"Rainbow Tantra" and "Rainbow Tantrika"
When you read the Conscious Pathways website, you will find me using the terms “Rainbow Tantra” and “Rainbow Tantrika”. So, dear reader, what are these terms and what do I mean when I use them? Read on!
Those who have studied the tradition of tantra in depth will likely recognize that the symbology of the rainbow is highly important in ancient tantric traditions, usually relating to certain esoteric attainments that happen as a result of advanced tantric practice. While being respectful and aware of this, I choose to also use the term “rainbow” in a modern context.
Rainbow Tantra: As a student of tantra since the mid-90s, one thing I have always loved about this venerable path is its inclusivity and its continued relevance to modern life. In sharp contrast to many other paths of spirituality, tantra has a body and sex positive approach and a history of welcoming practitioners of diverse sexual preferences and orientations. Nobody is shut out from practicing tantra. As such, tantra is the perfect path for people who identity as part of the LGBTQIA community, and this is why I call practitioners of tantra from our beautiful and diverse community Rainbow Tantrikas. So, what does a Rainbow Tantrika do?
Rainbow Tantrika: A Rainbow Tantrika actively practices tantra to enhance their self-knowledge and self-acceptance, which naturally deepens intimacy with themselves and others. Following tantric practices to deepen connection to body, mind, and spirit, they understand themselves at a deeper level. As members of the LGBTQIA community, we have endured persecution both individually and collectively, often at the hand of societal norms and established religious traditions. As a result, many of us have actively turned away from the spirituality offered by mainstream religion. I know I did. This non-mainstream Catholic boy could not reconcile the spirituality he knew in his heart with what was going on in the organization of the Catholic church. Perhaps you can relate.
Fast forward twenty years and I was living full-time in India in an ashram with a female guru after receiving a traditional Tantric initiation into meditation. This was my introduction to a spirituality I could relate to: interior, mystical, and based on direct experience rather than dogma.
When you attend Conscious Pathways retreats, you will learn traditional tantric meditation, centering techniques and embodiment exercises in a LGBTQIA context. We discuss and explore matters that are relevant to us in heart circles and throughout the retreat. In sacred, safe space we explore what spirituality means to us and how it can enhance our lives as members of the rainbow community. After all, spirituality is for everybody, and tantra embraces the full spectrum of life, the entire rainbow.