Helen Marsh, 44, Sagittarius, Washington
Bodhi’s sensitivity, attention to detail, and impeccable presence stands out like a rare pearl in a sea of imitations.
Rarely have I met someone who can stay so present, so attuned, and embrace all that comes through without judgment. Bringing full enthusiasm to receive and engage. Playing all the roles of relationship, switching and blending and melding, handing power back and forth, always with loving presence. Attentive, attuned, witnessing and narrating my thoughts. Using his words as a strong and capable guide throughout the session. Making himself available for whatever would serve me most...
Innocence was recaptured. The judgment of desire, of pleasure melted away... being in the sensation, in the body, in the connection was the only thing present.
He was like the interchangeable male: somehow it wasn’t about attraction, or who he was. It was a transpersonal while utterly personal experience. It was deeply connected while totally individualizing. It was both surrender and sovereignty.
As I looked at him, I felt everything and nothing. He was neither attractive nor unattractive. He just WAS. He was pure loving presence. I trusted him completely. I felt I could communicate without words.
I found my edges, I rode them, I witnessed so much around my strategies of control, repression, judgment, unavailability, feeling inadequate in my masculine, holding back.
As I reflected, I noticed there was a special quality about the experience that set it apart... it was as if it hung, suspended, outside the normal realm of relating.
Clean, clear, bounded by context, ritual and intention.
As my conditioned patterns and programs started to run, they couldn’t stick to this self-contained model. Stories unraveled before they congealed. Accusations fell to the ground like blanks. The web I would weave, dissolved.
From every angle I turned, I could see all the way around it and understand the dynamic, spot the lie, see through the distortion.
Left with a handful of paradoxes and gnawing existential questions: what is the difference between the personal and transpersonal? What is the aim of relating, anyway? What is it healthy to want, and how are those needs/desires truly satisfied? Is it all a game that we’ve been playing with ourselves, and each other?
And I witness my stubborn refusal to play sometimes, often. To sit and point my finger of awareness, to call out “truth” and deflate the lie. But coming back to the child’s mind, all of this is nonsense. There is only experience, this moment, sensation and play. There is full presence without judgment, an openness and eagerness, excitement to engage.
When did I recline so far back in my philosopher’s armchair that I forgot how to dance with desire? When did I abandon the imaginative, playful, colorful child? He modeled this so masterfully for me: engaging as an eager child and loving adult, showing up for what was present, balancing the act with presence. Seeing how much control and judgment was present, maybe making it not so fun to play.... but play he did, and did his best.
What did I come away with? What is sticking?
The longing to love, to share, to deepen in this space.
That’s a question: did I come away more equipped to be in relationship? Seeing starkly the rough edges that history has hewn in my field, the underdeveloped relational muscles, the incapacity to fully show up for the other emotionally.
Where is my competence and confidence?
How do I carry this experience?
Where do I file away this treasure trove of juicy pleasure, delicious danger, and deep diving into the darkness?
What can I do to savor deeply and inhale the fragrance of an experience so rich, so potent, so multidimensional as to escape words?
Imprinted in my memory, the feeling of rope pinching, tightening on my skin. The sound of it slithering along the floor, across the crevices of my body, whistling softly in the warm heavy air. The creaking of the ropes, the wooden beam suspended above me. The softness of his furry chest behind me as I relax, fully held. The smell of sweat on his body, the slick surface of his bald head.
Remembering... the sound of the cavernous ocean storming over me as his shamanic drum tilts and turns. Losing my sense of time and space, submerged beneath my sensory inundation.
Dim red light peeking through the corners of my blindfold. The sound of faraway music. Breath. Slapping skin. Exhale. Vibrating life through this body.
Remembering, I am human. This body.
Pleasure roaring through me, firing up every cell. Growling, howling animal desire grasping, licking, moaning.
Playful, giggles. Sucking my toe. Finding his head with my foot, guiding him where he cannot go.
Spanking. Penetrating. Owning my naughty slutty self. Laughter.
Pure power and passion.
Ebbing, flowing between the charges.
Panic as I struggle for breath.
The sound of my inner child crying out in her small voice, scared.
Sudden clarity as clips fly through my mind: all the moments when I built up a fortress of control around me, when I held off the pain and fear through staunch defenses. Crying out in anticipation of pain, to stop the intruders. Always an escape route. Secured.
My mind active, scanning, searching, calculating. Evaluating. Assessing. Are we playing a game? Is this silly?
Does he mean what he says?
Slipping down a slope into no-mind, when all is senses and pleasure, animal roar and hearts connected.
Relaxing into full sweet surrender, exhaustion.
Dr Julie Lacey 40, Sagittarius, NYC
I've known for a very long time that I should trust my intuition above all else. I think it is the same for all of us. We all wear armor acquired from trauma, sadness, and cultural bullying that undermines faith in this core instinct and often keeps us from trusting in ourselves, others, and the universe. But, how do we remove this pain from our bodies and spirits?
I came to Bodhi's work based on a single whisper from my intuition that assured me that he could help me heal. I suppose the details of mysterious and shamanic work are what most people would like to read in a testimonial, a guide to what to expect to settle fears, anxiety and the need to control, but in many ways, the details of his work take second stage to the impact of simply being with him.
He masterfully facilitated space to prompt, tease, and seduce into the room what I understand now to be a significant piece of my personal growth and empowerment. He identified the parts within me, armored and hidden, that were not integrating into my total being and commanded them into presence.
I felt safe, seen, and alive.
Something in Bodhi's work educates the bones, in a sort of indescribable way, that fortifies faith in intuition, the path and the wisdom that universe is indeed still holding me. I learned things about my body that no one has ever been able to teach me, which felt like being introduced to a long lost sibling that I have sworn to never lose contact with again.
I learned about my heart and the fierceness by which it lives.
I was under the impression that mostly the body carries shame, but found instead that I have ridiculed and alienated my own heart and it’s capacity to love for some time.
The pivot for me in this powerful work answered the intention that we set at the beginning of the session, to love myself more.
There is a saying that the body follows the mind, and the mind follows the body; Bodhi's genius adds heart to this axiom and liberates the three harmoniously.
Follow your intuition, especially if it is leading you to this work!
Jasmine Rose, 39, Sagittarius, NYC
A Tsunami of Quantum healing is what I would name my experience.
I’ve been dreaming of blending ceremony with sensuality -a soul desire to feel sacred and erotic energy become one. I journaled on this vision. . .I mentioned it in any conversation that I could manage to fit it in. . . AND within a few weeks I found myself at 2am on a shamans FB page reading his Shibari Healing World Tour details.
WHERE FOCUS GOES ENERGY FLOWS! Ahhh I LOVE the magic of manifestation!
‘Shibari healing’ were words that left a mental image of a ceremony where I was gently tied in an erotic way that felt sacred and sexy and allowed me to surrender my power in a safe container.
I was looking for a lesson in surrender.
I desired to lose all control.
I believed what was holding me back in life was an inability to let go.
I felt a sense of deep transformation beginning with my initial consult for my Shibari session. Bodhi Zapha embodies this magical essence where a simple conversation is transformed into a sacred ceremonial dance. There was a mind/ body/soul resonance that told me this was the exact experience I needed to take the next step in my journey.
YES I was ready to surrender!
My desire was to relinquish control.
Tie me up and work your magic please!
After sharing a beautiful tea ceremony that offered a captivating conversation around embodying my fully integrated self and allowing Eros to authentically flow, we shared boundaries and agreements and I was led to the next dimension. . .
I let go of fears as I removed material items from my body. . . AND then the magic began. . .
I can still hear the echoing of his beautifully harmonizing shamanic instruments playing – I will never forget those majestic sounds.
At one point I could feel a noise vibration emanating from me and merging in unison with his instrument. This feeling is imprinted in my soul in a way that left me feeling like the most badass cat in the jungle.
My body was held close with a drum beating in front of my face and his heart beating against my back; an act that inspired a feeling of being cared for and held in a way I’ve never experienced before.
Sensing that I was being led into the unknown felt safe as if my soul knew my guide was quite familiar with this journey. I trusted him fully -a feeling I was unaware I had never completely known until I felt it in this moment.
Do you know what it feels like to have your senses restricted?
I felt my eyes being covered. . . blindfolded with a tight knot behind my head. . .
my arms were pulled to my back and the rope began entangling me. . . it was rough. . . it was exactly what I asked for. . . AND I was freaking out inside. . . My legs were bound. . .I felt like I couldn’t breathe. . . I hated it!
THIS WAS NOT what I wanted AND this is exactly what I asked for. . .
My thoughts began racing. . .
WHY on earth would I pay to be bound and gagged?
I stared up at him. . . my heart was pounding. . . I felt my entire body shake in panick and I screamed STOP. . .
As he ceased action and began to release me I was wondering if my session would end. I was scared but I didn’t want it to end.
His energy offered an undeniable sense of care and safety and he was a master at inspiring my voice to rise from my throat. . . Which was a relief for me because the one thing I thought I needed was not really what my soul desired for me.
I could feel a shift begin to flow. . . As I was led through an intense shamanic journey I traveled to other worldly places within my own body that I didn’t know I was capable of accessing. . . Journeying to deep depths of darkness that I never would have guessed I desired. . .
I tapped into my soul truth in a way that liberated me from fear as I once knew it. . . I unlocked my voice. . .
I freed myself from feeling like I need to be saved. . .
Inner child healing soothed my soul.. .
Activations in my internal body reverberated through me. . .
Have you ever felt your heart?. . . not the beat, but actually felt the sensation of your heart sitting in your chest?
My heart was activated in a way that woke me up deep in my core. . .
I accessed an ability to feel pulsations in my erotic body that feel bionic.
AND a connection began to form. . . I can now pulsate from yoni to heart in a circuit of sexy love energy.
Had I been abandoning my yoni for my heart?
Was I even in my heart before?
Had I abandoned my body for an infatuation with my mind?
I could feel this feeling of being broken melt away and a sense of wholeness wash over me.
My desire was to surrender and I learned that what I really needed was to own my power.
What I really needed was to travel to the depths of darkness and see that my shadow is just as beautiful as my light.
I needed a cellular reprogramming of the truth that healed is whole and whole is an integration of light & dark AND I get to love both. . .
I get to integrate all aspects of me together in love.
I get to love me.
I get to love my ability to create love.
I get to trust in love.
I get to trust in my ability to flow through the dark and the light moments while owning my power to be fully present and feel pleasure in playing with all of the pieces of me that desire to dance.
I get to fuck everything up and try again.
I get to feel like I have no idea what’s happening and do it anyway.
I get to speak boundaries and then change my mind and start over.
I get to change my mind as many times as I desire.
I get to be a fucking mess and still be a temple of spiritual bliss.
I get to be sacred and be erotic at the same fucking time.
In this one session I accessed quantum leaps in my personal and spiritual growth in a way that is deeply imprinted into my soul.
I entered this healing session nervous to speak my desires and unsure of myself and I exited a lioness empowered to release her roar.
As I write this I realize how close I came to saying no to this experience. Logically, I really couldn't afford to spend the money and I sat in that story for a bit. AND then I recognized that soul pull leading me in the direction I AM meant to go. FUCK I AM SOOO GRATEFUL I remembered how to listen to my soul and allow that to be my driving force in life because in truth I couldn't afford not to give this experience to myself.
Jessica Hutwelker, 39, Gemini, New York
I remember the moment I was able to feel the softness and surrender of my inner feminine. Years of wanting to be in control, of being in charge, doing whatever it took to feel safe in an intimate space.
I remember the dance between our inner masculine and feminine energies. His ability to fully embody his feminine and surrender into her showed me how to do the same. My tendency to prove my strength, that I can “take it”, that I’ll play and wrestle and show my strength—all armor to protect my vulnerable feminine.
Bodhi’s tenet of keeping intimacy the heart beat and breath of the session ended up being the lifeline for me in the moments that I wanted to run from my fears and shut down in my resistance to feel.
When I was able to soften, to allow her to come forth, to be present in her vulnerability, to stay in that moment as I held my eye gaze with Bodhi, I felt safe enough to be broken open and free.
Stephanie Rose, 28 Virgo, Wisconsin
Shibari healing is definitely a unique experience.
It's a beautiful art, but I don't think just anyone could perform the healing part of Shibari.
Bodhi is a natural space-holder, care-taker and his presence throughout the entire healing session, including the tea ceremony consultation, is unmatched. I felt incredibly safe, knowing I was always OK, and held, even in my most trying moments.
I lost track of time throughout the session. I noticed things about myself throughout the session, where I was blocked, how I was causing myself pain and creating my own suffering.
I couldn't make much sense of the session during it; it all felt too powerful, wildly intense and leaving a far bigger impact than what my little mind could process. But, a release after it ended. A lightness and a reconnection back to self-love and the coming aliveness of the spirit.
In the week to two weeks following Shibari Healing, I began to realize how much of my "life" stuff coming up was actually from highlighted blocks witnessed during Shibari Healing, blocks that I was ready to shift and heal because of the session. The healing here does not end when the session ends. It continues. And the things which came up for me following the session were deep-seated fears and insecurities around worthiness, jealousy, depression and control which need to be let go. As all of these blocks have been shifting for me, it has been creating the most beautiful space of light, love, self-acceptance, growth and FREEDOM.
I also have noticed areas in my body during meditation since Shibari Healing that are healing themselves, and they were areas that were highlighted as painful during the session, as if to trigger their readiness to be seen and healed.
Since the session, I have been much more aware of my freedom and what it means to be free. I have been seeing how much I have been trying to control my outside world in a forced attempt to feel free. No. Freedom is perspective in the mind as is the illusion of suffering, no matter what the external world is showing us. I’ve known this but now truly feel it since my session.
There is something about being held by the ropes. Something that makes it so safe to go inward. I could feel huge shifts coming on for me before Shibari Healing, but I couldn't do it on my own. I avoided meditation when it got to be too much. The holding ropes allowed me to go there, to tap into my shadows, to unveil darkness. And, Bodhi's presence gives exactly what is needed for each individual process. No session is alike, and it is clear to see, and feel, that Bodhi is never run by mechanics, but rather, is working his healing art through a mechanism much higher, much more connected.
I also was graced with the opportunity to witness a session, from the outside, through a ceremony. This was absolutely beautiful. I was mesmerized. I could feel it in my body. I could feel my own healing continue and the energy move as I watched. The woman receiving the session entered such beautiful healing releases as well as states of bliss. It was absolutely beautiful to see, and to see this dance between her and Bodhi, making it even more obvious how trusting and secure it is to be held by Bodhi's presence. I was deeply moved in many ways to witness this experience from the outside, and it also paved the way for a deeper sisterhood connection with the woman, a beautiful opportunity to see each other, when we are stripped of our false-selves, allowing our hearts to shine forth, connected to one another in truth and light.
What a beautiful way to tap into darkness, to discover that we are all truly light, after all. What a beautiful healing experience that hits the edge of convention and takes each individual on his or her own personal ride within. What a beautiful healer of true integrity and loving intentions.
Bec Duffield, 32, Libra, Melbourne
In the last two years, the edges and depth of vulnerability have been my journey, my lesson, and thanks to Bodhi my liberation.
In 2013 I was the victim of a home invasion and sexual assault. This happened in the early hours of the morning as I lay sleeping in my bed. It took the safest place in the world for me – home in bed, and changed it the most vulnerable place in the world for me. It took beautiful acts of tenderness – sexuality in my bed, and changed them into acts of unwanted vulnerability for me. It changed my innate openness and trusting nature into guarded suspicion veiling vulnerability.
My initial response was to take the path of regaining as much control in my world as I could. My weight dropped as I controlled food intake, my body tired as I controlled exercise and rest, my relationship deteriorated as I controlled boundaries and limited intimacy. I bequeathed the event a narrative and spoke about it, wrote about it, meditated on it. I cried, I mourned, I dissociated and eventually I forgave.
I did everything I could, and in my efforts to overcome, I neglected to observe a crucial part of healing; I had never allowed vulnerability back into my world.
I became happy again, I became social again, I was highly functional at work and in the world generally. But I was never vulnerable. Which really meant I was never raw, honest, real and authentic. Vulnerability was simply too risky, and for a good while I seemed to be going okay without it. I was ignorant to the fact it had been omitted.
Two things stand out in my first conversation with Bodhi, number one is the power of this man and his energy. It’s palpable. Everything in me immediately recognized his healing potential. Number two was that he gently observed I was lacking intimacy in my life. He was right, and an inner exploration ensued. I was drawn to Bodhi’s healing powers, his knowledge, his command of energy and his kindness, and my innate intelligence returned me to him for restoration.
Bodhi performed a healing sound meditation for me. Energy transferred in my physical, energetic, mental and spiritual bodies. I experienced a sense of calm and a sense of awakening I hadn’t previously. For the first time I could sit with the event with a sense of detachment, peace and vulnerability.
The joy I found in vulnerability was unexpected and profound. A need to explore and invite vulnerability more deeply and more fully into my world surged through me. A rope session was the next step.
To be tied and entirely surrender to the rope is as vulnerable as I could imagine. But as it was put around my body it felt like a hug. An embrace; safe, secure and loving. I surrendered to the experience of vulnerability. To say that it was the most intense experience of my life to date doesn’t suffice. Elation, rapture, jubilation, pacification, reconciliation, exhilaration, tranquility, release, liberation. The trauma returned, and from the safety and the vulnerability of the ropes I moved through it in a spiritual, complete and final way. It was an unblocking of energy channels, sushumna awakening and kundalini rising. I remained in a state of bliss (and had no requirement to attend to bodily needs such as sleep and food) for a considerable period following my session.
I experienced the power of vulnerability. I have come back to raw, real, authentic living and re-embraced intimacy in my life. It has changed, heightened and beautified every moment for me.
This man is here to heal, that’s clear to anyone who meets him and its known unequivocally to anyone privileged enough to be healed by him. My personal testament is that Bodhi has an inimitable gift. The power of his energy, his dedication to healing and giving and his unique and finely crafted rope and sound skills position him in a place to restore and evolve others. My unwavering gratitude to the universe for bringing me into his presence and to Bodhi, for all his gifts.
Jo Selwood, 34, Sagittarius, London
I turned up tired, bleeding and emotionally fragile. I wasn’t sure if my body would want to go very far before finding an edge. Yet I felt today was the day and what had surfaced in my state of being was all meant to be there and I trusted both myself and Bodhi to work with what was appropriate in the moment.
I had come to find an edge to explore, to be pulled through the trenches, to play out my darkest fantasies to see what arises as I am interested in the psychology around them and how that manifests in my life.
The time we spent together was a sacred ritual from the moment I met him. All that was said was said with Love care and good intentions and a strong intuition I could sense from the start. He felt what was needed and did not hesitate to go with his gut and delay the session for a few hours till we had met in a softer space so that he could support me gently and lovingly in to the darker shadow parts of myself and the journey.
I was captured in the present moment throughout. A seemless intuitive flow in and out of rope ties, suspension, holding, drumming, and journeying through the mindscape. Again and again we’d enter a new space where my body and I literally cried and sobbed for that was exactly what I had been longing for, my needs finally met. My body mind and heart finally penetrated as deep as it had been crying out for. Satisfaction, contentment, overwhelming pleasure and pain meeting somewhere where they become the same. In a void that is finally full.
I had visions of riding a green dragon soaring through the cosmos being penetrated by a horn on its back in to my yoni and my arms and torso held and suspended by snake like ribbons and ropes made of stars. Fully held, fully suspended, Flying, empowered yet in surrender, in pleasure and bliss. For every exploration of intensity, after would come a nurturing holding container, a hug or hold that allowed my level of safety and in turn my trust to surrender grow.
In a vision quest exploring the spirit animals I connected deeply and started to vibrate and come alive whilst imagining myself as the eagle. Signifying the winds of change, I felt free and empowered to trust what I need, to ask for it unapologetically and to make changes to let go of anything undeserved of my time and energy.
I’m still processing the session. More tears have been shed, I’ve been feeling to cuddle love and hold myself through shifts in energy and the release of emotions. It’s like a deep cleansing, gradually becoming lighter in the mind body and spirit.
I don’t know yet if there is more of this shadow to pull out or when I will be drawn to go there but right now I feel incredibly content and satisfied through being penetrated with love on many levels. I am resting in a gentle space of self love.
I know my body is a sacred and special temple that deserves to only let in those that show full respect to me as a whole being. Shame and regret don’t surface for me even in careless intimate encounters and I have a talent for making the most of the moment so it can be difficult to discern which interactions are for my highest. There seems to have been a shift there.
Through meeting myself at my edge I have come closer to my magnificence. I am a powerful open and integrated being and I am worthy of only the most present loving encounters with those that see me for all the magnificence that I am.
Sofia Sundari, 34, Taurus, Ukraine,
We all need to die from time to time.
Sometimes in the mornings I wake up and all I want is to die.
Not even being dramatic here. It has been the reality of 60-70% of my mornings.
Depression is always somewhere around the corner. Especially when I burn myself. And I do, a lot.
On those days getting up and going about my day takes a lot of freaking will.
I am also regularly having those wild experiences of being overwhelmed with completely unreasonable joy. Joy that is beyond me, joy that cracks my heart wide open and I lay on the floor with tears streaming down my cheeks. So much gratitude. Such simplicity of Life. Such purity of freedom. Love. Deep contentment, wide open heart...
But on those “death” days I have a hard time making sense of the whole purpose of this human experience. It feels awkward, life feels fake.
A big part of what I teach in my trainings is that the more we try to push stuff away the stronger it’s going to come at us. So instead of going away it’s actually wiser to go in.
So, I didn’t find anything better to do than to actually let myself die.
As I was driving my motorbike to see my friend Bodhi I knew I was going for a transformation. I also knew I was mad to do that, but that was no news.
He made me some tea, then tied me up, hanged me upside down and took me on a “descent” journey.
After hours of a journey to the underworlds and beyond... I moved through pain, grief, rage, hate, grief, grief, grief. I felt dissolved. Altered. Out of it. I was laying there in his dojo and I could not find a reason to live, I was descending lower and lower in my consciousness... I reached a point where I felt that was it. Nothing made any sense. I was scanning through my consciousness and I couldn’t find anything meaningful enough to stay here for.
Until I heard myself saying: “love”.
“To love is the only reason to live.”
Today I woke up with a smile on my face. My heart feels light. I am full. I don’t need anything from anyone. I never needed.
I am here to love.
This is all
Rina Trevi, 34, Leo, New York
In all these years that I’ve been a Domme, I often found myself wondering: why is there such a great variety of FemDoms and yet such a comparatively tiny pool of skillful Dominant males to choose from?
I can hear my readers protesting already but, darlings, your offers to tie us up and spank us couldn’t be farther from what I am talking about. I have met men who told me that they were dominant. Over the years, I have learned that what they really meant to tell me was: they were bitter and bitchy because of challenging relationships with women, they were cheesy and shallow and so would be my experience, they were looking for an easy way to feel empowered (we all know about easy ways and how those work out), they were searching for an outlet for their pent-up anger, or all of the above. These things, of course, are decidedly not what BDSM is about and, no less importantly, there was no chance I would get anything emotionally or sexually worthwhile out of these interactions. And yet, I did crave to be dominated – by someone who genuinely understood what this meant.
Just as I offer my clients a conscientious experience, I knew that I too wanted someone who had already matured in his intentions. I was looking for a shaman who would offer me a moving experience of surrender and transformation – someone led not by his superficial personality issues but by some forces that are far beyond…. I wanted him to be caring, wise, skillful, experienced, intuitive. Just as I value myself highly as a Domme, I wanted to meet someone with the same high standards, someone I could learn from. Otherwise I would find it impossible to trust him, relax, and surrender.
I believe that my path as a Domme is one-sided and incomplete if I always remain a top, without ever giving myself an opportunity to surrender. Fortunately, I get to surrender often while practicing extreme sports – it’s an amazing experience of feeling and trusting the natural forces. Nature is so wise, whereas humans are complicated, and it is definitely more challenging to find a suitable person to submit to. I knew that finding a person capable of taking me on a journey of surrender was best left to luck, and I was hoping that one day luck will find me. Thanks to the magic of Phangan land, it did.
As soon as I saw Bodhi in his online video, I knew that I wanted to try his shamanic shibari suspension experience and that there was something there for me to be learned from it as a professional Domme. I came to see him for our initial consultation and he impressed me even more: I felt understood and I resonated well with his description of a shamanic “descent” journey. The experience he offered had a clear goal – to descend to my underworld, to meet all of my demons, fears and negative emotions, and to finally meet the one behind them. “This is an initiation into empowered vulnerability and surrender to your depths,” he said, “this five-hour session is NOT for the faint of heart but for radical souls who want to land fully and manifest their soul’s purpose by diving into the shadow and integrating their dark eros and animal/dragon power to become whole and alive beings.” I felt a strong inner “Yes” response and signed up for this journey, already feeling extremely blessed to have met him.
So there I was, feeling nervous and excited, as I readied myself to drive my motorbike to Bodhi’s beautifully designed Japanese dojo (his version of a dungeon, I suppose). It was particularly exciting for me as I found myself having many realizations such as “Aha, now I understand how my submissives feel when they go through a similar experience.” I immediately and viscerally felt the importance of my own sub-session with a professional top in helping me to better relate to my submissives.
After a little tea ceremony with philosophical conversations and discussions of boundaries, we performed an entry ritual. Finally I found myself naked and vulnerable with my eyes blindfolded, as the master started to tie his ropes tightly around my body. It wasn’t a gentle process, the ropes felt tight, pinching my skin, and Bodhi was rough, harshly manhandling me into powerlessness, bondage and suspension. It didn’t take long to meet my demons, I instantly felt desperate and raging. I had no idea there was that much hatred, fear, and mistrust in me. I felt like something very primal had been triggered, I felt desperate in my need to survive. I screamed out in pain and rage, begging him to stop, but he continued. I realized I had no control at all, there was no way out, no safeword. Now I’m happy we didn’t have a safeword, as it was the only way to get to this “over the edge” place I needed, where I have no control at all and feel ready to die.
And so, I quickly found myself hanging up in the air, suffocating from pain caused by the ropes, the animal in me roaring with survival aggression. I am usually very self- conscious about the way I look and the sounds I make, but this time the judge was dead. Primal instincts took over, I was roaring and screaming, letting out all my hatred. I had no idea there was so much hatred in me towards others and myself. After passing through aggression, I descended into guilt and shame. I felt pathetic, useless and guilty for everything. Everything was my fault. I felt ashamed of my sexuality, I felt filthy, a complete loser, a failure, a pathetic piece of meat. The many tension points in my body intensified into giant vortexes of pain. I remembered the master’s voice: “The shadow is the board game on which we play our life. Working on understanding and integrating our shadow is one of the essential journeys we must all make on the path to awakening our soul’s purpose.”
Finally, as he put me on the floor tightly mummified with rope, I went through the misery of helplessness and death. Frankly, this is one of my biggest fears – growing old, ill, immobile, in constant pain, seeing death approaching. I’ve always secretly wished that I should die in an extreme sports accident so I could avoid being old and decaying. The idea of a strong, beautiful overachiever like me becoming ill, immobile and suffering on a deathbed has always felt unbearably terrifying. And there I was, feeling trapped in these tight ropes, in constant pain of their pinching my skin, I felt broken, altered, descending even lower in my consciousness, crying of deep sadness, as I saw no sense in living only to end up suffering on a deathbed…. Until there was no deeper to go, and my breathing stopped, without any intention from my side. Everything stopped. There was a blissful pause. I was listening to music – the shamanic instruments that Bodhi played created enchanting sounds that, in combination with Bodhi’s singing, took me even deeper into alternate states of consciousness. I wasn’t breathing for some time, and it didn’t feel like I needed to. It lasted an eternity, it was empty, quiet, like I found my resting place. Finally, I heard him say that with my fresh breath of air I’ll gain access to something significant, deep and long forgotten – my “Dragon power”. And as I took a breath in, I felt it so strongly – like I was just born anew, with the first word that came into my head being “Freedom!” It felt like I was flying.
The gate to some powerful force opened and I was mesmerized by this freshly discovered power. My body felt renewed after having released so many outdated emotions and belief patterns that I wanted to fly. I felt so free even inside these tight ropes, a smile showed up on my face. It wasn’t euphoria, but rather a refined sense of peace, the feeling that something here is eternal and there was nothing to be afraid of. I heard Bodhi continuing to play his shamanic instruments, as I kept flying and flying, feeling like an Avatar hero who just tamed his flying dragon and now was excited to explore the beauty of the world from a whole new dimension. He finally released me from the ropes, put them on top of me and embraced me. I felt deep love, connection and gratitude. My heart felt no longer polluted by old negative states, my sexual energy—both in its light and dark forms—felt alive and celebrated.
Bodhi asked me to leave with these ropes all the qualities I no longer wanted with me, as he prepared to perform a fire ritual to burn everything that could possibly be “absorbed” by them. After we exchanged gratitude, I went home feeling exhausted and spent some time lying down integrating this powerful experience. Bodhi continued to reach out, checking in with me, making sure that I am having an easy recovery, and offering support if needed. I was very impressed with the great combination of sincere care and flawless professionalism that he embodied.
A few days passed and, I must say, I feel transformed. The whole experience was a major initiation into some long-forgotten but powerful dimension together with an intense emotional release. I find it important not only to see my sweet aspects, but also to know my darkness. After shining some light into the dark corners of my psyche, this darkness is no longer as dark. The experience of such deep surrender made me stronger. I’m no longer feeling like a fearful little human guided by inner pains and traumas. I rediscovered deeper levels of freedom and love. I know my life’s greater purpose – I’m here for Freedom. I won’t let anything stop me on my path to Ultimate Freedom.
I am also now confident that Ultimate Freedom and Ultimate Surrender are synonyms, which makes me feel happy with my chosen path of guiding others into realms of Surrender. The experience of this journey and Bodhi’s qualities of professionalism, wisdom, care and integrity are already influencing my work – I am inspired to continue developing such qualities in myself in order to take my submissives deeper. I am confident that BDSM sessions have a profound depth, giant healing potential and unlimited capacity for self-discovery.
Manne Christel, 35, Scorpio, Byron Bay
Last night I had the great honor of receiving a Shibari Healing session with Bodhi Zapha. A some what controversial topic here on the island when not properly understood.
It is obvious when something so deep and profound is offered by someone they will always receive a lot of projections towards them. Bodhi came with the highest professionalism, care, support and integrity- I totally trusted him and bow down to the sacred healing work he is offering.
I have always loved Shibari- the art form, the conscious play between dominance and submission and the deeply erotic nature of this poetry in motion. It is a dance between the masculine and feminine - However, to put this within the context of healing was an entirely different story, one that touched the core of my being in ways the mind will never understand.
My subjective experience was held and mirrored as Bodhi flooded me with presence, warmth and acceptance where I could go deeper into exploring the unstructured states of my inner world.
We entered into a sanctuary and safe passage for the unmet within myself. Moving into the vulnerability of a little child, I walked right into the core of hot, panicky, and claustrophobic feelings yet found freedom through embracing the somatic landscape of my being with permission and freedom for all contractions and resistance to be alive. This eventually transformed into bliss and opening of the heart from the release of deeply embedded wounds that have been resting in the heart for many years.
This journey mirrored the marriage between my deep eroticism and sensuality and the innocence and purity of my being - A total acceptance and integration of these two poles was found in this session where as before they were existing separately within my internal community
I feel so blessed
Thank you thank you thank you for this beautiful journey ~ HIGHLY recommended for both women and MEN!
Hilde Wilde, 50, Tarus, Belgium
My session with Bodhi has brought healing on levels I have been working on for quite some time now with little progress so far. The days after the session the healing process kept unfolding in ways I could not have imagined and I felt a huge raise in my level of consciousness.
Trying to describe how it was will not honor the fullness of the healing of the session but it has to be said.
At first guilt vanished and shame disappeared. I came to full acceptance of my body in the aging process, to show myself fully naked and vulnerable was like taking of masks of protection and inauthentic ways of being.
At a certain point I felt some form of ego death. That cracked me open into a state of humility, gratitude, letting go of the mind and of how things should be in my life. The days after the session I found myself in this expansive state of self love and love for all, total surrender, physical relaxation and ease. The whole universe resides inside me
Not sure how to describe the depth of what is being birthed right now Having experienced ego death and the freedom and humility for existence that comes with it. I am Divine, nothing else. There even is no ‘I’ anymore.. I has melted into Being..
Tears of bliss and joy, of the freedom that comes with total acceptance, tears of the ecstasy of Being, of being Love, feeling love, for all and everyone and for myself… aaah… melting into it, with every part of my body my heart, my senses, my being.
Feeling like making love to the Universe, to spirit, to myself… Longing to be held while crying and realizing that is the mind telling me I need to be held…holding myself in that vulnerable space is so empowering.
Also my body went into complete surrender and relaxation and that was an amazing experience as my body has been tensed since I can remember. I noticed how much I liked the tightness/contraction/tension of the ropes on my skin as a metaphor for the physical tension I have been feeling for so long…but I loved the surrendering so much more.open.soft.gentle.easy and effortlessly. All the physical tension related to self criticism I have been carrying with me for such a long time seemed to have vaporized, melted open, in my heart, in that space of complete surrender and handing myself over to Existence and universal flow into effortless flow and ease.
For quite some time my body had been feeling sexually dead.
I only noticed the day after the session how my senses had been ‘cracked’ open in the most beautiful, gentle and supporting way and how life energy and sensual energy is flowing through my body again. My senses when drinking and eating and walking and breathing, my long forgotten sensual, sexual and erotic longings, the yumminess of it, how this sensual energy makes me feel so alive and rejuvenated and confident . …
To be in this open loving sensual space is vulnerable, but it seems the only possible space for me to be really free and to be me.. I realize I have been fighting this all my life and the session made me overcome shame and guilt and ego and the conditioning of having to show myself strong in stead of vulnerable as my ego defined this as a space of weakness. Now I had the body felt sense that it is a space of love and healing and freedom and allowing myself into being who I am is the only option. That is what I have been waiting for.
The safe container Bodhi created allowed me to completely dive into this amazing journey. To be guided, supported and held into this in such a compassionate and neutral way and with so much trust is very healing. He brings such an amazing healing gift into this world.
Forever gratitude ..
Harmony Scott, 45, Aries, Hawaii
In my Shibari journey with Bodhi I met the full spectrum of my being for the first time. In terms of my energy, emotion, and personal power...I experienced a full range that shifted from moment to moment with each posture and changing of the ropes. From flowing blissful sensual pleasure, to the unfolding of tender love-sadness-grief in my heart and body, to full feminine surrender, to the fire of my fierce warrior strength and rage, and back into etheric peace...all unfolded like waves of a deeply visceral dream state.
The session was held within a container of sacred ritual that allowed me to relax and surrender to the intense Shamanic energies that arose between us. This alchemy opened a portal or doorway within me that I can only describe as deeply Mystical and profound. I am not sure how or why the rope play ritual accentuated this, but somehow this created a dynamic where I experienced the physical restraint and sensation of the binding ropes in a heightened awareness of myself in complete freedom, my spirit, my power, and my feminine essence.
Before the session, Bodhi explained to me the ropes would be an expression of my own shadows, energetic boundaries, and potential- that these would be reflected back to me through the artistry of Bodhi's work. In the bind of the ropes I indeed experienced a deep freedom and surrender I have never tasted before- the contrast of being tightly held and deeply liberated at the same time was catalyzed by Bodhi's unwavering presence and masculine integrity of deep compassion, safety, and intuitive response. This experience was an erotic spiritual journey that alchemized and changed me...I will remember this for the rest of my life. Bodhi is a gifted healer as much as he is a consummate Shibari artist. I am blessed to have met him!
Sarah Paul, 32, Aquarius, Berlin
My Shibari Healing was the most beautiful experience that somebody has given to me. I am glad i decided to go for a session with Bodhi. It is really priceless.
It was an amazing journey. Spiritual, shamanic, healing, transforming and most loving. I was overwhelmed by the love and care Bodhi let me experience. I completely trusted and surrendered to his energy as it felt really authentic and pure to me.
Bodhi really is making the session about you and he manifests this several times by explaining to you, by setting intentions in rituals and beautiful words and gratitude to all the good spirits that he calls in to support your journey. Honouring the elements and great wisdom of our wise ancestors.
Bodhi is a great master of Shibari and it is amazing what he does with the ropes to your body, using them as a tool to shift energies in your body. In some moments i felt physically and mentally challenged, in some strongly held, protected and nicely pressed inwards towards myself. He can tie fast and strong and these aspect bring a great dynamic that energised me in a playful way as well as being sensual, so you really sense and connect with the ropes.
The sound healing was really mind blowing for me. Bodhi uses amazing tools and instruments from the highest quality that brought me to heavenly and very blissful places, so intense that my body released tears in some moments.
Bodhi sensed that i liked it a lot and as every session is individual and for you he goes with what he feels is good for you. I was fully happy with each move he made at any time. So i felt precious, relaxed, challenged, emotional, soft, aroused, energised, centred and alive in the end and very very grateful.
It is hard to put my experience into words because i feel it is such a primitive tool to describe this extraordinary journey.
The greatest power of this ceremony and Bodhi’s work in my point of view is Love, unconditionally flowing, purely giving. It is the greatest healing source and exactly what people need.
Bodhi explained to me that my experience was a refection of myself and that i was able only through meeting myself to experience it, not because of something external. Bodhi even showed me gratitude and thankfulness for trusting him and allowing him to share this beautiful work and journey with me and i felt that he really ment it.
This experience mirrored to me my softness, my loving depths and the harmony within.. as I said priceless !
Sophia Suriya 34, Taurus, Brazil
Shibari Healing with Bodhi is beyond any words and is a life changing process. Bodhi has the sensitivity to follow the energies that need to balance within you in the present moment. He is an alchemist that knows how to use the tools necessary to activate your subconscious mind and with that awareness you can let go into the possibilities of things that you don’t even know exist inside you.
Shamanic instruments created sounds in the combination with the Shibari which took me to alternate states of consciousness and astral projection where I wasn’t in my body anymore.
Pleasure and pain are directly connected in the process allowing the release of traumas or any twisted ideas about your sexuality and yourself.
There are few things in life that are transformational “turning points”. Oh yes Shibari Healing with Bodhi is one of them !
Leslie Grace, 34, Scorpio, San Francisco
My session with Bodhi was pure ceremony. He set a safe and sacred container for me to unfurl and fully surrender into his expert hands. I had no idea how badly I wanted to feel masculine power and presence like his, and to feel the place in myself that he guided me.
His attention to detail was incredible, just the right amount of force, the right amount of stillness. He tuned me into my senses, into the body, and out of my head.
I will savor the memory of that soft rope sliding across my skin and tightening, the sounds of tinkling bells and breath, being pushed to my very edge, and plunging into what was beyond.
A true master of his art, I am blessed to have tasted his genius.
Johnaton Rose, 41, Leo, Israel
Life really is about our surrounding ecology and finding the people, cultures and environments that support us to move toward the edges of our humanity.
To be tied, restricted, blindfolded, left hanging...something primal and eternal that is soul / spirit groans, moans, squeals, roars with feline survival aggression.
I felt my humanity to my edge, feeling into my souls memory of being animal bound and captured, resting deeper into this I felt my human experience of captivity and restraint and control throughout my lives on this planet.
In the releasing I sobbed and whimpered on the shoulder of my master as all bonds are released and I feel my freedom again yet paradoxically my entrapment within this shell that houses my boundless soul.
Laura Deva, 33, Virgo, Italy
I came to a shibari healing session with Bodhi in a total openness toward this experience. Even if my 2 past experiences of amateur shibari didn’t feel so safe to me so I couldn’t let go, I anyhow perceived the healing potential of this practice. Since then I was really hoping to meet someone who could bring me in a loving, safe and firm way into a journey of exploration of the duality between immobility and freedom. And I met Bodhi, for whom I am very grateful.
To me, Shibari healing offers a chance for a woman to tap into the depth of the surrender aspect that usually women have so much difficulty to cultivate. As a very controlling person, and especially in what regards my sexual energy, I saw myself during the session learning and enjoying letting go of all control, trusting unconditionally Bodhi and relaying completely on his guidance. I found it so realising and cathartic of finally relaying totally on a male presence in order to totally embody my feminine passive and submissive essence.
This session offered me a total new empiric perspective of what it means for a woman to be submissive and completely let go of any kind of control. I understood in an experiental level that this is far away from being weak as I subconsciously thought before, but it actually takes a lot of strength of being to be able to surrender.
Bodhi has been the perfect partner to me for this dance between the masculine and the feminine under the rain of the ropes. He offered me a safe space in which I felt lovingly held and in the same time firmly directed and guided. His total presence during all the session allowed me to fully merge into a transcendental experience of altered state of consciousness. His presence called upon my surrender, to finally reach a deeper state of Union within. At that moment I no longer needed to say a word, as Bodhi was directly feeling when to move me from a position or detach me, in the exact same moment that I start to feel discomfort.
I definitely recommend Bodhi and the shibari healing he process to every brave and strong woman who is really willing to explore, welcome and unveil a very hidden and deep aspect of the feminine essence: the sacred surrender.
Constantin Phoenix, 39, Capricorn, Berlin
I got the chance to get hold of this beautiful man on his extensive trip. This was my first session with shibari healing and it deeply resonated with me. Bodhi is not just incredibly skilled in working his ropes but also is very capable to create and hold a safe space for me as a queer man: Allowing my body and my true self to be totally exposed and to be seen by a straight dude, witnessing vulnerability to become the empowerment of masculinity. I am impressed how he can read both the energy of the moment and that of my body, making the ropework a constant flow of knots and positions and transitions. Then bathing and soothing me in sounds that brought me in touch with some even deeper layers of my consciousness.
This was indeed quite a nourishing journey into surrender but happening without effort and resistance because trust was there from the very first moment. The introduction rituals really spoke to me on a spiritual level and created enormous focus on my explorative and healing intentions for that session. I definitely found alignment with my inner masculine as i was intending.
Bodhi’s work was intense and his care of my intention and process flawless. I am still processing - and yes there was a shadow hidden in that journey. I encountered it, I let go of it in deep satisfaction of transforming it into a beautiful posture of devotion and surrender to self.
Domo arigatou gozaimasu for this solid and massive experience, brother firedragon !