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In conversation with Devi Ward Erickson: Authentic Tantra Expert

Silberzahn Style Authentic Tantra

Devi Ward Erickson is a Tantra Expert, Sex Coach, an ACS Certified Sexologist as well as the Founder of The Institute of Authentic Tantra Education.  As a trusted and sought after Tantra expert and Sex Coach, Devi has had the privilege and honor of witnessing the profound healing that occurs for women, men, and couples when sexuality is honored as sacred and practiced with awareness, compassion, and loving-kindness.  Devi specializes in using Tantra and “pleasure as medicine” to awaken more connection, passion, and inner bliss in every area of life.

What started you on this journey?
My own healing through Tantra and spiritual practice. I was a monk of the Ishaya order for 9 years before I was introduced to Vajrayana Buddhism. The style of Tantra that I practice is rooted in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra, and I was introduced to these methods as a way to integrate human sexuality with the path of self, or ultimate realization.

I train professionals in how to use meditation, movement, connection, and pleasure to help heal and overcome sexual dysfunction and trauma.

How would you define Authentic Tantra? Why is your practice “Authentic” as opposed to other forms of Western Tantric practice?

Authentic Tantra, as we practice it, is a trauma informed holistic healing modality that directly addresses one of the root causes of human suffering on this planet- sexual ignorance, fear, guilt, and shame.

Our methods are “authentic” for several reasons-

#1. They work. The methods and teachings effectively address the root causes of sexual suffering and offer concrete tools for healing and piercing these issues. Our students report a resolution of long standing personal, emotional, and sexual issues.
#2- The modality is rooted in the Tibetan Five Element practices, which are lineage based Tibetan Tantric methods for healing.

Devi is the Founder and Director of the Institute of Authentic Tantra Education in British Columbia, Canada which is the first and only government accredited professional training program for Tantric healing arts. Devi has been teaching meditation and personal growth workshops since 2000 and has been featured as a Female Sexuality Expert in countless articles and over 30 different radio and television networks worldwide. She has devoted her entire adult life to studying the “essence” that infuses all of life through meditation, Tibetan Tantra, Sensual Dance, and Compassionate Communication.

What motivated you to start your own business?

I am fiercely independent and my work is an expression of my soul. I didn’t really want to run a business. I wanted to teach and support others in healing using the same method I had found to be so transformational and effective. Starting a business was the means to an end for me.

How have you adapted to the restrictions put into place due to Covid-19, both personally and in relation to your work.
My work has been operating online since 2013, so COVID has not affected the business operations at all. There have been some adjustments for our clients, which has affected their ability to work with us in some cases, but this has actually been the most fruitful year we’ve had thus far.
Personally, I’m a bit of a home-body in the best of times, so the inconveniences from COVID have been extremely minor for the most part.
What practices or rituals have you created that have helped you manage the challenges this situation has brought?
The practices we have developed in response to COVID have been mostly to support our students and graduates. They have consisted of several free online classes for the public, COVID friendly pacing for some of our online class offerings, and daily group mediation practice for all of our certified practitioners.

In term’s of increased awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. What advice would you share specifically to People of Colour in relation to sexual trauma?
Our trauma is generational. That is really important for us to understand. The trauma that lives in bodies of BIPOC in North America, and around the world in many cases, is a result of 400+ years of brutal rape, torture, and unimaginable violations to the human spirit. Whatever acute trauma we may experience in this life just adds to the centuries of unresolved trauma that lives in the cells of our body.
Those who have suffered the greatest trauma are often the most resilient. As the trauma begins to heal, many of our innate gifts, talents, and creative abilities begin to flower and blossom. This is particularly true when it comes to healing sexual trauma.
Our sexual energy is the most potent creative life force energy on the planet! When we heal the wounds of abuse and reclaim our bodies, reclaim our right to pleasure, to connection, to self-love and joy, we reclaim and restore our inherent POWER..
What are your thoughts on the representation of People of Colour in relation to sensuality and sexuality.
Anti-Black racism is prevalent world-wide, so any conversation regarding representation of POC must account for that fact. Because western society is rooted in white supremecist ideology, POC in general are often underrepresented because we are viewed as less desirable than white people, with Black people being the least desirable, including to other POC.

“Only love is something which goes beyond duality. The deeper we move into love, the deeper we move into union, eventually becoming embodiment of oneness. This is why love is essential to the imparting of Tantric wisdom. If there is no love, there is no Tantra.” Book of Secrets

 What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

How much fun I get to have doing this work that I love so much! Breaking down barriers and paving new roads. Helping society heal the needless sexual pain and suffering. Transcending my own limitations and supporting my students in identifying and overcoming their own blocks.

What does the word “Style” mean for you?

Style for me is about self-expression. What is our costume for life? How do we show up and what energy do we want to emanate and contribute to each situation.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

Be fearless. You will make mistakes, you will piss people off. As long as you are doing your best to be in the utmost integrity, you are in alignment with your purpose. Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself, and keep moving forward.

What’s next for Authentic Tantra? Will you be coming to Europe anytime soon!?

We will be launching new programs in 2020 for the general public and collaborating with some of our graduates in the medical field to help integrate Authentic Tantra into the medical community, for those folks who are interested in taking an integrative approach to western medicine. Once those new program are implemented we would LOVE to come to Europe!

and finally

What sources of inspiration do you recommend in terms of further reading, podcasts or films.
My podcast, Sex Is Medicine for sexual/spiritual healing. I am inspired by learning about how trauma impairs human development and causes 99.9% of the issues we struggle with as a society. The more I understand the mechanics of how trauma affects our experience as humans, the more I understand how to treat it and repair it.
Therefore, the books and information that I find most inspiring are those that help me understand this more fully.
Healing Developmental Trauma, My Grandmother’s Hands, The Body Keeps The Score, So You Want To Talk About Race, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, How To be An Anti Racist, Radical Dharma, are some titles I have read and enjoy.
Many thanks to Devi for taking the time to share her knowledge.
I’ll be back soon with the story behind the ‘making of’ a global best selling book Author.

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