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July 5, 2014

Mind-blowing Sex. When Meditation Isn’t Enough.

woman sexy bed orgasm

“In my sex fantasy, nobody ever loves me for my mind.” ~ Nora Ephron

We live in a culture that worships the intellect. We process and rationalize emotions in an attempt to make our experience of life neat and tidy. In relationship, we define our needs and negotiate their fulfillment.

We live in a fast-paced, over-stimulating, 140-character-status-update kind of world, in which we are usually focused on “doing” rather than “being.” It is part of our survival that we contain our emotional life to reason our way through our busy day. But the byproduct of this is a separateness; an alienation—from ourselves; from each other.

Ram Dass says, “The intellect is a beautiful servant but a terrible master. Intellect is the power tool of our separateness.” Buddhists use the term, “monkey mind” to describe the state of unsettled restlessness, confusion, distraction that we so easily fall into when we think too much. “Analysis Paralysis” is a syndrome that results from spending too much time connected to the intellect and disconnected from our hearts; our guts; our soul’s connection to something bigger than ourselves.

Mindfulness has blossomed from buzz word to become a legitimate tool in all sorts of organizations seeking to cultivate effectiveness, productivity and morale, from corporations and schools to hospitals and veterans associations. Even Coach Jürgen Klinsmann had the US National Soccer Team meditating as part of their World Cup training regimen.

We hear so much about the benefits of meditation to keep our minds in check, but there is another practice that can provide a deep, energetic recalibration. Sex. You know, that heart-pounding, body-mashing, face-devouring kind of sex that makes your eyes roll back in your head and feel as though you might actually be entering into another state of consciousness entirely.

In case you are looking for justification for indulging in this delicious practice, here are three reasons to have mind-blowing sex:

1. To Disconnect from Your Mind

We often think about taking a walk to clear our minds. Having sex with abandon is a great way to blow our minds. It is virtually impossible to engage our minds during sex. As arousal climbs, thoughts fall away.

Neuroscience tells us that during orgasm, brain activity shifts dramatically from the cerebral cortex (the reasoning part of the brain) to the limbic system and particularly the nucleus accumbens (the part of our brain which handles emotion, long-term memory, and pleasure).

This shift continues into the refractory period, or what we call the “afterglow,” as the brain releases oxytocin and prolactin, neurohormones, which decrease anxiety and cultivate bonding.

Sex engages what could be considered the heart center of the brain.

2. To Connect with Your Body

The by-product of spending time in our heads is not spending time in our bodies. Any kind of physical activity will pull our energy from thoughts to physical sensations. Running, cycling, dancing and surfing are all ways people commonly connect with their bodies.

The principle aspect of Vipassana meditation is bringing awareness of physical sensation as a pathway to enlightenment, and the practice of Tantra explores the connection between sexuality and spirituality by holding the human body as a pathway to the Divine.

However you frame it, fostering a connection to all parts of our own bodies is an essential part of our well-being and wholeness.

3. To Connect with Another Soul

As mammals, we are social, tactile and affectionate beings. Research shows that social connection reduces anxiety and depression, strengthens our immune system and boosts both self-esteem and empathy.

While community gives our lives context, touch is our first language. As infants, before we have verbal skills, our parents use touch as a means of expressing love and comfort. In a similar way, as adults, being held in the loving embrace of another communicates a message of comfort and safety. Add the physical intimacy of sex to the equation and you have the makings of a deeply healing and soulful experience.

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Editor: Travis May

Image: Flickr/WilVision Photography

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