Sacred Sexuality

A New Series—The Body Speaks
voice of body

(In the first in this series of articles, I provided you with a handy little chart that provides the location, description, and characteristics of the Chakras. Use the link if you want to refer to it.)


This week, we turn our attention to the lower belly, and to sexual passion—what you might think of as Passion for Passion’s Sake.

I’d like to suggest that, as usual, there are two ways of viewing this—“Sex as Something Problematic,” and “Sex as Something Sacred.”

the belly

Not S…E…X again!
I’ve had a belly full of that!

The front pelvis is home to sexuality.

As I’ve said repeatedly in this series, none of the aspects we talk about are a “separate thing.” For example, passion for life is not a “thing” to talk about, or a “thing” you “do,” but is rather a deep aspect of who you “be.” We all have deep passion, and most ignore it.

We speak of aspects of ourselves as if they were somehow separate from us. You know, like when we walk into a restaurant and “do the restaurant thing,” but we know that we are not the restaurant. Many people treat their sexuality like this—Me here, sex there, I drop in and visit once in a while.

Our groundedness, our passion, and our sexuality are as much a part of us as our nose is. We are our groundedness, our passion, and our sexuality. And the rest of the aspects we’ll talk about in subsequent articles.

Many people have knee-jerk reactions to their sexuality

– they’re so embarrassed they don’t even want to talk about it (and some would prefer not to read about it in the blog… ah well…)

This is the “Sex is Problematic” posture, if you’ll excuse the pun. Many people “do” sexual things, while “hotly” denying their sexuality. Of course, the joke is that sexuality is an energy, and as an energy, is simply (and indivisibly) a part of us — it’s there all the time. That we repress it, deny it, or try vainly to relegate it to the back burner does not change the fact that we are born, live, and die as sexual beings.

Today, what I want to talk about is how you “be” sexual

It’s about your relationship to your own sexuality.

Our culture teaches us that externals “turn us on”—we think it has everything to do with the way a person looks, the way she or he acts.

And then we get into all of the “I had no choice” stuff. We rapidly move to, “It’s not about me, it’s just this thing I can’t do anything about.”

It’s all Baskin Robbins

Our approach is to say that everything that goes on in our bodies and in our lives is only about us. All that buzzy sexual energy is just us, buzzing. This series is all about removing blocks to the free flow of all of our energy, despite the fact that most people have no sense of their energy at all. Or their only experience is sexual—and boy do they embarrass themselves over that!

ice cream

31 Flavors, and oddly,
it’s all Ice Cream!

Another of my semi famous illustrations is this:

Imagine going into a Baskin Robbins ice cream store.
You see 31 flavors.
Now, imagine that each flavour is a form of energy — creative energy, the energy of passion, sexual energy. One is chocolate, one is vanilla one, is tutti-frutti.
The key to this analogy—just remember one thing:
while there are 31 flavours, 31 varieties,
it’s all ice cream.
And it’s the same with energy—it’s ours, and although it superficially may seem different, it isn’t.
Thus the real question is,
will you use your energy or will you not?

This past week, a new client was receiving Bodywork. She was in the midst of experiencing a lot of pain, as I pushed on her upper back and shoulders. Suddenly she started laughing, and said, “Wow! That hurts, and I’m laughing, and it feels better than my best orgasm!” Baskin Robbins strikes again.

Sacred Sex

Last article, I mentioned the sacrum, the triangle shaped bone located near the base of the spine. I also mentioned that the word sacrum derives from the same root as our English word sacred. Given the fact that it’s “just” a triangle shaped bone, one could wonder why it was so named. Unless of course, the “namers” thought there was something sacred about it, or about the area of the body it’s located in.

Obviously, I think that this is the case.

The thought that sexuality and sacredness are a pair is an old concept. For example, it likely predates the development of Tantric Yoga, which is a pretty misunderstood thing altogether.

Tantra is not just about sex, although sexual practices are an element. In our oddly sexualized yet sexually repressed society, Tantra = sex is the only part most people are aware of.

Tantric Yoga teaches a way to use all of our senses

to come into a state of heightened awareness, insight, and “awakeness.” Sex is seen as one of these sensual avenues.

The Sexual Gate

Many, many blog posts ago, I talked a bit about ancient Hindu temples. Although this temple design went out of favor, for many hundreds of years, this was the design: if you looked down on the Temple, you’d see a mandala — circles within circles. Walking in from a gate, you’d pass through other “gates of understanding.” One whole circular wall, just outside the central sanctuary, are carved with figures engaged in quite the exuberant sexual activity.

temple

Such massive sculptures were stunning, disorienting, and filled with meaning. And the chief meaning was: you have to pass through this gate (you have to learn what is being taught here) before you can enter into your full sacredness and potential. Interesting concept. Freaked people right out.

peck, scott

Horny monks and nuns…
oh, boy!

I read Scott Peck’s “The Road Less Traveled” soon after it was published in the early 80s, and by the late 80s and early 90s often attended his workshops. The lectures from the workshops were later compiled into a book, “Further Along the Road Less Traveled.”

Now, Scott Peck was an interesting guy, in a buttoned-down sort of way. I don’t think I ever saw him not wearing a tie. He had a bad back, so he sat on stage, stiffly, perched in a very straight chair.

One day, he announced a coffee break, grinned, and said, “Be sure to come back — we’re talking about horny monks and nuns.” And sure enough, he did.

The lecture is included in the “Further…” book, under the rather boring title,

Sexuality and Spirituality.”

Here’s a quote:

Sexuality and spirituality are not, of course, exactly the same thing. They are not identical twins, but they are kissing cousins, and they arise out of the same kind of ground, not only in myth but in actual human experience. The fact is that sex is the closest that many people ever come to a spiritual experience. Indeed, it is because it is a spiritual experience of sorts that so many chase after it with a repetitive, desperate kind of abandon. Often, whether they know it or not, they are searching for God. It is no accident that even atheists and agnostics will, at the moment of orgasm, routinely cry out, “Oh God!” ” p220

And another:

Or as a Joseph Campbell paraphrased it, “When one has lost oneself in the rapture of love, the partner is of no more importance than the portals of the temple through which one has passed to the altar.” ” p221‑2

Shades of the temples of old.

Peck described himself as a charismatic Catholic, so his language is decidedly Christian. One of his subheadings is, “God as a Seducer.” There, he wrote,

God could have made sex as secular as breathing or eating. But instead He brushed it with a spiritual flavor, and He did this very deliberately, I think, in order to give us a taste for Him. Because about everything else, He wants to lure us to Him.” p231

In Zen, we take the opposite stance, in that we consider everything to be sacred. Breathing, and eating, sex and passion, and everything else are ways to bring ourselves into the present moment with full awareness. It’s not necessary to do God talk; it is necessary to understand that all of the experiences of life contain sacredness, (or “enact” the sacred.)

If I approach an activity with full consciousness, I have, in that action, entered sacred space. Just like walking through the gate of the Temple.

You begin to see why the Second Chakra region, the Relationships Region, is so powerful, and yet so unexplored.

Here is one reason why so many relationships are in trouble.

People get into relationships expecting to find “God”—they expect to find perfection, completion, and unconditional love (the traditional characteristics of God,) from their partner.

In other words, without knowing it consciously, lovers want their partners to be like “God” for them—or perhaps better put, to be like a genie for them. They want “sacred perfection” from an endlessly obedient “lover.” And, they forget that their lover is just like they are—a human being.

Interestingly, in Zen, human beings are perfect. It’s that, in their perfection, they are also whole. They have needs, thoughts, desires. And, they are stuck and blocked. In other words, whole.

So, just when you want your partner to be completely attentive to your needs, your partner is staring off into the middle distance, doing his or her own thing. (“How dare he? He’s here to meet my needs, not the other way around!”)

There’s nothing imperfect about this. It’s just not what you wanted. It’s sort of like how most people pray. Prayers become long lists of whining, followed by telling God what to do next. “It’s not going well and it’s your job to fix it.”

Come to think of it, clients tell me this about their partner all the time. If you get my point.

Solutions

Exploring your depth of passion for life, you sexual passion, and your relationships is the work of a lifetime, because such work requires moment-by-moment dedication, presence, focus, and self responsibility. This in-depth work of passion making, standing on the firm footing of groundedness, allows us to enter into the next stage, (and the next article!)

Next is the development of a self image that includes the totality of our being. And standing there, one becomes aware that all others are also singular, interesting, perfect (yet struggling) human beings.

Move it or lose it

The whole point of sacred sexuality is to increase, deepen, free, and move your energy. I suspect you could say that about all of the articles in this series—it’s all about moving energy. We are back to Baskin Robbins. Hungry yet?

In Bodywork, we spent a lot of time and attention on loosening the tight muscles that bind the pelvis. There are many ways to loosen up and open up this lower belly region.

When I went out to The Haven for Phase I, I was pleased to see how much attention they gave to this work. We did all kinds of pelvic movement exercises—we danced, we moved, we focused.

Here are some approaches we take around here to free up the second chakra region.

Lie down over a Bolster
bolster

Somewhere, over a bolster…

Or a rolled up blanket.

The idea is to find something round for half round to insert under your back at the small of the back.

You can start off with something small, like a rolled towel, and work up to a bolster that might be six or 8 inches tall.

The idea is to let go of holding and just sort of collapse over the bolster.

A yoga posture
bolster

But mommy told me to keep my knees together!

Supta bada konasana is the perfect Second Chakra posture.

It’s pretty easy to see the setup here in this picture, but the key is twofold.

First, you’re leaning back over a bolster that is parallel to your spine, which again opens the small of your back. It also allows you to relax your belly. Second, your legs are flat on the floor, bent at the knees, with the soles of your feet touching. This opens the pelvis, and gets your knees apart, in a good way of course.

If your knees don’t touch the ground, roll up two towels and put one under each knee. Relax, and breathe into the lower belly.

Dance
bolster

My God!
It DOES move that way!

This is a biggie — we do a lot of dancing in our workshops, and stole the idea from The Haven. Two weeks ago, we mentioned the idea of “dancing until you drop” as a form of meditation. This week, think about your hips and your pelvis.

The Second Chakra Region moves in three ways.
1) it turns in a circle—think the Hula.
2) it rocks side to side—think salsa dancing.
3) it tips up and down—use your imagination!

Needless to say, there’s music that is suitable for each of these three things.

The really key one is the third one. As a matter of fact, this motion is so important that we teach it as a part of breathwork—you learn to breathe and then you learn to add a pelvic tilt. You can see a breathwork explanation on our website.

As far as the dancing part goes, I’ve never found a better song than Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet.” Download a copy, buy a copy, play it, and move.

Next week, on to the Solar Plexus and Self-Awareness!


Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Leave a comment or question!


About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

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