The following comes from a blog called Lao Tzu Lao Zi
Reuniting-Healing with Sexual Relationships
Taoist Lao Tzu’s “Hua Hu Ching”
“Into the Realm of Bliss and Wholeness”
most people spend their entire lives following the biological impulse,
it is only a tiny portion of our beings. If we remain obsessed with
seeds and eggs, we are married to the fertile reproductive valley of the Mysterious Mother but not to her immeasurable heart and all-knowing mind.
He says that,
you wish to unite with her heart and mind, you must integrate yin and
yang within and refine their fire upward. Then you have the power to
merge with the whole being of the Mysterious Mother.
He explains further that,
first integration of yin and yang is the union of seed and egg within
the womb. The second integration of yin and yang is the sexual union of
the mature male and female. Both of these are concerned with flesh and
blood, and all that is conceived in this realm must one day
disintegrate and pass away.
far we are on familiar ground, but then he suggests that there is an
entirely different level of existence open to us through union.
is only the third integration which gives birth to something
immortal….The new life created by the final integration is self-aware
yet without ego, capable of inhabiting a body yet not attached to it,
and guided by wisdom rather than emotion. Whole and virtuous, it can
Here he refers to the state of enlightenment that the Taoists called Immortality.
Remarkably, Lao Tzu explains that this mystical union of yin and yang can be achieved through sexual intercourse.
higher and higher unions of yin and yang are necessary for the
conception of higher life, some students may be instructed in the art
of dual cultivation, in which yin and yang are directly integrated in
the tai chi of sexual intercourse….If genuine virtue and true mastery
come together…the practice can bring about a profound balancing of the
student’s gross and subtle energies [otherwise it can have a
Lao Tzu insists that
The result of this is improved health,
harmonized emotions, the cessation of cravings and impulses, and, at
the highest level, the transcendent integration of the entire energy
While my husband and I
cannot yet claim to have achieved transcendence, we have already
experienced the other benefits he mentions as a result of making love
frequently without conventional orgasm. For example, we have noticed
definite improvements in our heath, greater emotional balance and
harmony, and decreased cravings. In fact, within several months of
beginning this practice, my husband was able to give up a long-term
addiction. Also, some months later, he no longer needed the
prescription anti-depressants that he had been taking for years due to
chronic depression that ran in his family.
wisdom and modern science converge in the bedroom. In the last decade
neuroscientists’ research has revealed that oxytocin, the cuddle
hormone, does indeed counteract the effects of stress, which improves
health, calms us, and relieves depression. Oxytocin is also the bonding
hormone that connects us with others at a heart level. Indeed, we
cannot fall in love, or stay in love, without it.
when oxytocin was injected into the key portions of the brains of
rodents who were already addicted to substances like heroin, cocaine
and marijuana, they voluntarily decreased their use of the drugs, and
showed fewer symptoms of withdrawal when deprived of the drugs. In
short, there’s a good chance that the increase in oxytocin levels in
the brain due to this less-driven, consciously-generous approach to
lovemaking is behind the improvements catalogued by both the ancient
sage Lao Tzu and by us.
So how is Lao Tzu’s tai
chi of sexual intercourse different from Dr. Ruth’s approach (hot sex)?
Well, we already know that his recommended approach was not geared
toward procreation (“seeds and eggs”). He also provides other clues:
person’s approach to sexuality is a sign of his level of evolution.
Unevolved persons practice ordinary sexual intercourse. Placing all
emphasis upon the sexual organs, they neglect the body’s other organs
and systems. Whatever physical energy is accumulated is summarily
discharged, and the subtle energies are similarly dissipated and
Before I continue
with his insights, I want to point out that, again, modern neuroscience
is demonstrating exactly how conventional sex leads to subtle energies
that are “dissipated and disordered.” Intense, hungry passion sends
levels of dopamine (the compelling neurochemical behind all addictions)
soaring. This encourages us to engage impulsively in fertilization
Unfortunately it also over-stimulates the pleasure/reward center of the primitive brain. For example,
rats that were wired so that they could push a lever in their cages to
stimulate the pleasure/reward center tapped that lever
incessantly…until they dropped. They didn’t stop to eat, to investigate
sexually receptive mates…or feed the kids.
levels of dopamine are also associated with schizophrenia, sexual
fetishes, and all addictions. So now you see why your body swiftly
lowers your dopamine levels. Unfortunately that protective shutdown is
disquieting, leading to a host of unpleasant symptoms. While it is in
effect, people may feel irritable, needy, anti-social, emotionally
over-reactive, or experience extreme cravings. Lao Tzu noticed this
over two-thousand years ago. As he said, ordinary sexual intercourse is a great backward leap.
So what does this savvy sage recommend instead?
ordinary intercourse is effortful, angelic cultivation is calm,
relaxed, quiet, and natural. Where ordinary intercourse unites sex
organs with sex organs, angelic cultivation unites spirit with spirit,
mind with mind, and every cell of one body with every cell of the other
Lao Tzu explains that the practice moves couples away from separation, toward oneness and transcendence.
not in dissolution but in integration, it is an opportunity for a man
and woman to mutually transform and uplift each other into the realm of
bliss and wholeness.
Clearly Lao Tzu believes there is much at stake in our lovemaking.
cords of passion and desire weave a binding net around you….The trap
of duality is tenacious. Bound, rigid, and trapped, you cannot
experience liberation. Through dual cultivation [careful sexual
intercourse] it is possible to unravel the net, soften the rigidity,
dismantle the trap. Dissolving your yin energy into the source of
universal life, attracting the yang energy from that same source, you
leave behind individuality and your life becomes pure nature. Free of
ego, living naturally, working virtuously, you become filled with
inexhaustible vitality and are liberated forever from the cycle of
death and rebirth.
Finally, he advises that the desired metamorphosis will not just happen without our focused participation.
this if nothing else: spiritual freedom and oneness with the Tao are
not randomly bestowed gifts, but the rewards of conscious
self-transformation and self-evolution.
Ready to give it a try?
- Hua Hu Ching: Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu, trans. Brian Walker, Harper SanFrancisco (1995), sections 65-70.