Answers to Questions we are frequently asked about our workshops.
The men in our workshops come from all walks of life. Often they are looking for new experiences. They either want to reevaluate what is important to them, to leave patterns and inhibitions behind that don't serve them anymore or they want to awaken their untapped potential. Often, they want to connect to their spirituality and experiment with making connections in a communal setting.
All ages starting from the age of 18 are present, though most men who follow the call range from 30 to 50. Bisexual men or men who recently came out like to come to our workshops. There are usually 12-24 men in a group.
Our intention during a workshop is to build our exercises on a strong foundation of trust. Self-exploration has a lot to do with expanding beyond established boundaries and behaviour. It can be quite healing to consciously recognize ones boundaries and to show them.
Only then others have the ability to recognize your boundaries and to respect them. Your ability to say "No," and to express your desires and needs contains an important aspect of your Self.
These qualities play a significant role in the creation of a positive, self-determined and healthy life. Our group process allows you to cultivate these qualities in a safe environment.
Sometimes, resistance to a process might surface and get in the way of further pleasure or development. It might then be useful to find out what is going on behind the resistance. It might also be useful not to continue the exercise and simply bring awareness to what is going on inside.
Nowadays, the term "Tantra" is used in various ways. Often, the central intention revolves around rituals that honour the highest in ourselves and to experience dual opposites, such as male/female, light/shadow, sex/spirit, as one. That is where we are congruent with "Tantra."
Yes, of course! We start where others end.
Different from everyday life, however, sex to us is contact in all forms. We work with the whole body and with sexual energy. The degree of intimacy depends on the workshop and your personal boundaries. We also offer workshops where sexuality is not a predominant topic.
Being naked is a pleasant and useful precondition for many exercises. (Imagine an erotic massage with oil while being dressed!) Each time it is up to you to decide, if and to what degree you would like to be naked. Often, our longing for contact and sensuality is opposed by our fear to get hurt. The trustful, attentive atmosphere in our workshops can help you with fears you might have around being naked.
If participants were allowed to freely choose their partners in our workshops, some of them might experience tremendous anxiety. The reason for this is, on the one hand a deep fear of rejection, on the other hand, the free choice of partners is often emotionally tied in with a preconceived set of expectations. Therefore, Gay Love Spirit frequently and playfully assigns random pair-ups, which keeps things interesting and fun while providing lots of experiences.
Exercise partners are there to have an experience with you. You don't have to spend the next night with him or move in with him. Often, the men whom we wouldn't normally choose help us to expand our horizon, while our dream candidate might suddenly mutate into a high-maintenance diva. ;-)
Essentially, it is about growth experiences you have with yourself. The other participants can serve in mirroring things back to you.
A ritual is an instrument. It provides a structure outside of regular time/space, within which it becomes possible to have a new experience. Your consciousness can open to a magical dimension, as you surrender to the unknown. Thus, transformation and growth can happen.
Some examples for Gay Love Spirit rituals are:
Massage ritual: You encounter several massage partners who are chosen for you randomly. The trainer keeps an eye on the rules and makes sure everyone's wellbeing is tended to.
Transformation rituals: Powerful rituals to support personal desires and growth.
Sweatlodge: Cleansing ritual, which is very common amongst North American Indian tribes.
Self-love ritual: We treat ourselves with love, acceptance and compassion.
The stillness we are referring to is the stillness of mind. In our workshops we use meditation and silence, breath and body exercises to slow down our thinking and to embrace stillness.
Stillness can also occur when we are in a state of surrendered receptivity, for instance: while watching a sunset, while singing, massaging or while dancing. We are then no longer preoccupied with automatic, mental activity. We are simply present with/within whatever we are doing or experiencing.
We then enter a state of empty, open mind and immediate awareness, where our attention is only preoccupied with what IS happening momentarily. That is what we mean by "presence."
Stillness and presence can give rise to an experience of peace, bliss, trust, joy, flow, love or oneness.
You can participate in our workshops by yourself, as a single, while being in a relationship or with your partner or partners.
It can be a great experience to attend a workshop together with your partner. Supported by the group dynamic, exercises and touch rituals, as well as individual spiritual transformation can revive and enrich a relationship.
On the other hand, the presence of your partner might also limit or inhibit your process. This is why men sometimes consciously choose to come alone. No matter if alone or with someone, what is waiting for you are a lot of interesting men and their beauty.
Sometimes, a workshop is the beginning of a little romance, love adventure or a new relationship. However, the most important aspect to us, are the many long term intimate bonds and friendships that can develop in our community and our groups.
Our groups are an opportunity to meet other men in a very special context and setting.
Basically, they don't. Couple's who participate in our workshops receive from us the support they need.
Problems tend to arise, when the partners hold different beliefs regarding contact and intimacy with other men. We mediate the exchange around these issues or help you to start one. Fear and jealousy are often the result of a lack of communication.
We have seen that our workshops can accelerate existing or latently smouldering conflicts. Sometimes a workshop helps to really see what is going on. Our work strengthens the conscious awareness for the real needs of each individual partner as well as the appreciation of the multifaceted uniqueness of the relationship between them.
If a conflict arises during a workshop, additional further (possibly therapeutic) support might be useful. Meditation is a beautiful tool to create a distance from where it is easier to be calmer and less emotionally charged, and to identify beliefs or roles that need strengthening or that don't serve anymore. This can be the beginning of a new chapter in the relationship.
Generally, anyone can participate in a workshop, unless it is labelled "advanced." Of course, previous experience with consciousness, energy awareness or body work, meditation or Tantra makes the access easier.
Yes, except in the case of the training or workshops that are referred to as "retreat". Retreats are inclusive of common meals and spending the nights on the premises in order to retain the group energy. Thereby, group activities can also start very early and go on until late.