The Feeling of Enlightenment: Sex, Spirit, and the New Tantra

Ken WilberCognitive, Love & Intimacy, Perspectives, Premium, Presentations, Psychosexual, Spiritual, Spirituality, Video 3 Comments

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Ken Wilber offers a stunning keynote teaching about Integral Tantra and the “feeling of enlightenment”, giving you a powerful set of pointing-out meditations to help familiarize you with the ever-present luminosity of your deepest and innermost Self, as well as sexual practices that will help you integrate your libido with your liberation.

Image: I Dreamt I Was Above by John Cacioppe [+view gallery]

Waking up comes with an emotion. You don’t just have an awareness of enlightenment, you can feel it. And those feelings and emotions can be used, just like the cognitive and ontological aspects, as compass points to help you find and discover your own enlightened self.

Don’t simply become more and more mindful of all of your thoughts and actions. Don’t just look for a nondual choiceless awareness. Don’t just look for a completely unified and totally interwoven world. By all means do all of that, but also look for how all of that feels. Look for the actual feeling of enlightenment. Don’t just pray your way to enlightenment. Don’t just meditate your way to enlightenment. Feel your way to enlightenment.

And what feelings are those? And how can we know that I have the correct feeling? Well, this part is simple, and this part is where the sex comes in.

I’m going to present some of the higher and highest states of consciousness, and some pointing-out instructions so that each of us can directly experience these higher states, especially those states said to be associated with enlightenment and awakening and waking up. And then we’re going to explore the profound feelings that go with those states. So you’ll have a set of compass points in your own life that you can use for waking up.

And that is what will bring us directly to sex, specifically the spiritual path known as Tantra, which uses everyday conventional sexuality as a direct path to spirit, a direct path to enlightenment itself. But we’re going to take a very specifically integral approach to this issue. So even if you’re familiar with Tantra, this version will strike you as quite novel.

One of the very most common feelings of sexuality, especially orgasm, is an intense ecstasy or great bliss. And this sexual bliss, this orgasmic bliss, it’s just a relative state — that is, it’s temporal; it exists in the stream of time; it will come, stay a bit, and then go. But using techniques we’ll go over in just a minute, you can use those temporal feelings of sexual bliss as a way to recognize, remember, and point to the ever-present feelings of Big Bliss. While experiencing finite sexual bliss, you’ll use those finite feelings as a reminder, as a pointing-out, for the deeper feelings of ever-present Big Bliss, or radiant joy, or deep happiness, or whatever term works best for you. You’ll transfer the feelings of temporal sexual bliss directly to the ever-present Witness, and then, as blissful Witness, you will then evenly and equally be aware of everything that is arising, moment to moment.

So everything you need to know about the ultimate fourth state of consciousness is: Big Bliss is the feeling of the infinite freedom of the pure Witness. To put it simply, bliss is the feeling of the freedom of the Witness. And you can use sexuality as a direct pointing-out for just this eternal, timeless, ever-present state of your own deepest being.

Ken Wilber



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Ken Wilber

About Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.


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    As, always, enlightening. Thank you for being an awareness in my life…the head space! I’m ready to work on ecstasy…loving the good the bad and the ugly. Much love to all.

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    I’ve known about Tantra for some time and believed it to be enveloped in mystery.
    Ken with his wisdom has made this mystery something duable.

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    The body and sexuality have always been disowned and neglegted in traditional spiritual paths, be it Christian, Hindu, Sufi, Buddhist, etc, with very, very few exceptions. Spirituality for the 21st century needs to integrate body and sexuality if it really wants to be called “holistic”. Thank you so much Ken for this new kind of tantra for the 21st century!!!

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