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Sexual enlightenment through the art of Tantra

SAN DIEGO -- The topic of sexuality makes many uncomfortable because of the pressures, rules and “norms” embedded into society and our diverse cultures. Sexual enlightenment, however, is not so much about achieving an orgasm as it is about healing and living consciously by connecting to something bigger than yourself.

“If any part of your life feels like it is limited and you’re hungry to take that new step,” Dr. Lisa Apramian said, “the Tantric path will open up aspects in every part of your living, your creativity, how you think about yourself and others, how you talk and what you attract.”

Apramian is a director, psychologist, researcher and sensual arts coach at the Sacred Sanctuary San Diego (SSSD) temple she helped to establish more than a decade ago. The 4,000-square-foot temple - a seasonal home to the Gaden Shartse Tibetan Buddhist monks - is also where varopis healing, restoring and awakening workshops, classes and retreats take place.

Apramian’s workshops and coaching sessions focus on helping individuals and couples experience spiral awakening and discover an enlightened sexuality, through Tantric methods in either an intimate or private setting.

With Valentine’s weekend here, Apramian’s weeklong Intimacy Rituals workshops have nearly sold out, and upon her return from a workshop she is hosting in Costa Rica, she will attend events in New York and Los Angeles. Despite her busy schedule, she continues to seek new ways of reaching out to San Diegans, and recently she began promoting workshops for the LGBT community.

In December 2009, she held her first workshop for lesbians and bisexual women and couples, titled “Tantra for Womyn who love Womyn.” The weekend-long experience was aimed at rekindling passion, weaving spirituality, deepening connections, healing wounds, and nourishing and balancing their energies.

The workshop also helped Apramian identify the issues most important to women within the LGBT community, which she will utilize to reshape and modify future workshops.

“It was very exciting,” she said. “Women want to have exercises. They are ready to grow, to expand, to try new techniques and methods, and to learn about passion and connectivity with their partners.”

At the end of March, with the help of her male colleague Del Mar (a massage therapist, musician and co-facilitator of Gay Tantra), she will host a workshop aimed at helping gay men connect with each other and with themselves.

Apramian feels that the LGBT community needs to be introduced to Tantric methods that fit their lifestyles and in doing so they will awaken and support their passions. The workshops have been very successful in LGBT communities in New York and Los Angeles, a success she expects to mimic here in San Diego.

What is Tantra?

“The biggest misconception about Tantra,” Apramian said, “is that people think it’s some sort of mythical word they have no connection too, or that it’s just about sex, but it is more than a sexual experience or having an orgasm.”

If you approach Tantra with an open mind and an open heart, she said, you can learn methods that address connection and achieve sexual healing (i.e. some people have issues that deal with rape, molestation, suppression or some sort of sexual dysfunction).

Apramian’s sessions focus on the art of Tantric massage, touching and breathing. Among the topics addressed are the following:

• Qi/Energy Medicine
• Spirituality/Cosmology/Quantum Psychology
• Depth Psychology/Shamanism/Community
• Conscious Communication
• Sound Healing/Toning
• Loving Kindness & Compassion
• Conscious Prosperity/Ego Psychology
• Dance/Conscious Movement
• Nutrition/Conscious Eating
• Conservation

“I choose to ethically use the awesome power of sexual energy and the power of attraction to enlighten via education, conscious facilitation and visionary endeavors,” Apramian said.

Although her workshops and private coaching sessions cost (on a sliding scale) from $100 to $500 per session, Apramian is mostly interested in sharing her knowledge and understands that for many, these are difficult financial times. She encourages members of the community genuinely interested in pursuing Tantric enlightenment to not be dissuaded by cost. In some cases, she will offer the opportunity for couples or individuals to take part in anonymous studies in exchange for free sessions; it is what she calls a “win-win” situation.

To learn more about Apramian’s extensive resume and workshops, visit her website http://enlightenedsexuality.com/. She also offers DVDs, books and a variety of methods for individuals to learn about the ancient art of Tantra in a contemporary fusion of Western and Eastern ideas.