The second choice is to embrace physical sex and use it to magnify your Kundalini Shakti. Just as Brahmacharya is not merely the avoidance of sex but a cultivation of the energy, sexual practice is not indulgence in sex but rather a discipline and an observance. Conscious sex unleashes tremendous energy within you that requires structure and both partners to be fully committed. The practice should not be engaged in half-heartedly, nor can one partner carry the practice alone. As with any tool of sadhana, the power may take months and years to develop. It is likely that there are shadows and wounds associated with your sexuality that will be recognized, spoken, embraced, and healed. If you have sex out of neediness or as an outlet for fear or anger, these constrictions will subvert and consume the energy that you are generating. Understand that the forces that you awaken and magnify can powerfully accelerate your sadhana, and they require a strong vessel to contain. Your sexual energy makes you radiant and enlivens your inner life, but it will also attract people and forces that seek to drain you, and thus you will need to take even more protective measures than you do with your other practices.

The core element of the practice is to abstain from genital orgasm, unless deliberately chosen, and to consciously work with the resulting energy flow between you and your spouse. This does not mean absolute abstention from orgasm; it means that you perceive and choose when orgasm will serve you. Esoteric teachings refer to a frequency of one orgasm a month as tantamount to celibacy. You might use that as a guide. You may intuit when it is time to re-set, to let the energy wash through you like a cleansing. Indulging in orgasm when it is not needed is not “bad” for your sadhana, but neither does it support your cultivation of Kundalini. Orgasmic indulgence in lovemaking is simply ordinary sex and leaves you flattened.

The effect of this type of abstention is a growing radiance and flow between you and your partner, and your inner realms will be empowered. Like any practice, you learn from doing it repetitively and deliberately for an extended period. And while this undertaking can be time-consuming and cumbersome, it can be utterly ecstatic and will imbue your life with joy. Here are a few specifics to consider:

Make sex a discipline, just as you may have adopted other practices for your sadhana. This discipline must be mutually agreed upon and fully supported by both you and your partner. The frequency of your practice is for you to explore and choose. How often do you need to meditate or practice hatha yoga so that you maintain the power and aliveness that you derive from these disciplines? How often do you need to perform puja or offer Guruseva? How much physical exercise is enough to keep you toned and fit and alive in your body? Your practice of sexual yoga will also have its own appropriate frequency. A session may last a quick five minutes or may go on for over an hour. As with meditation you may go by the clock or simply proceed until you have drunk your fill.

Begin with and end with invocations or prayers that your practice be an offering to God, to your Guru, and that the fruits of your efforts uplift yourselves and all of humanity. Invite the Divine to be present. Feel that God and Goddess are acting through you, and you are serving them in your actions. Your sexual space is no less sacred than your altar, shrine, or temple.

It is essential that sexual practice be performed in conjunction with other practices such as meditation, Guruseva, chanting, hatha yoga, and puja; the tremendous amount of energy you generate in your bodies needs to be channeled into worship.

The energy also must be grounded. It is critical that you attend to your physical health. Take walks, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water. The energy of sex must be circulated, and your body must be alive and healthy. When engaging with conscious sexual energy work, you must be fully embodied and alive in your physical form to effectively work with its power.

Abstain from casual orgasm. Instead, pool and circulate the energy that wells up. Yes, allow the passion to flow within the space you are sharing, but learn to dwell in that space instead of letting it spurt out. You may notice a moment when something shifts, or a circuit opens, and you can feel into your partner energetically. Feel into his or her belly, heart, throat or crown; there are pathways that build between the two of you. Feel into your partner and sense his or her divinity and magnificence. You may allow your sexual energy to build close to orgasm, and while it does, feel it flowing between you as if it were a beautiful river, and then let it permeate through your entire being. You may explore the energetic connection without getting close to orgasm, but sense what flows between you when, say, the man’s penis strokes his wife’s G-spot area or cervix. Develop the resolve and discipline to let it subside, even if your instinct is to reach orgasm. As difficult as this may be, you will recognize that the benefit of stopping short of orgasm is profound, pervasive, and enduring.

When you do climax, observe how the orgasm affects your inner life and the harmony in your marriage in the days and weeks following. This is a far better teacher than words of advice here.

Think of your physical position as holding a dynamic asana. Observe and experiment with the energy flow through your bodies. Use your breath to channel energy through your body and through your partner’s. Feel the flow of your breath within your body, down your front and up your spine. Breath in and out synchronously and repeat your mantra out loud together. Consider the shared space between you as an alive, breathing entity.

Practice mula bandha, or Kegel’s, during sex. The power of contracting and pulsing or holding the perineal muscles helps to move energy through your bodies, and between yourselves.

Maintain eye contact with your partner. Feel into them, feel his/her pulse, drink their essence, fill yourself with their beauty. Imagine yourself making love to God or the Goddess.

Do not be distracted by popular culture myths about sacred sexuality and “Tantra”. People mistakenly associate Kama Sutra positions with Yoga, or promiscuous indulgence in orgiastic pleasure with some higher purpose. Also, abstention from orgasm can become a sort of athletic endurance test that does not serve your love and union. It is far more important to feel into your partner’s heart, to know his or her deepest truth and to be aware of your own presence and radiant love. When you bring your inner awareness into your sexual dance, you make your ecstasy an offering to God, and you surrender to something greater than the two of you.

Just as with any practice of sadhana, the power of conscious sex lies not in some peak experience during the act, but rather in its cumulative effect on your life: your days reverberate with depth, your heart fills with love and it spills over as a grateful offering to life, your own senses are heightened, your interactions with people around you are infused with fullness and blessings, wisdom and grace flows through your marriage, the dynamic spark – the power of polarity between you and your partner – is intensified. Your lovemaking fuels your ability to collaborate, co-create, and cooperate. You can also channel this energy into your inner life and, like a finely tuned musical instrument, your marriage becomes a scintillating, radiant, grace-filled song.

Next essay: Protection

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