Sexual Healing or Taking Advantage? ~ Freya Watson

Since publishing linking this article by Freya Watson to my post,  a number of people have contacted Dialogue Ireland concerned that the very issues that this article are concerned with, namely unwanted sexual overtures which Freya Watson discusses here I have given her free reign on this site. However, questions are raised by Freya Watson’s support of the whole Lamaist Tibetan Abuse by her involvement  with the Elephant site.

As very clearly pointed out by critics she is part of the enabling of the whole project and the attempted rehabilitation of Lama Sogyal and the role of the Dalai Lama in covering this up.

However, this article was published in its own right as part of the role Dialogue Ireland is playing in bringing a new group never mentioned on this site before into the public domain.

I have been approached by over 50 people on private messaging, the phone and email about a certain group. Some are so afraid they believe these people can use use magic to expose them, others are just petrified to be identified. One person who is now well outside the clutches of this group passed on the article and told me those affected would immediately know who this story is related to. So this is a signal that we are slowly but steadily going to publish stories anonymously. This means you can gain the benefit of using our commenting service and leave comments anonymously to advance your own recovery from the losses from this group. It is our experience that these groups revert very quickly to using legal threats to try to stop the truth getting out. Obviously if we have published an untruth in error we immediately correct it, but also offer uncensored freedom of a right of reply. Those that use the power of the law have in my experience a different aim, namely to silence and take down anything we have on them. We have a simple remedy to that tactic which reveals that they are not a genuine spiritual movement but in fact want to close down free speech. What we do is we publish their correspondence for the world to see.

Do read the the comments which shows Freya Watson is herself a victim and and enabler all rolled into one.

There has been a lot of discussion about the abuse of power and how women have had to be the subject of sexual exploitation to advance in life. There has also been the major discussion in Tibetan Buddhism as to how the Dalai Lama could hide the abuse inherent in this deviant form of Buddhism. The sexual exploitation, violence and lavish lifestyle of Sogyal Rinpoche. He is not atypical but the logical expression of this totally misogynistic form of what is in reality unreformed Tantric Hinduism with its couple sex. There is a campaign to try to sent Sogyal to Coventry but save the Feudal project of Lamaism which pretends reform but is highly toxic. Then there are those Christian groups were abuse has taken place. But we have an opportunity to speak and get support for those who have gone on so called retreat to India with Yogic groups or with New Age therapists that mix their private sexual energy with that of a spiritual nature. This article is an important contribution to this discussion and we welcome the use of our commenting section to allow anonymous reflection on this whole area.

Via Freya Watson
on Feb 5, 2014

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I’d been in India a week, taking in some of the holy sites with a group of friends.

It wasn’t my first trip to that magical country but it was my first time travelling under another’s direction. Our last day arrived and we were taking it in turn to spend a few moments alone with the Indian teacher who had been our spiritual guide.

Now it was my turn, and he and I were talking: me, talking about my experience of the trip; he, watching, listening, nodding.

“Would you like a healing?” he asked as I finished, his dark eyes looking directly into mine.

Why would I say no? Although I didn’t know him well, others who did held him in high regard and what I’d seen of him showed him to be a loving man. Anyway, I’ve always been curious and what harm could there be in a healing?

He got up from his chair and before I knew what was happening, I found my head being held firmly by warm hands and a tongue thrust into my mouth.

I stood rooted to the spot, my hands on his hips, his tongue in my mouth, wanting to push him away but caught in the surprise of the moment like a startled rabbit in headlights. What was this?

A healing? Really? 

I’d had plenty of experience with healing before and there was no movement of energy or a warm glow with this exchange—nothing to suggest the shift in energy I was used to with healing work, whether it came in the form of acupuncture, reiki or tantra. My head reeled with a hundred thoughts, trying to make sense of what he was doing.

But, strangely, it was what happened next that really made me uneasy. He pulled away, looked at me and said, “no one must ever know—you must not tell anyone.”

I walked back out of the room in a daze. The rest of my little group were chatting and I remember looking around them, wondering, does he do this to everyone? Right up to our departure the next day, I kept feeling the urge to drag one of the other women aside to ask her if the same thing had happened to her. But, in the end, I never did.

I didn’t want to create a scene or appear ungrateful after the hospitality we’d received. And, I wondered, had I perhaps somehow tacitly agreed to it? Despite the fact that I said nothing to others at the time, I still wasn’t comfortable with being asked to keep it a secret—especially since I hadn’t been given that option before the healing took place.

Anyone who knows me, or knows my writing, is aware that I don’t do secrecy particularly well. It’s not that I can’t keep a secret. It’s more that I have an innate desire for openness.

I’m the one who has to point out the elephant in the room.

Not only point out the beast, but invite others to come take a look. “Hey, there’s an elephant right here! I know you all can see it. C’mon over for a closer look—I promise it won’t bite. Feel the ears, pull the tail, try to climb on. Isn’t it amazing?” I’m fascinated by what remains hidden and why.

Naturally, I came home and told my partner all that had happened in India, including the unorthodox healing.

He freaked, then he calmed down and then we talked about what had happened and why I had said nothing at the time. We began to see the funny side of it. I wasn’t traumatized by what had taken place and I’m no stranger to the healing power of sex. (Maybe I should add here that the above happened before my books on sexuality were published).

No harm done, right?

I chalked it up to experience, assuming that something in my openness about sexuality might have attracted the situation in the first place. Like so many women in similar situations, I tried to find a reason for why I might have unwittingly encouraged the unexpected behavior.

Months later, though, I had reason to re-visit my assumption. I heard through the grapevine that he had attempted a more intimate sexual encounter with another woman—one who, unlike me, was deeply upset by the experience. And it wasn’t to be the last such story I heard. It seemed it wasn’t just me, after all, who had received such attention. Nor was I the first, as I learned that some of his male acquaintances were aware of the behavior but had kept it quiet out of loyalty.

What bothered me most, though, in addition to this covert silence among a small group of men, was that some of the women he’d attempted a sexual healing on were deeply disturbed by having their trust in a teacher breached in such a manner.

I have also heard since of other healers in the area of sexuality who cross the line with unprepared clients. When a therapist/teacher and client have developed a strong basis of trust and open communication, it can support such action at times. But without this strong base, there is a danger of re-traumatizing a client.

It seems a shame that at a time when many are trying to engender greater openness in, and respect for, forms of healing that incorporate sexuality, there would still be some who are exacerbating old wounds.

As I scratched below the surface for possible motivations for my Indian friend’s behavior—and that of others who act similarly—there were a few things that struck me.

The first was the idea of boundaries. 

There is a huge emphasis in therapy and in personal development on the concept of an individual having healthy boundaries—of knowing what’s okay or not for them, and of trying to act accordingly. There is also a strong emphasis in many spiritual traditions on unity, on the basic interconnectedness of all beings. Coming from this latter perspective, there are no boundaries apart from those which we construct to serve us in the material world.

A gifted healer is aware that they work in territory where their energy field and that of a client are, in fact, merged. The line between a healer and a client, such that it is, is always being crossed.

The issue is more one of awareness—how aware the client and therapist is of themselves and the situation.

It is not unusual for some of the great gurus and teachers in history to take this awareness into practical action, creating a fundamental change in a follower through some shocking or unexpected behavior. Could my Indian friend have been acting as a channel for divine intervention, responding automatically to the deepest need of the moment? Was he a holy soul who cared more for my well-being, and that of others, than for his own reputation?

But, then, what about his request for secrecy? 

There are many reasons for secrets. Sometimes secrets are simply things that are not easily accessible, hidden from the majority by lack of understanding rather than by any deliberate attempt at concealment (think of the as-yet unfathomed depths of quantum mechanics).

Sexual tantra has never been a practice for the masses, although I think it has much to offer. Could his request for secrecy have been prompted by his knowing that others wouldn’t understand and, therefore, what they didn’t know couldn’t hurt them? If that was true then what about others who openly speak, write about and offer sexual healing—should they be keeping it quiet too on the basis that the masses won’t understand?

Doesn’t openness support greater understanding?

There is a more common reason for secrecy, though—fear. Secrecy is normally driven by fear of what might happen should something become known. Could my friend simply have been afraid of what associates and acquaintances would say were he to openly acknowledge his use of sexual techniques? Was his need to maintain a certain image so strong that he was unable to align his words with his actions, unable to live authentically?

Or, perhaps, there was a deeper reason—and this is the sad conclusion I eventually came to.

Perhaps he and others who act similarly are unable to acknowledge, and find a healthy expression for, their own sexuality. Their actions become the result of projecting their own unaccepted needs onto others, seeing a reflection of their own unmet desires in the faces of those they encounter as students or clients. Consciously or unconsciously, they take advantage of the opportunities that being in a position of responsibility can afford.

There are many reasons why someone has a difficulty in finding acceptance and a healthy expression for their sexuality.

Sometimes it’s a cultural or social issue which has become deeply embedded—the way in which they were raised or the place in which they find themselves living. It can be that the strength of their desire can scare them or can make it difficult for them to find an appropriate sexual match. It can be a history of abuse.

And it is an irony (or possibly the simple law of attraction) that those with a need for sexual healing can end up being drawn to those who are also in need of the same thing—an opportunity for deep healing, if approached sensitively, but otherwise a risk of deeper hurt.

If a therapist is aware of their own sexual and emotional needs, both those that are being satisfied and those that aren’t, they are more able to differentiate between their own desires and their client’s needs. A teacher who lacks this awareness, however, is someone to be wary of.

And what about the women who are at the receiving end of such unexpected attention?

As I did initially, many women say little or nothing about such incidents. Sometimes this silence comes from a desire to simply forget the at-best distasteful and at-worst traumatic experience. Often it is low self-esteem or self-doubt that is behind the reluctance to speak up—even a fear of being criticized or ostracized.

“Maybe I misunderstood the situation?”

“Perhaps I somehow invited the action without realizing it?”

When we are drawn to a healer or teacher, we are usually in a place of need—hoping that another can reconnect us to a strength we have lost. To discover that we’ve misplaced our trust means not only feeling that we’ve been taken advantage of but also feeling as if we’ve lost some of the hope of improving our lives which we initially had. It’s a double-whammy of hurt which we may be slow to publicly declare.

But sometimes there’s another reason. For my part, one of the reasons I kept quiet for a long time was out of affection for the man in whose eyes I saw a deep capacity for love and from hope that his behavior might change without the need for public shaming.

I had no desire to hurt him unnecessarily. Now, I’m writing from that same place of affection and also out of respect for others. The secrecy and covert acceptance of such behavior needs to end. At a time when humanity is being prompted to grow in awareness and self-responsibility, one person acting as they see fit with another without dialogue is no longer appropriate, if it ever was.

Verbal communication around such issues, no matter how awkward, gives everyone an opportunity to deepen understanding and trust.

And with greater openness around sexuality in general may come the healing that he, and others, are seeking.  Perhaps, in one of those mysterious twists of the universe, his unexpected action with me will turn out to be a healing after all—though not quite in the way he may have imagined.

Oh my sweet lord!

Was love so hard to come by

That you stooped so low?

With dignity you could have asked, and got,

So much sweetness to hold.

Could you not trust?

Or was forbidden fruit your goal?

 

10 Responses

  1. Freya can I ask you what is your professional training and what areas are you trained in?
    I have asked Chris Chandler who was in the Unreformed Tantric Hindu couple sex Tibetan Buddhist cult which the philosopher Hegel called Lamaism to distinguish from Buddhism to which it has no connection to really engage with you on this. This not my area of competence. In fact I believe the issues of cultism have nothing to do with religion but undue influence. See how we look at it. https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/about/cultism/

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  2. You will note Chris that Freya has begun to reply so I would be grateful if you could address what she is writing. I sense she does not want to commit to any particular thing she has done nor actual take a moral stance. However, as a relativist, she can’t escape the absolute as she is claiming there are no absolutes, an absolute statement. She clearly is involved with…..”Writer at Elephant Journal” as it states in about on Facebook. Perhaps you could help me and her as she seems to think she has no connection with Lamaism? I hope she will engage intellectually as up to now she has managed to avoid what you have clearly pointed out. If you write for An Phoblacht here in Ireland it is clear you are working for Sinn Fein. Do you believe she does not know who she is involved with?
    Hopefully she could look at your book. https://www.amazon.com/Enthralled-Guru-Cult-Tibetan-Buddhism/dp/1511543469/ref=cm_aya_orig_subj

    Also could she be unaware of Sogyal and his sexual assault with what has been going on West Cork?

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  3. You will note Goldsun that Freya has begun to reply so I would be grateful if you could address what she is writing. I sense she does not want to commit to any particular thing she has done nor actual take a moral stance. However, as a relativist, she can’t escape the absolute as she is claiming there are no absolutes, an absolute statement. She clearly is involved with…..”Writer at Elephant Journal” as it states in about on Facebook. Perhaps you could help me and her as she seems to think she has no connection with Lamaism?

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  4. There is so much antagonism – perhaps coming from mountains of hurt – in the comments above that I’m not sure what specific criticisms I am being asked to respond to. My article was written as a personal reflection of a personal experience, and intended to gently encourage those who had suffered much more invasive sexual advances/abuses to step up and speak up. I was not intending to ‘name and shame’, but to try to make sense of the various emotions that such situations can bring to the surface. And I certainly wasn’t writing the article in reference to Tibetan Lamas.

    I am not part of Tantra group, nor a Lamaist group, nor a Buddhist group, nor any ‘ist’ group. I write for Elephant Journal from time to time, and would not agree that it is a whole-sale vehicle in support of gurus. That’s my opinion, and others may differ. I think a quick look through the archives at the magazine will show they are not all singing off the same ‘hymn sheet’. I certainly disagree that my writing articles there are helping a ‘cult infiltrate with other New Age and Yoga women.’

    However, I do believe that tantra can offer some help in addressing a lot of the baggage that our society carries around sexuality. So can shamanic practices. So can psychoanalysis. There are many ways of growing and healing. As usual, you have to look at the teachers and therapists rather than the practices themselves. And then you have to integrate the advice/techniques/support into what works for you as an individual. Our sexuality is a natural, enlivening, energy that has been repressed and thwarted for generations. It has the ability to heal, to break down barriers and to connect us with something greater than ourselves. Those who are fortunate enough to have experienced blissful states through sex will never forget them. But it’s going to take time to reach a place where we can be natural, aware and authentic as sexual beings and in the meantime there is a considerable amount of disclosing, healing and discussion that needs to happen. At least let us have informed conversations from a place of trying to grow and understand.

    There are very few in our society who have not been touched, in some manner, by sexual abuse – men and women on both sides of the dynamic. I would ask that we focus on the task at hand – of moving on, with compassion, to a more healed society – rather than picking holes in those who speak up. If that’s what happens when someone decides to stick their head above the parapet, then no-one else will want to do so.

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  5. […] dialogueireland on Sexual Healing or Taking Advantage? ~ Freya Watson […]

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  6. Excellent points well made but please read the edit of the article which tries to explain why we are using this source.

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  7. “Sexual tantra has never been a practice for the masses, although I think it has much to offer.” —> No healing, no wisdom at all, purely free sex for both parties yet beautified with a fancy name.

    Please take a look at Chris’s thirty years of experiences staying with the Tantra Lamas.

    Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism
    by M.A., C.A.G.S., Christine A. Chandler
    “My experience had been unique, with a front row seat to the Tibetan lama hierarchy and how it operates,…”

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  8. PPS, that is a technique of Tantra, that tongue shock. I had someone do that to me, a wealthy student of Lama Dzigar Kontrul, an ugly little troll that wouldn’t have any real girlfriends unless he was hanging around with this promiscuous guru in Crestone. It is meant to shock, be sexual, and put a female in her place.

    So stop with the nicey-nice Freya. You are not healing or helping anyone, with your twenty-five ambivalent paragraphs before you get to the wimpy point. Certainly not all the women that come to you in distress.

    If you want to really help with the sexual abuse that is rampant since Tibetan Tantra has spread throughout the West, and exploded, stop writing for that procurement magazine for Shambhala International, the ultimate Lamaist cult.

    I knew this ahole had been sitting at the feet of his misogynistic, sexually promiscuous guru, and thought he was now in the non-duality realm of ‘openness.’ At this point I was doing a lot of ‘unequivocally speaking out’ and so I am sure this was a way to put me in my place.

    I sure I didn’t have empathy, or ‘not want to hurt his feelings.’ I knew he had assaulted me. But Crestone had become the ultimate ‘sanctuary city’ with 25 Hindu Tantra and New Age Healing and Christian cults, infused with Tantra and no sheriff in town. My husband and I just wanted to get out of Delusional Dodge and beat feet.

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  9. P.S. One way you can spot a Tantric-influenced new-ager, is they never take a stand on anything. Such as in Freya’s article. She has already been soaked in: it’s not this and not that.” This is how these now many hundreds of thousands of ‘spiritualized women’ are confusing more young women and girls into helping the lamas ‘nail all female energy down.’

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  10. This article by Freya Watson was posted on another flagship Lamaist site, where Freya write, posing as just “yoga’ and new age material called “Elephant journal.” It is really being run by Waylon Lewis, dharma brat of the notorious guru Trungpa and now his son. Osel Mukpo. God King of Shambhala who has another vehicle to seduce people into Tantra through yoga and new age populations. It has created a fringe wheel of naive protection for the lamas’ secrets, as their careers, and writing and reputations get entangled with Tibetan Lamaism, while having not a clue, in most cases
    .
    Waylon has been a guru-worshipping devotee for his whole life, from toddle-hood on, and is a die-hard Lamaist of the worst of the sexually abusive cults, Vajrjadhatu, renamed Shambhala International who has taken vows to ‘perpetuate his sexually abusive gurus world” think as in Regent = AIDS= Dead. The dharma brats are the most fanatic about vowing to perpetuate this misogynistic world and have been thought-controlled since toddlerhood with the ‘no right no wrong’ view of Tantra.

    This is another way the Lamaist campaign of damage control is trying to get ahead of the story by having articles on sexual healing that will ‘tippy-toe’ around the sexual abuse. Freya is sitting on a pile of sexual abuse in her choice of magazines to publish in, the size of Mt. Meru. She is actually enabling this cult to infiltrate with other New Age and Yoga women, who will probably not have a clue about what they are enabling. This a a very naive group, that can be so easily merged with Hardcore Tantra, before they know what hit them. This is a group that thinks Tantra is so cool, freeing up the sexual energy. They don’t know what these lamas are up to, for the most part, they are another targeted group to spread this misogynistic Tantra while believing they are healing the world. -Chris Chandler

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