Subtle Intimacy

Before being introduced to Vipassana life was about feeling the best and strongest positive sensations I could. I liked the sugar in a banana so upgraded to a candy bar and eventually was eating triple chocolate brownie blast ice cream. I like the adrenaline of jumping off a swing set so I upgraded to cliff jumping and eventually want to jump out of a plane. Intimacy can escalate in a similar way. First you enjoy kissing a girl, then you have sex, and then you want to have sex with a different girl every night. Vipassana helped me realize that craving better and stronger positive sensations was preventing me from observing the beauty and the deep connection that comes from sharing softer subtler intimacy.

Pursuing strong sexual energy can lead to a relationship burning out because there’s always a limit. As you and your partner become more aligned and comfortable with each other some of the excitement of pursuit and the unknown disappears. There is less adrenaline involved so the experience seems more dull. You start fantasizing about exotic sexual encounters with strangers to fill this sensual void. This may be what leads to people cheating on their partners and breaking up their marriages.

Vipassana may provide an alternative. Instead of sharing exotic chaotic passion, Vipassana partners can observe unique subtle sensation that arise during intimacy. As each person grow more aware of their bodies through their practice over the years, intimacy may become deeper, subtler, and more powerful. This type of intimacy could grow indefinitely.

While I know that further along the path I may come out of sexual craving all together that is not what I’m currently experiencing in my life. Instead of feeling guilty about these feelings, it seems right to embrace them and enjoy them within the current context of my practice. I look forward to experiencing all of life with my deepening awareness. Time to meditate.

This entry was posted in Observations, Personal Experiences by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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