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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

From Food to Sex – The Art of Enjoyment

There is an art to the act of being consciously aware during situations that normally bring us into a state of unconsciousness. One of the most common activities when control is lost is during eating. For instance, have you ever eaten so fast that you became full within a few minutes and you left the table feeling unsatisfied because you failed to enjoy what you were eating? What happens is the degree to which we are aware of the present moment goes down and the number of thoughts in our brain rises. Our perception of time is skewed and we begin to focus on what comes next, the next bite, the desert, instead of what’s in our mouth right now. Or thoughts may arise comparing this meal to the similar one we had last week. Judgmental thoughts of ourselves may also take us far away from the present moment. I have been around people who the moment they stop eating, life comes back into their eyes, and they glance around the room with a slightly confused look on their face. Let us practice our ability to bring awareness into the various situations where unconsciousness tends to takeover, from mundane task to sex.
We can view the art of being fully conscious during all activities as a noble quest. Our ability to enjoy experiences, and to not be controlled by our mind and body, is directly related to the degree of our conscious awareness. During intimacy a constant reminder to stay connected to the now is most needed. We can enjoy being in the presence of other people, whether we find them sexually attractive or not, with no goal, no seeking, no need to get somewhere. If we can enjoy the human form in its various shapes and sizes without judgement, internal beauty becomes so much more vivid. We can simply relax into our natural state of spontaneous excitement.
Why has sex become taboo? It is such a natural thing, it is the most natural thing. Sex starts the moment we look at our partner. It is expected that instinctual impulses will try to take over and we will begin to slip away from conscious awareness. This is because the desire to procreate is strong and we are, after all, animals. A disconnect with reality, a loss of control, is what is feared by man, which is why sex has been so repressed throughout history. It has been believed that the ability to control oneself during sex or in the presence of a woman is impossible, therefore, the only option is abstinence or celibacy. This is not true, if we can understand our impulse is simply a flood of chemicals in the brain, its power over us can be transcended. The loss of control is a loss of conscious awareness aided by distracting thoughts and emotions.
If we fail to listen to the thoughts and emotions, if do not let them carry us, while simultaneously relaxing any tension, we then become fully receptive to the experience. With practice we can pull ourselves more and more easily out of unconsciousness. We can passively allow ourselves to be loved. We can also give love with more intensity and authenticity. We can stop the incessant mind chatter that is constantly trying to predict the future, monitor our performance, or remember past failures. With this approach intimate situations become immensely more profound. Sensations are alive in all their colorful potency. A level of satisfaction radiates from within and there is no need to dominate, only a subtle willingness to share, to become one. To drop all barriers and allow the soul to see the self in the other. This is when sex becomes more than a physical act, it is a union. A blissful journey to the highest peaks and the lowest valleys.


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