Continuing from my previous post……
In most ethnic cultures expressing sexuality freely is shrouded in negative connotations. Especially, if it is a woman and even more if it is a woman of colour. Hence sexual thoughts are shunned or suppressed, to overcome the guilt and shame associated with them.

Sexual health and education are a part of my job. I do this for a living, to help people express sexuality safely and constructively. Whether it may be a baby that results from it or family planning and contraception or sexually transmitted disease prevention. Hence, I have no qualms talking about it on any platform. In principle, developing a healthy and respectful relationship with sexuality is a core principle, which guides my personal practice and educating my clients.

A healthy relationship to me means no conflicts, where you have to exercise emotional regulation. It is a mindset, where you accept and acknowledge your feelings. Without feeling guilty or ashamed of yourself. Instead, you exercise informed decision-making after reviewing the relevant information and its risks and benefits. It may or may not be in alignment with societal norms. But it is in alignment with your inner experience. I hold individual sexuality in the highest order of respect, to me, it is the divine personified.

Recently I came across a post on Are we losing our femininity? Certainly not me. I enjoy my femininity and I respect the presence of men in my life. My Father, my brother, my ex-partner, my friends, my colleagues and their unique contributions to my life.

Sexuality facilitates a fundamental mandate of divinity, the creation of physicality. Physicality is the expression of divine energies. It is the vehicle to facilitate the divine energy movement and expression. You and I came from there! It is my belief that every physical body is an expression of that same divine energy and hence I have zero tolerance for discrimination of any sort, regardless of how a person chooses to express their sexuality.

The good news is that sexual desire is a sign of a robust healthy body ready to procreate. It is hardwired into our biological body. Hence all normal humans will experience this one way or the other. The only time it is considered abnormal, is when it causes obsessive thoughts that interfere with the normal functioning of an individual. Then a person should be seeking help for it.

Sexual energy is a very powerful and compelling form of energy. You can understand the power and magnitude of its impact from the fact that it powers millions of dollars worth of businesses that serve this need in different ways. There is an entire faculty of Obstetrics and Gynecology in health care dedicated to reproductive health. Besides this the Contraception industry, STI prevention and treatment, and artificial reproductive techniques. Even when discounting the kind of money exchange that happens in the porn and sex trade. It has a huge impact on each individual and the community as a whole.

If this very powerful energy is misused then it can have serious and potentially dangerous consequences hence all religions and cultures, have a code of conduct for sexual behaviour and this is man-made, the divine did not make this. While these norms were to protect individuals sometimes they become a source of discrimination, oppression and suppression of community members. Hence one needs to exercise good discretion while interpreting them. Discrimination and judgement based on set human norms is an offence against divinity.  While Sexual health education and promotion are the hallmarks of a progressive and prosperous community.

Every day in my work life reminds me of the power this energy wields on the human psyche. I remember a woman, who was having her eighth baby. She was a devout Christian and did not believe in contraception and abortion. She had a previous baby with me and said no more babies! But came back the very next year. I said to her “Very nice to see you, my dear, I thought you didn’t want to see me anymore.” “Oh Navjot, he was chopping wood and it got really hot and he took off his shirt. Oh, I wish he didn’t do that.” “Oh yeah! It was the shirt that created the problem, don’t beat yourself about it.” “Never mind any issues here, I don’t mind having you again.”

Another one of my clients said to me, “Wasn’t me Navjot, it was the bottle of new wine, it got me tipsy.” Of course, it’s the bottle’s fault.

Yet another one of my clients showed up at the labour and birth unit. Her partner wearing a T-Shirt, tat read “I am Part of the problem.” Oh yeah, you made a significant contribution to the problem.

One of my mamas had four C-sections (the maximum number of C-sections recommended is three) and she was sternly told by the Physician at the last C-section that she should not have any-more babies and she needs to tie her tubes. The woman did not believe the physician and got pregnant again and came back to me. I kept wondering why she kept jeopardizing her life and having more babies. Until one day the guy showed up with her and I saw him. Now I understood what was happening. He was a dashing handsome hunk! No wonder the woman couldn’t keep off him. This time she got into some serious trouble and they finally had to remove her Uterus. Recently, someone mistakenly booked her with me and I thought no way! The woman doesn’t even have a Uterus now. As soon as I saw her I said, “Are you pregnant again?” She said NO!  Don’t you remember that they removed my Uterus last time? I heaved a sigh of relief! Sorry! I remember now.

Going back to the question in Swamiji’s video. How to manage sexual thoughts in meditation. I guess the best way to deal with any energy including a thought might be using the principles of energy management. All action entails energy movement and that includes thought. Energy never dies, it only changes form from one to the other. Whenever energy is suppressed or blocked it creates resistance and pressure. The more you suppress greater the pressure and more effort required to suppress it. Thus allowing the energy to flow helps in dissipating the effects of energy.

Thought disregard is a better way of meditating than thought blocking. Swamiji explains in his book to let the thought take its course, and let it flow. Don’t try to offer resistance and block it out or act on it. In either case, you will be accelerating its effects. He explained the life of a thought in his Book, “A million thoughts” Sorry! If I didn’t get it right Swamiji, I stand corrected.

Against the backdrop of rigid cultural practices around sexuality. The guilt associated with this thought when meditating on the divine immediately causes thought blocking to come into effect unconsciously. This accelerates the power and intensity of the thought vs depowering the thought. Hence developing a positive and respectful attitude towards sexuality is really important. With this attitude, if you do have sexual thoughts you will be able to disregard them with ease. It helps to allow oneself to be immersed in the process comfortably, without any inhibitions.

In case you are feeling obsessed with sexual thoughts vs a random sexual thought during meditation. Which means the persistence of sexual thoughts. That means it is time to focus on your physical needs. And accept how u feel about it. Half the battle is won right here. Here you have to ask yourself some questions and evaluate and understand your needs. Talk to your body. It is a psychological issue, whenever we force ourselves to do something, compliance becomes difficult but when we give ourselves that free choice it is easy. Give yourself the free choice to engage in sexual activity in a constructive way. As it applies to your situation. Then a decision you arrive at after due consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of a choice you are making helps consolidate your resolve. Or maybe that is the path that you want to explore, at least it gives you clarity on what you want in life.

Most of us interpret this activity as a mere physical act that has some very intense consequences because we exist in a physical plane. But hidden behind this is a very divine phenomenon of how the vital life force propagates.

Hence interpreting, what is seen in some of our temples as sexually explicit images is probably a very advanced sentiment in spiritual evolution. It is not just a blatant and brutal display of sexuality. At least this is my interpretation of it. Here I am using a quote from the yoga Guru BKS Iyengar “Complete self-oblivion: The only way I can explain it is by analogy with sexual enjoyment. Although one is animal and sensuous while the other is reached through yoga, in both cases self-oblivion is total.” He was trying to explain oneness with the divinity.

It was not unusual in olden cultures to use drawings or pictures to express themselves. Primitive scripts have roots in pictures and drawings. My understanding is that primitive descriptions using sexually explicit symbols are a physical way to explain self-oblivion and oneness at a metaphysical level. Because it is probably very difficult to express this phenomenon with an alternative physical expression.

I guess when a person reaches that level of maturity and restraint that they can sit in a temple with sexually explicit visuals without getting distracted by the physicality. They are probably one with the divine and in a higher state of bliss. It is a state of completeness, where all senses are satiated. In this state, they no longer identify themselves with the physical body but are one with the source.  Arriving at that point of self-oblivion, where sexually explicit visuals do not evoke physical stimulation but a very divine energy experience prevails, is the goal of every spiritual seeker. I guess this is the state of complete bliss and union with the divine that we worship and desire to achieve. Our temples symbolize this state of union with the divine and completeness. 

A physical reaction to a stimulus is hardwired into every physical body. Hence, only when a complete detachment from the body occurs can this reaction be overcome. Every physical body is designed to be a vehicle to facilitate divine energy. And sexuality is the process for that. A physical body will procreate by default. So don’t hold yourself responsible for these thoughts and beat yourself up. You have been designed this way.

Accept it and work with it, your body is a gift from the divine meant to fulfil a divine function. Hold it in respect and use it with discretion. In fact, every sexual thought should remind you of the divine. Where there is a sexual thought or instinct, divinity is not far behind. Don’t shun the thought let it flow respectfully and your problem will be resolved. This is my little two cents worth of wisdom on this issue.

Whenever I have any thoughts in meditation. And I still have plenty! Work in progress folks! I say to myself, “mother divine is visiting” as all action starts from her and ends with her. So the thought is also powered by the divine and is divine herself. I welcome the thought with affection and keep going.

……………….going on to part three very soon, stay tuned!