You're doing Yoga. You meditate. You try to use your 'giraffe' ears to listen well. You won't say anything un-PC (politically incorrect) for fear your twisted sense of humor won't be understood. You're on the right path, yet one of the most intriguing concepts to come forward in many a year is the idea of using sex and intimacy as a consciousness raiser. We Westerner's love ideas like this. We eat them up (pun intended).
But the point is: Anything you do in life is a potential consciousness raiser! Anything. Be it sex, meditation, communication, yoga, Buddhism, gardening, coaching the kid's soccer team, washing the dishes (thank you Alan Watts), running three miles, going to work everyday - it is ALL pure potential for consciousness.
Everyday you encounter multiple incidents in your life where you have choices in how you respond to outside stimuli. You are then faced with looking inside for the 'moral' or 'acceptable' action or response, or not, depending on how conscious you are. How practiced are you at 'seeing' each of these times and making much more informed or conscious decisions about how you will respond? Does it do any good to produce a 'little white lie' right now to protect this person? Can I hide my vulnerability and just say something that isn't personal? Can I fake an orgasm again because I don't want to face a situation I don't have control over? Shall I tell my boss what I really think about the project I'm involved in or just let it go, again?
Watch and witness yourself next time you admire someone or something or when you are moved by a simple act or a child's curiosity. What is happening inside of you? What did you first notice? Did something stir in your tummy? Did your heart give a flutter or skip a beat? What happened? Practice being 'The Witness' to your life experiences more often. Get better and better at it so you can keep moving that point of awareness further toward the source or stimuli. It is the never-ending, soft, vulnerable study of your self that is the key to personal growth.
The body is that exquisite, physical self that inspires, frustrates, lures, repels and often leaves you in awe of it's power. You watch it grow, change and evolve. It becomes a metaphor for your inner process, reflecting how you feel, perceive the world and, consequently, frame your life.
In sacred sexuality, your physical body becomes the vehicle for transformation of your interior self. The process is reversed. By expressing your sensual, sexual, erotic nature through your physical body you can begin to learn how to reframe your interior reaches or inner self. As an athlete or Yogi knows, the transformation to the "inner smile", that occurs when the body is at its peak, is a synthesis of endorphin release and sheer physical well being that transforms the mental and emotional states to more nearly a bliss state. As you begin to feel that state more often you begin to have access to it simply by thinking about exercising and being very active. This is a feedback system that can be developed over time. It can serve you very well if you learn to utilize it in your life.
This same principle, when taken into the erotic, sexual part of your life, becomes a powerful pathway to inner transformation. For many of us, our sexuality exposes us to un-traveled territory that holds old wounds and hurts. This is why the ancient Tantrics believed purification could occur through accessing your sexual nature and playing out your sexuality to it's fullest. It brings to the surface both the sweet, fully nurturing aspects of your nature and the less-than-perfect material that is driven by hurt and fear.
When you work on your sexuality consciously, either with yourself and/or a partner, you peal away the layers that hold you back from being an empowered, ecstatic and fully alive human being. It requires being vulnerable, open, aware, trusting and playful. If you allow yourself to open, both to yourself and others you love and trust, you uncover the shadows that keep you from loving wholeheartedly. This is why Tantra, Sacred Sexuality and conscious relationships are so powerful. To be carried to the edge and gently back, time and time again, creates life in a whole new light.
Suzie Heumann is the founder of Tantra.com. She studies, writes, has authored three books and makes films about conscious sex, Tantra and the Kama Sutra. Check out Tantra.com Premium for the most comprehensive tantra training available on the Internet!