Tantra, the esoteric practice of cultivating spiritual energy through yoga, meditation, and sacred sexual practice, is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. However, there is often confusion about what Tantra is and how it is authentically practiced. We recently got to pick Tantric sexual healer Devi Ward Erickson’s brain as she shed light on the truth about this ancient spiritual practice.
Devi is a professional tantric healing expert and ABS Board Certified Clinical Sexologist who has been assisting clients for many years. She is the founder of the world’s first government-accredited school of tantric sexual healing, IATE. Just recently, Here’s what we learned through her practices, including the misconceptions about Tantra and its benefits to those seeking spiritual growth.
Q: What, in your opinion, constitutes Tantra?My understanding of Tantra differs from Neo-Tantra or the version you would find on Google. For me, Tantra is a spiritual science – a path that allows you to fulfill your ultimate potential in life. Moreover, Tantra is a spiritual path. If you take the spirituality out of it and focus only on sexuality or the bells and whistles, then it’s no longer Tantra.
Q: What makes your practices authentic or different from others?
According to my Teacher, Lineage is the most crucial factor in authenticating a practice. Unlike many Western Tantra practitioners, I did not receive my Tantra instruction from a book or workshop. I received my primary training from my Root Lama, Lama Tashi Dundrup, of the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu lineages, which date back to the early 11th century. I have been given the blessing and permission to teach these tantric healing methods by a qualified teacher of a 2,600-year-old spiritual tradition. Our Teacher continues to offer guidance and direction for how these methods should be taught most effectively and in alignment with the values of this Tantric tradition.
Q: Tantra is wrongly believed to be related to black magic or is seen as solely related to sex. Can you further elaborate and enlighten us on what it is and its significance?
The field of Tantra is filled with misinformation, misconduct, cultural appropriation, and abuse. People unfamiliar with Traditional Tantra do not know how different Tibetan Buddhist Tantra is from many of the outgrowths of even conventional Indian Tantra. We (the IATE) are the only government-regulated organization for Tantric sexual healing in the world, which sets us apart from the rest.
Q: How does Tantra work, and how can it benefit us when practiced correctly?
Tantra is medicine for all human beings and supports the awakening of inner peace, bliss, and joy in every aspect of life. The practices have the potential to awaken the intergenerational wisdom encoded in our DNA and allow us to access our accumulated wisdom. As a Tantric healing expert and Board Certified Sexologist, I have witnessed the profound healing of my clients when sexuality is honored as sacred and practiced with awareness, compassion, and loving-kindness.
Q: As a certified Tantra healer, what methods do you use to help your clients?
At IATE, we work with the 4 Pillars of Healing, which we define as meditation, movement, connection, and pleasure. Each “pillar” has a series of methods, tools, and practices designed to rewire traumatized neural pathways and allow trauma survivors to experience post-traumatic growth. I have had the honor of sharing these tools for healing with hundreds of cis-gender women, men, and couples around the world for almost 15 years.
To conclude, we want to express gratitude to Devi for generously sharing her profound knowledge and understanding of Tantra, an ancient spiritual discipline that can ultimately benefit many people.
To know more about Devi Ward Erickson, visit her website or follow her on Instagram. You can also catch her on the hit Podcast “Sex is Medicine with Devi Ward,” on CTR Radio, iTunes, and Spotify.