The Zen of Sex. ~ Salvatore Celiento

Via elephant journal
on Oct 14, 2012
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Repeat twice more and then finally let loose and go for full orgasm.

So many attitudes and beliefs surround the desire to tear off someone’s clothing (or not) and ravish them until exhaustion.  In the West, some Christian attitudes regard sexuality as sinful, while others believe that sex should only be used for procreationThese ideas seem to do little to curb an immensely powerful drive (I’m thinking Evangelical pastors who visit prostitutes and then cry and beg for forgiveness in front of their congregation. Or, Mrs. Church Do-Gooder, who feels immense guilt and shame at her naughty thoughts about the young, toned, foreign neighbor).

Beliefs and attitudes towards sexuality can shape whether it is a cause of suffering or joy.

Some traditions go further—they say it can lead to hell, or on the other hand, to heightened awareness, happiness, vitality, knowledge and spiritual growth and enlightenment.

Ikkyu, a famous Zen monk, was open about his sexuality, and had numerous encounters with lovers. He wrote poems about it. According to some authors, we can bring the Zen attitude to sexual experiences. For example, during a sexual encounter, we can bring ourselves into the present moment. We can pay attention to being here and now with our lover (or lovers).

We can enter into pure awareness of the person in front of us, into the sensations our bodies are experiencing. We also have a chance to practice some Buddhist principles such as generosity, compassion, patience, loving-kindness and so on.

Making love can also be a chance to practice increasing the energetic component of our bodies, our prana, chi or ki (psychophysical energy). According to yogic traditions, including Vajrayana Buddhism, we have subtle pathways in the body (nadis) and energy centers (chakras) which involve the flow of psychophysical energy. Through various meditative practices (including sexual ones), we can experience states of physical, spiritual and psychological bliss and influence the way this psychophysical energy relates to the nadis and chakras.

With time, the question then becomes: how much pleasure can you handle? The pleasure experienced can be so blissful, that we may not be ready to deal with it.

One practice offered by Margot Anand, is to bring yourself to the point just before no return, just before orgasm, and then stop stimulation completely, take a deep inhalation and hold and clench the PC muscles at the base of the spine imagining that energy is being drawn up your spinal column. Repeat twice more and then finally let loose and go for full orgasm.

This is useful for several reasons: it is a practice which involves energy. For men, it is useful in controlling when you want to orgasm, and it increases the pleasure of orgasm drastically. Some Taoists recommend that men do not orgasm too often, and practicing this exercise without the orgasm can increase feelings of energy, confidence and sexual vitality.

The path of sexuality, with the attitude that everything about life can be brought on to the path of enlightenment, can be a source of great joy, happiness and experiences of deep pleasure and love.

According to some early Indian philosophers, in life, sex and sexuality should be a main area of study and development.


Salvatore Celiento is a qualified counselor, lecturer and reiki therapist who obtained a Bachelor of Social Science (Pastoral Counselling) degree and a Master of Counselling degree from Australian Universities. He completed his master’s thesis on mindfulness and meditation for people living with schizophrenia and anxiety. Salvatore’s paintings have been published in Offset No. 8, Offset No. 9, the haiku editon of ‘Going Down Swinging’ No. 30, literary journals and his poetry have been published in Offset No. 10. He has also appeared on an Australia wide radio station, Rete Italia. Salvatore is studying 9 ryūha of classical Japanese martial arts with the Sakushin dojo ( and studies Tibetan Buddhism in a traditional manner. Visit him at and


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4 Responses to “The Zen of Sex. ~ Salvatore Celiento”

  1. Josh Wise says:

    It's interesting that even when discussing sex we need to be reminded to be present. For me there is no moment I would rather be fully present to than to the act of making love, and yet there I am thinking about deadlines at work and a clever facebook status update. Ah, mindful love making. Bring the awareness back to the breath, back to the pleasure, and back to the moment. The thoughts about work can certainly wait.

  2. Salvatore Celiento says:

    I think we're all in the same boat Josh, not just in relation to sex, but every aspect of our lives. I guess that's why the meditative path is such a potent antidote to a wandering mind…

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