Taoism is a spiritual tradition that embraces our sexual desire and uses it within our bodies as a force for healing and spiritual growth. Desire is a rich and potent part of our human experience. The Taoists think of desire, called sexual energy or jing chi, as part of our life energy, or chi.
Photo: via Alamy. Kate Lister of Leeds Trinity Universityexplores the ways in which people from around the globe approach love, sex, and marriage. Taoists around the world practice non-ejaculation during sex in the belief that this will fire up energy reserves in their body and make them better lovers.
The Invitation I was a nineteen-year-old hotshot martial arts champion. It was the s, and I had managed to get myself introduced to the legendary tai chi, hsing-i and bagua master, Wang Shu Jin. Amazingly, he was willing to take me on as a student. On a hot and humid afternoon, we were sitting together in his living room in Taichung, Taiwan.
Healthy and loving sexual relationships can be one component of a Taoist lifestyle. Like good food and ample exercise, physical intimacy and touch provide nourishment and support for our bodymind. It's natural to desire and enjoy sexual connections, at this level.
First comes the appetizers, or foreplay, which can become a full meal of its own; next, the main course, or intercourse; and finally the dessert—physical satisfaction, release, relaxation and increased post-coital, emotional bonding. You can also choose to have spiritual dessert—sexual practices that lead you to internal balance, compassion and universal love. Each course has its pleasures and joys.
Sex, a function that is generally unavoidable, must be made into a source of happiness, not pain. Happiness is healing, joy, and longevity; correct sex yields infinite happiness. Pain is incurable disease, depression, and death; incorrect sex yields infinite pain.
The Quest for Sexual Love. A mountain peak as tiny as one square inch has been the source of great inspiration and misery for centuries. Thousands of books have been written attempting to help men and women resolve the problems arising from the endless search for sexually fulfilling love.
In the ancient Taoist tree of practices with branches such as acupuncture, herbology, massage, five element nutrition, qi gong, tai chi, feng shui, I Ching and meditation, the practices dealing with the sexual energy occupy a prominent place. In ancient China Taoist masters were well known for their specialized knowledge on sexual matters. Emperors and Empresses would consult in secret Taoist masters for learning the essentials of sexual practice.
Practitioners believe that by performing these sexual arts, one can stay in good health, and attain longevity or spiritual advancement. The first sexual texts that survive today are those found at the Mawangdui [ citation needed ]. The sexual arts arguably reached their climax between the end of the Han dynasty and the end of the Tang dynasty [ citation needed ].