Thursday, March 29, 2012

Strangely, I find that I have given up on tantra massage.

Not that I'm suddenly opposed to it for moral or ethical reasons (the financial aspect plays its part of course).

I just find that I don't have much use for it any more. The feelings that I can create on my own, and the empowerment stemming from that knowledge, are simply more than any masseuse could ever give me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yes - yes, you are!

StumbleUpon, a Truely Awesome Social-Bookmarking Site

When I threw out my tv, that had a huge positive impact on my life. Less procrastination, less hours wasted to watch stupid ads and idiotic titillation hacked together to form some kind of semi-coherent plot.


I ran into a problem, though.

From that point on, every time I decided for some lazy media consumption, I had to take a decision: what to watch, what to search for. And that gets rather tiresome, even with youtube's suggestions. You somehow just end up looking at the same or similar stuff, over and over again. Your brain simply produces the same search keywords, again and again.

And sometimes, I'm tired enough to simply not want to think, and be served whatever media someone else thinks is good for me.

Only recently, I've discovered an online tool that is just perfect for that scenarioStumbleUpon!

The idea is that you give them a list of your areas of interest (including, BUT NOT LIMITED TO porn, you perv! *g*). And they will randomly serve pages fitting to those criteria. If you like something, you thumb it up so you get results better fit to your personal taste. And of course, you add pages that you like to their system, so the experience gets better for everyone.

It's gold. It really is. I'm shamelessly advertising this here. And they didn't even pay me for that. It's just so perfect for my needs, it makes me smile. The benefit to me is, obviously, that, sinc you're reading this blog, we will probably share some of our interests, so if you join StumbleUpon, it'll ultimately benefit my Stumbling.

My account there is, so if you care for it, visit me there, and start Stumbling.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Personal Development Reductionism

The human brain (or to be mor precise, the mind it constructs) is an incredibly complex system. It is self-referential in a lot of ways, it is practically made up of interdependent feedback loops, and it allows for virtually unlimited flexibility with some regards, while at the same time remaining steadfastly, stubbornly conservative in other areas.

That is why a purely mechanistic, reductionist approach to Personal Development must fail. That is why moralizing tantrums about "evil thoughts" are exactly as unproductive as any attempt at "taking full responsibility for your emotions". That is why NLP fails miserably and consistently when it comes to Personal Development. On the other hand, it works wonderfully as a marketing sham: It plays on our idea of being able to control ourselves, our notorious overestimation of our own ability to control our circumstance. (There is a nice psychological word for that, but I forget.)

The idea that "change happens fast" is utterly ridiculous. With linear systems, yes sure, you can produce any desired outcome within the bounds of the system. Throw that rock against that window, and it will predictably break. Throw it against that police car, and see what happens.

For good or for bad, the mind is not like that. It's more like a stage play performed by 1000 underage agents of ImprovEverywhere, where each one of those has committed to a different mission and some are blindfolded while others carry active flamethrowers around.

You throw a huge beach ball in there, and it'll bounce around for awhile, and then fall to the side where it is forgotten. Or, they'll use it to go on a tangent, speak to it as if it were prince Hamlet of Denmark, and create a whole new piece of drama out of it. Or pray to it. Or throw it at each other until they all run out of breath.

Now, I am a huge fan of the Human Potential movement and Personal Development in general. I daresay that, over the past five years, I have improved drastically in several regards. I am more energetic, more daring, hopefully more attractive than five years ago. I made more money over the past two years than in the ten years before that. Well, back then I was a lump of misery, depression and self-loathing, so it kinda figures. But anyway...

Next to none of all those changes were achieved by fixing on a goal, devising a method and then sticking with it (except for when I quit smoking - that one worked like a charm, incidentally, right from the start). Instead, it was trial and error, trial and error again. Rinse and repeat. Over and over and over.

Note that I'm not endorsing any vague, esoteric, touchy-feely concept of "holism" here. Instead, I'm advocating strict rationality, combined with empathy. All I'm saying is that, in a complex self-referential system, change can only happen incrementally, driven by frequent feedback.

Yes, I'm a fan of Agile. Did I mention that I'm a Certified Scrum Master(TM)?

You anchor that good state to a snap of your fingers. And then you forget to snap them. You practice your cleverly designed mantras, and they feel flat and listless after a while. You check out qi gong, just to find that you can't seem to manage to practice it regularly. You learn zen meditation, and the next thing you know, you're bogged down by a fixed idea of "enlightenment".

Well, duh. Maybe I just haven't found the golden bullet one cure to open all doors yet. Or I'm just a failure. But somehow, seeing how others struggle in much the same way I do, I highly doubt that. I think, if most applicants of a certain methodology never actually manage to reach their goals, it's time to stop blaming those applicants for "misapplying the methods". Instead, it's time to go back to Square One and revisit that underlying model of yours. Yes, I'm looking at you, Mr.s Bandler, Grinder, Rosenberg, Jeffries, von Markovik, Erickson! I'm silently judging you.

Of course, I still advocate tantra, breathing, meditation. I do that, simply, out of my own personal experience. All of these things have proved tremendously beneficial to me. Your esperience  may be different - if so, don't practice what I do!  To some degree I even recommend NLP. But - and that is a huge "but" here - should you decide to give it a try, do yourself a favour: Don't expect it to "work as advertised", just by doing the "right thing".

It's a dance. It's a play. It's pure and utter chaos. It's life.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Firy Wall

Okay, I'll do a bold step now and admit that I've been a huge kinkster for quite some time. On top of being kinky about rational thinking, that is.

Not that that's a big secret to boot, but it factors into what I'll say now.

I've been fascinated with chastity and its associated devices for long, long years. The infatuation with the devices, the belts and cages, has long dwindled. But I always saw something beyond the kink in the idea of chastity.

The kinky bit always created a sort of uneasy agility - which is, of course, precisely what the kinksters seek from it; but it's somewhat annoying in the long run. After all, what I really want for my life is a grounded, quiet sort of energy reserve that just hangs there in the background and is ready to kick in when the stakes are high.

Now, I've been "chaste" for about two weeks now. I didn't exactly count the days - that's not what this is about. I just kept focusing on the breath, instead of achieving ejaculatory orgasm.

For a few days, I was in almost that same state of high, but useless energy that I had back when I experimented with chastity devices. Nervous, uncontrollable, somehow very enjoyable but highly unstable, unfocused. Browsing for porn, having trouble sleeping, never focused on one task for longer than a few minutes.

But it seems that this is changing now. There is a more steady flow of good feelings, I've slept well for 7 hours, and I am quickly gaining back my focus. My drive, my confidence, my ability to dream up the most far-fetched visions... it's all coming back now. With a vengeance, so to speak.

My mental image for this is a "firy wall" that you have to break through - or rather, calmly pass through, in order to reach a more steadily energized state.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Variations, relaxations

It is interesting and highly instructive to try some variations.

For example, there is a distinct difference between consciously relaxing all muscles upon exhaling, and not doing so. Can you feel it?

It makes a difference when you flap your pelvis back upon inhaling, and forward at exhaling.

It feels different when you stroke very softly, or rather strong. It feels different to stroke your penis at the tip of its head, or at the root where it meets with the rest of the body.

I don't advocate either of those options. I advocate experimenting, solo or in pairs or... whatever, folks.

What I DO advocate, definitely, is this:

Do not forget to relax at some point.

It happens to me, a lot of the time. I guess it has to do with being focused on some kind of result or success. And I have the distinct impression that most of the time, the real work happens in relaxation more than under stress.

Also relevant: Yaaaay, 50th posting! :-)

Friday, March 16, 2012

How tantra can improve your sex life

I find that I rarely ever talk about sex.

That's because I'm not all that oversexed, come to think of it.

But of course, as a tantric blogger who blogs a blog about tantra, you simply HAVE to mention sex once in a while, if only to improve your search engine stats!

So, here goes:

Sex sex sex! Sexy sexual sensual lustful erotic sex in all positions mankind has dreamed up!

I mean, come on... it's a mindfulness practice. Of course it improves your sex life!

Christian Tantra?

At first glance, it's ... ahem... *cough* interesting *cough*. They seem to be constantly using the metaphor of a kettle of water getting hot - yes, that's meant exactly as you think it is!

I'm not quite sure about "redirecting sexual energy into prayer". Prayer, in my book, is a linguistic mental process, and tantra wouldn't work for me if it was focused on words.

What I find odd is the last paragraph on yonder page:

I'm Single. Do I Need a Spouse to Do This?

No, but, for a single person, Christian Tantra is quite different. Instead of building your sexual energy to high peaks, direct every bit of it into prayer. Keep your water no hotter than luke warm. If it gets any hotter, turn the fire off.

This seems at odds with the full acceptance of your sexual body, which I find to be totally essential, right there at the very core of tantra.

I get it - but it's impossible to explain

I think I'm starting to get it... that thing about not ejaculating, and keeping the energy instead.

Strangely, any and all descriptions I've read so far were oddly wrong. Not that they were completely wrong, mind you... more like, subtly missing the goal by a hair's breadth.

I don't think that any blame lies with those descriptions. The folks who wrote that stuff clearly came from experience.

It's that subjective, that hard to explain.

So I'll give it yet another self-defying try.

As far as technique goes, it's all about breathing, going very slow, training your PC muscles, focusing inward, and most of all -- letting go of the expectation of orgasm.

On a deeper level, though...

It's about a balance of control and letting go.
It's not about force.
It's about slowness.
It's about where you put your focus.
It's not about KEEPING, but about MOVING.
It's about breath.
It's about realizing what you really need.
It's about acceptance.

Ultimately, it's all about love.

Yet another exercise

Breath deep, relax, feel good.

Now, remember that situation a few days ago where you felt somewhat bad about something.

Whatever it is - husband, wife, boss, losing virginity, missing the bus, I don't care.

Maybe you don't want to choose something that gets you utterly depressed, for starters. Start with something mildly annoying instead, and work your way up.

Okay. Comfortably relaxed, situation at hand?

I want you to find out how you felt at that time.

No no no no - don't just come up with a name for the feeling. Forget the name! Name's don't matter in here. At all.

Instead, I want you to find out how and where in your body you feel it. In the underbelly, perhaps? Or a bit more towards the chest? Or in your back? In your throat?

Wherever it is, I want you to say hello to that feeling. It's just a feeling, it can't hurt you.

But I want more than that.

I want you to really welcome it. It's part of you, it connects you to your aliveness, it connects you to the world around you. It's part of what makes you who you are.

I want you to connect with that feeling, as if it were a good old friend.

Now try and find out how that changes it. Take your time. Linger on that.

And now, after you've respected and befriended the feeling, I want you to move it. Move it up to the heart, or down to the belly - wherever, just try. Go overboard with that. Be experimental.

And now, that you've done all that, I want you to examine - when you now think about the same situation again, do you feel different from how you felt before?

Say YES!

If you say YES to a person, being, situation from the core of yourself, that person, being, situation loses all ability to harm you.

So I'm practicing saying YES as often as possible.

Yes to my guilt trips.
Yes to my bad moods.
Yes to my powerlessness.
Yes to my anger.
Yes to my orgasms.
Yes to my behaviours.
Yes to you.
Yes to my ex-boss.
Yes to my ex-girlfriends.
Yes to my being single.
Yes to life!
Yes to joy.
Yes to comfort.
Yes to warmth.
Yes to daily exercise.

The list goes on.