Thursday, June 4, 2015

Transformation of sexual energy and the value of equanimity

There are many workshops on Tantra here on this land I live, and sometimes I meet people in a baths who take one workshop or another on this very subject. They all are sexually active, and Tantra for them is mostly an enhanced and prolonged lovemaking. Originally Tantra is not really about lovemaking, but about transcending desire. I never was trained in this subject, but it always fascinated me.
I had a lot of passion and desire in me from the times I was a young woman. It would arise so quickly and felt like a fire, and I though there should be another use for this fire, besides releasing it in a sexual way. 

As I became a seeker on a spiritual path and started to meet teachers worthy to ask, I asked every one of them how to use sexual energy for meditation and transformation. Every teacher/master had his own answer to this subject. One of them was a senior in a Forth Way path, and he said that Gurgieff usually told people not to try to manipulate sexual energy without knowledge. He suggested spend it instead of holding it, so it "won't become sour".

Yoga ashram, that I went often many years ago, held another view on sexuality, and mostly promoted bramacharya - abstinence from sex while practicing yoga and living in ashram. I am not sure how it worked for those guys, but what I remember they didn't look to me as they have vitality and vigor in them.

Then I met a female master on my way who told me I don't need a man at all. She said she was 10 years celibate, and the desire does not arise in her. Though she had vitality to her body, she looked very stern to me, almost like a dry twig. But one thing that caught my attention that it is possible to "have a circulation of energy without release", she said.

Tibetan Buddhist monk in his 50th I met a little later was actually more fascinated by me, and suddenly asked me to be his consort.  In his robes and with his big bold head he looked like an alien to me, and I couldn't see myself being slightly aroused by a little man in robes. He pointed to me Tibetan bronze figurines of dakinis and men intertwine in the intercourse. He told me I am a dakini, and he saw me in his dream. Tibetan monks take their dreams seriously, he said, and he explained that we together can pull the energy upward and unite in meditation. This sounded very interesting, but looking at him, I knew I might be a dakini, but not for this very man. 

So for some more years I read some classical tantric texts and some modern teachers, like Daniel Odier and Mantak Chia. And nothing really worked for me. "Pull the energy upward" didn't resonate with me. It sounded like hard manipulation, and I couldn't understand how is that so sensitive subtle energies can be manipulated in this way? 

Then one night when I was in a Vipassana retreat I woke up in passion, in so much desire. I laid on my bed and I didn't know if I can make it through it. Entering this retreat I took precepts, and one of them was to abstain from sexual misconduct. For some reason it stuck in me that it is about abstaining from sexual release altogether while in serious meditation in a retreat. So I just laid, burning from desire, and I breathed. The desire was so strong it engulfed me completely, and I couldn't focus on anything else besides feeling it ripping me apart. I laid flat on my back, my feet and hands apart, eyes closed, in a dark room. It felt if I could touch my body even with one finger, and I will explode. I was filled with the fire and emitting the fire, it was really scorching hot! It lasted for a long while, but I noticed that the heat wave started to subside. Suddenly it felt liberating. This was the first time I didn't orgasm on the rise of the sexual energy. I was in awe. I realized what will work for me is the way Vipassana works: awareness, which is applied attention, in this case, to sensations, feeling, and equanimity - non-reactiveness with arising phenomena, non-doing. 

After the retreat some time passed without rise of the passion. That night in a retreat surely retrained the mind, but then passion started to creep in again. This time I knew what will work for me instead of "pulling the energy up", as all the books said. 

Since I was meditating on body sensations very seriously for many years in vipassana retreats and every day consistently, the sensitivity with the body sensations spilled out into my walking state and even in my sleep. I always slept on my back, flat, mostly without any movement for the entire night and all night, even the body was sleeping/resting, the mind was aware of the body sensations. The sleep was mostly lucid dreaming or half awake dream state that included feeling sensations.

One evening I laid in my bed, and felt a rise of the passion in the lower part of the abdomen. I contemplated on it for a while, mostly which way to go with it: to release it or to abstain from it. I was trying to feel how strong the passion is, so I put my attention on it and felt the wave strongly, calling me to ride it. The pull of the sexual energy is so magnetic, everything else fades in it’s presence. But my inquiry is stronger force at the moment, and I manage to unglue my focus from the abdomen area and put my attention on the solar plexus. I lay there for a short while resting from the strong grip of sexual energy, I feel the relief, as I broke from the cage. Equanimity downs on me.  In no time I see how the energy that just a second ago felt like sexual in a pelvic area, is now fully in a solar plexus, and it doesn't feel sexual anymore! The sexual flavor subsided completely, I feel a little excited to witness what just happened. I feel empowered. Manipura chakra, the name came to my mind from all the yogic studies years ago. The center of gathering of the power. Now I really can feel it, I do feel strong and capable, I no more feel as I am a slave of the passion. In that empowerment I switch my attention to the chest, and lay there in equanimity. In no time the energy travels fluidly up and fill my heart. My chest rises and expands. I feel warmth and love to all beings. Anahata - the the space of compassion, the space of love and warmth. As much as I want to be with this warm feeling, I switch the focus to the throat area. I feel love in my heart, but my attention now focused on the throat, and I lay in this seeming division of attention for just a short moment. The energy rise. The space of expression. I feel the inspiration to share this. There might be more people who are looking for what I was looking for so many years, and now I found, and I want to share. But my journey continues. Switching to the area on the forehead, waiting patiently, equanimously. I can see where I wait with agenda, and when it is equanimity. Agenda creates a little tension, almost microscopic, but it's enough resistance to create a wall for the energy to rise. Trying to 
‘letting go” of agenda is also "doing" on my part, and it doesn't work. Only total equanimity, non-doing, makes a space without resistance where energy can flow freely.  As the equanimity establish itself for just a split second, the energy immediately rise in a distinct movement, traveling on the orbit in the scull and lands on my forehead. It feels very focused and visionary. Then attention travels to the area above my head and rests there. I feel a shower of high vibrational energy over me, very tiny oscillations. I am engulfed in sensations of bliss, and it is just a rest in the beauty of it, innocent and natural.

For couple of months, almost every day, I practiced this meditation, until I noticed that rise of the energy happens by itself. I started to have it in my dreams too. In daily life I completely lost interest to sexual encounter and became naturally celibate for several years.

Until the next chapter of my life...

This is unedited excerpt from the book I am writing:
“Complete Humanity: Integration of Awakening into Human Experience”

Dakini of Space by Alma Dankoff