Seasonal Celibacy

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by lisa maria

scott blossom speaks on male sexuality and brahmacarya

A Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner and yoga therapist, Scott Blossom holds a degree in biology and has extensively studied anatomy, physiology, and Ayurveda with Dr. Robert Svoboda. Scott travels and writes extensively, teaching yoga and Ayurveda with his wife of seven years, Chandra Easton.

Since Scott discovered yoga fourteen years ago, he has diligently explored the connection between yoga and sexuality through his personal practice. After his daughter was born, a friend gifted him a copy of Mantak Chia's "The Multiorgasmic Man," and Scott began to make deeper realizations about the nature of male sexuality. Through his personal and professional observations, Scott has come to realize that most men in the United States experience a distorted and limited understanding of this powerful energy. He believes that men can reset and supercharge their sexuality through specific practices from yoga, Ayurveda and Taoism. We recently discussed this fascinating topic while Scott was making cornbread at his home in Berkeley, California.

Yogi Times: Scott, you have a deep dedication to yoga and Ayurveda and have dedicated your life’s work to healing. How does this relate to the realm of male sexuality?

Scott Blossom: We have such a sexualized media culture that men have a hard time imagining life without sex or sexual relief. It's only in the last fifty years that being sexually active has been equated with being healthy, which in some cases is true. Taoism, Ayurveda, and yoga all focus on conserving your jing (life essence), or ojas (vigor). Principally, the means to storing up this nectar of life (amrita) is male control of ejaculation.

From the Ayurvedic perspective, sexual release is very stimulating. It’s often not the first thing we think of someone doing to stabilize himself. Often there is a resulting tiredness — even falling asleep — but usually it’s more of a calm based on exhaustion rather than peace. To preserve the balance of the nervous system (vata dosha), one of the first things to do is stabilize the nervous system.

YT: What are the signs that would alert a man that his sexual energy is out of alignment?

SB: If they become frustrated or angry with their partner when they’re not in the mood, that would be a sign that their energy is driving a sexual response rather than a true emotional state. They feel compelled to have an orgasm, and if they don't, they don’t know how to handle that. The energy is too overwhelming for them.

YT: Are there any health conditions that could arise?

SB: When someone gets addicted to having sexual release, they get into a pattern of stagnation and they feel bad. They feel like they have to do it, and they can feel uneasy and nervous and tense, and mentally more emotionally reactive until they get that particular perceived need met. Often what men do to sublimate that energy is pick up different addictions like overworking, over-exercising, marijuana, alcohol.

YT: How would you speak to the conditioning of male sexuality in our culture?

SB: The sexuality that I learned from my father — the gender views and the objectification of women — just didn't jibe with what felt right for me. I decided to take a break from actively engaging in sexual relationships so that I could distill my own values and views of women.

Orgasm is the most spiritual thing the ego can experience. If someone’s in an ego-bound state — a rajasic (restless, desire-driven) state — then they will be driven toward the height of whatever an ego-bound state can offer. Sex, drugs and rock and roll are intoxicating for the ego.

When sexual energy is contained, it forces the ego to dis-identify with one of the most basic and powerful habitual drives that people construct. There's a fundamental shift about who you are if you let that go. Some of the tools of tantra provide a way of giving the ego that sweetness — that deep, down satisfaction — without sexual release being part of the equation.

Both the Ayurvedic and the Taoist traditions recommend a hundred days of celibacy, or Brahmacarya. A hundred days is a season. It's enough time for the limbic system — the basic drives — to be changed. My wife was completely supportive of this sadhana (practice) and we looked at it as a chance to cultivate emotional intimacy without using sex as a tool. Yoga is the path of liberation from everything, including something as basic and tantalizing as sex.

I've done this practice a few times, and the first month is a very intense shift. I really find it necessary to intensify my sadhana. I’m containing that powerful energy, harmonizing it and balancing it and creating a more sattvic (pure, peaceful) state for my bodymind.
YT: So what men typically think of as being a heightened sexual experience through the ego is really nothing in comparison to the state you can achieve by getting in touch with that energy in a yogic way?

MB: Right! We are being fed a very narrow message about sexuality in our culture, and people that are exposed to mainstream media on a regular basis grow up with a very narrow, physicalized view of sex. Essentially, the shift is for the man to have a multidimensional view of how they’re developing sexual bliss and their sexuality. It's not so much that they have to repress or let go of the physical; they're temporarily letting go of this very obvious, very easy-to-access form of sexual experience in order to experience the more subtle realms, whose depth and sweetness is really profound.

YT: What else do you experience during your hundred days of Brahmacarya practice?

MB: During the second month, I start to experience an ambient sense of bliss. I get more sensual joy just from being alive! My wife and I have learned that it is really important to enhance our skills of being sensual through loving touch, such as exchanging massages or cuddling. It's like being on a three-month first date. During the second month, it becomes clear that my sole means of expression and of making connections is from the heart. I literally wake up and think of ways to shower my wife and daughter with love, so I can get my needs for intimacy met, because the only means I have for being really deeply satisfied is through the heart chakra! Guys in America are trained to live from the second chakra. Women are more naturally in the heart chakra and are culturally trained to be in that place as well.

The third month is so blissful. Things just get higher and more wonderful! I thank God that the yogis were patient enough to look into things this deeply. I taste something that I would have never, ever considered if I had listened to all the mainstream cultural cues. Too many men think they are ready to be sexual rock stars, and they haven't even taken time to learn about the mysteries of their instrument. It’s like, "Let's plug this in and turn the amp up to eleven!"

Original article

Comments

Loving Hug Meditaion

I totally agree with this and have experienced this on many different levels. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," they say.

I'd like to comment on just one aspect of this article---the waking up of the heart. Here is a mystical experience I had---

First, the hug. When you are hugging your lover naked, there is a feeling of love that grows in the chest. If you pay attention to it, then you will recognize it, give it more of your attention and, in that way, make it grow in intensity.

Next (this is a Tantra meditation), you sit across form your lover, holding hands and looking into each other's eyes. Then you experience that same intimate bare hug in your minds only, letting your heart melt for your lover. The key is the melting heart (Siddha tradition). You need to learn how to turn that on at will.

Next, you sit alone in meditation and light up your chakra centers, then envision God or Goddess standing in front of you, then you embrace, letting your heart melt for that Divine Person, then you pull that archetype into your body (some say to step into the Divine Body) until they are inside of you. I am Christian, so the first time I tried this I used Jesus as my image. Next, you and the Deity inside of you turn your attention outward and give All of Creation a loving hug, letting your heart melt for the whole world. The world sends a rebound of love back to you in varying degrees.

Awareness is the key. You become aware of your chakra centers, then of the space in front of you, and see (or just sense if you don't visualize) God standing there, then you hug and become aware of your heart melting, then you pull the Deity into you body and your awareness shifts to your inner space. Lastly, you expand your awareness outward, mixed with this inner deity, and engulf the whole world. You might then feel the love of the world rebound and fill your inner space.

I don't do things my halves, ever. So, I set some time aside and did this meditation over and over for two whole days (with some breaks here and there). On the second day, I noticed my heart would pound very hard sometimes and I would feel an intense energy building in my chest. In the evening of the second day, I went outside to get some air and did the meditation again. As I turned my attention outward to hug the world, I felt the most intense feeling of love fill me that I had ever felt up to that time in my life. I knew that my heart center had just opened permanently. Accompanying this last 'hug' was a huge energy spike which filled my whole body.

This is my definition of a mystical experience---you do a meditation to the best of your ability and when your level of surrender reaches the right level, God will add something to your experience. That's the mystical part, the part God adds.

Earlier, as a result of a meditation I did, I opened up a second voice in my head, that of Goddess or Heavenly Mother. That didn't jive with my orthodox religious training and so I tried to ignore this new voice. Eventually, I realized that I couldn't do that and surrendered to Her, offering Her my whole love. Then on a second date, as I repeated this, She appeared in the Eye of Ra and stepped down and gave me a loving hug, just as Jesus had when my heart was opened. Then She merged with my body. Both encounters with Her were accompanied by intense love, beyond what I had ever experience up to that time. All of this happened to me without my doing anything to create this, it just happened, unlike the first attempt at this meditation with Jesus when I directed all but the last mystical part with my mind. The whole experience with Goddess was mystical, unexplainable.

Now, that is a long winded post, but keep this in mind as you hug in Sacred Sex. There is a lot more to this hug than you might have considered.

Thanks, Sam

What a beautiful sharing. I love the fact that you are so specific, too, although I suspect that each person will experience the heart opening in a slightly different way. It's definitely something innate. Reminds me of the experience Rivercurrents wrote about: pounding heart and feelings of bliss. I experienced something very similar in 1991, and it was the impetus for my continuing quest - as it seems that when partners can join their energies in this state they have even more potential for aiding others. I see you also feel the need to share what you're learning so that others can benefit. It seems this insight is not for selfish ends.

Your presentation of this experience as revolving around the "simple" hug is a brilliant way to teach it. Bravo. It's such fun having you here. Thanks.

melting

The concept of "melting" particularly appeals to me for some reason. I think the metaphorical heart is a fluid thing. I have often said I have a "hot tub heart". Maybe my perspective is colored by the fact that I'm Piscean, I don't know, but it works for me.
Thanks Marnia and Sam.
Cariad

Melting Heart

The term 'Melting Heart' comes from a book,"Babaji and the 18 Siddha Tradition." It's a book about the immortals of India. To me, it describes the feeling well. Mantak Chia calls this sensation the 'Heart opening like a flower.'

I wanted to call

an earlier draft of my book MELTing (Mutual, Ecstatic, Loving Transcendence), but it seems our assignment (Gary's and mine) is to explain the more logical aspects of regaining inner balance. Smile

Yet it's great having more "heart" folks on the team. It feels much more balanced.