By Martin Svensson and Celestine Andersen.
This article is based on a lecture which was kept by Martin and Celestine in the International Yoga Congress 2010, which took place on 13-17 of October in Bucharest, Romania. On that event there were kept dozens of lectures and workshops by yoga teachers from all over the world. Among the participating teachers there was made a friendly contest for the best lecture. This lecture by Marin and Celestine won the 3rd place of all the lectures.
We will share our personal experience as a couple, upon tantric lovemaking, sexual continence and polarity as a method for spiritual growth, methods to transform the couple relationship into a spiritual engine through polarity and sexual continence, notions on the differences between men and women, and the game of polarity from a spiritual point of view.
A preview on Tantra
According to the ancient spiritual traditions, Tantra is the science of the consciousness, essentially based on experiencing the most intense and powerful states provided by the senses, in a perfectly controlled manner, in order to use this powerful energy to expand the individual limited field of awareness into the Cosmic Universal consciousness.
Among all the experiences of a human being, the erotic union, full of love and transfiguration between a man and a woman is one of the deepest and strongest. The sexual dynamism is the most powerful physical experience and in the same time so easily accessible, and Tantra offers the method to transform it into a way to spiritual regeneration and ecstasy.
The sexual energy is one of the strongest generators for intensive states we have, and used in a wise and controlled way it can be the trigger for awakening divine levels of our being. Therefor Tantra points out the deep value of the couple relationship and sexual union, because the relationship between the man and the woman holds a tremendous spiritual potential.
Kularnava Tantra states: “Using boring and difficult techniques, nobody can achieve perfection. Perfection can be achieved easily through complete controlled and aware satisfaction of the desires.”
This very courageous approach made Tantra an easy subject of misunderstandings. Westerners misused Tantra for encouraging the so-called free sexuality, which is nothing but a sure path to decadence and sufferance if the sexual continence (in fact implying a very severe discipline in order to be attained) is not practiced!
In order to be able to use the tantric methods for spiritual transformation, one should adopt a new attitude regarding the creative – sexual energy. Spiritualizing and sacralizing the sexuality is a pillar for the tantric path. Without this attitude, all the techniques or procedures are nothing but sterile exercises. What provides the real transformation into a student of Tantra, is this transfiguration of his/her sexuality into a sacred cosmic act of union between the two polarities: masculine and feminine, for recreating the primordial perfect Androgyne.
This way, the sexual union becomes a form of meditative discipline having deep psycho-mental and spiritual effects.
How to use sexuality as a spiritual tool, lies into the mechanisms of the mind and the way these mechanisms can be controlled. Tantra reveals that an intensive state have the power to destroy the self-imposed limitations that we would normally impose in the beginning of our evolution. We all know the experience of the amazing state of freedom and clarity that comes after a very intensive state of pleasure or pain because of the overwhelming amount of emotions. When going lucidly through such intensive experience, our consciousness expands immensely. The tantric system found different methods to produce in a safe way, intensive states and use them systematically to expand the consciousness.
Also here we want to mention the emphasis Tantra puts on our approach on sexuality, that is encouraged to be full of courage without taboos. First of all we have to realise where we are and start from there, as a classical example Tantra gives us. A sense of complete honesty, openness and self-awareness is needed. Everything we fear, will limit and bound us and the way to freedom is to confront and overcome our limiting patterns. Our experience is, that on the base of the intimate love relationship, we became much stronger because we were reflecting each other, giving honest, but loving feedback and guidance. In this way, we became more aware and because of the mutual support, also able to grow and overcome our limitations. The beauty of being in a couple is that there is always one to reflect you and thus the potential for fast and efficient growth, when both have transformation as a goal, and the ability to give feedback with love to help each other and not to criticise. And because we are different, we became examples for each other in different ways. Martin is for example very open-minded and detached and Celestine playful and spontaneous. He taught her to detach from her emotions and become a witness to her life. She taught him to be more free and enjoy life. In this case we helped each other to become balanced, adopting some of the best qualities from each other.
The key to a permanent transformation on the spiritual path, is repetition. An overwhelming, intensive state which is not repeated doesn´t represent a true value for the spiritual practitioner, because only the lasting states marks a real transformation.
And here comes the aspect of discipline that takes the unconscious experience and lifts it through awareness, because of the systematic approach. By putting a conscious goal into the relationship and having practical methods to obtain it, we get the conditions for the experience to become lucid and thus being able to reflect and measure the results. This sounds for some, mechanical and boring, because they are used with pleasure being connected with unconsciousness and “loosing the head” in essence letting go of the control. We see this as a consequence in the society where duty and pleasure is separated and people seek false enjoyment and relaxation through unconsciousness; excess of stimulants, drugs, TV and unhealthy food for paralyzing the senses.
We speak about the conscious erotic intensive pleasure, including all the senses, which can create high states of spiritual ecstasy, when controlled and guided to higher levels of our being.
When we approach the sexual union full of love and aspiration towards the spiritual fulfillment, combined with awareness, we have a perfect set-up for a deep and profound experience with the beloved. If we want to have lasting states of ecstasy and spiritual awakening, it is important to repeat the experience and not to leave it as an outstanding experience based on good luck that day, but to mark it in our consciousness and analyse what made us have that experience - then we can repeat it until we have obtained the aimed goal.
The attitude that Tantra is suggesting is to courageously approach the sexual exercises and should be a combination between the detached state related to karma yoga, the precision of a scientist and the devotion and transformation of a real mystic.
The fundament of the tantric sexuality is love. Even though the tantric approach on sexuality contains methods and techniques to master the control over the sexual energy, this would never be enough in order to reach the truly deep and profound states of divine union in the lovemaking. What really accelerates our states into ecstasy is based on the intense longing and love we have for our beloved, and then applying the sexual continence in the intense and polar lovemaking, we have the perfect recipe for experiencing the divine union with our beloved and the entire Universe.
One of the biggest secrets of Tantra is that the sexual energy hides the greatest potential for transformation and evolution of any human being. The sexual potential is the very manifestation of the creative primordial power at the individual level. Wasting this potential is a fast way to loose all your vital energy. Mastering this potential, maintaining the creative energy through perfect sexual continence, is the way to reach perfection.
Lovemaking with love, transfiguration and sexual continence awakens an enormous amount of energy in the aura of the two lovers. This energy can be used for transforming entirely those beings on all levels through awakening of the superior chakra-s, expanding the level of consciousness over the subtle parallel dimensions, awakening the latent energy Kundalini etc. For this, the process of sublimation is the key. Without sublimation, all the energy resulting after the sexual continence is applied successfully, will tend to stagnate only in the sexual area, lowering its frequency of vibration and possibly generating even negative phenomena such as: irritability, frustrations, tensions, indulging in the trap of sensorial pleasures, confusion, haze, possessiveness, jealousy and attachments.
Through sublimation, sexual energy is directed to other non-sexual aspects of a person such as vitality, psychic and emotional structures, mental and spiritual areas.
Sublimation is a process performed by will. Transmutation of the sexual energies appears almost spontaneously as long as the sexual potential is kept inside during a very intense and effervescent lovemaking (and not wasted through ejaculation or explosive feminine discharge respectively), the energy which results has to be directed and controlled afterwards. If it remains mostly in the sexual area it will have the tendency to ‘condense’ back in lower aspects, producing only an increased sexual appetite and the feeling of erotic desire. It is always a conscious choice to sublimate the energies, either by will, visualization or tantric techniques.
The orgasm: a way to ecstasy
Lovemaking with continence is the way to discover that love, tenderness and sensuality add countless delightful nuances to our whole existence, as well as ensuring excellent health. And, moreover, the sublimation of the energies at superior levels produces powerful spiritual transformations, the goal of any spiritual path.
One of the biggest mistakes nowadays is to equal orgasm and ejaculation (sexual discharge in the case of women). Tantra describes the orgasm as being a blissful state of expansion of the consciousness beyond all the individual normal experiences, in which the usual limits of the selfish ego are suddenly cancelled, the tyranny of the mind is abolished, and the subject experiences a certain form of ecstasy. For a short moment, one discovers in amazement, the abandonment, the death of the egotism, the canceling of the time, and the experience of the Unity, which makes this condition identical with a metaphysical experience; therefore, in terms of the tantric system, often the Enlightenment (the state of ecstasy) is even called "the cosmic orgasm".
In simple words we can say that the orgasm is the door to ecstasy. On the contrary: the ejaculation is the u-turn on that way. Prolonging the orgasm beyond the normal limits through the sexual continence leads to super sensual experiences and enriches us with incredible capacities. The lovemaking experience becomes an opportunity to explore the mysterious land of ecstasy, overwhelming happiness, pure blissful joy, and super sensual games. The feeling of love in a couple is strengthened by the controlled orgasm. Instead of being an exhausting experience, orgasm with continence reveals its sacred meaning.
The true, profound orgasm appears when there is a perfect state of polarity within ones being.
As a very process, the phase of orgasm is characterized by the loss of the individuality (ego). The excitation, previously focused mostly in the genital area, begins now to spread in the entire body, rising towards the head. An intense process of transmutation of the sexual potential takes place and the energy released inside, is leading to an overwhelming state of happiness, pleasure, intuition about the hidden mysteries, insight beyond the ‘normal reality’ and even mystical states. Together with this amazing spiritual experience, the entire physical body feels rejuvenated and regenerated due to the resorption of the rich elements contained in the semen (or sexual feminine fluids) and the re-cycling of them for feeding the inner organs and nervous system. This is the secret process of using the sexual potential (sperm in the case of man and sexual secretions in the case of woman), which is transformed in substances that the organism resorbs inside through the lymphatic network present around the genitals (in this way, all the precious substances that the semen or sexual secretions are made of, are reused and they feed the whole human structure: body, soul and spirit), and the resulting energy become part of the individual global energetic structure.
Once this potential is not lost through ejaculation, the orgasm experience can be repeated indefinitely and thus the couple (both man and woman) can experience the very famous tantric multiple orgasm.
The reason to practice sexual continence appears clearly in this light: it is the only chance to have a wonderful erotic relationship.
The lovemaking with sexual continence allows both lovers to experience peak states of orgasm (in the same time or separately), taking care constantly of the transmutation of the sexual potential (sperm in the case of man and sexual fluids in the case of woman) and sublimation of the resulting energies towards superior chakra-s and refined levels of one’s being.
So both from a human and spiritual point of view, the sexual continence is the wonderful solution to transform our lovemaking in a source of fulfillment and harmony for our couple relationship and, for the tantric initiated ones, to use it for our spiritual evolution [meaning the awakening of superior levels of the being (emotional, affective, mental, spiritual) with the help of the sublimed energies]. Also it is important to underline the importance of the state of orgasm as being an experience of non-duality and transcendence (starting with the limitations of the ego).
Tantra reveals that experiencing long, profound and controlled orgasms a human being has the chance to reach high states of ecstasy and transcendence.
In the tantric tradition, sensuality which is refined and amplified very much through sexual continence, appears as being a natural way to reach divine ecstasy (called in spirituality samadhi). Intense erotic experiences, due to the sexual continence, leads to a transpersonal state together with the other benefits. In the same time, this kind of eroticism is a mysterious way of knowing, the controlled pleasure and intense experience of the senses have here the role of a staircase to superior levels of consciousness.
The success in sexual continence implies some very important aspects. Without grounding the training within them, the practice of sexual continence is very difficult and also, even if the ejaculation could be suspended, spiritual results will not appear. The foremost important one is the LOVE. There is a big difference between having sex and making love. Just to mention few: having sex is a selfish perspective, egoistically oriented only towards satisfying one’s own lust while making love is a devoted and self-giving action of expressing one’s love and adoration for the beloved using the erotic energy. Having sex is limited to the genital organs, leaving behind frustrations and a bitter taste of missing the essential while making love is expanding one’s consciousness from finite to infinite with the help of the ecstatic states of orgasm, reaching hidden spiritual dimensions unbelievable for normal people.
There is nothing better in the world than to love and be loved back and a peak of this happiness is to make love with your beloved one. Tantra says: “when love is infinite, the impossible becomes easily possible.”
When love is missing but there is sexual attraction, you can only have sex. But when two lovers love each other, making love represents for them a wonderful crowning of their feelings.
“If a woman is free and radiant in feminine energy, the man is probably attracted; sometimes more attracted,sometimes less attracted, but always attracted. This attraction is not only natural, but healthy. It is a sign of polarity, the same kind of natural flow of polarization by which electricity flows between the positive and negative poles of a battery. The nature of nature is polarity, from the magnetism that flows between the north and south poles of the earth, to the attraction that flows between the masculine core and the feminine radiance of a woman.”
When there is a strong attraction between a man and a woman, it represents a big amount of energy which has a potential to be used for spiritual transformation. The more energy we have, the bigger is our potential growth. A state of polarity in a human being or between a man and a woman, lies in the game between energy and consciousness. Here the feminine represents the energy and the masculine the consciousness. It is a common knowledge that we attract our match, so a very feminine woman will attract a very masculine man, a more neutral woman will attract a more neutral man. The same is valid within our own being; when we have a lot of energy and emotion we need more awareness in order to polarise our selves, but if we are weak we need less awareness. If a person is very emotional but lacks consciousness, he or she will drown in chaos. If a person is very mental and aware but lacks energy/vitality, he or she will be very dry and unable to sustain hard or long lasting actions.
In Tantra we emphasise a lot on vitality as a base of any step on the spiritual path. A strong vitality is the fundament and hereafter comes the sublimation and awareness to lift our being to higher levels of consciousness. Here we can mention the direct experience of the state of vitality as a measure of the ability for high intense states of pleasure. When the vitality goes lower in one of us, we are not able to reach the highest levels of ecstasy, nor the ability to make love for many hours. The vitality is directly linked with the ability to experience and maintain high divine states.
The game of the masculine and feminine is a constant practise within ourselves to become perfect, balanced human beings. And the couple relationship is a very efficient tool for working with the polarity, where the man will represent the masculine pole of consciousness, focus, direction and firmness, and the woman the feminine pole of energy, emotion, movement and changeability.
The stronger this polarity is between the man and the woman, the greater the attraction becomes and represents the engine in the couple relationship. What we do with this potential engine is up to our direction. If we just enjoy and consume the polarity, sooner or later the attraction will disappear and this is what many couples experience like a drying out of their relationship, the passion gradually disappears and frustrations becomes more dominant between them. Often we experience that as long as one of us takes our part of the pole, the other one follows. It doesn´t help to criticise the other one or waiting for him to be more masculine or her to be more feminine. If you want transformation in the couple relationship, start with yourself.
The mans attraction to women is natural, normal, and beautiful. In fact, it is an aspect of the same desire that will ultimately lead him toward spiritual freedom. The women represents the feminine energy, Shakti, the creation. And the more the man is able to embrace the manifestation of the feminine, regardless if it is a storm in nature or an emotional storm from his woman, it shows his level of masculinity and ability to stand firm. When a man rejects the feminine manifestation, his ability for a strong polarisation diminishes. The more centered, firm and present a man is, the more energy he can contain. A man can practise the state of embracing the feminine in every moment, seeing the whole manifestation as his lover, feeling her, breathing her in and loving her equally in the wild stormy hurricanes and in the warm, gentle breezes. The feminine, even in the non-human forms of a lush tropical island or a favorite tune, is a way to polarise the man. The acceptance of sexual attraction, even with music and places, is at the root of our capacity to experience bodily pleasure.
If we take the same example in the case of the women, it means that the more she opens for her amount of energy, and let it flow freely, the stronger and more intense experiences she has, the more she will become present and aware. In the most intense, profound experiences of lovemaking - and especially in the moment of the tantric implosive orgasm, the woman can experience deep states of consciousness, transcending her ego and thus enter the ecstatic blissful void.
This shows us that the deeper we dive into our natural essence, as a man or woman, the more we polarise ourselves.
The polarity in the couple relationship is essential in order to take high spiritual steps on the path. The more intensity we create, the more we trigger a potential awakening of the consciousness, thus sublimating the energies upwards and enter the gate to divine ecstasy.
An efficient method to create polarity, is the tantric lovemaking done with love, transfiguration and sexual continence, making an intense awakening of the senses combined with a state of lucidity and being fully present in the moment. When we stimulate the senses in an intense, pleasurable way, we become present in the body and open a gateway into the depth of our being. If we maintain a conscious state of witness in the experience, we create the perfect union between the masculine and feminine aspect within our being. In the same time the man can focus on his masculine essence and the woman on her feminine essence and become aware of the polar game in the sexual union with the beloved.
In the game of polarity, if we look at the history of time, men have always enjoyed to watch women, to see them manifest their feminine qualities - and it is a feminine attribute for the woman, to shine and manifest her love and beauty. Men will even pay to watch a woman’s body express ecstasy. In our Western culture, most men are only familiar with sexual ecstasy, and so it is this form of free bodily expression that men pay to see, in movies, on the stage all around the world. However, in cultures that admit a greater degree of spiritual revelation, women’s bodies are viewed with the same masculine awe, but for a different kind of expression: not merely for their capacity to express sexual ecstasy in a way that is foreign, and unbelievably attractive, but also for their capacity to express spiritual ecstasy. Temple dancers in India, for instance, are traditionally feminine women trained from an early age to combine skill and heartfelt devotion in a style of dance which frees their bodies to be moved by divine force, bringing tears to many men’s eyes and openness to their hearts. A woman who is at home with her feminine essence is at home with energy, be it sexual or spiritual. For such a woman, there is no disconnection between sexuality and spirit. Whether in a strip joint or a sacred temple, men have been attracted for thousands of years to witness the feminine embodiment of ecstasy. Women are literally worshipped in such occasions.
A womans sexual surrender, if she is with a man who she truly loves, is the same as her devotional or spiritual surrender.
Recipe for rebuilding polarity
1. Stop bad habits which damage the polarity.
2. Take a break. Use the time apart to regenerate and build your own pole, increasing femininity in the case of the woman, and masculinity in the case of the man.
3. Increase and awaken the sensual erotic energy.
Practice sexual continence and improve it constantly. Contemplate erotic art and use aphrodisiacs.
4. Be romantic as often as possible. Do something, big or small, that your beloved will really like, every week.
5. Be prepared and considerate in the company of your beloved. Prepare yourself for your meetings, and do not show yourself in a non-beautiful way.
6. Increase intimacy and focus on continuous transformation. Use time together to go deeper in your connection with each other. Invoke the energy of the beginning by remembering all the beautiful moments you had in the beginning of the relationship.
In the couple relationship with a base of deep love and spiritual aspiration for growth, it is a constant issue to maintain the polarity as a method for lasting happiness, fulfillment and spiritual transformation. As a man and a woman we have to be aware of our inner essence and consciously manifest and renew our masculine or feminine potential.
First of all we need as a couple to set a higher goal and purpose for walking the path together and then apply all the necessary means to keep the right track. Be honest, courageous and take the necessary actions to overcome any limitation. Aim to have a daring, detached attitude towards your inner challenges.
The more polarity we have between us, the more we are able to accelerate into higher states of consciousness. We should always aim to seek intense experiences and nurture the erotic fulfillment and intimacy in the couple relationship.
And more important above all else; love, love and love.
With love & aspiration
Martin Svensson and Celestine Andersen.
Natha Yogacenter, Copenhagen, Denmark.
International Yoga Congress 2010, MISA.