Episode 21: Tantric Intention, Attention & Sacred Techniques with Sylvia Brallier, Director of the Tantric Shamanism Institute, Ipsalu Kriya Yoga instructor. Spiritual growth counselor
Tantric Intention, Attention & Sacred Techniques with Sylvia Brallier, Director of the Tantric Shamanism Institute, Ipsalu Kriya Yoga instructor. Spiritual growth counselor
Announcer: This program is intended for mature audiences only.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome to Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex.
I’m your host Francesca Gentille. And with me today is Sylvia Braillier, who is the author of the book “Dancing in the Eye of Transformation”. The director of the Tantric Shamanism Institute in Las Vegas, she’s a psychic healer, a spiritual growth counselor, an Ip Solu Cria Yoga instructor and a hypno-therapist.
Sylvia Brallier: Tantra is really about the ability to use sacred techniques. Where you could look within yourself, you can pay attention, you can direct energy and through that awareness of the relationship between the body, the mind, the emotions, and the spirit, you can get really deep growth on every level of your being.
Sylvia Brallier: The ability to bring your attention to journey into the body. Journeying is about the ability to pay attention to sensations, because sensation is an incredible springboard for deeper understanding.
Sylvia Brallier: So the feeling, it doesn’t really need justification. I mean there are feelings that are irrational. But a feeling is just a feeling and if we can just name it we can change it.
By the placing of attention and intention you can bring about a lot of change in your life. It’s about being awake and aware, and taking the time and the energy to do that.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome Sylvia.
Sylvia Brallier: It’s great to be here, Francesca.
Francesca Gentille: Sylvia, I wanted to bring you on to the show and share you with our listening audience because you bring such a depthful and intriguing perspective around Tantra. Would you explain to us what Tantric Shamanism really is? What does that mean?
Sylvia Brallier: For me, Tantra is really about the ability to use sacred techniques. Where you could look within yourself, you can pay attention, you can direct energy and through that awareness of the relationship between the body, the mind, the emotions, and the spirit, you can get really deep growth on every level of your being.
So part of that is sexual, part of that is feeling better about yourself and about your life, greater clarity, more clarity in relationships and the way you relate. Doing better in your mind, not having your mind making you crazy in its own special way. Tantra is a tool for growth on every level of the being. For me, shamanism has to do with really understanding that there is more to reality than just what meets the eye. We are in a multi-level universe, its not just three dimensions. There’s an unseen quality to all that is, and we can get really caught up in what we can see. But when we open our consciousness to expand beyond that—Oh! It’s so much richer! Shamanism opens those doors to consciousness, to spirituality. To see what’s beyond our third dimensional reality existence and through that interplay, get a tremendous amount of growth and change.
Francesca Gentille: Sylvia, let me ask you that-- it sounds very fascinating that multi-dimensional way of looking at life. Could you give me an example that someone might sort of, naturally experience in their every day life, but not necessarily know that what they’re looking at or feeling, or seeing, or hearing is another level—is one of these shamanistic levels that you are talking about?
Sylvia Brallier: well let’s approach it from sort of a tantric shamanist basis. For me, part of that is the ability to bring your attention to journey into the body. Journeying is about the ability to pay attention to sensations, because sensation is an incredible springboard for deeper understanding. Let’s say for example; you have an interaction and if you pay attention to sensation you’ll not only know what you think about it, but you’ll know how you feel about it because sensation and feeling are very interlinked. By journeying into the body, being aware of sensation—what I mean by journeying is placing attention and seeing how something feels and where it moves. Just by witnessing sensation we can move energy and thus, change consciousness.
Francesca Gentille: can you give us an example of that – you know Sarah or Bill have come home and they’re having a discussion and maybe they’re starting to get upset in some way. And they want to bring this Shamanic Tantric perspective to the moment. What would they do? What does that feel like? What does that look like? What do they say? What do they think?
Sylvia Brallier: yeah, well for example: let’s say somebody says something or your partner says something that sets you off, that triggers you in some way. The first thing that happens is the mind starts going crazy on it. “Ah, why does she say that? Why does she want that?” And there’s all the justifications that happen and the mind begins to spin and make up a spin, a story about it. But if you stop the mind, or you just notice, oh, look what my mind is doing. You be the watcher of the mind. you bring your attention into sensation. It might be like, let’s stop a moment and just take a breath. And in that place of breath, bringing the attention into the body into sensation and then be able to talk about real feelings without it being about blame, or justification or projection. It’s about “oh, this is the real feeling I’m having”. Cause the feeling--it doesn’t really need justification. There are feelings that are irrational but a feeling is just a feeling and if we can name it we can change it.
Francesca Gentille: So in a case like this; let’s say if I’m having an argument with someone, I might notice “There’s’ no meaning!” and “They never understand me!” I would notice—Oh, I’m thinking that! And then I might ask myself, “How am I feeling?” And I might say “I’m feeling – you know my heart is beating really fast and I’m feeling tense and angry but I’m also feeling scared!” So is that what you are saying?
Sylvia Brallier: Right, yeah exactly. And then the statement might be “wow, I’m noticing that I’m feeling tense and scared”. And then you could ask yourself, “What could be easier? What would make me feel better?” And sometimes even a deep breath…
[Breathes deeply]… that can start to change it just by putting the attention there. And sharing, “Oh, it’s interesting that I’m feeling scared”. It’s not “You’re making me scared!”; “Wow, I’m feeling scared!” It’s all from that place of ownership.
Francesca Gentille: So that’s something that our listening audience can do anytime they start to feel that things are getting out of hand, that they’re starting to feel uncomfortable, upset in some way. They can notice their thoughts, take a breath, notice they’re feelings, and practice saying,”I’m noticing, I’m feeling” rather than, “You’re making me feel.” “You’re doing this.”
Sylvia Brallier: Yes, exactly. Get the “you’s” out and talk in the “I”.
Francesca Gentille: And that’s going to help every communication, every interaction with their boss, their beloved. And ultimately if it’s their beloved; help them in bed, have a more a connective experience. Now is this something that you could possibly use in the bedroom itself?
Sylvia Brallier: Oh absolutely! Because we get triggered wherever we are and sex is a powerful place [laughs] it’s such a storehouse of energy and we’ve got so much of our psyche tied up in it. Just being in that place of awareness and recognition when things are arising, So instead of being afraid of ruining the moment-- recognizing that every moment is the moment [laughs] The emotional moment is the moment as well as the physical sensation moment. And how can we be present with everything that’s arising-- not just whether the physical sensation is what were hoping for, or whatever.
Francesca Gentille: So instead of trying -- I have to be happy when I’m having sex, I have to be having fun when I’m having sex. Is that in this model – the tantric shamanism model, people would notice “Wow, I’m feeling nervous!” or “I’ve lost sensation in my genitals!” or “I’ve lost my erection”. And it’s not a problem. It’s just something to notice. Maybe I’m feeling scared, or I’m feeling disconnected or I’m feeling some resentment. You would be saying breathe into that, breathe into it. Don’t try to deny it or suppress it.
Sylvia Brallier: Yeah, the point is to be real. There’s a difference between going through the motions, trying to get things right, and being true to yourself. What’s really going on? That doesn’t necessarily mean, that every emotion you have you’re going to let it run your life, because its about noticing, even when the feeling is irrational or way overboard. Its like, “Wow, I’m noticing that this is a really strong response.” But to recognize that strong responses aren’t necessarily, because the current event is strong. It might mean that it’s touching an old buzzer for you that’s really strong; like something similar happened in the past.
By being able to do personal transformation work about the line of triggering-- I always get triggered – not me personally, but I always get triggered when someone doesn’t look me in the eye. You have an abnormally strong response to it because you got a charge built up around it. Being able to recognize that that is yours, it’s not the other person. They might have set it off, but it’s yours.
Francesca Gentille: You know, Sylvia this is really rich stuff. And I’d love to continue to talk about how do we distinguish the normal response from the abnormal response. And I’d also love to hear something from your own life that you use these techniques and were able to really shift something maybe, even in the moment-- after we come back from a word from our sponsors
Francesca Gentille: Welcome back to Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra-- bringing you the soul of sex. We’re talking to Sylvia Brallier, author of the book, “Dancing in the Eye of Transformation”; director of the Tantric Shamanism Institute. We were just talking to Sylvia about what’s the difference between a normal response to a situation that’s slightly upsetting, and what would be an abnormal response. Then Sylvia was going to share something from her own life about that.
Sylvia how do we tell that—maybe normal isn’t the right word--the healthy response from an abnormal or unhealthy reaction that links us back to something in the past?
Sylvia Brallier: I would say one of the things that —a hallmark is -- as we discussed before, the using the word “you’ instead of the word “I “. When you’re being self reflective it tends to be a lot healthier than when you’re doing blame and putting it on the other person. That doesn’t mean that someone may or may not have done something inappropriate. We don’t want to deny those things, but when we approach from your own experience then instead of the person automatically defending, they’re more likely to hear you. It’s just a more effective way of communicating.
Francesca Gentille: So I’ve just said to you “Sylvia, you were going to call me at three and you didn’t call me at three! “, and let’s say you’re starting to feel upset.
What is the response that you would give that would be a healthy way of responding to what I just said?
Sylvia Brallier: Well, first off you said it in a pretty healthy way because all you said was—you just said facts. You didn’t say, “You never call me”, you didn’t say “You’re irresponsible”. You didn’t say unhealthy things that might be an example of an unhealthy communication. In terms of my response to you, I would probably apologize. Because I somehow missed the mark .I had made a promise and I didn’t follow through and then I might say, “Well what can we do to make it right?” I might say why, but sometimes explaining why, it gets into self justification and that can get a little crazy too.
It’s not to say you shouldn’t explain why, because sometimes the explanation helps people to relax too if it’s something unforeseen. Just being accountable for when you meet the mark and when you don’t -- when you’ve made an agreement, makes a big difference. My belief is that if you can do it--it’s best to do what you say you’re going to do. If you can’t do what you say you are going to do, you need to be accountable somehow. Whether that’s making another appointment, whether it’s calling before you are going to be late to let the person know, whatever it is. Accountability makes a big difference in clean relating.
Francesca Gentille: It sounds like your saying that the person -- they don’t need to grovel; they don’t need to say “oh I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry! I’m such a scum! I’m so bad because I didn’t call you!” and they don’t need to overreact and be defensive by saying, “Well, you didn’t call to remind me! And, “It wasn’t really set in my own mind!” They can just say, “I said I was going to call at three and I didn’t. I’m sorry and what I’d like to do is to set another appointment. And if it would help you to hear what happened and why I didn’t call at three I would love to say that to you.”
Sylvia Brallier: That’s beautiful! Yeah, that would probably do the trick
Sylvia Brallier: It’s much more diffusing than defending, or projecting.
Francesca Gentille: Great! Good. Yeah, Ok, this is making sense. What’s an example form your own life that you’ve used that you’ve seen this kind of shifting happen? Where you were able to have this noticing your body, noticing the way you are speaking, and making sure that you said it in a way that was connective, rather than projecting or defending and it really brought harmony?
Sylvia Brallier: I have an ongoing—just talking about my own triggers, I have an ongoing trigger which is—I’m the worst back seat driver in the world. I have to say--well maybe not in the whole world. [Laughs] But it’s up there. But I tend to over react when somebody pulls out of somewhere; someone starts to drift off into the pullover lane, or something. That’s the sort of thing that tends to set me off. I feel sorry for whoever I’m driving with because I tend to go [gasps] and that sort of thing.
I’m working on clearing that trigger. It happened to me because I’ve been in bad car accidents. One of my brothers was killed in a car accident, so I have a reason why that happens. It’s not logical, it’s not rational and I haven’t totally cleared it yet. Except for how I deal with it in the moment is—lets say were driving along and I might react. I actually won’t say, “Oh you’re being irresponsible! Or, “You’re not driving safely! Or, “Oh why are you doing that? None of those things come out of my mouth I say, “Wow I’m noticing I’m reacting. I apologize if it’s distracting to you”. So it’s all about me and I recognize that. They are the one driving. They might be drifting, but as long as its sort of normal driving--It’s knowing the difference between when you’re over reacting and when your not. What’s yours, and what’s not yours.
Francesca Gentille: Very cool! So this is part of the foundation; is this learning to in essence, be in your own body. Be responsible, accountable; own your own feelings, your own thoughts in relationship. There’s a lot of things that you do in shamanism – I know that I took a course from you years ago, where you brought this amazing breath work. I was feeling tingles all over my body and you let us get visualization through almost like a hypnotic, hypnotherapy trance with this breath work. How is that part of the Tantric Shamanism that you lead and that you talk-- how can we use that at home?
Sylvia Brallier: I would say that my real interest is how can you bring about transformation inside of yourself? That might mean clearing away the old things that are in the way of your bliss. And being able to move toward your bliss by being authentic, being in your truth, and really be in a deep listening for your soul, for yourself and that which is going to move you towards what you really want for yourself. That’s really interesting to me.
There are so many techniques that one can use to bring that about. A lot of it has to do with being able to take the time to place your attention inward. And you can do that through breath, you can do that through visualization, there are so many ways. Yoga of any kind is a great example because you are placing your attention on movement, on the chakras, there’s many different yoga techniques that will achieve that.
Francesca Gentille: This strengthening the muscle of being able to focus our attention instead of having our mind just run off in all these different directions and be distracted. To actually focus our attention—it could be on our genitals, and the sensation in our genitals. It could be on the emotions in our heart. It could be on holding a clear picture of the new car that we want, or the new job we want. What happens when we really strengthen that ability to place our attention?
Sylvia Brallier: The world is your oyster! [Laughs] By the placing of attention and intention you can bring about a lot of change in your life. It’s about being awake and aware and taking the time and the energy to do that.
Francesca Gentille: What is the difference between attention and intention?
Sylvia Brallier: OK. Attention is the ability to focus your mind. Intention is the-- setting an intent. Let’s say I want to be more open hearted in my relationship. And the attention might focus of the sensation of love in your heart. You might focus on practicing more gratitude and appreciation. So those are the actions of attention. So you’ve set the intention and then you place the attention, which is – I’m taking the time to do this right now. And then you act on it.
Francesca Gentille: That’s very simple I love it! It’s a 1-2-3 approach.
Sylvia Brallier: That’s right! [Laughs]
Francesca Gentille: It’s set the intent…
Sylvia Brallier: Simple, yet effective.
Francesca Gentille: …place the attention and then align our actions. I like simple. That works for me.
Sylvia Brallier: Sometimes the greatest depth comes in simple packages.
Francesca Gentille: I want to talk more about some of these simple techniques that we can use at home, in our lives, our work, in our bedrooms-- right after we come back from a word from our sponsors.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome back to Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra-- bringing you the soul of sex. With me today is Sylvia Brallier—I love your name it’s so wonderful! – Who is also an Ip Solu Cria Yoga instructor and a hypnotherapist as well as a psychic healer and spiritual growth counselor.
We were just talking about the simple 1-2-3 of Tantric Shamanism--The setting the intention, the placing our attention, and then moving into action. Sylvia would you – we just have a few minutes left—give us a picture of just how that might look in the bedroom? When we want to have sex, make love with our beloved, our partner and really have it.
Sylvia Brallier: Yeah, I’d be happy to do that. Being awake and aware in the bedroom sometimes means taking the risk of speaking. It’s interesting because I think there’s a really profound connection between the voice and sexuality.
Intention might be you’ve prepared your bedroom, your temple. You’ve made it a place of beauty and power. Perhaps you’ve lit some candles –you’ve lit some incense and maybe the two of you bathed together. You’ve done the set and setting. And you might sit and talk a bit about what’s your intention. What are you seeking? So perhaps, more a sense of feeling love during lovemaking, or perhaps there’s certain things you’d like to experience sexually or whatever that might be, but being able to share what that is—even before you go into it so that you set a clear intention.
Focusing the attention is-- you set the space, and then being able to go in with your eyes open. So eyes open – it could be literal or figurative; if you want to think of it that way, but its like you’re not just kind of groping through the motions, but your really making a heart connection. So heart connection might be both of you paying attention of the sensation of the heart. Maybe you’re sitting , or standing or lying down in such a ways that your hearts are touching, and your breathing in and out of your hearts, and saying loving things to each other, or paying attention to sensation.
Often times if we connect through the heart first, and we’ve shared our intention through our voice; then when we move to the sex its this whole other level of relating that can happen, because its not just the primal -- going through the motions, but your awake and aware inside of the process.
Francesca Gentille: So you’ve set the intention, maybe it can be anything from “I want to have a beautiful experience with you, I want to be deepen our love, I want to have to have the most delicious sexual encounter with you that I’ve ever had with anyone”—whatever intention the couple has shared, Whether they’re a long-term couple or a short term couple, and then that placing the attention. So what are they doing now to really place the attention? What are specific actions that they’re doing?
Sylvia Brallier: For example, like I said -- It’s preparing the space, doing heart breathing. In your speaking about what it is that you want--don’t just listen to what the other person says. If you agree that that is something that you feel comfortable with-- follow through. Do what you can to help each other to have the experience that you want.
That might mean asking, “Is this what you want? Is this right?” or saying,”Can we do this? Making a suggestion which you would like to see happen, even during the course of it.
Keeping the lines of communication throughout-- being willing to take the risk of speaking what you’re feeling, what you’re wanting, what you’re needing during the course of it. Really paying attention to the sensation because a lot of times, something will be happening and we’ll be off thinking about what’s the next thing I want to have happen. We’re not in the moment or were in the next moment or what happened five moments ago. Being in present time with your attention is going to give you more sensation than being in some future or past time.
Francesca Gentille: I like that. That being in the present actually gives us more sensation and the risking-- being willing to risk. For a lot of us it does feel very risky to say what we want. But when we do oddly enough, there’s a greater chance of getting what we want.
Sylvia Brallier: Absolutely
Francesca Gentille: Sylvia, I just want to thank you so much for sharing some of this-- The simple 1-2-3 of stepping into Tantric Shamanism; the authenticity, really supporting this journey of erotic authenticity. If people want to get hold of you how would you best like them to find you and reach you?
Sylvia Brallier: Oh, I think the easiest way would be to go to www.tantricshamanism.com
Francesca Gentille: www.tantricshamanism.com For all of you that are listening today, if you want to learn more about Sylvia, her website, a transcript from the show, other URL’s for her book etcetera. You can find that at www.personallifemedia.com. That’s www.personallifemedia.com with two l’s in the middle and thank you so much Sylvia for joining us today.
Sylvia Brallier: It was a pleasure!
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