Enlightenment Sex


Photo by Michael Berz

Before I woke up, I was sexually identified. By that I mean I saw myself as loveable depending on my sex life–namely did I have one and was it pleasing to my partner? And in addition to those basic psychological hooks for well-being was a sexual rebel persona determined to anti-script my frigid family system. This looked like me exploring life as a tantrica, polyamorist and lipstick lesbian, though I barely scratched the surfaces of those identities. Yet the free-spirited sex fiend role was one I worked hard at mastering, even if at my core I was closer to sexually curious than sexually driven.

Now that I am awake to true nature, this vast-still-ground-of-being, I am finding sex has a whole new spin. I’m about to be candid here because when people have written about their post-enlightenment experiences, I have always wondered about their sex life, especially if they were married (Adyashanti, Ganga-gi) when the free-fall to no-self happened.

As I sit here, ready to write what amounts to the taboo territory of sexual confession, wisdom says that a cautionary note would perhaps be helpful to my readers. Warning: sexually explicit content ahead. On that note of forshadowing (you are likely now intrigued or uneasy), get ready for five things I’ve discovered about post enlightenment sex. This of course is with one caveat: This is my experience so far, with a knowing that this too will likely change and is also not necessarily the experience of other awakened folk. But a deep truth is that even though the ground of being remains unchanging, the surface flowerings of day to day living are in continual non-static movement. Change happens. Truth is unchanging. (Swallow that paradox without spitting!).

1. Desire dissappeared.  After the event of October 25, 2011, the first thing that changed in my experience of sex was that I did not desire it.  This was not good news to my partner Fergus, who had already been struggling with my limpid perimenopausal libido. It would not have been good news to Lori Ann either (had she still been around) who believed she was loveable because she was sexual. Now, suddenly, zero sexual craving was here. It’s as if God had hit the off-switch for lust. And guess what. The no-self that was here could care less.

2. Sexual equanimity appeared. I had explored the idea of celibacy as a viable life path at a September weekend retreat with Ganga-gi, when I realized that I had so deeply identified myself as a sexual being, that to entertain no sex was sheer liberation. After thirty sexually active years I was fully willing to embrace a deactivated sex life. Post-awakening, this see-saw question of sex or celibacy simply stopped. There existed in the place of mental aversion or grasping, nothing. No thought-based preference and no particular physical desire.

3. Sexual response changed. My sense of boundaries in the first month after waking up were pretty well non-existent, and locating a “self” that is experiencing pleasure turned out to be tricky. Not that I tried to be other than what was arising anyway. Sexual pleasure when the body is but a finite spec in the eternity of being is almost a distraction. There is this spaciousness and then there is this small corner of that infinity called my body. Oh yeah, there’s pleasure over there. Hmmm. Resting in the vastness, noticing the pleasure, resting in the vastness.  Suddenly the all-consuming nature of orgasm was just a ripple in the pond, not the huge tidal wave it used to be. The body shuddered and responded, but the mind was gone from the picture, and so the pure physiology of orgasmic release was more like a sneeze, than the huge letting go it used to be. I can only imagine this is because the little death, the mini no-mind of orgasmic climax, is already here, all the time.

4. Eroticism is dead. The mind that would occasionally create erotic fantasy scenarios or that could create a wet-and-ready response just by thinking, “fuck me baby” had disappeared. You have to fathom living without the chatter of thought or imaginings of mind to see how their absence can impact sexual response. Someone once said sexual turn-on is mostly in the mind. Yes it is. And when the mind is gone, the turn on becomes the moment arising, with the help sometimes of K-Y Jelly in the place of erotic thought lubrication.

5. Intensity Happens. Remember that diffuse endless vastness that at first kept pleasure over there in a tiny finite corner? Two months after waking up, that too has changed. This beloved body, this companion of flesh and bones, has begun (for lack of a better term) to bond with Awareness. In the last while, sexual pleasure is more intense than ever. Now the pleasure has the ferocity and immediacy of being eaten alive by a tiger. Or say, tortured to death. Or tied up and tickled. These are just conjured images to in an attempt to convey the full engulfment of pleasure that happens now. Yet the still vastness, the diffuse emptiness is still here. Empty of mind.  Full of pleasure. Here.

Funny how that happens, that when the middle-man is cut out (pink slip to mind, time to retire your thoughts and emotions) that body becomes a superconducter to heaven. The finite meets the infinite and you have those states of ecstasy that mystics have hinted at in their poetry. As fourteenth century Hindu poet Mira writes, “I tried controlling myself but it did no good. My senses are aflame. I heard you singing. That started all my madness. I openly made love with everything in sight.”

And a last note about pleasure. About a week before I woke up I had a dream in which a voice said to me, “The honey of truth is far sweeter than any pleasure.”  What is being discovered here is that pleasure has become bliss, and this bliss does not depend on the body. Bliss is here already. It is true nature.  This true nature simply moves through the body at times of profound merger–such as when an eagle flies over head, the tree stands tall, the child cries in a mother’s arms. This is bliss. This is no-self, all-selves.

So, here’s a new sales pitch for enlightenment (well, you can’t blame Awareness for trying). Wake up now and enjoy the best sex you’ll ever have (and paradoxically never need) with your body as a high-speed broad-band connection to the infinite.

Bliss is here,

Lori Ann

About Lori Ann Lothian

Lori Ann Lothian writes about love, relationships, enlightenment and yes, sex, at Huffington Post, Good Men Project, Yoganonymous, Origin magazine, Better After 50 and more. She is also a senior editor at the online magazine, The Good Men Project, where she manages a section called Good for the Soul. Lori Ann lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and daughter, where she has learned to transcend the rain and surrender to mega doses of vitamin D. Subscribe to Lori Ann's feed and never miss a post! Tweet her at Twitter
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31 Responses to Enlightenment Sex

  1. x says:

    How I find real Tantric sex that can bring me union one with God ?

  2. Dan Clizer says:

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom on the issue of kids. There is MUCH deprogramming to do in this as in all areas. As Lori pointed out, giving your kids your Presence is the greatest gift you bring to the table. I love keeping things simple.

    Love,
    Dan

  3. interesting share…TQ…

  4. The former self was not affected by aversions/desires, it was aversions and desires! And fears/thoughts/worries/hopes and so many more thinkings/feelings that were in perpetual movement of wanting/not wanting, attracted/repelled. Etc. Awakening is nothing more than the recognition the stillness that was here, all along. In the recognition, there is a dissolution of the mind-based self, or for some a dilution, but either way, there is a different experience that I best describe as a point of view shift from bound self to boundless Self. To say that “none of it every was” is like saying it was all a mirage, or yes, a dream. Even if it was unreal in an ultimate sense, the self that approaches or avoids, that perpetually moves toward and away from, is experienced as real. And when waking from this unreal self, there is a clear “before and after.”

    Ho ho ho, merry christmas

    Lori Ann

    • Joel says:

      Yes. True enough. But this clear ‘before and after’ is only an appearance clung to. It too dissolves, though even that is giving it more credence than it needs. Hence, no awakening, only an appearance of. Then the former ‘unreal’ self can exist now just as its absence can too. Neither are the truth. Nor is this so-called ‘boundless Self’. Even the distinction between ‘real’ and ‘unreal’ is no more. What can either be compared to, except each other, constantly changing place. There is a reason the magician is depicted as a juggler. Look at a lake, the way it tumbles the pebbles on its shore endlessly, past smooth.

      Happy solstice.

      • This morning there is a frost on the grassy ground in park across the street, which I see now from my living room window. It’s like icing sugar, so bright and white in the low sun of a northern latitude morning in the heart of winter. And this morning frost is here, now, a one-time engagement on the stage of form, yet it’s still here when it becomes water vapor. It’s just invisible. That is the Truth of beingness. Always here. And when it crystalizes into self realization, visible. I am going to invent a language for truth so that yes, the camel can carry the sun on it’s back after all. Big hug Joel, in cold wet winter London…or do you have snow.

      • Joel says:

        Beautifully put. Yes, invent a language for truth, words can do more than many suppose, I just think it’s all wrong when people keep on harping on about the limitations of language instead of just pushing those limitations further and further away. It’s like saying I’m in a straitjacket but if I don’t struggle I hardly know its there. Struggle! Know it’s there! There is a whole world of literary escapology to embrace. The usual language of ‘awakening’ is, at heart, so bloody boring. Better to read Ryokan than Rupert Spira. Better to read Santoka than Adyashanti. What people obsess about as awakening is better chucked as a passing fad. The unchanging remains.

  5. Hi Joel:

    I’d say sex lost interest in me :-) The difference here from then and now, is there is no aversion or craving, no pull toward or push away from sexuality. That is not a loss of interest as much as it is a loss of importance. Sex is just another aspect of life that involves pleasure, though in this form the pleasure ranges into bliss. Same can be said, for many areas of life that while physically pleasurable and emotionally joyful have a possibility to become a portal into infinity, where there is with the stillness and emptiness of being, also a bubbling tickling bliss. That is how it has arisen here, for me. We are as unique as fingerprints, each a one of a kind instrument through which the formless plays itself into form. Or something like that!

    hugs to you at Christmas,

    Lori Ann

    • Joel says:

      Same to you, Lori.

      It’s amusing to reconstruct this former self that we suppose was affected by aversions and desires, but if we look carefully none of that ever was.

  6. Joel says:

    It’s only since I lost interest in sex that I realise how much I was controlled by it before. I don’t need a new enlightenment-sex object to lust after. I used to think I wanted bliss, but now I wonder what for. Everything’s fine without any great excitement.

  7. Andy says:

    Thanks Lori for descending down to the the level of all most us – asleep masses, to give as a taste of enlightenment and is effect on sexual enjoyment/dis-enjoyment.
    It must have been such a sacrifice to leave boundless, ego-less, formless state of eternal bliss to allow yourself to feel – as a separate identity called Lori, to have sex, with another limited being called Fergus, record this experience in the mind, limited by words and language, just in order to share it with us – ego driven, limited to mind, body and soul beings.
    Sorry but my limited – ego driven self called Andrew is confused about why would I should bother to get enlightened – to loose desire?, to become celibate? to change earths shattering orgasms to a sneeze? to kill eroticism? or at best to be eaten alive by a tiger?
    NO THANKS
    I rather be open to be surprised to connect with my lover in a way that is beyond words and descriptions.
    I rather experience earth shattering orgasms that last for eternity.
    I rather feel desire that consumes my body and mind to the point of extinction.
    I rather feel love to HER in the way that is transcending time and space.
    I rather experience GOD through SEX in MY body with MY lover, NOW
    Then float in limitless, boundless, identity-less soup that has NO name, NO place, NOTHINGNESS

    • Hi Andrew, thanks for your comments. I hear you, that for you sex is a spiritual path/practice that opens you to the divine. And that too, is wonderful, and was also a path for me as well in life, including many beautiful kundalini activations and tantric moments with beloveds, that as Deida says, were fucking open to God. That is just not my current experience–in a way, it’s like being fucked open to God in every moment. There is pleasure here. There is ectasy here. And yet there is also vastness and endless delight, sex or no sex. I’m not sure you read my Holey Moley post of the 17th of November where I note I am only reporting my experience here as it unfolds and it is not a prescription nor advice. Just what is arising here in this one expression. Be well, Lori Ann

  8. Yes. Orgasm is probably a doorway to beingness. I had a dream a few months before I woke up. In it a tibetan monk told me this: There are three stages of enlightenment. One is surrender. Two is Awareness. Three is bliss. In my life, the surrender was a years-long process. Awareness was overnight. Bliss is now leaking delightfully into my state of peacefull awareness. Interesting this dream…that might be another blog! thanks don for reading. Lori Ann

  9. don spates says:

    could it be that what we call orgasm is actually bliss and that this bliss is not caused by sex even though it seems to be? maybe we experience this bliss because the mind ceases to exist during orgasm? i suspect that this bliss is a permanent state of awareness but we are not able to experience it until the mind ceases to exist.

  10. suki says:

    Awareness is the ultimate container, naturally room for everything.

    Love and light to you – Suki

  11. maurylee says:

    Excellent writing. Clear, unbiased. Sexuality arises in awareness, where else? Awareness has no preference. It allows all, even sex. Thanks for your honestly on this subject.

  12. Dan Clizer says:

    Congratulations Lori! Thank you for waking up. Thank you for being here on this lovely planet at this most exciting time!
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It takes courage to put yourself out there in the face of egoic energy.

    For me personally, its so wonderful to also hear you share your story on how you’ve changed from a sexual standpoint.
    Everything changes as one wakes up, there is no question about that. I understand what you mean about the no resistance with family too. I have a 13 year old and a 15 year old. They’ve come to understand that Dad doesn’t argue, doesn’t debate and refuses to create any drama. Its very neat as well to hear that Paramahansa Yogananda was such a great influence for you. I had him as well from the time I was 10. What a wonderful role model to grow up with!

    Love,
    Dan

    • Hi Dan:

      Thank you for reading and reaching out. Yes, if I had to write a parenting manual it would be a one line book: Wake Up. After that, it’s self evident that there is no “how to” parent, there is simply being present with what is happening, not resisting, and in that place the child finds a sweetness of presence. What I am discovering still is the balance emerging of a container for my preteen that has structure but not control. Control of course does not arise as an impulse here, but there is recognition that the psyche of a 12 year old desires a sense of parental boundaries. Or not. I am finding out how this new kind of non-parenting parenting plays out.

      hugs

      Lori Ann

      • Dan Clizer says:

        You are very welcome Lori! We all need as much love and encouragement as we can give and receive. Yes. Being present gives your daughter a unique opportunity to soak up ‘healing’. That healing balm soaks in and begins to wrap her in love. The love then transforms and “heals”. With my two I’ve continued to reiterate cause and affect rather than boundaries. I continue to help them understand how they are responsible for their thoughts and actions. This way they can see that no projection onto others will serve them. I show them the absolute stark difference between Egoic and Spiritual energy and how one must know which kind of energy one is residing in that moment, so they can shift it at will

        Its a lot of fun! Have fun with your lovely Daughter!

        Love, Dan

      • Julie says:

        Before I had kids, I was interested in the notion of being a harmless parent, and I found unschooling, which seemed like a pretty good idea. Actually, at the time it was the new and pure ideal that had to be attained. Then kids came and attachment to ideals started crumbling. It’s interesting to discover a whole orthodoxy around respecting kids that’s just that. It was a guide to behavior, but now there’s not a whole lot of space for acting out the ideal, for pushing a self to do that.

        There’s the philosophy still there, saying, “You’ve got to make sure your kids are free or they’ll suffer,” and I still get seduced for a minute or two. Nothing’s really changed, other than a hiccup in the mind-processing. I can’t believe the implied threats of a particular philosophy for very long.

  13. Sam Watts says:

    That was entertaining.

    You could very well substitute “sex” for just about any human experience, and this post would still make sense – to the awakened, at least. Listening to music, eating and drinking, work and vacation, etc. – pleasure happens when it does. It isn’t particularly disappointing when it doesn’t arise, nor when it arises and then fades. There isn’t grief when passion arises and is not fulfilled as you would normally require in order to feel a sense of release or satisfaction.

    It’s all just no big deal, but not in the sense that it’s a let down.

    • Yes Sam! Thank you for that truth, that I realize is true now in reading your words “you could very well substitute sex for just about any human experience and this post would make sense–the the awakened at least.” This is equanimity, ultimately, in all life areas. The difference between equanimity now is that it is immediate and real, unequivocably just the way it is. Before waking up, I strove for equanimity–I tried hard to not mind what happens, to be detached and neutral–which is a bit like training a dog (the ego) to act like an eagle. Good luck.

      Thanks for your input. As always, I find your communication clear and accessible and insightful.

      Lori Ann

  14. Lori, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article above. You are a very good writer, quick witted, humorous, daring to fully spell it out! I love the sentence ‘cutting the middle man out – pink slip to mind) as I chuckle. I keep starting to add to this, and yet it isn’t fully coming through right now….in the meantime, I relate! Blessings, Rita

  15. Christine says:

    Could have been my story. I so relate, Sister! Thank you for sharing!
    What a relief (and pleasure) to not be a sexual object but to become the experience itself!

  16. sandyphocas says:

    Loved this–thanks for writing it!

  17. Bruce Nissen says:

    Quite humorous irony. Thanks dear Elder Sister.

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