Monday, October 11, 2010
Spiritual Sexuality: Meeting and Igniting Your Creative Powers
Levels of Sexual Dysfunction
I know this blog post and others like it are up against a lot of taboos and communication dysfunction. There is an intense level of shame around sexuality in the U.S. culture. There are lots of possible reasons for the existence of this shame. Some look at this shame as a form of social control. Others look at it as an offshoot of the Christian original sin concept, which in many ways can be viewed as a form of religious control. I simply know that shame is a heavy and terrible energetic impasse. Shame is the five hundred pound barbell that weighs people down and crushes them. Through shame, sexual dysfunction grows more and more prevalent. It turns sexuality into a reactive element as a person tries to get the connection he or she is craving through means that don't give the person that nourishment. This in turn creates continued pain cycles.
One common cycle is that of dominance and submission. This is a much bigger theme than what happens in the bedroom. If you look at sports, all of sports is a dominance and submission process. Businesses are always trying to dominate each other in the marketplace. The same thing happens between men and women as they try to get what they want/need. People will cycle through numerous partners seeking that thing that they need--whatever they may think that is.
In this context, the underlying purpose of the union is a desire or a need. When I use the term desire, I am saying that you think you need something outside of yourself to be happy or complete. There are countless desires, such as the desire for money or even the desire to help. This last one is a tricky one because it hides itself in a noble pursuit. But when you really get your arms around it, you realize that this desire is seeking a feeling of self-gratification and social approval. In sex, desire is pretty obvious; you may want to feel fulfilled, released, physically loved, held, and many other things. To feel these things is absolutely fine, but there's a big difference between trying to get these things from your partner versus allowing them to arise in the moment through genuine love and appreciation.
Sexuality in the Space of Service
Part of turning sexuality from a purely carnal act into a spiritual act is turning it from a drive to "get" something or achieve a feeling into a form of service. Service is about giving and receiving. When two people are authentically focused on giving and receiving love, the space of sexuality and its creative forces start to open up. The more you're simply in service to your lover and to the moment, the more any outcome from the union is okay. You are letting go of your desire for an outcome and letting go of control of yourself, your partner, and the moment. This is where deeper fulfillment can step in.
But to be in this space, I think it's important to begin to create that space of service for yourself in your own sexual practice. In doing so, you begin to understand how you are ultimately the one who influences your own fulfillment. As you grow yourself in your sexual practice, your demands on a partner and what you think you need in sex will greatly shift and diminish.
Speaking of Sexual Shame
When I talk about a personal sexual practice, I am talking about masturbation--at least in part. Masturbation is often one of the great cultural symbols of shame. It can represent romantic failure--failure to find a partner. However, for the sake of your spiritual development, masturbation is incredibly important. It allows you to develop your service towards yourself in pleasure. It lets you dip into your creative powers. In my own life, my writing becomes more and more prolific the more open my sexuality is.
You see, this creative force not only makes children, but it can serve many other parts of the creation process. If you want to get rid of writer's block or mental blocks in general, go more deeply into your sexuality. What makes you feel good? What things and images come up for you when you're in that space? Your sexuality has a whole set of stories much like the rest of your body. You need to start listening.
Awakening the Kundalini
Sacred sexuality has a whole level of energy work that can go with it and can ignite the kundalini. The kundalini is an energy system in the form of a double helix running from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. This is the freeway to enlightenment. Igniting this creative energy will rebirth you. It's a hugely powerful process, and a lot of people warn new practitioners to expect their lives to change if they really delve into a spiritual sexual practice, which can ignite the kundalini.
If you are new to spiritual practice, I encourage you to find a teacher if you are drawn to Western Tantra. There are a variety of types of Western Tantra being practiced. The more traditional types of Tantra don't focus heavily on sexuality, as sexuality is a small piece of a whole system. Western Tantra seems to focus pretty heavily on sexuality--I think it's Western Society's way of adding back in a major piece that has gotten excluded and condemned in the religious culture.
Spiritual Sexuality, Healing, and the Gateway to Enlightenment
Like I said, this is one of the freeways to enlightenment, but you're probably going to find some heavy issues at times. It depends on you and your path, of course. For the purposes of starting a spiritual practice, simply acknowledge that they're there. There are lots of ways of moving and clearing sexual issues. I'll talk about them in later blogs.
If you have a background of sexual abuse, these links at way2hope.org and at RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) can help you deal with those issues as well. Both victims and perpetrators need to be healed, and there are lots of external programs that can provide much needed tools, community, and assistance. Done in combination with a spiritual practice, you can find the hope and the help that you've been seeking to fully heal.
Wherever you are in your life, your pain, or your spirituality, a dedicated spiritual sexual practice is an essential part of the awakening process. It can help you to heal and expand in ways that you might never have imagined possible.
Next blog: Finding Your Creativity