WE ARE SO EASILY CONFUSED…ABOUT SEX & OTHER THINGS (Part 2)
Daily Meditation, Inspirations, and Practices for Authentic Relationships, July 20
• Today’s questions, with a nod to Katrine Kleppe: How did you drink your coffee this morning? How did you hug your kids or pets? How did you move your body through yoyr day? And finally, Did you feel alive in any of it?
• Today's suggested practice: Day 19 of this month's practice, to practice for yourself, your wants, the things you yearn for (see Kendra Cunov’s short “Notes Towards Self Practice” below)
• My practice: 6am; 45 minutes of yoga, pranayama, and meditation
• My vulnerability practice: Letting myself listen, just listen, feeling the vibration in my heart and throat and eardrums…
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Hans Peter Meyer
Remember this? “It is all “sex.” From the flash of her eyes to how I hold her breath, to the way the wind whispers my desire into her ears, a million miles away. Only a small part of it has to do with my penis. Even less, perhaps, with my ejaculation. For me —for most men I believe— this is hard learning. Herein lies wisdom that cannot be taught, only burned into one’s body and soul.”
I wrote this a couple of days ago. Then, this morning, Katrine Kleppe did what she does: summarized so much of this work with a note about life as the experience of being alive, and that this is eros. This is the dance of Shiva and Shakti we —most of us, myself certainly for large parts of my life— want to ignore. I am so easily confused, about what is important.
Last night I met with a young couple who wanted to talk about marriage vows. One of my first questions, How did you meet? Like so many, through a dating app. Perhaps unlike so many, their first or second date raised death as a point of closeness, both having recently experienced the death of loved ones. “And that, well, it —death— it kind of makes it clear, what’s important.” And, what’s not so important.
We are, as sexually over-stimulated creatures in this culture, so easily confused. We —and yes, I am definitely in this company of the “we”— we live the story that our gonads tell us: sex is good; orgasm is an ultimate good; more of both is always better; bow down to the erect phallus, the dripping yoni; submit on the altar of ravishing!
This is the story. We are actors whose roles become ever more limited in a culture that celebrates the mass production and consumption of our sexual energies.
The proverbial Zen master strikes his pupils with a bamboo cane to test their devotion to practice. Sex —or rather, its absence as the marriage matures from its sugary honeymoon sweetness into the often unsexed and bittermoons that follow— strikes us sharply into awareness, into deeper love. More often, into resentment.
WTF! Who? Why? What?
Why is the dripping flow of honeydew is diminished, and we —particularly us men who are so easily addicted to this nectar, but also the women who have been bought and sold the stories of this hypersexualized culture as their realm of power— we moan. We complain.
Why we plead then demand, why are you not f*cking me?! You wanted to f*ck me yesterday or last week or a month ago. But today?
And for many todays and tomorrows there is no more f*ck like the f*cking of the honeymoons.
Too many reasons for this brief chapter. It is enough, here, to say that the “whys” are ancient. But like so much that nourishes wisdom, we do not listen, cannot hear. We are not yet ready to learn. We —and again dear reader, it is me who is this “we”— blame “the relationship.” Or her. Or him. Or both of us (but secretly, or not so secretly, always the other).
We lash out at this proving ground, for that is what marriage is: a proving ground, a place to prove ourselves worthy of each other, and of love. We lurch away from that very place that can redeem us and show us to ourselves and teach us how to love ourselves and be compassionate with ourselves, and each other. We lurch. We scramble. Helter skelter.
Sex tempts us as a solution. We find another body. Perhaps a body that is also a refugee from the proving ground. And we begin to dance the dance again. The honeymoon intense with our need for redemption, and because of that, doomed to become the bittermoon even more quickly.
Again and again. Cycling through these moons of promise and disappoint. Blaming the moon, the others, maybe ourselves. But, to step aside from this cycling? Not yet. Unless we have begun to hear the voices of wisdom. Seasoned experienced men if we are men, women if we are women. Bodies that know. Bodies that from exhaustion or age have become less susceptible to the manufactured desire of this culture operating as liberation and freedom. Bodies that, in our own exhaustion, my own aging, have become intelligible.
It makes sense what the wise man in my life says to me. It makes sense now. It did not, not so long ago. And so, a little compassion for my own willy-nilly blind impulse to hurt myself and others. And, perhaps, a little compassion for those who are still cycling through their own addict dance.
It is time, as Christine Emba suggests, to “rethink sex.” I haven’t read the book, just listened to her talk about it. I’m curious. It’s a big thing in this culture, sex. I’m beginning to think that it’s much bigger than I know, but that what exactly it is, this thing called “sex,” it keeps becoming more beautiful and less about our genitals, hers and mine, than I could have ever imaged. I’m still struggling to imagine.
And that, I think, is why this work is so important: How do I allow myself to experience that which is beyond my imagining? Practice. Slowing down. Trusting. Allowing. Breathing.
(continued in Part 3…)
🌀The erotic is all about feeling alive.
How you drink your coffee in the morning. How you hug your kids or pets. How you move your body throughout the day. Do you feel alive?
Do you feel in awe of the wonders right in front of you? Are you easy to please and are your life soaked with gratitude and a sense of wonder? This is the erotic in real life. Yes it's also about $ex and kink. About f*king and making love. Powerplay and naked bodies. The bedroom and P in V. But it's possible to walk, talk and constantly feel turned on, by life itself. To feel alive and vibrant just because... I walk as I'm constantly are made love to. My hips sways in joy of being alive. The wetness between my legs. The spark in my belly and spine. Dare to live. Dare to slow down. Feel your animal body. Feel the life force in your blood. (Katrine Kleppe)
🌀We serve the Holy when we care for each other.
When we fight for one another.
When we ensure each other’s safety, wholeness, ability to thrive. (Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg)
🌀But they are no substitute for the depth that comes from years of committed spiritual practice and working with teachers and mentors with integrity, who perhaps are spending more time doing their practice than filming it. (Soma Miller)
🌀I’m beginning to trust “no expectations.” (My beloved, my Oracle & Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED PRACTICE
Day 19 of this month's practice:
Please read through first, then ...
Today, set a time —at least five minutes, perhaps 15— when you can be alone and in stillness.
• Stand or sit or lie, with a beautiful and straight spine, firm but relaxed, feeling your feet or your sit bones or hips heavy and connected to the earth;
• Close your eyes;
• Inhale deeply into your belly, letting it become soft and round;
• Exhale by gently and slowly, much more slowly than your inhale, pressing your navel to your spine,
• And listen to Kendra Cunov’s few minutes on practice:
When you’re done, stand or sit or lie for another minute and breathe gently, slowly filling and emptying your belly. Here, as you breathe into your fullness, ask yourself: How you drink your coffee this morning? How did you hug your kids or pets? How did you move your body through yoyr day? And finally, Did you feel alive in any of it?
Notice if your body-mind feels somehow changed. And whether you notice a change or not, be content with yourself, exactly as you are in this moment.
Continue with your day, open to the gifts it brings.