Ode to Rhoda
I clearly remember the day back in 2009 when I opened my Google Alerts after recently setting up a “Los Angeles Tantra” weekly email update. Rhoda’s website TantraGlow.com was the first local tantric coaching service I discovered. I was a starving artist with most of my income allocated to creative endeavors that lived better than I did. Despite my tight budget I was eager to learn and study tantra so I immediately drafted a proposal for barter and prayed for a miracle.
I offered two hours worth of website design and marketing consultation in the form of a free diagnostic report on her website, if she saw value in my suggestions, she could choose to reciprocate with an introductory tantra training session.
My offer was accepted, I got to work, and the rest is herstory. In our first session I was guided to connect deeply with breath, movement, sound and visualization. Her calm, soothing, and confident voice sonically illuminated my path towards life-long on-tap kundalini shakti bliss. My Tantra Glow was lit up for good. She exuded the benefits of the practices with her Buddha-like presence. While so many modern pseudo-masters trigger my skepticism, she ceaselessly earned my highest respect and admiration. My anxious and impatient patterns (typical of a late 20’s new age seeker) of swinging from diet to diet, workshop to workshop, program to program, best seller to best seller, were put to rest in the timeless serenity of her guided meditation sessions.
From the first day forward I knew there would never be an excuse to suffer, to be neurotic, to be lost in ego drama, self-pity, or delusion. That’s not to say I’ve been perfectly enlightened ever since, but rather, I know better and trust more than I ever did before, that enlightenment is always just an intentional breath away. I learned quickly that with the application of simple yet effective techniques, any and every moment in life can and should be an opportunity to embrace divinity, and open the heart and mind, body and spirit to the healing love of divine source within.
I began attending regular donation based group trainings at her lovely home. Her charming and endearing husband often participated providing a warm, supportive, playful atmosphere. Their true love was expressed beautifully throughout their home. They have always been a co-creative power couple, inspiring awe and reverence in all who enjoy their friendship and their works.
Several personal life chapters were written with this modern tantric temple service as the highlight of my week. My often complex, interwoven and at times entangled destinies seemed to harmonize with greater ease and synchronicity the more I deepened my tantric practice. Rhoda’s sincere care for my personal progress and affirming astonishment at my wildest accomplishments kept me motivated and proud to be a product of her guidance. While I don’t officially represent Rhoda’s brand, our sacred dynamic is at the core of my personal, professional, and charitable practices.
A lot of my convictions are controversial, my positions and postures are edgy. To remain in good standing with those whom I most respect, I must continually ask for feedback and advisement. It’s impossible to effectively moderate my radical sloganeering by myself. There’s a magical effect when being a student helps keep you in check. My ongoing efforts to earn Rhoda’s approval and pride would get me out of as much trouble as it would keep me out of. The quintessential yearning of an initiate is to make their initiator or initiatrix proud. What better reason to be disciplined and do right than to stay in good standing with your school.
Discovering, loving, and being loved by the infinite expressions of Goddess internally and externally has made me into a cosmic “momma’s boy” in the best sense of the term. I’m a tantric goddess worshiper, I have established my own personalized practice of classical “Devi Sadhana” under the advisement of human and non-human Goddesses. I can’t emphasis enough how important it is that tantric power and wisdom be cultivated, sustained, and transmitted by women, as it was in the mythic beginnings of the radically feminist Shakta Tantra movement in India.
Please allow me to zoom out a bit, to frame a bigger picture context for the female teacher, male student dynamic. Modern “Neo-Tantra” has a sadly but truly deserved bad name. Sex is the slipperiest of slopes a dear friend once said. Tantra men are notorious for getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar, manipulating women with cultish pyramid schemes whereby they are convinced to pay to purchase the only key to their enlightenment which conveniently happens to be hidden down the Guru’s pants. I doubt I will ever descend into debauchery with so much to lose. Rhoda was the first of now many modern priestesses whose spiritual authority gently but firmly watches over my conduct and thus my karma.
Who knows what kind of a douchey predator I might have become had I fallen into the hands of a shameless master such as one of the many who have been brought down in scandals of late. That’s not to say men have no proper place in tantra. We men need to teach, train, and condition each other to bow down, serve, and devote ourselves to Shakti. By doing so we are not spiritually immature soul-sucking parasitic “submissives”, we are true warriors and earners of the classical tantric title of “Vira” (Sanskrit for “hero”). By humbling ourselves and sacrificing our egos on the altar of divine feminine wisdom, we can be graced with higher knowledge beyond conception. By being vulnerable, dancing and chanting open our higher chakras we can hope to climb towards the majesty that is the cosmic womb, fractally distributed to every wombyn on Earth. When we men become Yoni Worshipers, the Yoniverse will bless us with blissful revelations and incite us to build Goddess Temples. Demonic energies devoted to greed and war will be transmuted and evolved into divine service works to heal the planet and restore regenerative culture.
All men have known the desire to impress a love interest. It has been my experience working with female tantra teachers both “hands-on” and “hands-off”, that this sweet and innocent drive can become a most rewarding spiritual practice. What if men were taught to also seduce and impress those beloveds only seen by the third eye, only wooed by recitations of their mantras. What if men could become so shaktified that every sexual act would be devotional meditation, performed in a ritual container, meant to honor and please not only his partner, but also to appease an invoked Goddess?
The rape culture is a symptom of desacralized sexuality. The objectification of women, could also be called the materialization of women. I have been taught by Rhoda and now many others to spiritualize women by honoring their Shakti, and in turn cultivate Shakti within. There’s no better return on investment, I promise.
I sometimes call myself a gender traitor but I’m not a self-hater or a man-hater. Men have potentially infinite strength and power, we are vital ingredients in the energetic alchemy that is red tantric practice. We, in our diverse physical manifestations and sexual orientations, are essential to the electrical engineering circuitry and triangulation of duality towards ultimate unity. Thanks and praises to the ancient tantric devotees and adepts who encoded an unforgettable schematic in both the mild and wild depictions of Kali on top of Shiva. He’s supine to symbolically represent humility and sacred subservience to the divine intelligence and superior sexual-energetic capacity of the Goddess.
In less flowery and more modern language, a man needs pussy training the way I child needs potty training. My work with Rhoda has always been platonic, hands-off and clothed, yet she has taught me some of the most important practices to ensure I’m able to endure the ravaging of a multi-orgasmic woman. The first steps on the path towards male sexual continence, aka “ejaculation choice”, are to activate and open the higher chakras so that all of that high voltage erotic energy has places to go that are up and not out. The bigger and stronger a man’s heart chakra, the more ripped his pelvic floor muscles, the more expansive his lungs, the more loose and limber his hips, the better tuned his singing voice, the less he’ll have to fight premature ejaculation and the more present he will be to behold the rapture of his beloved. The satisfaction and transcendence I have co-facilitated with my lovers can be attributed to the most fundamental and non-explicit tantric practices, most of which were taught to me by Rhoda.
In the near decade I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Rhoda she has blessed my tantric path and career with a formal and customized initiation program, blessed my music albums with mantras and meditations, blessed my gardens with her eco-spiritual workshops, blessed my acting and educating career by inviting me to model in her film productions, blessed my romantic relationship beginnings and endings, blessed my film productions with her insightful reviews. She has been a perennial blessing.
Disappointing her would be devastating. There will never be a team of jocks, nor frat brothers, nor sympathetic parents, nor heartless lawyers, nor slimy agents, who will push me violate or excuse me for violating the sanctity of a woman’s body/mind/spirit. I have too much to lose.
I’ll end on an uplifting note. When I first watched Rhoda’s Chakra Rights Meditation video I felt like Neo being psyched up to rise above the rules of the Matrix by Morpheus. I got chills and felt a deep ancient roaring power boil in my blood. It occurred to me that I should build some wings to help it fly so I tucked it into a mid-tempo trance track with a root note of C# in A=432hz tuning so it would be a perfect 136.1hz Om frequency experience. Selfishly, it made it easy to dance and meditate regularly, it was like a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich in a baggie. Ready-made, ready to go. Selflessly, it has become a tool for rapid tantric initation for my own students. A sacred dance music track is worth a 1000 mantras, and probably hundreds of thousands of English words. I have prescribed it to skeptical private coaching clients, I’ve warmed up workshops with it, I’ve romanced lovers with it, but so far it’s most glorious application has been the following. I started a Tantra for Sexual Abuse Survivors group and one of the attendees happened to be a social worker providing rehabilitation services for juvenile criminal sex offenders. She took a liking to the Chakra Rights Meditation track and reported to me a couple months after we’d started working together that her clients, who she compassionately and maternalistically referred to as her “babies”, were now dancing and meditating along to it as part of her group therapy sessions. It melted my heart to learn of this and I immediately thought of a talk by Dr. Robert Sapolsky, a scientist on the biology of human evil. In one of his talks he quotes a Catholic Nun in Louisiana who ministers to death row prisoners who said, “The less loveable the person is, the more you must find the means to love them.”
I’m a survivor and as much as I want revenge, I know love is a more powerful instrument of restorative justice. All the abusers on Earth are victims of necrosis of the chakras, their chakras are rotting in the putrid dungeons of non-love. Their innate connection to the source love within, to the natural love of the Earth below, to the divine love from above, has merely been choked off, encrusted, and plaqued by their own early life and past life abuse and trauma. The antidote, the solvent, the disinfectant is love. Love is a vibration that has to be sustained for it to resonate. I trust Rhoda to co-lead the choir. If tantra can be entrusted to people of integrity like Rhoda, I will have great hope for humanity. And I will hope to be given good missions and assignments by a growing decentralized intelligencia of dutiful mothers who train and teach boys and men to salute, bow down, sing, and dance to the little and big “G” goddesses throughout the Yoniverse. May we all seek to eternally impress Shakti in her infinite forms, and hope to earn the opportunity to sip of her divine nectars.