Early on in my adult life I experienced some slow, sacred lovemaking, without knowing or defining it as sacred sexuality or tantra. I just felt that I entered into a transcendental energy. Years later it was spiritual teacher Osho that introduced me to the concept of tantra as an ancient philosophy and a spiritual path, the essence of which can be found in the Hindu religion, also in Tibetan Buddhism, and Taoism.
Originating around the 6th century, one core aspect of tantric philosophy is non-dualism, or the idea that everything is divine. Unlike many traditional religions or renunciate paths, tantra teaches that body and spirit are not separate. That the everyday world is not separate from the divine, but rather full of light. It is a life positive philosophy which encourages us to embrace everything and live life totally. This way the ecstatic reality of life reveals itself.
The body thus becomes a temple and a vehicle for transformation. Breath, yoga, diet, meditation, rituals and sexuality are part of traditional tantric spiritual practice, when done with the right intention.
Tantra is also generally about transformation in an all-inclusive way. Unknown to me I was already on this path. Even when I struggled with fears or self-doubt, I had an intrinsic knowing that the divine was in all things. I couldn’t always unlock the code, but I had a yes to my direct experience. And that included sexuality.
Sexual energy is procreation – fertility creates life. In some ancient cultures sexuality was revered as sacred for this reason alone.
Sexual energy is recreation – it potentially creates pleasure, satisfaction, and connection. A level of fulfilment can be gained.
Sexual energy is elevation – it potentially creates sacred union and enlightenment. A spirituality grounded in the body, not detached, but embodied. Sex as prayer, worship, oneness with the divine, with spirit. Tantric devotees believe sex can open doors to a state of enlightenment. If that is what one is seeking.
My friend Ken and I went to art school together in Melbourne and shared an interest in conceptual art and Tibetan Buddhism. One day Ken gave me a book he had just read on tantra, and he loved it. It was ‘Only One Sky’ by Osho.
Starting the book late one afternoon, I stayed awake all night reading it. I felt I was receiving a direct transmission of truth through the book into my body. My awareness expanded and the idea of a deep celebration of life entered me.
I could feel a softer energy in my heart too. This awakening led me down a path of many years of devotion, relationships, and spiritual exploration. My partner and I were following Osho, and among other things attempting to let go of our sexual repressions. It didn’t mean we had an easy relationship all the time, but it was alive and rich.
Later we were also introduced to the teachings of an Australian spiritual guru, Barry Long. His approach to making love recommended non-orgasmic sex, with little or no foreplay, no imagination or emotions! The main sexual activity would be the penetration of a loving penis into a receptive vagina. According to Barry this would bring much needed masculine, noble love into the woman, and she would be healed from past sexual trauma with unconscious men, and release her love.
To me, Barry Long’s teachings on sexual union were fascinating, but they also seemed repressive, over the top, and not inclusive of other sexual preferences. But I also felt that he was pointing to something deep in the sexual union. Our love making this way slowed everything down and allowed me to feel the valleys of sexuality, the waves of energy that ebb and flow. It brought deeper connection and more energy for our every day life. I would later move away from this type of tantra, but then it was helpful medicine.
In the West we have had several decades of neo-tantra which focuses mainly on the sexual aspect of tantra.* I was fortunate to meet the pioneers of neo-tantra in the early 90’s while producing and directing the movie Sacred Sex. This was exciting and eye-opening as they came from different backgrounds, from Osho disciples to an ex-porn star to traditional Indian tantrikas. I learnt a lot.
Meeting David Deida in the late 90’s expanded me personally and broadened my ideas of what could be included in relationship and sacred sexuality. There was a sense of coming home again. Coming home to my feminine essence, to being the love light, and living it in relation to the masculine. And the knowing that sacred sexuality can include foreplay, orgasms, kinks, and the expression of different energies from gentle to ravishing. Deida is a brilliant author and teacher and again I had an opportunity to further absorb his wisdom through making the video Sex Spirit Love.
My own experience over the years is that sacred sexuality is about integration of all that is, all that arises. Sex and love can bring up strong feelings and experiences. By taking time, slowing down, being vulnerable and authentic, breathing fully, we can integrate past traumas and negative experiences, and connect deeply with the other. And the natural polarity of masculine and feminine expresses itself in sacred union.
Today the idea of non-goal orientated sex is an antidote to the false expectations of pornography and performance sex. Being mindful in the moment, sensitive to touch, open to love, enjoying a deeper connection with your lover. Riding the waves of the divine current.
Sacred sexuality – solo or partnered – helpful beginnings
1. Make time for lovemaking
2. Create a sacred space – beautiful, simple, sensual, private, erotic
3. Breath fully and deeply
4. Synchronise your breath with your partner if you are with one and have prolonged eye contact – dissolve the separate selves
5. Place your right hand on the others heart center, left hand on your own belly. Hands on your own belly and heart if solo. Breathe fully
6. Deep slow kissing and whole body touching of yourself or the other if partnered
7. Go slow with the love making until the energy moves you to go faster. Slow down often, staying closely connected to self, the other and the current of the universe. Let your passion flow.
Polarity of Masculine and Feminine in sacred sexuality
One aspect of polarity is that the Masculine sex centre and feminine heart centre are both positive poles (penetrative). Her sex centre and his heart centre are negative poles (receptive). This can create a circuit of energy between a couple. He can awaken her sexuality with a loving, penetrative penis, sending this energy up into her heart. Then she she can awaken his heart further with her loving heart. This energy then drops into his sex centre. And the circuit continues.
If we go quiet enough when connected, you can notice this is a natural flow.
Reflect for yourself – what scares you about sacred sexuality? And what excites you?
*When we practise sacred sexuality our personal power increases, and it is essential that our integrity increases too. We need to use these energies wisely and for the sake of love.