The Taoist sexual practices are categorized in two segments:
- Sexual qigong—techniques that increase the sensitivity and awareness of chi flows within yourself and your partner, including techniques that help you achieve many of the healing benefits of any chi practice.
- Sexual meditation—methods that lead to profound religious experience often called the divine, enlightenment, emptiness and universal love.
Photo by Cristiano Betta
For millennia, Taoists have found that one of the easiest ways to directly contact another person’s consciousness is while making love. It takes dramatically more time, skill, power and finesse to directly contact another person’s consciousness from a distance than it is during sex.
There is an inherent connection in the act of making love.
As you release the blockages in yourself, you become less self-absorbed and more open and present to someone else. As you become more connected to yourself, it becomes increasingly easier to feel more deeply for someone else. And, in that space, a wonderful merging, you can sense the chi of the other person as much as you experience the chi in yourself. When chi flows strongly between you, it becomes a healing and smoothing force, especially important when you are sharing a life together and encountering the strains inherent to the human condition. You can take that vibrant, strong energy running between you, relax it and take the growing intimacy between you to much deeper levels.
Practicing Sexual Qigong
As with all chi practices, sexual qigong techniques are meant to increase the sensitivity and awareness of chi flows within you and your partner. You go inside, become aware of raw sensations, allow them to strengthen your chi flow and get rid of blockages. The process of waking up and making the body conscious is about feeling, not thinking.
Initial techniques help you become conscious of chi flow in your own body and then in your partner’s body during intercourse. This inherently increases sexual pleasure between you and your partner—connecting and sharing.
These techniques can be fairly basic, such as finger exercises that you do by yourself to increase sensitivity to both yourself and your partner while ensuring that your fingers and hands don’t cramp up after a few minutes of foreplay. Other practices help you and your partner relax during foreplay, intercourse and afterwards. Still other practices put both you and your partner to work to harness your chi to relax the nervous system, self-heal and allow the mental and emotional intimacy to flourish.
Sexual qigong, although a longstanding tradition in Taoism, is seldom taught in the West. I’ve taught a few classes in Europe, where sexual mores are not as straight-laced as in America, yet find that even there, cultural and religious conditionings work against it
You can realize many of the benefits of sexual qigong by learning other practices that help you feel and strengthen your chi. At the very least, internal arts—qigong, tai chi, yoga and bagua—will increase and help you maintain your sexual vitality and pleasure throughout your life.
Practicing Sexual Meditation
All chi practices inherently contain methods to take you into the depths of your consciousness. The ancient and well-established tradition of Taoist sexual meditation was also passed down by Lao Tse and Chuang Tse. These practices give you the opportunity to discover deep intimacy that transcends flesh and personality.
Sexual meditation can be a direct path to releasing the deepest blockages in yourself and your partner, including those at the psychic, karmic and spiritual levels, in order to develop the full flowering of the human soul. It can help you uncover the possibilities of spirit by working with the eight energetic and spiritual bodies.
The Eight Energy Bodies are:
- The flesh of the physical body.
- The chi body, which fuels the physical body.
- The emotional body, which gives rise to your emotions, both positive and negative.
- The mental body, which causes thoughts to function, whether with clarity or confusion.
- The psychic body, which allows us to find our hidden internal capacities and helps our intuition or psychic perceptions become concrete.
- The causal body, which causes karma to flow.
- The body of individuality, which enables the actual birth of the full spiritual being commonly referred to as our essence.
- The realization of the TAO or the entire universe, which few people ever actualize.
Finally, it can guide you toward a profound inner religious experience, often called the varying degrees of enlightenment, emptiness and universal love.
In China, sexual meditation methods were only shared with initiates and taught by masters, whereas sexual qigong techniques could be taught to and shared with outsiders. Being given access to sacred meditation material was considered a great privilege and honor. It was not a right, not something to be bought and sold without any more responsibility attached than merely to be present when the information was taught.
Genuine traditional Eastern meditation practices are not for everyone, especially those involved with deeply exploring human sexuality. Here, you can lose the distinct boundaries between the bodies and minds of you and your lover as being two separate beings—boundaries that are at some primal bedrock of the ego’s sense of psychological security and identity.
Equally, in prolonged, in-depth training, both participants can each go into completely uncharted psychic territories. Here, any form of sexual morality based on the “should’s,” “could’s,” “must’s” and “maybe’s” of social or religious convention might become meaningless and disappear as you both move into the psychic realm and, ultimately, emptiness.
Over time during sexual meditation, it is imperative that you become willing to completely open up and be naked in front of your partner both literally and metaphorically—not only in the obvious physical sense, but also on the emotional, mental, psychic and karmic levels. Your physical body is only a fairly superficial part of your being; your other energy bodies affect you much more strongly than your physical body.
Before embarking on sexual meditation, Taoists had potential students answer two questions.
- First, are you energetically willing and capable of directly communicating what’s inside all your energetic bodies to your partner, capable of becoming energetically naked and intimate enough to just let the deeper parts of your being hang out there to be experienced?
- Second, are you willing to feel what the other person is going through on all those levels? If you are willing to fulfill these two conditions, then sexual meditation practices teach you to use sex to enter someone else’s energy field and influence it.
You can help them feel and release their blockages, while healing and smoothing the chi that runs between both of you, at all levels.
Part 3 will be posted soon…