why couldn't I?  We taught weekend introductory workshops 8 times a year, and three week-long residential retreats each year, all of which had different curriculums.  We became the top teachers in the field in Australia, became recognized authorities on the subject of Tantra, appeared on interviews on every major television network, had many local and national radio interviews, and wrote articles for evey health and alternative lifestyle magazine in Australia and New Zealand.  We were featured, twice, with full page articles and photos in the national Sunday newspaper magazine of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Melbourne Age, and the Brisbane Sunday Mail, called "Good Weekend".  We were headliners for three years at the Sydney Mind Body Spirit Festival held at Darling Harbour, and presented workshops to standing-room-only crowds of 200+.  When I started this career I figured I might last 2-3 years "on the road" before I burnt out.  Thirteen years later, in February of 2006, we dissolved our partnership, then trained, and sold, the going enterprise to some of our followers.

The primary influences on my Tantra teachings came from Sunyata Saraswati, Bodhi Avinasha, Margo Anand, and Anna Davidovitch.  There were many other influences as well.  I would say that our major contributions to the field of Tantra were in the following areas: integration of diverse influences into a well orchestrated holistic approach, accompanied by a brilliant musical soundtrack; high quality instruction and facilitation; keen insight into the patterns exhibited by people that reveal their core issues – and the ability to help people beneficially restructure their lives; our own role model as mentors, with total integrity; guiding and inspiring the men’s and women’s circles; and, of course, our “live, in-person, performances”.

What follows is the abbreviated Home Page, and associated links, from my former 60+ page website.

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