Your Relationship as a Spiritual Practice
What is Spiritual Practice?
Spiritual practice always includes a search for the deepest meaning in life. It can be a search for personal salvation or for a direct experience with the divine. Those who have the faith would make any sacrifice to come face to face with God. When you see your relationship in this spiritual context, there is an extraordinary motivation to do whatever is needed to make it work. Our relationship is our spiritual practice and the primary form that practice takes is Tantric sacred sex. We consciously use our personal interaction to help us bring out the best in ourselves and in each other, to continually learn and grow, and to connect with God.
Something spiritual has two main characteristics: union and transcendence.
To unify means to bring separate parts together. It can happen on a number of different levels.
Union of the Person
On a personal level, all the parts of yourself that may have been in conflict or even unknown are united, so that you become whole. Acknowledging all aspects of oneself puts into practice an essential tenet of Tantra: weaving together states of consciousness and being that seem to be contradictory or perhaps mutually exclusive. In bringing them together, you do not choose one or the other, and you do not really compromise. Rather, you find a new way, a way of integrating them into a larger, inclusive whole. In Pala’s words, “We create new ways from two ways.” In order to do this you allow yourself to be guided by the wisdom of your heart.
Union of the Lovers
The goal of Tantric sacred sex is not to get to orgasm but to experience union. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “The drop that wrestles in the sea, forgets her own locality, as I, towards Thee.”
Through the practice of Tantra, lovers commonly experience an ecstatic connection—the boundaries between them disappear, and it is as if they were one. They do not know where one body ends and the other begins. Orgasm becomes a shared phenomenon. When connected energetically lovers can send orgasmic waves into and through each other from across a room.
Union with the Divine
The third level of union is connection with the Divine, merging with God/Goddess, the Creator, Cosmic Consciousness, or whatever your conception of the highest level of being—that which includes and is all and everything.
There are innumerable expressions of union with God in literature, art and religious writings. Many of these expressions share similar sentiments—feelings of bliss and joy, expanded consciousness, open hearts. The language is usually poetic and mystical. Spiritual experiences are often difficult or impossible to describe concretely (hence the reluctance of the rational mind to be convinced), but everyone recognizes one when they are in it.
Sacred sex is one of the oldest, simplest and most easily accessible forms of spiritual practice available to men and women regardless of religion, age, ethnic background or education. It can lead to direct personal experience with the Divine.
Transcendence, the other key aspect of spiritual experience, means going beyond perceived limits. Transcendence carries us beyond conditioned, learned behavior as well as beyond personality and narrow definitions of self. It even takes us outside space and time and beyond cause and effect.
On a personal level, we transcend when we act in spite of our fears, see something with new eyes, or open up to intense possibility. In practice, this translates into experiencing a different view of the self. We understand that we are much more than we thought. We can move beyond perceived physical limitations, for instance, being able to make love for hours and emerge nourished and strengthened, not drained and exhausted. During Tantric sacred loving timelessness becomes common—five hours fly by in what seems a minute, and a minute is eternal. Sensory capacities are heightened. Sight, sound, taste, touch and smell are sharper, more pronounced. Extrasensory perceptions like telepathy reveal themselves. Your awareness can be somewhere other than where your body is.
Transcendence can also elicit intense emotions and feelings. Even completely ordinary things can appear extraordinarily beautiful. Hearts crack open—love comes and goes, receiving and giving in an easy spontaneous way. There is a sense of having returned home to a state where nothing is lacking. There is no longer any need for faith, because there is a certainty, a deep inner knowing that everything is perfect the way it is. Everything is as it should be.
On the level of relationships, transcendence occurs when we move beyond our perceived boundaries between each other. This can occur as a mystical ecstatic experience during sacred sex.
Transcendence can also occur on what we might consider a more mundane level, when we challenge our assumptions about our selves and our relationship. We can be absolutely positive that this is the “way I am”, the “way you are”, the “way men and women are.” Then we break through those barriers to create something new. We let down our walls of emotion, ideas and learned behaviors. In letting those walls down, it can seem as if we are going contrary to what we really are and that we will be unhappy or even diminished if we let go. When we transcend our self-imposed limits, however, we become greater than we could ever have imagined.
For instance, you might think you are not someone who is particularly sexual. You might see enjoying sex as bad or even sinful. You may fully believe there is no way you could act lustily, as in initiating sex with your lover by walking up to him in the middle of the day, unzipping his pants and performing fellatio. Alternatively, you may feel like you are too tired to have sex or to be excited by your partner. You have reached your physical limits and you cannot go beyond them. However, if a dear friend you had not seen in fifteen years suddenly appeared at your door, that tiredness would likely disappear. You would be lively, perky and interested. You can make the same shift with your partner. That shift, the transcendence, is primarily an internal decision.
When you transcend you choose to behave in a certain way to create what you want in your life. This requires you to change, to go beyond your limits. You do that thing you believed was bad (like mid-afternoon fellatio) or impossible (like changing sleepiness into wide-awake enthusiasm). You have an inner guide to help you differentiate conditioned feelings, which keep you stuck in old behaviors, from intuitive feelings that are based on growing forward. These intuitive actions will be seen to be right in practice, even though they might feel wrong when you first consider them. We are not suggesting that you throw out your sense of morality or ethics, but that you expand your moral framework beyond cultural conditioning to one based on trust in your higher self and your connection with God. Seek moral guidance from your inner guide instead of the conditioned ego. It becomes easier to listen to your higher self as you practice