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Understanding Downstrokes Through Om

Published June, 2024

Downstroke Dynamics

A downstroke is, literally, a stroke in the downward direction, toward earth and the introitus. Knowing how to go down well is a vital skill in Eros. Going down well means going down deliberately. After having been in an expanded state, we are going to come down one way or another, so when we do it deliberately, we remove the panic of descent.

Erotic Attention

When attention is added, the storms located in the body—anger, power, arousal, Eros— that we normally avoid, convert into measures of the Erotic state that include power, strength, stability, and intensity. Through our attention, these storms become harnessed, just as a knowledgeable sailor harnesses wind.

Deepening Erotic State

The storms move us where we wish to go: deeper and deeper into the Erotic state of consciousness, which is steeped in eternal and interdependent connection. Through making our way down, we find ourselves at the location of power—where desire and fear issue from.

Primal Power

We are in the primal form of ourselves. This is the position from which love issues, as do turn-on and human connection. The bottom is where we get fueled.

The Act of Falling

Moving down is an act of falling or being carried, and it must be initiated by something outside of ourselves. Just as we cannot tickle or massage ourselves, so too, we cannot bring ourselves out of control.

Falling Gracefully

To force ourselves down is not falling but rather lying down: it can be restful, but ultimately, it is an act of fear. This is not to say there isn’t an art to falling, which is why the dancer, athlete, and martial artist recognize the great grace in falling.Intimacy with Motion

The key, though, is to have an intimacy with the motion of going down. We create this intimacy by taking each stroke to the point of completion.

Completing the Stroke

We often jump off before reaching the top or the bottom. We have an idea of what it will feel like and we mentally leap ahead, leaving the stroke altogether.

Trust and Power

This giving up early is the result of not building trust with each stroke, and it plays out in all of life. The full stroke can feel too vulnerable.

Embracing Vulnerability

Maybe we sense we don’t have as much power as we hoped, or that we could have more. When we stay beyond the point we would normally hop off, power is the self-discovery that happens.

Relationship with Power

Our trust—or lack thereof—in the downstroke reveals our relationship with power. We either do the equivalent of holding our breath, not letting the stroke take us to the place where we fall apart, or we let the downstroke take us; we come apart and are then rebuilt in the upstroke.

Stroking Technique

As the stroker, we address this by making the downstroke a little longer than the upstroke, holding attention more on the downstroke.

Avoiding Over-stroking

If we physically over-stroke on the downstroke, we bottom out with a feeling of heaviness or dullness. The dynamic sense of tension is absent.

Energy Teasing

The instruction here is to tease the energy, meaning we connect to the spot and progressively draw it out, becoming lighter again. We match exhales for stabilization and stroke down with a feeling of deep, dark, rich earthiness.


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