Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Integrating Your Spiritual Awakening Through a Spiritual Sexual Practice

I'm sure that some of you of you are like, "Yeah! Let's talk more sex." But once again, I'm speaking primarily in your own, solo practice. Partnerships bring a lot of additional baggage and issues into the space as much as they bring a lot of beautiful opportunities for deep intimacy. Especially when someone is in awakening and is actively integrating it, it's like being cut open on an operating table. A lot of care would have to be taken by a partner to not bring his/her issues into a very sacred and open space. With that said, it can be done, and you can share a lot of amazing experiences during this sacred time.

But for most people, you may already feel a little defensive about your space and want to focus on you right now. That's perfectly all right, and the nature of sexuality is that you can still have this space by yourself. This is often a revolutionary idea for many people, but trust me, the depth of union and intimacy you can have within yourself can be intense, amazing, and even overwhelming. Once you really open that door in spiritual sexuality, you never really are the same in that space again. And for those of you new to how I speak about this topic, please check out "Understanding Spiritual Sexuality." There are a number of posts linked there that can help you understand this topic.

Now that I've set up a bit of a framework, let's talk about how sexual practice and sexual energy can help you embody and integrate your awakened self.


Head in the Clouds, Feet Nowhere Near the Ground

For many of you, you don't even know where the ground is anymore. Your body may feel like this distant, heavy, cumbersome thing that you don't know how to deal with. For those of you awakening but who have a lot of pain to heal as well, this divorce between spirit and body can feel extreme. And this is a problem. Because we live in bodies. That's how we function in a healthy way in this world, and while a lot of ascetic spiritual practices have denied the body in different spiritual and religious traditions, that is ultimately not healthy. It is not transcendence. True transcendence is to let go of our attachment to the body, but to embrace the beauty of the body as it is. Without this embrace, you will find a lot of problems with living in the world because until you die (and let's not even get into the topic of wanting to be released from your body), you have a body. And despite how it may feel, your body is sacred, and it's the only one you've got in this lifetime.

Which is why a spiritual sexual practice can be great. It can be the process of re-affirming your love of your body through something that feels f*%#ing fantastic. Am I right? Sexuality and orgasm can feel amazing, although in this post we're going to talk a little bit about how all feelings and sensations need permission to be felt. This is a very different space than the normally accepted idea of sex, which believes that sex should always be a candy-coated sugar rush. A lot of things will come up through your sexual experiences in your space, and it's because this energy is pulling you down into your body where potentially there are a lot of unworked out issues.


Caution With Sexual Energy

Now, I'm always cautious with what I say about this space. It's not because I have any problem talking about it; it's because there's SOOOO much immaturity out there. Sexual energy is profoundly powerful energy. There's nothing etheric about it, so for those of you for whom visualization and channeling energy still feels surreal, this will feel real. There's nothing conceptual about it. The body doesn't think and live in concepts, despite what our egos and minds try to do to it. But what the body wants to feel or needs to feel changes from one experience to the next. So if you have a lot of deep healing to do, sexual energy may ignite a huge amount of anger, sadness, fear, or shame...especially shame in this culture. Shame is the 600 pound gorilla sitting on the collective genitalia of much of the culture in the U.S. I know...it's a nasty image. But it's also a nasty reality.

So a lot of times, you're going to be kicking over some really nasty stuff. You need to be ready for that. You need to build a practice around your sexual practice to be able to integrate and understand what is coming up. And you need a lot of space to just allow and accept what you are feeling. That's why I wrote that other post about preparation for a spiritual sexual practice; I wanted to help you be ready for a lot of stuff that may suddenly come up because very few people ever talk about this stuff in regards to sexuality.


Beginning to Discover Your Sexual Space Again

Wherever you are in your sexual experiences, after an awakening, everything is new again. You will find that some of the things that turned you on won't excite you anymore. You may even find yourself turned off by some of those images, touches, sounds, and other experiences. It may even feel like nothing turns you on anymore. Depending on where you are and what you need in your practice, spiritual sexuality starts out and ends with mindful touch. I really encourage you to mindfully love and touch all of yourself. For some of you, that will be the extent of your spiritual practice. That will help to tell your body that you love it, and it will also ignite different issues inside of you, which then will require you to be with them. You have to continue to let go of the idea that sexual practice is always going to feel pleasurable in a certain way. That is only one aspect of the space. It's much broader and more profound than it is commonly portrayed, and orgasm isn't necessarily going to be a part of every practice you have with yourself.

I know. Some of you are disappointed. You may be even more bummed out when I say that some of you will be crying a lot during this practice. Suddenly it sounds completely different than you'd imagined it. But keep heart. The more integrated and united you are in yourself, the more joy and pleasure will be available. You have to go through the difficulty, not away from it. All you will find inside is what you put there through one way or another. Even if something feels like it was forced upon you, there was a part of you that accepted this pain. This is a hard truth to swallow, but it doesn't make us victims. It simply is about owning what is there, looking at it, feeling it, and allowing us to release it. Then there is even more space for love in your body, and some of the limitations that you've had in your sexual experiences start to dissolve.


Dropping Into the Space of No-Mind

So, you know why everyone loves orgasm, right? It's because for a fraction of a second, we're in the space of no-mind. The ego is obliterated, and we feel this full-bodied ecstatic bliss. I mean it doesn't always feel exactly like this, but most of the time, it's pretty damned good. Am I right? This space is a nice reminder of the awakened state. It is also a wonderful way to touch the awakened state in your body. As I alluded to in an earlier subhead, people can get really ungrounded by their awakening. It's kind of like they're floating at the tops of their heads, and they don't know how to touch the ground again. Sexual energy breaks down ideas that often are blocking this integration. It helps you to feel your whole body--good, bad, and indifferent. It also helps to encourage the circulation of your energy system, and where it gets stuck in your body show you were your blockages are lurking.

The circulation of the energy is the key part of spiritual sexuality. One of the things that I emphasize the most is breathing. If visualization of energy and using intentions to guide your energy don't feel available to you, just go to the breath. Breathing deeply and fully during and after self-stimulation is a good way to prepare and continue the energetic movement. However, when the orgasm comes, simply allow it. Don't try to do too much. Orgasmic energy is very intelligent. Just observe where it goes and how it feels. And do this observation very gently. We're not trying to turn sexuality into a mental game, but we are bringing more awareness into the moment to find out what is going on in our bodies.

Over time, you will learn more and more about your body. You will learn where there is tension, and sometimes you will get images of the stories and feelings stuck in specific parts of your body. When you learn to address those issues, then things open up more. The flood gates open up wider, and you can touch deeper moments through your orgasm.


Continuing to Breathe After Orgasm

So whammo! The orgasm came and went. It felt great. But don't stop. Keep breathing. Keep cycling the breath throughout your body even as you're moving about through the rest of your day. Imagine that you're creating a circular flow of energy inside of you. You draw the energy down into the base of you, and then you draw it back up to the top of your head. See how it feels. See what comes up. Stop when you are ready, but continue as long as you like. The more you practice with your sexual energy (I recommend every other day to start), the more you'll learn about it and learn how to open more deeply into it. It is a profoundly intelligent and powerful space, and it's actually one you don't have to leave. There's a quality of feeling that you can cultivate where it is like you are still in the orgasmic energy for hours later. Some people cultivate this space so that they live in this space of energy. Now, it's not exactly like the initial orgasmic hit, but it's like that afterglow doesn't go away. It's really awesome. I highly recommend it.


Going At Your Own Pace and Knowing When to Stop

Now, as I mentioned, this is a powerful, powerful spiritual tool. It's not to be played around with wantonly. I'm not just talking about masturbation here. Masturbation is solely focused on pleasure and achieving climax. As I mentioned earlier, you may not orgasm in your spiritual sexual practice. It simply depends on what is present for you. For men in particular, you will have to learn how to separate ejaculation from orgasm. Essentially, ejaculation takes muscle tension, and orgasm requires muscle relaxation. You'll have to practice until you find that point where the two diverge and can relax into the orgasm before the ejaculation comes. This is important because men are designed to send energy out of themselves, and the purpose of spiritual sexuality is to learn how to cultivate your own energy and integrate it. Too much masturbation can be depleting for guys; it's part of the reason that some men promptly fall asleep after having sex. In turn, learning how to separate ejaculation and orgasm allows men to have multiple orgasms, and this energy can be brought to bear to really work through some deep issues. Or it simply opens a doorway to another level of pleasure that most men don't know exists.

But there is a time to stop. This energy is powerful, and if you are already really unstable, you may want to step into this space slowly or after you've used other grounding techniques to stabilize. When you're embodying your awakening, there's a lot of moving energy. It won't always be appropriate to use this tool, but for many people, it will help to bring you back into alignment with your body, although--as I mentioned--that can bring up a lot of stuff.


Allowing All Emotions and Sensations

I would also like to say that there is no time to torture, torment, or hurt your body in your personal sexual practice or in any sexual experience really. Your body is sacred, and your body wants you to fully and truly love and appreciate it. That also means creating space to love and appreciate all emotions and sensations that come up. If you start feeling lots of shame, I encourage you to continue with your practice. Keep letting your body know that you love it. Don't stop. That's what the shame wants. That's what fear wants. That's what all that negativity junk will tell you to do, and if you stop, it keeps you cut off from yourself. This may bring a ton of emotional junk to your attention, or it may be simply blissful and ecstatic. All of these emotions and sensations are sacred. Just go slowly when things get intense, and if this isn't the time to climax, that's fine. Stay with the mindful loving touch, and over time, your body will learn how to receive this love, perhaps for the first time.


Continuing to Adjust and Modify As You Integrate Your Awakening

As I'll continue to emphasize, the spiritual tools we need to integrate a spiritual awakening change. Sometimes, we need an hour of meditation. Sometimes we need almost none. Sometimes a daily sexual practice is critical to grounding our energy, and sometimes that's just too intense. It really is about continuing to develop your inner knowing. You can't apply anyone's words wholesale to every part of your life. You know your truth, and you have to own it. So as you step into your sexual space again, see what needs modifying and have the courage and self-love to make those changes. See what feels right, and listen to your sacred body. Let your body tell you how it needs to awaken and how it wants to live in an awakened state in this world. You may be surprised by the stories it will tell you, but trust me, it's taking you to a much happier state of awareness with the opportunity for so much more love, union, and pleasure than you could have possibly imagined before all this awakening began.
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