After our first class session last night from the Common Sensuality Essentials Online Class, I went straight to my studio and taught a yoga class. As I encouraged my students to feel their breath, bring their attention into their bodies, and inhabit the present moment more fully, I saw so many parallels between yoga and sensuality training. Both practices invite you into a deeper relationship with your body. Both practices guide you into the present moment in order to discover the fullness of life. And both practices enhance our joy and pleasure.
On my bathroom mirror, I’ve taped up a quote by Eckhart Tolle. I read it every morning. It says:
“A vital question to ask yourself frequently is: What is my relationship with the present moment? Am I treating the Now as no more than the means to an end?
Since the present moment is all you ever have, since Life is inseparable from the Now, what the question really means is: What is my relationship with Life? This question is an excellent way of bringing you into the state of Presence.”
Listening to Susan’s melodic voice on the phone last night, describing the differences between sexuality and sensuality, I realized that this is a life training as much as it is a sensuality training. It’s a training that invites us to slow down and savor each moment. It’s a process of engaging our senses more fully, more consciously, so that we become aware of the pleasure (and the pain) streaming through us. It’s a way of heightening our sensitivity, and becoming brighter, fuller human beings in this world. It’s a way of celebrating our joys, little and big.
I loved Susan’s description of an oyster. From the sexuality model, a hungry person would pop the oyster in their mouth, swallow, and reach for another one. They would eat until their belly was full, and move on to the next pursuit. But for the sensual researcher (like us!), the experience is completely different.
A sensualist admires the environment she is in; the white linen tablecloth, the heavy silver settings, the thoughtful presentation of oysters on a bed of rock salt. She appreciates the beauty of the oyster shell before even lifting it to her mouth- the rough and smooth texture, the pearly gray color. A sensualist breathes in deeply, and smells the sea. When she finally tilts the oyster into her mouth, the slippery texture pleases her tongue and then bursts with delicious fullness!! Now she tastes the sea, too, and her mouth is filled with the salty, cool texture of this perfect oyster. It slides over her tongue and down her throat, and she can feel it moving all the way into her stomach.
The sensual researcher doesn’t eat an oyster just to get full, she savors every moment of her engagement with this delicious morsel, from the promise of it, hours ahead, all the way to the moment it slides into her belly.
Sex can be the same way. And for those of us who have signed up for this course, this is how we want sex to be. Better. Fuller. More exquisitely engaged. Deeply satisfying.
A popular phrase has been dancing through my mind since last night’s course session ~
It’s about the journey, not the destination.
With food, sex, and life, this is true.
I just came from a Silent Reading Party. It was held at a swanky hotel in downtown Seattle. I sat in a plush velvet chair, and enjoyed the live pianist, and later, the harp player. The lounge was packed to capacity, and people were even sitting on the floor, and propped against the walls. This has become a very popular monthly event in Seattle. I enjoyed my red wine more than usual, inhaling deeply before I tipped the glass to my lips. I swished the rich, tangy wine over my tongue, and felt the pleasant warmth as it slid down my throat. I noticed how after I swallowed, fresh moisture gathered on my tongue, like a liquid pearl. I enjoyed the silent company of the readers around me, people engaged in novels, newspaper articles, and delicious poetry. Beyond the lounge doors, I sensed the prolonged twilight of a spring evening. And for dinner? I ordered the oysters 🙂