“Life is short but desire, desire is long.”
– Jane Hirschfield
The notion that we must sublimate all worldly desire and passion in order to live a spiritual life is an outdated and limited model of sanctity that serves only to oppress. At its base is the assumption that desire is nothing more than an unending hedonistic quest, devoid of any holiness or meaning. In fact, true desire is a yearning to know oneself more fully. Through an integrated approach to desire we combine the senses, consciousness, love, and all of our humanity so that we can approach the fulfillment of our own personal longing for inner peace and freedom.
The vehicle in which we must make this quest is our body. Our body is embedded in our consciousness–not just in the self -image of our mind’s eye but also in the neurological structure of our brain. So full acceptance of our body is crucial for attaining deep knowledge of ourselves. By igniting our senses, knowing bodily pleasure, and connecting with our hearts and our grasp of the divine, we begin to set ourselves free of shame, guilt, and the puritanical ideas of our ancestors.
When you wish to become sexually connected to yourself and your partner, meeting in a place of honor is a good starting point. When you’re in your sexual integrity, desiring fully and freely invites a kind of honesty, a nervous excitement where there’s no rush to cover up desire or push it away. You accept that as part of your adult sexuality, and you recognize it as the engine that arouses you and your partner. Don’t be shy. Speak your love, your carnal desires, what you are seeing and would like to see or do with your partner, whether it be loving, lustful, or lascivious. This kind of connection enflames your emotional and physical arousal, allowing you to desire fully and to love deeply and spiritually.
– Alexandra Katehakis and Tom Bliss, The Center for Healthy Sex, Daily Meditations, May 1, 2015