How Sex is a Secret Boost to Your Meditation Practice
Sometimes when I sit down to meditate my brain feels like a squirrel in a box.
Scraping and scrambling in a panicked whirlwind of useless thought after useless thought, “monkey-mind” doesn’t even begin to describe it. It reminds me of my state of mind when I first started meditating.
Back in those early days, I thought I was missing something. Despite the effort of maintaining a regular practice and diligently using the return-to-the-breath instructions given to me, I just wasn’t getting all the peaceful, relaxing, spiritually enlightening benefits that others described. My mind was still just a squirrel in a box, session after session.
My hyper-distracted mind and I weren’t alone. This reduced ability to focus is a common trait among people raised in modern societies. 24/7 news, ads, notifications, ever-growing task lists, and increasingly full calendars make it hard for anyone to pay attention.
This specific 21st-century environment means that traditional meditation, as conceived of by societies without concepts such as “multi-tasking” and “inbox zero”, may need some extra juice to meet modern needs. Though there are obviously some people that thrive with the simple instructions given thousands of years ago, many of us need a bit of a boost.
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but the best preparation for silent meditation is dramatic and intentional action. We need energetic, fiery spiritual practices to get the pent-up thought energy out of our minds. Techniques like intense postural yoga and ecstatic dance are great for this. Like a house-bound border collie, we need to let our minds gallop a bit before we can expect anything of use to occur.
When working with the dynamic of silent meditation vs active spiritual practice, I like to think in terms of yin and yang. This Taoist symbol shows the two flavors of energy that color everything in our world. However, they aren’t a binary or opposites at war: they are interwoven and interdependent, swirling in a circle. Because they are perpetually transforming into each other, there’s always a drop of black in the white and a bit of white in the black.
Yin is symbolized by the black. Yin energy is dark, night, lunar, oceanic, powerful in a deep and endless way, restful, feminine, and nourishing. It’s spacious, with the earthy strength of a redwood. It’s peace, quiet, sleep, and silence. Though highly underrated, it’s an essential quality to truly thriving.
Yang is symbolized by the white. Yang energy is light, solar, action, fiery, powerful in an acute and dramatic way, masculine, and assertive. It’s flashy, active, focused on completion and speed. It’s the heat of summer and the explosion of fireworks. Most things that are focused on in our society are very yang. (Deadlines, goals, working out, negotiation, politics, debate, etc.)
In a healthy system, they flow in and out of each other. The restful yin blossoms into a yang flower. A fiery explosion eventually dies down into glowing coals in the ashes. Back and forth in a loop, these energies are rarely 100% one or the other.
Our world generally may be very yang, but most of the spiritual practices taught by major world religions today fall in the yin category. Holding absolutely still in a church service, sitting in silent meditation, and whispering a prayer are default spiritual behaviors for us. These are beautiful practices but are only part of the equation.
The fiery methods of yang spirituality tend to be the ones treated with suspicion or downplayed by our society. Exorcisms, intentional catharsis involving screaming and/or crying, overnight endurance rituals, and breath work are definitely not in the mainstream, despite their power. My favorite of these yang approaches is, of course, sacred sexuality.
People may think of sleepy, gentle, love-making when they first imagine sacred sexuality. However, it can be incredibly explosive, powerful, and full of lust if that is the intention you hold for it. Because sacred sexuality can easily have a yin or yang flavor, this dynamism is an incredibly useful tool to complement silent meditation.
Most of us don’t live in a community that would support ritualistic screaming as a form of spiritual transformation. However, we can all tap into this yang experience in the privacy of our bedrooms.
With this Wild Sacred Sex practice, you can let your system process the latent yang floating around your mind, preparing you for the nourishing yin practice of your choice. (It’s also great practice by itself.)
Whether you’re alone or with a partner or two, begin by setting your intention for a lustful but spiritually-connected experience. If you enjoy work with deities or other energetic entities, choosing a particularly fiery one to consecrate the practice to would be appropriate.
Breathe deeply and quickly for several minutes, being careful not to hyperventilate.If your body wants to move or make sounds, follow its lead. Allow anything and everything that wants to come out to express fully.
Follow your impulse. Let your body take the wheel and follow wherever it takes you. You may hump or thrash, scream or growl, it’s all welcome and appropriate.
Pro-tip: Keep some pillows handy to punch, kick, or scream into if you feel so inclined.
Periodically, remember your intention for a yang, fiery experience. If you chose to consecrate your practice, take a moment to reconnect with whatever deity or energetic entity you chose.
Continue to breathe deeply and quickly while following your impulse.
Rest and integrate, moving into meditation, silent prayer, or any other yin spiritual practice you enjoy. Make sure to notice how your yin practice feels after the yang preparation.
Embracing the yang in a spiritual context opens the door for an incredibly deep and fulfilling meditation practice. By moving your body and following your impulse, you set the pent-up energy of your mind loose, but in a channeled, intention-filled way.
In addition to clearing the way for the benefits of meditation, by bringing the yang and the fire into your spiritual path you’re clearing the way for some deep healing to occur. We all carry heavy burdens and sometimes it takes passion and fire to move through it.
Both yin and yang practices are valuable and effective. Just as the yin and the yang are distinct but intertwined in the symbol, these energies can both play out in spiritual practices. They are both essential flavors of life. Bringing both energies to your spiritual path will help you grow in a balanced, integrated way.
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If you have any questions about this article, sacred sexuality, or anything else please tweet me @MKsacredsex or send an email to email@example.com