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By Jivan Joti Kaur
In the West, spirituality and sexuality have not traditionally been seen as compatible partners. If one was spiritual or "religious," he could not also enjoy sex.
Devoted God-fearing people had intercourse solely for the purpose of procreation, not for the pure enjoyment of it. Since World War II those strict puritanical attitudes have been replaced with healthier views, recognizing the emotional and physical benefits of pleasurable sex. In fact, we seem to have swung to the opposite extreme; sex is now over-used to the point of abuse. And even though everyone recognizes sex as a healthy part of one's life, very few consider sex as a spiritual endeavor.
In the Eastern tradition, conversely, over the last many centuries, sexuality has been taught as an art and a science. The knowledge of the fundamentals and principles of sexuality was the hallmark of a truly enlightened person. Today, as spiritual practices are gaining in popularity, more people want to bring deeper meaning into their sexual experiences as well. Indeed, sex can be one of the most blissful forms of spiritual union. This is known as "sacred" sex.
"Physical intercourse is called 'the bridge of seven constructions.' You can elevate your physical, mental, and spiritual body seven times over if it is an intercourse of mind, body and soul - if it is sacred, if it is worthwile. Otherwise, it is the dumbest thing to do"
-Yogi Bhajan, Marriage on the Spiritual Path
Because sacred sex is one of the most powerful human experiences, it is important that anyone considering developing a relationship in which to practice sacred sex assimilates the following principles into his or her life:
The first principle: Develop your relationship with that infinite being or God in you first, allowing it to be the core of your identity.
In Western culture we are taught to look for God and our identity outside of ourselves. Religion tells us where to find God and how to be worthy of encountering God. The media gives us rock stars, athletes, and movie stars to idolize and emulate. In the yogic perspective our spirituality and true identity are an internal and integral experience.
As we are all the creation of the Creator, we can experience that Infinity within the frame of our finite bodies. Whatever else may be our identity, such as being a parent, computer specialist, or skier, the goal of a yogi is to make the relationship with the soul the core of his or her identity. See the godliness in yourself as your base, building your identity from there. Yoga and meditation are wonderful and effective ways to develop that relationship with the Beloved. The reverence a couple feels within their individual selves will then transfer into their blissful sexual union.
The second principle: There must be a trusted, committed relationship.
Sexual intercourse is not a relationship between the penis and vagina. It is a total merger of polarities, auras, spirits, and consciousness. The outer rims of the auras split and merge with one another. In other words, two auras become one aura. For a woman, this is very important, because the man's aura imprints onto hers for years and maybe even a lifetime. She may go around carrying many men's imprints on her aura, which can make it harder for her to know her true identity. Multiple sex partners may also make it harder for a person to commit to a long-lasting relationship. And, when a person who has multiple partners is making love, he or she may not be totally present because of thinking about other sex partners.
A merger on such a high spiritual level is so intimate and complete that without commitment the emotional damage could be devastating to one or both parties. If you are not ready for a committed relationship, wait until you are before embarking upon sacred sex. Being single is a perfect time to work on the first principle, and then allowing your radiance and projection to attract your soul mate to you.
The third principle: Be sensitive and communicate, communicate, communicate.
There are no rules of etiquette in sacred sex, except that both parties agree, and no one gets hurt physically, emotionally, or spiritually. It's not so much what the couple does in sex as "how" they do it—the consciousness brought to love making. This requires sensitivity and listening to the needs and desires of each other. If the couple can listen to one another, free of judgment, blaming, or criticism, true intimacy and trust will result in all areas of the relationship. Remember, sacred sex doesn't start in the bedroom; it starts in the coziness of the rest of the home.
The fourth principle: Develop a spiritual practice together.
In the first principle, we discussed the importance of developing one's own relationship with the soul. To enhance your sacred sexual relationship, it is also important to find ways of connecting to the Infinite together—to see the godliness in each other.
There are many ways couples can do this. Walking in the woods; reading uplifting quotes, poems, or your wedding vows to each other; giving each other massages; or doing a martial art together are just a few suggestions. Brainstorm creative ideas with your partner. Yoga and meditation for couples (Venus Kriyas) are also wonderful technologies for building that relationship.
"If the feelings are aroused to the point of worship, and the Shakti (female) worships the Shiva (male), and Shiva melts like nectar into her, then it is a unity. But when it is not done as a worship, when she does not perceive and receive him in divinity within herself, (when) he does not go in her as the nectar of life and divinity, just to give to her, then it is not that act. It only feeds the monstrous ego, and egos clash."
The fifth principle: Nurture unconditional love and acceptance.
All of the above principles will nurture unconditional love and acceptance, an absolute necessity in sacred sex. Sacred sex is not about the lustful exchange of bodily fluids or the urgency of sweaty flesh. Yes, passion is an ingredient, but much more happens. When each person is allowed to be, and is appreciated and acknowledged for exactly who they are, free of any "remodeling" agendas, true intimacy occurs and love blossoms.
Venus Kriyas and Meditations for Couples
Just as yoga and meditation connect you to your Infinity, Venus Kriyas create a neurochemical change in the brain, allowing couples the experience of ecstasy and bliss together.
Venus Kriyas and other meditations for couples are an excellent preparation for lovemaking or as a regular spiritual practice. They are especially effective if couples choose one Venus Kriya or meditation that they practice consistently for 40, 90, or 120 days to enhance a particular aspect of their relationship. Meditation quiets the limiting and hurtful voice of the ego, allowing the expansive voices of the neutral mind and heart to take center stage. The couple will experience enhanced trust, intimacy, and sacred sex.
Getting Started with Venus Kriyas
Venus Kriyas are very powerful yogic techniques.
They must be practiced only in the highest consciousness. Venus Kriyas are a tool to blend polarity energies for spiritual growth. The focus stays at the heart, projecting love and caring, with the highest good for both. These practices expand the higher centers. As such, they must never be used for sensual or sexual manipulation or exploitation of another person. If these techniques are abused in any way, the result may be harmful to both parties.
Venus Kriyas can not be practiced for more than 3 minutes. Only one Venus Kriya can be practiced within a one hour period.
To begin every Venus Kriya, sit down in front of your partner, put your own hands together in prayer pose, and tune in by chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo three times. With your hands still together, look into your partner's eyes and then bow your head in recognition of their God consciousness.
Project love from your heart, and any other positive thought you want, such as, "We deserve all the Universe can offer us," or "This meditation will be a blissful, spiritual experience for both of us."
Upon completion of every Venus Kriya, put your palms together at the heart center, say "Sat Nam" (acknowledging the truth in each other) and thank your partner. Relax completely.
Here are 3 Venus Kriyas, a couples meditation, and a meditation you can do on your own to open the heart:
Venus Kriya: Heart Lotus: Relate to the Heart and Soul of Your Partner
Sit in easy pose across from your partner, looking into his or her eyes. Form your hands into a lotus—all the fingers are spread with the hands cupped. Then the man puts his little fingers under the woman's little fingers.
These are the only fingers that touch. This makes a heart lotus. Look into the soul, the heart of your partner, through the eyes.
Continue for 1.5 minutes with normal breathing.
Then each partner should place one hand over the other at his or her heart center, right hand over left. Close your eyes and meditate on your heart. Go deeply within to the center of your being.
Continue for 1.5 minutes. Relax.
Venus Kriya: Get Rid of Grudges
Sit back to back with your partner, knees up, arms around your knees. Meditate on your heart. Hear it. Meditate on the sun. Bring it into your heart. Burn out all the bitterness you've felt through the years.
Continue for 3 minutes with normal breathing.
To end, inhale, exhale, and relax.
Venus Kriya: One Unit
Standing back to back with your partner, clasp hands and touch the back of the heads in a relaxed manner. Meditate on being one unity and Infinite con sciousness. Do normal breathing for 2 minutes.
Then separate and drop the hands, bend over, keep the buttocks touching, with the legs straight. Touch the ground with the hands for 1 minute.
To end, inhale,exhale, and relax.
Couples Meditation: Kirtan Kriya to Clear the Clouds
Sit in easy pose back to back with your partner. Hands are in gyan mudra at the knees. Meditate at the third eye point.
The mantra is SA TA NA MA. As you chant SA, touch the forefinger to the thumb. On TA, touch the middle finger to the thumb. On NA, touch the ring finger to the thumb. On MA, touch the little finger to the thumb. As you chant each syllable, visualize energy entering the top of the head and pursuing an "L"-shaped course from the top of the head out through the third-eye point, projecting out to Infinity. This energy flows along the energy path called the golden cord, connecting the pineal and the pituitary gland.
Begin chanting in a normal voice for 5 minutes. Then whisper for 5 minutes. (Times may be reduced in equal proportion by half for a shorter meditation.)
Vibrate the mantra silently for 10 minutes. Then whisper for 5 minutes. And finally, chant aloud for 5 minutes.
When you have finished, stretch the hands up as far as possible and spread the fingers wide. Stretch the spine and take several deep breaths. Then relax.
[Illustrations by Simrat Kaur Khalsa]
Meditation to Open the Heart Center
If you feel your heart is closed, and there is no flow of love, do this meditation. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position.
Focus your eyes up, between the eyebrows at the third eye point. The mantra, Sat Kartar, which means "God is the Doer," can be chanted melodically or in a monotone in three parts with a different mudra (hand position) for each syllable.
Transition from step to step in a single flowing movement.
Step 1. As you chant Sat (sounds like "but") the palms of the hands are pressed together in prayer mudra at the center of the chest.
Step 2. As you chant Kar (sounds like "car") extend your arms out in front of you with the hands and fingers pointed straight up, palms facing away from you.
Step 3. As you say tar (sounds like "tar") extend your arms out from the sides parallel to the floor, with the palms facing up.
Time: Chant for 5 to 31 minutes
Jivan Joti Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D. (Counseling/Psychology) is a Level I and II Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer. She is a Level III Candidate in Sat Nam Rasayan and has written three books, The Art of Making Sex Sacred, Editions One and Two and Dying Into Life: The Yoga of Death, Loss and Transformation. This article was based on Chapter Three inThe Art of Making Sex Sacred. She invites readers to email her with questions and share experiences. For copies of her book, a phone consultation, or to schedule a workshop in your area:[email protected]
Illustrations by Simrat Kaur Khalsa
Venus Kriyas and Meditations © The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
Previously published n Aquarian Times, Summer 2002