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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Mindfulness in the Bedroom

The concept of “mindfulness” has become widespread across many fields. Mindful parenting, mindful eating, mindful writing, mindful walking. Mindful leadership. Mindful listening. And, yes, mindful sex.

Mindfulness describes the process of bringing one’s attention into the present moment. While the term may be somewhat new, having been introduced in the last quarter of the 20th century by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh and his student, American author Jon Kabat-Zinn, it is NOT a new concept.

The word itself, mindfulness, was coined by a Buddhist scholar, TW Rhys Davids, over a hundred years ago. It was his attempt to translate into English this thousands-year-old practice of turning one’s mental attention to whatever sensory experience is going on, rather than focusing on thoughts that take us out of the moment.

Tantra, an ancient spiritual teaching from India, enhances sexuality by providing a framework of mindfulness for our most intimate encounters. Greater pleasure and more feelings of intimate bonding with one’s partner are the most positive outcomes.

It would seem simple to pay attention to what’s physically going on during sex. Yet, in spite of the many sensory sensations that lovemaking provides, we are often distracted, disengaged from the delight itself.

Or, we get caught up in seemingly related thoughts such as wondering if our partner is happy, or being concerned that we’re not “performing” well, and so on. When we are evaluating or worrying, we’re not experiencing. Our attention must be in the here and now in order to blend with our partner.

Training in mindfulness alerts us when we’ve wandered away, and reminds us to shift back to an awareness of what’s actually going on.

Mindfulness is a fluid activity, a way of walking through life (which includes bedroom activities). Mindfulness invites us to notice how we’re walking, what we’re walking past, what we’re noticing, what we’re thinking.

Breathing is often used as the gateway, the path back to the present moment. Our breath is always here, always happening, always available for us to focus on. Tantra Tai Chi provides an easy blueprint for returning to center. When a couple shares an understanding and appreciation for a pattern of bodily focused mindfulness, lovemaking is taken to extraordinary heights and awakens spiritual joy.

Mindful lovemaking can create a vibrant intimacy throughout a couple’s lifetime.

Diana and Richard Daffner, authors of Tantric Sex for Busy Couples: How to Deepen Your Passion in Just Ten Minutes a Day lead workshops for couples at See ad pxx.