November 6, 2010

Sex and Spirit

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!

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