The skillful use of sexual energy is one of the most important things we can cultivate on the spiritual path, but it is rarely talked about. The vital creative energy of the sacral chakra is a force unto itself. It is the energy of life, birth, and renewal. Yet it is often pushed to the periphery. A source of shame, guilt and self-denial.
I encourage you to set down any shame or guilt you might experience in reaction to your sexual energy and its expression. Instead I encourage you to learn as well as you can the metaphysical laws that govern sexual energy and strive to use your sexual energy skillfully. Shame and guilt distort and block off the vital creative energy in the sacral chakra, which diminishes our overall vitality and distorts natural sexual desires.
If you are on a path of spiritual evolution and self-realization your goal is to open and balance all of the chakras and use that energy in service to your evolution. The root and sacral chakra are the foundation of your energetic body. Their health, vitality, and openness are a measure of the shakti/prana that runs through your being. They are a measure of your power and virility.
Do not deny them. Do not ignore them. Do not be ashamed.
Sexual energy is just another expression of god’s infinite consciousness. If used skillfully it can empower your spiritual seeking in powerful and even pleasurable ways. When we are young many of us are dominated by the power of our sexual energy and the drive for reproduction. This is a natural evolutionary drive of the animal body seeking to fulfill its desire to perpetuate the species.
As with the ego, the body and its sexual longing can be a useful servant but is a dreadful master. One on the spiritual path should seek mastery of both the mind and body and use both to achieve self-realization. The most important thing one can do to that end is daily effective meditation. This will help grow your capacity to experience sexual desire from a place of witnessing awareness and not be completely consumed by it.
The yamas and niyamas counsel bramacharya or moderation in our indulgence in sense pleasures. This helps one become less identified with the limited body and more identified with limitless consciousness. There are many temptations that make that more difficult now than it was for previous generations due to hook-up culture and ubiquitous pornography. With readily available sexual partners and pornography why engage in sexual moderation?
When it comes to sexual contact with other people it is important to remember there is no such thing as casual sex. The yogic tradition teaches us that subtle psychic connections are formed during sexual union that last for years after the encounter. Our nadis our subtle nerve endings connect and grow together with repeated sexual union.
That is because the mated romantic relationship serves the practical function of reproduction and the spiritual function of balancing the pingala and ida nadis. The pingala and ida nadis are the two serpents of the masculine (shiva) and feminine (shakti) energy in the base of the spine. Once balanced the sushumna nadi channel is opened which allows the kundalini energy to rise up through the spine. They are balanced through sexual energy exchanges of shiva and shakti energy.
Before our ida and pingala nadis are balanced we feel psychologically incomplete. There is a longing for a counterpart or companion to help balance the masculine or feminine energy. This natural desire for balance attracts us to romantic partners with a compatible vibration or karmic lessons to help us achieve balance and progress spiritually.
The ida nadi is associated with the shakti or lunar energy of the divine feminine. The pingala nadi is associated with the shiva or solar energy of the divine masculine. When the nadis are balanced and open, the sushumna nadi which is a column of light in the spine opens and the kundalini energy begins its ascent. The sushumna nadi is non-dual and without gender. It is the byproduct of the balanced masculine and feminine energies.
Until one has opened and balanced the ida and pingala nadis one will long for a mate. The mated relationship will help you balance the masculine and feminine energies within your being to awaken the sushumna nadi and kundalini energy. A part of the balancing process of the mated relationship is the growing together of the nadis, these subtle channels of prana.
In the mated relationship there is a growing together in mind, body, and soul which is facilitated by these subtle connections. Excessive promiscuity may cause you to have subtle connections with many different people, making it more difficult to grow together with one to achieve balance of the ida and pingala nadis.
So choose your sexual partners carefully. Don’t have sex with anyone you wouldn’t want to be. Remember there is no such thing as casual sex. Treat sexual contact with the respect it deserves. Minimize your sexual contacts to those people you want to grow together with in mind, body and soul. Remember that one sexual encounter can impact your karma for years to come, especially if a child results from the union.
Solo sexual activity in the form of masturbation has fewer long lasting side effect but still has several pitfalls. Prior to high definition streaming pornography to satisfy every fantasy imaginable masturbation simply wasn’t that interesting. People would do it when there was a buildup of sexual energy, but it was less likely to become an obsession.
Today we are barraged with sexualized content in advertising and social media that can cause us to fixate on sexuality and become addicted to masturbating to pornography. Generally people don’t become addicted to masturbation alone because it simply isn’t that interesting. But pornography adds a highly addictive component that can hijack your dopamine cycles.
Therefore, moderation and discernment are needed. Excessive masturbation dissipates your vital energy and diminishes your ability to focus and use your energies in more constructive and creative ways. Generally speaking the more you can channel your sexual energy generated into the sacral chakra up to the higher chakras the better. That can be done through the pranayama practice of drawing the energy up the spinal column while inhaling through the mouth.
Once again moderation is key. Some people may find it easy to abstain from sexual thoughts, pornography, masturbation, and sexual intercourse and therefore achieve perfect Bramacharya. Others may be in the habit of masturbating daily to pornography and find it difficult to stop. Wherever you are on the spectrum take stock of where you are and strive to do a little better.
Pornography in particular can pollute the mind and cause addiction. The content elicits strong emotions and therefore makes a strong impression on the conscious and subconscious mind. A daily habit can cause one to dwell at the sacral level of consciousness and engage in obsessive sexual thoughts. If that is the case you are a slave to your sexual desires. In order to rise to the higher levels of consciousness you will have to become its master.
In order to break the habit a period of detox may be needed. Do a fast from pornography and sexual thoughts for a week, two weeks, or even a month. You don’t have to commit to doing it forever, you are just offering yourself the gift of contrast. After a period of detox you’ll find your awareness naturally moves away from obsessive sexual thoughts into the higher seats of consciousness.
We are striving for skillful use of our sexual energy. Strive for perfection but do not beat yourself up if you fall short. Be firm but gentle with yourself. Be honest about where you are at. Decide where you want to be. Create realistic achievable goals to help you become more skillful with your sexual energy.