Sexual intelligence gives people a glimpse through the doorway to their own power. When people come to our TantraNova workshops, they arrive with clear intentions of things they want to work on, of what they want to change or improve on or expand into. With the work we do, we help them begin to see richer ways to live -- and how to move toward fulfilling their dreams and hopes. And that all starts with becoming sexually intelligent, including the conscious integration of one's sexual, emotional, and spiritual self.Moving toward sexual intelligence requires skill building in three areas:
- Conscious breathing
- Energy awareness, both non-aroused and aroused
Breath is the essence of life. From our first moment fresh from the womb until the last sigh of death, we are breathing. Most of the time we breathe reflexively, without thinking, inhaling and exhaling our way through morning routines, work, car or train rides, exercise, and sleep.
Using breath consciously as a tool is the first step to entering the mindful world of sexual energy. When we are present with our breath we can reach a place of focus, stillness, and inner peace that allows us to go deeper into ourselves and our experiences. Particularly breathing into the expansion of the abdomen, called the belly breath, allows for activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This slows down the heartbeat, relaxes the muscles and makes us feel good. We "drop out of the head" into the body.
Using conscious breathing practices enables us to calm the incessant chatter of the mind and become the witness to our thoughts, feelings, and sensations. When we are in this place of observing ourselves, we stop being stuck in our feelings, desires, and automatic wiring and instead witness what's running us.
Calming the chatter in the mind is at the core of bringing focus and attention to sexual energy. If we cannot be present with ourselves, how can we be present with another?
Many meditation practices lead to the same intended outcome: being able to be present and at peace with what is. These practices can be active, passive, social, or sexual in nature. Sexual meditation is powerful because it helps us become physically, chemically, emotionally, and spiritually connected, loving, and vulnerable. It can show up in various manifestations in the body, heart, and mind:
- Physically: Your heart rate increases; you feel more sensitive and aware; you may have a warm, supple sensation.
- Chemically: Oxytocin and endorphins are enhanced, resulting in deeper relaxation and calmness and decreased pain or discomfort.
- Emotionally: You feel more content, open, receptive, joyous, and trusting.
- Spiritually: You become connected, loving, and vulnerable.
Sexual meditation is probably the most difficult technique to master because we're so used to getting completely swept up in the pleasure and drama of sex. Nothing's wrong with pleasure or drama, yet to become sexually intelligent you want to learn how to move beyond them and become conscious of non-aroused and aroused energy. And doing this requires practice.
Meditation allows for a magnified accessibility to what may unconsciously run us so we can become aware, be at choice, and shift what we want to shift in ourselves and our relationships. We can become more aware of where we are regarding sexual energy as it relates to fear, guilt, embarrassment, and shame -- all the factors that often weigh us down and keep us from attaining what we want in life. When we can consciously access our sexual energy, we can transform these blocks or constrictions and work toward fuller expressions of our selves.
Sexual energy as a source of creativity and pleasure is only available once we engage in becoming aware of and attuned to life force energy running through our physical bodies at all times like a current through a wire. When we can bring awareness to that flow we can start channeling the flow of that energy. This is not rocket science, but it requires focused practice that will lead to being able to channel aroused sexual energy at a more advanced state, bringing greater consciousness to oneself and creating more fulfillment in relationships.
Just as the yoga we primarily practice in the West focuses on the physical body, the TantraNova approach focuses on the energetic body. To distinguish the energetic body, we draw on energy fields based in the system of the chakras and the interconnected flow of energy up and down the spine (also called kundalini in Sanskrit). One important step in the process of moving toward a state of sexual intelligence is the integration of the energy fields, which results in a sense of wholeness. When we are in a state of integration, we don't experience any blocks or constrictions in the energy flow within our bodies.
Life force energy can move freely from one center to another, keeping us in balance in body, heart, and mind. In this state we are at peace and so better able not just to live fulfilling lives but really to discover -- or uncover -- who we are.
In our next blog post we will discuss how to get "sexually intelligent" by becoming aware of your energy fields.
Dr. Elsbeth Meuth and Freddy Zental Weaver are the authors of the forthcoming book "Sexual Intelligence: The Rosetta Stone of the Twenty-First Century". For more information go to their website at TantraNova.
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