The ever-smiling Durga Devi has the weapons to fight the demon in all possible forms.
Durga gives her followers on the Yoga path the tools to fight their own inner demons in a gentle manner. In Indian iconography the tiger stands for god’s grace. In the shamanic cosmovision of the Amazon the tiger stands for relaxed power in action, and patience. Like a tiger you sometimes have to wait until the right moment occurs. For us, the tiger is a bridge between Indigenous and Vedic wisdom.
Iris Disse is a composer, writer, radio producer, and filmmaker. In 1993 she got to know Tantra Yoga practice and philosophy with her partner David Höner. It changed her life in a profoundly positive way, and she saw that the different twines of what it means to be human are woven into a colorful tapestry instead of shocking opposite and antipodes.
Tantra Yoga is an amazing tool to integrate all these facets into your life. All of us at this school are convinced that with this approach to life we can create a more peaceful world where people live their lives in creativity and harmony with the sacred law. For us, this includes the acceptance of co-responsibility for what happens in the world and being a part of the solution, not the problem.
Let’s ride Durga’s tiger!
A tantric school where art and yoga meet the shaman
by Iris Disse
I want to go home. Peace, joy, the “one”. Light. A deep sexy adventurous peace in me – independent of what is going on outside of me.
The outside is dancing on my nerves. The banking system – crime against the peoples, which proves to be legal. People starve themselves to death – but there is food for everyone. The powerholders of the planet who have not yet understood that even their children and grandchildren cannot breathe oil either. Whoever sells weapons sows refugees. What do I know? Wherever I look – the madness of normality.
I have done something about it in my life – as a theatre woman, as a social filmmaker. Now there are doubts again. What should I do now?
Stability I get again and again dancing the tantric path, diving to the depth of myself. Everything that exists is sacred. Even the stockbroker. Also the warmonger. What the Almighty does not want does not exist. Ouch. That hurts. Ok ok. Divine logic is not mine, I get it.
Then: If people know everything, and according to Buddha they only have to wake up – then I will found a school where people will wake up again. What techniques have given me the experience that I KNOW that I have the power to shape my life, to intervene, first of all in my closest environment? That my BEING has a meaning, that I am connected to the “Great Mystery”?
What knowledge, what techniques have made me fearless in my life? What do I want to pass on?
This is how “Durga’s Tiger School” for Tantra, Yoga, Shamanism and Art came into being.
A tantric school. What does that mean?
“Do what you want – in consciousness and love”. A school of experience.
We dance the creation, celebrate the many. We are creative persons, discovering the 64 aesthetic arts of Tantra – from looking at the stars, to dancing, to debating, to yoga, to writing poems, to leading rituals, to sex… to name but a few. And then, rich in the “many” we return to the “one”.
Tantra: Communication turns you on
27 years ago our son was born, the fruit of a great love.
My world is collapsing on all levels. I know how to love, but I have no structure that leads me to freedom in love and allows me to live an everyday life not only as a theatre-maker, but also as a lover and mother. I react in a panic, send the man away – the child is there, I can’t be without theatre.
We come across Sky Dancing Tantra, and the techniques we learn there save us as a couple.
Our sex changes: alone, in twos, and then together.
We free ourselves from the compulsion of spontaneity. We can learn love, plan our intimate encounters. I am responsible for myself, my sexuality, my feelings, the beloved is only a trigger. We learn monodialogs, a new way of communicating from the heart.
This is where intimacy arises. Love is not a feeling, love is the decision to go a way together once the grace of recognition has manifested itself. We do not belong to each other. Even as a lover, I can always follow my own path just like my partner, without being paralyzed by the fear that we might lose our common direction. Love blooms when I feel free.
The great happiness rises from nowhere like bubbles of air from the mud, which push to the surface to burst gently.
It is exciting to pass this knowledge on.
Shamanism: I am the mosquito
When I leave the theatre, I find in the field of radio the space to be a professional, a mother and partner. But I want to be far away from Berlin. We come to Ecuador, to the middle of the world. Fourteen indigenous ethnic groups! As a radio producer, I explore the world of listening. We make features about the ethnic groups, and I take the son with me into the jungle, we chase sounds. The laughter of the indigenous when I let go of the rope too early and land in the mud instead of in the river. Nightly attacks by porcupines, tarantulas and mosquitoes. I eat worms and spit in the Chicha.
Ayahuasca, the vine of death. I lie in the hammock and relax in the symphony of the nightly jungle. The shaman calls me, and then the rustling of the Surupanga takes away all my heaviness. A Limpia, I am purified and come into harmony with the world that surrounds me. The visions of the great serpent open new dimensions. In the Temascal we sit close together, sweat in the belly of Mother Earth, the stones glow red in the darkness of the low round ritual hut, singing we breathe together. I pray for myself, for others, thank myself, and give away everything I no longer need, becoming light, so light.
Shamanistic rituals bring art, healing, social thinking, spirituality together. That goes deep, symbolic connections with ALL. I am the mosquito. I am the nature that surrounds me.
Knowledge which has power. Give it on.
Yoga: I am not a car
Kaula Tantra Yoga is based on deep relaxation. A session is a meditation in motion – for at least one and a half hours, but usually two and a half to three hours. Body, mind and soul flow together again. No more fragmentation of my body: “this asana repairs the liver, it makes a nice ass, it works for the back”. I’m not a car. My muscles remember how wonderful it was to move before the social censorship (be quiet, sit down, don’t wriggle, shut up, don’t get dirty, don’t run…. no… no…hold still). They move again with relaxation, with joy, and I flow into every asana. I rest, and nothing strains.
Revolutionary is also the trust I place in myself: my body finds the asana. I don’t need alignment. The Asanas are old healing archetypal attitudes. I KNOW them – if I dive inside myself. No one has to tell me from the outside if I am right. Wow. After weeks of uncertainty a wave of trust when I found the asana or the asana moves my “body mind soul” unity.
Never again in my life will I allow myself to be told from the outside if I am ok. I find it in me. What security.
Opening this space of experience for other people is important for me. It is so simple.
Art: I dance Durga´s Tiger
As inside so outside, as outside so inside. So many feelings come up, move me. When old patterns become visible and want to dissolve, old fears are slowly disempowered, there is a BANG. Don’t judge, there are no negative feelings. Be your inner witness and just watch. And then express it.
That’s how the Heyoka comes into play, the shamanic clown. You hold the mirror up to yourself. Yoga of feelings. Liberated screaming, crying, laughing, silence. Theatre, that is all.
Durga´s Tiger dance. My demons are moved, emerge, dissolve in the light of breath, voice, movement. My voice makes every cell vibrate.
Silently we paint a yantra on the floor with coloured sand – a picture that the wind carries away. Non attachment.
In the forum I stand in the middle. Use the theatrical expression to tell what makes my heart beat. Self-portrayal can be entertaining – for everyone. And deeply moving. I am not my thoughts, my feelings. The inner witness smiles.
Movement, breath, voice – the three tantric keys. Pass it on
The community – love is a social phenomenon
“You’re a social loner,” my friend says. I love people. People strain me. I need to be alone. That’s how it is. At parties I dance a lot. So I am present without having to talk much. I love rituals. To playfully invent worlds together with people in the theatre and to work towards a foreseeable goal, the premiere, is joy: a life in parallel realities.
Tantra training is no longer about a goal, but about me as a woman. That is a challenge. Trust and vastness arise when many people work intensively and truthfully on themselves, immerse themselves in them and then express deep longings. When I communicate feelings and needs, nobody in the group has a problem, I may be angry, helpless or sad. We all become researchers in inner spaces. There is compassion and respect for each other. Perceiving that I and my partner are not the sole owners of our seemingly oh so private problems, but that amazingly many couples have very similar difficulties, changes the perspective enormously. Is failure in couple love a social phenomenon?
To build a research space such as Durga´s Tiger School is healing.
Meditation: I die. I live. I hold my breath. I am in eternity, here and now
The meditation holds me. Short visits to I and I. That feels good. Coming home. The way I am. Concentrated, agitated, sad, happy, lacking energy, vibrating – everything is allowed. Now.
The chakras turn, lotus blossoms are born, pass away. Light blows into every cell. Every cell sends light. I shine, oh man.
Voice it forward.
Rebellion: I´m out of here.
Durga´s Tiger School is subversive. Rebellion is on, it flows through me like a rising river. Resistance is washed away. I become fearless. I know: The great mystery, God speaks, acts, draws through me.
The division of life into work and leisure is a fiction. Many yogis and yoginis of the Durga´s Tiger School quit their “jobs” and start to live. Waking up, they become seeds blown into the world by the wind of change. They feed our morphogenetic field with alternatives to the current global suicide program.
Yes to the mystery. Life is exciting.