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“So this idea that it’s just about sex and sex that lasts all night - it’s not, it’s about being present in any given moment of our lives,” says Annabel assuredly.Strange, I think, as every mention of Tantra brings up a dated reference of Sting and Trudie and their experimental sex life.Then you can breathe more fully into the present moment, face your fears, communicate, and expand into areas of yet-unknown bliss.” The book represents a handy guide for those seeking to understand why their dating is (so) unsuccessful.

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In this sense, it’s certainly in a much more sophisticated class than ‘Dating for Dummies 101’. She writes in a way that is easy to read – deceptively so, since each short chapter provides the basis for serious self-reflection, contemplation “Even if you’re not concerned with dating or finding a partner, consider how relying primarily on your eyes for information might be keeping you from more fully exploring smell, touch, sound, and taste.

Closing your eyes, getting out of the realm of the visual, is one of the most transformative practices you could take up.

Consider, for example, how she looks at the ‘right person right now’: “A tantra teacher I met the other day said to me, ‘The heart that breaks is not the True Heart.’ Wow! Our limited little hearts break because we were looking for the wrong thing…” Above all she cites Osho as the Tantric Master who provides soothing guidance and clarity on the path of expanding love, and on the part the Mind plays in setting up barriers to experience the love the heart yearns to share and experience: “Awareness changes things.

The very fact that you have taken responsibility for your own love and pleasure rather than blaming someone or something outside yourself changes the whole experience.

Holding another person in the highest regard is important, not treating them like a commodity.” While Annabel decided to use her tantric sex prop as a visual reference.

“Life can be quite hard and people are quite tense," she says, stroking her arm.With roots in Hinduism and Buddhism, Tantra can be a deeply spiritual endeavour – it was clear from the way the two talked about ‘energies’ and ‘attraction’. “We do seem to live in the world of the hook-up – especially with the Tinder generation,” she adds.Yet I wondered how easy it was to put Tantra into practice in a modern dating scene – especially if you’re no Russell Brand. “I know a few people who have found true love on dating apps – you can find a meaningful connection but there’s still a crudeness about this as well,” says Annabel. “Relating that to Tantra, I’d say what happens between conscious, consensual adults is okay; but if it’s no longer fulfilling you then, the question is to be honest with what you really want that.” Alison and Annabel are keen to teach the singletons looking to be more mindful and thoughtful about the dating process.Why had I assumed Tantra was all about heightened seven-hour orgasms? “It may turn a little bit kinky if that’s what you want - but if you’re so focused by what’s in between your legs you may not notice someone pulling your hair or touching your face, it’s about sexual connection,” explains Alison in an otherworldly airy voice.“It's not about sex or incense and feathers - though Tantra can teach people to touch beautifully – but you learn to slow down and be more sensual.For anyone who’s ever found themselves in the midst of an awful date, planning your escape route out of the bathroom window, then their advice is simple: “There are ways to honour that a meeting happened.

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