I’m going to start this post with a personal story.
My spiritual journey started with Buddhist meditation. I had my first true spiritual energetic experience, a direct experience of God, while doing a 10-day silent meditation retreat. After that, for many years, I meditated in silence and stillness for at least 2 hours a day.
Somehow, not fully understanding the teachings, I began to believe that what I desired was the cause of all my suffering. I convinced myself that if I just sat on my desires long enough, especially sexual desires, and endured the physical sensations and emotions they evoked, which could best be described as a ride on a burning roller coaster, that I would achieve Enlightenment.
I smile at my naiveté. My desires eventually won out, thankfully, after years of self-inflicted poverty and intense loneliness. I have since come to know and understand that on Earth, in this fleshy form called a body, honouring my desires and seeking their fulfilment with courage, compassion and love is an empowering spiritual practice.
As with all spiritual practice there are fears to face. When you seek to fulfil your desires you are vulnerable. You may get rejected and hurt. You may become uncomfortably aware of some moral dogma, that was programmed into you, that told you your desires were sinful and that you would be punished if you indulged them. Maybe you actually were punished by parents or others in positions of power when you were young. I would go as far to say that all of us, in this culture which is so repressed around healthy sexuality, have been punished to some degree with guilt and shame.
I’ve also known too many people who, like myself, in the name of spiritual attainment, are not transcending their Earthly desires, just suppressing them. Their suppressed desires turn into physical disease or depression. On the other extreme these denied desires manifest as addiction — to food, drugs, work or loveless sex to name a few.
Honouring our desires is deep work. Here’s a few suggestions to help in the process.
Source your desire in your body. Get your self into a quiet place with no distractions and ask your body, your heart, your belly and your genitals, “What do you desire?” Pay close attention and see what your body says to you. It may speak to you in sensations, emotions and images that you may have to sit with for a while to understand. Journaling, dancing, drumming, or making art can help you decode the body’s messages. This is not a rational, logical, left brain process but rather an intuitive knowing. If you are ruled by thoughts and the nagging voices in your head, this process may take some practice.
Own your desire. Celebrate your desire. Even if it seems unclear how that desire might be met. Practice being at peace with your desire without judging or condemning yourself. If you say to yourself, “No I can’t possibly have that” or “I don’t deserve that”, then take a look inside and see where those limiting beliefs might come from. After you do that, see if you can create a new belief like, “It’s healthy to have desires and to have them fulfilled.”
Express your desire. Well after all that effort of sourcing and owning your desire you might as well go for it and take some action to make it real. It’s been my experience that my world consistently organizes around my words and actions. It takes courage to ask for what you desire but even if the immediate answer is “No” you’ll feel empowered for making the effort. And if you can ask without guilt, fear or shame you will pleasantly surprised to often receive what you want and more. Life is abundant and generous.
Volumes could be written on Honouring Desire. If you would like some personal coaching in this area please feel free to contact me. Also my classes in Erotic Massage are a good place to practice honouring your desires in the realm of intimate touch. Good luck, have fun with it, and practice, practice, practice!