Tantra, especially the Chinese offshoot known as Taoism, looks at sexuality in terms of energy. What are the advantages of beginning to understand our sexuality in terms of energy?
One huge benefit, is to change our focal point from the external to the internal.
Most modern cultures teach us to look at sexuality from an external reference point…our sexuality is often defined by our relationships with others, especially lovers. Many of us are trained not to even recognize our sexuality independently of our sexual relationships. If we are having sex, then we are consider ourselves as sexual. If we are not sexually active, then we may even lose our sexual identity. Surely we can enjoy our sexuality at all times, with or without a lover? Tao Tantra believes you can!
Paths that teach us to tune into our energy bodies and our sexual energy help us to develop a new frame of reference. Energy cannot be destroyed or created, it simply changes form. Therefore, we can connect to our sexual energy even when it is not in the form of passionate desire or full blown orgasm. Tuning into our sexual energy in its yin, unaroused form helps us to know it better in all parts of its cycle.
Another advantage of beginning to see our sexuality as a flow of energy, is the removal of judgement and guilt. Energy is innocent; we can have a direct experience of energy. Whereas behaviours and actions may be judged as good or bad; and indeed a lot of sexual behaviours are judged, creating guilt, suppression and distorted “shadow sides”. (A shadow side is a part of ourself of which we are ashamed and thus hide from some people or even from all people).
If we look at energy, if we feel our sexual energy directly, we can begin to bring consciousness to it. So much of sexual behaviour is unconscious, due to the amount of judgement on it in culture. We may hear judgments as children, and then later when it naturally arises we may try to push it away. But energy cannot be destroyed, so this only creates unconscious energy forms. Many people have to reduce their consciousness (for example with drugs and alcohol) in order to access their sexual energy, and it becomes cut off from presence.
So by doing practices that tune us into our sexual energy, we begin to meet energy (called “Shakti” in Tantra) with consciousness (called “Shiva”). As we bring awareness to the flow of sexual energy, this “light” of awareness begins to clear away unconscious patterns and blocks.
Practicing sexual energy meditations also tunes us in to the flow of energy…many people are only aware of sexual energy as a peak orgasm. This makes people goal-oriented in sex, and also misses the delights of the journey! Tuning in to the more subtle layers means that we can become masters of the journey, playing with energy, or better still: surrendering to the energetic flow and letting it carry us along… and not just focused on a release of built-up tension. Once we drop the goal of orgasmic peak, we can move from a discharge orgasm to a full-body orgasm, which can go on for much longer and even facilitate a spiritual experience during sex (more on that later!).There are so many other advantages from tuning into sexual energy…we can see what is going on in different social interactions. Are we connecting to others through the sexual center only, or perhaps is the heart-center flowing but the sexual center blocked? We can begin to see when we are blocking our own energy or leaking it out. We can also choose what to do with our energy…do we want to share it, or perhaps circulate it and come back to our center, or maybe we want to ground it into the earth. Are we using this potent energy for vitality, creativity and love…or are we wasting it or blocking it? Sexual energy is such a powerful energy that it is far more useful to be able to work with it than to be unconsciously controlled by it!
Only by choosing to turn inwards and to meditate upon this life-giving energy can we begin to bring consciousness to it. This awareness of sexual fire can completely transform our experience of sexual union, opening us to the magic of Tantra.
“At the start of sexual union Keep attentive on the fire in the beginning, And so continuing, Avoid the embers in the end.” Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
PRACTICE: AWAKEN YOUR SEXUAL ENERGYThis is an ancient Tao Tantric practice used to bring consciousness to the sexual energy and thus gently awaken it:
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