Our Faculty

The “three jewels” of Tantric Buddhism are; Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The word “Sangha” refers to the community of spiritual practitioners who are using the same methods of healing and realization, and whom you can turn to for support along the path.

The Directors and Instructors of IATE know from personal experience how essential community support is for healing trauma and overcoming internal “blocks to bliss”. We are dedicated to providing ourselves and our students sustainable systems to access ongoing support for healing.

A householder and Tantric Yogi, Lama Tashi has supported and sanctioned our use of authentic Tibetan Tantric healing methods, combined with contemporary cutting-edge knowledge about sexuality, trauma, and holistic healing, in order to create effective methods for addressing the root causes of illness and suffering in our modern world.

Each of the Directors has taken refuge in the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. Our “Root Lama” is Lama Tashi Dundrup of the Kauai Dharma Center. (Find out more about Lama Tashi here!)

It is our mission and purpose to bring these authentic and lineage based Tantric healing methods out into the world with clarity, integrity, compassion, and power.

Scroll down to find out more!

Devi Ward Erickson

Curator of the Authentic Tantra ® Modality and Founder of IATE

Devi Ward Erickson is the curator of the Authentic Tantra ® modality and an accomplished Vajrayana Tantra Practitioner.

Devi is a trauma survivor who has overcome sexual, emotional, physical and racial abuse through Tantric sexual and non-sexual practice. Devi was a stripper in Detroit for several years while she attended Wayne State University for the performing arts. At the age of 24 she became a monk of the Ishaya order and dedicated her life to her spiritual path. Nine years later, Devi was introduced to Vajrayana Tantric Buddhism and trained in the Tibetan Five Element healing practices as a sexual and non-sexual healing method.

Since then Devi has become an internationally recognized Tantra Expert, Certified Tantric Healer, and ACS Certified Sexologist. In 2015 Devi completed a 53 hour Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocacy Counselor training. Her background includes certification in Reiki and meditation. Devi Ward has been teaching meditation and personal growth workshops since 2000.

Devi is an author and the Host of Sex is Medicine with Devi Ward Podcast on Itunes and tunein.com. She has been featured as a Tantra and Sexuality Expert in countless articles and over 30 different radio and television networks worldwide including Playboy Radio, Men’s Health Magazine, CBS, NBC, Rogers TV and the movie Sexology with Gabrielle Anwar and Catherine Oxenberg.

Devi is currently training in Traditional Tibetan Medicine at the Tibetan Medicine Education Center.

Find out more about Devi Ward Erickson here! 

  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Ethnicity: West African, Irish, English, Cherokee, Polish, Czechoslovakian
  • Vajra Name: Palden Lhamo
  • Accomplishments: Green Tara, White Chenrezig, White Mahakala
  • Currently Accomplishing: Ngondro, Tummo, Black Mahakala

Dr. Chris Erickson

Senior Educational Administrator & Director for The Institute of Authentic Tantra
Education

Dr. Erickson began practicing Authentic Tantra in 2014 and quickly realized the power and efficacy of this potent healing modality.

Using the techniques as instructed, Dr. Erickson swiftly mastered the art of semen retention, becoming a fully multi orgasmic male within just a few weeks!

Chris has dedicated his time and energy as a volunteer for every Certification Retreat since 2014, supporting students of all genders in gaining greater mastery in the art of mindfulness and somatic healing practices.

Dr. Erickson is an accomplished Vajrayana Tantra practitioner, and one of the most advanced male practitioners of modern Tantra in North America.

He is deeply interested in weaving his academic understanding of society with his wisdom as a Tantric practitioner. Dr. Erickson specializes in teaching Tibetan Buddhist Meditation theory and practice, cultivating mindful presence through pleasure, and mastering the art of semen retention.

BA (University of British Columbia; International Relations, Philosophy), MA (Bond University; Philosophy), Ph.D (University of Massachusetts Amherst; Political Science), Director and Senior Educational Administrator of IATE (and Muse to Devi Ward Erickson)

Dr. Erickson is currently undergoing training to become a certified practitioner of Traditional Tibetan Medicine in 2023.

  • Pronouns: He/His
  • Ethnicity: Scandinavian, Irish, English
  • Vajra Name: Karma Vajra Samten
  • Accomplishments: Green Tara, White Chenrezig, Medicine Buddha, Manjushri, Vajrasattva,
  • Currently Accomplishing: Ngondro, Tummo, Black Mahakala, White Tara, Vajrapani

Marci Weinstein

Co-Founder & Director of The Institute of Authentic Tantra Education

Marci Weinstein is a Certified Authentic Tantra Practitioner and has been teaching and facilitating group workshops on Tantra, Deepening Pleasure and Intimacy and Communication & Connection since 2012. As a Personal Transformation Catalyst, she helps guide others to release what no longer serves them, discover their authentic selves, and expand what’s possible in their lives.

After 20+ years of study and commitment to personal development and self-improvement, Marci is now passionate about sharing the path of self-love, self-acceptance, pleasure, intimacy, and spiritual growth. She has additional background in sexual energetics, authentic relating, NVC (Non-Violent Communication), hypnosis, hands-on healing, and personal coaching.

  • Preferred pronouns: She/her
  • Ethnic background: Canadian for 3 generations; previous generations from Eastern Europe (Poland & Russia). Raised culturally Jewish, but not actively religious.
  • Tibetan name: Karma Sanjay Droma (Space Dakini / Tara mother); took refuge in the Shangpa Kaygu lineage June 10, 2017
  • Accomplishments: approx. halfway to accomplishing Green Tara
  • Active Practices: Refuge & Prostrations; 5 Elements, including Running the Elements (formally & sexually); Green Tara; 5 Element Taras; 5 Element Dakinis; Guru Rinpoche; Mandala Offerings; Vajrasattva; Medicine Buddha, Tummo

Alaina Salks

Co-Founder & Director of The Institute of Authentic Tantra Education

Alaina Salks is a Certified Authentic Tantra Practitioner and comes to Authentic Tantra with a diverse educational and professional background. She is a poet, writer and artist, as well as an avid plant enthusiast. Her love of communication, arts and the natural world imbues her teaching style with grounded, loving, nurturing energy.

Alaina has been a full-time stepmother since 2011, and is well acquainted with the challenges of raising children in a non-traditional family. She understands the difficulty of maintaining a connected emotional and sexual relationship with one’s partner while raising a family in the wake of divorce. She brings this understanding to her work with individuals and couples, who struggle to connect with their partners under challenging circumstances.

  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Ethnicity: Latvian
  • Vajra Name: Alaya Trinley Tara
  • Currently Accomplishing: Ngondro, Green Tara.

Karen Craig

Co-Owner of Live Heal Thrive Retreats™ and Explore the Art of Tantra™

Karen Craig, B.Msc., J.D., is co-owner of Live Heal Thrive Retreats™ and Explore the Art of Tantra™, along with her husband, Brion E. Craig, B.Msc. Through individual and group coaching and workshops, as well as through fun, powerful and
transformative global retreats, they help men, women and ouples rediscover their power, authenticity and capacity for deep connection, intimacy and love. Karen is a Certified Metaphysical Practitioner, Certified Authentic Tantra® Educator and Practitioner, as well as a Certified Sexologist.

While in college, during which she received a B.A. degree in political science, Karen began her self-study and practice in various metaphysical modalities, including acupressure, aromatherapy, reflexology and massage therapy. After college, she went on to law school and earned her Juris Doctor degree. Following graduation, she became a trial attorney and later a Judge. Her interest and study of Tantra began in the 1990’s, when she was introduced to Tantra through books authored by Margot Annand. She completed her formal Tantra training and certification from the Institute of Authentic Tantra® Education, where she is now on the teaching staff as a Tantra Mastery instructor. She holds a second bachelor’s degree in Metaphysical Science and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Holistic Counseling, with a second concentration in Relationship Dynamics. Karen has also completed training in Trauma Treatment from the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine and is a trained ho’oponopono practitioner. Her approach to practice is to utilize an array of modalities based on ancient wisdom and indigenous practices, combined with cutting edge approaches, to guide
individuals and couples on their journey to experiencing wholeness and pleasure in all areas of life.

Karen is also the proud mother of a son and daughter, as well as three stepsons with her husband Brion.

  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Ethnicity: African American

Brion Craig

Co-Owner of Live Heal Thrive Retreats™ and Explore the Art of Tantra™

Brion Craig, B.Msc., is co-owner of Live Heal Thrive Retreats™ and Explore the Art of Tantra™, along with his wife, Karen Craig, B.Msc. Through individual and group coaching and workshops, as well as through fun, powerful and transformative global retreats, they help men, women and couples rediscover their power, authenticity and capacity for deep connection, intimacy and love. Brion is an Ordained Metaphysical Minister, Certified Metaphysical Practitioner, Certified Authentic Tantra® Practitioner, as well as a Certified Sexologist.

Brion began his self-study and practice in various metaphysical and spiritual modalities in 2010. He completed his formal Tantra training and certification from the Institute of Authentic Tantra® Education, where he is now on the teaching staff as a Tantra Mastery instructor.

Brion also holds a bachelor’s degree in Metaphysical Science and is currently working toward his Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D., specializing in Transpersonal Counseling. He has also owned and operated his own IT business for over 20 years.

Brion is also the proud father of three sons, as well as a bonus son and daughter with his wife Karen.

  • Pronouns: He/Him
  • Ethnicity: African American

Laurie McCracken

RN & Certified Authentic Tantra®
Practitioner

As a former nun, oncology nurse, holistic health coach and energy medicine practitioner, I never imagined I would become a Certified Authentic Tantra® Practitioner and Sexologist! However, it’s a perfect fit!!

I am passionate about raising pleasure consciousness in the world; about supporting the healing and transformation needed to re-unite our sexuality with our spirituality. I know personally the emotional, physical and mental trauma this “disconnect” can create in one’s life.

I have also experienced firsthand the profound healing and transformation Authentic Tantra® offers. Working with individuals, couples and groups, I weave the Emotion Code and Body Code (an energy medicine modality) into my Authentic Tantra® coaching sessions, enhancing and personalizing this already profound work even more.

  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Ethnicity: Scottish, Irish, English
  • Vajra Name: Shanghai Sonom Chog (Tara of supreme virtue)
  • Accomplishments: Green Tara
  • Currently Accomplishing: Ngundro, Tummo

Candice Anitra

ACS Certified Sexologist & Certified Authentic Tantra®
Practitioner

Candice Anitra (she/they) has a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a Certified Authentic Tantra® Practitioner, Tantra Mastery Instructor, and an ACS Certified Sexologist, currently based outside of New York City in the Lower Hudson Valley. After years as a left-of-soul alien pop singer-songwriter and educator, more recent roles in counseling, sexology and tantra intersect around topics of sensation and pleasure cultivation, through somatic healing. These newer pathways have helped Candice navigate ancestral and lived trauma in a Black body, a theme that has been ever present in Candice’s work. As a Tantra Mastery Instructor, Candice is able to incorporate this sensibility while tenderly holding space for those new to the modality.

The experience of Candice’s voice and singular vibration foster healing; a warm, dynamic, creative and humorous singer, dancer, and facilitator, Candice curates live one-of-a-kind speaking engagements, performances, and one-on-one online coaching sessions with people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, body types, ages, and relationship configurations. Candice is dedicated to unlearning and dismantling anti-Blackness and systems of oppression and to working with those ready to weave the creative life force energy that is their sexuality with their spirituality and daily ways of being.

  • Pronouns: She/They
  • Ethnicity: Black, descendant of slavery
  • Accomplishments: Certified Authentic Tantra ® practitioner, Tantra Mastery Teacher & ACS Certified Sexologist
  • Currently Studying: Black American scholarship past & present

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*The Tantra Mastery Training Program does not require approval by the registrar of the private Training Institute Branch (PTIB). As such, the registrar did not review this program.