Our autumn issue is out now. Regular contributor and Tantra expert Dawn Cartwright shares what awareness means to her. Dive on in to find out more…
The Ultimate Ecstasy
by Dawn Cartwright
Only that which you have experienced is to be trusted.
One gloriously lazy Saturday morning recently, the handsome man in my life suggested we try a simple Neo-tantra practice, just to see what, if anything, would happen. The practice? I’d coax the flames of passion with sensuous touch while he breathed pleasure through the core of his body. A Neo-tantra classic.
We approached the practice as an experiment, with no real idea where it might go, how it would unfold, or what it would reveal. It bears to mention, my guy, a man’s man if ever there was one, had a run-in with a very, let’s just call it esoteric, online Neo-tantra festival about two years ago that nearly put him off Neo-tantra forever. (He has since discovered he’s severely allergic to any occasion that includes a harmonium.) Given that, you can imagine my excitement at his request to explore a Neo-tantra practice together. Dreams really do come true. More on that Saturday morning experiment in just a bit. First, let’s explore the inner workings of this, and really all Neo-tantra practices.
Sex and Awareness
The Indian mystic, Osho, first introduced Tantra to a ready, willing and able western world in the late 1960’s. He gave hundreds of talks, translating and illuminating several important Tantric writings. He invited some of the most brilliant minds in sex and humanistic psychology to lead Neo-tantra programs at his ashram in India that would eventually spread throughout the world. (Margot Anand, the teacher who first introduced me to the practice we were about to dive into, was one of those brilliant minds.)
In his many Neo-tantra talks and programs, Osho highlighted the beauty of the human body and the enlightenment that appears when sex is infused with awareness. Needless to say, this was a big hit among men and women liberating themselves from the sexually repressive 1950s, 1940s and 1930s.
The Way In
If you’re anything like those men and women back in the 60s, enlightenment via sex sounds pretty great. I imagine you’re asking yourself – how do we infuse sex (and everything) with awareness? Osho outlined four steps.
First Step: Observe your body and sensations
Become aware, awake, alert to your breath, your movements, the way your body feels when you’re having sex. Instead of going through the motions like a robot, moving mechanically, or focusing on getting somewhere – you’re connected to your body.
Second Step: Watch your thoughts
Now that you’re connected to your body during sex, begin to observe the activities of your mind – your thoughts, your fantasies, your imagination. Notice without judging. Just be aware. The more you’re aware, the more awareness takes over. Slowly, thoughts, fantasies and imagination dissolve. You are connected to what is real.
Third Step: Become aware of subtle emotions and moods
Without realising it, we bring a certain emotional tone to everything we do, including sex. Emotions are subtle and easy to miss, we often believe they are a part of us – we believe they are the reason for having sex. That, or, we distance ourselves from sex, unaware of the mood lingering beneath the surface. Become aware of your emotions before, during and after sex.
Fourth Step: The fourth step will happen all by itself
Once you’ve become aware of your body, thoughts and emotions, sex has reached its peak. There is nothing to be aware of, awareness is aware of itself. This is the ultimate ecstasy. Now that we have the steps, let’s see what happened in the experiment.
The Results Are In
This will blow your mind. My guy, enlightened as he is, wouldn’t know the four steps to awareness if they walked up and shook his hand. He’d never heard of them, and yet, they were innately a part of him (as they are for you) and appeared, out of nowhere, in the practice.
First Step: The breathing, particularly the natural gap that happens when the inhale is complete, just before the exhale begins, made his body more sensitive and the sensations more intense. He discovered a new erogenous zone he’d never felt before and the intensity seemed to expand from that spot.
Second Step: Because he was focused on the breath, there was no space for thinking. Normally, his mind would be filled with images at the moment of climax. The only thing he was aware of as he plunged over the edge, was a feeling of surrender.
Third Step: Emotionally, he opened as the experiment peaked, instead of pulling back into himself or disconnecting. The experience was one of opening.
Fourth Step: The climax appeared all on its own – from somewhere completely new. The ultimate ecstasy.
The four steps to enlightenment appear naturally when sex is infused with pure awareness.
Pardon me, I’ve got to get back to the lab.
Dawn Cartwright is a Neo-Tantra visionary, sacred writer, world traveler, and innovator in Self-Actualization Neo-Tantra fusion. dawncartwright.com