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I write about intimacy, travel, my personal journey, meditation/yoga/tantra tips, and much more!

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New Website!

Hello, Everyone!

Please check out my new site: starlighttantra.com

If you get there quickly, the site may still be under construction. (You’ll see a sunset and not much else…) In that case, please email me at joe@starlighttantra.com for more info!

Better than Cosmo

I took a look at this highly-ranked post on Cosmo: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/tantric-sex-positions/

I found the pictures mildly arousing, and came up with a few ideas, but this isn’t tantra, is it?

Maybe this kind of thing helps people get comfortable with the idea of Tantric sex, but really – this is a spiritual practice. Some tantrikas even avoid penetration, or at least keep it to a minimum. Others see their sexual desires as something they have to get our of their system.

I’m not suggesting that you become a stodgy old ascetic, but please put the emotional and spiritual “juice” into our lovemaking that takes you to the next level. Positions by themselves offer variety, and allow for some role-playing possibilities – but don’t stop there!

I’d love to see an article that says, “When in the ‘passion pretzel’, stroke your partner’s face and back with your hands. Use these light caresses to draw their attention into you at just the right intensity, and allow yourself to start merging with them. Touch your genitals together, and lock eyes as you slide together. Take it VERY slow, and don’t let your physical coming-together outpace your spiritual joining. Align your bodies, minds, and emotions and start blending – this is often the recipe for transcendent tantric sex!”

Maybe they should hire me!

Time and Tantra

(Full Disclosure: I get a commission from Amazon when you click on these affiliate links. Please support Starlight Tantra by using these links to shop on Amazon!)

I’ve dipped into Transcendent Sex¬†by Jenny Wade again recently. Among other things, I ran across this quote from the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart:

“Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There is no greater obstacle to God than time: and not only time but temporalities, not only temporal things but temporal affections, not only temporal affections but the very taint and smell of time.”

For those of you who have read the works of his self-appointed successor, Eckhart Tolle, this will sound very familiar. And if you haven’t read it yet, his classic The Power of Now is essential reading for anyone interested in modern spirituality. I recommend the audiobook version!

Jenny points out throughout her book that the observer and the observed combine during ecstatic experiences, making them impossible to describe. This was certainly my experience. All I remember is a bright, white light like a star.

Perhaps the light is always there, but we can’t see it unless we stop time? Or maybe, as some suggest, we need to learn to “see through” the illusion of reality?

These are big questions, but essential to tantra and many other spiritual practices. Join me as I investigate them by commenting, following this blog, and signing up for the email list at starlighttantra@gmail.com!

New Article Link and “I Am Bigger Than This”

New Article Available on Wingman Magazine!

I’m very proud to announce that I’ve just had an article published by Wingman Magazine, a German English-language website that specializes in men’s health, sexuality, and dating advice. Check it out here:

http://get-a-wingman.com/how-to-please-any-woman-in-bed-by-hacking-her-brain/

“I am Bigger Than This.”

I discovered this excellent mantra in my semi-conscious meditations last night. I’ve heard this phrase¬†my whole life, and I always took it to mean, “I’m strong enough to handle this challenge.” I didn’t know until this morning that this advice also applies to body-awareness. I’m very grateful to my subconscious mind for this gift!

Many of you will be familiar with the idea that we feel our emotions in our body. I typically practice body-awareness before, after, or between sleep periods. I lay on my back with my hands on my chest and focus my attention on my body.

Last night, I found certain centers of pain/strife/worry inside my physical body, as I often do. However, I told myself, “I am bigger than this,” and achieved a new level of self-healing!

When I experience negative thoughts and their attendant physical sensations, I say my mantra silently in my mind. Then, I act it out. I expand my sense of self beyond the physical sensation of the problem to include all of my other body sensations. At the same time, I allow my physical body to expand.

For example, I often feel constriction in my “throat chakra” area. I usually associate this uncomfortable blockage with certain negative thoughts and emotions. To counter this, I accept this condition and my reaction to it. I neither try to fight it¬†nor try to stop fighting it. I accept my reality and say in my mind that “I’m bigger than this” problem. At the same time, I reach my attention out into my hands, arms, legs, feet, etc. to feel the sensation of my total body awareness. Everything I am: my mind, emotions, body, and awareness expands and becomes calm.

By turning my attention to the truth that I feel sensations beyond the problem I’ve focused on, I don’t limit my consciousness to just the problem. I allow myself to be aware of all of the things that are going right in my life, and the physical sensations that accompany them. For example, there’s nothing wrong with my forearms right now. They are full of positive, tingling energy, and aren’t attached to any negative feelings.

This technique not only creates an expansion of awareness, but physical expansion as well. I find my body opening up and expanding in all directions, in a similar way to the aikido exercises I’ve learned for expanding ki and “intent”. Also, the opening of my body lets go of “cringing” habits that are part of my fight-or-flight “hiding” mechanisms.

The “I Am Bigger Than This” Mantra also helps me accept problems without worry. I allow myself to be patient – even though I don’t know the answer to this problem right now. Instead of focusing on my limitations, and on issues that don’t need to be solved right now, I remember that I’m a large, well-connected being with great potential. I accept my¬†problems and anxieties, and understand that trying to fix them by worrying only makes them grow.

I’m Excited About This!

I can’t wait to try this technique with a partner! Give it a shot with your tantric counterpart and let me know what you think. Or, contact me for a FREE Skype session!

How You Can Get Started

When you try this technique at home, I recommend sitting in comfort with your partner. You could sit facing each other in meditation, but holding each other will allow you to feel your mutual energies better. It’s important to have lots of comforting torso-to-torso contact. Perhaps the “giving” partner can hold the “receiving” partner in his/her arms and lead them through the process.

My Visualization of this Technique:

When I have the opportunity to try this technique in person, I’ll hold you in my arms and ask you to explore your internal body-sensations. I’ll tell you to take all the time you need to identify an emotional issue and its accompanying¬†physical manifestation. When you’re ready, you can share your thoughts and feelings with me.

I’ll take your hands in mine and place them over the affected area. We’ll abide in that space for a good while. Then, I’ll ask you to whisper the mantra to me (once) while letting your¬†body and awareness expand. I will repeat this several times until we reach a stable plateau of healing.

At this point, it’s important to stop. You only have so much energy for confronting your issues, and I don’t want to unlock more than one at a time. We’ll sit in comfort until you’re ready to move on, and then either swap roles or proceed to another exercise.

In-Person Sessions:

If you’re interested in a session, please contact me at starlighttantra@gmail.com and share you geographic location. I may be traveling to your area soon! I can give you preparatory¬†exercises and Skype sessions to help you get ready for our meeting, and develop the mutual trust we’ll need for a successful tantric experience!

And don’t forget – you can also email me at starlighttantra@gmail.com to join my email list and receive exclusive content!

Embracing Desire

I appreciated EE’s selection of historical information on tantra, especially the part about the temples and letting go of attachments. I’m not sure I want to “shed my sexual skin” through tantra, though. Instead, I see tantra as an ever-expanding pathway into the soul of the universe. There’s always something new to explore!

“Thinking Is Done” Moments

Often, when we’re spending time with our lovers, our thoughts go in every direction. We become trapped by our insecurities, try to hide our faults, or just worry about the other’s perception of us. We need to ¬†be “in the moment” with our partners, for their benefit and ours.

However, setting everything aside and focusing only on the experience of lovemaking can be very difficult.

To achieve¬†a genuine state of “letting go”, I like to identify the “thinking is done” moments in my lovemaking. I also practice this skill in my daily life – in preparation for¬†my sexual encounters.

Great sex is about mutual self-awareness and attraction. Be sure to strengthen your mind for sex, just as you would tone your body or express your emotions for a lover.

Our avoidance of reality causes us to become distracted. Judgement/fear strings often result from our evasion of the truth. We keep pushing our issues underwater, and it they keep bobbing to the surface. (It’s like emotional wack-a-mole.)

The Avoidance Mechanism:

1) ¬†We feel insecure, ashamed, afraid of judgement, etc. (For example, “OMG, people will find out I’m not perfect and reject me!”)

2)  We block out the thought that triggers our fear.

3)  Our fear attaches to a different thought and rises into our consciousness again.

4)  We push down the new thought (while still keeping the first thought under control).

5)  The cycle repeats until our stress builds up to an unmanageable level.

Often, when the stress becomes too much for us to handle, we use distraction to end this cycle. I find that turning on Netflix is a quick antidote to this emotional spiral. (It may not be super-healthy to use entertainment as an escape, but it’s better than an emotional crash.)

We create spirals when we push down our fears. Our fears¬†keep finding new thoughts to cling to so they can re-enter our conscious mind. They gain strength as they attach to more and more thoughts until we can’t keep them at bay any longer.

It may be silly, but I’m picturing a mouse in a room full of helium-filled balloons. It grabs a balloon string and starts to float, but someone pushes it back down to the ground. It grabs another string, and now the person has to push down two balloons. Eventually, the mouse has more balloons than the person can handle, and it flies up and away.

Our fears may be more like monsters than mice, but hopefully this analogy explains the emotional mechanism I’m trying to get across to you. Pushing down your emotions doesn’t just delay the inevitable reckoning. It also strengthens¬†your fear. Nip your fears in the bud, before they gather up so many “strings” that you can’t handle them.

I connect my practice of facing fears with my “thinking is done” practice. The key (as it usually is with these matters) is self-awareness. It took me a long time to realize that just being aware of an issue could help solve it. I had heard people suggest this many times, but it always sounded false to me. How could watching something bad happen make it go away? I didn’t want a microscope to analyze my fears – I wanted a weapon to fight them!

However, I eventually realized that you can’t fight fears. Because:

1) ¬†Fear doesn’t really exist.

2)  We create fear inside our minds.

Fear is like the “man behind the curtain” in the Wizard of Oz. You don’t fight his illusions; you just pull back the curtain.

I build my self-awareness through the daily observation of my thoughts. It’s easy to notice “fear cycles” getting¬†started because they draw out our thought-processes. I find it’s easiest to observe them when I’m making decisions. It’s amazing to “watch” your thoughts and think, “Oh, I just made a decision!” when you notice yourself make a choice. The key is to notice what happens after¬†you make the decision. Your mind will keep going (motivated by fear), second-guessing and re-processing your decision.

Once you’ve made a decision, you’ve made a decision. But you may notice that your mind just keeps chewing away at itself, trying to come up with a reason to over-ride the decision. It’s like a little kid inventing reasons for her mother to change her mind after her mother has already said, “No”.

The best way I’ve found to deal with my fear cycles is to notice when I make a decision and tell myself, “Thinking is done.” Then I know that whatever else follows is just my fear talking, and not worth my attention.

That’s the real power we have to stop our fear cycles: Attention.

We aren’t perfect super-humans. We have limits, insecurities, and weaknesses. It’s important to avoid getting caught up in trying to fix all of our “faults”.

Instead, we need to focus on putting our attention where it serves us best. For me, that means noticing thought-cycles¬†before they get out-of-hand and hitting the “Reset” button. Instead of letting my attentions get dragged along by my fears, I just set my internal “safety-gauge” back to “neutral”. (I believe this is a function of the pre-frontal cortex overriding the amygdala and brainstem, but please contribute more information in the comments if you’re a brain expert.)

Another great way to practice this is to reset your mind after you make mistakes. Mistakes often set off the “I’m going to be judged” alarms in our heads. Mistake-resetting is an excellent practice; I’m doing it right now as I type. When I make a mistake and have to go back to delete/fix it, I feel a low-level panic. (It’s subtle, but keep “listening” to your body. Emotions often echo through our physiology.)

It’s like the mouse with the balloons: Let the little guy rise up¬†into your conscious mind, get over your fear of mice, and make friends with him. See your mistake for what it is – a part of you, and learn to love it. Don’t just “own” your mistakes; this can feel like “taking responsibility” for mistakes to please an authority figure. Instead,¬†love¬†your mistakes. Then you won’t feel afraid to have them exposed to others.

For example, now that I’ve identified my typing mistakes as an area of practice and growth, I can take pride in them. It’s like a Special Olympian, looking at her missing legs with pride; her limitations have given her a chance at greatness.

One you see your limitations as your source of pride, you will have developed another level of emotional maturity. You’ll be a happier person and a better lover!

Also, have the courage to discuss your challenges with your lovers, especially if they affect your lovemaking. For example, if you have trouble showing off a certain part of your body, let your lover know about it. You can work on this (gently and patiently) together; what was once a worry can become a source of pride for both of you!

Let your sexual adventures heal you and your partners. Be honest and totally accepting of your limitations and challenges. Learn to love your mistakes and your fears – it will set you free!

Tantra, Intimacy, sexuality, and spirituality!