probably some former members of the San Francisco area underground sex-party, swinger, orgy scene might be able to shed some light on this.
There is an article where Daedone talks about being in Hawaii in a sex-community, one assumes that is Vic Baranco's sex cult in Hawaii.
Notice also the tuition is $12,000.
With special arrangements for "work trade". (take a wild guess on that one).
Notice the Orwellian Newspeak...Daedone calls her other groups..."sex positive cooperatives".
Is that what OneTaste is?
No it is not, its a profit-seeking corporation aquiring real estate assets and human capital. Its not a commune, its a corporation.
The word-twisting that comes out of these peoples mouths is truly unbelievable.
They are so self-righteous about constantly banging the drum about being "sex-positive" about everything.
How about "truth-positive" for a change?
Why not start with stopping constant word-warping and lying about everything?
Why not try some Honesty-Positive just for a kick?
One can see how some people can get their minds twisted around by all of this.
The Spirituality of Sensuality
SF’s One Taste fuses Buddhism and Theosophy with the orgasm to forge “Urban Monks” in SOMA
By Todd Spencer and Chandanni Miglino
Whether for Buddhist monks or Catholic priests, the monastic life of spiritual seekers over the centuries has been rooted in denial of the carnal. As Jews regard the pig as an unclean animal, the world’s major religions have viewed sex and lust as mire-splattered interlopers.
The Urban Monk Program at San Francisco’s One Taste Urban Retreat Center sees things as completely inverted from that ancient precept. Sex and sensuality, instead of being denied or purged, are isolated and then focused upon in the pursuit of a personal or a kind of spiritual transformation.
Marketing material promoting it describes it as “an integrated program that takes care of your whole being … by expanding the delicate and potent energy of orgasm.”
Pop theologians like Stephen Mitchell have widened the definition of prayer from “talking with God” to include everyday pursuits like concentrating deeply on a math problem. Similarly, Nicole Daedone, founder of One Taste, views sensuality as one of many circuits to the divine — or at least to liberation from societal “hangups.”
The Urban Monk Program offers its acolytes a range of programming from lectures on communication to 12-step inspired “sensual recovery” to hands-on “stroke clinics” and “orgasmic meditation (OM).” The tuition runs upwards of $12,000, or $2,000 per week, “with special arrangements for work trade.”
Thirty-nine-year-old Daedone opened One Taste on Folsom Street in SOMA in 2004. Daedone studied semantics at SFSU and theosophy on her own in The City before living in a series of sex-positive cooperatives in Oregon and Northern California. Together, the two experiences gave her the spark for One Taste, which takes practices from underground sex communities and brings them to the public.
Common Ground: Can you explain a little bit about how One Taste came about?
Nicole: I lived in a [sex-positive] community in Hawaii, I lived with a community in the Klamath River, near Oregon, and … there came a point where my original teacher said, “How do you want to pass on what you’ve learned? In what arena?” ...
CG: Tell us about these “communities” you lived in.
Nicole: Everyone was very underground, everyone was teaching sort of privately but … none of us seemed connected. Here we are, all these sensuality people and yet nobody really felt connected. [Eventually] I went back home and we had this little [sex-positive] community of 17 people in San Francisco. And for the first year and a half after we opened One Taste we were losing $10,000 a month, and we didn’t have any idea what we were doing. Now we’re 40 people, we have five buildings, four buildings on this block and we just got one right around the corner. And then we’re kind of looking to open a house in the East Bay and I’m looking to open another place in New York. So it’s…
CG: growing like crazy, sounds like.
Nicole: Yeah. We lost as much as you could feasibly lose every month and then, right at the two-year mark, everyone here started getting really turned on and individually stepping up as leaders in their own field.
CG: What do you attribute the traction to?
Nicole: We have tried some of the craziest things to get it off the ground. And then we really did stop trying. I actually closed the center, basically, and just started doing a teacher training program [20-some people are now qualified to teach Urban Monk programming], and then all of a sudden it started filling up. I mean, we refused to go off path, which is sensuality.
CG: It sounds like this is where you enter in a little bit, Beth, with the Urban Monk Program.
Beth: The current Urban Monk that we’re in is a three-month immersion program, residential. Starting in February we’re going to a six-week length. So, it changes by desire just like everything else around here.
CG: How did you come up with the curriculum?
Nicole: Some really salient ideas were put in by those teachers [in Hawaii and Klamath], but then we operate on appetite. And so it grew organically out of what was happening here.
CG: Where does your program differ from, say, seeking out a sex therapist?
Nicole: It’s integral — it isn’t solely focused on sexuality, it simply includes sexuality.
CG: So it’s more holistic.
Nicole: Yeah, it’s holistic. And I think a sex therapist — and this is just my assumption — would begin with an idea that there was something wrong, and I don’t necessarily think that anything’s wrong with anybody [who enrolls in the program]. What I hear most people who come here say is that they’re interested in either connecting or reconnecting with different parts of themselves at a much deeper level. We show people how to move through the powerful value judgments that they normally collapse into, and to walk into that fire.
CG: And with a sex therapist, you’re sitting there for 90 minutes or an hour and then you’re going home.
Nicole: This is complete immersion. There are people who come and take a one-day course, but being in a community you are polished by having other human beings witness you in different experiences.
CG: That’s something I’ve noticed a lot about San Francisco: We do a lot of sex and sensuality in public. And your classes could also be in private, but they’re not.
Nicole: When we take what’s on the inside and put it on the outside all of these elements like shame begin to fall away. Because we find out, we get to experience, “Oh wait, you have that thought too? Ah right…” and those I think are just things that keep us shrouded in unconsciousness. If I’m living an extreme private experience, there’s a lot more opportunity for me to take those things that I feel are bad or wrong or shameful about myself, and to go into a private room — I call it the fungus garden — to go into the fungus garden and just begin to nurse those things and never actually bring them to light. Being witnessed is the help that we need. In Buddhism, you have the observer, the witness inside of you and when you allow the witness to reign, clarity comes. And that can occur in an interactive way as well: Simply being witnessed can completely transform a life.
CG: People don’t need to be having sex or not having sex in order to find some “answer.”
Nicole: Andrew Korn wrote, “Sex is value neutral. It just is.” It’s just an incredibly powerful force. A friend of mine said, “Nicole, you’re always trying to live on the top deck of the Titanic, but it’s really the people on the lower deck who are having all the fun.” And that’s kind of what sensuality has been to date. It’s been sort of hedonistic. And it’s kind of like the kids in the smoking section have a certain level of freedom, and that’s what sensuality has been. My desire is that it actually be recognized on every level.
CG: One last question. Why is it attractive, this public manifestation of these different forms of sexuality and expression in San Francisco? Even the group “swinger” events, which are just another one of these smoking rooms you were talking about, is just another place for people to express themselves.
Nicole: We’re actors and we want to act in all different kinds of movies. I think when you enter those realms you become equipped with the script, the implied rules of the location, and the sensations that go with being in that field. And so you get to have this whole experience, and for me, I want to have every experience that I can possibly have. The trick is learning how to get in and how to get out. Those are things I’d like to explore. I don’t want to live there — I want to live a constantly moving life.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/2008 10:49AM by The Anticult.