One aspect of our lives that continues to surprise me is the lack of knowledge we have about our own bodies and the bodies of our partners. What I believe is that many suffer from body shame and shame of sex and desire and pleasure. As we age whether we are in a relationship or not we can grow isolated and withdraw into our own body, and not seek out the comfort of touch and pleasure. When this happens we become disconnected from our bodies. Men stop getting erections, and have difficulty achieving orgasms or have weak orgasms or lack desire to find a partner or to be with their partner. Women seek outside distractions, lose interest in sex and have a difficulty achieving orgasms. Both men and women might think when having sex, “lets just get it over” For no matter what, our bodies do cry out for connection and release. In youth we don’t manifest a lot of sex problems as our biology overrides everything else including shame. So we enter into marriages or partnership with our eyes blinded by love, lust, dreams, hope or a happy life.
Then this original shame comes back after biology fails us and our lust and passion goes. Osho, the celebrated Tantra teacher, tells us that when we are small we breathe deep, deep into our very centers. And so we are centered and we are happy in a way that is a miracle. Then as we grow we become aware there are rules and people to tell us no, stop that or smack us or worse abuse us or ignore us. As a child we are breathing deep into our centers and feeling our happiness and suddenly someone yells at us. Our breath stops suddenly and fear fills our body. We exhale. Then the next breath comes in again it doesn’t go to our center. It stops higher up. Until the time when are breath is shallow in our chest and doesn’t enliven our body, but just keeps it functioning at a minimal level. This slowly creeps up on us and hit us in midlife hence the midlife crisis. Then we seek out answers or we wallow in depression and misery and try to further deaden feelings.
However, not every one is like this. Some people are genuinely happy. Those people follow the principles of Tantra without even knowing them. They breathe deeply, they love totally, they follow a spiritual path that adds meaning to their life and they question life and can stand the dual nature of life while looking for unity. And they embrace intimacy. I believe in happy people, and I believe people can learn to be happy. I believe people can reclaim their birthright of happiness.
The way to do that is to let go of shame, claim the pleasures of our body, breathe deeply and well and find the joy of sex and live a life that has meaning. And to do this we must know our bodies and the bodies of our partner and approach them with compassion. Tantra isn’t about being immoral or giving up values it is about being present in every breath.