Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Spiritual Disciplines for a Life of Passion

Several of us have discussed a desire to create a space where we can come together as community and share our journeys in the area of Christian spiritual disciplines and practices. We long to encourage and enrish one another in pressing into God's creative and still rhythms, to enrich our relationship the One who Is through coming together as a group. We sense that a life of passion in any form is lived more fully when we allow ourselves opportunities to be with God in experiential ways. All are welcome. What are your thoughts on the best way to go about creating this space? One idea is to come up with several categories, make a post for each one and then add a sidebar link to each post so it's easily accessible as newer entries appear. Any other thoughts or suggestions?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pursued or In Pursuit?

For some of us it's more natural to pursue -- a position where we feel more power over when, where and how we love, seduce, and undress (both our bodies and souls) in presence of another human being.

For others of us, we feel most comfortable responding to the romantic wooing of another. We delight in having feelings elicited from us, in feeling special, prized, beloved, and we shun baring ourselves sexually and emotionally vulnerable first -- lest we be rejected and wilt.

At either end of the spectrum, I think there's a control issue. On one end are those of us who need to be in control, or else we feel disempowered, even violated. Cross over to the other side of the spectrum and you'll discover those of us who feel afraid of being in control and shun sexual power, finding safety in submission.

Maybe a few of us have uncovered the secrets of balance, of sharing and embracing a dance in which each partner leads in turns, allowing each twist of passion to open a new opportunity for both loving power and joyous submission.

Where do you fit in? What's helped you in your journey toward shunning nor coveting sexual power, but being alive to the dance of initiative and surrender?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Celibacy and Sexuality

Can celibacy be an expression of sexuality rather than a repression of it?
I look at the passionate creativity of many of the amazing women mystics throughout history who also to happened to be celibate nuns, as well as at the courageous and vibrant ministries of many single people today, and my gut tells me that they are women who successfully channel their sexual energy into life energy for ministry and creative endeavors of the spirit and in the world, instead of repressing it. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bedroom Outtakes

We've all had our fair share of romantic comedy. Most of us have experienced a sub-category of romantic comedy, which might be called, "bedroom outtakes," "married with children," or sexual (literally) inside jokes. The classic is the orgasmic fart. What if it turned out that's the trumpet heralding the return of Christ? Talk about feeling eager for a white robe, and fast. In a twinkling of an eye might not be soon enough.

If you have kids or spend significant time with anyone who does, you know that many children's toys are specifically designed to foster ADD by making bling ding sounds with flashing lights at the slightest touch. Sort of like most guys, I guess. Now these toys normally require stimulation, but when their batteries are about to go, they sometimes spontaneously erupt into bling ding versions of Mary had a little lamb and doo da da doot da doo! Once, while our daughter was napping on the weekend, my husband and I snuck away to the bedroom and began enjoying each other in that fabulous, semi-quicky way that teenagers do when they know their parents might walk in at any moment. Except of course in our case, it was the three-year-old in the next room who made us feel mischevious, like we were getting away with something delicious. Things were heating up, as they do, and the moment was coming closer, coming...cumming, CUMMING!! And at that very second, "doo da da doot da do!"

Go ahead and share your own bedroom outtakes, or at least reminisce over them with a giggle or two.

Sabbath Sex

Sabbath involves both a withdrawing from the humdrum and whir of ordinary preoccupation and relishing sacred moments of time set apart from work and the pressures of the outside world, where food, candles, wine and prayer waft together as people decompress and reconnect with the rhythm of God, ourselves and those we love. Jewish traditional tells us that two candles are to be lit on the Sabbath. It is usually a woman who lights the candles, which represent the dual, slightly different reiterations of the Ten Commandments in the Hebrew Bible. We are told in Exodus to "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." Deuteronomy instructs us to "guard the Sabbath." Rabbis Kerry M Olitzky and Daniel Judson write in their book, Jewish Ritual: A Brief Introduction for Christians, that everything comes in twos on the Sabbath: Two loaves of Challah bread, two angels to escort us home the Sabbath evening, two candles, and in some interpretations, two lovers enraptured in the "double mitsva" of sex on Shabbat. Olitzky and Judson communicate that on Shabbot, two is really about becoming One. "The Rabbis even say that the two times where the Ten Commandments appear in the Bible, God actually spoke them at the exact same time, somehow, in the mystery that is the Oneness of God...Shamor vezakhor bediboor echad, God utterered the words guard and remember as one word." And according to the most special text of Jewish Mysticism, The Zohar, "just as the male and female aspects of the Divine unite above, so they also unite below in the mystery of the Oneness.' Some understand this as a sensual whisper from Adonai on the Sabbath calling husbands and wives to weave the dance of sex as an act of worship. Could it be that just as Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen a holy path in setting aside the work to listen at Jesus feet, Sabbath might be a time of setting aside all but our lover? A time for a woman to light the candles, setting fires dancing, allowing moments to run seamless together with each caress of an unhurried tryst; passion mirroring the Divine male and female aspects of our Creator. Perhaps some Sabbath soon you will hear God whispering with a holy quiver, "Make love tonight."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sex In The Present Tense

Sex is a calling to reach out and touch Infinity -- that holy, unspeakable point where Now meets Eternity, the yearning, active pleasure where there is Nothing but Forever, and yet Something More -- and and the Final Surrender of our illusions of control and self to a totality of Being in Bliss with Another, with whom we dance as two-yet-one, sharing Everything, because it is ours to share.

Yet being Present to God, to ourselves, to our lover is anything but easy. Sexual distraction offen supplants sexual attraction as neurons weave across our brains digesting the days experiences and running futily over to-do lists, as though thinking over impending tasks and responsiblities repeatedly could actually get them done in the heavens, and then on earth. What a twisted form of repetitious prayer that's bound not to work anyway. And meanwhile, in the bedroom, our bodies move against our lover, or we just get annoyed when our spouse approaches in heat, because we don't want our daily stresses interrupted, lest we lose the little control we sense we might still cling to by rehearsing our emotions and to-dos to death, detracting from our original "I dos" and causing a sort of spiritual-sexual death that separates us from our spouse and our joy in being alive together.

When you notice yourself withdrawling emotionally from sex, or sex period, imagine that this is your one moment -- and your eternity. Bring yourself to your life, your body, your lover and God all around you, flowing through you, blessing your passion. Try it for seconds at a time. I find when I engage in sex this way, I become more aware of when I'm "not there" and sometimes underlying issues of trust in my spirit. I bring myself back to the moment and the physical sensations and the soul of my partner, laid bare before me, and I risk laying myself genuinely open. I bring myself back, again and again, for the sweet moments of really being alive to God, my lover and the rhythms of my own spirit flowing through my body. For me, sex becomes a form Christian meditation, worship -- even spiritual discipline. And it's alot more fun than fasting. :)

Blog Guidlines

This blog is intended as a creative healing response to the widespread (not) christian repression and ignorance surrounding women as sexual, created and wondrous beings.

As a creative healing response, this space is not about bashing men or the church. It is about welcoming the Spirit to redeem our sensual and sexual selves; our playfulnesss and dreams, our (mis)adventures and passions, the things that make us sing and quiver, cry and laugh and yearn until we SCREAM God's praises.

Feel free to be as modest or as explicit as you feel led in God's spirit of freedom and loving concern for others. There are no other rules. Posts can be as profound or goofy as you like, as philosophical or pragmatic, as artistic or down to the facts. This is your chance to let the real you come out in a safe, supportive place where sex, play and worship are pretty much synonymous. Thanks for joining the conversation!