So many of us have watched, since our most tender of years, as the cultural foundations of marriage, home and family deteriorated before our very wide and blinking eyes.
What did we, as a society, do about it?
We got cooking. Here’s the recipe:
In a large melting pot
- Add one sexual revolution of the sixties, with a dash of Eastern Spirituality (translated via Western acumen)
- Redress ‘make love not war’ with new age Spiritual lingo i.e. ‘hippies’ and ‘flower children’ become ‘Gods’ and ‘Goddesses’
- ‘Sacred Union’ replaces the merely human experience of sex, and multiplicity redeems the lowly singular orgasm
- Replace spinning around in circles with processing in circles
- Substitute eating LSD with… (um, actually I’d better leave that out)
- Discard the hairy legs, armpits and long beards
- Stir in plenty of excitement, confusion and drama
- Pour the mix into all-pervasive, desire-driven economic initiatives
‘Tantra’ and ‘Sacred Sex’ have taken up the torch for the redemption of sex and relationships. They went running out onto the front lines to become so ubiquitous that most of us have either been directly involved, or watched from the sidelines in curious fascination, horror or a combination thereof. We have done so as friends and loved ones peeled through layers of joy, pain, conflict and contradiction from their experiences with modern alternative sexual paradigms.
One can almost hear the Tantric moans and smell the burning sticks of nag champa as ‘amrita’ flows and chakras align. From ‘sacred spot’ massage to ‘Sacred Union,’ feather pillows are tossed aside and oiled bodies slide upon satin sheets from a distant, canopied therma-rest bed.
In essence, the intention was to heal our personal and collective sexual and relational wounds and distortions while integrating Spirituality into a culture in which Friedrich Nietzsche rightly stated: ‘God is dead.’ At least, like humanity, this is a God that is reasonably interesting, changeable and multifaceted. But to return to the point, intentions are historically lost in translation; add sex and an addictive society that lacks the qualities of meaningful social roles, purpose and healthy boundaries to the mix, and we have got one heck of a tragic comedy.
I went deep into the world of Tantra and Sacred Sex for several years, offering talks, workshops and conferences based around alternative relationship forms and sex. The Tantric spotlight sent it’s rays down upon me and I plastered a smile upon my face for the audience.
Meanwhile, I was fighting an internal battle between my observations of high sexual/spiritual ideals mixed with dubious ethics and the unconscious yet preliminary sublimation of my emotional needs, values and intuitions. All of this was in the name of spiritual and sexual evolution and consciousness.
Here I was, learning and having new experiences while moving further from the quiet, deep nutrition of self-love and inner contentment that I so desperately needed.
Ultimately, I found myself a main player in the film documentary, “Sex Magic, Manifesting Maya.” It’s a long story, and way more than this article can cover, but I will say that in the end, I’m both grateful for the lessons gained and profoundly relieved to have found my way out.
Nevertheless, I travelled the world, helped others, and made more money than I ever had. I was successful as a Dakini.
Why did I leave?
The most immediate reason was an unsustainably drama filled, polyamorous relationship.
But after plenty of time away and deep integration, I realized the issue that most haunted my experience as a ‘sexual healer’ was that, beyond the address of personal wounds, the cultural source that initially created so much pain and wounding in the first place was actually glorified and exacerbated.
Sex, the most sacred and loving of human acts, had become yet another easy and disposable commodity.
We, as sexy, beautiful Dakas and Dakinis, seduced, objectified, validated and valued others and ourselves through sex. Although lip service was paid towards the ‘sacred marriage’—the internal union of feminine and masculine—in action, our pleasure, happiness, and the rise of consciousness was inevitably encouraged via ‘spiritual’ peer pressure as the by-product of multiple partners and ever more juicy, orgasmic sex.
But is this truly what we all need? Yes, sex is wonderful, but if we’re talking spirituality and consciousness, is this really such a leap? I mean, is this not the very motor that runs society now… as it is?
Sex stands alongside the advertisement of just about every item and product. It is all pervasive throughout media and entertainment. We have a massive surge in hair removal products, penis and breast enhancement, and plastic surgery to tuck, pull and manipulate our outer form in the ways we socially consider beautiful.
All the while we hide from the reality of our inner lives with alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and numb out with billions of dollars a year worth of prescription drugs.
Our brains have become so overwhelmingly hard-wired with sex that regardless of the disastrous state of marriage, family, relationships and social conditions, we willingly continue to participate in our obsessive focus… as if some day a thousand busty Claudia Schiffers and well-hung Brad Pitts will majestically come to us like angels from the heavens and save us from all that is.
Meanwhile, our innate desire to participate within our families, communities and to be of service to humanity becomes ever the more ignored and repressed in trade for the pinhole focus of serving our endless list of personal desires and gratifications.
We live at superficial levels, the product of our own self-imposed oppression.
When I’d entered Sacred Sex, I was naïve, having no idea of the commonality that those who were deeply wounded and in denial of their own fears, addictions and vulnerability were so often the faces behind the impenetrable masks of not only Tantra, but so many spiritual modalities.
Although I was disappointed in the end, I cannot deny that the experiences were nevertheless a giant leap in my personal evolution. Indeed, I had become so focused on sex that I was forced to realize how sex, as my ultimate role, meaning and purpose, stripped me of dignity and honour. While my ego could forever thrive within the economics, infinite attention and flattery of such an environment, it devastated my deepest, most essential nature.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same mindset that created them.” ~ Albert Einstein
The message became insufferably clear: I could no longer waste time and energy seeking another to show me the way. If I wanted to heal my sexual pain and wounding, I would have to learn how to walk my own path, to listen and trust myself.
That is how I entered into Kundalini Yoga. I remember my first class;
I walked in, rolled out my matt, sat down and watched the teacher; a man fully dressed in white. He sat with legs folded in full lotus, eyes closed, his palms together, looking ever so peaceful, tranquil, so yogically divine. Then he slowly opened his eyes and said in a very unexpected and thick New York accent,
“Now class, we’ya gonna leeaarn how to Ryyyse owa Kundalini.”
I almost fell off of my mat trying to hold back the laughter that wanted to burst from me, but eventually I did settle, and by the end of that class, was hooked. It was the first time in I didn’t know how long that I’d felt truly pure and free, and I felt like a brand new me.
Within a few months, I took on a certified training in Kundalini Yoga, and began a daily practice of forty day sadhanas, pranayama and meditation.
Admittedly, even with my practice, it would still take years before I would be fully able let go of my obsessive focus on sex and relationships. After all, romantic love was what once ran my entire life experience. It’s all I’d wanted, all I’d lived for…it was, for so long, my only meaning and purpose. So, I played out my old patterns a handful more times, each lasting for shorter durations, and with longer periods of celibacy in-between.
Yet, with my practice to fall back on, I could more clearly see the insanity and exhaustion of living as I had, and all the more old behaviours could slowly fall away. I replaced self-hatred for self-compassion, dignity over seduction. I learned discernment and how to honour my boundaries and take responsibility rather than sublimating myself, or giving away my power and energy.
Yoga isn’t the magic panacea. Indeed, I still have days when I get lonely and sad, and cry for hours on end. But practice does help me to accept myself and deal with my emotions; my tears are now a welcome cleanse that leave me better in the end.
Really, the choice to move out of Sacred Sex and into Yoga and Meditation was symbolic. It was the decision to value myself for more than how society and it’s sub-cultures attempt to define and sublimate women, a choice to integrate and honour all parts of myself and move into the fullness and wealth of my true essence and power. When we end the perpetual search for what we can acquire for ourselves, the focus of our desires inevitably rises, and we begin to ask ourselves the question; what is my highest purpose, my gift and service?
And frankly, nothing is sexier than a person who lives within the dignity and honour of their authentic integrity and service to humanity.
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Asst Ed: Renee Picard / Ed: Bryonie Wise