Time takes on a different dimension,
Emotions flow more freely,
The bodies of participants become filled with the energy of life,
And this energy reaches out and blesses the creation around them.
All is made new
Everything becomes sacred.
- Sun Bear
"Creating Sacred Space"... I can hear the eyeballs rolling already! Men, stay with me.
If you're reading this blog, I'm assuming you're interested in Sky-Dancing Tantra for improving your love life, or health in general, maybe even deepening your spiritual practice. Or all of the above. The trick is, as I'm sure you already know, you can't get there from here. Unless you're actually "here". The profundity of the Present , as fully realized in a moment of mind-blowing sex or deep meditation, is not a goal to be attained. As Leonard Cohen so eloquently sings, "love is not some victory march." And, as Westerners, we have to be especially creative if we wish to phase out this never-ending cycle of much ado about nothing.
Enter the keyword "sacred".
Derived from the Latin sacrum, or "holy" (wholeness), and sanctum "set apart", we have here the perfect alternative to picking ourselves up by the bootstraps. And all we have to do is set some time apart (30 seconds), and declare our "wholeness" (another couple of minutes).
As a former eyeball-rolling male, I can attest to my initial reluctance to take on this moment apart in the bedroom. At first, I simply went through the motions robotically, not expecting much. What very quickly became obvious to me, however, was the calming effect this little ritual had on me - it completely interrupted my program of "do this/now this/now this" - and relieved me of tensions and expectations I was bringing to my lovemaking that I hadn't even been aware of. Over time, it has brought a tremendous amount of sweetness and clarity to my relationship with Diana. And energy - did I mention energy? More on this later.
Creating sacred space can actually be quite elaborate, involving cleaning and preparing your room, sharing a bath, preparing special foods... it could take a fair amount of time. This was what Sting so infamously remarked upon several years ago when a reporter asked him about his Tantra practice and he boasted of seven-hour lovemaking sessions.
(context, you have to put it all in context)
For our present purposes, I will focus on two simple rituals you can share with your loved one that epitomize the creation of sacred space and can be practiced immediately. I refer you to the many resources that are available for sacred space creation on the web and in Margot Anand's comprehensive books.
The Beloved's Mirror (or Heart Salutation)
Used at the beginning of your date night, or when you notice things are "getting going", the Beloved's Mirror is a powerful expression of gratitude and honor that allows you and your Beloved to bow to each other in a space set apart from the "usual". Exchanging the Sanskrit greeting Namaste, which means "I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me", we not only re-cognize the divinity in our Beloved, we also acknowledge our own divinity. Another explanation of Namaste I like comes from spiritual guide Ram Dass: "When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only One of us."
- Sit facing your partner for a minute, gazing gently at each other
- Allow your exhalations to be full; inhalations can happen automatically
- Bring the palms of your hands together, fingers pointing down. EXHALE.
- INHALE as you lift your hands to your heart
- EXHALE as you bend forward gently to touch your partner's forehead
- Exchange the word NAMASTE
- Take in the full sense of honor and reverence of this gesture - for you and your partner
- INHALE as you lean back gently, keeping your hands folded against your chest
- EXHALE and lower your hands to the earth, hands still together, fingers pointing down
- Your eyes can be opened or closed... if open, maintain your connection with your partner; if closed, open your eyes upon completion of the last exhalation. Diana and I usually teach keeping the eyes open.
- "Namaste" can be expressed during the leaning forward exhalation, or at the end. We like it as our foreheads touch.
- You may wish to add a short statement such as, [Your partner's name], I honor you as an aspect of myself or the Beloved in me bows to the Beloved in you
- The Beloved's Mirror is also particularly moving as a closing ceremony following lovemaking, however glorious or ordinary your occasion was. Just sit up take a breath to center yourselves and bow to the miracle of two people sharing Energy and Life!
Now that you know Who you are and Who you're with, you can make your mutual space whole or Holy. One of you can begin by stating what you are letting go of, or "tossing out" of your Lover's Bubble. It might be the tension of the rush-hour traffic you were just in, or the memory of a difficult co-worker that morning, perhaps even the anxiety you are feeling due to your expectations in the moment, of "wanting to do it right".
Simply say, I am letting go of expectations/anxieties/anger from this morning. Then let your partner take a turn, and go back and forth, listening to yourself as well as your partner. Notice how exposing and naming your fears in the safe place of trust you just created in The Beloved's Mirror renders them harmless. As Margot says, "Hiding gives strength to negative feelings; sharing in an atmosphere of sincerity and trust dissipates their power. Moreover, when you connect with a partner who is truthfully expressing deep feelings, more energy becomes available as a bond of authenticity develops between you." The Art of Sexual Ecstasy, p. 83
When it feels right, when you begin to run out of negative charge, switch to calling in those energies or qualities you wish to embody or connect with in your sacred space together.
I bring in peace
I bring in acceptance
I welcome humor and silliness
I bring in gratitude
The creation of sacred space is a gift to yourself, your partner, and your Relationship that can add deep joy and ecstasy to your love life and beyond.
May the sacred energy of your loving bless all of your relations!