It's vital for mindful acts of emotional and spiritual intimacy to steadily develop as a daily practice for healthy sex. To that end, Center for Healthy Sex has created daily meditations to help you reach your sexual and relational potential. (You can subscribe for free here.)
Even momentarily concentrating on healthy solutions rewires psychological patterns to receive and share healthy sexual love in the present. Here are three meditations with the themes of habit, passion, and play for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Habit
"Only in sex the noise sometimes stops. I say 'sometimes.' If you have become habitual in sex also, as husbands and wives become, then it never stops. The whole act becomes automatic and the mind goes on its own. Then sex also is a boredom." -- Osho
Our personalities often seem to be amalgams of habitual patterns set from birth. We appear to be comprised of predictable likes and dislikes and to function as creatures of habit. True, order and beauty require some rule and discipline, but a life without variety is just plain drab. Yet altering our typical course even a bit -- trying a new diet to improve health or relearning biomechanical movement patterns to ease back pain -- challenges us. Transforming unexamined patterns of being requires real dedication -- what some call the willingness factor. But most people get complacent or lazy, accepting their lot in life and letting their habits become unconscious automatic reactions or regular practices. Over time, though, bad habits can turn into addictions. Breaking an addiction demands a steadfast commitment to breaking habits. Fortunately, when breaking those habits becomes a matter of life and death, we tend to fight for our lives.
Yet it's often valuable to try new behaviors even if our very survival is not at stake. Think about your sex life. If you interact with your partner predictably or feel that your sex life has gotten dull, examine whether you've made your encounters too customary, and if you're willing to make changes. Perhaps, having frequently repeated the identical behavior plus reward, you've conditioned yourself like Pavlov's dogs. So it always works, but -- unlike a dog -- you feel manipulated and as though your partner isn't meeting your needs. Somewhere along the line you (perhaps both of you) chose to check out and stay in a well-worn groove to save emotional energy. Today, why not shake things up and wake yourself up, out of your stupefying comfort? Take responsibility to break habits in your life and seek new, more life-affirming and fruitful actions.
Daily healthy sex acts
- How willing are you to take action to create a healthier, more vibrant sex life? What actions do you need to take in order to make that happen?
- What habits do you have that are self-destructive or lazy? What do you get out of tolerating those habits? What do you need to do to change them?
- Today, make yourself accountable to another who will help you break bad habits.
Meditation 2: Passion
"Anyone who is observant, who discovers the person they have always dreamed of, knows that sexual energy comes into play before sex even takes place. The greatest pleasure isn't sex, but the passion with which it is practiced. When the passion is intense, then sex joins in to complete the dance, but it is never the principal aim." -- Paulo Coelho
Passion provokes our physiology: Our hearts feel like opening and inner and outer realities converge and align. Passion invokes that state of grace where everyone smiles at us and we tap into a celestial audience. Our true purpose -- to fulfill our potential -- is evidenced by our passion. How we measure difficulties reveals our passion as well; when a project seems beset by impossible obstacles, it's probably not our passion, but hurdles met in accomplishing what we love seem to melt away as we progress. Guided by visions of a greater good, passion energizes us beyond expected limitations.
So it's important that passion be grounded in reality, since many passionate causes are also irrational and misguided, especially in romantic pursuit. Sex is the playground of passion. To transcend personal boundaries and unite in shared ardor is one of the greatest experiences and symbols of living. However, sex is too often a solitary fervor of parties overcome by private sensations who happen to rub up against the other. We hear of lovers who can no longer share and receive excitement without counterfeiting it through drama, such as make-up sex or the myriad unconscious tricks people use to get high off their own brain chemicals. But intoxication isn't passion.
In fact, even in the most everyday moment we can cultivate and unleash our true passion to create intimacy with our partner. Since we all have embraced at least one passion inspired by another enthusiast, we know the vital importance of personal connection in sparking such fire. To stir another -- especially during sex -- can be a mindfulness practice. Through it, we affirm such faith in our passion that, even when it seems to be waning, we know it's still there, like the new moon in the night sky.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Recall those who have inspired each passion of yours, imparting their own exhilaration through sharing. What passions can you share with the world? Today, share the foremost passion of your life with another.
- Imagine what it would be like to have been born and raised as your beloved. How might you feel his or her passions and interests? Anytime you feel apathy for others' interests, trace their experience to embrace their passion.
- Let passion awaken in your heart; allow it to build in your body. Make this a mindful practice, and affirm the spark of love wherever you are.
Meditation 3: Play
"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." -- Plato
People of all ages need playtime. Interacting just for the enjoyment of companionship builds trust and affection. Sadly, it's easy to sacrifice play to obligations. People who lack quality playtime sometimes try to bring this energy into their lives through sexual acting out. It's not hard to see why sexual activity and play often get mixed up. The goal of play is to experience delight in collaboration with another, and dating and many expressions of sex and love involve simple, joyful play. But it's important to find nonsexual ways to renew your spirits by playing with loved ones and friends. We can turn to our childhood to see what worked for us in the past, how we were able to release ourselves in healthy recreation, and what exchanges were most satisfying to us.
Play can be learned at any time of life. Not of us all grew up in circumstances where healthy play was possible. For some, "play" triggers vicious competitiveness or narcissistic power trips. Sometimes play masks unprocessed trauma or cruelty, often exposed through mockery: "Can't you take a joke? -- It's all in fun." Growing up we all encountered other children who were a nightmare to play with, many of whom emerged into adulthood with the same difficult personalities. But as we age, we develop greater autonomy and discrimination in picking our playmates. Secret motives may lurk underneath all social play, but if the parties are healthy the primary intention isn't to score a deal, show off, or humiliate someone. Healthy play is an intimate but nonsexual way of sharing ourselves through validating and building on our common experiences and the pleasures of fellowship.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Say, "Yes!" to all invitations to healthy activities this week. When you attend, let go of ulterior motives and try to recapture (or finally capture) the simple spirit of friendly play.
- Plan one hour of play today. What would be a fun and invigorating activity? Whom would you like to invite to play?
- Informed by past disappointments, we often don't trust ourselves to get close to new friends. Cultivate a sense of play in all your relationships and daily interactions!
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.