Nothing is closer to our core than sex and sexuality. We’re conceived from sex, make decisions based on sex, and we are deeply affected by our sexual experiences. While our society loves to “use” sex to sell products, we have a deep-seated resistance to talking about it. It’s like we have an unwillingness to really explore the amazing gifts that sexuality can offer. When practiced skillfully and with the right intention, sex and sexual energy is a powerful resource that can elevate all parts of your being.
The Taoists understood the profound opportunity that sexuality can offer. Over time, they developed powerful practices to allow people to fully harness their inner potential. This blog post will explore how sexuality can help us to cultivate love, health, and spirituality.
Viewing Sex As A Powerful Gift
Unfortunately, as a whole, modern society imposes many harmful views and beliefs about what sexuality is. Many of us are taught that sex is wrong, or that sexual pleasure is somehow less valuable than other sorts of pleasure. Even if people accept that sexuality is a healthy part of life, we’re still taught that sexuality should conform to certain guidelines. Of course, these examples are just the tip of the iceberg of judgments that people experience. Too often, all of the “shoulds” lead to feelings of shame or guilt that inhibit our sexual experiences and growth.
The Taoist sages had a completely different outlook on sex and sexuality. In ancient China, sexual energy was seen as a key source of health, vitality, and spiritual awakening. Taoists believed that when worked with in a skillful way, sexuality has the potential to provide a direct connection to the universe. As such, it was regarded as a holy and sacred part of life that should be practiced thoroughly and with care.
The Taoists saw sex as a beautiful part of nature, just as a cascading waterfall or flowery hillside. No-one ever tells a flower to put on some pants to hide their anatomy. The flowers’ reproductive parts are on display for all to appreciate. Even if most humans aren’t comfortable walking around in the nude, they can still work on developing a deep acceptance of their physical and sexual nature.
The Taoists’ respect for sexuality is reflected in the poetic names they gave to the various sexual organs. Most were named after the natural world and were viewed as no different than nature itself. For example, the act of sex was called “clouds and rain.” By viewing sexuality as a beautiful extension of the universe, we can learn to love ourselves in the same way that we appreciate nature—with respect, humility, and joy. When this happens, we can start to explore and cultivate the treasures that lie within.
By stripping away our cultural beliefs and viewing sexuality simply as energy, we’re able to look directly at that part of ourselves with a raw and honest lens. Without others’ beliefs or limitations hindering us, what can we see within our sexual energy?
Working Skillfully With Sexual Energy
Sexual energy is one of the most powerful energies in the body and has been the source of fascination throughout history. In Chinese Medicine, sexual energy is referred to as “Jing,” which translates in English as “essence.” Sexual energy exists at the essence of our beings, which is clear by its life-giving potential.
Jing is also referred to as one of the “Three Treasures.” The Three Treasures are three powerful sources of energy and consciousness that exist within us. Jing is our physical and sexual energy and resides in our lower abdomen (or lower Tan Tien). Qi is our emotional energy and resides in our heart center (Middle Tan Tien). Shen is our spiritual energy and resides in our head (Upper Tan Tien). In Qi Gong, we seek to integrate these treasures with one another so we can show up as a complete and harmonized being in all that we do. To learn more about the Three Treasures, check out our previous blog on the topic. For now, we’re focussing on how we can work with our Jing energy through sexuality.
Since sex and sexual expression is often a powerful experience, it can be easy to simply experience some of the energy and let it go. Although sex can be a completely wonderful experience already, there is also a lot more that is possible than many may realize.
Most people learn how to have sex and then settle into the routines and habits that they and their partner(s) like. There’s nothing wrong with this, especially when love and compassion are at the core of their intention.
However, more often than not, most people are not cultivating their full sexual potential. Additionally, without the proper technique, most of your sexual energy stays concentrated in the lower Tan Tien. This prevents your entire being from being nourished by the energy you’ve cultivated. By learning Taoist sexual practices, we can begin to cultivate more sexual energy, as well as channel it into a full body experience. By doing so, you can generate health, vitality, and nourishment in all parts of their beings. These practices are also an amazing way to share and connect more deeply with your romantic partner, but that’s a topic for our next blog post.
If you’re still unclear about what it might be like to elevate your experience of your sexuality, let’s use a familiar example: Qi Gong.
Imagine if you never learned Qi Gong but someone told you, “try to move your body and meditate in a way that helps you to feel relaxed and more energized.” You’d probably come up with some creative routines that work well for you. However, it’s unlikely that your own practices would be as nourishing as the thousands of years worth of wisdom that is reflected in Lee’s teachings. However, this is exactly what most of us are doing with our own sexual practices. We’re figuring things out for ourselves (which is great) but not taking in the same ancient wisdom that we trust to guide our Qi Gong practice. By learning Taoist sexual wisdom, students are expanding their Qi Gong practice in a profound way. In Qi Gong, you’re already working with your internal energy, so why not learn how to work skillfully with some of the most powerful energy that exists within you?
Taoist Sexual Secrets Workshop
Lee will be teaching a Taoist Sexual Secrets Workshop on Sunday, March 17th. During the workshop, we’ll explore ways to use sexual energy for greater health, vitality, and loving connection with others.
Although we’ll be working with sexual energy, this is not a sex workshop and clothes will be left on. Rather, we’ll be learning practices that can be done in the classroom, or be elaborated upon with a romantic partner at home.
By harnessing your Jing energy, you’ll walk away with a valuable set of skills that can aid you with your health, happiness, and sexual fulfillment. The world generally won’t invite you to explore yourself in this powerful and rewarding way, so click the banner below to learn more and sign up today.
By Ian Drogin