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The secret of sexual energy, therefore, is not only that it is capable of begetting new generations, but that it has a second function of much greater importance for man: to lead his consciousness step by step up the great Jacob’s ladder of consciousness to God
Sexual Energy and Yoga
Much of what happens in our sexual experience goes far beyond the physical experience of our body. Is it emotional? Is it energetic? Is it spiritual? The truth is, it can be all these things, and each time we are sexual our experience will be different depending on our situation, our state, and most importantly our intention.
While it's true that sometimes we may be only looking for physical release during sex, it's also true that sex can offer so much more. As we open ourselves up to the idea that our sexuality can take us into the spiritual realm, we are already creating new possibilities for ourselves. My use of the term spiritual here simply refers to that which is nonphysical and not measurable in a physical way. Some great works have already been published on the topic of sacred sexuality. I highly recommend any publications by Margo Anand. She has contributed a great deal to the introduction of Eastern principles of sacred sexuality to the West. As well, she has helped us gain an understanding of the role of energy in sex. In her three step process to creating ecstatic states, Anand has the following to say about energy and sex:
Sex is first of all a matter of energy. The more energy you have, the more blissful you can be, the better sex becomes. In step one you learn to mobilize your energy and express it more fully until you experience orgasm as an “energy event” that can be learned and duplicated independent of the sexual context. In this process you experience the essential part of orgasm, which I call the streaming reflex…as you experience the streaming reflex, you learn to welcome various kinds of vibrations and let them happen until they are felt as highly pleasurable [i]
I have found that most of us are afraid of our body's energetic vibrations. When the body starts to vibrate we’re afraid we’re losing control. Partially that’s because the most common time for the vibration to occur is when we are having an emotional meltdown. This level of emotion terrifies most of us. Consequently, we have become very adept at shutting our vibration down. Initially, we do this in order to shut down uncomfortable emotions. But in doing so, we have to some degree closed the door to our full embodiment and all it has to offer.
I remember the first time I became acutely aware of allowing my own vibration. I was participating in a month long personal growth program at the Haven Institute, when one day, out of the blue, my energy just let lose and my body began to vibrate, seemingly out of my control. However, it was soon pointed out to me that the vibration was actually within my control and I could shut it down at any point. I learned that the vibration is there all the time but I was shutting it down habitually. However, in the safe environment of The Haven, I was encouraged to just let it be and observe it. This allowed me to get more comfortable with the sensation when it occurred at other times.
I was reminded that this vibration is our life force and that the more we are in touch with it, the better. After this experience, I found I could allow the vibration to get stronger anytime I intended it. It didn’t need to be coupled with intense emotion and it can actually be used to energize and heal. It was like having a rheostat where I could turn it up or down at will. It didn’t take long before I choose to let this vibration let loose during sex, allowing for a much more intense experience. Years later, in a Tantra workshop I learned that activating this vibration using breath and sexual energy was a Tantric technique.
I have often shared with clients, who are afraid of their own vibration, that in Tai Chi practice; years are spent cultivating this very experience. So rather than fear this vibration, we have the option to see it as a leap in our conscious awareness. The CD that accompanies this workbook, Timeless Pleasure, will help you experiment with allowing yourself to experience your body as energy. The more you allow yourself to experience this energy or chi, the more your sexual experience will be expanded beyond the purely physical realm.
I would encourage anyone wishing to take their sexuality to a new level to investigate what Tantric philosophy has to offer in regard to learning to cultivate this valuable energy source. The language and extensive use of metaphor in Eastern philosophies may seem strange to us but don’t let that deter you from the valuable messages. Sex can be a sacred experience which goes far beyond physical release. As we study the discipline of Tantra we begin to understand that the Western view of sexuality is both distorted and limited. And most importantly, it becomes evident that we are grossly out of touch with the sacred aspects of lovemaking in our culture.
Thinking about sexual loving as sacred allows both partners to see themselves as divine beings and to be more in touch with their own true nature. This allows us to go beyond the limits of the personality, which cause so many problems in relationship, and instead allows us to create relationship on a higher level. Not surprisingly, this level of sexual expression is more available to the more mature adult who has learned to tame the ego. Does this type of sexual expansion interest you? If so, you might be interested in taking some time to read up on what Tantra is all about.
Tantra refers to a series of esoteric Hindu books written over 2000 years ago. Although relics of Tantric rituals date back nearly five millennia, the 108 Tantric texts began to appear within a few centuries AD. Tantra offered a complete way of living and encompassed the material, physical, mental, psychological and spiritual realms. The word Tantra simply means expansion.[ii]
Tantric sciences included math, medicine, astronomy, sophisticated atomic time, space and sound wave theory, alchemy, palmistry and astronomy. Tantra is credited with inventing the decimal system, discovering “0” and introducing the concept of chakras (see below). While Tantra is known as “the yoga of sex”, the sexual element of Tantra was only a small part of its overall philosophy. Sexual love was considered sacred and the ultimate goal of sex was unity or self-actualization.
You might be asking at this point what exactly do the words sacred sex mean. The concept itself is fairly foreign in Western culture. So, here are a few ideas from Tantra and other sacred sex philosophies. Perhaps you might want to highlight any ideas that you would like to incorporate into your own sexual practice.
Ø Tantric partners incorporate a lot of ritual into their love making. Sex is treated as an activity with great conscious meaning. For example, special time is set aside for the ritual of lovemaking. Care is taken to attend to the environment in such a way as to stimulate all the senses. Sex is considered a “special” event to be cherished with ceremony.
Ø When coming together with the intent of making love, couples will honor the sacred aspects in each other. For example, they might say (or at least think) the word “Namaste”. Loosely translated this means “I honor the sacred in you”. One way or another respect and honoring play a role in sacred sexual experience.
Ø Attention is paid to the aesthetics of love making. Practitioners of Tantra are expected to be versed in the skills of conversation, dance, ceremony, massage, breathing and meditation. These are known as the erotic arts.
Ø Tantra teaches lovers to consciously harmonize their energies using breathing and centering techniques. This is an important aspect of what we call foreplay. This requires conscious breath control and being able to experience and manipulate one’s own energy.
Ø A prerequisite for practicing Tantra is self-love. Trying to love another when you do not love yourself does not work. Sacred sexuality needs to be practiced first with you. For this reason you do not need a partner to begin using sacred sex principles.
Ø Meditative activity is part of sacred sex. This will involve taking time to quiet the mind and practice mindfulness as part of sexual expression.
Ø A big part of Tantra practice is learning how to stream energy through the body using conscious awareness of the existence and function of the chakra energy centers. Lovers learn to move sexual energy from the genital area (2nd chakra) up through the body to create full body energetic orgasms (see Timeless Pleasure CD track 4).
In summary, when we bless or honor each other as part of a sexual encounter, when we bond more deeply as a result of lovemaking, or when sexual energy catapults us into higher consciousness, we are experiencing sex sacred.
So what exactly are chakras? There are various models of chakras from different traditions. The word comes from the Sanskrit "cakra" meaning "wheel, circle", and sometimes also referring to the "wheel of life". While there are differences in interpreting the function of chakra energy, there seems to be general agreement that the seven main chakras exist in a column from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Each chakra corresponds to a specific part of the body and is associated with a certain color, function, and element of consciousness. (see chart below). They are “connected to each other and to portions of physical-cellular structure via fine subtle-energetic channels known as nadis which distribute the life force and energy of each chakra into the physical body” [iii] The seven major chakras are described below. However, there are numerous minor chakras as well as meridians that are involved in our energetic bodies. For a complete discussion on this topic see Barbara Brennan’s book, Hands of Light.[iv]
Although the existence of chakras has been known and written about in ancient texts for thousands of years, there has only been scientific proof of their existence since the 1970’s, (see Hunt[v] and Motoyama and Brown[vi]) The locations of the seven major chakras seen below correspond to the major nerve plexuses of the physical body in that area. They can be open or closed and have a great influence on our health and ability to experience pleasure. Learning to open the chakras through generating sexual energy is a goal of Tantric Sex and is considered to be very healing. But they can also be opened through body work or intention. It is believed that for full body orgasm to occur all chakras need to be open and the energy moving freely through them. Tantric sex teaches these skills.
While most people cannot see chakra energy we have all experienced it. As you look at the location of the 7 major chakras you will see that each is the center of strong sensations. They are depicted through our language as, “I thought my heart would burst”(4th chakra), “I had a lump in my throat”(5th chakra), “ “Butterflies in my stomach”(3rd. chakra), “A strong feeling of arousal”(1st. and 2nd. Chakra)
It’s been said that chakras are like the strings on a guitar. Each one vibrates at a different frequency. When the chakras are in tune we are in a state of harmony like a well tuned instrument. More and more, Westerners are beginning to understand the power of their own energy systems, both in creating vitality in sex and also in maintaining good health. Although awareness of chakra energy showed up first in body work therapies like Healing Touch and Reiki, it is showing up today in most healing professions.
In my own profession, the field of Energy Psychology has become very popular because of the success of its energy techniques, using both chakra and meridian energy based systems. In my own healing process, I’ve found them to be most effective and have now embraced them in my counselling practice. I highly recommend the use of these techniques for those of you working on changing limiting core beliefs or compulsive behaviour. (see www.energypsych.org)[vii] .
If you are interested in learning to sense and work with your own major chakras, the enclosed Timeless Pleasure CD can be useful. (Track # 4)
(see color associated with each chakra on front cover)
Sacred sex philosophy is something that you can continue to expand and play with until the end of your human experience. When it comes to expressing our sexuality we can never truthfully say, “We’ve done it all.” That would just be showing our ignorance. Clearly, most of us have only touched the tip of the iceberg of sexual potential. There will always be more to discover.
It’s my sincerest desire that you have been able to use this kit to create more pleasure and deeper connection in your life. I hope you have been encouraged to continue on with the development of your sexuality until the end of your experience on earth. For that is indeed your birthright!
Krisanna Jeffery, from The Great Sex for Life Toolkit. Excerpt with permission.
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