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 have 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. 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.

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 in orgasm. 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 completely was gone, and it felt utterly liberating! This was the first time I didn't orgasm on the rise of the sexual energy. I was in awe. I realised what will work for me is the way Vipassana works: with awareness to sensations 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 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 was so magnetic, everything else faded in it’s presence. But my inquiry was stronger force at the moment, and I managed to unglue my focus from the abdomen area and put my attention on the solar plexus. 

I laid there for a short while, keeping the attention on a solar plexus, resting from the strong grip of the sexual energy, I felt the relief as I broke from the cage! Equanimity downed on me suddenly in the space of non-doing.  In no time I saw how the energy that just a second ago felt like sexual in a pelvic area, was now fully in a solar plexus, and it didn't feel sexual at all! The sexual flavor subsided completely, I felt a little excited to witness what just happened. I felt 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 could feel it, I felt strong and capable, I no more felt as I was a slave of the passion. 

In that empowerment I switched my attention to the chest, and laid there in equanimity. In no time the energy traveled fluidly up and filled my heart. My chest risen and expanded. I felt warmth and love to all beings. "Anahata - the the space of compassion, the space of love and warmth", I remembered. 

As much as I wanted to be with this warm feeling, I switched the focus to the throat area. I felt love in my heart, but my attention was already focused on the throat, and I laid in this seeming division of attention for just a short moment. The energy rose. I felt myself in the space of expression. I felt 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 wanted to share!

My journey continued. I put my attention to the area on the forehead, and was waiting patiently, equanimously. I could see where I was waiting with agenda, and when I was in  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 was also "doing" on my part, and it didn't work. Only total equanimity, non-doing, made a space without resistance where energy could flow freely.  As the equanimity established itself for just a split second, the energy immediately rose in a distinct movement, it traveled through the scull from the throat to my forehead, on the orbit, encircling the headspace. It felt as very focused and visionary mind state.

Attention traveled to the area above my head from the forehead, and rested there. I felt a shower of high vibrational energy over me, very tiny oscillations. I was  engulfed in sensations of bliss, and was resting 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...

Dakini of Space by Alma Dankoff