A forum member who doesn't post much, and who prefers not to start a blog, agreed to let me post his thoughts on what he calls "conscious loving." I thought you would all find it interesting.
I’m a man, at this point in time single. I make no claims to be any sort of role model in long term relationships. In regards to what I will call “conscious loving”, I can only share what I have experienced and felt, no particular expertise.
I joined this site because it was a way of "reuniting" with a past which had gotten lost. My interest in what I will call “conscious loving” goes back to my late teens when I read Island by Aldous Huxley. He talks about karezza and tantra in the book and the “maithuna of love”. Island is a Utopian book. Enlightened sexual techniques are taught to adolescents at school as a basis for living in society, family planning and understanding the differences between the sexes. While the book interested me, I had a hard job explaining its contents to girls whom I was dating at the time or getting anyone to read it and talk to me about it.
I learned about practising an enlightened form of love making quite young through a love affair with a somewhat older woman, a recent divorcée. She didn't have a name for it but it was all about being connected but at the same time still and not rushing towards anything. In a physical sense, I recall that she did have very well toned PC muscles which certainly helped tame and contain my wild youthful energy. It was more than physical. During the weeks that we were together we felt a deep connection on several levels. We could talk and just look at each other barely touching for hours. I had never felt quite like this before in my life. It was an affair that one may have during certain transitional periods in life. We didn’t break up. We were both on our way to opposite ends of the world and kept moving in these directions, each taking something from the other. From my side, I felt totally enriched.
Some time later I recall being with a young lady whom I had met while travelling and with whom I shared a mutual attraction. We had a short period together and one night found ourselves naked in bed together. She was afraid of getting pregnant, we didn’t have any condoms and she wasn’t on the pill. At the same time, we had this tremendous “high” just being together. We spent a night just closely intertwined and breathing together and then in the morning, she put me inside her. We stayed connected I don’t know how long, hardly moving, just “getting off” on each other’s presence. We weren't trying to get anywhere, we were already there. I remember the following day how we walked miles together totally "charged" by this energy, and then she got on her train and we said goodbye. The above two incidents could be described as “casual sex” in some books but I would have to say that they were far beyond that, at least to me, and these relationships enriched my life.
As I grew older, I had other relationships. I eventually married a friend and colleague whom I had known off and on for some years and we had 2 children together. We had a good life together in many ways, travelling and working in many parts of the world. In the long term, our relationship didn’t work out. I won’t blame either of us. Some things are just not meant to be. We drifted apart. I eventually found a "soul mate", a lady with whom I was able to share a conscious loving relationship as a life partner. I still remember one of her first comments: “We really sleep well together and I mean sleeping”. We did have incredibly restful sleep, in fact more restful than sleeping alone. Each of us seemed to know what the other wanted and needed in all senses. I won’t elaborate. We were able to blend our two families totalling 5 children. Unfortunately I lost my soul-mate to a serious illness. We remained very close right to the end.
I have been in relationships since, mostly good and sometimes approaching this kind of connection but never the same sustained level of energy sharing, often with small things getting between us and poisoning the relationship. I attended a tantra workshop with one lady with whom I was in a relationship. The workshop went well and for about a week afterward our lovemaking was both enlightened and intense. Then we drifted back into old patterns and the topic of our sexual relation was always a hard one to bring up and talk about, that and other things. We eventually came apart as a couple. So at this point in time I am alone but am learning from being in this state, lessons which I hope to take into some future relationship. I very much appreciate the re-uniting site and the fact that one is able to share and talk freely and openly about all of these issues.
The above then is my somewhat erratic experience in practicing “conscious loving” with various partners. Alone, using meditation, breathing techniques and direction of sexual energy through use of the “Microcosmic Orbit”, I have learned to use this energy as a healing force for old injuries, both physical and emotional. I have also learned to relax while in a state of stimulation, without seeking any particular goal except to enjoy the state of arousal and relaxation all at once.
This site is devoted to Karezza, at least in name. There are numerous Tantra websites, some very commercial offering instructions in “how to obtain mind-boggling, full body orgasms”, others with a very similar approach to what is being depicted here. The same can be said of Taoist approaches to sexuality. While the more commercial approaches are all about orgasms, others stress reaching and maintaining a “higher plain” in a relationship, rather than a peak. Whatever name one puts on “conscious loving”, the goals are quite similar. They are all looking at a greater intensity or greater fulfillment. I happen to prefer the more relaxed “higher plain” approach. There is no point in arguing who is right or who is wrong. That gets to sound like different religions or different denominations of the same religion. My own take is that conscious loving techniques have been around for a long time in many different cultures and are probably somewhere in our collective consciousness, waiting to be reactivated.
I believe that the basis of conscious loving is much more than simply physical. Emotionally, it means accepting vulnerability and mutual sharing of feelings. It means letting go of the ego and moving towards a joint entity, what we call in French “le nous”, what is essentially us, while at the same time respecting our individuality. On the physical side, there are certain practices which enhance mind-body interaction and ultimately conscious loving notably the following:
• Deep, conscious “belly breathing”. That’s how babies breathe. It’s interesting that we have to be “taught” this. It leads to the ultimate in relaxation.
• Meditation based on energy circulation using what is sometimes called the “microcosmic orbit”, drawing energy (chi or prana) up from the pubic area through the spinal column and the head and by touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth back down to the navel. I did have to be taught the meditation technique but the latter part, touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth came naturally, as a reflex action, something that I have always done when I wanted to “ground” my energy or emotions. I don’t recall ever learning it and I know many people who have this same reflex. To me it’s always been a great alternative to gritting one’s teeth.
• Toning of the pubocoxyc (PC) muscles. Women are taught this (Kegel exercises) during and after pregnancy and they are helpful to men as well both for prostate and urinary tract health. Instead of just flexing these muscles, I try to continually draw energy up my spinal cord and eventually spread it throughout my body.
As a man, I often “feel” certain emotions in my testicles. A PC “draw” is just a way of grounding these emotions. Conscious loving is all about a man and woman opening up to each other on many levels, finding a desired state and staying there in prolonged relaxation while at the same time stimulated and with senses in a profound state of wakefulness.
My life work on renewable energy and rural infrastructures has taken me to remote indigenous communities in many parts of the world, native communities here in North America, numerous South Pacific Islands and Mongolia to name a few areas. I have sat around a lot of fires at night and heard stories.
In the South Pacific, I made a lot of friends there not just through my work but also through team sports. I played with local teams, drank kava with my team-mates after matches, swapped stories and talked about life experiences. I got injured a few times and was taken to village "healers" who got me up and around again. I met both male and female elders in villages who shared a lot of knowledge with me. Many of the societies in that part of the world are traditionally matrilineal. The South Pacific Islands were never overpopulated and people on these islands had their own forms of birth control, some of which involved non-ejaculatory sex. Many islands had very cultivated forms of sexuality which were suppressed when the European missionaries arrived. I heard a lot of stories about this in island communities and I am sure that there are a lot that I didn’t hear.
I was in Mongolia on business in 1997 and stayed on for a couple of weeks in a nomadic camp living in a yurt, getting to know people and riding those crazy small horses over the steppes. The Mongolian wedding band is two intersecting circles of exactly the same diameter. It is really very ingenious. You turn the circles a certain way and they sort or stack next to each other with the circumference of one circle exactly in line with the other. Mongolia is a country where male and female are very much equal, not dominance of one sex over the other and they are very open minded about a lot of things. Both sexes are very strong people, each with a different and complementary strength. It was explained to me that interlocking, intersecting circles were twice or more as strong as concentric circles (a smaller one inside a big one) where either can easily fall away out of the orbit of the other or simply get lost in the other . There was also a whole explanation of yin and yang intersecting and the whole concept of the Microcosmic Orbit. The Mongolians are mainly Bhuddists of a sort with a strong sprinkling of shamanism. They do not have large families and practice a form of Maithuna as birth control. I was told that it was a great way to keep warm over the long winter nights in a yurt and the ultimate form of bonding which is what is required in nomadic life: merging of ying and yang.........and for that matter of egos.
Here is a quote which uses the word “Tantra” but look beyond that word as does the author:
“The way TANTRA is used and propagated in today’s Western culture, usually has very little resemblance with the original TANTRA of India. This grasping of the sexual aspect is not a surprise, since many people in the Western world are trying to free themselves from the sexual repression that distorted versions of Christianity have so successfully promoted………If one researches East-Asian TANTRA, and traces different paths in various regions of the Indian subcontinent, one naturally comes to the understanding that TANTRA is East-Indian Shamanism. Therefore, experiencing conscious unity within oneself, the world and the universe is the primary component as well as the real goal…… It’s love that can heal us and our planet, not ‘making love’, a technical term for a sexual activity. Love comes from the heart and has millions of ways to get expressed – and knowing how to perceive the flow of energy in the own body makes it possible to intertwine it with the energy of the lover. The unification in oneself is the base for the experience of unity with another one. Otherwise a relationship is prone to be based on dependency (where we usually play out the old psychodrama of our childhood). Mingling energy with a partner, one is able to feel unity in oneself, with the lover and with the universe. When – instead of games of seduction and conquering – the lovers are brought together by the energy vibration which is then further cultivated, the most beautiful, life-enhancing and ecstatic love-experiences are lived together.” (http://www.alloneness.com/en/tantra )
Someone recently asked me to describe what I mean by conscious loving. This is how I see it. Have you ever watched a good jazz ensemble perform and noticed how the musicians keep eye contact ? They pick up the beat from each other. Then they change the beat, together, sometimes one leading, then the other. Jazz is a continuum form of music without a beginning or an end. Keep eye contact with your lover, pick up each other’s nuances……..pretty soon you won’t even have to be verbal, eye contact will generate different kinds of body contact and soul contact, soul sex, soul mating. We’re talking about “non-climax” sex here, continuum sex. There can be drum rolls and saxophone or trumpet solos, cool stuff on the piano and sometimes that big old bass fiddle just pulsing away. There is never really an “end” as such. It gently fades out until the musicians (or lovers) decide to jam together again, picking up that old beat and attaining new levels of shared consciousness.