As a representative of the Global Love School of Tamera I was invited to the “Reunion of Sexuality and Consciousness” conference from September 12th-14th in Poland. In spite of my rather mixed expectations I was impressed: The experience of international activists and teachers and the curiosity and readiness under the Catholic facade of Poland served as a fruitful and inspiring combination. It was not just the usual workshop program that was repeated here, but deep encounters and exchange were possible – ideas about responsible ethics, building on sexual consciousness. It seems to me that the Polyamory movement is coming of age.
A three-meter high vagina made of gold and pink cloth is visible in the hotel hall of Jelenia Struga in the huge mountains. Around this unavoidable center, 100 Polish men and women have experimented for three days an uprising against sexual suppression and double morals in the Catholic country. The Spa Hotel in the hiking hills at the Czech border has become a revolutionary cell for the reunion of sexuality and consciousness.
The sculptor of the vagina, Iwona Demko, a vital and petite bundle of energy, is an artist from Cracow. Her career took an unexpected shift three years ago when she discovered the vagina as a motif. Since then she modeled this “origin of life” in all colors, shapes, sizes and different phases of opening – including her pink earrings. “My inner revolution started when I heard of cultures in which the vagina used to be sacred,” she states. She does not think what she is doing is courageous. “I did not have a choice, I had to do it. Since then I am always – when I think of my vagina – filled with the strong feeling to be a woman.”
Concerning sexuality, aside from the art network, Poland still lives behind the Iron Curtain. Participant Irina, 28, speaks for many when she shares at the lunch table about her life: Married at 20, a virgin like her groom, she never enjoyed sexuality throughout her marriage. “This is on purpose: A woman who enjoys sexuality is expected to be ashamed. The female guilt feeling and the silence on this topic has led to depression and illnesses; this has been the strategy of the church for ages,” she says. She would do anything to protect her children of this fate – even if this means social disintegration in her hometown. However, the number and courage of those who think like her grow throughout the country.
Estera Saraswati and Zeni Ominski, the couple that organized of the conference, have patiently and passionately provided education on consciousness and sexuality in Poland for years. They created a network throughout the country and connect individuals, couples, and groups with ideas and methods of international movements: Polyamory, Tantra, body consciousness, conscious sexuality, conception and birth-giving – and very general sexual liberation. The conference has shown that these ideas are enthusiastically perceived in the Catholic country, and on the other hand it shows how well the international teachers feel here. David Bruce Leonhard, teacher for erotic bodywork in Hawaii says, “It is still a small avant garde which is meeting here; but they have power. The people are starving for new visions and ideas, and the atmosphere is open and full of heart.”
The teachers and speakers of about 60 talks, workshops, rituals, and study units come from India, Hawaii, Australia, California, Austria, and Portugal. Deborah Anapol from California, author of several books about Polyamory, reveals herself as a serious thinker and calm pole of the movement. “The monogamous relationship has failed. We need a new paradigm for love. If I allow the autonomy of my partner then a conscious partnership can begin.”
Her path started when in the age of 29 she looked back on two failed marriages and decided that there had to be another option then serial monogamy. Instead of starting a new marriage after the other, she today lives in a resilient “network of intimacy”: about half a dozen people who don’t live together, but meet often, exchange thoughts and ideas, have sex and share intimacy, and also support each other in difficult situations. “It might happen that one of them starts a monogamous relationship, maybe marries. Then the sexual relationship with him or her is not possible for a while. Some years later this person will most probably open up again, and we can also have sex again.”
Deborah reports that in the United States today Polyamory – meaning to live several conscious relationships at the same time – is more and more accepted, even praised in mainstream media. “I would love to believe that this is a sign of growing consciousness in society. But I am afraid that the mainstream sees the breaking families and marriages and takes the open relationships for more sustainable to stabilize society. But this is not the point. We need to build another society.”
For this reason she suggested to invite Tamera and the Global Love School to the conference. “The core philosophy of Tamera, as I understand it, is that community, trust, and conscious love lead to a model of society which is able to overcome war and violence.”
My two presentations on Tamera and the Global Love School created an enormous interest. The fact that there is a place where truth in love, free sexuality, and female consciousness is permanent reality – not only during a workshop – was perceived as a news from utopia… proof that paradise is possible. “How do the families live?” “Are children being conceived and born consciously?” “What happens if people want to live monogamously?” “How do you solve conflicts? How do you deal with jealousy?” The questions seemed never-ending. We also discussed if such a place would be possible in Poland. A participant said, “By living the vision so radically in Tamera, you give us positive power. We see what is possible, even if we can manifest only parts of it in our lives right now.”
In a panel about the taboo issue of children and sexuality the core question was: How is it for children to grow up in an atmosphere of conscious sexuality?
Deborah Anapol said, “A child is by nature exited, curious, and innocent. If we have to do with children and want to teach them we need the create this state of being for ourselves again too.”
Baba Dez Nichols, Shamanism teacher from Hawaii: “Not the freedom, but the suppression of sexuality has led to a societal underground in which child abuse happens. For adults who are not able to deal with sexual challenges, children are a safe place to live out their sexual needs. In a free society there is no reason to have sex with children. But the main challenge is the broad sexual ignorance in our society.”
How would an education or initiation for young people look like, in which they are prepared for the sexual challenges? Again and again the speakers related to the Love School of Tamera where all age groups are being taught and prepared on their special questions and challenges in love.
The final highlight of the conference was the ritual for the marriage of sexuality and consciousness on the last evening. Under the giant vagina both genders met – represented by Estera and Zeni. Between them all kind of couples could meet, greet, hug, and split again. For externals like myself it was like visiting a strange tribe with unusual rites. We could do everything, but we did not have to do anything. And also just watching was welcome.
I want to give thanks to the heartfelt reception and the many people I could talk with. The warmth in the heart kept on for many days.