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help exchange   Host 2802
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Help Exchange

Near London Dunmow, Essex
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 120
Persons: Normally 2 - 4
Category: Accommodation Business
Host ID: 2802
Country: England

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Last Updated: October 19, 2011

- Please call for details after reading the following information.

Please read all of the information below before contacting us. Many thanks.

Our retreat centre specialises in tantra workshops, sacred sexuality, meditation, dance, biodanza, five rhythms, improvisation in comedy and music, Buddhism, aromatherapy, herbs, tantric massage and personal growth in a safe environment. The guests who stay at the retreat centre are couples and individual women and men who are exploring the integration of spirituality and sexuality through meditation, music and tantra. For references from previous volunteers and guests, see our web site or comments posted here (plus our comments, from our volunteers).

The retreat is based in a 16th century manor house with a 40 foot swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, private lake, 300 acres of land and free wifi internet access. We are 20 minutes from Stansted Airport and about 1 hour from London / Cambridge - 1/2 hour from Colchester / Harwich port.

We currently have three people in our community(one women and one man) and are always looking for more helpers from several days to several months possibly longer. Buddhists, pagan and native American spirituality, herbalists, massage therapists, reflexologists, naturists, new age spiritual seekers, aromatherapists, shiatsu, reiki, & complementary medicine practitioners, woofers, students, couples, web designers, gardeners, painters, artists, actors & actresses, holistic scientists, ethnobotanists, ethnomusiclogists, cooks, yurt / tipi / sweat lodge builders, reiki, spiritual seekers, musicians, poets, yoga teachers, vegetarians / vegans, meditators and tantrikas are particularly welcome. We also do not believe in excluding people due to their sexual orientation, and we have guests and volunteers that are gay, bisexual or lesbian.

NOTE: A demonstrable interest in sacred sexuality, or similar such as training in massage, complementary therapies, etc., is a "must" as our centre deals with very intimate work. We therefore are very selective in accepting the voluntary help offers we receive.

At the retreat we mainly play jazz fusion, funk, light folk, latin, house, Ibiza chill out,lounge, classical, new age and World / ethnic music. When we have parties the music is tribal dance, house, 60ís motown, funk etc.

Helpers that can play a musical instrument are also encouraged to play as we have regular jam sessions and use our in house PA system, keyboards, guitar and amp, bongos and electronic drum kit. Musicians especially guitarists, bass players, keyboard and piano players, drummers, flutists, brass and woodwind etc. are very welcome. There is the possibility for musicans and singers / vocalists to record with us ( we produce music for tantra work)in our studio. We use alot of music, sound and rhythm in our tantra workshops and encourage the development of "mindfulness", being in the "here and now". These life skills encourage and enable people to be able to improvise in music and tantra, and be freer, more creative, and experience greater inner peace in their lives in general.

A sense of humour and calmness are also welcome skills to bring here!

A keen interest in spiritual development, meditation and tantra is needed as you will be expected to participate and help in some of our workshops.

NOTE: We work with sacred sexuality and you will need to be comfortable (and be prepared to be naked some of the time at least when we have guests) in an optional clothing, naturist environment.

For those of you with vivid imaginations - we are not swingers and do not have orgies / sex parties! We explore sexuality as part of a sacred act of spirituality and through sexual healing in a safe environment. We regularly enjoy daily meditation, tantra sessions, and laughter as a part of a healthy living and peaceful lifestyle.

Food is varied: it maybe organic and vegetarian although we do also cook some meat / fish dishes (mainly for guests).

As a volunteer you will be given free accommodation, food and the opportunity to learn tantra and meditation in return for helping us run and maintain the centre. Active partcipation in sacred sexuality is a requirement to stay here. Most volunteers find the experience a life changing event. Please call us for more information if you have questions in this regard.

We have had quite a number of volunteers from helpx now and generally have found it a very helpful and positive contribution to our centre.

However it is now obvious that helpers younger than 25 do not find it easy here mainly because of the age difference - we are often seen as their parents rather than as tantra teachers (we are in our late 40's). So applications are now open to those who are only 25 or above -sorry but we have to draw the line somewhere (unless you can convince us otherwise!)

Also some people find gardening or physical work challenging and even though they seem fit, keep asking to do other things that are less tiring.
We now only accept people that are prepared to do 6 hours of gardening or cleaning without complaint - most volunteers have been fantastic!
Remember that we not only offer food and accomodation, but also the opportunity to learn and experience sacred sexuality. Most volunteers tell us that the exchange (work to learn tantra) exchange is very good value for money.

Also we only accept people that are really passionate about learning sacred sexuality.

If you have a vague interest - it will not work out for us. We only want passionate people who really want to learn tantric sexuality and the way we teach it. Consequently we are now rejecting over 90% of offers we receive. Those of you reading this may think we are being too selective and harsh but working with sacred sexuality is so intimate that we can only work with people we feel comfortable with.

Finally, Tara is now training in sexual counselling and is away from the centre for periods of time.

I (john) still welcome volunteers and you will find that this is a very safe place to explore yourselves and your sacred sexuality.

However if you feel uncomfortable just working with me (and possibly other students) - I fully understand that some of you might feel that despite the excellent references we have received, then you should trust your intuition and go elsewhere.

Thank you for reading this and I wish you well

Kind regards

Note: For quickest response please call us rather than email in the first instance.

Due to privacy the map reference location is approximate.

Update (June 2011): I have recently moved out of the retreat centre but still take students for tantric and sacred sexuality training, accomodation and food in return for help at the new venue - a spacious wooden open plan, barn conversion, with outside spa, tantra workshop room & massage in a spacious loft conversion with skylights, group meditation classes, live music performances, and based on a farm near Stanstead Airport (not on the flight path!). But if you are keen on a naturist experience, only the house itself and the outside spa are naturist as other people live on the farm.

Please email us again or call us for enquiries.
We look forward to hearing from you

John (pictured below in his orange trousers!) & Tara

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