Zen Sex: The Way of Making Loveby Philip T. Sudo
Zen philosophy tells us that the great truth of the universe applies to all things at all times. Every moment of life, from guitar playing to working at the computer, to making love, offers a chance for Zen realization. Just awaken to that truth, Zen masters say; how and where do not matter. Sex offers the same opportunity for enlightenment as anything else. Zen
Zen philosophy tells us that the great truth of the universe applies to all things at all times. Every moment of life, from guitar playing to working at the computer, to making love, offers a chance for Zen realization. Just awaken to that truth, Zen masters say; how and where do not matter. Sex offers the same opportunity for enlightenment as anything else. Zen Sex guides readers to the realization of that opportunity with "The Ten Stages of Zen Sex" and "The Six Principles in the Way of Making Love." Philip Sudo reminds our sex-obsessed age that not only is sex a fundamentally spiritual endeavour, it is indeed sacred.
This elegant, gorgeous book will appeal not only to Zen practitioners, but to any one looking for enlightenment and spirituality in all aspects of life.
Great gift potential.
Good for the sex book audience, Zen practitioners and readers looking for meaningful sex.
While there are quite a few books that deal with spirituality and sex from the Tantric and Taoist tradition, no other book has brought together Zen and sex.
Easy-to-do practices help readers learn and experience Zen sex.
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Read an Excerpt
The Way of Making Love
What Is Zen Sex
Hot-blooded and passionate, totally aroused.
-- Zen master Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481)
In life, there are many paths to attaining true wisdom. Zen is one of them. Sex is another.
This is where the two paths converge.
On first hearing the term Zen Sex, many readers may wonder what could possibly be zen about sex. Zen is supposed to be quiet, tranquil, still as a rock garden. Imagine: Minimalist sex! Making love without moving! Sounds like a real turn-on....
And aren't zen monks supposed to be celibate? They take strict ascetic vows. Technically, can there even be Zen Sex?
This book explains that Zen Sex does exist, and it's more than minimal -- in fact, it's mind-blowing. For those who want the truth, Zen Sex is the best sex you can possibly have.
How to get it, and what it can mean for your life, is what this book is all about.
We live in an age obsessed with sex. From news accounts of politicians' sex lives to Internet pornography to Viagra to sexual harassment to the latest perversity on "trash TV" talk shows, we're inundated with sexual messages and imagery. Sex has been politicized, criminalized, sensationalized, sold as entertainment' -- even, in the AIDS crisis, equated with death. Confusing messages abound: Sex is immoral. Sex is dirty. Sex is dangerous. Sex is supposed to be superorgasmic or something's wrong with you, and this magazine/product/lifestyle will correct it.
Lost amid this blather is a simple truth:
Sex is sacred.
For all our obsession with sex -- who's getting it, how often, how good -- we forget sometimes that sex connects us in the most basic way to the source of Creation. All of us began as a combination of sperm and egg, man and woman. At its best, sex takes us back to that beginning, transcending the mere fulfillment of our animal desires to reveal our inherent divinity as Creators; it becomes a spiritual endeavor, as profound as any religious rite or ritual, each act symbolizing the origin of life.
Like sex, the study of zen takes us back to our origins as well. It says we can awaken to the divine source at the core of our being, the source from which all things are born, and in so doing, transcend the limits of space and time.
The ideas of zen date back thousands of years, with origins in India and China. Although often considered synonymous with Zen Buddhism, "pure " zen is not a religion, but a spiritual philosophy. The word zen itself is Japanese and means "meditation" or "absorption." Traditional zen practice emphasizes sustained meditative breathing,but in the largest sense, zen is simply an absorption in life -- the essence of life. Quietude and meditation may be aspects of zen, but zen itself is vibrantly alive. Its way is the way of nature, changing like the seasons.
To say that zen has nothing to do with sex would be to say that sex is unnatural. Nothing could be further from the truth. The way of zen is to allow nature to express itself through all of our actions, whatever they are, in the same way the cherry blossom blooms naturally in the spring.
Religious adherents sometimes renounce sex as an earthly desire to be transcended, and zen monks are no different.
These monks, typically Zen Buddhists, have formalized an approach to zen using a Buddhist system of strictures and rules. Entering the monastery, they take strict vows of asceticism as a means to self-purification. But "Pure" zen decries attachment to religious orthodoxy or any doctrinaire pursuit of enlightenment. One of the most revered zen masters in history, Ikkyu Sojun (1394-148 1), mocked the rules of monasteries and their extremes of self-denial. In poem after poem, he sang the praises of wine and physical love, of taking a lover and frequenting brothels. A famous example of his poetry follows:
In the monastery
Made me restless.
The red thread
On my feet
Is long and unbroken.
If one day you come
Looking for me,
Ask for me
At the fishmonger's,
In the tavern,
Or in the brothel.
To Ikkyu, cutting off relations between men and women so as to attain enlightenment made no sense. In his philosophy of "red thread zen," sex deepened the experience of enlightenment. No one can enter this world without being born of both a man and a woman, he said; we are connected to sex by the "red thread" of blood at birth. Back and back the red thread goes, long and unbroken, to the origin of all being. We're of sex. That fact should be embraced, not avoided, Ikkyu said. He openly wore his priest's robes to the pleasure quarters to signify the spiritual nature of his activity:
Me, I am praised as a general of Zen,
Tasting life and enjoying sex to the fullest!
Every moment, be it in sex or quiet meditation, offers a chance for zen realization. Let anything and everything be your source of absorption, for zen truth applies to all things at all times. No matter how you come to zen -- through archery, motorcycle maintenance, flower arranging, martial arts, guitar playing, or lovemaking -- the progression toward enlightenment is the same. In Ikkyu's words,
Many paths lead from
The foot of the mountain
The Way of Making Love. Copyright © by Philip Sudo. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Philip Toshio Sudo, award-winning journalist, musician, and a black-belt martial artist, is the author of Zen Guitar, Zen Computer, and Zen Sex. Phil passed from this life at the age of forty-two. He is survived by his wife, Tracy, and their children, Naomi, Keith, and Jonathan. His spirit lives on in his books and on his web site, which is devoted to his passion for zen and music: www.zenguitar.com.
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