Kailash Center for Personal Development, Inc.
We teach Tantra and Tantric Kriya Yoga. Introductory classes, ongoing workshops, private instruction (for couples). Traditional lineage-based practices and modern methods. We are also sponsors of www.jonnmumfordconsult.com
, official site for distance learning with Dr. Jonn Mumford (Swami Anandakapila Saraswati)
Visit our website at http://www.tantrapm.comClick here
to visit our blog.
Profile and Credentials
Mark A. Michaels (Swami Umeshanand Saraswati) and Patricia Johnson (Devi Veenanand) are a devoted married couple and have been teaching Tantra and Kriya Yoga together since 1999. Their first book, The Essence of Tantric Sexuality, was the National Best Books 2007 Awards Award-Winner in the Health: Sexuality category and an Award-Winning Finalist in the Religion: Eastern Religions category, and their next book Tantra for Erotic Empowerment is slated for release in April 2008. They have written and appeared in two instructional DVDs: Tantric Sexual Massage for Lovers and Advanced Tantric Sex Techniques (Alexander Institute, December 2007), and have contributed articles to various online and print publications, including Chronogram and Debonair.
Michaels and Johnson have taught throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, and Australia. They have been featured on television and radio and in numerous publications, including The Village Voice, Metro, Latina, Jane, Rockstar, Breathe, Redbook, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Tantric Sex.
Their teaching combines a traditional lineage-based Tantric approach with the best contemporary methods so that students can bring heightened awareness and an expanded capacity for pleasure into all aspects of everyday life.
The authors are senior students of Dr. Jonn Mumford, Swami Anandakapila Saraswati and have been named lineage holders of the OM Kara Kriya® system for the Americas and Europe. Sunyata, coauthor of The Jewel in the Lotus, named Michaels his lineage holder in 2001. They have also studied Bhakti Yoga with Bhagavan Das and Tantra with Dr. Rudolph Ballentine.
Michaels is a graduate of New York University School of Law, is a member of the Bar in New York State, and holds master’s degrees in American Studies from NYU and Yale. A playwright and translator, he translated and adapted Goldoni’s The Mistress of the Inn for New York’s Roundabout Theatre company and cowrote The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Debate, which premiered at New York’s Primary Stages. Patricia Johnson is a professional operatic soprano who tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and South America and has performed with the New York City Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Berlin Komische Oper .
Philosophy and Comments
We seek to combine a traditional, lineage-based approach with the best contemporary methods.
Work Hours and Fee Schedule
Hours by arrangement. Class prices vary. Fees for private couples work $125/hr; discounts for multiple sessions.
My partner and I attended your workshops at Sacred Space, and wanted to thank you for your kindness and bravery. We are progressing slowly into a sacred sexuality, but we *are* moving, and your classes were pivotal. - LJP, New Jersey
I took your online course 2 years ago. This was the beginning of an opening that I could only have dreamed of before, an integration of joy in my body , mind, and spirit. The course you offer was part of that opening. This combined with many other joyful surprises in giving me this chance in mid-life to open more fully to joy, to my body, to God(dess). Thank You! - J.G. northern PA
After your class, I felt both more positively energized and peaceful. - RS, Westport, CT
Mark and Patricia are teachers of deepest integrity and commitment to their students, a critical requirement when delving into deep and powerful matters. They are dedicated students of the historical tradition of Tantra as well as other related subjects. They display an encyclopedic depth of knowledge in an astonishingly wide range of topics. We have found them patient and unfailing guides to our practice and growth. - GHC/ABC
I would like to thank the two of you for giving us one of the best nights of our lives ... After you left, we could not stop talking about everything we learned and about the two of you. This morning a lot of my friends called me inquiring last night and all I said was that it was unbelievable. - JB, New York, about an introductory class for a group of women.
Patricia & Mark showed me how to begin to look at myself in a more wholistic way. As a woman, I had reservations about sensuality, sexuality and its universal connectedness and empowerment. Women of the West are socialized to repress such feelings or to limit them. Men who are limited oppress women and make them feel less than or guilty if a woman starts to show independence through her sexuality and awareness.Through their coaching, my feelings and thoughts became about finding an inner power, pleasure and peace. - YGD, Connecticut
My work in the on-line FTS course with Mark and Patricia is a recent exploration in my extensive history of seeking out therapy, meditation, and personal expansion work in various traditions, including Taoism and Tantra. I have been deeply impressed by their commitment to their path and their tremendous knowledge of the tradition they practice. I also like how clear they are about what they offer and what they do not, as this helps me feel very safe with them. Finally, I appreciate the way they blend a gentle, but well boundaried approach to the teacher-student relationship with intellectual rigour. - Sibylle Preuschat, flower essence practitioner, New Jersey
We interviewed other Tantra teachers in the NY area, and none seemed more kind and loving than Mark and Patricia. We only wish we could spend more time with them! They were a delight to be with -- so gentle and nurturing and always considerate of our boundaries and what felt comfortable for us. - J & C, Connecticut
Q & A
There are many different ways of defining and teaching Tantra. We don't pretend to have all the answers and can only teach in a way that seems appropriate for us. We hope the following FAQ will give you a sense of our philosophy and approach to teaching.
Q. Do you offer "tantric massage"?
A. No. We feel that we can teach more effectively if we do not engage in "hands on" work with our students. Nevertheless, we recognize that this modality may play an important role in healing and can be a valuable teaching tool for more advanced students.
Q. Is Tantra a form of therapy?
A. Practicing Tantra can be highly therapeutic; however, we are not trained as therapists. We believe that much tantric healing emerges from the student's commitment to doing the work and from regular practice. We also caution couples that Tantra is not couples' therapy. Tantric practice can deepen and enhance intimacy in powerful ways, but it can also bring unresolved tensions and problems to the surface. It is important for couples who wish to practice Tantra together to have good communication skills and clear agreements between them when entering onto this path.
Q. How can practicing Tantra improve my relationship?
A. It can improve your relationship in many ways. On a purely physical level, using tantric techniques will enhance your lovemaking skills. More importantly, the practice of Tantra will help you to see the divinity within your lover and develop the capacity to be more fully present in all of your interactions.
Q. I am single; can I still practice Tantra?
A. Yes. There are many techniques, both sexual and non-sexual, that can be practiced alone. We do not work privately with singles; however, we encourage single people to attend our open, introductory classes, to meditate regularly and to cultivate awareness of their body energies. In fact, most Tantric practices are solo practices, and in our own lives, each of us devotes a considerable amount of time every day to individual practice.
Q. What if my partner doesn't want to attend the workshop with me?
A. This is a complex issue. In general, we discourage people in relationships from exploring the sexual aspects of Tantra without the knowledge and participation of their partners. The energies unleashed in tantric practice are powerful, and the potential for imbalance is great if one partner starts to practice Tantra without the other.
Q. How will I personally benefit from practicing Tantra?
A. If you are willing to do the work, you are likely to experience an increase in your overall sense of well-being, self-awareness and capacity to give and receive pleasure. You may find that certain negative behavior patterns and other personal problems will begin to resolve themselves. You may discover a new capacity to relax and experience a greater sense of personal freedom.
Q. Is Tantra a religion?
A. Tantra is a spiritual science and is a current in many religions, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism. Our teachers come from the Hindu tradition, but it is not necessary to become a Hindu to practice Tantra. Tantra is non-dogmatic and honors the truth of experience rather than abstract faith. In our teaching, we do emphasize ritual and encourage our students to become increasingly aware of their partner's innate divinity and to recognize the divine in all aspects of life.
Q. What can I expect from a class or a private session?
A. Our introductory, public classes are aimed at the beginner and offer an overview of tantric history and philosophy combined with some simple but very powerful techniques for beginning to practice Tantra. The classes are very safe and may include some interaction involving eye-gazing and light touch, as well as some exercises for enhancing awareness of breath. Our private sessions are similar, and we feel it is very important to build a strong foundation before moving into any more challenging exercises.