Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series | Legends of Lust and Love
November 11–14, 2022
November 11–14, 2022
with Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Edward Cantú
Register NowRegister NowBook AccommodationsApply NowApply Now

This is a workshop for everyone, it is NOT meant specifically for couples but for anyone who is interested in a deeper understanding of the Tantric tradition.

Let’s talk about sex, baby! In this workshop, we explore the similarities and differences between Tantra and Neo-Tantra, including the concept of sex for procreation versus sexual rituals for living liberation (jīvanmukti) and more.

Join Tantric Scholar-Practitioners Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Cantú for this exploration of the foundations of Tantric theory and practice. Together, we will immerse ourselves in the latest findings from academic research and ethnographic participant-observation that challenge and reframe our conception of what Tantra was, is, and can be. We’ll intertwine that research with authentic Indian folk music performances and guided meditations in a creative, visceral experience for the mind, body, and heart. Our collective practice of these new understandings will open your eyes to Tantra’s connection to a wide variety of vibrant artistic and meditative practices.

In this workshop, you’ll be invited to:

  • Learn about the similarities and differences between “lust” and “love” and how to harness the former to cultivate the latter.
  • Understand how relationships in Tantra relate to gender fluidity and contemporary questions around queer identities.
  • Enjoy the benefit of overcoming negative projections and self-generated illusions based on our bodily inhibitions.
  • Appreciate the power that myth and epic literature provide for shaping and molding our conceptions of love, gender, and sexuality.
  • See Tantra’s connections with art and music,  as well as a broader continuum of its relevance in daily life.

Develop skills to communicate your personal practice to friends and family using your new academic, researched-based understanding of Tantra.

Please Note: In this workshop, we will not be demonstrating Tantric Sex or how to enhance sexual pleasures. However, much of what we will discuss will address gender identity and sexuality.

We invite you to join us for this series of workshops that blend meditation, art, and music with a holistic inquiry into the power and therapeutic potential of Tantra. Bring an open mind as we explore deep questions about our bodies and minds in a safe space and nurturing environment.

Sravana Borkataky-Varma

Sravana Borkataky-Varma

Sravana Borkataky-Varma is a historian, educator, and social entrepreneur. She studies Indian religions focusing on esoteric rituals and gender, lectures at Harvard Divinity School and University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and co-founded a nonprofit, Lumen Tree Portal.

Read More

Keith Edward Cantú

Keith Edward Cantú

Keith Edward Cantú is an academic, musician, and polyglot with a deep professional and personal interest in South Asian religion and spirituality. He has extensively researched and directly engaged Baul Fakiri, Tamil Śaiva, and other tantric currents over the course of eleven years, and also has a personal and professional interest in esotericism more broadly.

Read More

Categories:
Category :   
Workshop Schedule

Friday
8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:15 pm – 6:15 pm
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sunday
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:15 pm – 6:15 pm
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Monday
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

More activities can be found on our open class schedule.

See general schedule information including arrival, departure and meal times.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive, program-specific tuition. Please note that not all accommodation levels are available for every workshop and additional faculty fees may apply.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

Accommodations & Tuition

For this workshop, you will register and pay for accommodations and tuition in two separate steps.

First, sign up and pay tuition directly to

Second, click Book Accommodations from this page and enter the password to complete your reservation to stay at Esalen.

Prices for accommodations include your lodging, meals, open classes, and use of the baths and other facilities. View partner program accommodations pricing.

COVID Update

In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective January 7, 2022 in response to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, all guests and faculty will provide proof of negative PCR, NAAT, or antigen test results at time of check-in. The test must be taken within 72 hours nd results must come from a laboratory or healthcare provider.Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective December 15 in accordance with new guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Health, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022). Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective November 19, 2021, in accordance with new guidance from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are no longer required to wear masks indoors on campus. Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Starting November 5, 2021, due to substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission in Monterey County, a mask mandate established by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will go into effect. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

All guests will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival starting September 3, 2021. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Masks are no longer mandated indoors or outdoors, except during massage sessions. Guests are not required to provide testing or vaccination verification before arriving on campus. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

All-inclusive Pricing
//