Friday, March 24, 2017

Seeker on a Spiritual Path: Conquering Sexual Desire.

I am not a sex guru, but this article will be about sexuality and desire. I have written on this subject before, and here is a link to my article about my celibacy experience in a past:

Transformation of Sexual Energy and the value of Equanimity:

Today I am not celibate, and I learnt a great deal about sexuality through my own experience of consummation.  This subject rarely comes up in the “serious spiritual circles”, unless it is the part of spirituality that many see as “not serious”, the part where Goddesses, yonies and lingams reside. 

Many in “serious spiritual circles” actually confused about sexuality and sensuality completely. In nonduality there is a lot of disassociation and nihilism going on, and anything that involve the body may seeing as “non existent”. At times we almost disassociate with the human we are, and spend time in juggling non-dual concepts, especially in the first several years after awakening to no-self, until life in some way shake us back into the whole.

When I sat retreats in a Goenka Vipasana center, most of the time I would sit through pain and discomfort, or some neutrality, very rarely I would experience pleasure, though I read many years ago that Buddha sat through a lot of pain in his early years of more torturous meditation training, but later on he was mostly working with pleasure: pleasurable mind states. Through numerous retreats, working with aversion to discomfort and pain, boredom, doubt, and all kinds of variations of mind states, I was always wondering how it would be to be sitting with pleasure continuously, how it would be not to give in to an attachment to pleasurable sensations.

This experience came to me not through the meditation practice, but come to me by meeting a lover.  Life passed by with some men come into my life and go, but I never came across a lover.  I never exactly knew what is that mean, to be with a lover. I knew how to be with a man, how to experience high of the sexual arousing, but being with a lover turned to be something completely different. 

In Buddhism there is a concept of fetters, chains, that hold us to be reborn in this world, and one of them is desire. Desire for anything to acquire, this include the most strong desire - the desire for sexual pleasure.  Being a dedicated vipassana meditation practitioner, I was “conquering” this fetter in my practice. And no, I was not suppressing the desire, I was watching it, allowing the sensation of passion fill in my being without acting on it, letting it arise naturally and subside. It would come up very strongly at first, especially in my first couple of retreats, filling me up with much heat and almost burning sensations through the body, but as time went by, the passion stopped to arise, and sexuality went to zero.  I became celibate naturally. 

Years later I found myself in Ecuador, in a rainforest, taking an ayahuasca brew, and watching the rise of the passion fill in my being, as it never left, birthing myself as a Lover.

That night my body that resided in the sexless state as though it was forever permanent, transformed into the moving wave of the ocean and the heat of the sun with the speed of the falling star! I went into the feeling wholeheartedly, giving myself to the medicine fully. 

The next day I was in shock. I was shocked by the fullness of the desire that was suddenly present. I was shocked how many years I sat through myriad of feelings in complete equanimity, certain that the desire vanished from me without a trace. I was shocked how quickly and fully it came back. I was shocked how foolish I was, thinking of the absolute absence of the sexual desire, thinking that the fetter had been conquered!

Fast forward several years, the old marriage behind, couple of relationships behind, here he was - the one who looked into my eyes, and we both recognized something bigger then us, something bigger then just interest, something bigger then the current life: “I am here”.

Coming together with the Lover is not an ordinary event, it is a Ceremony.  It creates itself. No special knowledge is necessary, no special techniques needs to be learned.  It is a thoughtless state of merging.  It is limitless in time. It is as beautiful and as raw as the Universe itself.  In the ceremony the only thought that cross the mind is “I can die now”. The experience, the feeling of completeness is almost overwhelming by it’s totality.  I would be sure I am having an experience of a lifetime, only to find myself in the ceremony again and again with the same thought: “I can die now”, and the ascension of Completeness.

I thought many times why I am given this gift continuously. One of such encounter will satisfy for a lifetime. I don’t know the answer, but my mind likes to speculate, and it made a story that it is sort of a practice: the opportunity to develop equanimity with pleasurable sensations and mind states, though it is more effortless noticing, being-ness, then an active practice.

Just like working with pain we skillfully yield to sensations, we allow them to express without pushing them away, the same with pleasure, we allow it to raise without holding on to it.  Equanimity with any mind state, with any sensation, leads to liberation. The sensation, allowed to be expressed to it’s fullness, disappears, leaving us as the boundless, limitless Awareness. Here we ARE - liberated from the limited idea and limited feeling of who we are.  The state of pure Awareness is free from pain and pleasure, free from attachment and aversion, free from fetters, and free from concepts. We can know then who we are, and rest. 

Conquering sexual desire is somewhat useless activity, maybe it is more Buddhist term “conquering” that does not ring for me anymore.  As seekers we wired to do something.  So we do it, until we don’t. Until we rest, we can practice equanimity, practice relaxation, practice awareness, practice concentration, practice letting go, practice allowing - there are many ways we can DO, and they are all legit. The only caution I have for us is not to loose the clarity that what we DO will not bring us to what we ARE.  Dropping what we do is the only way how we arrive to an experience of what we are. It happens spontaneously, effortlessly, suddenly, without our conscious participation.  When it happens we learn that WHAT WE ARE is ALWAYS HERE.  The seeking and trying to conquer stops. We ARE ALREADY FREE.