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From Self-Directed … Toward Sexual Intimacy

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Consciously creating the parameters of our sexualized relationships we take major steps toward becoming the Conscious directors of our own lives.

The Shambhala Master

Everything is Relative

In the previous sections you have seen how your socially learned and biologically acquired programming directs your emotions and behavior. You have seen how these programs are chemically addictive and life-directing. You have seen the ways in which they sever you from your Self and leave you fragmented. You have seen how this fragmentation leaves you feeling empty and confused as to how to reclaim your original Integrity. You have seen how the cultural prescription teaches you to find and then desperately cling to someone of the opposite sex. You have seen how doing so endangers your relationships and leaves you feeling even more confused, angry, empty, fragmented, and powerless.

This section will explore some practical tools Shambhala Masters give our students to reverse this fragmenting process of Self-abandonment and put their lives back in their own capable hands. This section will explore the relationship tools Shambhala students learn to use to transition away from being chemically and culturally controlled robots into becoming Self-directed, autonomous individuals at the helms of their own lives.

This section identifies the pathway to autonomy by first establishing the parameters for a new realm of sexual Intimacy. Secondly, this section will further clarify the pathway toward autonomy by laying the foundation necessary for becoming Self-directed.


The ongoing evolution of human sexuality will eventually take us into “Core-connective sexuality” or “sexual Intimacy.” Sexual Intimacy (spelled with a bold capital “I”) is the physical bridging of an already existing spiritual, emotional, and mental Intimacy. The operative words being “already existing.” Sexual Intimacy is a physical coming together shared by souls who are already merged.

For Shambhala Masters there is only one difference between relationship Intimacy and sexual Intimacy. Both require individuals to invest major amounts of time and energy to become mentally, emotionally, and spiritually merged; to deeply Know each other … to become Intimate partners. But sexual Intimates are also compelled to physically and/or sexually bridge the only remaining distance that still separates them. Shambhala Masters do not accord more status or priority to Intimate relationships that are sexually bridged than they give to Intimate relationships that are non-sexual.

The reason for this equality is that Shambhala Masters know there are hundreds of ways to make Love. Sexual Intimacy is just one of them. Verbal communication, non-verbal communication, eye contact, physical warmth, shared experiences, shared time, and joint projects, are just a few ways in which soul merging Intimacy is commonly created.

If it is the chemical fix and temporary escape of sex that you want then you must sneak in affairs on the side or be prepared to dump the partner you Love and procure a new lover every 6 to 12 months. If you do not want to be on this kind of relationship merry-go-round, Shambhala students must require themselves to keep their relationships emotionally clear and verbally clean so you will not need to escape from your Lover ones to enjoy Intimacy in your life. Shambhala students must also require themselves to be careful about confusing Love with lust. You must be cautious about confusing your personal sense of worth with your culturally programmed desire to be sexually desired by others. You must require yourselves not to confuse temporary escape with sexual Intimacy.

If Intimacy is the merging of Cores, then sexual Intimacy is the physical merging which occurs as a direct result of a deep, already existing intellectual, emotional, and spiritually Intimacy, an Intimacy that people have already taken the time, the care, and the energy to develop.

Because sexual Intimacy is preceded by intellectual, emotional, and spiritual Intimacy, which takes time to develop, sexual Intimacy is approached slowly, carefully, cautiously, and Consciously. Shambhala students learn that Sexual Intimacy is Consciously created through lengthy, clarifying, soul searching discussions before, during, and after any shared physical experiences, such as hugs or kisses, much less any sexuality. Within these discussions partners disclose their fears, hopes, concerns, second thoughts, fantasies, past and present hurts, insecurities, and past and current family, social and sexual histories. Through these discussions you learn about yourselves and your partners. Combined with the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual connection that has already been slowly, carefully, cautiously, and Consciously created, these discussions foster physically Intimate experiences that add to the already existing wealth of the relationship. Or they will, just as often, clarify for both people that physical Intimacy or sexual bridging is not necessary or wanted.

When these in-depth discussions do result in physical closeness, seldom will they end in emotional flatness or feelings of being used, because at any moment during the experience, if Core-connectiveness diminishes, Shambhala students call everything to a halt and explore why they are losing their sense of themSelves or their partners.

Sex which is socially, emotionally, chemically, or romantically generated may lead to feeling warm, nurtured, or cared about in the moment, but after the experience concludes people often feel empty, isolated, discarded, used, guilty, unwanted, or burdened.

Physical closeness and sexual Intimacy that is preceded by Consciously created intellectual, emotional, and spiritual connectiveness is entirely different than sexuality that is socially, emotionally, chemically, or romantically generated. Physical closeness and sexuality preceded by Intimacy is a warm, caring, physical demonstration of a Core-merging that has already occurred. Sexual Intimacy is already underpinned with a hard-earned knowledge and trust of each other. Consequently, the sexual connectiveness within Intimate relationships is a physical bridging of souls that have already merged.


But, souls cannot merge if individuals cannot differentiate between the Core of themselves and their socially acquired habits, desires, and needs. Individual souls cannot merge with other souls unless they have separated themselves from the herd. If individuals have not identified the part of themselves that is unique, yet Universally shared, then they have no access to their own Cores. They do not possess their own souls. They have no identities separate from those that have been assigned to them by their culture, community, and family. Their identities belong to their collective social units. Your soul cannot merge with other souls if you have never liberated yourself from the pack.

Undifferentiated individuals may come together sexually and experience the chemical rush that is genetically preprogrammed and/or they may enjoy the temporary romantic escape they have been socially taught to crave. But, undifferentiated individuals cannot Intimately merge with what they have no access to . . . their own or another's Core.

Self-differentiation requires Shambhala students to first identify the part of themselves that is unique, and yet, Universally shared, as opposed to what you have socially acquired. Second, you must learn how to identify with the Core of yourself as opposed to identifying with the socially defined pictures of yourself that you have carried throughout your life. To do both, Shambhala students live in a continual process of Self-discovery Shambhala students do not spend their time actively looking for their Core Selves. Instead, they learn to identify and then shed (let go of) everything that limits, diminishes, and/or interferes with the essence of their Cores.

By unwrapping their Cores in this manner Shambhala students are always surprised by what they discover underneath everything they have socially acquired. Sometimes they immediately delight in and connect with their Self-discoveries. Other times their Self-discoveries are painful and difficult to align with their old pictures of themselves. But, regardless of their emotional responses to their emerging Core discoveries, Shambhala students immediately, or sometimes very slowly, begin to identify with their Core discoveries and let go of the old pictures of themselves that they have been taught to carry.

Shambhala students live within a paradox. They have the courage to stand alone, and, at the same time, they recognize a Universality that is bigger than their societies, more encompassing than their culturally acquired beliefs and values, and more penetrating than anything their everyday worlds can pump into significance. Only those who dare to risk living their lives alone can honor their ever-present Universal connection to others. Consequently, only those courageous enough to choose Self-loyalty will know Oneness with others.

The paradoxical processes of Self-differentiation and Core-merging with others are mutually beneficial processes. Each makes the other possible. Both processes take heroic courage. They also require Shambhala students to:

  • Realize that your social identity gives you no access to the Core of your Self.
  • Identify and differentiate between your socially acquired collective self as opposed to your uniquely individual, Universally shared Selves.
  • Recognize, confront, and challenge your fears of social exile.
  • Discover that with no access to your Core Self you cannot connect with the Cores of others.
  • Associate with others who have separated their Selves from the masses and have discovered their own unique, but Universally shared, Cores.
  • Learn how to “Honor Thy Self.”
  • Identify with a Universally shared evolutionary purpose toward human excellence.
  • Hear the Call to Integrity and Self-loyalty.

In your journey into a new realm of sexual Intimacy, the third step towards Self-differentiation (the first, discovering the part of yourself that is unique, and yet Universally shared; the second, identifying with the Core of yourself) requires Shambhala students to know what kinds of sexual experiences you do not want sexually in your life. It takes time, self-study, self-knowledge, and possibly, for some, a broad base of non-Intimate sexual experiences, to understand which sexual experiences leave you feeling emotionally flat, empty, used, guilty and/or discarded. From a close, rigorously honest examination of your past sexual experiences and an ongoing scrutiny of your present experiences, Shambhala students can create a clear understanding of what they do not want sexually. Though each Shambhala student’s preferences may differ due to their own personal experiences, their lists of what they no longer want in their lives sexually looks like the list below:

  1. I will not use sex, physical warmth, or the company of another as an escape from the emptiness, boredom, or pain of my own life.
  2. I will not use my sexuality to stimulate another person's interest in me.
  3. I will not use my sexuality to entice another into an Intimate relationship with me.
  4. I will not use my sexuality to demonstrate the depth of my feelings for others.
  5. I will not participate in goal-oriented sexuality (experiences that are focused on orgasm or intercourse).
  6. I will not be held responsible for sexually releasing or sexually satisfying my aroused partner.
  7. I will not hold my partner responsible for sexually releasing or sexually satisfying me.
  8. I will not allow either of us to be focused on sexual techniques or expertise.
  9. I will not make the purpose or intent of sexual Intimacy the pleasuring of my partner, nor will I allow my partner to focus on pleasuring me. Instead, I want a mutual understanding that I will do nothing with or for my partner that does not first and foremost pleasure me. And, I want my partner doing nothing with or for me that is not in and of itself purely self- pleasuring for my partner.
  10. I will not participate in sexual experiences to create an Intimacy that can be found only within my Self.
  11. I will not move into sexually Intimate experiences without having an Intimate understanding of my partners' childhood history, past and current sexual and relationship histories.
  12. I will not move into a sexually Intimate experience with a partner who is not interested in and knowledgeable about my childhood history, and my past and current sexual and relationship histories.
  13. I will not move into physically or sexually Intimate experiences unless I cannot stop myself, and then only when there is no unfinished business, undisclosed feelings, or outside intervening variables separating me from my Self or my partner.
  14. I will not allow any kind of physical or sexual Intimacy to become, even for the moment, more important than my Core-connection with my Self or with my partner. If, at any point during an Intimate sexual experience, I feel that my Core-connection with my Self or with my partner is diminishing or getting weak, I will stop the experience and move into a dialogue about my concerns and feelings.

When Shambhala students move from sexuality as escape toward sexual Intimacy, the fourth step they take into Self-differentiation is to define what they do want in their sexually Intimate relationships. The following declaration is a typical statement prepared by an advanced Shambhala student to clarify his/her thoughts about sexually Intimate relationships:

I want physically and sexually Intimate experiences with people who already know me at the deepest levels of myself. I want these experiences to be free of the typical self-consciousness that would blind me and inhibit me from being aware of everything that is transpiring before, during, and after the sexual experience. I want to be the same person in physically and sexually Intimate experiences that I am in all my other life experiences. I want these physically and sexually Intimate experiences to bring me closer to my Self and closer to the Core of my partner. I want to participate in physically and sexually Intimate experiences only when all other ways of making love will not do, and only when I trust myself to stop at any time during the experience to reassess my needs to continue.

Whether or not my relationships will include any romantic or sexually Intimate components will be dependent upon countless variables, i.e., our sexual draw to one another, our sexual histories, our current relationships with other people, the degree to which a sexual escalation of the relationship will add to the quality of our individual lives, our shared relationship, the relationships we have already established with others, and the degree to which we are already Core-connected. I will discuss all these intervening variables at length with my partners. The shape of my relationships, sexually Intimate or not, will emerge from the Conscious decisions we make together.

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In review, these four steps open the pathway into a new realm of sexual Intimacy.

  1. Discovering the Core part of ourselves that is unique, and yet, Universally shared.
  2. Identifying with the Core of ourselves.
  3. Knowing what we sexually do not want in our lives.
  4. Defining what we sexually do want in our lives.

These four steps also open the pathway to becoming Self-directed as opposed to remaining chemically, socially, and culturally controlled. The pathways are the same because by Consciously creating the parameters of our sexualized relationships we take major steps toward becoming the Conscious directors of our own lives. By becoming the Conscious directors of their own lives, Shambhala students, with time and practice, are able to align their behavior and their emotions with their Core priorities. With time and practice, Shambhala students and their partners are able to create a list of their individual and shared relationship priorities like the one below.


  1. We do not own each other's time, interest, energy, emotions, sexuality, or life direction.
  2. We deeply believe that it is not only possible, but healthy to have deep, caring, Intimate relationships with many people.
  3. We want to remain Intimately communicative about the important, enlivening experiences in each other's lives.
  4. We know that our ability to deeply care about more than just each other strengthens our relationship rather than undermines it.
  5. We do not want to be chemically controlled robots operated by the remote control of our chemicals, emotions, culture, and social training.
  6. We do not want to be limited by a genetically acquired, pre-wired physical system that may have served some survival purposes in the past, but has no relevance in our lives today.
  7. We want to Consciously direct our behavior toward the Core concepts and priorities that, for us, individually and together, make life a heroic adventure.

With relationship priorities like these Shambhala students are ready to utilize the tools Shambhala Masters use to become Self-directed.


After centuries of committing their lives to becoming Self-directed, Shambhala Masters have learned a few things about managing their socially, emotionally, and chemically directed behavior. Though no Shambhala Master would claim to be an expert when it comes to the frequently overwhelming task of managing these floods of chemicals and socially mandated behavior, we do invest major portions of our time and energy in learning how to respond (emotionally and behaviorally) in ways that honor our Selves. The task is at times daunting and we remain humble students of these powerfully controlling chemical/emotional/ social reactions. But, without exception, we are all better at Self-direction now than we were when we started. We know that with time and practice we will become more and more Self-directed. Here are some of the tools we use to manage our chemically/emotionally/socially reactive emotions and behavior.


In situations when our Core priorities (our Consciously selected life-directions) clash with our feelings, we pay acute attention to the chemicals and emotions that are trying to consume us. They may be so strong that they will attempt to dominate us for a long period of time. But, we know these chemically generated emotions are always time limited. They run their course in anywhere from five minutes to forty eight hours. The length of time varies depending on the severity of the cues triggering us, the social training we have received, our personal history, our pain tracks, and the skills and experience we have gained in learning how to manage our emotions, chemicals, and social training.

As we become more knowledgeable about all these factors, Shambhala Masters also become more skilled in learning how to bracket (be aware of, but not react to) our chemical and emotional responses. Simultaneously, we become more and more skilled at Consciously assessing our options and selecting ways of responding that will serve us best. While in a chemically triggered state, we continually remind ourselves that these intense emotional responses will pass. (If we do not remain cognizant of their transient nature, we are more likely to let our chemically charged emotions direct our behavior, and we will behave in ways that do not reflect our Core priorities.)


Knowing that honesty can be a chemical trigger and that chemicals put loved ones in pain and psychic torment, there is a great reluctance among people who love each other to be candid. People throughout the ages have been taught to believe that they are insensitive, uncaring, or mean if speaking the truth hurts someone’s feelings. When people believe this lie, it is easy for them to also believe that they are responsible for and can control the feelings of others. These are also lies. Shambhala Masters know that no matter how much you love someone you cannot control their feelings. You can not make them feel loved if he/she does not want to feel loved. And, no matter how much someone dislikes you, they can not make you sad, hurt, jealous, or envious unless you give them power to do so. Ultimately, your feelings belong to you. Feelings are not, as people are taught, something other people can generate within us. Feelings are chemically generated responses created by our biological, social, and familial perspectives and histories.

Because this is difficult to remember, people are tempted to omit information, lie, or keep secrets to spare the feelings of loved ones. This covert behavior ultimately deadens you and your relationships, because people need to Know the people we love and to be Known by them. Half truths, incomplete pictures, lies, and secrets eat away at your Integrity, and they undermine your relationship with your Self. Half truths, incomplete pictures, lies, and secrets separate you from yourself. When you are Self-alienated, you can not merge with the Selves of others. Consequently, as the lies and secrets distance you from your Self, you also grow further and further away from the Cores of your loved ones.

Shambhala Masters know that other peoples’ chemical responses and feelings belong to them, not us. We do not have the right or the power right to protect them from themselves. We do not have the right to decide what truth others can and cannot handle. We do not have the right to second guess them. Shambhala Masters know that taking responsibility for our loved ones’ feelings in the name of love is arrogant, misdirected, manipulative, and dangerous.

Shambhala Masters know that others will have chemical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to the Truth, and, at the same time, we know we must let others be responsible for their own self-management. We do not have the right to try to control their behavior by “sparing” their feelings. This is not Loving. It is manipulation. It places our Core relationships in grave danger.

It is a delicate balance. Shambhala Masters commit ourselves to the Truth, and, at the same time, we recognize that such a commitment is not a license for wounding others with our words. Priding ourselves on being brutally honest is a smoke screen for mean heartedness. Truth, with a bold, capital “T,” takes courage. It is a gift of Love. It is not blurted out in a cavalier or uncaring manner, nor is it distorted or hidden away. Truth, with a bold, capital “T,” is simply, courageously, caringly shared.


Truth can be a chemical trigger. Candor may release chemicals that leave people feeling left out, abandoned, violated, enraged, and vengeful. Truth can inconvenience schedules. Truth can be very disruptive. Again, this is why most are tempted to lie rather than summon the courage to honestly communicate with others and trust that they will manage their feelings wisely.


People do not fear what they understand. People fear what they do not understand. Consequently, Shambhala Masters make sure our students, associates, and loved ones are fully updated right from the beginning of any germinating situation. By doing so, we know the people in our lives will be more able to understand our feelings/behaviors and their own. We know that the people in our lives will not be haunted by the unknown. It is the unknown that terrorizes people. So, even when our students, associates, and loved ones are reluctant to be informed, Shambhala Masters keep them knowledgeable. When we inform and educate our students, associates, and loved ones they feel less left out, less threatened, and less at risk of being abandoned.


Shambhala Masters do not allow ourselves or our loved ones to take any assertive verbal or physical action for 48 hours after being exposed to a trigger some situation. We suspend action and judgment. We quiet ourselves down.


One of the most important tools Shambhala Masters use to free ourselves from chemically generated emotions and the behaviors they prompt is to learn how to communicate about social cues, our hair triggers, our social programming, our chemical reactions, our emotional responses, our personal histories, and our changing personal priorities. Shambhala Masters know that in communicating about these issues, it is not only what we say that matters, but how we say it.

For example, if you sound worried or act guilty while you talk about your newly emerging sense of your Self, your changing personal priorities, or an experience you just had, then your loved ones will focus on these undertones of your self-doubt and not hear the content of your words. Your self-doubt will trigger and escalate your loved one’s chemicals. Your fears and anxieties about your loved one's feelings (hurt, anger, and rejection, etc.) will stoke the fires of their fears about losing you and your relationship. Your fears will cause the very response you are worried about occurring.

But, if instead of allowing our programmed anxieties to color our communications, Shambhala Masters simply inform our partners, with committed Self-loyalty, of the Truth. If we bracket our own socially programmed fears, our loved ones have a better chance of realizing that what we are telling them need not threaten our relationship. Our loved ones have a better chance of understanding that new experiences are important to the health and longevity of our relationships, if we know it for ourselves and demonstrate it.

*The word “Called,” is spelled with a bold capital “C.” The Shambhala Master uses bold capitals when referring to the primal, Core, spiritual essence of a word, as opposed to the conventional understanding of the word. Please consult the Master’s Glossary for the definition of this and other unfamiliar terms.

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