Writings

Sex part 2


So, let's pick up where we left off, Sex, burning topic, not enough said about it in the spiritual context, remember?
Sex part 2
Let's go back to the question of how sexuality is so linked to our spiritual life, because it is, make no mistake about it. Sex and Spirit are definitely united under the sometimes uncomfortable banner of honesty and truth. Neither of them, when thouroughly investigated, are capable of lying. You know when you are aroused and when you are not, the same way you, at some point in your spiritual journey, will see right through your own excuses an BS.
You can not fool your body in to thinking it's horny until you either are, by it just happening physically, or you perceive something that makes you horny. Whether that is the situation, the person you are having sex with, an image playing through your mind, or all of the above, very often you will need the cooperation of your mind to get there.

When we start opening the mind through practice, we get access to our more intimate, private stash of information, the subconscious comes up to the surface allowing us to see more of this person we call I, and so also the sexual aspect of her/him. I have spent hours on my meditation cushion in a silent retreat, feeling excruciatingly aroused, images both shocking and familiar dancing through my mind, without any outside stimulation whatsoever, I have also spent hours feeling completely repulsed by the idea of genitals colliding, on that same cushion, sometimes even in the same sitting.

In the meditation retreat context, we are confined to the bare necessities while spending hours and hours in stillness, so the mind can roam free. If we're comitted to opening fully to what is happening, the content of our subconscious closet start spilling out, and we start seeing all these items that have been left unwashed and closed in for years. And let me tell you, some of the stuff that comes up around the subject of sex feels real inconvenient, and that inconvenience itself, betrays the baggage of guilt, shame and denial, that we feel around sex.
Now, if we say we're spiritual beings, and that we will leave no stone unturned in our quest for truth, freedom, love and happiness, how can we neglect addressing the elephant in the room; all the complex issues we have with sex. The marriage between sex and spirituality is not a very healthy one. The response I got to the previous entry on sex is a good example. It seems that still to this day, there is no talk of it, there are rules and guidelines, as there always has been, but no concrete conversation, no honest discussion about our sexual dis/mal functions. I agree it's an issue that needs to be handled with care, but it must be dealt with. If knowing God, or being Enlightened asks for clarity, acceptance and compassion for all creation, that means sex is part of it, part of God, part of our enlightenment and so, naturally part of our process. As in all things neglected or corrupted, we need practice to get back on track again, it's not just going to happen all by itself.
If you recognize a part of yourself in what I've just written, do yourself a favour and don't postpone the research of your sexuality any longer. Dig in to it and examine your deeper feelings around this burning topic, let it be important. Because it is.

During one time, when was going through a non sexual period, I went to a meditation retreat. The dry spell in my sexuality had started becoming a real issue, but since the subject was so loaded, I escaped whenever my mind would get reminded of it.
I remember sitting on my cushion feeling the sensations in my body, but whenever I would reach my genitals, I would skip them. It didn't help of course that the instructions provided to t guide you through the scanning process, did not even mention them. They went pretty straight from the hips to the legs.
For a few sittings it was more or less unconscious, but then I started to be aware that I in my detailed exploration of my body, completely left out the genital area. It's not that I didn't understand why I was doing it, the same reason as always, I wanted to escape it. I felt shame and frustration and could see no way out if it. But with the discovery of my denial, I felt bound to go there, to include the terrifying 'it'. I started very carefully, very casually going there with my mind, at first with a feeling of shyness, but soon I dared to stay for a bit longer, observing and feeling in more detail all the shifting sensations that had been numb for so long. Feeling these familiar sensations again, brought a whole tidal wave of thoughts and emotions. I realized that the issue ran deep and that for now there was not much more that I could do but acknowledge the extent of the issue and in some way include it in my practice. I still do, and it's proven to be extremely helpful.

Here is a simple excersice that you can start with if you're in the vicinity of where I was sexually.
In solitude, if possible, lay down in savasana. Genitalia uncovered with a comforter on top.
Relax your body, observe and stay with your breath for a few minutes. Give particular importance to relaxing all the way down your abdomen and give your breath time to calm down. There are three diaphragms in the body, one at the base of the throat one just below your lungs and one in the pelvic floor. You want to really relax all three, doing it through the breath usually works if you give it a bit of time. Then let your breath reach towards the pelvic diaphragm way down to the pelvic floor. Let it stay there for as much time as you have, maybe even set an alarm. In general you want to give yourself time when you're doing this but it is also helpful to have a pre-determined time programmed since the temptation to escape will come up.
If that feels comfortable, allow your mind to focus more selectively on your sexual parts, on the physical sensations you feel there. Over time, when you feel a bit more comfortable and open start observing the thoughts that arise during your physical investigation. For this of course, the mind needs to be calm, some discoveries may be difficult and I am not exclusively talking about what others did but sometimes the more disturbing baggage is what you did, or want/ed to do. So I would suggest staying with the physical for some time, and remember to keep kindly acknowledge that what you are doing is not more, but definitely not less important than your asana practice and your diet. Instead of a sexual revolution enjoy a sexual evolution.
Happy practice!

 

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