In meditation circles, you tend not to hear a lot said about sex. Some people even think that to be spiritual is to be asexual. So lets go “Out on a Limb”, be a little adventurous and talk about how orgasm specifically can be an indication of your health generally, be valuable in healing, and moreover, a potential entry point for enlightenment.
Let us start with the question of where in your body you feel an orgasm, and the controversial figure Wilhelm Reich (1897 – 1957). Reich was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who had worked with Freud and went on to become one of the most controversial figures of his time. Loved and respected by many, he was jailed in America for promoting one of his inventions, the Orgone generator (which he contended could cure cancer amongst other things) and died just prior to his release. He has the dubious honour of having many of his books officially burnt in the US. Reich theories inspired many influential people and movements in Psychiatry and psychotherapy including Gestalt, Bioenergetics and Primal Therapy.
So what about sex? Like Freud, Reich was of the view that all neuroticism was based in sexual repression. In response to this repression, Reich maintained that the body established bands of “armour”; distinct areas of physical tension such as around the hips, that acted as protection.
Reich studied and detailed what he described as a healthy orgasm; something he maintained very few people in current times were capable of experiencing because of the inhibitory effect of their defensive armour. A healthy orgasm is to be felt throughout the body, not just in the genital area, a little up the spine, or in the head.
Now, this is not intended to create sexual tension or concern regarding your own experience. However, it certainly is an interesting theory; and if you do happen to feel an orgasm as a current of energy moving through your whole body, you are probably in a deeply natural state, free of any physical blocks. This notion of free energy flow always seemed to me to have quite a deal in common with the TCM view of energy flowing freely through the body’s many meridians.
Regarding healing, the energy generated by orgasm can be directed through an area that is painful or in need of healing. No idea where else you might hear this, but if you want to try it, you can test it for yourself. It is a bit like directing white light through an area in an imagery exercise, but just could be a touch more fun! Again, from a TCM viewpoint, disease involves a blockage in energy flow and orgasm is a powerful way to release or clear such blockages.
What you may also notice is that the more relaxed you are, the more present or mindful you are, the more likely you are to have a natural orgasm that will spread widely through your body.
But now for the climax. The French call orgasm “the mini death”. For good reason. When we have an orgasm, the energy release over-rides any active thinking. It is as if what we are familiar with in the ordinary world dies. Orgasm takes us directly into current time; there is no thinking of the past, or the future. There is just the present moment and that all encompassing surge of energy.
At orgasm, we may well have a moment of profound stillness, free of thought or analysis. Just very present, very aware. Undistracted. We may infact have a mini glimpse of what enlightenment is like. This is why it can be best to hold the state of mind that accompanies orgasm for as long as possible after it happens.
Now a final note. Seeing we have arrived in interesting territory, lets go just one step further, In quite a few spiritual circles, particularly amongst the yogis, you hear that it is best for men to withhold ejaculation and even orgasm, because if they do not they dissipate their energy; as if there is a limited store available. Mahatma Gandhi is famous for his struggles with this particular theory.
Speaking as an old athlete, this notion never made sense to me. It is like saying there is no point in training to become physically fitter, as you might just use up your life’s energy quota in the process. Before my cancer, my resting heart rate was around 44. At the worst point of my illness it was 180+ for some weeks. I have often felt that if I had not been so fit, my heart may well have given out under the load it was under at that time.
So maybe sex is like the brain. Neuroplasticity says when it comes to your mental function, use it or loose it.
Have fun with the right person, at the right time, in the right place and the right state of mind.
SYNCHRONICITY, or coincidence is a curious thing. Having written all of the above some time ago, and then, just before posting it, being alerted to Sogyal Rinpoche's article on the Huffington Post (see below), I checked it out and in the process found this:
"In terms of strengthening our emotional wellness, it seems that while orgasm can make us hunger for the experience of sustained transcendence, meditation is the only path to actually achieving it." - from Riddhi Shah, Huffington Post 13/7/11 who also quoted a Scientific American article "The neurobiology of bliss - sacred and profane" by Nadia Webb which discusses Sex in the brain and what it reveals about the neuroscience of deep pleasure. Both are worth making the links and reading.
Reich’s life and times
Relaxation in daily life
Love and its conditions
1. Sogyal Rinpoche and meditation hit the Huffington Post
Link here for a terrific article from Rinpoche on meditation. The Post responds to interest and especially comments. So if you want to see more on meditation and great teachers like Rinpoche, act now!
2. Big anniversary coming
On 16th September next it will be 30yrs since the first Melbourne Cancer Support Group was held in a modest suburban house in Hawthorn, Melbourne. Next post I will indulge some old memories and share some of the landmarks that followed.