Sex and Meditation
In the future, people will think of meditation as one of the greatest forms of foreplay ever invented. Better than candlelight, music, and champagne. I grew up in the 1950's on the great surfing beaches of Southern California, with scantily clad, athletic and gorgeous women all around me, and even with that great ambience, meditation adds something. There is no drug, no alcohol, no music that can take you inside your nerves and senses and make you ready to have mind-blowing sex as well as meditation.
Due to an interesting set of historical circumstances, almost all meditation teachers over the past two thousand years have been monks from Asia. We take this for granted, but actually it is a wacky state of affairs. Throughout history, there have been some fabulous exceptions – wild men and women who broke the rules and lived colorful lives. But in general, 99% of the time, "meditation teacher" has meant a male from Asia who has taken vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience, and even homelessness, and joined a Hindu or Buddhist order.
“Taking a vow of celibacy” does not mean that the monk does not have sex – it just means that the sex is forbidden, guilty, and sneaky. They may be having great sex – all that meditation and chanting can really make a person horny – but they are not allowed to admit to it.
What monks are allowed to talk about is meditation experience, and they have done an amazing job. What is wonderful, a credit to the monks forever, is that they have preserved the notes of meditators – the journal entries, so to speak, that were composed into a chant and memorized and passed down through the ages until writing was invented, then written down and preserved over the centuries. I love these guys, have no problem with them whatsoever.
As a result, we in the modern West have access to the thoughts and techniques of meditators from thousands of different sects, traditions, sub-traditions, cults, and lineages, going back to 500 B.C. and earlier. The question is, what to do with these teachings?
The thing about people who have taken vows of celibacy is, they can’t talk about the integration of sexuality with spirituality. And sex is utterly essential to the spiritual development of non-monks.
Sex and the Single Swami
It is always best to assume that everyone is having sex, especially if they go around making claims that they are celibate and think you should be, too. Whether they are a priest, lama, swami, yogi, or spiritual teacher, they are having sex. They may not want to be having sex, they may be ashamed of themselves, but they almost certainly are. And it is none of your business.
What is your business is to make sure that the disease of repression does not infiltrate your body and interfere with your ability to ride the electricity of sex into union with the divine. Sex is a name we give to the current of the life force, the magnetism and vitality that flows in adoration of the human body. Sex is the urge to merge made physical.
For someone who works all day, a good meditation feels sexy, like a great massage or great music. Meditation is the deepest rest and the greatest relaxation you have ever felt – does that sound sexy enough for you? If you are to really life life to the fullest, meditation should give you a "freshly fucked" feeling, a deep satisfaction in just existing. This is the center you come from in engaging with the world in a creative and dynamic way.
If you don't accept the raw sensuality of meditation with wholehearted abandon, you will miss out on the best part, and your development will be fractured. Integrating sex, passion, sensuality, and pleasure are the foundation of a healthy spiritual practice.
Meditation is BYOD
Meditation is a BYOD party – Bring Your Own Discrimination. The traditions have done their job, and so we have access to vast resources of techniques for cultivating or manipulating our inner worlds. One part of the teaching has been lost, however. The monks preserved the sense of how monks meditate. They never knew – it never has been their job to know – what kind of meditations women and men who are not monks should do. That is why you need to bring your own discrimination.
You cannot go to a meditation teacher like you can a doctor. If you go to a real doctor, they take your pulse, ask questions, diagnose you, and only give you medication that is indicated for your individual condition. If you have low blood pressure, a doctor will not give you medication that lowers it even further. She will take your measurements first, then prescribe a balance for your condition. Meditation teachers don't tend to do this - they just teach whatever works for them personally, without regard to you. This will probably take another century to correct – traditions change slowly.
The knowledge that has been lost is which technique goes for which type of person. It is as we are in a huge drug store, and the labels are in a metaphoric, poetic language that does not talk about the medicinal effect of the herb.
To bring light to this situation, let's talk about sex for awhile.
And by the way – my thanks in return to all the people from all around the world who have written in to thank me for writing realistically about sex and meditation. Keep those emails coming.