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Rewired to Think About Other People

by Richard

I had been struggling with depression and unhappiness for years. Not the kind of depression that puts you in a hospital, but more of an existential crisis. Why am I doing this? What’s the purpose of all this work? Is it for just a little bit of fun, and then you die?

Spiritual Retreat Experience

I was at the peak of that mid-life angst when I went on a retreat near Monterey. My wife had been pushing me to find something, anything, that would get me out of my rut, so I signed up for a spiritual journaling weekend. On our second night there, we had a bonfire at the beach and were joined by a group of men and women who had a certain radiance about them, a glowing, joyful energy. I learned that they all practiced something called Orgasmic Meditation, and I asked them lots of questions to find out more. 

I was amazed at what they were describing, but mostly, I noticed how they acted. They were all these people of different ages and backgrounds, and they seemed so deeply content. As soon as I got home, I looked up Orgasmic Meditation and signed up online for a workshop. My wife was a little stunned when I told her and was wary – this didn’t sound like the kind of spiritual path she had had in mind for me. Still, she was excited I was enthusiastic about something.

My First Orgasmic Meditation

I remember that at that introduction to Orgasmic Meditation (OM), I saw the same kind of glow I’d seen around the campfire. These people were so alive! I, by contrast, felt very nervous. Everyone talked so openly about their feelings and lives, and I was almost tongue-tied. I can’t remember what I said. Later, I somehow found the courage to ask a woman if she would like to OM with me. She laughed: “I was just about to ask you!”

Initially, the thought of OMing seemed so sexual to me, this idea of a woman taking off her pants and lying back on pillows for me to stroke her. Once we started the OM, though, that began to shift. This wasn’t sexual in any way I had ever experienced before. This wasn’t foreplay. This was something else. There was certainly heat and electricity, but it wasn't confined to my genitals; it spread to my chest and down into my legs. I’d never felt anything like it. Afterward, I remember wanting to rejoice and celebrate such a profound experience. 

Personal Growth Beyond The Sexual Realm

My marriage is still rocky at times, and my wife and I still have struggles with intimacy and connection. OMing has helped me be more accepting of what I can and can’t change with her. I just focus on what is in my control. The container of the practice also has helped me learn how to stay focused and disciplined in a way that I wasn’t. The practice of Orgasmic Meditation has helped me to be more outgoing; one of the symptoms of my depression was intense shyness. In OM, I learned it's okay to be shy, but I have to break out of my own cage if I want to have a connection.

Having a practice where the goal wasn't orgasm was also a game-changer. The thing is, to have this experience and not focus on orgasm gives me so much more energy and so much more compassion. I realized how often in my life I had seen other people, especially women, as here to take care of me. I had seen anything that looked like it might be sexual as an opportunity for my pleasure. Orgasmic Meditation rewired me to think about other people, whether it was my wife or a co-worker. It made me bolder in terms of asking for what I want but also more restrained in putting other people’s needs on par with mine. 

In other words, not getting what I thought I wanted gave me more than I could ever have. 

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