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And now, on to my essay...
Essay - Connecting Sacred Sexuality, Sacred Play & Peace
Inara de Luna © August 2006
I've been asked to give a workshop at the Peace Day Festival, which has been themed "A Day of Play," and was told that my classes on Sacred Sexuality would fit in beautifully. This has challenged me to define the connection between sacred sexuality, peace and sacred play.
To me, sacred sexuality is twofold: (1) the process of using sex and sensuality as the vehicle through which you experience recognition of or appreciation for the divine in yourself and others, and (2) a practice toward integration of your being on several levels: the body, mind, heart and soul; the male and female aspects; the human and divine; the sacred and profane. Through the process of recognition of the divine and the process of integration, a sense of peace and harmony is inevitable. This is true whether you're working primarily with yourself, in a relationship, or in a larger community.
When working with yourself, learning to see the divine within helps you to achieve peace because you are no longer at war with yourself. Once you recognize your own inner divinity, there is no more reason to beat yourself up over little things, you can see that your body is a beautiful temple of the divine, no matter what its shape or size, and you are more in touch with your innermost feelings, desires, boundaries and personal power. Of course, there is more that goes into achieving a state of peace, but we'll delve into that later.
When you are able to consistently appreciate the divine within your lover, partner, parents, siblings, children, etc…you can be more forgiving, more compassionate, more open, more vulnerable, more trusting. The Divine is all these things and so to see them in your very human partner opens you to interacting with them from a place of divine grace. This isn't to say that you won't still get angry or irritated with them at times, but it does help you to work out differences and difficulties with more mutual respect, patience, grace and maturity. When you connect with the inner divine of your partner, you don't operate from a presumption of distrust of their motivations or intentions.
Once you learn to appreciate the role each aspect of your being has to play in creating your overall Self, you can integrate them and become Whole and Holy. The body, mind, heart and spirit all work cooperatively to keep you healthy and happy. Your inner masculine and feminine traits and energies are balanced and equal, allowing you to temper justice with compassion, strength with vulnerability, and assertiveness with gentleness. Once you've begun to achieve these integrations, the separations between human and divine, and that between sacred and profane, begin to blur and disappear. The yin/yang balance becomes a merged union of Wholeness, in which seeming opposites are actually found to be complementaries. And once you've experienced this oneness within yourself, it's not such a stretch to expand that understanding beyond yourself to incorporate everyone around you, and to fully know that we are all indeed interconnected.
Once you can sense the interconnections between all the beings on the planet, and appreciate that the divine resides in all things and beings, it becomes impossible to hate and make violence on anyone else, because they are a part of you. To harm another is to harm yourself. Peace then becomes inevitable as we learn to maintain our state of harmony and interconnection. This process of learning to maintain our state of harmony and interconnection is truly about making love, not war.
Neither sacred sexuality, playfulness nor peace can exist in the face of hate, distrust, fear or animosity. All can be experienced in and contribute to an atmosphere of love, trust, compassion, harmony and serenity.
Sacred play is about honoring the divine role that playing fills in our lives. The harder we work, the more we need to relax, engage in leisure activities, indulge our creative natures, and enjoy pleasure. If we don't make room for these things, our lives begin to resemble a wasteland, empty of enjoyment, emotion, satisfaction or serenity. Material accomplishments can only go so far in buoying us up...we need to balance our doing with simply being. And divine play can help us with that. During play, children are completely focused on the activity of the moment. Their attention is absorbed, they are wholly present, and their feelings of joy are readily apparent in the look in their eye, the big easy smiles, the bursts of laughter, the clapping of hands.
It is said that "God" was playing when he made the world. He wanted to experience some of this for himself and so incarnates as a physical being every now and then. It's fascinating in the way that a captured beetle fascinates a toddler.
Approaching our adult sexual lives with a sense of childlike wonder, innocence, playfulness, attentiveness, hyper-focus, and present-awareness can only enhance our joy and pleasure in the interaction.
Interweaving then the three concepts of sacred sexuality, divine play and world peace is a process of recognizing each other's inherent divinity, integrating all the disparate parts of ourselves so as to recognize our own divinity, playing with each other in ways that celebrate each other's strengths, fulfill each other's needs for affection, pleasure and acceptance, respecting one another's processes, listening to one another's needs and complaints from a place of maternal, compassionate, detached Witness, holding safe space for each other's growth and healing to take place.
Can you imagine a world in which the leaders of conflicted countries could come together in a yab-yum embrace, engage in an eye-gazing exercise, express their heartfelt needs, fears and hurt places, ask one another for forgiveness and express what they feel would help heal the situation, and then tickle one another until both fell over from laughing so hard, finally to be bathed by the temple priestesses before celebrating their newfound unity by engaging sensually with each other or the priestesses themselves? What a world that would be….