As the term meditation is paraphrased in the German “Duden” with different keywords like contemplation, pondering and religious immersion, the word obviously contains different aspects of meaning. From the Eastern point of view in particular pondering is exactly what meditation is not, namely a matter of thinking, of preoccupying oneself with thoughts.
As people brought up in Western culture we are hardly able to imagine – let alone experience – meditation in the sense of Eastern traditions. Thus a fundamental problem emerges in the attempt to explain meditation: I will first address the more familiar form of religious immersion as well as a related act of will, contemplation and will control.
Mental training takes a lot of energy
By a conscious effort of will – in the context of practices/exercises such as contemplative concentration on a narrowly circumscribed topic or in terms of mental training aimed at a sporty goal – one succeeds more or less effectively in specifically limiting physical-psychic energy to a desired area and thus maximizing its impact.
In turn the willpower necessary requires intense psychic energy with which “natural balancing systems” are kept in check. Frequently in this process it becomes necessary to use increasing amounts of psychic energy to resist spontaneously arising excited love or for its sublimation (in order to ‘not-wanting-it-to-be-true’).
This applies less to sporty goals – because at the same time energies are released by physical expression. But it plays an especially important role in the inner struggle (against negative or worse against as evil considered ideas and desires). Despite fierce resistance the danger of failure thus becomes ever greater: how easy is it for the “inner tempter” to make himself remembered in nightly dreams! By merciless self-flagellation the unwilling have tried again and again to get rid of the uncalled shadowy figures.
Meditation in the spirit of Eastern traditions
What does happen in meditation?
For the Eastern seeker diving into the depths of meditation means an encounter with the “existential truth”, with God.
“The only thing that can bring a total transformation in your life is to become aware of the truth, the “Tao of Existence”. And the way is not through the outside, the way is through you: It is an inner journey.
First you have to find your own center. The moment you have found your own center, you have found the center of existence, because this are not two things. We are different from each other only at the periphery; at our center we meet and all merge together.
At the center we are one:
the trees, the mountains, the people, the animals, the stars.
The moment you enter your own center, you experience the Tao of all that is. And once you have come to know the Tao, the nature, the Dharma, you cannot go against it. That would be outright suicide. But if you don’t know it, you will naturally stumble, you will naturally go astray. (OSHO)
“Meditation is a way to find your center.
The essence is meditation.
If you can learn meditation,
you have learned everything.”
Learning meditation – precisely because it is not possible in the context of thinking or memory storage – is at least unfamiliar, if not very difficult for a person grown up in the west. Basically, however, it is extremely simple:
It is a matter of not repressing, not controlling, not identifying with the contents that arise and not to have an agenda. Simply looking at, perceiving what is (without commenting on the sensory perceptions or emerging thoughts, not to evaluate).
In the end, this is not just an exercise but a way of life, which Eastern seekers strive for in a lifelong effort via the practices of ZAZEN (in Buddhist Zen) or VIPASSANA (the Hindu tradition).
In the direct meditation experience I behave as an unbiased observer: I have no preconceived notions about what is good or what is bad, respectively about what I will and will not allow. Crucial are two qualities that make the good witness: Patience and fun, meaning the ability to handle a task with playful serenity.
Through this “loose” attitude I avoid the frustrating and energy-consuming struggle between opposing forces that try to gain supremacy within me. In calm “perceiving of what is”, in uninvolved looking, wishes and desires that have been repressed until now become more and more clear.
Sexuality as a meditation experience
Agents of the “left-handed tantric philosophy” integrate sexual union into their meditation experience. They maintain a connection to consciousness even in moments of sexual ecstasy. Dropping into unconscious instinctive behavior is thus prevented. At the same time, this meditation technique never lets us forget the connection to the bodily “nature” with which we are connected by innumerable bonds. We stay on the ground and do not take off into virtual substitute worlds; the immediate reference to the body keeps us in direct contact with the real environment.
Talorgasm (Valley orgasm) as a marginal human experience
In purely perceiving “that which is“, the usual “obsession with the sexual organs” is lost. As observers, we simply take note of “what is happening”; we allow the sexual organs to “do their thing” and let ourselves be surprised by the variety and the bliss of the experience.
If I succeed – not by devaluation or in an attempt to repress the undesirable – by merely standing firm in observation, (in maintaining a distance from the fantasies that arise), that is, if I do not immediately “go for it” and if I can preserve the increasingly charging energy by opening myself – in the sense of increasing intensity of love – I more and more come to realize that I am neither the thought-imaginations nor the body that urges for muscular relaxation.
In the context of energy the point is not to neutralize the primary excited energy by will energy (used to oppose). In the attitude of the conscious primary self – which does not identify with either the mind nor the body – I perceive the energy becoming charged, allow it to spread within me, so that every single cell of the body comes into increased energetic vibration.
The excess energy, which now no longer urges for immediate discharge as highly explosive dynamic energy but which has been transformed into potential energy, leads to ecstatic feelings of happiness that take over the whole body.
Factually, the reversal of the original excitement process occurs: the excited love returns, but now at a higher energy level, in the calm form of being love. If the accumulating energy is too large for “my currently available container”, discharge via the movement channel or the sexual channel or both together is always possible.
Prerequisites for meditative sexuality
Perhaps the most important prerequisite that should be ensured and which is increasingly difficult to accomplish, lies in the presence of sufficient time – basically, of unlimited time, without haste and pressure to perform.
The techniques developed by the Indian Tantra schools and the Chinese Tao practitioners orient along three lines:
- By controlling i.e. deprogramming old, biological behavioral patterns as much vital energy as possible will be accumulated.
- With spontaneity in everyday life and love experience an increasing opening in the sense of being love is aspired.
- In the end, the primary goal is to intensify awareness by perceiving what is without preconceived notions and ideologies.
It may seem surprising that the first two of these “goals” do not rule each other out. To us control and spontaneity seem to be irreconcilable opposites. But integration is actually possible; the key is provided by the third “goal” – awareness, an absolute must within this whole process.
Sexuality acquires a spiritual dimension by shifting sexual energy from the high-frequency but extremely rapidly expended energy form of excited (“friction”) pleasure to the “cooler” and extraordinarily satisfying valley orgasm of being love, which can be sustained even by older men over a longer period of time.
Meditation and being love in the context of valley orgasm
Because of these multiple conditions, it is self-evident that valley orgasm is possible only due to intensive meditation experience. This also derives from the fact that the experience of valley orgasm basically corresponds to an intensified state of being love, which, if consciously experienced, is by definition identical with “meditation”. (If the experience is undertaken during a coital encounter without meditative attunement, success is even less conceivable).
Only in this way it becomes possible to experience union in the state of being love, i.e., without excitement (which, in the regular sense is strongly associated with imaginative concepts). With reference to the meditative present, I experience what is right now in a new, yet unknown intensity. In the calm, subdued state, a “burn through” can better be avoided.
The meditation experience is even more necessary when the lovers try to experience the valley orgasm as part of excited love. When both partners allow increasingly intense pelvic and bodily movements, the container that is supposed to catch and preserve the energies released in the process is “ordinarily” much too small; the generated energy must discharge itself in ejaculation.
People without meditation experience are completely overcharged by the demand to allow (initially to force) simultaneously these two opposite qualities (sympathetic and parasympathetic).
Just because women in our culture have also become accustomed to hard “friction sex” (RICHARDSON), it is not easy for them to open up, especially vaginally, in such a way that the penis does not feel like a rejected intruder. Thus the resistance spiral of the battle of the sexes starts: pressure creates counter-pressure, the man “has to prove himself”, the “fortress wants to be conquered” and what else such catchphrases demand.
Since there are limits to the intensification of the experience of love via the intensification of the desire for excitement, even in the context of valley orgasm the emphasis shifts to the side of being love in the sense of mutual devotion and openness.
DIANA RICHARDSON uses her “LOVE KEYS” (eyes, breath, communication, genital awareness, touch, relaxation, gentle penetration, deep penetration and rotating positions) to demonstrate several key areas through which meditative tantric awareness can be “practiced”.
Practicing means first of all self-awareness, without the demands of a partner increasing the pressure to perform.
BERNIE ZILBERGELD, JOLAN CHANG, MARGO ANAND and MANTAK CHIA give further practical instructions in their books. In general, however, as with any art, these “instructions” do not constitute the actual thing.
The real can only be attained through meditative experience in a patient, not purposeful being.
Chemical and physiological effects of a valley orgasm
In addition to the physiological changes typical of the basic state of being love, in valley orgasm there is very likely an increased release of endorphins and oxytocin; there is a difference to “regular orgasm” both, in time and in the type and amount of substances released:
For those familiar with the physiology of orgasm, there is a parallel with the sympathetic i.e. parasympathetic stimulations. Both are prerequisites for a natural course of orgasm.
There clearly seems to be an increasing shift of emphasis from the actively sympathetic to the passively parasympathetic state, similar to that which occurs physiologically in the course of the aging process. Roughly simplifying, one could speak purely physiologically of “oxytoxin sex” in contrast to the usual “dopamine sex”.
The minutes to hours of anesthesia-like state of deepest happy-satisfied rest – in which “no one is there” to deal with cognitive factual issues – after some time often transitions into a deep, extremely restful sleep from which new “valley orgasm phases” may emerge.
The dark clouds of sexual fantasies
Sexual fantasies, seen in the context of meditation, are neither good nor evil; they too are something “that is”. But at the same time they are “the only sin”, namely a drifting away from the here and now. They interrupt the flow of energy and, as thoughts or images – they overshadow the present consciousness as dark clouds – and they prevent the perception of the “light”, the subtly nourishing energy.
Fundamentally, any form of fantasy leads to secondary excited sex, a process that not only leads away from being love, but increasingly blanks it out.