Modern culture and the loss of soul.
We live in a culture that is addicted to speed, accumulation of wealth, status symbols and power.
We worship at the altar of material success, always striving to be bigger, better, stronger and faster. Productivity is the ultimate goal. Regardless of the type of work, few can escape the seduction to climb to the top. We run our bodies ragged on caffeine, unwind with the dead glow of a television screen and obsessively check our devices, terrified of missing the next important thing.
In the hustle and bustle of this technology soaked rat race, as we search and reach and compete for satisfaction, are we ever truly satisfied?
Stress and depression have become an epidemic.
Our loneliness has become fatal. Sexuality has been reduced to the most base, shallow and materialistic forms. Technology increasingly replaces real human connection through our fixations with online profiles and video games.
Authenticity and intimacy is lost as we obsess over our image and deny our inner experience.
Look around you. Everywhere you look there are human beings who are perpetually lost and dissatisfied. There is a collective feeling of emptiness and perpetual distraction. It is an ache that we all carry, constantly searching for someone or something to fill us up and make us whole.
We try to find it in entertainment, money, toys, drugs, marriage, pornography, job promotions and food.
We try to buy it, shop for it, earn it or ingest it. Yet we wind up perpetually longing for something more. Many of us wonder every day—is this what life is really all about?
In the midst of this dominant culture our tender hearts are aching for depth of connection.
We all crave to be nourished, fulfilled, contented and at peace, yet the promise of external stimulation often seduces us away from the nourishment we crave.
What is soul?
When we say something has soul, it means it has a particular depth and genuineness that infuses us with a sense of meaning that goes beyond our intellect.
Something about it feels more real than our day-to-day existence. A soulful experience is alive with fiery passion and raw emotional power. Its beauty moves us, activating our imagination, our longing, our joy and our grief. When we encounter the soul, we sense a profound truth that we can’t quite put our finger on.
In that moment, we are holding a precious mystery.
A soulful experience touches something deep inside of us. When this place is touched, it is as though we are making intimate contact with who we really are. It is vibrant and palpable yet mysterious and intangible. It is an inner experience of wholeness. In these moments we are infused with vitality, and a feeling of being truly alive.
We are all yearning for the antidote to our chronic feelings of emptiness.
In our honest hearts, what we really desire is a soulful connection to a deeper meaning that reminds us that we are alive. The paradox is that this soulful connection has been right under our noses all along. It is available to us in this very moment through the gateway of our own body, heart, awareness and sensations.
Sensuality has the potential to deliver us into the supreme nourishment, wholeness and feeling of aliveness we all are so fervently craving. Sensuality grabs hold of our wandering attention, bringing us into strikingly intimate contact with the present moment. Sensuality softens our grip of control, opening us up to receive the flow of life in all its mysterious beauty. Sensuality invites us to slow down, to drop the agenda of our busy lives and to savor and relish in the pleasure of our immediate experience.
The five senses are all doorways into a state of heightened sensuality.
Sight becomes a decadent play of colors and textures erupting with beauty and meaning. The smell of flowers, air and the sweetness of skin can awaken our passion and arouse our sacred longing. The sound of music can break our hearts wide open. The timber in a voice can send shivers down our spine. The taste of fruit or honey or flesh can transport us into a state of deep joy and celebration.
And, of course, touch.
Life touches us. In each moment we are being caressed by life. The touch of life is intensely intimate and we often attempt to numb and control when and how we will allow ourselves to feel existence moving through us. We fiercely defend ourselves as we reject the potential nourishment of this life force, desperately grasping for gratification outside of our own bodies.
Sensual touch has the potent ability to reverse this deeply ingrained neurosis. When we open ourselves to receive a touch that is both loving and arousing, our defenses begin to melt.
We begin to trust the flow of life force, surrendering to its power and imbibing its healing elixir. Truly sensual touch is touch is infused with genuine presence, depth, intimacy and raw emotional power. When we open bodies to receive this touch, we are plunged into the waters of soulful experience. It is within these waters that we can reach the depths of what it feels like to be fully alive.
Every single one of us longs for this kind of touch.
Touch that listens carefully to the language of our flesh, intuitively knowing exactly what will give us comfort, drive us wild and make us ache with ecstasy. We all long to be ravished by touch, taken by passion, cracked open by pleasure and held in deep affirming love. There is nothing more exquisitely vulnerable than being touched in this way, for it opens us to the place inside of us that feels like home, where we finally can rest in who we really are.
Explorations in soulful sensuality.
1. Take a walk in nature—soften your gaze and let your eyes rest on a specific color. Let your awareness absorb the vibrant intensity of this color. When attention wanders, dive deeper into the color. Imagine breathing this color into your body. Notice the emotions and sensations that arise. Allow the color to reveal its deeper meaning to you.
2. Find a flower, the nape of your lovers neck or some equally sweet smelling object. Close your eyes and inhale the scent. As you do imagine you are traveling into the very core of this smell. Inhale slowly into your belly. Pay close attention to your heart, and allow any movement to be felt within its depths.
3. Eat a peach, plum or other juicy fruit. Take 15 minutes to savor every flavor, texture and sensation. Roll the fruit inside the sides of your mouth, the back of your throat and tongue. Let go of all civilized manners and allow the sensual mess of eating. Ravish the fruit with total passion. Notice the feeling of nourishment as your belly becomes more full.
4. Listen to a favorite piece of music or nature sounds with your eyes closed. Throw the external world aside and plunge your whole being into the sounds as if you are making love. Notice the emotions and sensations that arise in your body as you allow sound to touch you intimately.
5. Explore touching your own body with extreme tenderness. Imagine the pain, resistance and fear that your body carries just by merely existing. Tune into the vulnerability of your body in its capacity to feel. Slowly, gently caress your flesh the way you would tend to a hurt animal. As you touch, breath softly into the sensations. Allow pleasure and pain. Comfort and discomfort. Explore how deeply you can open to the feelings which arise.