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Sacred Touch for Men Relax your body. Reclaim your pleasure. Find your passion.

My Totem

Posted by ed on April 11, 2013
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deer-tailI’ve been on a quest of identity over the last year or so. Until recently, I’ve never really given much thought to who I am. Sure, I’ve been working on self-awareness, or being aware of my patterns, makeup, gifts and shadow. But this never involved naming my identity or symbols of my identity.

I’m still haven’t received the message of a name – or something in addition to my given name that resonates with who I am. However, I have found that I feel a strong affinity toward deer.

I appreciate the strong masculinity coupled with a predominately non-violent way of being. Scent is an important way for me to communicate with my intimates. I like the stag’s way of marking his territory through leaving his scent.

Deer are very alert animals. I consider myself pretty alert and somewhat skittish in new environments – similar to the deer. Once I get to know a space I can be very comfortable, but that does take a bit of time for me.

I recently found a deer tail done by an artist in Oregon. After pondering the tail for a day or so, I realized that it would be the perfect symbol of my connection to deer. The tail arrived today. I spent time this evening engaging in a handshake with the tail. A friend recently told me of the term handshaking to signify an intentional process around getting acquainted with an energy. I strongly feel the need to begin my relationship with the deer tail with a handshake. This evening I simply felt the tail and had it rest on my heart for a bit. It felt right.

I’m looking forward to developing this relationship more!

Spiritual Journeys

Posted by ed on November 29, 2012
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I’ve felt for the last decade or so that I’ve been on a somewhat delayed spiritual journey.

I recently came across a post on skokti’s blog that really resonated with me. I’ve seen so many queer men run away from their spiritual side and their spiritual needs because of agendas imposed on us by some religions. I too experienced much of this when I was younger and spent many years in the confusion over spirituality and religion. I thought that the two concepts had no room for me.

Yet, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve experienced more forms of energy as part of my consciousness. I’ve come to see that this energy allows me to get out of the prison of my mind and into other forms of perception and awareness. I started to see that life wasn’t a single path to a goal; rather, it is a series of paths many of which are parallel and don’t really go anywhere physical. Most importantly, I’ve experienced that consciousness transcends my body. I believe that consciousness doesn’t go away after death. Our body will at some point give out, but the sense of self and awareness does not depend on the body. I stopped being afraid of death and became aware of something that I can’t quantify but is more than life.

I found this passage from shokti’s post particularly relevant:

When we strip away the layers of fear, shame, guilt, pain and confusion that have been the story of human life, and especially gay life, for so very long, we will get to the SELF. Harry Hay, one of the originators of the radical faerie culture, believed gay men were naturally attuned to ‘subject-subject consciousness’ – ie we empathise with others as being the same as ourselves, not as ‘objects’ separate from us. It is hard to find evidence that this is the case – gay life seems to be built on objectification these days, with gay media and cruise sites reducing us all to little more than beautiful sexual creatures and magnifying our feelings of inadequacy. But the potential is in us to break through such illusions. Great visionaries of gay love such as Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter saw our potential as warriors of love and peace in the human family. These are the people we should be talking about, every young gay man ought to know about their ideas. And they also ought to know that gay people have been the spiritual leaders of humanity across the globe since ancient times, then we might be more inclined to explore our own spirit, instead of denying our souls at the same time as reaching for the tina pipe or syringe (which takes us into our soul energy, where all the bliss we seeks resides). The objectification and cold-heartedness of gay life needs to be revealed as the sham it is. We are a people born to love and to evolve, it is time our queer culture supported us to find out exactly who we are.

We’ve been subjected to enough hate from others, why do we reinforce it on ourselves?

Religion and Spritiuality

Posted by ed on May 20, 2012
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Throughout history many people have been hurt in the name of religion. Of course this also includes many queer people. While I make no excuses for the hurt and pain inflicted on people in the name of religion, I also feel that we can all too easily dismiss the benefits of a spiritual path because of the pain inflicted by people in the name of religion.

The words religion and spirituality are often used interchangeably; however, I believe that these are two very different concepts. Religion is a belief structure with a hierarchy that is controlled by those in power. Although religion came from spiritual teachings, it often morphs into a control structure that focuses more on keeping power and control rather than the original spiritual teaching. Many religions also have strong desires to increase their followers by conversion and often teach that their is the ‘correct’ or true belief and all others are less than the true. In other words – I’m right and you’re wrong.

On the other hand spirituality has no concept of right and wrong. Spirituality, by definition is a very personal belief. People may share their spiritual beliefs but few would try to convince someone that their belief is the true and correct belief. More often than not you’ll hear “whatever works for you.”

I’ve found that a spiritual practice has been very helpful for me. My spiritual practice embraces my identity as a queer man, it upholds the joy and the mystery of sexuality, it helps me find order in things that have no order and it connects me to the wonder of it all. My spiritual practice has elements of my Catholic upbringing, but also has elements of many other practices – some Western, some Eastern and some Pagan. It’s highly personal and is a reflection of who I am.

My spiritual beliefs are evolving and a result of years of exploration. Some of that exploration was learning from going down dead ends. These dead ends weren’t failures; rather, they helped my path to learn what is best for me.

Be an explorer!

Sex and Spirit

Posted by ed on November 6, 2010
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Present to Erotic Energy

There are many definitions of spirituality. To me, spirituality is something that moves us beyond our noisy mind. It’s a practice that help us let go of our ideas, beliefs, identities and positions.

A spiritual practice is not based in dogma or belief. It simply allows us to experience and be – without the noisy mind constantly interrupting.

It’s not unlike the moment of orgasm – where the sensations overtake the body and analysis, logic and sense of self just disappear. So I find that intersection of spirit and sex a really interesting place to explore.

Where I begin is being in the present moment. It’s not easy! My chattering mind is almost always reflecting on something in the past or anticipating something in the future. It’s really hard to be completely present. However erotic energy offers us an opportunity to practice. When we focus on the sensations and really notice what’s going on in our body we are present – if even for a short moment. We’re alive and noticing.

When we’re present, we not aware of shame and guilt. We’re free to celebrate our erotic energies. We’re free to openly and enthusiastically connect. We’re not focused on our supposed shortcomings or believing that that other person completes us. Instead we’re focused on just being ourselves and experiencing a genuine connection without interference from the noisy mind.

Notice that I haven’t said a word about religion or any belief system. While I believe that religion and beliefs and eroticism connect, that’s actually a different idea that I’ll write about later. The point here isn’t about any belief in god, God, higher power, Gaia or anything else – rather it’s about being present and aware. In other words being alive!

What are some ways to begin this practice. The first step is to look at Eros as a practice. Treat the time with erotic energy as a special time. Don’t try to multitask. Don’t practice when you’re spirit or body isn’t really up for it. Don’t practice when you don’t have the right amount of time to devote to it.

If you’re with a partner, spend some time eye gazing and connecting. A great way to connect is to spend 5 minutes focused on each other’s breath. Neither partner needs to lead, yet both follow. Let go of performing, getting to a goal, talking about something else or anything else that gets in the way.

If you’re by yourself set aside space for your practice. Set the room to be warm, comfortably lit and pleasant to your senses. Turn off the TV or the computer; instead, put on music that feels right to you. Spend a few minutes connecting with yourself through a mirror. Match your breathing and relax into the moment.

Let go. Let go of possessing your partner or him/her possessing you. Explore connectedness. See how you connect together. Explore the interdependencies between you. Nature of full of examples. A great way to begin is to focus your attention on a part of the body you don’t normally pay attention to and see how that part is connected to everything else. Another great way is to look at your body or your partner’s body as a temple. How would you worship your body? Be a caretaker or steward of your partner’s body. Be intentional and deliberate of all that you do.

As you notice your noisy mind fill with thoughts (and we all do), return your primary thought to your breathing. Focus on the detail of the inhale and the exhale. When we’re focused on the nuances of the breath it’s hard for the noisy mind to do anything else. We don’t multitask well. If you’re focused on your breath or your partner’s breath, you’re actually present!