Submitted by Larry on
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Undoubtedly, the most important metaphysical event in my life was also the first one. It was when I opened a line of communication to God. There were two reasons why I succeeded---I had developed sufficient faith and will. The faith part was that I knew beyond any doubt that my Heavenly Father loved me and that He was going to talk to me. The will part was the get-up-and-go which it took to drive into the mountains on a regular basis, to prepare myself, and then to kneel in pray for two hours at a time, pleading with Him to make his will concerning my life's mission known to me.

One time, in the stillness of sincere prayer, I felt a wonderfully joyous feeling fill me and I heard just one word in my mind. I knew that it wasn't me talking to me. The sensation was of someone outside of myself speaking to me. The word was Service. I was elated. With continued effort, I became efficient at speaking with Father, until all I had to do was to call His name and kind of focus on wherever it was that He was speaking from. Then I would be filled with that same joy and hear a voice in my mind, saying, "Here I am, what do you want?"

Focus seems to be one of the keys. This is a hard one to get right until you've heard your first answer to prayer. To know where to focus before feeling God is like being told to open one correct door out of a hundred without being told which door. After you pick the right door once, you can do so again because you know the way.

Having a quiet body and mind for a sufficient amount of time is another key. When I was still learning to be inwardly quiet, I used Autogenic Therapy. It's the one where you say, "My feet are heavy," and so forth. This same technique is used by hypnotist to induce a trance. The last phrase I used was always, "I am at peace." Then I'd envision my peace image. For me it was a lake on a sunny summer day. Whatever image you use should be one which makes you feel relaxed and at peace. In time, it becomes a trigger for you to instantly take you into a deep mental state and quiet your body.

Smiling, especially with the eyes, will also bring you peace. There are innumerable ways to find peace. Sitting in a good restaurant and leisurely enjoying a meal with someone you love will bring you into this state. However you do it, once you are quiet enough, simply close your eyes and speak to God as you would your best friend. Be quiet and wait, expecting an answer.

Some people say to focus on the heart when praying. If that works for you, then go for it. Some look up into the heavens when they address God. My most common method is to simply open my awareness into wherever it is that He is, like tapping into another dimension. As you gain experience with talking with God, you may start to feel that He and you are both connected to All That Is. Then you may get feelings that you are God and He is you. These are just signs that you are beginning to break through the veil of separation between who you think you are and who you really are.

That's what prayer is all about---it's a small stone which, when thrown into a calm lake, sends ripples over the entire lake's surface. Consistent prayer will eventually break down your resistance to the Light. If you obey this inner voice which has awakened in you, then you will receive a stronger guidance, bringing you step by step into the Divine Presence, then you become that Divine Presence during prayer. Prayer is such a small stone to throw but eventually, it becomes the whole world.

What does this have to with Sacred Sex? Sacred Sex IS prayer---of a specific nature, nonetheless, it is an act of approaching God.

Comments?

Many of you have an inner voice or some other form of inner guidance. Talking about this and getting it into the open will help those who are still searching find that "voice".

Thanks Sam

for the reminder. As recovering atheist, I have some trouble with "God" and "He", and need all the reminding I can get.
Blessings

I was like you, Che

Certain terminology made me bristle. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..... But that's the beauty of aligning with Spirit. It could care less about the labels we choose...or resist. Wink If you prefer "aligning with the Tao" or "union with the immeasurable heart and all-knowing mind of the Mysterious Mother," to "listening to Dad (in heaven)" go for it!

Starting as a confirmed atheist, I kind of "backed into" Spirit. It happened while I was playing with creative visualization techniques. It became clear that something beneficent was at work in my life, although I tried hard to deny and resist it.

Now I just take it for granted, which makes life a lot more fun and meaningful. I figure..."Hey! Even if I'm making it all up, who cares? My life's a lot more fun this way!" And I'm often dumbfounded at the amazing insights It leads me to...often working through you folks here on the forum!

I have always connected through oracles, but I'd love to get a direct connection like Sam one of these days. *green with envy*

So True

I was listening to Alison Krause "Down to the River to Pray" and surprised myself by appreciating the Spirit in the song. "That good old way" 'tho written as christian can certainly also be the Tao. I prefer the Buddhist texts because I don't have to do so much interpreting and redefining.

The Stage We Play On

I no longer believe in "God". The Source or the Creator would come closer. On the other hand, I talk to God and Goddess and many other Celestial Beings face to face. I recall Goddess standing before me and hugging me, filling me with the most intense love I had, up that time, felt. I could feel her heart beat as we embraced. I could go on and on relating experiences. At some point in time, the stage of our archetypes is pulled aside and we see there are higher dimensions than Heaven and the gods. In other words, the gods are only players in a play just as we are.

I was taught how to pass into the void through something called the Mirror, a door right in front of you which can be opened and entered. This is the Source, I told myself, the Tao, the potential of all creation. Going there was always instructive; magick was always more potent. Then my teacher wrote me a short message---"From the Mountain to the Seeker. You are the Mirror!"

I stopped what I was doing and stood there, dumbfounded. The words "You are the Mirror" struck me, fastening me to the street. I instantly realized that if that was so, then I Am the Source. It meant that my subconscious mind was the Void, the Deep, the Universe. Any fragment of religious dogma I might have been clinging to vanished and I stood there, a man without religion. "I am the Mirror. I always have been," I told myself. "We are all the Mirror---one big cosmic computer program."

So, my use of He and God could have been Goddess or guide or any other word depicting the Divine. One has to start with what archetypes their religions training accepts or the inner voice will be fighting the belief system as well as all the other resistance it has to navigate in order to create a connection from you to the Divine.

I told one of my guides last fall, "You're only in my mind, aren't you?"

He replied, "I am more real than you are."

What that means, I have no idea. Life is like that. The longer I prod into the unknown, the more that I'm convinced that I know nothing about this.

Wow!

I was raised Lutheran, went into major rejection at age 14, and now that I am finding an interest in Spirit I do use the title "Lord" in my prayers 'tho it has nothing to do with that old stuff

You say, "I recall Goddess

You say, "I recall Goddess standing before me and hugging me, filling me with the most intense love I had, up that time, felt. I could feel her heart beat as we embraced. I could go on and on". Geez, who would need porn with a connection to the divine like that!

Comments?

My comment for you, Sam, is that I think you should write books. Maybe you already write books? I wouldn't be surprised. I just really appreciate your insights, and you should be prepared, because you and your wife might be about to take your place next to Marnia and Gary, on my mantle of personal heroes. It really means so much to me to see others success. This is the real reason I'm on this forum, but I sometimes forget that.

I've been formally taught to pray in two different ways throughout my life. When I was a young Jehovah's Witness, I was told that I had to pray to Jehovah, but offer my prayers through his son, Jesus. I still don't understand the purpose of that. Also, I was terrified of Jehovah, so I don't think prayer was ever anything I looked forward to.

About 5 years ago, I joined a Religious Science church, which also had it's own prayer program, which was more like reciting positive affirmations, just kinda directed at God. It was weird, but not nearly as terrifying as the former.

Now, I don't use either method. I kinda just talk, and hope that someone is listening. I've never felt a direct connection, either on my own or with the use of an oracle. However, I believe I have felt a force in my life - an invisible hand, if you will. I know I've been lucky at times that I really should not have been. I cannot attach a face or a personality to this force so much, because then I must wonder why on Earth I would be chosen to be lucky, while others suffer. Instead, I choose to show my gratitude by doing my part to help others who suffer. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Lately, I've been feeling more eager, or perhaps desperate would be a better word, to meet this force face to face - or in whatever form that one is able to meet this force. I want communication and especially, reassurance, that what I'm doing has some bigger purpose. Your method suggest slowing down - literally, slowing the body - in order to hear. And I think this might be my problem, at least one of them. I find it very difficult to slow down. I'm either on the go, or I'm really lazy. I have yet to find an in between that I can sustain for any length of time. But I appreciate your approach, and I hope I can learn by your example.

-Mari

Very, very interesting!

Sam, this is intriguing.

The notion of "Service": On "Service", your experience is consistent with what many Catholic Saints have written about in their own experiences. It is also consistent with Jesus' lifestyle of Service; He was God and yet he served us.

Sex as a prayer: This is absolutely consistent with what John Paul II wrote about in Theology of the Body.

The idea of God being one with us, and us one with God: This is very very similar to the mystery that Catholics call "grace"; the mysterious participation of God's life in ours. (For example, I attribute my desire for recovery from porn to God's grace, a force acting outside myself, because I acting alone could certainly not have come this far.)

I am intrigued that you were able to experience all this through prayer. Please do keep writing as you have more of these experiences!

Chris

Answers to your comments

Aphrodites Chela---You said that you still use the word Lord in prayer. I use the term Father taken from the longer term of Heavenly Father because that was the way I was taught to pray. Yet, is this Being a father? I have no idea. The terms we use are very important, nonetheless. They become code words which can be programmed to be a trigger for opening up a line of communication to the Divine.

hotsprings---Ha, ha, I'm sure you teasing. I feel laughter, maybe even a giggle, rippling through the airwaves. The feeling of hugging Goddess wasn't sexual. For those of you who have been playing with Sacred Sex for a while, you have undoubtedly experienced that feeling of total adoration, that flow of energy through the chests between you and your lover; maybe it feels like a lump, being almost painful at times, which endears you to him/her. That is what I felt that day with Goddess; that's what made it so real for me.

Discordia---The question is---what does it do to a person who feels God/Goddess every time they hug their lover? My wife said that it depends on what they feel God/Goddess to be like. If a person thinks of God as being harsh or vengeful, they may not recognize the feeling of Joy and Light as being God/Goddess.

There is another feeling beyond the melting heart. You may be swallowed up in the heart energy, being totally open there---this is one of the gifts of practicing Sacred Sex on a regular basis---saying to yourself that this was the most delicious of feelings and wonder what you ever saw in normal sex, then like a bird soaring upward and breaking through the clouds into the golden light of a clear sky, you feel an almost unbearable joy fill you. There is no description that can explain. When this power enters your world, then you will understand. Over time, other doors into the Light are transversed. Then the ultimate, for me, opens up one day---your lover becomes God/Goddess. The intense feeling of light and joy streams through you from him/her with every touch. Sex is never the same. This is what the Tantra folks mean by saying that their lover becomes Shiva or Shakti.

Yes, there is a book coming. Marnia is encouraging me and plans on passing my manual script on to her publisher to give it a better chance---bless her for her help! The title is "Celestial Passion---My journey into the arms of Goddess."

May I suggest that by looking into the Light and seeing God/Goddess face to face, you can help others who suffer even better than now.

Herbert Benson's book, "The Relaxation Response" talks about spending about 20 minutes of quiet in preparation---that takes on a variety of forms from simple breath awareness in meditation, to sitting with someone you love in a restaurant, to feeling that 'in the zone' feeling that comes after about 20 minutes of swimming laps, or even knitting in a monotonous rhythm---then a flow of inspiration will suddenly come to you.

http://www.holisticonline.com/Remedies/Anxiety/anx_relaxation-response.htm

Answer to prayer doesn't have to be a voice or even an impression. Some people simply notice something (maybe a blip on the TV or the neighbor's dog running by) which clicks in their mind and they understand the answer to their question. Years ago, when my wife and I first started experimenting with Sacred Sex, we noticed that I would get much better and stronger answers to prayer after sex. She would have her list of questions ready when this would happen. I think she enjoying having a ouija board for a husband. Often, I would feel a huge spike of energy fill me in answer to these prayers. This was the Divine downloading the answer. Sometimes it would take hours or longer to interpret the very complex feelings embedded in this spike energy into English, then it would take many paragraphs to lamely try to explain what I was told.

Sacred Sex isn't only about stillness. Imagine what it would feel like to go back to sex after having one of these energy spikes fill you. As fun as that was during those years, the experience pales when compared to an open heart or this other world feeling of God/Goddess filling you. I was experimenting with energy back then. This is the playground of the navel chakra---moving energy. That's only the second rung of the latter. But . . . each rung must be transversed, nothing skipped. Then with all the chakras open through to the Third Eye, you feel the sex energy move upward from arousal, energy movement, emotional release, an open heart, better communication, to opening the gateway into the Light.

kurisu---This thing that Marnia has dedicated her life to teaching is not new. The mystics of old from all traditions have understood this stuff. I have a deep respect for the Catholic traditions. I see hints from the Masters of old riddled throughout it's many rituals.

Service is a key. I find it encouraging that my first word from God remained consistent in all my experiences. That first answered prayer has been like a thread running through my life, each piece of Divine communication has been nothing more than an extension of that first message. Perhaps God gave me the answer to ALL my prayers at once that day and I am slowly opening up my soul as to become more and more capable of feeling and understanding that answer.

You and I and all of you are just One being of Light. We are all the Source on a very deep level, deep in our subconscious. Perhaps there has only been one answer to prayer for all of humanity, and as we open up more and more, we begin to feel parts of this one Divine message. What would be the grand summary of this One Answer to Prayer if we could see it clearly? Love is supreme? Would that be it? We are all One with the Divine? What is the grand summary? I'll suggest that it would be that we actually were never separate at all. Our feelings of separateness is only an illusion. Passing into the crown chakra is the final lifting of this illusion. This is the capital of the pillar, the last ascent into the Light. Though I haven't passed this door, I feel sure that Sacred Sex is a valid path, not just part of the way, but all the way from root to crown, from red light into violet.

I was gone the past two days, as I said. My wife and I were visiting with Gary and Marnia. They only live a couple of hours away. I don't know why we didn't do this before. They are two of the most open and loving people I have met in along time. If you haven't met them in person then you are missing a great treat. She is really good with her I Ching and I was very impressed with the accuracy of it as she demonstrated. But, she kept saying that she would like to just talk to the Divine directly. As I pondered on this early in the morning, I was given a fresh understanding of how prayer could be opened for a seeker. It will take a while to write it out so I'm posting this and I'll post my ideas about opening up the prayer connection later.

One of the tidbits

Sam and his wife shared with us was some channeled material about sex from "The Law of One."

Part 1: http://www.lawofone.info/results.php?search_string=sex&search_type=any&s...

Part 2: http://www.lawofone.info/results.php?search_string=sex&search_type=any&s...

Some of you may know the books that these excerpts come from, in which case more of the material will make sense to you. But even without that background (which I lack), the material is interesting.

One point is that as the sexual energy moves into the heart and above, the energy has to shift from "self" to "other." And, if I'm reading it right, ultimately not just from self to lover, but beyond one's lover to selfless service for all of mankind. Maybe we're learning to make love as an energy exercise on behalf of all...as a way of "grocking" our actual oneness. Dunno. But I like the concept.

According to this information, ultimately, the merging of sexual energies on this selfless basis can lead back to a state in which the sexes no longer experience themselves as separate. I sense there's something about the illusion of separation that conventional sex helps keep in place, which serves as the "veil" that makes us convinced of our limitations.

In any case, there's way more to learn, and it's great having Sam (and indirectly his wife, who is clearly a critical factor in his ability to pull in this Greater Information) here to share his insights.

By the way, he thrives on questions. So even if he has a lot of work to do right now...writing his new book Wink , your questions and inspirations are likely to help him hone his effort. If we're all one...then every project is a group project. At least, that's how I see it.

Prayer, a lesson on opening the channel

Marnia, in the words of RA, "This is correct and perceptive. You, as questioner, begin now to penetrate the outer teachings."

After having quite a lengthy conversation with his guide, Todd Michael opened up the following dialogue---

"This is crazy. Am I imagining you?"

"Of course. [laughter] All communication with Spirit takes place through the imagination. The imagination, the part of the mind that can synthesize images, is one of the highest faculties of the mind. Don't knock it. It is the end result of several billion years of painstaking evolution. Second only to love, the ability to imagine makes human beings sons and daughter of the great Creator. All creation, all great accomplishment, and all communications with the Spirit begins with the imagination.

"Your real question lies within your question. You are really asking, 'Do we exist as real beings in your mind?' The answer is yes. We exist. independently of you and are in many ways far more 'real' than you.

"Don't misunderstand. Although the faculty of imagination enables you to hear us, we are not 'imaginary' as such. We are not mere fragments of your imagination, mere fantasy. The words that are forming in your mind are real words from real beings."---from "The Evolution Angel" by Todd Michael

This has also been my observation. The Taoist taught that, "First you imagine a thing, then it becomes real." Many others have said the same thing. This is not a new idea. As Todd pointed out, you can use your imagination to connect to your guides in the unseen worlds. You can also use it to create changes in your inner world as well as this physical one.

Prayer. It's an amazing thing, both a form of communication to the Divine and a power to create. For those of you who haven't yet learned how to listen to Spirit, here are some suggestions---

1) The first step is obvious and so may be over looked. You must really want to talk to the Creator or nothing will happen. Desire, deep desire is the first requirement. With this first step taken, you become a Seeker. Everything else written below applies to Seekers. It is the first step, it is a choice, made consciously by you to talk to Creator.

2) Pick a name for your Divine Presence. This is a code word for your Deity, a name to call upon in prayer. It will work best if this word agrees with your religious background, even if you no longer attend the church of your youth. It can be changed later if you wish.

3) Yang energy is easier to talk to. Does addressing a male Deity really bother you? Try to get over this. It's not about saying the Divine is a man. I assure you that the Creator is neither male nor female. This is about our ability to talk to the Divine. Yang energy is easier to talk to. Let me explain---

I was studying on how to hug God. This lead me to reminiscing. I recalled hugging Mother when I was young. It left a good feeling in me that neither time or misfortune could erase. As I pondered on this, I was carried away in the sensation of holding Mother and feeling my heart melting with love and affection for her. My mind had traveled back to those times. It was a special remembrance, that of Mother.

Then my mind shifted to God. "What would it feel like to hug God?" I pondered. My guides were at this time telling me that this is the next step, to hug God. "I wish God was like Mother, it would be easier to hug a Mother in Heaven." Then I thought of the differences between hugging Mother and hugging Father, my earthy parents. He was full of body-energy, he made me tingle, like light filling me. Talking to God was like this too, like being zapped. Hugging Mother felt different—full of passion and love, tender feelings. Crying and laughter were always easier in her arms. Father gave me peace and filled me with knowledge. Mother helped me understand things that remained unspoken, how things felt. I would ask Father questions to appease my curios mind. Mother filled me with wisdom that was useful only in an inner world, a place deep inside of me where there were no words, no language.

God was a lot like Father, not so much like Mother. "Is there a Mother Goddess out there as well?" I asked. I suppose I was addressing God. "I felt a warm glowing sensation growing in my belly, like when I get really full of energy there from doing my deep breathing. "Mother, are you there?" I repeated. The feeling spread into my heart. I used my mind to recall the sensation of hugging my mother as I had done when I had first sat there to meditate. Then a being of light appeared before me in my mind---a woman with outstretched arms, ready to embrace me. She was beautiful, filled with golden light and glorious beyond any earthy description. We held each other. My heart started to shake, tears filled my eyes. I could feel the throbbing of her heart as she pressed her chest against mine.

That's yin energy. It's easier to get information from the yang energy. If you want to hear a voice, to get advice, then you need a male deity. So, let's start with a male God. In time, a channel to the yin energy will open as well and bring balance.

3) Silence. stillness. How does one seek in stillness?

I meditate, especially in the morning. I like to sit in the sun on my porch on a sofa facing east. The view from there is of the countryside. The sofa is embedded with my energy. I sit there in the sage position, my left heel pressing on my perineum, back straight, and breathing slowly from my whole being, drawing in both air and prana. This sofa has become a kind of temple for me, a place where I find it easy to slip into other worlds. Breath is the key to silence. If I sit quietly and simply become aware of my deep, slow breathing, I am filled with the peace of God's presence.

Some suggest that you need at least 20 minutes of stillness before your mind is quiet enough to hear God. So be warned that this may take some time and patience on your part.

4) I mentioned my Peace Image in the first post of this thread. "Just what am I doing with this image of the lake which gives it the power to transform my mood?" I questioned. Upon reflection and observation, I found that the image is not two dimensional as you might think. It is three-dimensional and I am projecting myself there. I am at the lake in sensation as well as sight---smells, wind, sun radiation, movement of the trees, and so forth.

Back to prayer. I want you to create an image of the Deity to go along with the name you came up with. What does He look like? Use your imagination. It's OK if you are making this whole thing up, it really is. Your image is only going to act as a door into a real conversation with a real being who wants more than anything else for you to open this channel up. This yang energy channel. Next, create the place this deity lives or exists. Is he a shaggy old guru with a long beard sitting serenely on the bank of a peaceful river? Or a dazing God standing among the clouds surrounded by a multitude of angels? It is your choice. Then do as I did with my peace image, step into it, let it be three-dimensional and project yourself into it. What do you feel?

5) Passive Observer. Being still also means not being anxious about the outcome of this attempt to pray. Enter this Seeking as a passive observer. As children, we are taught to concentrate hard and actively when trying to achieve something---that the harder we concentrated and the harder we worked, the more likely we were to achieve our goals. This approach has its place. However, being a passive observer is just the opposite.

I know I've asked you to use your imagination, but now that you have created a name, image and place for your Deity, I am asking that you let go of the outcome. You have created part of the bridge from this world into the unseen world and stand there swaying at the middle of it---the remaining part of the bridge is missing, and your foot is reaching out into empty space. Simply blank out your mind and allow God to providing the rest of the bridge. And he will, if you insist. Just stay blank and refuse to use your imagination to create the message. It is true that you have totally made up the name, face and place, but the message you get from this experience will be from a real being, a Divine Presence, if you let go and know beyond doubt that the message will come.

6) As a first attempt, you may say hello and them be silent and observe what happens. The answer doesn't have to be in words. Images may come to you, or a feeling of peace. However it comes for you, it will be evident to your mind that you have indeed receive Divine communication. Try saying, "Thank you, ___(name which you have chosen). Repeat it ten times. You may find that by the time you get to about eight repetitions, you are feeling the Spirit filling you with gratitude. Let this feeling build in you. It is a beginning. Dr. Len has masterfully designed some additional phrases to use here. They are, "I love you, I'm sorry, I forgive you, I thank you." Repeat these a few times and observe how you feel.

Sooner or later, you must ask your Deity this question, "Do you love me?" If you hear or feel the answer that you are loved unconditionally, then you have found a true inner voice or guide. If the voice says that it loves you but only if you don't do such and such, then it is not a true guide. Go deeper, stillness is the gateway into the Divine. God/Goddess sees you as perfect. Anything less than this coming from a guide is telling you that this is not a true guide.

There is only one reason that you would not get a response. It is that you have blockages that do not allow it. There are many ways to clear such barriers from EFT to acupressure to diet to a blessing from your religious leader. Know this that the barriers are self-made, and being such, you also have the power to tear them down.

7) When you have opened your line of communication, you may ask for guidance and blessings to your hearts content. That doesn't mean you'll get what you ask for, but that is a whole other topic. I have one more important piece of information. In step two, I mentioned that your chosen name for the Divine will become a code word. With continued use, the word will become a trigger which you can use to open the line of communication to God instantly---no quiet preparation, no imagery---you just say the word and a voice accompanied by Divine peace will pop into your head, saying, "Yes, I am here, what do you want?"

God bless you and I wish you luck,

---Sam

Ascension

Sam said: [quote]This is the playground of the navel chakra---moving energy. That's only the second rung of the latter. But . . . each rung must be transversed, nothing skipped.[/quote]

I've got a few questions. First, is it true that Mantak Chia puts the navel chakra at the navel itself? If so, that's different than the hara and tan tien, correct? In my practice, I put the 2nd chakra, tan tien, and hara all at the same place, which is an inch or so below the navel. In my Zen and martial arts training, this is where they say it is, and I can feel that this is where it is now too. Is that wrong?

Second, in Zen, we focus solely on the 2nd chakra (or hara or tan tien, if there's indeed a difference), but this leads to things like enlightenment (7th or crown chakra) and opening of the heart (4th chakra), maybe even third eye (6th chakra) stuff, though visions and other psychic phenomenon are considered distractions to the ego and are to be ignored, and throat (5th) chakra stuff like a strong kiai (if that's even a 5th chakra thing...).

I asked my teacher once why we don't focus on the other chakras and also raising the chi up the spine instead of just sinking it to the hara all the time. He didn't know.

My thinking is that maybe Zen is a highly focused, pared down to the essentials practice, and therefore reaches deep levels in a way that other systems might see as incomplete. The enlightenment is the highest enlightenment, but other things remain undeveloped. Thus, it might be a matter of focus. Enlightenment is already so hard to get to, they chose to sacrifice other things. Physical health for example.

Another idea I had was that if you really focus on the 2nd chakra, due to it's unique properties (e.g. being the seat of intuition and a place where unlimited amounts of chi can be stored), all chakras open when it opens.

Any thoughts?

Q & A

Tantra11,

Quote Tantra11: I've got a few questions. First, is it true that Mantak Chia puts the navel chakra at the navel itself? If so, that's different than the hara and tan tien, correct? In my practice, I put the 2nd chakra, tan tien, and hara all at the same place, which is an inch or so below the navel. In my Zen and martial arts training, this is where they say it is, and I can feel that this is where it is now too. Is that wrong?

I only simplified my comment to avoid a complicated explanation. Hara is Japanese, Tan T'ien is Chinese. They are the same thing. The location is another story. There are steps. The teachers don't expect the student to get it exactly correct at first and so they start you at a spot on the skin just below the belly button.

The true Hara is inside your belly, halfway between the place just under your belly button and your spine. The first way to wake this center is to spin energy in ever widening circles beginning at spot just under your belly button. You will feel energy collecting there. Mantak Chia teaches this. To get into the true Hara, you can place your awareness on the spot just below your belly button and then simply dive into your gut with your mind. You will know when you get this right because it will feel odd, like an energy baby is growing there. Unlike the feeling of doing the orbit, which is normally a tingling feeling, emotions will begin to mix with the old energy sensations. If you are getting answers to prayer or you can recall the nice fuzzy feeling you get in church sometimes, you will notice that this Hara energy sensation is very similar. Breath is the source of this energy. We not only breath in air, but prana with each inhale. As you learn to breath from your belly as your normal way to breath, more and more prana will fill you. Life gets more interesting after that. The vortexes (chakra) which projects out form your spine and belly at that level is a gateway for prana to enter your body. Breathing from you center (Hara) as I described will draw prana in through these vortexes.

The opening to the Thrusting Channel is on the perineum closer to the anus. It is an invisible hole. I found it by accident years ago. It connects with the true Hara and then runs through the true Solar Plexus and ends at the heart where it connects with the Functional Channel. Breathing in through this Thrusting Channel is the ideal way to energize your True Hara. It is balancing. It works on your emotions to fix glitches in your inner programming. You become more reasonable after beginning this kind of energy work.

Quote Tantra11: Another idea I had was that if you really focus on the 2nd chakra, due to it's unique properties (e.g. being the seat of intuition and a place where unlimited amounts of chi can be stored), all chakras open when it opens.

All chakras are a hologram of the whole system. You cannot meditate on the Hara without energizing the upper chakras if they are ready to wake. This practice of staying with the Hara in mediation is a valid path and I deeply respect Da Mo who founded the Zen path. I suspect that much has been lost over the years. All ancient systems are suffering from the same loss of data. Sacred Sex concentrates on the Heart Center and will open it. The heart is the middle energy center, being the last of the physical centers and a gateway into the void or higher three centers. There is no reason you could not mix the Hara meditations with Sacred Sex and work on the heart and the Hara at the same time. It should bring interesting results.

Quote Tantra11: Enlightenment is already so hard to get to, they chose to sacrifice other things. Physical health for example.

The loss of health is the result of an non-holistic approach to waking the chakras. Balanced awakening will bring better health, even a returned youthfulness, if the old stories are to be believed.

Let me share with you an experience from my journal. This happened to me years ago with only the Navel Chakra open---

I was meditating and had just gotten started, having done the orbit a few times. Without any warning, I felt an immense energy building in my tail bone. I was really shaking with energy that day. This was an indication that the current was going strong. I was pleased.

It felt as if some massive pool of thick energy had woken up down there, then part of it poked itself up into my spine. Then the energy continued moving up, one vertebrae at a time. It was nothing like what the orbit had felt like. It seemed to be widening the path upward as it went.

Nothing I had read about had prepared me for this experience. I had no power to stop it from happening. I had lost control.

"I changed my mind," I pleaded. But on it came, like a truck of bricks barreling down the highway in slow-motion. "What would it do when it reached my head," I worried. Then bam! the energy stopped at my neck. It was blocked. The pain was unbearable. Not the kind of pain you might be familiar with; it was the pain of energy getting stuck somewhere and not being able to move. There's nothing quite like it. After awhile, the pain subsided and I sat in a daze wondering just what had happened.

The next day, there I was, sitting in meditation. I never back down from anything, it's a trademark of mine. The same thing happened again, except I was ready for it this time. I envisioned the energy passing into my head with all my might. "Just let it pass," I kept on pleading. And it DID pass my neck and into my head, then I wished it hadn't. My head felt like it would explode. It kept filling and filling, getting fuller and fuller. I was trying to pass the energy down the frontline to my belly as fast as I could, but it wasn't fast enough.

I began to really start suffering from the pressure in my head, when I remembered reading about the tongue position. I felt like the connection through my tongue was the bottle neck, the spot that wasn't letting enough energy through. Placing the tongue by the front teeth felt good because the tongue just naturally rests there when I wasn't even thinking about it. But, to allow more energy to flow out of the head, I was told to place the tongue as far back as I could, almost into the throat.

As soon as I did this, I felt the excess energy slowly drain out of my head and into my belly. I still recall the sensation of this pool of energy the size of a dinner plate pulsating there. It felt very heavy.

Some people might say that this was the kundalini waking. I say that it was my Navel Chakra waking. Once this door is passed, there is no turning back. The released energy will drive you on into other experiences.

Are you Seeking enlightenment? What does this mean to you? What do you feel will be the outcome of this enlightenment?

Enlightenment

Thanks for all the info. It's interesting that you say the easiest way to energize the navel chakra is from below, while in Zen it comes from above. I'll have to experiment with the other way. The Zen was develops the characteristic hour-glass shaped belly. I remember when my teacher showed me his belly, and I was shocked because it looked just like in the statues of Da Mo. It's very different from the regular, fat belly non-practitioners get when they put on weight. The Zen big belly seems to increase the hara power. Do you think the same effect can happen from energizing it from below?

As for whether I'm seeking enlightenment, I suppose you could say I am. Have you read The Outsider by Colin Wilson? I don't recommend that book, really, due to it's incredibly scholarly nature, but it's the only book that I've found that describes my personality so well. Some people just see too deeply and feel too much and therefore will not be satisfied by the sane and normal compromises everyone else makes. I felt so sorry for all the people, the Outsiders found in the history of art and literature, because, with rare exceptions, they remained tortured their whole lives. If only, I thought, they'd lived in a culture where Zen or other systems of spiritual training were available, they could be saved such anguish. One, I think, became a Christian monk, but that was the exception. I think Christianity is so directed at the layman and therefore the importance of faith that a mind that "sees too deeply" cannot accept it. Too bad, though, because mysticism, the direct experience of the divine, is the same no matter how you get there.

To answer your question, I'm seeking enlightenment in the way that a bird flies. Given my Outsider nature, for lack of a better term, "seeking" is just what I do. It's like how they say in Zen, you don't meditate because you want to go somewhere--you're already there and meditation is what's done there.

As for what enlightenment means to me, well, I guess all I can say is that the glimpses I've had so far of the dissolution of the ego have been so profound, that I can't imagine wanting anything else. When young, I was a pretty big control freak (not of other people though, just myself), opinionated, incapable of admitting wrong, and overall pretty egotistical (though appearing humble, not the kind of egotistical that lords it over others). I had some minor enlightenment experiences in Zen, but those fleeting moments of peace and connection are nothing compared to the openness that came from pounding my head against the wall for over a decade trying to maintain my ego in the face of a very stubborn disease (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). When I finally surrendered into acceptance, there was no earth-shattering enlightenment experience, but if I look back on how I was before and how I am now, I am filled with gratitude for the dissolvement of my ego that has gradually taken place. It was the hard way to learn the lesson, but since I probably was too prideful to learn it any other way, if I had to do it all again, I wouldn't change it.

I want to go further, haven't even had Kensho. I see the path of spiritual training as a great adventure, and it fills my life with meaning. I tried the conventional path and was well on my way to a lucrative career in Silicon Valley, but I know I'm far happier with the way my life has gone. CFS came, I think, in large part because I'd deviated from my true calling, seeking the safe route of money and respectability. It brought me back. To answer your question, the outcome of this enlightenment will be a life of service. My experience and path has been unique, and I think I may be able to help many people, not the least of which, the Outsider-type who I think tend to need remedial help. I know I did, and hopefully I can make the path easier for my kindreds than it was for me.

Lovely post, Tantra

Service and forgiveness (of self and others) keep showing up here...along with healthier diets. Wink

I have a question, which may be silly. What does Zen say about union between partners? My sense is that there are often two paths in these traditions: solo and partnered.

For better or worse, I keep being pushed toward learning more about the "two-by-two path," so I'm always curious about what others have to say about it. I found a site about Japanese tantra, but it was very orgasm-focused, so I realized it was not what I was learning.

Very enjoyable post. My

Very enjoyable post. My observations are probably unique and certainly can't be anything like mainstream thought on the path into the light. That said, I don't see enlightenment as a flash of light. For me it has been a shift of awareness only. Sure, I had a good deal of other world experiences, but I value the change in my perspective more than anything else. And this shift can take place in VERY slow motion, over a period of years. My wife says I'm a better person than before I began doing all this strange mystic stuff. Other than that, what has really happened? I look out at a crowd of people and I only see one person there, like we are all part of a web or net and not separate. This sensation is new to me and I don't know what to think about it.

So, I am seeking ways to serve. I'm attempting to write a book and wonder if what I experienced early on when I was doing all that energy work is even worth setting in words. Even the work I did in the upper chakras is losing my attention. Everything seems to be fading away.

In what ways do you seek to serve?

Service

Marnia, I have heard that Japanese Zen, at least, has been influenced by Taoism and Tantra, but the tantric aspect doesn't seem to encompass sexual tantra. They walk around carrying a stick to whack you with, though. That's Zen's Tantra, in that it uses your desire to not be whacked to help you wake up and steel your resolve to keep going. It works very well, despite coming from the ego. Also, the whole koan system, in the Rinzai school (Soto is less tantric), seems to be tantric, where the ego desire to solve the koan is used to motivate.

Probably in Zen, relationships are seen as hindrances. I mean, generally, spouses tend to resent their partner going off for a week-long retreat several times a year... kinda cuts into the family vacation time, know what I mean?

Sam, I've read that enlightenment can be sudden or gradual. The Zen path tends to produce sudden ones, and I think different personalities also are prone to either sudden or gradual. During my first sesshin, I was suffering so greatly that I realize now in retrospect that I was blanking out. At the time, I thought I was falling asleep, but if it was regular sleep, my head would have nodded. I'd sit, start to get unbearable knee pain, blank out, and the sit would pass by in an instant. It was like grace. Any sane person would've gone home and done some stretching before trying another sesshin, but I stuck with it. At one point, I woke up, looked around, saw all the other people sitting there in silence, and I had no knee pain, just a sense of peace and holiness, like we were all one. When you see a crowd of people as only one person, isn't that the beginning of seeing all things as one, which is what enlightenment is?

I think a book like you describe would be valuable to beginners. Have you read Glenn Morris's Pathnotes of an American Ninja Master? He describes his experiences with kundalini and the like, but he laments that he lacked notes from the time and had to reconstruct things after. I liked the personal touch and got a lot more out of it than books that remain abstract and theoretical. It helps to hear about another person's experiences... makes the whole thing seem real and possible. Maybe I'm just a skeptic, but when I read books like Mantak Chia's, I always question whether he knows what he's talking about. I can see why writing it would not hold your interest, though. Words pale compared to the actual experience.

You ask how I seek to serve. Well, since I've devoted my life to spirituality, I will serve others who also walk that path and able to learn from one who's gone before, being for them what I so sorely needed when I was starting out. Also, others who may not be on the path but are in pain... my heart goes out to them. I sense there's a healer in me. I might also be a bit of a maverick or renegade and might seek to reform the ossified establishment, thereby serving the future generations. I'm also a bit of a hippie. I want to show people by example the better way to live, back to the land and to our hearts, the way it was meant to be. I want to spread love around! (Sorry, it's late, and I might not be as coherent as usual! I better end this before I go on a stream of consciousness diatribe and tell you all my dreams. LOL.)

We spin and we rest

Tantr11,

Glenn Morris's "Pathnotes of an American Ninja Master" was the first book of that nature which I read. I used it as a guide those first two years. Glenn was the one who suggested that I study what Mantak Chia said. That led to all the energy work and sexual practices of those times. I wrote an email to Marnia in reply to a new article by Walter Last. I think I'll put it here to see what the folks on the forum think of my theories. I really mean theories. Having a mystical experience is one thing but explaining it is another. Our understanding of the mystical will always be theory. Here is the email---

For this ritual to work the initiates need to develop a strong energy stream from the base of the spine to the top of the head, similar to what is attempted in Kundalini Yoga.---Walter Last

The quote above is how I see Sacred Sex, just from experience, not historical data. . . .

Passion, the old foreplay and romance is part of the game. The energy to light up the chakras has to come from someplace. The problem is the goal. Desire is the guide into Sacred Sex or into reproductive sex. If the lovers desire is to produce sex energy in order to feed the upper chakras, then that is where the energy moves to because they are clear in their goal and won't over stimulate themselves. If their desire is for reproductive sex, then they will push those buttons until ejaculation occurs. Ejaculation and the single female orgasm releases the energy. It goes out, literally, in the case of the male. I'm not female and I can't say what she goes through. But, once the energy is out of the body, it can no longer be used for transcendence. It leaves and so can't go up the chain of chakras.

I have become completely boring in bed. Most of what I feel is in the upper chakras and that is mostly what I seek. It is a good thing that this is also what my wife wants or I would be facing incompatibility. The RA material says that both partners have to be at least open through the heart chakra before one of them can experience sex through the upper chakras.

I have been analyzing my experiences and remembering what others have said. It is becoming clear. There are two kinds of major chakras. The RA material said---

Red ray is the foundation; orange ray the movement towards yellow ray which is the ray of self-awareness and interaction. Green ray is the movement through various experiences of energy exchanges having to do with compassion and all-forgiving love to the primary blue ray which is the first ray of radiation of self regardless of any actions from another. The green-ray entity is ineffectual in the face of blockage from other-selves. The blue ray entity is a co-Creator.---RA, session 41

That is saying that the root, solar plexus, throat and violet chakras are foundations. The root chakra is the first foundation point. The navel chakra is body energy waking up and moves a Seeker into the next foundation, like a resting point, which is the solar plexus. The heart chakra is a new source of energy called love and will move a Seeker into the next foundation called the Throat Chakra. Do you see the pattern? The work is done in the non-foundational chakras, the ones that sparkle with their particular kind of energy. The brow chakra moves a Seeker into the crown chakra.

If the work is finished in one of the secondary chakras, the Seeker moves into the next foundation without effort. This is only my observation and not based on tradition as far as I know. So perhaps I am a reed in the organ who is out of tune. I will blow my pipe anyways and add to the noise of the crowd. My teacher J___ said---

There are three spark class chakras and four magnetic class chakras in the human body:
1) The body chakra (magnetic) the area of the anus.
2) The sex chakra (spark) the area of the genitals.
3) The power chakra (magnetic) the area of the kidneys.
4) The heart chakra (spark) the area of the heart.
5) The nourishment chakra (magnetic) the area of the neck.
6) The life chakra (pituitary--"spark") (pineal--"magnetic") the area behind the center of the eyebrows.
7) The existence chakra (magnetic) the area of the top of the head.
8 ) The eighth chakra is the "desire chakra" (spark) and lies in the area just above the top of the head.---J___

My observation is that you feel energy moving you along with the spark chakras and existence from the magnetic chakras. Love and eye are energy feelings; throat is having wisdom and guidance, crown is an inner knowing that all is One; yellow is self awareness, navel is body energy moving into the solar plexus.

We spin and we rest. It is a pattern. So, with the waking of the Indigo ray for me, slipping into the Violet ray was a mater of becoming aware of my new feelings. All is One. I am feeling this more and more as time passes. Last night, I was feeling as if all of my emotions were all added together and have canceled out each other making a new non-emotion. The feeling persists. I look at my wife and I see me. There is no effort involved, no persistent work to be followed. The work has been done and now I rest. It is an odd feeling--to not feel. Now I am seeing that the root, solar plexus, and throat were also places to rest, to exist within the balance of energy within those places.

I shared this with a friend

and she said:

"Interesting about the chakras- it’s like spiral dynamics. It accords with what I think about getting to higher states of balance: pushing out (spark) –wobbly till balance is achieved, rest then move on upward. Not sure if it matches what he suggests.

I just heard a Google presentation by a psychiatrist (and Buddhist?) who was pointing out how important the (middle) prefrontal cortex area is for everything, how it connects all 3 levels of the brain. It's also where the third eye is located I think. It’s beginning to match up."

Spin and rest

This idea of alternating spin and rest chakras makes a whole lot of sense to me. I could never really connect with or understand the solar plexus and throat chakras, so it made sense when you said the hara, the heart, and the third eye "sparkle." It's that sparkle that lets me connect and understand. I can *feel* the love from the heart, *feel* the characteristic mental state associated with the hara (an intuitive clarity and centeredness), and *feel* the characteristic mental state of the third eye (hard to describe my experience of it... it's like Osho says, focusing on that point soaks up your attention as if attention were food for the third eye and there's a kind of awareness that feels like it's piercing in a forward direction, potentially opening new vistas). I read in Villoldo's Shaman, Healer, Sage, that the solar plexus chakra was about power, that warriors would shine from there and become invincible, and I wondered why it wasn't the navel chakra (hara) like I was taught in Zen and martial arts. Now I see why.

Osho

I love Osho. I started reading his works about the same time I found Glenn Morris. At first, I couldn't understand a thing but each time I reread it, something new comes to light. I guess I''m due for another reread. He mentioned that once you open the heart chakra, moving into the throat is without effort---you just go there.