Sexual Instincts and Spiritual Pursuit - A Question
[Sitara Mittag, herself an accomplished Non-dualist, is a Coach and Consultant in personal and spiritual matters. She is also an Astrologer publishing a monthly column of forecasts. After following Osho’s teachings for a couple of decades, she pursued initially the Western style of Non-duality and soon moved on to the traditional Advaita Vedanta. She had spent many years in India and loves the Indian culture. Sitara teaches Advaita to several students mainly on a one-to-one basis. In addition to maintaining her own Web Site, she also blogs regularly at Advaita Vision, UK. She lives in Germany and can be reached by e-mail.
I am grateful to Sitara for readily consenting to provide her mature advice and guidance on a sensitive question that puzzles everyone’s mind but rarely gets asked – ramesam]
Question: Sexual instincts are natural to the gross physical body. How does one balance these physiological desires with the aspirations of pursuing the spiritual goal of knowing the Absolute Advaita Truth while living the life of a householder in the modern day world?
The key to this question is in identification or attachment.
All senses can be experienced with or without attachment. Remember the chariot analogy of Katha Upanishad. What counts, is the buddhi (Intellect), as the driver of the chariot (body). The Upanishad compares the body to a chariot, the senses to the horses, and manas (mind) to the reigns). If the buddhi is sharp and clear and knows the goal, all will follow her. That does not mean that the chariot or the horses or the reigns should be dropped. No need for that.
As much as you may enjoy a delicious meal, a beautiful piece of music or your children’s laughter, equally you may enjoy sexuality with your spouse. It is a natural and a beautiful way to express love and intimate closeness. Just take care that your sexual activity is not egocentric and is not disconnected from the heart. Share the enjoyment in making the experience enjoyable for both. This is the dharmic way: treat the other the way you would like yourself to be treated.
By practicing sexuality like this, it becomes a spiritual discipline. In the end it is like meditating together. Lust is not anymore in focus but for a sense of ‘offering’ and surrender to the flow of love where ‘me’ as doer is absent.
Such sexuality will not come in the way of spirituality.
I have discussed these matters in my interviews with Non-Duality Magazine and can be found here and here.
A Question on 'Sexual Desire and Happiness' was also answered by me and my co-bloggers here.