What if our society treated sex the way it tends to treat creativity? Sex would be seen as a form of thinking or problem-solving. We would find book titles like “Sexual Thinking” or “Habits of a Sexual Mind.” Sex would also be equated with productivity, a type of behavior that leads to a goal like making a better baby, more babies, or both. You would be encouraged to do team-building exercises with your sex partner to become more efficient in your sexual practices.
Rarely would any scholar mention what it feels like to have sex. You would never find a scientific paper dealing with passion, desire, sexual arousal, orgasm, or love. It might be surprising to learn that sex involves any emotion or bodily sensation at all. You may even come to believe that a computer could be programmed to be more sexual than a person. Masturbation would seem like an oddity. After all, who would be sexual just for the fun of it? The primary reason to have sex would be to produce something that has value in the marketplace.
Now, let’s flip this scenario. What if we treated creativity more like sex? Creativity would be seen as a natural human impulse and part of our basic biology. It would be understood that every child is born with an urge to create that manifests itself when the time is right. Being creative would be perceived as a total-body experience involving feeling and sensation and not just thinking. In fact, at its most satisfying and delightful, a creative experience could free your mind of all thoughts, worries, judgments, or concerns.
In your creative experiences, you might not be solving any problem necessarily but just expressing who you are and what you are feeling. Before you created anything with another person, you would explore your creativity on your own. And you might discover the transcendent power of creativity at certain moments, when you lose awareness of time and space, hunger and thirst, and even yourself while becoming absorbed in the creative process. Your moments of creative inspiration could be as ecstatic and compelling as any feeling of sexual pleasure.
Then there is the matter of Tantra. Just as Tantric wisdom can elevate sexuality and transform it into a path of total love and freedom, the practice of Tantra could do the same for creativity. As it turns out, this is not a hypothetical. There is a Tantric practice that enhances and elevates creativity in this way. It is called Inspiring. Like other Tantric practices, Inspiring involves mastery of the breath, silencing of the mind, and full awareness and control of bodily processes.
The aim of Inspiring is not simply to create something wonderful in the world, although that is a legitimate by-product of the practice. It is to connect at the deepest level possible with your own true nature by embodying a universal creative process. This is where total freedom lies—and total love.
Stay tuned to my next blog for more details.
In honor of Valentine's Day, and to express my passion for my beloved wife, Maria, I wrote and submitted an article to Elephant Journal this week. Here is the article in its entirety:
I am blessed to have a Tantric marriage with my brilliant and beautiful wife, Maria, the woman who inspires and delights me on a daily basis. This is not conventional Tantra, I admit. We both know enough to steer clear of such labels. She is a pioneer in the field of yoga therapy, and I have devoted my life to the exploration of creativity, consciousness, chanting, and “the way of play.” Neither of us claims to be experts in Tantra, although we have both studied, read, and integrated certain practices into our lives.
Maria and I met in our late 50’s, at a time when each of us was comfortable in our own skin and had known our share of ups and downs. Falling in love was an unexpected gift. Both of us continue to be amazed each day at our extraordinary good fortune. It took me 13 months to propose, which is remarkably speedy for someone who had sworn off marriage altogether. Each of us had been happy and at peace living on our own. Yet, we both had enough sense to realize that when the love affair of a lifetime comes along, you jump on it!
Now, let me identify the five aspirations that make our marriage Tantric:
We do not always meet our aspirations because we’re human. But with rare exception, this is how we live. It’s not conventional Tantra for any number of reasons, starting with the fact that at its core, our marriage has been shaped by two revolutionary discoveries of the past half-century: holograms and fractals. Both of these breakthroughs converge on the same idea: that Nature is self-embedded wholeness, making each of us an embodiment of wholeness, a microcosm composed of smaller microcosms. I find this realization thrilling. It makes me tingle all over, filling me with astonishment and awe!
Maria and I view holiness and wholeness as inseparable. Both words have the same origin. In traditional Tantra, you practice seeing and treating the Beloved as a deity—your personal god or goddess. For me, Maria is the wholeness of Nature embodied in female form. And that form happens to be gorgeous, juicy, sexy and perfect. Lucky me! She is a microcosm, and a luscious one at that. Like a flower, a bird, or a grain of sand, she has her own unique beauty and splendor. She is also my portal into wholeness. When I am with Maria, I can’t tell where I end, and she begins. Just looking into her eyes makes me feel whole.
Adoration comes from the Latin “to prayer.” From the first night we met and really looked at each other for the first time, I have adored Maria. This is not something I intended or practiced. The feeling just came over me and has never left. Every day, I come to her with the reverence, anticipation, and joy of a pilgrim coming to prayer.
I enter into our Temple of Erotic Love through my desire for her. In that desire, I am at once a beast and a saint. She knows I want her insatiably and irrepressibly because my desire for her is a desire to be whole. Maybe all desire is. But knowing that it is transmutes desire into something higher: a holy fire that you celebrate and nurture.
Our sex life is Tantric love play, the divine frolic of gods and goddesses. What happens when two embodiments of wholeness intertwine in passionate embrace? The pure radiant essence of life flows through us, an ambrosia of bliss, ecstasy, and delight. As we melt into each other, we channel the awesome creative force of Nature, what physicist David Bohm calls “undivided wholeness in flowing movement.” We are caught up together in the rhythmic spiral heartbeat of creation through which the universe unfolds and enfolds, expands and contracts, merges and emerges.
In a crescendo of cosmic orgasm, we become a single embodiment of Nature’s wholeness. Within us, a universe is being created and annihilated through an endless stream of love and joy. In a climax that transcends space and time, each of us embodies the Fountain of Essence that bursts forth from Nature’s wholeness—from the center of the universe. And our shared essence illuminates all creation with the splendor of existence, which is the remarkable and mysterious privilege we all share.
This Tantric marriage happened because good fortune collided with a lifetime of preparation. Next time, I will share more about the nature of that preparation.
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