Book Reviews -- Body Health -- Sacred Sexuality
Author: Michael Mirdad
Title: An Introduction to Tantra and Sacred Sexuality
Book Review 12.10.2009
(c) 2009 by Heidrun Beer
Much has been said and written about sexual suppression, sexual freedom and sexual fulfillment by thoroughly "learning the trade" (actually it should be taught in school, which is probably an "unthinkable thought" for another few decades) - but there are still many people who by their being part of a sexually inhibited and suppressed group mind never really LOOK in the area.
So we feel lucky if we happen to meet a person who DOES look - where I live, there are some, not many -, but even of these most are not aware of the fact that there is a whole higher echelon called "Sacred Sexuality", which is said to be more intense both spiritually and physically than the happy but rather unrefined procreation activities we are used to :-)
It has a tradition of thousands of years, which is why its key words are all in the ancient language Sanskrit, the same that is used in the Hindu religious writings.
I don't know where and how much it has ever been in broad use, but it certainly has submerged in the "dark ages" brought about by the major religions, and is re-surfacing only now - I was surprised to find several workshops offered in Austria and across the border in Germany.
MICHAEL MIRDAD: AN INTRODUCTION TO TANTRA AND SACRED SEXUALITY
The book is of an amazing clarity in all the big human questions, of a great spirituality, and shows a deeply loving attitude ("unconditional love" is not only a key concept in "Sacred Sexuality" but also in the author's own personality).
Dr. Michael Mirdad, called a "teacher's teacher" and a "healer's healer" by other experts in the field, is so concise in his statements that he needs only 147 pages in a small format, including a glossary and some very interesting statistics, to convey everything he wants to say.
Let me start with a quote from the end of the book:
"In truth, you are NOT and do not HAVE a body. If you really did, your body would rule and limit you, but it does not, even though most of us believe to the contrary. Since you are not a body, sacred sexuality urges you to expand your awareness, connection, and understanding of who and what you are. Through use of the body, you are urged to discover a love and peace that surpasses the body's comprehension.
WE ARE GLORIOUS, SPIRITUAL BEINGS CAPABLE OF EXPERIENCING BLISS BEYOND THE BODY'S ABILITY TO CONTAIN. Therefore, all the words and concepts in this book, which seem to focus on the body and its sensations, are but the momentary honoring of the physical illusion. In other words, this book merely uses the body and sexuality as means for remembering the truth of the spirit.
The sacred sexual experience becomes an arena in which to be playful, spontaneous, nonjudgmental, and above all, loving. This happens to be a perfect description for living a Divine embodiment."
I think that says all about the book's spirit. Very detailed and complete explanations about sexual anatomy and functions on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level, about the parallel system of Taoist Sexology where sex is one of eight "spokes to their wheel", as well as a fascinating chapter about Sacred Sexuality in ancient literature and history (going back to the sunken continent of Lemuria!) need to be read in the book itself - so let me continue with further quotes, containing some more of its key concepts:
- "Technically, all sex is sacred, as are all souls, but not everyone treats it that way. Nevertheless, irresponsible use of sexuality does not remove the sacredness but merely veils our ability to see and experience it."
- "Generally speaking, there are two different types of sexual experiences. One focuses on what might be called the 'heights of sex', often referred to as 'great sex', while the other accesses the 'depths' of sex, which is sacred sexuality. [...] The heights of the sexual experience are usually measured by the intensity and quantity of stimulation and the success of orgasms, which is like judging the QUALITY of food by the QUANTITY ingested. Such stimulation has a 'hot' energy and is focused on excitation of the clitoris or penis, while the DEPTHS of sex have a 'warm or cool' energy and focus on the ecstasy released between the heart and breasts, as well as the energetic aspects of the genitals."
- "It should be noted that both the heights AND depths of sex can be very addictive. Yet you need not become addicted. On the contrary, the primary purpose of this book is to teach you how to practice spiritual, responsible sex with the goal of using sex to learn about - not escape from - yourself.
Sexual addiction and other forms of shallow sex often result from a desire to hide or escape from issues that need healing. [...] Behind every shallow sexual interaction, there hides a person who does not want to see or be seen at a deeper level. [...] Hidden behind the potential addiction to sexual depths is a longing to experience heaven."
- "With genuine Tantra (as with all forms of mysticism) the goal is not about doing or stimulating. Instead, it's about experiencing love without objectification or attachments to a particular person or outcome. Such limitations are seen as constrictions and obstacles to surrendering to Love Absolute.
Although most spiritual disciplines insist that in order to evolve into higher states of consciousness, you must control or deny the senses and lower states of consciousness, Tantra teaches that you cannot experience complete personal and spiritual liberation while restricting any part of your being."
- "Valerie Brooks, author of 'Tantric Awakening', summarizes the stages of the Tantric lovemaking experiences as follows: 1. Physical: total concentration on the physical pleasure in the moment. 2. Emotional: immersion in loving thoughts and worship of your partner's divinity. 3. Spiritual: feeling yourself and your partner as a single unit that is connected to Spirit, or God."
- "Tantra has two distinct paths of training, a left-hand path and a right-hand path. The left-hand path practices a more literal form of Tantra that usually involves intercourse, while the right-hand path practices a symbolic form of Tantra that views intercourse as an allegory. Practitioners of left-hand path Tantra also vary from one group to another in that some focus more on spirituality, others on energy (even magic), others on sensuality, and still others on a blend of the above."
- Interpreting a poem by the English poet John Milton: "He implies that it IS possible for human partnerships to be blessed with love; that the body was created pure; that sexual intercourse is pure and undefiled as long as the soul and body are properly connected to their Divine Source; and that human sexual love is a reflection of a greater Love Divine."
- "Because of the prevalence of sexual abuse and generations of sexual repression, the future for practicing true sacred sexuality includes a greater emphasis on sexual issues and sexual healing. [...] To experience the most profound levels of sexual ecstasy, the practitioner must be willing to release, even if only temporarily, the drive for explosive orgasms and surrender to a quest for self-discovery and healing."
- "The sexual healing process involves learning the difference between healthy (spiritually-centered) and unhealthy (ego-centered) sexual encounters. For example, there are numerous characteristics that differentiate an ego-centered encounter from a sacred sexual one. The former involves a search for pleasure and the fulfillment of a sense of lack, while the latter is based on sharing of expansiveness, freedom, and unconditional love."
- "Remember that the deep CONNECTION between partners, more so than technique, is the greatest aphrodisiac."
- An especially fascinating detail is contained in the three levels of touching and contact: "1. Massaging touch - contacts the body's tissues at various depths. 2. Internal touch - penetrates a body with the fingers, hands, tongue, and penis. 3. Energetic touch - has no PHYSICAL contact with the body, but still evokes a response."
- And again: "The best tools for enhancing pleasure are a loving, caring heart, knowledge of proper pleasuring techniques, and intuitive instincts. Another effective tool for enhancing pleasure involves the ability to alter the sexual experience through conscious intention - the 'power of the mind'."
- Types of relationships: "1. Mutual Using - occurs when two mature, emotionally healthy, consenting adults agree that they will share sexually; yet they are merely borrowing each other momentarily (and with no attachments) for the purpose of the experience. [...] 2. Intimate Friendships - are relationships that have all the traits of a good friendship, such as honesty, good communication, playfulness, and longevity. However, the friends involved have decided to trust each other with occasional intimacy as well, which can take many forms, ranging from holding each other to full-on sexual intercourse. 3. Monogamous Partnering - is, of course, the committed, intimate relationship between two people. The partners have agreed to be faithful to each other. They may be trying out such an arrangement on a short-term basis or they may be life-mates. 4. Multiple Partners - is best practiced only by the most responsible individuals. Having more than one lover can easily be an unconscious cover for issues ranging from a lack of commitment to sexual addiction. Therefore, people who choose this experience need to undergo a thorough self-inventory to understand their motivations and assure they are honorable. People with numerous lovers must be honest with themselves and all other parties concerned about their choice of lifestyle. A person with multiple lovers must also practice the safest sex possible."
- "In a spiritual encounter, all relationships are seen as mirrors of the self, while the heart remains open to freely express and receive love without possessiveness."
In all these ideas we can see an enormous potential of personal and spiritual expansion, as well as a potential to thoroughly disrupt and upset established, proven and agreed-upon patterns on the more human (earthly) level of interaction.
To the unaided eye, the free and loving sharing of completely liberated and highly evolved spiritual beings who have transcended the influence of cultural repression and emotional attachments, may look really, really similar to the low level, entirely selfish, sensation- addicted scenario of a swinger club, whose users are completely unaware of their spiritual nature and only try to maximize their own physical pleasure. (They are still in the process of breaking free from their oppressive culture, which is why I kind of admire them nevertheless.)
In a Scientology environment, a complete understanding of the difference between MORALS and ETHICS would be required; all moral codes, whether LRH or other, would have to be thoroughly permeated and inspected for their validity; and ETHICS (the greatest good consideration) would always have to be "in".
Let me close with another quote, this time from the book's beginning:
"If we perceive ourselves as separate from the wholeness of Spirit, we will undoubtedly search for our completion IN others. This longing to find wholeness through others is an unhealthy manifestation of desire. [...]
On the other hand, when our love is directed to ALL beings, ALL life, and ALL space, the flow of our awareness remains expansive. We no longer have a desire to own or control. Instead, we are free to love and be loved - to share love because we ARE love. In this expansive state of being, lack and aloneness are nonexistent. Here, we can make a centered decision to share with one or more people. The ideal is to feel love for all and then choose how, and with whom, to demonstrate this love. To live and love in this state of consciousness is to live and love as God. [...]
As your understanding of love (of your true goodness) develops, you find that SINCE EVERYONE YOU MEET IS A PART OF YOU, YOU ARE NOW SAFE TO LOVE EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING. [...] As you awaken to your natural vibration of love, every particle of universal love is drawn to you. So as you drink water or breathe air, these activites are no longer perceived as the meeting of your needs. Instead, they are the irresistible joining of two parts of the same whole."