It’s a word that holds so much.
For some, it’s a word that brings up joy, or lust or a bubbling feeling of YES.
For some, it’s a word that, even just in hearing it, evokes a shrinking feeling in their stomach. That word is naughty!
For some, it brings up insecurity. What exactly is pleasure and how do I experience it? It’s been so long…
May it’s all the above, or none.
_Pleasure_ is blanketed with generations of conditioning. Our relationship to the experience, and even our definition of the word, is personally dependent on our upbringing, our ancestral inheritance and the spheres of life experience that we operate in.
This is where “Pleasure as a Devotional Practice” begins.
Regardless of one’s relationship with the experience of pleasure, I find one thing to be universally true. To experience pleasure, to whatever degree, one needs to be postured in a more supple receptive space within themselves; where one’s inner being has a quality of openness.
This experience in itself is devotional in quality.
And in my experience, it’s a practice that can be cultivated, and created into a natural way of being.
Some human systems and body-minds are more adept in the realm of pleasure. It’s more natural for them to let go of control and surrender into the realms of enjoyment. But for some, maybe even for many of us, because of our trauma architecture, attuning our systems to be receptive and sensitized to sensational richness, even if coming internally from our own breath, is something we have to cultivate.
In my experience of being a young woman, I found that there was this idea around sexuality and orgasms — that I would just know what an orgasm was, and that I would be so overwhelmed with pleasure that it would be so easy and obvious. Maybe it was like that for some women, and maybe it’s definitely like that for men — but my entry into the world of sexuality and pleasure was quite a let down and very confusing. What does an orgasm feel like!? It took me years to figure that one out, and I continue to walk the path of learning about the different sensational qualities of the wide array of orgasmic experiences that are possible for women.
Acknowledging this explorative piece, this unlearning and relearning of my own pleasure body was essential in opening the door to my own authentic experience and understanding of Pleasure. My process went a bit like this: these are the patterns of my body to resist opening and feeling… these are the sensations that are available when I open and soften…. and wow, when I allow myself to soften and surrender into this subtle sweeping quality of sensation, I experience this to be very pleasurable.
This, to me, is the Spiritual Path of Pleasure, the devotional practice of unlearning, training, devoting oneself to the opening into the delight, the full range, of feeling.
It also feels important to note here the connection between grief and despair, and joy and ecstasy. The metaphor I feel is that of a cup as the vessel of our body and life: the grief and despair empties and purifies the cup, creating the space for the joy and ecstasy to rain through with a more clarified abundant nature. In my experience, the full range of these emotional experiences have a quality of pleasure. It’s not actually the distinct flavor of emotion which I connect to, it’s quality of the surrender, it’s the connection to the truth of the shared human experience that I find to be so beautiful. In that beauty and surrender, I feel a particular flavor of pleasure.
Pleasure, by itself, is a word that carries a whole host of definitions and associations. The real meaning of this word is so personal and I believe, is a gateway into a world that is so rich with divine intelligence, and evolutionary teachings. In the quest to discover what the word Pleasure actually means and feels like in our own body, we are invited into our energetic vastness and somatic intelligence, the truth of who we are as Divine Beings.
It is an honoring of the Erotic nature of the world. That everything, in one way or another, is making love to itself. When there is an attunement to the **_World as Lover, World as Self_**, there is a quality of aliveness that we connect within ourself that is so playful, sensual and liberating. There is an internal opening, and an allowing of the world more deeply into ourselves, that is so nourishing. The Spiritual Path is the work of cultivating the internal safety and awareness of ourself to open to Life, to Other and to Ourselves, in such a way.
What a rich path to walk….