Being a “pleasure artist” is a natural human talent. Tantra teaches that the body is a temple. One of its gifts is the ability to feel pleasure through the senses–sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. While it requires practice, pleasure is an art worth developing. Some of the skills that enhance pleasure are; a finely tuned sensory awareness, the capacity to enjoy pleasure for extended periods of time and presence. How much pleasure do I allow into your life?
According to women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup, the author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, pleasure is crucial. It is an essential nutrient that you need every day to maintain and/or regain your health. Pleasure releases health-promoting hormones. She suggests you can make the world a better place by giving yourself pleasure daily.
Pleasure like any art requires practice. Why? Because we live in a culture that rewards hard work and judges those that pursue pleasure. People often associate pleasure with guilt. That’s why practicing pleasure may bring up resistance. You may wonder, “Am I being selfish or indulgent?” If resistance arises, be with it. Allow the feelings to arise and express them in healthy ways, such as through movement, art or sharing them with a friend. As you release resistance, you may discover you have an even greater capacity for experiencing pleasure than you did before. Integrate pleasure into your life. When you commit to practicing pleasure regularly, you will become an expert at it.
Here are 10 Keys for Practicing the Art of Pleasure:
1) Practice being present and aware in each moment, instead of living in the past or future. The present moment is the only place pleasure can happen
2) Open your body fully. Breathe into your belly, let go of tension. Do this several times a day and you will begin to notice if you start to contract.
3) Take pleasure breaks often during the day. Discover the simple pleasures that you have been overlooking. Learn what gives you pleasure.
4) Hone your sensory awareness. Focus on a particular sense and see how much you can engage and expand it. Keep a sensory awareness journal. See how much you can increase your awareness and capacity for pleasure.
5) See through fresh eyes. Be curious and innocent, like a child. Children find wonder in the world. See the mystery all around you.
6) Challenge yourself to feel pleasure in unlikely situations, like while stuck in traffic or sitting through a long meeting. If you notice negative thoughts, pause, and make a conscious choice to refocus your attention. Focus on your breathing, let go of resistance and begin to circulate your breath throughout your body, expanding your aliveness. Feel your energy beginning to flow beyond your physical body. See how expansive you can be.
7) Be generous to yourself and others. Give yourself a 3-5 minute mini-massage at least once a day. Recognize the power of touch and find a friend who wants to trade massages. Hug often, share touch with those open to receiving it.
8) Eat slowly and allow yourself to savor each bite. Food can be erotic.
9) Look deeply into your beloved’s eyes, see beyond form and personality. Know they are the Divine, in form. Let them be a mirror for you to see the Divine in yourself as well.
10) Celebrate your body by giving yourself orgasms. Orgasms heal. They release tension and produce hormones that balance the body-mind. They give you a sense of well-being. When you orgasm regularly, you vibrate with pleasure. As you radiate pleasure, others feel it and begin to experience pleasure as well. The world is starving for joy and pleasure. You can’t make other people change, but you can change yourself. Through your willingness to practice pleasure, others will be inspired. Celebrate pleasure everyday and as you practice these 10 Keys and see how your life changes.