12 Sexual Rejuvenation
12.5 Sex and Ayurveda - Personal Insights
I would like to try and clarify some point about sex for people interested in meditation and a spiritually harmonious way of life. The following are my own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the traditional views. I personally feel that some basic misunderstanding exist for the average student.
While most teachers or spiritual groups advocate celibacy or abstinence from intercourse, it may not necessarily be in keeping with spiritual development. I will absolutely agree with abstinence for people practicing Kundalini Yoga or Yogas involving the manipulation of the pranas. This and a satvic diet are necessary. These practices must be accompanied by a teacher who watches your progress, who provides an undisturbed place to live, and who can provide the emotional support necessary to replace the emotional void left by sexual abstinence.
In the above situation when a teacher provides the emotional support, it is possible to abstain from sexual relationship without creating an imbalance of some kind. People who are alone, and who concentrate totally on their practice, are also not included in the following discussion, provided that they arrived there naturally and effortlessly. Another exempt category is mature people in the later stages of life. It is normal with age, or maturity, to lose interest in sex, and it is actually a sign of health, not imbalance. There are another small category of people who are just not interested in sex; if these people live alone or with someone of a like mind, then it can be okay. However, if you live with a partner and one of you is interested and the other not, then imbalance will result. This creates mental and physical tensions which led to disharmony is the humors (hence the expression bad humored!).
For the vast majority of people, sex is natural function of the body and is necessary for proper health. This section is directed to these people. Forced abstinence can cause a number of problems ranging from mental depression to physical block that result in illness. Making love stimulates and activates the five pranas. Their regular activation plays a vital role in keeping the nadis open and clear throughout the body. It is a very complete from of exercise and more fun than most sports! Sex relieves tension and stress through a natural activation of the pranas, which in turn cause the body to expel toxins from the tissues. If done according to your individual capacity, there is nothing healthier.
People are often asked to refrain from sex or from orgasm when associated with teachers or spiritual teachings. This is only healthy for a very few mature people. It is mind that must be addressed, not the body. To replace one concept with another is not an improvement; eliminating all concept it is the Brahmarcharya. If this is done, celibacy will naturally happen. In regard to this kind of unhealthy practice I would like to recount a story that my teacher told publicly some years ago.
Poonjaji had heard of one man who had walked to heaven from the Himalayas (Yudhistara, brother of Arjuna). Legend gave the exact rout that this man had take with six other people in his family, but he was the only one to complete the journey because of his inner purity. Consequently my teacher, Poonjaji, started to walk the same route. Several days went by; he had left the plains and lower mountains. He had no warm clothes as he lived in the plains and was concerned with heaven, not comfort. At night he would stay with sadhus (only men who live alone doing austerities or penance). One night he begged lodging from a sadhu. He was fed and give a bed in the cave, which was a blanket on a stone ledge and a sand pillow. Here at the height of the Himalayas, above tree line, frozen. Lived this man who practiced austerities alone is silence. This sadhu had no possessions other than a pot in which to cook and drink from. Poonjaji decided he didnt need the sand pillow so he moved it on to the floor and found a pornographic girlie magazine under it!
Poonjajis comment was, it is better to have girl under the arm than head! The sadhu had left physical relationships behind, but not the mental attachment. The actual definition or Brahmacharya, which people normally quote with celibacy, is to only reflect on the unchanging substratum, consciousness. Vasistha says this:
By the practice of brahmacharya (mental continence or whole-shoulddevotion to Brahman), courage and endurance, and dispassion, and by intelligent practice based on common-sense, one obtains that which one seek to obtain-self-knowledge.6
This is said not to give permission to overindulge in sex, but to clarify a much-confused subject. There is, in fact, no controversy regarding sexuality in so far as our experience of pure consciousness. Everything issue from the substratum of consciousness including the prana that manifests as sexual energy. What is very important is our mental attitude towards sex. It is the mind that unbalance the prana and so the humors. If the mind is obsessed with sex or food, it says something about the mind and not the objections in terms of the religious-oriented person is in advanced practice of Jnana Yoga (Advaita), and yogas that manipulate the pranas directly, and I have already acknowledged that exception . If one cuts off or represses ones sexuality, one cuts off the lifer force, prana, whose natural function is to unite with the opposite polarity. To a major degree, such a cut affects the relationship to life it self.
To finish the story: Poonjaji went on for some distance further until he came to a saddle in the glaciers. There he met a man and a woman who looked like Shiva and Paravati (shiva is one of the Hindu trinity of Gods, he represent meditation, austerities destruction, and pure consciousness; Paravati is his wife). The woman came to him and invited him to eat with them; she was incredibly beautiful. The man remained silent as a stone; they were both very luminous. They ate a grain mixed with honey that Poonjaji described down the mountains, feeling that the Gods had come to him so now there was no need for him to go to heaven. Was it a vision? Perhaps, except that in India people eat with their hands, and Poonjajis hands smelled of Paravatis food for years after this meeting.
Poonjaji had a wife and has two children. While he spent much of his life alone in the pursuit of self-knowledge, he attributes this to ignorance rather than to necessity. His teacher, Sri Ramana Maharishi told people with families to return home, that their desire to know God was not in any way impaired by living a normal family life. The realized teacher Sri Nasargadatta Maharaj lived in Bombay with his family and often said only important factor was mantel abstinence from desire toward any thing, not only sex.
The fact of the matter is that as long as the five states of matter, the five elements, are combined with prana, the body exists, and the personality exists. As long as the body exists, it will want to eat, drink, and have sex. Nothing could be more natural or the cause of so much misunderstanding. To sum it up: it our mental attitude that determines if something is an obstacle, not object or action itself. If our development is sufficient, the desire will not be there any way, and the question is moot. My experience is that if sex is available, I seldom want it or think of it. However, if it is not available, I want it all the time and think of it often. This is the nature of the mind, not of human sexuality.
There are several different way in which to regulate the pranas in the actual act of making love. One if for the man to without ejaculation, or sometime both partners can do this, and the other is to simply prolong the time period of being together.
For the first method, two popular schools exist. The first one involves non-movement by either partner. The couple simply united and then remains together for an hour or more. If done correctly, a natural current of prana being to circulate between the couple. This method is very effective to break sexual tensions between a couple. If a couple can repeat this passive intercourse, then slowly the mental tensions and conditioning around sex will diaperse. The first dozen time can (and usually does) trigger strong emotional reactions from both partners. These must be seen for what they are emotional releases of sexual vasanas, and not allowed to stop or interfere with the process. This method is mostly therapeutic and does lead to a stressless lovemaking in time. It is however, not advised for the majority of people as a lifetime method. It can cause pranic congestion in both partners, and men may have a difficulty with the prostate gland if this methods is followed for longer than six month to a year. It is very beneficial for couples to try for several months, as it places the emphasis on being together in a loving way rather than on peak orgasms. Keep in mind that this methods should be practiced for a period of time-one time is not enough.
The other method that involves nonejaculation consists of physical and mental exercises to withhold the peak orgasm. This allows a different kind of orgasm to happen -what is commonly called a valley orgasm. This methods may be better for long-term use, provided it is method may be because it involves physical exercises that circulate the prana and transform its normal function into a regeneration methods, or a method to build up ojas for spiritual practices. This methods is very well explained by Mantak Chia 7 in this books on male and female sexuality. However, as I said earlier, it is better to learn directly from him than from a book. These book are the most complete on the subject that I have found and are recommended for people interested in preserving their sexual fluids for rejuvenation, or for yogic practices. I do know people who have become impotent from Taoist methods. I strongly suggest finding and following a qualified teacher if these types of methods are chosen. They are generally more dangerous for men than women.
The other option from the perspective of health and enjoyment is to prolong the experience as long as desired before orgasm. This also creates the possibility for valley orgasms, usually more for a woman than a man, but this depends on how often a couple make love. The simplest way to prolong the time, which allows for more enjoyment and a deeper emotional, is for the man to withdraw and wait before continuing. Woman need time to warm up. It much more bonding and nourishing for both partners if the man can facilitate this period of warming up. Whatever happens for a couple, the primary result should be joy and mutual appreciation of each other, not the perfection of a technique. Appreciation, love, and a deep contentment show that a positive emotional bonding has taken place, thus the pranas will be in harmony. Love is a necessary ingredient for the lasting harmony of the prana and so the soul.