The Carnal Elephant in the Satsang Room

Photo: Julica da Costa

A reader asked me the other day about my sex life post-awakening and whether it had changed (Answer: yes, drastically and yet, not at all).  During the same time I got wind of an upcoming teleseminar series with interviews of well known spiritual teachers about their vulnerabilities and challenges.  A kind of get real endeavor to bring the human angle back to the storyline of enlightenment.  I suggested the series host, Raphael Cushnir, also ask about their sex life and he responded, In the series I had a great conversation about the role of teaching and sexuality with Diane Musho Hamilton. Not the full Monty on this vast topic, but definitely some powerful sharing.”

And I realized the full Monty scares people. Why don’t people put up their hands in satsang and ask the likes of Adyashanti or Ganga-gi about the role of sexuality in awakening? And why don’t these teachers address their own sexual story with the zeal they have for the tale of their enlightenment? It doesn’t matter we are on a path to self realization, somehow bringing into the open our own sexuality–in its full glory and despair– is still taboo. Facebook will shut you down if you over-sex your posts, and God forbid you language with words like cunt or cock or fuck. We are programmed to fear sexual vulnerability and forbidden to express our sexuality outside the lines of socially acceptable detail. We want our public sex talk in soft focus, blurry on the edges and generalized into normalcy. We want to keep our hands over our ears and hear no evil, as if sexual pleasure is a dirty secret instead of a potential portal to divinity.

As some of you know, in March I joined elephant journal as a regular columnist, writing on Love, Sex and Relationship. My last post, The Dark Secret Reason Relationships Fail (which intimately addresses my own sexual fears), soared to 11,000 views in one week. The piece was written a year ago, before my awakening, but the story of my sex life has been one where sexuality (from bisexuality to tantra classes) was a significant part of the sacred path up the mountain. To pretend that sex was and is irrelevant would be impossible.

My colleague at elephant, Candice Holdorf, recently blogged in exquisite and excruciating detail of her experience of being “fucked open by the universe.” In a piece entitled Sex: Not for the Faint of Heart, she shares her experience (one which I have also had) of the transcendent yet fully carnal place where the boundless dissolves all boundaries. She writes, Whereas before I was simply feeling my own body, I was now feeling my own body through the tip of his cock, which he was feeling (obviously). And I could feel him feeling his cock and feeling me with his cock. So it’s as if there was a circuit of connection—from me, to his cock, to his mind, back to his cock, and to me again—that added a whole new dimension of sensation to the experience. I wasn’t only in my orgasm, I was also in his orgasm, which then melded and becomes the shared orgasm. It’s as if one plus one did not equal two, but infinity.”

I’m in peri-menopause now. Things are changing. It’s a whole new experience of this body (more dry, less open, more contained, less desirous) and I’m in a state of being (less thought, more presence) where the change is not judged or resisted. It simply is.

Yet I am also in a relationship with a virile man who just might have a voracious libido and who certainly sees sexuality as his doorway to infinity. So stay tuned and watch for my new blog, Love Stripped Down, where the topic of sex and enlightenment will be explored in depth. And of course, at elephant where the backstory is still unwinding, in my tell-all tales of how my true and false ideas about sex were an integral part of waking up.

Awareness is here (and still sexual)

Lori Ann



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35 thoughts on “The Carnal Elephant in the Satsang Room

  1. nondoer

    Thank you for sharing…you are in deed Hot..I asked Gangaji husband,eli jackson b who puts himself in the sat sang chair waffling on about speaking the truth..on this topic.Ie How come these masters have sex relations with devotees.(.Knowing he himself had a secret relationship without notifying his wife for 3 years.).His was response was no comment…!..This was after 3 years after he was caught.He still refuses to throw some honest light on this topic..Like awakening does nothing to ones programming,only one dis identifies with it.You need help in clearing the programs especially if you self appoint yourself as someone who thinks he knows something…
    .He went on further to say when asked if there is purpose to life ..yes to wake up…and after…?… You wake up and tell me !…So he introduces the concept of awakening and uses transference…Well I was already 11 yrs awakened…imagine if I never realized I would have given my power away to this fraud and accepted him as some authority..Its about time these charlatans be held responsible for their choices and quit with its all divine and everything happens that is supposed to happen…Once again thank you for being honest..Love

    1. Joel

      “11 yrs awakened” and still you attend satsangs and ask questions intent on exposing the teacher as a fraud, imagining they are separate entities responsible for their actions. What makes you think you have ‘awakened’, if you don’t realise that the underhandedness you see in Eli Jaxon-Bear is only your own underhandedness? You are not awakened, you are simply the sole authority on your own ignorance.

      1. nondoer

        @ Joel..The meaning of Satsang for me is meeting in truth.It has been tradition for thousands of years in zen for those with the understanding to meet and test each other to how deep the understanding is..
        Awakening does not limit one never to attend satsang,it is an opportunity to meet in truth.My intention was to give him an opportunity to share his experience having declared himself awake,and offering sat sang, as to why he had an affair,what was his motivation?? ,and why he did not tell his wife as he expounds on his chair ” tell the truth” ,so the group may have the opportunity to come to some understanding ,as these affairs obviously cause suffering and confusion in wives and devotees..He declined to be responsible,i.e. Able to respond to my question from understanding in that moment…In zen you don’t get away with :no comment”..He also introduced the concept of awakening in our dialogue..I did not.He used the concept transferred it on to me to avoid responding.After awakening one does not see an individual responsible for their actions,one sees and communicates as and with source,and how source responds is an indication as to where they are responding from..Its laughable and sad to say if you see something like fraud or rape going on, its only in you,they are not responsible therefore one should not call them on it,that is ignorance..I am not charging money or putting myself as an authority on the subject like he is still doing…

      2. Joel

        Okay, so you wanted him to wriggle on your pin, to accede to your summary judgment and condemnation, and, when he didn’t, you condemned him again. And now you spread malicious tittle-tattle online about him while claiming to be awakened. You obviously think his satsang door fee entitles you to be his Inquisitor, and you act all surprised when it turns out that he doesn’t want to discuss whatever regrets he may or may not have with some faceless punter in a public arena. You should have simply asked for your money back and have done with it, as it is you have carried this obsession with him all the way here, to your own detriment.

      3. nondoer

        Once again missing the points raised .His interest in sex with a disciple ..His avoidance in sharing it with his wife, addressing the issue with those present.
        You think I wanted him to express regret,when the intention was,what was his motivation..
        I have no investment in my awakening…or your opinions around it

      4. nondoer

        My awakening has no relevance on this and you are certainly have no authority to its authenticity ..When offering satsang you invite ALL questions like he did.He refused to answer a question .8 people present came up afterward and thanked me and clearly saw his ignorance in refusing to be simply honest so it certainly was not of detriment to me or them.You seem to have a big investment in him and the relevance of me just being a faceless punter…

      5. Joel

        I have no more investment in Jaxon-Bear than I have in you. Both pretty dull. If you want to go around imagining you are awakened, feel free.

    2. awarenessishere

      Thank you. I see a lot of people worried about the quality of a teacher’s enlightenment. I don’t really worry much about it because I don’t invest much time or energy in spiritual teachers, other than the one weekend with Ganga-gi in September. I’ve never been a career devotee. As for Eli Jaxon, I wonder then, by the same token, why his wife, the BIG teacher has not addressed this event in her latest book which does cover some of her marriage stuff. Life. So funny.

      1. nondoer

        I too wonder with all her awareness she never even realized for 2 years before she was told.Then kept it quite for a year as obviously was bad for biz..
        They both have an investment in being seeing as teachers is my view that she never mentioned it in her book.
        I have empathy with those who are lead astray by these frauds,by sharing the obvious ignorance on their part , many can be spared wasting their money and time on such …
        I also never had any investment in any of them..I had a good laugh with UG Krishnamurti….and zen fellow.Cuckoo.neither ever refused a question in my presence,charged cash or claimed any authority…x

  2. Artemisia

    Interesting indeed to hear about sex in enlightment. I always wondered! Doesn’t seem such an important thing to me, more like an object of curiosity. I guess that’s because I never managed to fully let go while “making love”… Plus I never heard of anyone awakening thanks to sex.

    However I do wonder about being in love after enlightment “happened”… To me it seems contradictory. Sorry, couldn’t find a better word. Of course I don’t think love is opposed to awareness. It’s the “being in a relationship”, finding one person more special and marvellous than anyone else, etc., that I can’t relate to a no-self life.
    I would be glad to read what you have to say about it.

    Anyway, thanks for this site, I always enjoy your articles.
    And sorry for my poor English, I’m French^^

  3. Joel

    I dare say the reason the self-realised don’t talk about sex much is simply because it doesn’t interest them a great deal any more. If you happen to be in a relationship, there’s no reason to shun it.If you aren’t, there’s no reason to seek it. The idea of raising sex to some higher spiritual plane is just prattle really. This is a remedial approach to being controlled by desires by telling yourself they are in ‘a higher cause’. Frankly sex is better as a dirty secret than as a portal to the divine. In the former case it is seen as it is, dogs sniffing arses; in the latter it is just self-deception that may, now and again, get lucky and find a truly sacred whore and open up a right old can of mystical worms — that’s fine, but the rest is just spirituality wanting to get laid.

    1. Lisa Kathleen

      It might be said that my experiences (see below) are thought here to be ‘portals to the divine’. Not. When my partner read the comment he was glad… “It’s such an important component for you”, were his words. Not. Anything and everything here in this world is equal to any and every other thing, Joel. So sex can’t be raised to a higher plane, Just not possible. Neither is it something that is a dirty little secret. It’s just bodies doing what comes natural, with attendant feelings. We may like it, we may scorn it. That’s the only thing that is true about sex or anything else in our lives… that we have opinions. The content of them is always bunk. Including this one.

      1. Joel

        I was using the words Lori-Ann used. But I’d say that everything is what you think it is, and for many the ‘dirty secret’ aspect is indeed what provides sexual excitement. The contrary movement of sanctifying sex is just another kink, really. But more often it is an excuse for being sanctimonious in glorifying desires that are just transitory and not worth building up into yet another temple of the divine. Whether or not the content of all opinions is bunk, still they line up for and against.

    2. awarenessishere

      My favorite virtual friend! Joel…You make me laugh. And yes, I get it. We can chase the truth forever in satsangs, yoga postures, meditation, tantra and shamanic drum banging…and every now and then, by some sheer accident of destiny (ha!) the lucky get a taste of mystical worms, even maybe, of true nature. YET….you are throwing out a baby with the bathwater to say “sex is better as a dirty secret.” To keep sex banal, carnal, mundane, when sex mysteries have long pointed to SEX MAGICK, is disengenuous…you might like this piece… or not, sent to me by a reader….and in my own life story pre non event of awakening, my most catastrophic losses of self, happened in the midst of mind-altering fucking. Just say’in. 🙂

      1. Joel

        I can hardly be accused of not exploring sex magick thoroughly, and certainly a lot darker than that fluff you’re pointing me to.

  4. Lisa Kathleen

    I had a bodygasm once. Entire body writhing on the bed for 5 minutes. Since then I’ve had transcendent awakenings dovetailing right out of orgasm. Sex and enlightenment are naturals together. Love your article, Lori! Can’t say the same for the pic, though. Ugh.

  5. Bhimi

    You rock! Yes, it’s an area where we shun delving into exploration and discussion. Most have no clue as to how to engage in a conscious way. The role model people have had leaves not much space for the sacred. “Pleasing” is always the focus, however, the depth of how that can be experienced is very shallow for most.

  6. ThePracticalShaman

    I am such a prude and uptight. You never cease to amaze me… Perhaps this conversation should have happened years ago before menopause as I seem less interested in all of this.

  7. Darryl Snaychuk

    As the quoted story pointed to, intimacy can be a fruitful ground for the tasting of ‘shared experience.’ We are one consciousness and just beyond the fixation of the limited personal experiencing form, is the beginning of where we meet and overlap each other. I have had many such experiences, where the mere intention to focus with the singular power of the mind, on the fine details and the experience of the other – have clearly brought forth a ‘heightened’ experience for both of us. When you hold the other, see and experience that you are actually holding your Self. Take the understanding offered to you in such events, and bring it forward into life’s broader potential of conscious shared experience.

  8. Beardie

    I see hints that the formation of the belief in a separate self is related to primary repression. Life-energy, of which sex-energy is but one aspect, is pushed down and out of integrated consciousness. However, it is possible that sex-desire may actually increase rather than decrease as a result of subsequent conditioning. This is because, during puberty, neediness and loneliness become sexualized. The desire for love and attention is transmuted into a desire for sex.

  9. Resting In Awareness

    It seems that there is a lot of hypocrisy around sexuality, in some quarters of the ‘spiritual’ world, so I eagerly anticipate the new blog (I’ve already signed up to follow it).
    ~ Paul

  10. Davidya

    There’s a long conceptual habit that celibacy is needed for spiritual growth. For example, the “Brahmacharya” of the Yamas (restraints) in the Yoga Sutras, where moderation has been taken to mean celibacy, Of course, it’s rubbish. The vast majority of the Vedas were written by householders and they’re full of sexual references and detailed means of raising sex to a higher and fuller experience. Some of that has been sanitized out of some translations.

    And yeah, it’s quite an experience when the subject and object are one; you are both the giver and receiver, the experiencer and experiencee are one and the same. Walking down the street, making love, eating… Another I’ve experienced and heard described is when the energy rises from the womans vagina to the heart, joins the mans heart and descends to his member and crosses over there, along with a kind of band joining the hips energetically. Yummy.

    If you’ve not run into her, you may enjoy Sera Beak. While not quite as explicit as you describe here, she does puts passion into spirituality “Redvolution is a fire-breathing, body-rocking, heart-pumping, soul-smooching, deliciously unorthodox movement of the modern feminine divine.”

  11. Sophie, Marie

    How brave is your post and i just love you speak “cash”!…few realized beings dare to talk about it. Osho did. Did you read “fron Sex to Superconsciousness”?…I still don’t understand why talking about this door is avoided…Some years ago, i was “yourFrenchLoveCoach” (still have an account on ezine articles, seems you have one too?) and had a website. As french, it was fun to speak about ” sexual Revolution”. By the way, II was amazed how much Love and sex articles are read compared to others. Still a lot to do!
    I lived with a tantra teacher at that time: it was very “technical” at some point. One day, he gets an orgasm in the heart. Seeing my bewilderment, he just added: you can have an orgasm anywhere!!!

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