Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson T79 - Celibacy, Sexual Obsession and Self-Pacing  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: June 17, 2010

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of this tantra yoga archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "What is tantra yoga?"


Q: I have been trying to live a celibate life for some time, and am finding great frustration in it. Lust keeps returning, and I am unable to resist. Even when I am able to abstain, I find perverse desires creeping in, dragging me toward deviant behaviors. The abstention seems to amplify the perverse tendencies. What is that about? If I sincerely want to stop living a life of sexual obsession, why do I keep getting pulled back into it?

A: Whenever we attempt to force conduct in a direction opposed to our inner energy flow, there will be resistance, and often times a redirection of the energy into a worse outcome than if we had allowed it to express naturally in the first place. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the perennial attempts of people and institutions to forcibly regulate sexuality.

So it should come as no surprise that attempting to enforce a self-imposed celibate lifestyle can lead to frustration and distortions in conduct. It is the common outcome of an uninformed approach to human sexuality. Even the priesthood, who are supposed to be experts in this area, find themselves splashed across the headlines in abuse after abuse and scandal after scandal. Will we ever learn?

Sex is not like a wild horse that only has to be trained once. The roots of sexuality run much deeper, to the core of our being. It takes ongoing tantric methods and the integration of a range of spiritual practices to bring that great power into the fold of spiritual life. Even then, we may continue to be sexually active, and this is not necessarily a drag on spiritual life. It may well enhance spiritual progress if the relationship is healthy and productive. Sexual lifestyles and relationships are a personal matter, as long as no one is being harmed. When sex is forcibly restrained and overflows into abusive acts, then it is no longer a personal matter.

The suggestion is to allow your nature to express itself, without harm to others, and gently coax your sexual energy to a higher manifestation through the tantric methods discussed in these lessons. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was it built without prudent doing. It is the same with cultivating the expansion of sexuality to its destiny of divine expression.

If our relationship with our sexuality is "No!" then we will be in for some tough sledding. On the other hand, if our relationship with our sexuality is "Lets favor it this way," via holdback, blocking and other tantric techniques, then we will be on the road to transformation of our relationship with sex, and, for that matter, our relationship with everything.

True celibacy is a lifestyle that is arrived at gradually, not by extreme measures. And it depends very much on the person. We may be celibate for a time, and then not. It is a function of our inner processes, not so much outer ones. Some will not go the celibate route at all, and reach very advanced spiritual development. Is the pure celibate who cannot refrain from deviant conduct better off?

Celibacy should never be a burden. When it is a burden, look out, for there may be trouble around the corner. For those who find themselves aspiring to a celibate lifestyle, "self-pacing" will be found to be a useful approach. By this we mean a release of sexual tensions when necessary through non-harming means, such as tantric masturbation. Then we can continue without a major divergence from our spiritual path. The frustration will be less and the spiritual progress will be more.

As we proceed through life with a balanced daily routine of spiritual practices, we will find increasing productive expressions for our sexuality. Maybe it will be in service to others, or maybe in a loving relationship and family life. Whatever works for us will be what we will do. If we know tantric methods, we can relax and live, no matter what our sexual lifestyle may be. Spiritual life isn't about bottling up sexuality, leaving ourselves vulnerable to unhealthy distortions. It is about skillfully channeling sexual energy into productive uses. It takes time and practice to form habits that will lead us forward, until all that we do becomes an expression of the divine flowing through us. This is the role of sexual energy when gradually and systematically expanded to its highest expression.

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed instructions on the methods of tantra in relation to the broad scope of yoga practices and the enlightenment process, see the AYP Tantra book, and AYP Plus.

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