Interviewing a Potential Teacher
The good news? There are a lot of people out there offering Tantra workshops, classes, and one-on-one instruction. The bad news? Not all of these people are qualified to teach this topic. Some “instructors” may barely know anything about the topic, while others may be downright rip-off artists. Before you waste your money and time on a worthless workshop, you should do your homework and find out as much as you can about the class and the person who will be teaching it.
Here is another reason it is important to interview a potential teacher:
You need to make sure his particular style of Tantra meshes well with the variety of Tantra that you wish to learn. As you have learned in this book, there are lots of different interpretations of Tantra, each with its own individual techniques and approaches. Not surprisingly, every teacher has her own unique interpretation of Tantra and her own way of teaching it. Some instructors focus solely on the traditional Hindu and Buddhist teachings, while others take a more modern approach and also include Neo-Tantra and Western attitudes. And there are instructors who also incorporate extra topics like yoga, dance, meditation, etc., into their material. This does not mean one particular teacher's approach is any better or worse than another's. But if you have a specific Tantric approach in mind, you need to find a teacher who is of like mind. Otherwise, you will be wasting both of your time.
Ask about Experience Level
One of the main things you will want to know about a prospective Tantra teacher is how much experience she has with Tantra, both as a teacher and a practitioner. A few Tantra instructors actually have medical degrees or are licensed therapists and psychologists. At the other end of the spectrum, there are “instructors” who have simply taken a few correspondence courses. And it's not just the length of the experience that matters. You also will want to know about the type of training the teacher had, the specific Tantric philosophies he studied, and the gurus he studied under. The good news is, you can often learn much of this information simply by visiting the teacher's Web site. It may also be included in the instructor's brochures or other materials. In addition, you can ask for references of other students or clients who have used the instructor's services.
While Tantra workshops can help strength relationships and bring lovers closer together, they are not designed for major “relationship repair.” Unless your instructor is a licensed therapist, she is not qualified to analyze or treat serious relationship problems. If you need this kind of help, seek out a professional counselor before you even consider going to a Tantra event.
Tantra Teaching Certifications
When evaluating a teacher, it can be helpful for you to know how a person goes about getting certified and/or qualified to teach Tantra. Unfortunately, there is really no official sanctioning body when it comes to overseeing Tantra teachers, but several of the larger Tantra centers and groups do have their own individual training/certification programs. For example, the Source School of Tantra (founded by Charles Muir three decades ago; it's one of the oldest such schools in the United States) trains and certifies instructors who then present their courses. The School of Tantra is another organization that trains and oversees Tantra instructors.