Self-love and loving in Buddhism takes on various forms both mentally, emotionally, and physically. Recently Tantra has been a new popular sexual lifestyle which has incorporated not only fulfilling sexual urge but has opened new doors to sexual enlightenment towards others and towards self. Classes, workshops, and retreats have been created around this way of loving. Past ancient wisdom, as my mother has put it to me, brought down into this “new age” movement.
Although I am sexually active and spiritually active I come from a catholic background which… does not promote sexual experimentation… to be honest I am just only becoming comfortable talking about my own activities. To be the image of my own perfect, and naked, feminine lotus blossom is a stretch for me. I question, on occasion, if there is enough room in my practice for both my spiritual well-being and my sexual well-being. Both being deeply intimate relationships with myself it is very clear on how Tantra Sex, Tantra being found in Buddhism in general, has started expanding in both the kink and vanilla community.
I took a class this past fall at a Shambhala Meditation center which has started me seriously considering if “self-love” for me does not only take on the form of my fingers but also of my emotional well-being. The discussion about taking a deep look into yourself to find your inner Bodhisattva Warrior, which means enlightened being, turned to being in love with yourself, being able to love yourself, and being comfortably alone. Although not entirely foreign concepts my mind automatically sprang to “but where does D/s relationships play into this?”
There are ways of incorporating D/s not only in self-love but also in loving others while practicing. One major theme in Tantra and Sacred Intimacy is to incorporate the Goddess or God. It is not only to engage in it but to treat something, or someone, special. I have rituals before self-love, during, and in my everyday life. I love my body… and I try to remind myself that I love my body… and the figure that I see before me and in everyone else. For every negative comment I make ten comments that represent the positive attributes I bring.
Buddhists disciplined such as submissives are in D/s relationships. Practice is a large part in the spiritual journey, along with finding peace, and being centered and focus. Almost surreal… such as the feeling of subspace for me… also attracts not only my spiritual side but also focuses me on my partner and my daily routines.
However how does one de-attach from their partner to gain the insight of being comfortable alone while still managing submission? It is a steady tightrope line to walk. Between being independent which everyone has done at some point while being single, being unhealthily dependent and becoming a burden, and finding co-dependency. It is not, in the Buddhist style, to force oneself in complete independency and to learn from each other, which happens in D/s, can create a loving co-dependency.