Science, Sex and Spirituality
There have long been similarities noted between the two activities, with Indian spiritual guru Rajneesh famously claiming that the experience of orgasm is, despite being achieved through sexual practice, in itself entirely non-sexual but, rather, mystical. In fact he believed that the entire practice of meditation had evolved from orgasm. The traditional Indian Tantra focuses on the breath to spread orgasmic energy throughout the body, not for sexual pleasure but to gain enlightenment. And even the French phrase “la petite mort” (which translates to “the little death”) for orgasm pays homage to the state of awareness and tranquillity experienced at the time of climax.
This kind of intensity and transcendence is the same state that can be achieved by meditation techniques, where for a period of time we’re able to go beyond our own ego and enter a state of elevated consciousness.
The experiences of both orgasm and meditation have the same effect on the brain, decreasing our sense of pain and self-awareness and altering our state of perception to block out internal commentary and outside “noise”. However, despite the similarities, the two affect different areas of the brain.
When someone practices meditation techniques the left prefrontal cortex of the brain lights up, which is the region associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. Research has also determined that the practice can create a thickening of the cortex, which in turn can lead to lasting (positive) changes in the brain. When an orgasm is experienced, though, there is no movement or reaction in the left cortex at all – which leads to the conclusion that orgasm alone is not a path to true enlightenment!
While there are many theories and practices that make the connection between a bodily experience of orgasm and a contemplative one through meditation techniques, what is clear is that in order to sustain our spiritual and emotional wellness, meditation is the only complete and authentic pathway to a transcendent state. The physical experience of orgasm is not a replacement on its own.
Harnessing our sexual energy through the practice of Orgasmic Meditation (OM) is a powerful way in which to combine the spiritual attention of meditation techniques with the very physical human experience of orgasm. This 15-minute conscious practice is undertaken with a partner, where one strokes the woman’s clitoris with no goal other than to be in the moment as both partners fully engage in the experience.
Science has shown that in a practice such as OM, where the sexual energy of the orgasm is controlled in a mindful and conscious way, proponents experience a greater intensity of connection, empathy and intimacy. This can have a profound affect on not just sex, but every aspect of their lives.