From time to time John and I attempt to host a BODY SENSUAL workshop. An open invitation to come and explore our sensual and sexual magic with other men, in a loving container (space)….
“Enjoy this journey as you find a deeper connection to yourself. Identify the binds that tie you to myths and useless stories about your relationship with other men, sexual orientation, and sexual exploration. Experience the freedom to be who you really are as a man….as a Gay Man.”
What’s always interesting to us is the responses we get from these workshops. Here are some of the questions we get.
Is this going to be an ORGY?
Do I have to get naked?
What if I get on a table with someone who is…….?
and the list goes on, but the primary angle to these questions are often inundated with stories of fear and shame. There is something wrong with my sexuality!
All of us, gay or straight and in between, are raised in a culture that promotes shame and embarrassment around our bodies and particularly our sexuality. As children we are told, often if exploring ourselves, to “Don’t touch that” and ”That’s icky” not to mention the stories that are directed towards gay men if we love or are curious in other men’s bodies. There is something perverted or wrong about us if we adore the male body, in particular, we are LESS THAN A MAN…. For many of us who are out… In a society becoming more aware of queer people, we still get a little nervous in openly proclaiming our love of our Queer Sexuality. Whether directly (being told and shamed by parents, society or religious leaders) or indirectly (the failure to find healthy images of our sexuality) we incorporate these ideas into our sense of self and being.
WHAT MIGHT I EXPECT AT THIS WORKSHOP?
BODY SENSUAL is an opportunity to sit in community, with other Queer Men, of different ages and body shapes and sizes and explore these stories, by exploring we find our voice and communion with each other. We are challenged to step into our own voices, to claim our bodies without shame, to celebrate our sensual and sexual energy. Traditions throughout the world have recognized the healing energy of sensual play…. but our culture tends to become overly dependent on the notion of embarrassment around our bodies.
SO, what might you expect? We will spend time talking, sharing, witnessing each other as we share and discuss these dynamics in our lives. At some point we will disrobe, and in groups of three offer each other massage in a guided meditation and exploration. Not for the intent of being sexual, but in creating a loving, nurturing space to explore this energy, each other. We will have music in the background that leads our time together as John guides the process. When our sessions are over, we share this energy and loving communion with each other in loving embrace. Then we focus on sending that energy out to the world for healing. I am always touched as we come together in our final circle how powerful the workshop has been as evidenced by the loving connection we share as we look into each others’ eyes.
As one primarily from an LDS background…initially I found myself somewhat apprehensive about my first time with this process. All the stories come flooding to back to me…it was powerful to know I was not alone in these stories. I enjoyed the talking and sharing of these stories. It was good to offer them to the to be released and to invite the touch of my fellow traveler! What I found at the end of the evening was a stronger communion with my body, my sense of self and a loving connection to my brothers.
So NO, this is not an orgy…. Yes you will be naked at some point. Your table will be as diverse as our lives…. we will have boundaries and we encourage you to use your voice in setting boundaries on what you like and what you do not like. Our goal…. to shift shame to pride, to lift sexual guilt to sexual joy….. and to find your SENSUAL MAGIC.
Please contact JOHN at John@mbody.com for more details or visit the Body Sensual page of the website.
On May 13-15, 2011 Ruben Orellean, our guide in PERU for our Queer Spirit Retreats, traveled to Salt Lake City to lead a three day workshop. 30 people attended and particpated in the teachings and exercises that Ruben brought to share. This was a a remarkable weekend of personal exploration and insights. Ruben taught Shamanic techniques in using the rattle and aromas to lift the spirits and bring insights into one’s journey work. This was truely a magical weekend and people left feeling elated and shifted in beautiful and personal ways. Our next teaching with Ruben will be in PERU this October, there is still time to get yourself included in this journey.
My Friend, Elder and “Family” Charles Lawrence recently wrote this article that I found moving and challenging. Perhaps his thoughts may stir you in forming your prayer and intention for yourself. Charles writes:
The New In The New Year
Considering what is truly “new” within the new can be precursor to considerable refinement and upgrading of the individual journey. This numinous threshold requires quality time and comprehension being invested in ascertaining what one is truly inviting of Being to assist one in evolving into “next”.
True “New” can be challenging for many. Within social and religious groups, boundaries exist to keep the followers in line. So true “New” can be fraught with threats of exclusion and loss of support so dear to many. William Blake urged that each one create their own “systems” or forever be enslaved to mass man systems.
Native Elders have spoken of the journey to discover the “New”, requiring courage and a strong relationship with the Divine Mystery. Archetypically, the “Sacres”, those who left the comfort of the known to explore/expand awareness, must leave, what the consensus agreed on, behind.
Vince Stogan, Coast Salish Elder, spoke of the “glimmering” and the dedication of following the signs and markings to discover what is truly “new” for the individual. The “new” vision is sought, such as with a First Nations Vision Quest, by placing one’s self into the place of “Crying” for a “new” way to Be for self, clan and Nation.
Serious travelers of the Way of the Shamanic forms, deliberately make “death” an ally. Thus one is more equipped to truly engage in the “new” after undergoing the necessary transformative “death”, the renewal/re-birth. Without death of what was, no transcendent renewal.
I see this initially and primarily as the individual needing to know what she/he is “looking for”, and then the collective is infused with “New” individual perspective and participation. Where there are strong, clear, healthy individuals, the community has the possibility of evolving constantly.
“New” appears before us continuously, new year, new moon, new day, new relationship, new intent. But is it? As before, I urge considering and reconsidering before making a decision. My Hopi Elders taught me the wise art of the purposeful conversation in which considering was essential. Only then, after a seemingly long period of time, a truly wise “New” can be collectively chosen. As I learned, the wise/correct “New” will usually reveal itself. And, surprise, the ones who are dedicated to the depth considering, are changed, renewed in the ways of Mystery.
In the dominant Western culture, wisdom has not received much notice nor attention, thus coyote has played the main role in invigorating, renewing. Determining a “new” anything can become a deep internal process, wherein Source, Inner Intelligence, guides/points to the non-usual way to effect the preferred “New”.
To be truly vital, accessing and flowing with the Eternal Forces, being self renewed daily, moment by moment, requires, as Gurdjieff demanded, constant “remembering”. This requires the discipline, the dedication to Mystery, to be available, to be the one who will step forth differently, consciously, purposefully, the one who will break the ingrained patterns of social/religious/collective stagnation. With true hearted love, be the change, be the “New” in the new. The ever “NOW”, whose very nature depends on dynamic tension to be truly alive, must be constantly evolving, ever renewing, ever purposefully flowing in the direction of dynamic wellness/wholeness.
So, with the essential “what”, preceding the sequential “how”, are you each considering crafting the “New” in this “New” Year?
I hope you enjoyed this gift…. may it shape our direction in this new age!