What is a safe space?

"Hello Sujay,

In one of your replies you mentioned the term "safe space"; perhaps you could explain what that is, and how this term relates to Tantra?

In any case. It seems that if there is a safe space, then this space must define a boundary between itself and a space that isn’t safe - i.e., a dangerous space; and if there are dangers, which to me are unclear, then we should know about them."

Shiva Shakti

Dear Shiva Shakti -

When we look at a therapeutic process,
we measure success with positive change.
That is, how far we have managed to cross beyond our own boundaries
and open ourselves to something new.
Therefore, even if we do countless workshops, practice and study - but in the end remain unchanged, it means we essentially have made no progress.

In general, there is a force in each of us that drives us towards change and an opposing force that is concerned with preservation and stability.

These universal forces can be described in different ways: male vs. female, yang and yin, life and death...

My role as a teacher is to enable a positive process of change. And to do that, I reduce the "noises" and the obstacles on the way to a minimum.

The concept of a "safe space" changes in accordance with the ability of the person being treated to cope and the ability of the facilitator / teacher to remain fully present. Therefore, a safe space of this type does not depend on routine, static definitions.

A more precise definition of a "safe space" is an "enabling space". Of course, the question immediately arises - is the "non-safe" space a dangerous space?

Since we have a tendency to separate things into black and white, this question seems trivial. However, if we dwell on the issue, we may notice that a "non-safe" space is not necessarily dangerous because "danger" is the subjective definition of the therapist / person being treated.

There are situations in which the lack of security can push for fundamental change, because the situation becomes "uncomfortable" for the person being treated and they are "forced" to undergo a change, despite their fear.

Tantra does not separate between opposites. And as a therapeutic tool, it moves between the extremes -

Is it possible to create a space that feels safe, but at the same time challenge the person being treated and enable change?

If we have succeeded in achieving this balance we have gained the best of both worlds.

For me, being "in Tantra" means "standing on the edge": reaching the very limit of our boundaries, feeling our hearts pounding, feeling the beat of life - to live...

In the workshops I create, I make sure to preserve an enabling space. A space in which the participants feel that they are moving at their own pace, and are choosing their boundaries for themselves. This approach stems from a basic understanding of the limitations of the teacher / master and the knowledge that in effect, the change / healing, results from the person being treated taking personal responsibility. "Freedom starts with taking responsibility," said Osho, thus putting the ball back into the court of the individual...

With love,