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Mariken: 'Our relationship still sparkles - after 35 years'

‘I was 21 when I met my beloved. I never thought that now, 35 years later, I would still be together with him. I would have looked at you in disbelief if you had told me then that our relationship would not only feel warm and loving, but also fresh, sparkling and new.

Our relationship wasn’t always so sparkling. We experienced long periods of drudgery, fatigue and sometimes even disgust.

Tantra taught me to stay close to myself – also when I am together with him

It was quite a long road for me to learn to stay true to myself, especially when I am in contact with my beloved.

I was so used to showing up the way I thought he wanted me to be. But when I tried to be someone else, I abandoned myself. If that didn’t work, I’d rather turn away first. Then I would become icy, vicious and cold. All so that it no longer hurt me as much.

Tantra has changed it all. We learned to express everything – absolutely everything – to each other. Our desires and our anger, all the great sensitivities of our hearts, the hurt and painful parts of our childhood souls and all our grand dreams and visions. We learned to approach all these things in ourselves and in each other with love, respect and a lot of patience.’

My intimate relationship

‘Being completely honest about what I feel and what I want: I still find it daunting, sometimes. But every time I am true to myself, it brings me more fully in touch with myself and with others. Exactly what I long for.

Even during sex, I thought that things were required of me. And I just did them. But this caused resentment. Anger was building up inside me. I started to feel more and more abandoned and lost. In the long run everything got stuck.

Breathing, dancing, friendly, soft and honest, sometimes crying, sometimes cursing or laughing… through Tantra everything became alive and flowing again. Not just within me; also within our relationship.

My partner has his own process. We regularly practice Tantra together. In it we meet again and again; often bumbling and stumbling. Ultimately, we learned to appreciate this bumbling and stumbling as part of life itself.
And sometimes suddenly… life flows by itself, and everything feels alive and sensual: even doing the dishes.’

Me as your Tantra guide

My entire life, physicality and consciousness have been a major area of research. Everything came together for me at the renowned Centrum voor Tantra, where I also met the other guides of Avond vol Aandacht. Tantra has brought me so much freedom, breathing space and an important sense of dignity. I have gone through and learned so much in our relationship. Guiding other couples in the search for more contact and liveliness in their relationship: that feels very precious and moving.

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