Some days into my last couples retreat in Bali we were in a group discussion when one of the participants said that what he and his partner were experiencing, based on what I was sharing and teaching, felt like a ‘practice’. Just as they had regular meditation practices, this approach to sexual intimacy had the same qualities. I think that is an excellent way of conceptualising the approach to sex that I encourage.
So, what do we mean by a ‘practice’? Well, spiritual traditions have various spiritual practices or disciplines to enable personal growth and spiritual development. Prayer and meditation are obvious ones, but it can expand to include some of the martial arts and other physical activities such as dance and yoga, volunteering, creative arts, being in nature. But it’s less about the activity itself that makes it a practice, and more about the way in which it’s engaged. Which is why sexual intimacy can also be a spiritual practice.
A practice is engaged in with intention to engage in a certain way and with attention during the experience. It’s mindful, both in the sense of bringing mindfulness to the experience and also for the experience itself to be a mindfulness practice. In the case of sex, regular readers will remember that the academic... read more