I recently had the honor of traveling to an amazing women’s community in Portland Oregon to share Kava Temple and open a group exploration of the idea of sacred sexuality. The most common reason that women attend this workshop is because they are open to the idea of integrating their spirituality and their sexuality, but aren’t really sure what that looks like. Just hearing the phrase “Sacred Sexuality” can begin to arouse something instinctual deep within us that then demands to be acknowledged, embraced and expressed.
So what is Sacred Sexuality? It’s an umbrella term that includes everything from traditional Goddess Worship with mantra and visualization to parties where people have sex with strangers.
Because I am a practitioner of classical Tantra, it is often thought when I am speaking about sacred sexuality, that I am speaking about Tantra, but they are not at all the same thing. Sacred sexuality is for everyone. Anyone, anywhere, can spontaneously have an experience of their own divinity through allowing their authentic, unconstrained sexual energy to be expressed (in consensual way, of course!) From the personal perspective, I experience Tantra as a sentient stream of consciousness that reaches across time and has a particular set of teachings to impart about the human experience and a particular teaching style, or way it likes to reveal the underlying non dual nature of reality. Those teachings are accessed primarily through daily practice. It is sometimes called a dangerous path because of how rapidly and completely it can strip away the false self. We don’t always have support for these kinds of big ego shattering experiences in our contemporary culture, so it is said that it is “not for everyone.” Why Tantra is often confused with sacred sexuality is because Tantra, unlike other religious systems seeks an embrace of opposites, and makes room for our sexuality as an honored guest at the table of self, even containing a handful of rituals and practices where sex and the associated chemicals released are used as Ayahuasca or Mushrooms have been used in sacred ceremony by other earth based religions- as medicine- as a time tested way to move beyond ordinary consciousness, transgress norms, and access deeper truths about ourselves in relation to reality.
For me, sacred sexuality is not a thing or a practice, but a journey to remember our own divinity and reclaim our right to use our evolutionary creativity for our own highest vision for our life. Our family, friends, and cultural norms are quite content to tell us what our self expression in general and sexual expression specifically should and should not look and feel like. Even those who have never personally been overtly violated or oppressed in this life repeatedly have their boundaries transgressed by destructive myths designed to keep us from realizing our power and divinity. Cultural norms are communicated through a 360 degree surround sound wall of media, and then transmitted at close range when regurgitated by family and friends, leaving most people feeling that they are not measuring up at best and irreparably broken at worst. The basic message being that each of us possesses some basic flaw that makes us unattractive, and unlovable, but if you pay enough money and buy the right things, you might become worthy of belonging. To hold our sexual energy as a sacred and primary aspect of self rather that something to be repressed and avoided yolks us firmly to our own inner truth, which reliably produces personal power rather than the fickle, revokable power of collective approval, and uses it to propel us through life towards the things that most deeply fulfill us. It is a journey of putting aside everything you where taught and getting to know what is, forgetting what other peoples bodies supposedly can and can’t do and entering into a goal-less inquiry of what your body wants to reveal to you about the universe and your place in it. Arousal or lack there of is a really great way to uncover our deeper values, and mindful, non judgmental observation of what truly turns us on is a great practice for enjoying self mastery. It is less about becoming orgasmic or desirable to others and more about coming to love and accept what our own, unique sexual and creative expression looks and feels like. It is a journey of radical self acceptance, about allowing ourselves to bring the same level of conscious inquiry to understanding our sexual energy as we give to our spiritual journey, and ideally eventually dissolving the distinction between the two.
I hold my workshop Kava Temple: Sacred Sexuality about once a month in different communities throughout the west coast. I aways come away with such an appreciation of how different the journey is for everyone, and how those who are single, those who are exploring polyamory, those seeking monogamous relationship and those who are interested in exploring within the context of an existing relationship each represent a different group of needs, wants, and pathways. That’s part of what we come together to explore in Kava Temple, because It’s such a huge subject, and means so many different things to different people, it takes a good sized group to even begin to cover the territory in 3 hours time!
Interested in bringing this conversation to your community, women's circle, or school? Email me! Kava temple is educational, healing, and fun, and 15 women and a plane ticket is all it takes to make it happen!