The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#232: Tantra: Sex Through Non-Sex

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, May 13, 2018


In the Tantric yogic traditions they talk about ‘actionless action’ or inaction through action. This is part of the karma-yoga tradition, developing spiritually through right action. Rather than renouncing the world and avoiding actions, karma yoga is about engaging in the world - cultivating wordly life and spiritual life simultaneously.

In the Taoist tradition there is the concept of wu-wei ‘action through non-action’ or action without intent, which leads to a life of harmony, aligned with the Way or the Tao.

Both Tantra and Taoism apply this to sex as much as to any other aspect of life. In both approaches, there are two important aspects of this doing through non-doing: lack of attachment to the action and moral rightness.

As it says in the Tao te Ching (Daode Jing) "When action is pure and selfless, everything settles into its own perfect place," and “The highest virtue is to act without a sense of self”.

So what’s this got to do with sex? How can we modern people have sex through non-sex and thereby achieve harmonious living and spiritual growth?

Firstly - sex without attachment. This means you enter the sexual or intimate activity without being needy, without an expectation of outcome, you’re not assuming or expecting that it will be orgasmic, not even that it will be genital. You go with the flow, the wu-wei of the encounter.

Secondly - sex that is virtuous, morally sound. This means you come together with a purity, an openness, a sense of rightness. Don't confuse this with any prudish concept of purity, you can be playing in an S&M dungeon and do it with purity; and similarly you can engage in so-called ‘spiritual’ sexual activities from an impure basis, led by ego rather than soul.

This is so different to the western view of sex, which in the old days was considered shameful and wrong, and which in the modern era is often considered a need or a right, something to ‘achieve’ in the same way that we want to achieve so much in our ego-led society.

Cultivate yourself, through your sexuality as much as the rest of life, in this way and you will find that bliss, ecstasy, sense of unity with the cosmos, oneness of all things, harmony. You’ll ride the tantric wave….


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