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Copyright Spectra 2000 P/L.
SOME COMMON CONCERNS ABOUT DAILY DEVOTION
‘I find it difficult to go along with the idea of having contact with my partner regularly whether I feel like it or not. What should I do?’
Try to understand that this is a means of bonding together. Your relationship is more important than how you feelings change. If your relationship is dependent on whether you feel good, you are going to be disappointed a lot of the time. Daily Devotion is part of an agreement that a conscious loving couple make to be in sexual contact regularly as a way of healing and energising each other and bonding more closely.
‘I find it difficult not to move.’
This is merely a matter of learning to break old habits. You do not have to move just because that is the way they always do it in the movies. Lovemaking need not always involve movement. It is worth mastering total stillness because a lot of women really love it!
‘I tried morning devotion once and it did nothing for me.’
This is because the exchange of energy is of a subtle form. Many people do not appreciate it the first time because normally their sexual focus is to have a mind-blowing, ecstatic experience or it is no good. You need to refine your tastes to all aspects of lovemaking and appreciate the subtle as well as the mind-blowing experiences, the same way you can refine your taste and appreciate a wider range of food. Do not give up after the first time; you need to practise this for at least a week to appreciate its effect. Practise it for a week without ejaculation and you will soon start to feel the energy.
‘I’m not wet and it’s difficult for him to enter.’
Have some lubrication near the bed. Use a water-soluble lubrication or simply use just enough saliva to get the head of the lingam in the yoni so that the juices can be exchanged.
‘If I haven’t got an erection, how can I do the devotion?’
You don’t need to have an erection. Use some lubricant or saliva, then gently have your partner insert the head of your lingam into her yoni so that the essences are mixing. You will get the same effect. When you are soft, the scissors position is a good way to keep the lingam from falling out of the yoni.
‘I start off all right, but because we are not moving I lose my erection.’
First, do not worry about this and second, if you wish to stay erect, your partner can squeeze her yoni muscles or move a little to keep you stimulated.
‘Does morning devotion always have to be man on top?’
No, although traditionally man’s energy is the yang energy and the woman’s energy is the yin. Being on top charges his yang energy, while her being on the bottom charges her yin energy.
I suggest that if your sex drive has not been as strong as normal and you want to build up the strength of your erection, then for one week have her take the upper position in Morning Devotion and take as much nourishment and joy as you can find from feeling the warmth of her yoni, her breasts on your chest and the shape of her hips on your tummy. Do not ejaculate during that week and I assure you, at the end of that time you will be as hard as a rockfull of love, appreciation and passion for your woman.
A final point I want to make about daily devotions is that it is important in the early stages of practice, especially in the first month, not to turn the devotion into a full lovemaking session. What can happen is your partner may not feel like making love one night, but allows you to enter because she honours your request for Evening Devotion. Then if you continue to a full lovemaking session, this breaks her trust in you and she may not allow you to enter her the next time you ask. It is important she can trust you in this process. Of course if she asks you to continue, then it is fine to do so.
By Kerry and Diane Riley, directors of ASOT.
Copyright Spectra 2000 P/L 2005
Lovemaking as a spiritual experience.
It is written in the ancient texts of China and India that it was common for emperors, kings and noblemen trained in the art of lovemaking to be passionately making love in their nineties, with up to twenty consorts or lovers, all of whom they were keeping sexually satisfied. In the ruling class a man’s power and respect were judged by the number of consorts he could keep satisfied. A husband was respected more for keeping his wife sexually satisfied than for anything else. In the ancient cultures of Egypt, Arabia, India, Nepal, Tibet, China and Japan polygamy was common, so it was essential for a man to know the art of lovemaking.
The ancient sexual secrets of India are revealed in Sanskrit texts, where it is written that the emperor should make love to nine chosen consorts every night, progressing from the lower ranks to the higher. With retaining his semen by proficiency in the Art of Love, the Emperor concentrates powers within. Then, at the full moon, he bestows his seed on the Queen of Heaven.
A child born from such a ritual was supposed to have magical powers.
Most men these days ejaculate within the first fifteen minutes. They wouldn’t have commanded much respect in ancient China. This shows us how much our education and proficiency in the art of lovemaking is lacking. Yet every man has the ability to master these sexual skills.
Ancient texts from the East taught that sex was sacred, and this was one of the reasons I was attracted to these studies. I liked the idea of my lovemaking being sacred. I don’t use the term sacred here in the conventional religious sense of something existing above us somewhere. Such a view tends to split reality into two parts, a degraded earth below and a pure holy heaven on high. Things on this earthly plane can be sacred if we have the eyes to see the sacredness in them the sacred order of the earth and the sky, of life and death, of the mind and the heart and the body.
We can view human existence itself as sacred and, if we choose, we can see lovemaking as sacred.
Many people today are seeking spiritual growth. When I tell them that Diane and I use our sexual love as a way of becoming more spiritual they are quite shocked. This probably stems from the fact that many religions proclaim that if we want to become spiritual, we must deny ourselves any earthly pleasures. In Eastern and Western cultures, celibacy was often a requirement for those who sought a spiritual life.
As a child, I was taught, as I’m sure many people were, that the way to God was through prayer and going to church. However, these things never really gave me any profound experience of God. About twenty years ago I travelled through India where I was introduced to meditation as a practice for spiritual growth. When I practised meditation, it did give me an experience which I felt was spiritual. In the East this was called a mystical experience. A mystical or spiritual experience is foreign to most Westerners.
A mystical state itself is not easy to describe and yet anyone who has had the experience can recognise it. People describe certain common elements in such an experience things like a sense of tranquillity, of timelessness, of intense awareness that everything you see is vivid and everything you touch is very alive; a transcendence from the thoughts of daily life; an expansion of consciousness; a feeling of being connected with the cosmos or at unity with all things. Some say they have a tangible experience of God or actually experience the bliss of union with the divine. Some of these experiences can happen during lovemaking, and when they do, it is important to acknowledge this as a spiritual experience.
When you are in heightened orgasmic states, this is a spiritual experience.
Ancient spiritual systems such as Taoism and Tantra readily acknowledged this.
TANTRA AND TAOISM
Tantra is a spiritual science from ancient India and in its basic essence is very similar to Taoism from China. Both involve balancing the male and female energies to create harmony and both have an ultimate goal of spiritual unity with the universe or the source or God, (the God within, as opposed to God being separate from us).
The Tantric interplay of the male and female energies was represented in Hindu mythology with Shakti and Shiva, and represented in Taoism with yin and yang. Both Tantra and Taoism aimed to create union of body, mind and spirit. And in both, sexuality was seen and practised in a spiritual context.
One of the differences between Tantra and Taoism is that Tantra is filled with rituals and religious deities, gods and goddesses, whereas Taoism is more scientific in its approach. People who are more ‘right-brain’ oriented, (more intuitive), would probably be more attracted to Tantra, while those who are more ‘left-brain’ oriented, (more into the rational and logical), would be attracted to Taoism, although this is certainly not a rule.
In the seminars which Diane and I conduct, we find that women are more attracted to the Tantric approach and men more to the Taoist approach, at least initially. However, as the men open their heart centres more and become deeply connected with their women, they move forwards into the Tantric approach to sexuality.
It is said that Tantra is the oldest single source of knowledge concerning the energies of the mind, body and spirit. It is the origin and essence of today’s popular studies and practices of Eastern philosophies, including yoga, martial arts, tai chi and the grand philosophies of the Buddha, Confucius and Lau Tzu.
Tantra means to expand, to be free, to be liberated. If we are to be really free, our sexuality should not be repressed, it should be lived in its totality with joy and without any guilt. The more we suppress sex, the more we will be bound by it;
and the more it is repressed the more it wants to burst out. The sad thing is that it often bursts out in harmful ways. The current explosion in evidence of child sexual abuse is an example of what can happen as a result of suppression.
Tantra always emphasises the sacredness in sex; it teaches that there should be no repression or guilt attached to sex. It also teaches that when a man approaches his beloved, he should have a sacred feeling, as if he were going into a temple. Tantra claims that to know the truth about love, you need to accept the sacredness of sex.
Relics of Tantric rituals date back nearly five thousand years and Tantric texts began to appear within a few centuries of the beginning of the Christian era. It is speculated that Indian Tantra, which spread to Tibet, may have originated with ancient Taoists in China, then re-entered China hundreds of years later and revitalised Taoist sexual practices.
Both Tantra and Taoism advocate exploring every aspect of life and consciousness, so obviously the study of sexuality was included; not only included, but revered. Through the centuries many mainstream religions have frowned on Tantra and Taoism because both systems use sexual union as a vehicle to enlightenment, as a way of experiencing a deep connection with God, or the cosmos, or the divine or the source of all existence, or whatever you call it according to your beliefs. Most religious systems make sex taboo, claiming it leads man away from God. This predominant religious approach created oppression which forced Tantric practices underground. Its practices and rituals have been kept secret for hundreds of years.
Only recently have Tantric and Taoist practices been interpreted, published and made available for Western study. This has been refreshing and enlightening for many of us because it has helped us to look at love and sex from a different perspective. We start to question our own attitudes and realise how deeply our consciousness has been conditioned by our Christian upbringing, which suggests that sexuality is somehow evil.
We are taught at school that the first sin in the Garden of Eden was committed by Eve making Adam eat the apple. But that’s not a sin. What is sinful is that some sexually insecure man invented a God who couldn’t rejoice in Adam and Eve’s sexual nature. It’s a tremendous mistake that the very act on which the procreation of life depends is depicted as a sin. We have been taught that we must be either spiritual or sexual, that we must not be drawn to ‘the Devil’ by bodily pleasures. Even though these days most people would see this as ridiculous, it still subconsciously affects our attitudes towards sex and we carry part of this negative conditioning into our lovemaking.
If we were brought up in a culture which revered sexuality, it would be much easier to have a healthy attitude towards sex. A Tantric attitude towards sex is that it is God’s greatest gift, that it is sacred, that to have pleasure from sex is a prayer to God, a way of showing gratitude for our existence. Tantra sees sexual union as a way of generating life-
force through the body that is healing, rejuvenating, energising;
it can be used as a meditation to reach mystical states of love and consciousness.
Because Tantra covers the full spectrum of life, it accepts and reveres sexual love and pleasure. It does not accept any kind of religious, cultural or tribal inhibitions. It’s about exploring the extraordinary in your love and your sexuality, with the only proviso being that it causes the other person or yourself no harm. Tantra teaches that we deserve all the love and sexual pleasure we can possibly receive; that sexual loving is a way to reach the mysteries of the heart, the soul, God and Goddess within each person. It also teaches that sex is a way of bonding with a lover physically, emotionally and spiritually to create feelings of ecstatic pleasure, deep intimacy and expanded consciousness. It’s a way of transcending daily life and the ego to become one with your beloved, one with all things, and create a tangible experience of God.
Taoists especially would say lovemaking is the way to longevity and that by applying certain techniques we can rejuvenate ourselves and awaken our intuitive centres. They also believe that we can use our lovemaking to heal ourselves and our partners because when we are in heightened states of sexual energy, our whole body is charged and the immune system strengthens.
SACRED SEX: THE DOOR TO ENLIGHTENMENT
Imagine how our lovemaking would affect us if we were educated in Tantric and Taoist techniques. They would give us a far more healthy attitude towards sex than most of us have been conditioned to have. It’s important to recognise that any judgements we have about sex reflect our inhibitions and demonstrate that we are not entirely free and accepting of our own sexuality.
What we need is a new man, a man who can bring back to sex its original sacredness, who is able to make love in such a way that it opens the door to enlightenment for his beloved and himself and fulfils his deepest yearnings for the meaning of life.
We need education in lovemaking because it will increase our choices and our knowledge. We don’t have to assume the attitudes handed down to us by society. We can adopt new attitudes which serve us better and help us to have a more fulfilling, happy, healthy love life.
Some aspects of Tantra and Taoism may seem a little strange at first, especially the link between sexuality and spirituality, but like anything in life, we need to consider all approaches, and then select what serves us. Of course sometimes when a new attitude is presented to us, we take it on immediately because it rings true for us. At other times we have to let it sit for a while; we put it on the shelf and perhaps use it in years to come. It’s important to experiment, play with the attitudes, with innocence and openness as a child plays with a new toy. Parents terrorise their children out of the delight of their sexual feelings, experimentation, play and openness. But we are not children any more. It’s time to choose new ways of exploring sex and love on physical, emotional and spiritual levels.
A HEALTHY ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEX
Having a healthy attitude towards lovemaking makes all the difference to the experience. You can be in exactly the same lovemaking position as someone else but ultimately it’s the mind that creates the experience. If the mind is saying: ‘I wish this would finish,’ you may have some sort of resistance to pleasure from past conditioning or experience. If the past was all positive then how could the most sensitive part of the body, with the most nerve endings, not be giving you pleasure? Have you ever thought about that? If however, your attitude is that to make love to reach high states of sexual pleasure is healing, then the experience will be totally different. Our experience of lovemaking is affected by our attitudes. A man who has been conditioned to believe that his lovemaking is a spiritual encounter will have a totally different experience to a man who sees it as an opportunity to get another notch in his belt.
Anything that happens in our lovemaking is interpreted through our attitudes and beliefs first. From these we derive our experience. One way to alter our experience is to change our attitudes and beliefs. Some people watching a high Tantric experience might see it merely as two people having good sex. Well, what’s the difference between Tantra and just having sex? One of the key differences is where the mind is. It’s the same in life. One’s experience of life depends on where the mind is. We are all living in the same world, but our experiences are determined by our perception.
Extract from “Sexual Secrets for Men, what every woman would want her man to know’
Copyright Spectra 2000 P/L 2005
Diane Riley – Australian School of Tantra
Sex later in life
*How important is sexuality in our lives? What role does it play?
Sexuality is an integral part of our lives, it provides dynamic energy. It touches and inspires every aspect of life and affects us emotionally, physically and spiritually. We can learn to develop and enhance our experience of sexuality to create more love in our lives.
*What is the philosophy behind Tantric sex?
Tantra emphasizes that we deserve all the love and sexual pleasure we can possibly receive; that sexual loving is a way to reach the mysteries of the heart, the soul, within each person. It also teaches that sex is a way of bonding with a lover physically, emotionally and spiritually to create feelings of ecstatic pleasure, deep intimacy and feelings of connectedness.
*What happens to a man’s sexuality as he grows older?
It’s natural for many men to have changes in their sexuality with age. Some may be concerned about sustaining potency, virility or have health or personal issues that impact on their sexuality and performance.
*How challenging can it be for men to acknowledge these changes?
Many men report they don’t want this area of their life to be over while others feel they are too old and say they can’t do anything about it. A lot of men are challenged and don’t have the education around what they can do to sustain sexual wellbeing into their older years.
*How can tantric sex help men improve their sexuality? (erection strength, premature ejaculation, difference between ejaculation and orgasm etc.)
Contemporary tantra can assist men in modern relationship in simple and profound ways. Sacred sexuality and tantra can give us a few lessons on opening up to love with a partner on all levels – body, heart and soul. The magic of love and connection can be helped along. We are never too old for openness, wonder and playfulness to ignite our senses on all levels and bring us the benefits of a potent aphrodisiac. Tantra provides skills for potency and ejaculation control.
*What is the PC muscle and how can it help men?
Specific tantric skills are so helpful to enhance erection strength and ejaculation mastery! A practice to help with control is strengthening the pubococcygeal muscle one way to locate this muscle is to try and stop the flow during urination by contracting the pelvic floor. If you can do that then you have found the muscle. It is taught in many texts that if a man contracts this muscle before ejaculation it will stop it. However if it’s not done correctly it doesn’t work. A common error that is made is trying to do it just before ejaculation; if you do it at 90% and you haven’t practiced enough it won’t work and may even cause you to ejaculate. It’s best to do it in stages at 20%, at 30%, at 50%, at 75% and then 90%. If you experience prostate difficulties consult your doctor first.
*What is your attitude to Viagra? What is it and what are the risks?
Viagra can increase performance but not necessarily desire (for him or his partner). Erection strength is only one ingredient. And the drug doesn’t necessarily help him with ejaculation control, although he may stay hard after ejaculation the passionate and intimacy are gone. For some men these drugs may pose a health risk. In addition to the potential side effects the ancient Chinese believed that as a man’s life force diminishes so does a man’s ability to get erections. This is the body’s natural protective mechanism to save him from over ejaculating and losing more energy. By chemically inducing an erection most men then force themselves to ejaculate even though they don’t feel like it. The Taoists say this puts tremendous strain on the whole body and effects health and life expectancy.
*Is there too much focus on ‘performance rather than pleasure’? Is society too orgasm obsessed? What is your opinion and advice?
Too often, lovemaking is measured against orgasmic response. That is, the quicker and more often you come, the better! Orgasm takes precedence over pleasure. As a result so many facets of sensuous experience are overlooked.
If we can learn to relax and enjoy pleasure we can feel for ourselves and bring to our partners as the main goal of lovemaking or sexual loving can encompass so much more.
*How can tantric sex help men improve the quality of their relationships – emotionally and sexually? (connection, warming the waters)
While making love a great question to ask yourself is ‘How much love am I feeling while making love? ’ Men are more conscious about getting a result … good sex and orgasm… than how much love they are feeling in their heart. Tantra education may be good for him to learn how to connect sex and heart feelings.
*Can you suggest a daily ritual that couples can do to help them feel connected? (daily devotion? Or something similar)
A great practice for couples to try is to occasionally make eye contact during love making; it’s common to shut our eyes to loose ourselves in the feeling, that’s perfectly fine; however we are often not present with our lover and feeling the intimacy. ‘The eyes are the window to the soul’ it can feel quite awkward at first for some, but if you want to be an intimate loving couple, totally present, and fully opened to each other, then try allowing yourself to be seen by you partner.
A practice any one can try before sex or separate time is to sit opposite each other, hold hands and shut your eyes for a few minutes and think about some of the things you enjoy about your partner, because we often spend a lot of energy inwardly complaining about the things that annoy us or we want to change about the other. So for five minutes, let go of that, open your eyes and take turns in telling each other ten things you appreciate about them. When one shares something the other is to simply say ‘thank you’ and not comment. Just accept and enjoy. At the end have a hug and don’t discuss it further. Do something together like a walk or simply a cup of tea. Sounds too simple… but try it and see the effect for yourself. Theory is knowing it, practice is living it!
Please list five tips that would be helpful for older men and their sexuality/relationships.