by Robert Frey
The deeper connection of spiritual intimacy requires a dynamic interaction as well as moments of stillness and spaciousness. This constitutes the yang and yin of intimacy, the action and the receptivity. In a natural, harmonious intimate connection, there emerges a flow of giving and receiving, activity and stillness. This mirrors the dynamic nature of the Universe and all life.
Ancient Tantric yogis and Taoists intently studied this interplay in order to understand and learn how to be in alignment with life. They discovered that both the activity of creating intimate connections and the state of stillness require skill and conscious awareness. Such skills and consciousness form the essence and foundation of authentic Sacred Tantra practice. Furthermore understanding and facilitating the interplay between activity and stillness was an inherent aspect of the practices. The activity (practices) of creating intimacy are by nature initiatory -- they activate and direct the movement and flow of energetic charge within the connection, thus enhancing the movement towards each other. Of course there always will be some sort of energetic connection between two people (or any two living things); this has been long known by the yogis, and more recently validated by extensive scientific research.
Typically in most (untrained) people the connection is minimal and unconscious. Conscious awareness of the connection will increase the flow of energy, and the Tantric / Taoist energy meditations further amplify the quantity, quality, and freedom of circulation of the natural energetic charge. Thus the activity of these practices is based upon a conscious intention, applied with skill born of practice and experience. One learns how to skillfully move energy, and when two are sharing such practices they are engaged in a multi-dimensional communication. At some point in the process, however, the conscious activity of moving energy must release and surrender to stillness and non-activity in order to maintain harmony and intimate connection. If all goes well, the yang yields to yin, and the communication releases into quiet, and an effortless merging naturally takes place. In Tantra such merging in the stillness is called a "valley orgasm" because the pauses between activity phases are like valleys and the merging is so orgasmic. As in the famous Yin/Yang symbol, within the Yin there is always a touch of Yang, and visa versa.
Eventually, out of the stillness a spark of excitement will begin to grow, another round of activity will emerge, and another cycle begins. This shifting mirrors the dynamic nature of the universe, an endless flow of Yang into Yin into Yang into Yin, and so on. No one will ever know which came first, the activity or the stillness. Tantric yogis and master teachers considered this interplay of Yin and Yang, stillness and activity, to be an earthly (and human) demonstration of the endless, unlimited interplay of the Divine Mother (form and energy) and the Divine Father (heavenly consciousness and compassion) -- the Divine Sacred Marriage. They understood "As above, so below." and recognized that humans contained a microcosm of this Divine integration of spaciousness and activity, energy and consciousness.
Resistance (reluctance) also is an aspect of nature and can apply here as well, interrupting the natural surrendering of yang into yin and yang arising out of yin. To resist the shift is to create contraction, disturb the flow of the connection, interrupt the intimacy, and ultimately cause separation and suffering. Thus a critical aspect of spiritual intimacy and Tantra practice has to do with learning to recognize and release resistance when it arises and before it takes over one´s experience. Traditional Tantra yoga has utilized the body as a biofeedback instrument for dealing with this: for example, the yogis understood that resistance causes tension, and consequently the breathing pattern change. By re-establishing the type of breathing that facilitates open flow of energy, the resistance can be short-circuited and much of the connection can be re-established.
Furthermore, by maintaining the indicated Tantric breathing pattern a foundation is established to prevent resistance from taking hold of the body/mind. Using yogic breathing in this way would be among the powerful techniques and practices of Tantra which are Yang, or activity based. Approaching resistance to the flow and integration of Yin and Yang from the stillness point of view, meditation techniques were developed to sustain the spaciousness and openness (availability). It has long been understood in Tantra that resistance to connection and intimacy is usually characterized by mental chatter, including doubt, thoughts from the past and/or future, agenda thinking, etc. Thus, as with breathing practices, meditation techniques were developed to both recognize and rectify unnecessary thinking and to prevent any takeover by the "monkey mind" jumping from branch to branch, thought to thought! As with the breathing practices, meditation is best learned with supervision and guidance.
Training participants in the "energy meditations" is one of the primary functions of the workshops I teach. Old habits, long supported by the (non-intimate) culture, are slow to change, and thus it takes some time, guidance, and practice to overcome restricted breathing, limited energy flow, and a busy mind. Thus the practices are the foundation of authentic Tantric lineages and teachings. Learning, and ultimately acheiving some degree of mastery of this interplay of activity and stillness will have a profound effects on all aspects of one´s life, particularly relationships, bringing more and more harmony and depth of intimacy. Much of this learning arises out of regular practice of meditation and attention to energy.
Ironically, regular practice, especially if guided by a teacher, can also support the development of an intuitive sense which can be very helpful in knowing when to shift from activity to stillness or to initiate activity when in a sacred, intimate connection. Thirdly, beyond the practices and intuition, being in harmony with the Divine marriage and integration of Yin and Yang can be facilitated and enhanced by cultivating inner guidance and direction from great allies in the spiritual kingdoms such as the great Master Teachers (Buddah, Jesus, Tara, Mary, etc.) -- the masters of being in conscious harmony with the flow. Given practice, intuition, and guidance, relationships and intimacy can acquire great depth, meaning, and satisfaction, bringing an end to separation and much suffering. Instead the miracle of Union and Oneness, true spiritual intimacy, begins to emerge as a primary theme in our lives -- a source of great joy and happiness! May we all learn to live this way -- to live in Namaste´...
Blessings, Robert Frey, MA.
Robert Frey in no longer with us on this plane, however, he was dearly loved by many, and his work lives on! Robert was a healer on many levels, and was best known for his gentle loving spirit that he conveyed through tantra, devotional singing, Sufi dancing and spiritual counseling. Here's to you Robert!