July 28, 2010

Keep the Snug in Your Hug. ~Penelope Love

You can help eradicate all forms and manners of hug abuse today.

Most of us can easily recall the details of our first kiss as though it were yesterday, yet how many remember their first hug?

When I meditate upon the question “What would it feel like to remember my first hug?,” no one specific memory comes to mind. Yet I am invigorated by the vague sensation of dangling like a baby chimpanzee from my mother’s neck. And as I recall resting as a babe upon my father’s chest, a distinctly cool grounding sensation arises—one of being close enough to climb inside him and look out of his eyes.

I love hugs—always have. In my life, they have been the ultimate way to give and receive love. My experience has taught me that each hug provides us a precious opportunity to bask in our true, wondrous essence. And although I’ve always craved hugs, I didn’t always consciously appreciate their profound benefit until I became able to feel the subtle energetic flow encased within them.

So, what is this subtle energy? Some scientists call it “orgone.” Nondualists dub it “consciousness.” Yoga instructors, “prana.” And Chinese Medicine practitioners, “chi.” Despite this lack of consensus on what to call it, no one denies its existence. Au contraire, people with blossoming hearts will do almost anything for another sip of it. In my own spiritual search, I found myself most intrigued by what the Tantrikas had to say about it: namely, this sublime energy is the source of ecstasy—nothing could be more blissful than swimming in this energy and the orgasmic state it induces. And so, I devoted myself to Tantra, the spiritual path that blends meditation with sexuality. This, I explored passionately and did not speak of it until I had my own direct experience of subtle energy.

Here is where it gets juicy: subtle energy relates to hugging in that each hug—no matter who is hugging—provides an opportunity to bathe in orgasmic bliss. No, I’m not joking! And if this is not your experience, then somewhere in time, you began to resist this ecstasy. This, for reasons as varied as the excuses people invent: “My mother wasn’t a hugger.” “My father dropped me on my head when I was a child.” Or, “My teacher told me it was inappropriate for her to hug students.” On and on have such woeful tales been spun. In many cases, our instinct to lovingly embrace others has been thwarted.

The price is that such tactics have siphoned the “love energy” from our desire to connect, indeed from our very lives. Though quite rampant in public, the evidence of hugs gone awry is often as close as our own fireside. We’ve all felt the falsity of an “A-frame” hug, where upper bodies barely touch and the dangerous lower halves remain estranged at a “safe” distance. Even with close relatives, a “comfort zone” devoid of love energy can sever the intimacy between us. A close kin to the “A-frame” hug is the sacrilegious “bump and kiss the air” hug, which deserves no further attention. And consider the “Rocky Balboa” hug, the semi-violent type that attempts to camouflage two men’s feelings for each other by using the double backslap, a close kin to a rabbit punch to the kidneys.

Watch closely next time you see one of these pathetic excuses for a hug happening. Then run—fast. Of course, I’m joking, yet if you find yourself in one of these awkward situations, rejoice that you now possess the ammunition to consciously alter it by interjecting some snugglege. That is, shift into slow—mo and move in close for the kill. Now, there is only one type of greeting that can elude the ego-killing “snug” hug: the completely lifeless, fist—to—fist “superhero” hug that appears to be spreading across the globe.

On a planet of human beings whose consciousness is evolving, why have such impotent forms of touch persisted? I surmise it’s because the mere prospect of hugging someone can elicit one’s deepest fears of not feeling loveable, which results in clumsy or even unconscious hugging behavior. Ironically, a tight hug can even be used to avoid intimacy—I call this the “Luca Brasi” hug because it keeps our friends close, and our enemies closer, thus masking suppressed anger with a person. This type of hug possesses all the warmth of a knuckle-crushing handshake, and though it looks polite and even loving, it carries all the tenderness of a full nelson.

The good news is: you can help eradicate all forms and manners of hug abuse today. How? By committing yourself to only sincere snug hugs from now on, and skipping the false pretenses and pleasantries. Every time you hug someone, consciously feel that your body contact is gentle and porous, as if both bodies are sponges circulating the same life-sustaining water between them. Notice the energy circuit moving and allow this gracious flow to be there, not efforting to make something happen. Make it a practice that you now release from physical embrace only when your huggee does—and don’t tell them what you’re up to. Remember, during a truly masterful snug hug, it’s impossible to tell who is hugging who.

In light of your being a snug-hug insider now, nothing but your past thoughts and concepts about hugging can restrain you from reveling in the subtle ecstasy of snug hugs every time. The chance to give and receive truly soul-satisfying hugs is always here. The only question is: How willing are you to let down your armor?

Penelope Love is the co-founder of Open-Heart Tantra and co-trainer for the popular “Tantra and The Law of Attraction” workshops. As a Tantra instructor and writer, Penelope infuses a Tantric approach into modern-day lifestyles for both singles and couples alike, clearly demonstrating how conscious sexuality and relationship can be utilized to fulfill our life purpose and creative destiny. To contact Penelope, visit her website for newcomers to Tantra. For more info on workshops and private sessions, go here.

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