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SPIRITUALITY AND SEXUALITY: Recovering the Divine Connection

In both sexual relations and in the realm of soulful recovery, "making Love" is the gateway to fulfillment. The expression of deep love, in either arena, is also an antidote to the pain, stress and heartache of love and sex addictions. How sad then, that the fundamental connection between sex and Spirit is seldom realized in our stress -ridden, addictive culture. Why? Because we must be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually open to the idea to begin with, and secondly, we must have practices to support having the actual experience. Full recovery of our Sacred Intimacy birthright must be claimed first.

If your instincts and intuition are reasonably intact, you sense this deep, natural connection between your body and your soul. In an honest moment, even the most "sex and love" addicted will admit that sensual and sexual connection that is deeply heartfelt is always the most satisfying. What you may not know is that when your heart is in it, you've also taken the most important step towards experiencing sensual lovemaking as a sacred endeavor as well.

Complicating things, many traditional secular and religious circles still consider it blasphemous to speak of sex and spirit in the same breath. These traditions teach that matters of sex or sensual pleasure are apart from -and inferior to - matters of spirit. Such beliefs limit the chance to trust deep, soulful loving during sexual and sensual encounters, and instead produce a profound body-mind-spirit split. Recovering from this widespread "split" is a major task, contributing to addictions not only in lover relationships, but fueling eating disorders, substance abuses and other "aholisms."

Even so, many are taking up the challenge to rediscover for themselves the inherent, divine connections among matters of Spirit/ Soul, Love and the Body.

Southern California is a fertile turf for bridging the divides. Recovery methods call for responsible, conscious coupling which may take the seeker into teachings about "sacred intimacy" or "the yoga of sex." Ancient practices for "finding God through sex" are still part of many contemporary cultures. The ancient Kama Sutra texts of India are very famous, but there are teachings from Tibet, China, Africa, South America and our own indigenous Native peoples, just to name a few. In these teachings, there is no shame about the body and any of its natural functions: no fear of the "flesh" as in puritanical times. You may even dedicate yourself to spiritual awakening via a Divine Lover's path. "Tantra," popular in the U.S., comes from a Sanscrit word meaning "liberation" or "transformation" through the "weaving together of yin and yang" forces for Self Realization. Tantric practices are a path of loving relationship: to self, to lover, to Creator and all creation.

What this means to healing for someone in Recovery is impressive. Our cultural legacy of alienation from the "divine" nature of our bodies, fears of sin and punishment, plus personal experiences of neglect or abuse -makes for a private hell. Distrust of natural bodily "appetites," "impulses," or "urges" robs us of both instinctual feedback (our body's knowingness), intuition (our mind's knowingness), and the deep pleasures of living, resulting in the sort of angst that addictions are borne of. Ignorance of the natural connections between sexuality (the creative "fire" of our life force energies), sensuality (the ability of our five senses to bring life alive for us) and Higher Power makes those connections hard to experience. Instead, we get disturbances in our psyches, noise in our heads, "stress" in our bodies, and walls around our hearts. No wonder most of us suffer from some form of codependent love or sex addiction.

Fortunately, as we recover our trust of expressing ourselves naturally with our whole hearts and souls with our lover, we experience the spiritual or "Love" nature of the act. We may even touch into the Mystery of life itself.

Perhaps the heart of Recovery is in learning to love ourselves as our Maker designed us. That includes being male or female even in the womb, and a masculine and feminine orientation for living. It includes having marvelous sense-abilities that provide information about everything we perceive and experience. Healthy pleasures are natural balm to a host of ills. We are impressive, awesome creatures and beings; we are not sinful in origin, or wrong in design. The power of the pull to be "turned on" by a lover, or a great meal, a lovely scent, a caring touch - and to turn on another with your love power -is one of life's surest gifts. And isn't Love the greatest "power" we know?

Ultimately then, both sexual and sensual fulfillment are about Love, about living in our hearts and becoming that wisdom. To embrace a conscious path to "sex" as a sacred undertaking, ultimately is to find intimate connection to Spirit. - A happy merger. A divine union of body and soul.