5 MAJOR INFLUENCES ON WESTERN SACRED SEXUALITY ~ #1. Sexual Kung Fu of Esoteric Taoism

“The Taoist Sexual Kung Fu was and is today a method of increasing longevity and health, harmonizing the relationship between the sexes, and a means of spiritual transformation.” - Gunther Weil, Ph.D.

A long, long time ago in ancient China, emperors, sages, physicians, and aristocrats alike rubbed elbows in secrecy to devise a way to achieve immortality. Other religions speak about immortality like a place some go after they die, or after many lifetimes. But what is unique about Taoism, is that there is no afterlife. The belief is that any sort of immortality to be found is only to be found here on Earth and in this body—no second shot. Because of this core belief, longevity, health, and living in harmony with all things have become the Taoist’s primary objectives in life. It is the very heart of their practice.


While many Taoists accept death as a part of nature, others have sought out ways to defy it. They aimed to achieve this radical goal of physical immortality through alchemy. There are two types of alchemy in the Taoist tradition. The first being “outer alchemy,” which dealt with the experimentation of dangerous elixirs made of rare metals like cinnabar and arsenic, which when consumed were intended to keep the body alive forever. Today, we know that cinnabar (mercury sulfide) and arsenic are two of the most toxic elements on the planet. Needless to say, the experiments didn’t go so hot.


The second means was a process known as “inner alchemy,” where the body itself became the laboratory. It was thought that the secret to immortality existed in the conservation and transformation of the “three treasures” of the human body: qi (vital energy), jing (sexual essence), and shen (spirit). And as it turns out, no one has gone on public record for achieving physical immortality yet, but the concept of Immortality that the Taoists speak of becomes much more palpable when it is seen as a kind of ultimate spiritual awakening—or as we might call it in the West, Enlightenment.


To achieve this goal, the spiritual masters, namely men, would seek to conserve their sexual energy (jing) and transform it into spirit (shen). While this elaborate spiritual process has many moving parts, one of its most popular practices is seminal retention and the achievement of multiple orgasms for men—click here for a Beginners Guide to Bypassing Ejaculation and Prolonging Lovemaking. Rather than allowing the precious seed to spill out, the body and breath would be manipulated in such a way that not only retained the semen but also recirculated its life-giving force back into the body, shooting it up the spine and into the head, transforming jing into shen and storing it in the vital organs for the sake of good health and prolonging life.


But the path of the true Taoist practitioner doesn’t stop here. It requires another step. Conservation and transformation were just the first two. The third being the balancing between the polar principle forces of Yin and Yang (the Feminine and the Masculine). This is where “dual cultivation” comes into place. A formal sexual engagement between lovers with the intention of balancing, sharing, and harmonizing their reciprocal and life-giving subtle energies is the key. This very conscious, harmonious exchange serves both partners individually and their relationship at large.


“The relationship becomes a springboard to transform the sexual attraction into personal love and then into spiritual awareness and service. The power struggle between the sexes gradually diminishes and balancing their differences over work, family, love, and the purpose of existence leads them into deeper harmony. Balancing this core sexual polarity in a couple is true depth psychology, as it nourishes man and woman at their innermost root." - Mantak Chia, Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy

While the entire ritual of seminal retention is something only a man can perform, this practice isn’t just for men. The joining of the essences being described here is intended to serve both the man and woman. And because of this, its technology and teachings are still very much relevant and useful for Westerners today, if we know how to apply them intelligently.


Michael Winn, author and longtime student of Mantak Chia, explains why esoteric Taoism has stood out amongst the other traditions as one of the primary influences on sacred sexuality in the West:


“For westerners today the foremost practical difference [between esoteric Taoism and all other esoteric religions] is that esoteric Taoism never assumed the cloak of secret rituals and invocation of religious deities that can make tantra seem strange and ill-fitting when transplanted to this [Western] culture. Sex was used more openly in China as a medicinal form of healing and natural path to spiritual balance without the same religious overtones.” - Michael Winn

Esoteric Taoist Sexual Kung Fu can be found throughout the world today. Teachers like Mantak Chia have worked hard to preserve the teachings and make them accessible to Westerners. The wisdom and practices it has to offer are invaluable to all men and women seeking to develop a serious intimate practice with a partner they love. And whether or not Sexual Kung Fu is for you, no matter which form of sacred sexuality you do study, chances are, much of what you will learn has its roots in esoteric Taoism.


SUMMARY OF ESOTERIC TAOISM


Problem Taoism aims to solve: Man is corrupted by convention (customary ways of thinking and acting) which drains vital life force and compromises the quality of our lives and relationships.


Solution: “The highest value is life, so the highest practice is the art of nurturing life” [Prothero, God Is Not One] through the pursuit of vitality, living in harmony, and, for some, attaining immortality.


Purpose: “The goal of human life is to merge with the Tao, to mimic its flourishing, and thereby to flourish ourselves.” - Prothero


Polarity: Yin (Feminine) & Yang (Masculine)


KEY PRINCIPLES OF TAOIST CULTIVATION OF SEXUAL ENERGY

  1. The conservation of sexual energy (jing).

  2. The transformation of sexual energy in order to open and harmonize the body’s primary energy centers (tan tiens).

  3. The balancing of polarity (yin-yang, female-male) within self and relationship.


Major influence #2 coming soon...

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