Sexuality is closely related to spirituality in several ways. In its negative aspects of lust, sexual excess, degradation and rape, it appears as the antithesis of spirituality, and in this light it has been seen in the Christian tradition. However, in its positive aspects our sexuality can open our heart to love, and enable us to have experiences similar to meditative states and mystical bliss during or instead of an orgasm and its afterglow. In a less obvious way, sexual energies can be channeled upward to develop our energy centers or chakra system and higher energy bodies. According to esoteric and yoga teachings, this is all part of our spiritual evolution.
The idea of celibacy for priests, nuns and monks is to spiritualize sexual energies as in meditation, rituals and other devotional practices. While this generally involves conscious exercises as in yoga, Christian mystics commonly transformed their energies without conscious awareness through intense devotion. If religious celibates fight to suppress their sexuality, they misunderstand the deeper reason for the practice of celibacy, and block their spiritual evolution on that level. If devotional practices do not lead to the transmutation of sexual energies then it is much better to find a natural outlet. Suppression always leads to problems.
There are various yoga and meditation techniques to transform sexual energy into kundalini or spiritual energy by oneself. However, there are also methods of spiritual or sacred sex for couples. Karezza is a western practice that can be adopted for spiritual sex, while in the east tantric yoga is concerned with the transmutation of sexual energies. There has also been a tradition of temple priestesses in Greece and eastern history who helped spiritual seekers with ceremonial sex. On a different level ceremonial sex has, of course, also been used or misused in various cults. Sexual energy is a part of our hidden kundalini energy, which in turn is a concentrated form of etheric or life-force energy. It can be used to create children, or just to have an orgasm, or to fuel achievements in sports or professional activities. However, its ultimate purpose is to facilitate spiritual growth by developing our chakra system and higher energy bodies.
Commonly esoteric teachings advise to curtail sexual activity and portray abstinence as an ideal in order to retain sexual energies for internal development. However, this can easily lead to suppression of sexual energies and emotional deprivation. The following methods show a middle path between abstinence and conventional sex. In many instances I believe them to be superior to abstinence for developing our higher energy centers. They have the added advantage of satisfying our emotional needs and providing the venue for a joint spiritual venture for couples.
Furthermore, most of those with a chronic disease, and especially cancer, are emotionally rather fragile, and benefit greatly from a close-bonding loving relationship. This is also beneficial with heart disease and mental-emotional conditions, such as depression and addictions. High levels of testosterone are a negative factor with prostate cancer, while high estrogen levels are detrimental with most breast cancers. It has now been shown that when we are in love (or create a feeling of love), hormone levels in both genders become more like each other. In males testosterone levels fall to make them less aggressive, gentler and more spiritual. Females, on the other hand, produce more testosterone, which makes them bolder, and helps to balance excessive estrogen levels.
What many individuals miss even more than sex is touching and hugging. Some try to satisfy this need with regular massage therapy. However, there may be a simple solution. If you feel deprived of touching and hugging just form a local "hug club". Either discretely spread the word around or put a notice in a suitable place asking for interested individuals to contact you. You can then arrange a weekly meeting where you just hug for an hour or two. As a follow-up step you may also give each other massages. You may be surprised by the amount of interest in hugging 'out there'. You may also form or join a healing group where hugging may be practiced together with massaging, reflexology and the multitude of other self-healing techniques available. Consensual hugging may also serve as a stepping stone for some forms of spiritual sex.
I believe that regularly radiating love, and feel being loved, greatly helps to prevent and overcome cancer and other diseases. When we radiate love, we become invincible, diseases cannot touch us. Karezza helps us to learn this in an easy and pleasant way, with Karezza we can be in love everyday. When we then also learn to feel and radiate love at will in our daily activities and encounters, then we have reached the top of the spiritual mountain. Karezza or sacred sex is a pleasant and effective way to get there.
In Karezza the emphasis is on the inner feeling awareness as well as on the feeling of complete union with the partner. Orgasm is avoided or at least minimized. Caresses and slow controlled movements during intercourse generate a steady stream of sexual energy that is consciously converted into feelings of sublime joy and love. Typically, this may continue for an hour or more. It is not necessary for the penis to be erect or even inside to enjoy this type of lovemaking. Part or all of the time the tip of the penis may just touch the entrance of the vagina, or the sexual organs may not touch at all.
Initially concentrate awareness on the sensations at the point of contact with the partner, especially in the genital area but also wherever the skin or a caressing hand touches. This generates pleasant sensations, which can now easily be converted into a loving feeling. Open your heart and send this love to your partner. In a more active fashion you can in your imagination lead the energy felt in the genital or pelvic area upwards to the heart. There you feel it as love and radiate it out onto your partner, and also envelop both of you in a cloud of love.
For many sensitive individuals this is more satisfying than just mechanically experimenting with different positions or chasing an elusive orgasm. You may also lie quietly connected, just to relax and feel close, cared for and protected, without attempting to generate any specific effects. If sleeping together, it is good to develop a routine of connecting daily before going to sleep or after awakening, or both. This may be done without moving, just to feel close to each other. It is not only emotionally satisfying, but produces strong bonding and greatly strengthens the relationship. In addition to providing great spiritual, emotional and health benefits, Karezza is also an effective birth-control method.
The following are some extracts from The Karezza Method by J. William Lloyd (published in 1931).
“Try to feel yourself a magnetic battery. As you acquire the habit of giving your sexual electricity out in blessing to your partner from your sex-organs, hands, lips, skin, eyes and voice, you will acquire the power to satisfy yourself and her without an orgasm. “Soon you will not even think of self-control, because you will have no desire for the orgasm, nor will she.”
Lloyd also notes the ability of Karezza (controlled intercourse) to nourish lovers. He reports a sense of “sweet satisfaction, fullness of realization, peace, often a physical glow and mental glamour that lasts for days, as if some ethereal stimulant, or rather nutriment, had been received.” And, “in successful Karezza the sex-organs become quiet, satisfied, demagnetized, as perfectly as by the orgasm, while the rest of the body of each partner glows with a wonderful vigor and conscious joy…tending to irradiate the whole being with romantic love; and always with an after-feeling of health, purity and wellbeing. We are most happy and good-humored as after a full meal.”
In regard to orgasms he observes: “It is the wine of sex that gives love its enchantment and divine dreams. This is easily proven by giving lovers unrestricted license to express their transports. No sooner have they wasted the wine of sex by reckless embraces—often a single orgasm will thus temporarily demagnetize the man—tho they love each other just the same, as they will each stoutly assert—the irresistible attraction and radiance and magnetic thrills are gone, and there is a strange drop into cool, critical intellection or indifference, or perhaps dislike…. To have frequent orgasmal embraces, as most married lovers do, is to keep the wine in the sexual beakers low by constant spilling, to thus kill all romance and delight and finally starve and tire out love itself.”
Another way of experiencing spirituality in sex is by focusing on feeling in harmony and united with your partner on different energy levels. This is like a sexual meditation.
Before starting meditative sex you may not normally have much foreplay as you do not need a strong arousal but neither should you try to connect without any stimulation of sexual energies. However, the emphasis should not be on direct sexual stimulation but rather on expressing your affection for each other. After some caressing you may assume your chosen position. Comfortable positions for direct sexual contact are the sitting embrace shown above, or the ‘basic position’ ('scissor position') as described for Tantric Sex below. Facing each other in a close embrace while lying side to side is also suitable, whether with skin contact, or remaining clothed without being sexually connected if that is not appropriate.
Bring the tip of the penis in touch with the entrance of the vagina. Remain motionless in this position for some time while focusing on feeling the energy between you and especially where penis and vagina meet. To initiate or greatly increase the feeling awareness of pleasurable sexual energy, both partners may gently and rhythmically squeeze their buttocks or just contract the perineum. Coordinate each gentle pelvic contraction with an inhalation and with each other.
At the same time imagine or feel that the breath energy or prana is squeezed upwards to the top end of the spine. Hold the breath for a moment, and with the subsequent slow exhalation, imagine the prana again to fall down to the base of the spine. However, when you can feel the sexual energy itself as pleasurable streamings, you send this feeling to the top of the spine, and with each exhalation you feel it flowing out into your brain and down into your heart. Now you just continue to intensify the pleasurable feeling in brain and heart with or without moving further sexual energy to the top.
This method may be used as a complete meditation in itself and can even be done without a partner in order to learn to feel and work with the sexual energies. If and when you feel like proceeding to the next step, then either the male or female may gently rub the tip of the soft or hard penis up and down between the clitoris and the entrance of the vagina. If there is not enough natural lubrication, use oil or a lubricant jelly. When you feel ready, gently push the head of the penis inside. If the penis has remained soft, firmly enclose the shaft with your hand as in a fist and now the head can usually be inserted and further stimulated with some slow movements.
After penetration you may either remain completely motionless for some time or continue with the rhythmic pelvic contractions or start with karezza-like slow movements. You may also continue to contract the pelvic floor with each gentle thrusting or forward movement, and relax it during withdrawal. You do whatever feels best to generate a stream of sexual energy but without becoming too excited. Instead of feeling any excitement just in the sexual organs, focus on feeling it like a slow orgasm in the whole pelvic area, and especially in the pelvic floor or perineum. If you can feel the energies strongly, you may stop moving for a while and just focus on intensifying whatever you feel. Now you can radiate the energy not only throughout your own body but also onto your partner to produce a common field of sexual energy that envelops both of you.
When you have filled your brain and heart with pleasurable energy, move part of your attention to the spiritual love that you feel for your partner. Feel your heart expanding with a gentle love and add this to the cloud of pleasurable sexual energy that surrounds and interpenetrates both of you. Finally, without losing this special feeling, you now shift another part of your attention to the top of your head or to your crown chakra. By sending out some of the love you feel to your High Self or God Presence, you immediately receive an even larger amount of spiritual love back. Feel that both of you are now connected to the love and power of your higher or divine guidance. Feel united and in harmony with all levels of your own being as well as with your partner and with your spiritual source. Feel like melting into each other.
Initially try to hold all of these levels of connection with your partner in your awareness: the touching of the bodies, the pleasurable sexual energy in and around you, the love that you radiate onto each other as well as the feeling of both of you being connected, loved and protected by your divine guidance. Just bathe in this symphony of feelings or at times try to intensify certain aspects of it. However, after a while the sexual energy may go to sleep and then you just continue to remain aware of the love radiating from your heart, and the connection to your spiritual source. By prior agreement you may then also send love, harmony or healing energy to another target, be it to heal a situation, a person or the planet.
Depending on your previous ability to meditate and connect to these feelings it may be easy for you to experience the fullness of this union with your partner or it may take a lifetime to slowly getting there. It does not matter. The main thing is that it is a pleasurable way of moving in the right direction, of growing spiritually towards increasing awareness and harmony on all levels. It is not necessary that both have a similar level of experience. If one partner is much better able to contact the feelings of love and harmony, then this will help the other partner to come to these experiences easier and sooner than by meditating alone.
You can practice with different partners, and you can do it fully clothed, or with varying degrees of sexual contact. In this way it is possible for partners to have a pleasurable union on all levels even without any touching of the sexual organs if this is inappropriate. With a new partner or after a period of sexual abstinence, the sexual energy is usually so strong that it can be raised quite easily with a close embrace. When starting a sexual meditation relationship with a new partner or after a longer period of abstinence it may be good to start with a fully clothed embrace, and move to full sexual contact only gradually and perhaps in successive meditations.
For young or spiritually minded individuals who want to practice abstinence, meditative sex can be used as a satisfying outlet without suppressing sexual energies and causing emotional problems. It is also suitable for those who feel too old or low in energy or otherwise have lost interest in the conventional forms of lovemaking.
Even if the sexual energy sometimes cannot be aroused, meditating in a close embrace with a spiritual partner can still be a pleasant and satisfying experience. For many spiritual or sensitive individuals this sexual meditation may be more fulfilling than the more common forms of sex or lovemaking. However, sometimes, after a period of spiritual sex, one or both partners may feel a preference for a strong orgasm in order to relax more deeply. There are no fixed rules and you may use or alternate different forms of lovemaking as you please.
Tantric sex is a form of spiritual sex practiced in Hinduism. In its original form it is highly ritualized. The ritual is necessary to ensure the correct attitude and spiritual-emotional atmosphere. A brief description of the ceremony is about as follows. Ideally, the participants have years of training in yoga and meditation during a strictly celibate life.
The ceremony starts with cleansing, meditation and giving each other prescribed foods and drinks. Then they assume the so-called maithuna position, scissor position or basic position. The man lies on his left side to the right of the women who lies on her back. She raises both knees towards her chest and the man moves his lower body to bring his penis in contact with the vagina while his upper body moves away from her. She lowers her left leg and places it between his legs while her right leg rests bent over his body; sides may be reversed.
Now he gently penetrates and they remain motionless completely relaxed while they visualize in a meditative state the flow of pranic or sexual energy between their bodies and especially between their sexual organs. For non-ceremonial situations sides as described above may be reversed. For them this is not a sexual act, but the bodily and spiritual union between a god and a goddess.