Attending to Your Hearts Truth

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Forgetting Who I Am

We’ve been making love for a while. The fronts of our bodies are soft and pressing into each other. Our hearts are open. Our energies are flowing fully. Our breath feels like one breath. We surrender more deeply, and the boundaries of our bodies become diffuse.

The atoms of our flesh and bones spread out in space. Thoughts feel like waves of space. Attention feels like a tension in the open space of consciousness.

I can attend to many things while we make love: The commingling of our breath. The sweat squishing between my chest and her breasts. The love I feel in her heart and see in her eyes. The hot merger of our genitals. All these experiences can be objects of my attention. Yet, this attention feels like a kind of tension, collecting space into bundles of form: a breast, a sensation of heat, an emotional feeling.

Who I am, most deeply, is not this attention. This attention—and the whole sexual experience that attention carves in the space of consciousness—takes place within the dimensionless openness who I am. The blissful open of being is not a thing that can come and go, but I can forget it or ignore it. I can be distracted by the things of attention, by tits and ass and money and pain. I end up assuming I am like these things, solid, limited, and temporary. I become tense and afraid because I forget who I am most deeply.

Minutes, hours, days sometimes go by, and I can be totally lost in one experience after another, working, eating, sexing, and fretting without profoundly relaxing as the infinite depth of being who I am. In order not to get lost in merely attending to experiences, I practice recognizing and relaxing as who I am most fundamentally, whatever experience waves in its deep.

This is especially true during sex. Sex seems to be the summary of everything I want to experience, everything to which I want to attend. It is the most seducing illusion, promising fundamental fulfillment, always around the corner. But, as I rediscover again and again, no experience, even the most pleasurable sexual experience possible, is completely fulfilling. It doesn’t last. And, even while it does last, it is always more shallow—and threatened by loss—than I hoped.

When a hoped for moment of experience finally comes—the peak of orgasm, for instance—it’s just another swift moment of experience, a tension in the midst of open being. A sexual experience might feel great. Or it might feel lousy. But open being, who I really am, who my lover really is, doesn’t change because of any experience, good or bad. And this openness of love—unlimited, spontaneously alive, and cognizant—is the nature of every single moment, now and in the future, while sitting on the toilet or while crying with my lover.

Love Is Larger Than Attention

Paying close attention to all your sensations and to your lover during sex is a good start. But this practice can actually get very depressing! Nothing amounts to much, nothing lasts, and everything is always changing. Unless you realize love, it is easy to mistake attentive clarity for a deeper practice.

Beyond bare attention is the mystery of love: the effulgence of bliss as all forms. Naked as this moment, with no edges, you are alive as love, as the open of being. Being undone in this openness is the ultimate orgasm, leaving not a trace, as if nothing has ever happened at all and love is the only history.

Attention is a tool, an action, a limit. The open of love is what is, whether attention acts one way or another or not at all. And sex is a primary darling of attention. To feel through attention during sex is to be free in the midst of one of the strongest, most attractive snares of attention, so that your true depth may burgeon outward through the flesh of the moment.   For Him

Where Is Your Attention?

What you do with your attention determines the quality of your life. Three men in the exact same circumstance—a brothel, for instance—would have different experiences depending on where they placed their attention.

One man might pay attention to his thoughts: “What if my wife finds out? What if I get a disease? I wonder how much this is going to cost?” The texture of his experience is anxious, tense, and jittery.

Another man’s attention might be absorbed in his visual perception: “Check out that tall woman in the corner dressed in red leather. Wow! Look at the tits on that woman covered in glitter! Man, those two blondes dancing together are gorgeous!” His experience is exciting, enlivening, and full of color.

The other man’s attention might be focused on genitals: “I’ll bet she’s really tight. I’d like to put it in her really deep. I’ll bet she could milk me with the muscles of her tight pussy.” The texture of his experience is throbbing, animalistic, urgent.

Where you put your attention determines how you feel, to yourself and others. Women are especially sensitive to where a man’s attention goes. If he is wrapped up in his own thoughts, she feels it. If he is checking out all the other women, she feels it. If he is a “walking genital,” she feels it.

Free Attention Is Sexy

The primary quality that makes a man attractive to women is the freedom of his attention. When his attention is not tightly bound to this or that, then the force of his consciousness is free to transmit as the strength of his presence. When a woman walks into a room full of people, she quickly notices the man with the most presence and freedom, just as easily as you would notice the most radiant woman.

Men, too, can feel your presence or lack of it. If your attention is free, not convoluted and scattered, then men can trust you. But men won’t trust you as much if you are distracted by your meandering thoughts, emotions, or genital need, if you are “not all there”. A large part of business success is based on how trustable—how present—you seem to others. Do they feel that your attention is free enough to focus on the task at hand and carry through with it? Do they feel your clarity of attendance?

The more free a man’s attention is, the more he can handle in life. The attention of some men is so trapped that they can barely deal with waking up on time, remembering to feed the cat, and doing what they are supposed to do at work all day.

The attention of other men is more free. They decide to wake up early to meditate on their deepest purpose, relax as openness, and then practice their martial arts skills. On their way to work they narrate their latest project plans into a tape recorder, taking time to enjoy the scenery and listen to their favorite music. At work they devise creative ways to improve their performance while also bringing happiness into their co-worker’s lives. All the while, the quality of their presence is strong and full. They are extremely effective yet relaxed and spacious. Their projects never compromise their humor.

To Grow, Free Your Attention

One way to look at spiritual growth is as a progressive liberation of your attention. The more free your attention is, the more free you are to be a force of creativity and blessing in the world.

With practice, you can train your attention to take into account more and more with greater ease. Eventually, while having sex, you can practice to: notice your own thoughts; feel into your woman’s emotional flows; sense the currents of energy moving through both of your bodies; enjoy her fragrance, the smoothness of her legs, and the fullness of her lips; open your heart to merge with her heart; breathe together; redirect your orgasm so it shoots up your spine and through your heart in a rush of colors and mind-blowing intensity; relax your attention to feel through your woman and outward through the room in all directions; collect the “field” of consciousness with your breath and penetrate your woman’s soul with it; ravish your woman with the force of your deepest love; allow your love to move through your body, your woman’s body, and outward to all beings; and recognize the open depth of being, moment by moment, resting as the spontaneous force of bliss which dances as you and your partner and everything else.

To do this, your attention can’t be locked on to the unpaid bills waiting on your desk. Liberating your attention requires that you take care of unfinished business and continue to deal with the duties of your life as impeccably as possible. As you grow, you learn to take care of everyday details while simultaneously opening your attention to deeper things. In fact, you won’t even be interested in deep sex until you have grown enough so that your attention is free and, in effect, you ask, “What’s next? What’s deeper? How can life and sex be even more fulfilling and free?”

Subtle Traps

Your attention is progressively trapped by deeper and more subtle things, and therefore the experiences of your life become deeper and more subtle as you grow spiritually. Any bozo can guzzle some wine and enjoy getting drunk; someone who has cultivated a taste in wines can pay attention to the fruity bouquet and the undertones of cinnamon, wonder whether the wine had matured long enough, and all the while also enjoy getting drunk. His attention is less constrained than a drunkard who is only concentrating on getting as much wine down his gullet as possible. In other words, a connoisseur’s attention is trapped by more subtle enjoyments than the drunkard’s.

Spiritual growth is like becoming a connoisseur of awareness and its objects, which include your thoughts, feelings, sensations, perceptions, and emotions. As you grow, your attention is more and more free to notice very subtle things that most people don’t. Other people who are less free in their attention think you have secret powers: How can you tell what someone else is thinking? Or, they assume you are crazy and imagining things, making it all up. After all, they can’t sense the subtle energies and perceptions that you seem to enjoy, so either they are blind or you are crazy—and most people don’t like to think of themselves as disadvantaged.

But even the more subtle things of life are eventually felt as a trap of attention—just like, over time, a pair of gorgeous breasts that you initially couldn’t keep your eyes off of become more familiar, less exciting, and eventually boring. As you grow, you continue to feel, “So what? What’s next? What’s deeper and more free?” Eventually, the act of attention itself—attending to anything at all, no matter how subtle—is no longer very interesting. All the flavors and colors of life, including the ones that most people can’t even sense, are simply not enough. You still feel trapped—exactly as you might feel trapped by a job that no longer interests you.

When Life Feels Empty, Go Deeper

Eventually, everybody grows in their need to untrap their attention from whatever happens to be the focus of their life. The feeling of this need is underlying dissatisfaction.

When you feel that aspects of your life don’t completely fulfill you, when the glow has worn off the things that used to really turn you on, it is time to move your attention to more subtle things. And when more subtle things no longer make life worth living, it is time to move your attention to deeper things yet. And when the deepest things no longer mean anything special to you, then allow yourself to feel even deeper than things.

You can do this even while attention is involved with sexual things. What is deeper than attention itself? Can you feel where attention comes from? What happens when you relax as the source of attention in the middle of a sexual occasion, while your attention also moves toward your pulsing hard-on, your woman in the throes of ecstasy, and your emotions, reverberating with everything from your childhood need for mommy to your darkest fantasies of rape and domination?

Slowly, over years of leisurely practice, pleasure, and inevitable dissatisfaction, expand your capacity to open as deep being even while embracing and convulsing in sexual love. Allow the union of dissatisfaction, bliss, and openness to reveal love’s depth and alleviate the tension of attention.   For Her

Where Is Your Man Going?

Your man’s attention is riveted by certain things that draw him in a specific direction, such as financial success, political freedom, or artistic expression. He is like a train headed down the tracks. If you want to go where his train is going, then get on; he’s a good partner for you. If you are interested in going in the same direction as he is, then the relationship is likely to work.

If you want to create a large family, for instance, it’s best if your man does, too. You can choose to orient your lives toward building a house together, or starting a business, or working for the betterment of the world. Wherever you want to go in your life, it’s good to choose a man who is interested in going in the same direction that you are.

Is Your Man As Deep As You Are?

Subtler than your shared direction is the relative depth of shared attention: Are your man’s concerns as deep as you want your concerns to be? Even if you agree on how many children you want to raise, do you agree on the depth of concern for them? You won’t be able to fully relax in intimacy together if his notion of parenting stops at making sure the children grow up to be able to support themselves and yours includes helping them develop a deep sense of compassion and universal love. You won’t be able to trust him completely as a father, and at times your differing priorities will create seemingly unsolvable conflicts in the way you each parent your children.

Sex With a Shallow Man

You won’t be able to fully enjoy sex with a man whose concerns are shallower than yours. If your attention gravitates more deeply than your man’s, then you won’t trust him with your heart and body. The way he uses his attention—and therefore his “vibe” or his charisma and presence—will seem relatively superficial to you. You may not be totally clear on why you don’t trust him. He may seem to be a good man. He means well, anyway. All you know is that you can’t sexually open yourself as much as you would like to. You can’t surrender with him absolutely. You don’t trust that he will take you to the deep place you want to go.

Little turns your man on more than your trust of him, which means you can open deeply with him and give him the fullness of who you are. But if you don’t trust your man’s direction during the day, you won’t open with him at night. If your attention gravitates more deeply than your man’s, you won’t want to surrender sexually with him. His sexing will feel superficial and won’t satisfy what your heart knows is possible. He will feel your reluctance to surrender and try to demand that you give him more sexually, though his demands will be fruitless. Over time, you may begin to feel disappointed, resentful, or bored with the entire relationship.

The Threat of a Deeper Man

If your man’s attention gravitates more deeply than you are interested, then the depth of his attention and commitment may threaten you. You want a comfortable home; he’s willing to let go of any home in order to take the next step dictated by his heart’s deep convictions. You want to spend more time with him; he spends time with you to the extent it allows him to fulfill the deepest purpose of his life, which includes but goes far beyond your relationship.

If you are with a man whose attention gravitates more deeply than yours, you will feel a constant invitation to open, grow, take risks, and be more expressive of your true gifts. If you want to grow in depth, than this kind of relationship can be very rewarding. But if you want to hold onto your current comforts, then you will feel pressured by the constant demands of his forceful presence. It’s not so much what he says to you but the way he lives his life that will threaten the emotional security you long for.

Choose a Man for His Direction and Depth

You can only count on a man to be concerned about his current depth of attention. You’ll feel disappointed if your heart yearns for deep sharing and trust, but your man won’t stop watching TV long enough to connect with you. You’ll wish that his interests weren’t so superficial. On the other hand, you’ll also feel disappointed if his attention is on negotiating a peace settlement between two warring countries—or he is making plans for a month-long meditation retreat—and you want him to care enough about you to take you on a romantic getaway for a weekend. You’ll wish that his concerns weren’t so deep.

If you want your relationship to work, make sure that where your man wants to go is also where you want to go in your life. Furthermore, it’s best if your man’s depth of heart matches your desired depth.

Direction and depth: these are the qualities in your man that will most determine how fulfilled you are in relationship with him. Many other factors certainly influence your enjoyment, including how your man smells, what kind of father he is, his level of income—everything from his height to his sexual style to whether he likes country-western music will influence the quality of your time together. But if your direction and depth do not match, then no degree of similar interests will make the relationship very fulfilling.

If he is going where you want to go in life, and his depth is as profound as you would like to live, then the relationship is workable regardless of how much your other interests jibe or not. Your lives can weave together in trust—sexually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Finding God through Sex by David Deida

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