Episode 75: THE GIRL NEXT DOOR GOES TANTRIC with Christy Wines
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR GOES TANTRIC with Christy Wines called by her friends "The Empress of the World, Holistic Health Practitioner, Ordained Minister with "The Beloved" community, Tantric Practitioner.
In this episode, Christy charmingly reveals her beginnings as a conservative girl from the Midwest and her journey to be a Tantric Practioner. Discover Tantra as an instrument for expansion and the soul journey in relationships. Experience God through the senses and unlock your natural shaman.
This program is intended for mature audiences only.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome to Sex: Tantra and Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex. With me today is Christy Wines. Christy is a holistic health practitioner, an ordained minister with the Beloved Community. And she’s also, personally, a tantric practitioner and is called by her friends The Empress of the World. Welcome Christy. I have to ask why they have given you the title, Empress of the World.
Christine Wines: Oh my goodness. Part of it has to do with my personality. I’m very outgoing. Sometimes to the point of people saying I’m a little bit in their face. I happen to think I have just the most fabulous ideas for how to order the world. And so I one day was saying was, “You know, if I were Empress of the World…” and I proceeded to tell them how I would run the world and that just kind of stuck.
Francesca Gentille: I love that. And one of the things I love about that, and I want all of our listening audience to steal, is that we each get to be the Emperor and Empress of the world. And it is said that the greatest form of flattery is imitation. And I just invite all of our listeners: you are the star of your movie, you are the Emperor or the Empress of your world. And to really envision, while you listen to these shows and always, what is the magnificence of the world that you could create if you were really in charge and it could be as beautiful and wonderful as possible. Now Christy, your life went through some ups and downs. You didn’t always experience yourself as the Empress of the World. And it was through serendipity that you and I met. And you said, “Do you want to interview someone who’s just been a person? Who’s been living life and actually practicing this?” And I said, “Yes.” So, give us a little background. Where are you from? How did you become…What’s the journey that eventually took you to the holistic health practitioner, tantric goddess and Empress of the World? Where did it start?
Christine Wines: Do you have about seven hours? I’ll try to be brief.
Francesca Gentille: Key points. Where are you from? Where are you from originally?
Christy Wines: I’m from Ohio originally. I’m a Buckeye. And was brought up in a fairly normal fifties, sixties, Leave-it-to-Beaver kind of household. Mom, Dad…actually it was more than 2 point whatever kids. There were four of us. I was the eldest. It was a fairly normal childhood. I didn’t have any major childhood traumas at all. But I was always questioning and although I was very deeply involved in my church, which for the school year was Methodist and the summers was Baptist, because Grandma was a Baptist, I was deeply involved in that but I had just tons of questions that never seemed to be answered. And I started my journey towards holistic health actually, with my grandfather out in the wilds of southwestern Pennsylvania. He was what I would call a shaman and an organic gardener before any of those terms became common parlance. He was very reverent towards the earth and taught me a lot about using herbs for health and just the natural way of life. But one of my –
Francesca Gentille: I’m going to stop you just right there. Once again, for the sake of our listeners is that what I hear Christy pointing to, and I distinguish it the same way, is that Shaman is a being. So that many of us at heart, are truly Shamans. A being who is close to the cycles of the earth, the seasons. Feels reverent and divinity in nature. Feels a sense of wanting to care for or heal the body or animals or is a beautiful gardener. It’s those people, hundreds of years ago, thousands of years ago, they would have been the Shamans. They would have been the herbalists; they would have been the wise women, and the wise men. And many of them are deeply intuitive and are strong dreamers. And I’m guessing that you and I agree that when we say that your grandfather was a Shaman that he might not have said he was that. However, that you and I agree that –
Christine Wines: He absolutely wouldn’t have understood that word but he absolutely was exactly what you said. And that is absolutely true. So all along I’ve had this interest in this kind of healing mechanism that ties you to the earth’s energies. But I also got sidetracked into international stuff because I was also interested in other cultures, languages and so forth. I did a stint in the Peace Corps, where I met my first husband. I was in the Foreign Service for a number of years. So I kept getting into the international field and then kept getting kicked back into the healing. And the healing aspect is what brought me to my spiritual path. Which is why I love tantra because, to me, it combines pretty much everything that has ever meant anything to me.
Francesca Gentille: Let me stop you there. Because here’s the nice girl from Ohio, Methodist and Baptist. She’s spending time with her grandfather in the wilds and starting to get this sense of attunement with the earth. She’s not probably consciously thinking of leaving the church or anything like that, but she has some questions about how the body and the spirit and sexuality fit into divinity. So how does tantra answer those questions? How does it really give someone, an American or someone from a Western culture, a spiritual path?
Christy Wines: Well, this is what I understand of tantra. And you have to understand that tantra is extremely ancient. It even predates what we know as yoga. So if you ask any tantric practitioner to explain tantra, you’ll probably get as many answers as you ask the question. My understanding of tantra, which actually comes from two Sanskrit words meaning “instrument for expansion”, what I understand about tantra is that we are physical beings, very animal in our physical needs, but yet we are also spiritual beings. So that gives us a very interesting roller coaster ride during life. The fact that we are in physical bodies does not mean that we cannot attain spiritual bliss and the connection with the oneness that is God. But instead of denying our bodies’ needs, which is the hallmark of many religions to reach enlightenment or salvation, you have to kind of give stuff up. And we’re right now in the Christian season of Lent which is give up the stuff you like because you have to honor the sacrifice that Jesus made. And I’m all about honoring that sacrifice. But I also believe that that creator, whatever you want to call that word for God, that spark of divinity that’s within us all, operates best when we are true to all of our natures. Which include the physical. Which include the sensual. Which include the compassionate and loving. So for me, tantra is a path whereby you experience God through your senses. You experience God with your sight and your hearing and your taste and your touch and with connection with another human being through the sex act.
Francesca Gentille: That is so beautiful. And within that, embracing the senses and embracing all, the noble sacrifice is also cross-cultural and ancient. It’s a part of who we are to say, “I want to sacrifice for my children”. Or “I want to sacrifice for a noble cause.” And yet, at the same time we want to be in the divine paradox, the “and both” versus the “either or”. And I truly believe that because the divine encompasses everything, is there anywhere that God is not, the divine encompasses everything, that’s it’s dwelling in paradox that gives us an opening to the divine. So I love that. And I also want to invite for our listening audience, that in one of the journeys that I was giving to one of my clients where she was feeling very blocked about her sensuality. And we did an inner journey to find her guide, her spiritual guide, that wanted to tell her about her body and her senses. That when she found her guide, she travelled to a beautiful lake and beautiful mountains and she invited her guide to come to her and her guide was Jesus. And that when I invited her to ask Jesus what he felt about her longing for sensuality and more connection, sexual and erotic connection, in her marriage and in her life, Jesus said to her, in her visualization “Your body is blessed. Your body is divine. Everything about it is divine. And you are meant to enjoy your senses as part of the divine that you are.” And I just love that that was the communication that she got in her inner landscape.
Christine Wines: That was powerful. That’s very, very powerful. And I always felt that there was something missing in Bible class. If we’re given the premise that God is love, that God is omnipotent and that God created everything for a reason and a purpose, and that there’s nothing that we can do to distance ourselves from that love, then why would we then turn around and say, “Oh but wait! There’s only these people who are going to be saved. And these people who are going to do that.” And that just never resonated for me at all. We’re either saying that he’s perfect, except he made a mistake when he gave us a strong sex drive? That just didn’t make sense to me. And so I actually was trying to pinpoint when I started questioning all this stuff in Sunday school. And it happened very, very young. I think even before I was a teenager and didn’t really know much about sex. But I just felt somehow that there was something missing or something that had been skewed.
Francesca Gentille: Let’s talk more about that coming back into a place of center and communion with the body, with life and with the divine and how you’ve experienced that in the tantric path. And what our listening audience can also do in their own lives and at home in their own questioning journey, after we come back from a word from our fabulous sponsors. And we encourage you to support our sponsors because that keeps shows like this on the Internet, on your MP3 with you. And we’ll be right back.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome back to Sex: Tantra and Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex. We’re speaking today with Christy Wines. Christy, the Empress of the World, tantric practitioner, holistic health practitioner and ordained minister. In a sense, when you started out as the average person. No life is, in a way, completely average. I’m inquiring with you about what it’s like to be on the tantric path. So you were saying that you came from Ohio, you hinted that you got married, that your spiritual questions started to be answered in certain ways, with tantra. Was this during your marriage or how did this all weave in?
Christy Wines: It’s very interesting that you brought that up. Because, as I said earlier, I consider myself to be kind of a normal girl from Ohio kind of thing. So as a good girl from Ohio I was thinking, “Well, I should get married and have kids and do that whole thing.” Even though as I came of age in the ‘60’s I was also all into women’s liberation and the whole hippy thing. But there was still a part of me that was very traditional and very into what I should do. So I did the Peace Corps thing, which was a very hippy thing to do. And I met my first husband in Honduras, which is where I was posted. And he was a native of that country and we married. And then eventually came back to the United States. He’s a fabulous person, very creative, very wonderful, very intelligent. But he also had, I’ll put this gently, an anger management problem. And I usually was the end of his fist when he was having an anger management problem. And the first time I got smacked I was stunned into total immobility and all of my theories of what I would do if a man ever hit me, went right out the window. So all my feminist diatribe of, “no man has a right to do this” and “I will walk out and call the Police” and all that, I did none of that. And I stayed in that marriage and I’m still trying to work through what my path was that had me in that marriage for 13 years and three children. We finally decided that we were going to just end up killing each other if we didn’t leave. So we did. Then, five years later I married a man as opposite as I could find from the first one. It was kind of a business decision, if you will, why I married him. Because he was compatible with me on many levels, intellectually, primarily. And he was definitely not a hitter, a wife beater kind of person. And yet I wasn’t really in love with him. I was not compatible with him sexually but I thought I was in my early forties, I was about ready to go overseas with the Foreign Service, I thought it was a good idea to be stable with a husband, etc., etc. That quickly became a very sad situation for me because I was not expressing my sexuality, my sensuality. I was not feeling the love back, even though he said many times how much he adored and loved me, he didn’t show it in his actions. That became kind of really the opposite. I had all this drama and terror and fear but I had great passion in my first marriage. And in the second marriage, I didn’t have the drama and the fear, but I didn’t have the passion either.
Francesca Gentille: I’m going to stop you for just a second because that is a quandary that many of us go through. Is passion and then problem. And then a sense of peace but no spark. And I believe, listening audience, that we are getting there, is that tantra and sacred sexuality end up being a unifying force such that we can experience greater and greater ease, harmony and peace in our relationship while having an ongoing sense of deep connection. So there’s good news down the road. But what I’ve found is that there’s this myth that we’re supposed to instinctively know how to have fabulous relationships. We instinctively know how to touch someone and how to communicate how we want to be touched. And I’ve had enough experience in my life to know that people are very unique. And the way one person likes to be touched, the next person will not like to be touched that way. The way one person loves to be shown love, the next person will not want to be shown love that way. And so there’s an opportunity, for our listening audience, is to really try on that you’re Christy and that there’s a life here to be trained and developed. So what happened? So here, you’re learning. You have, this is too violent. What is it? Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Too hot, too cold. And then what happened.
Christy Wines: I found the baby bear! While my second marriage was ending I started studying tantra. And part of why I went to tantra is I had also decided to go back to church because I was really missing that spiritual connection. So I was going to an Episcopal church but at the same time studying tantra. And if that doesn’t sound like opposite ends of the spectrum I don’t know what does. But it worked for me and I started to pull my soul back from wherever it had wandered. And I started feeling more centered and more grounded, more able to have compassion for both of my husbands, actually. And for the pain that they were feeling that caused them to act in the ways that they did, either the violent outbursts or the indifferent rejection. So that finally led me to asking for the divorce. So that I could not so much be free of him, but allow him to grow in his way and continue to grow in my way. And I had no intention of finding another marriage or long term partner because I was pretty much done with that. I said, “Two time loser. I’m not going to do this again…”
Francesca Gentille: I’m sorry that I keep jumping in here, but there’s so many beautiful points that you’re making. Is that one of the points that I heard you kind of gloss over but I really want to highlight, is that you went back to the Episcopal Church and were studying tantra. So it doesn’t have to be either/or. And you came to a place of compassion that allowed you to have a more harmonious transition and completion with your second husband. And I think that’s missing in our world today. I just want to highlight it because so often we end up feeling like we have to get so angry that we can finally leave. Rather than understanding that sometimes it’s out of my love for you and my love for me.
Christy Wines: I was actually surprised at how I approached the end of the marriage. Because I was very angry for many years at him. The second one. Well, I was angry with the first one too but that’s the other story. And I thought, “Yeah! I’m going to divorce your sorry ass!” And I had all these lists of why I was divorcing him. But when I finally filed the papers and we sat down to talk about it, all of a sudden I came from a heart place and my heart said, “I am doing this for me. And I am doing this for you. We no longer suit each other. And I’m not doing this for any reason that you have done anything to me because you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do in your path. I am doing this for my growth and I think this also will be a good thing for you and your path.” And all of those excuses and those reasons and those “you did this” and “you didn’t do that” stuff, that just completely blew out the window and I was amazed to hear what came out of my mouth. And I believe that it wasn’t from me. It was from that deeper inner me, that spirit, that God place that opened my heart to compassion at the ending of a relationship. However dysfunctional it might have been, it was a relationship.
Francesca Gentille: Beautiful. Beautiful. May we have more gracious completions from a place of compassion in the world. So you got to that point, you were still studying tantra, but a part of you was saying, “I’m never going to partner again.”
Christy Wines: Well, let me alter that just a little bit. I was always planning to have sexual adventures. I was never planning to give that up. My idea was I would indulge in…whatever you want to call it. The swinger lifestyle or the polyamorous lifestyle. Or to have tantric relationships in some of the tantra practices I was doing –
Francesca Gentille: Ooo! What’s a tantric relationship? Don’t just gloss over these things!
Christy Wines: Well, one of the practices that I have been doing here in San Diego we have a huge tantric community. And lots of wonderful facilitators and teachers and guides. And one of the ones I attended several pujas with, which is kind of a sacred worship service, we would do rotations where the men would move around so that we would do little exercises with each other so that everybody would have a chance to partner with everybody else. And some of those pujas become quite sensual and even sexual at then end when the official puja ends, then people are invited to stay and practice what they’ve learned, so to speak. The unenlightened might call it an orgy or group sex. But to somebody who was coming from a space of tantra, I was calling it a where I would be absolutely, totally in love with and focused on the God of the moment, whom I might not even know his last name. And we would have this blissful beautiful experience and then I might never see him again. Or if I did it would just be, “Oh. Beloved person.” And give a big hug and kiss. But that’s what I mean by “tantric relationship”.
Francesca Gentille: And to also help illuminate for our listening audience, what I heard you saying is that in a tantra puja worship service, it reminds me of the part of the British marriage ceremony which says, “with my body I thee worship”. And so it’s that sense of worshipping and adoring another person, heart, body, mind and Eros. And understanding that the divine is in each. And so if I’m at something like this, I have one partner for whatever, five minutes, ten minutes. It might be caressing their face, it might be kissing their nose, it might be massaging their back. And then I’m with the next partner. This is being led. So this is not just a free-for-all. There’s someone who’s actually a guide, the minister so to speak, who’s saying “Now look into this person’s eyes. See the beautiful soul. Reach out with your hand, caress their face.” So there’s a sense of a container, there is a sense of pacing. And then what I hear you saying, is sometimes at the end of this evening or afternoon or whatever the service was, is that people would continue if they felt called to do so. To continue to kiss or cuddle or to bring it into more intimate ways. And that this was beautiful, it was tender, there was the heart involved. And yet it was a moment in time. There wasn’t another commitment, that this connection would mean something for the future. Is that correct?
Christy Wines: Exactly. Yes. That’s 100% correct. You’ve said it just beautifully and correctly. And so that was very much being “in the now” as that’s become a very popular expression from????.
Francesca Gentille: So there you were having these lovely moments with people in the now and exploring erotically and different ways, a free woman living a free and self-expressed life. Which is wonderful and I think we’ve all had times in our lives, many of us have had times in our lives, whether it was in our young or in our middle years or our later years where we’ve explored that. That sense of the body is sacred and the body as a journey into the divine was…you continued to be on it. And then what happened?
Christine Wines: In September, I went to something called the Whole Being Weekend in Idlewild, California. Kind of an aging hippy weekend experience. A lot of new agers come to that now as well as some of us in the fifties and so forth who have been through the Haight-Ashbury thing. I was at something called a cuddle party. This was non-sexual. This was because people don’t get enough hugs, enough touching of an appropriate loving, open, non-sexual thing. There were about a hundred people and we had all dragged our mattresses from the cabins in and piled them up on this big floor about as big as a basketball court. And we were all clothed. No naked people hanging around. And we were supposed to, for an hour, just crawl around on the mattresses and hug each other. So they had called the time that it was just ready to start and I was kind of looking around to see who I wanted to cuddle with first and somebody approached me and said in a very adorable British accent, “I say, you look like you’d be lovely to cuddle with. Could I have a cuddle?” And I said, “Sure.” And this turned out to be my baby bear! Who’s just right, neither too hot nor too cold. So we have been just having the most incredible relationship. It far transcends any of my either marriages or love affairs or casual sex or anything that I’ve ever had in my life. Even my son, he’s 22 years old and he has seen me go through all kinds of stuff, he was telling me just earlier today he said, “Yeah what you have with…” well, I’ll call his name because I’m not ashamed of it, “what you have with Robin is way different from anything I’ve ever seen before, Mother.” And I said, “Good. Good. I’m glad you noticed that.” So we are truly spiritual because…Frankly, the sex is absolutely magnificent but if you just look at it from a physical thing, what he does, what I do, how it works, it’s average. It’s no better or worse than any of the other dozens of people I’ve had sex with. But when we make love we have this heart connection, this visceral connection, this spiritual connection so that making love with him is like I’m on another plane of existence. It’s the most incredible thing that I have ever experienced in my life. And there are just no words to describe it.
Francesca Gentille: This has been so beautiful Christy. I love that you brought us to that place of, when the divine…when the body mechanics are working and the heart is open and we’re uplifted to somewhere beyond that. Somewhere where we connect with all that is. And that is the heart of tantra. So thank you so much for beautifully embodying this in your life’s journey. I look forward to hearing more in the future. If people want to get a hold of you and find out more about your holistic health practice, how would they do that?
Christy Wines: You can email me. The email address takes the initials from my title which is holistic health practitioner. Or hhp. So my email address is hhpwines. My last name. And that’s just W-I-N-E-S. At aol.com. I welcome any and all contact.
Francesca Gentille: Thank you so much. And thank you, our listening audience, for being on this beautiful and sacred path in your own unique way. And for supporting that sexuality itself can be a source of harmony and union and peace in our planet. Thank you for listening to Sex: Tantra and Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex. You can get transcripts, forward this to your friends, connect with Christy or me at www.personallifemedia.com. That’s www.personallifemedia.com.