Rama Enters the Forest of Sages
The 18th century watercolor “Rama Enters the Forest of Sages” shows yogis in various positions amid a pastoral setting. (Asian Art Museum)
(via Los Angeles Times)
Source: Los Angeles Times
Picture-book: Patterns of Couples
Artist unknown, early Showa era.
One Hundred Stories of Demons and Spirits. Kitagawa Utamaro, 19th century.
12 Insights on Sex and Spirituality by Deepak Chopra
- Sexual energy is the primal and creative energy of the universe. All things that are alive come from sexual energy. In animals and other life forms, sexual energy expresses itself as biological creativity. In humans, sexual energy can be creative at all levels — physical, emotional and spiritual. In any situation — where we feel attraction, arousal, awakening, alertness, passion, interest, inspiration, excitement, creativity, enthusiasm — in each of these situations, sexual energy is at work. Whenever we feel these states of awareness, we must put our attention on the energy that we are experiencing, nourishing it with our attention, experiencing it with joy and keeping it alive in our awareness.
- Sexual desire is sacred and chaste. The suppression of sexual energy is false, ugly and unchaste.
- During sexual union, there is union between flesh and spirit.
- Bliss, care-freeness and playfulness are the essence of sex.
- To improve your sexual experiences, get rid of your expectations.
Expectations are primarily in three areas: 1) Performance, exemplified in the question, “How am I doing?” 2) Feeling, exemplified in the question, “How am I feeling?” 3) Security, exemplified in the question, “Do you love me?”
- In sex, as in all areas of life, resistance is born of fear. All resistance is mental. It implies judgment against what is being felt. Sex becomes a problem when it gets mixed with hidden emotions such as shame, guilt and anger.
- Sexual intimacy is the road to the taste or experience of true freedom, because it is the one area of life in which we can become completely uninhibited and free.
- Sexual fulfillment occurs when the experience comes from playfulness instead of need. Frequently people bring their conflicts and needs into the sexual experience. When sex is used to fulfill needs, it leads to addiction. When sex comes from playfulness, the result is ecstasy.
- All problems related to sex, neurosis, deviancy, sexual misbehavior, violence, abuse, can be traced to resistance, suppression and repression — not to the sexual urges themselves. If we are allowed to discover our urges, desires and emotions, without outside inhibition, they won’t go to extremes. Extremism, in any form, is a reaction to repression, inhibition and suppression. Aggression and violence are the shadow energies of fear and impotence.
- Sex is a means of escaping our little self or ego. It is many peoples’ only experience of meditation.
- Meaningful sex has to be value based. Values are personal. Each situation that has sexual energy in it, involves the whole human being and their entire value system. My values may be different from yours, and I have no right to be the moral judge of anyone’s values. It is important, however, to have core values, and respect them. Without values, we become spiritually bankrupt. Sexual experience will never cause problems and will always be joyful, if lovers share the same values.
- True intimacy is union between flesh and flesh, between subtle body and subtle body, between soul and soul. Sexual energy is sacred energy. When we have restored the sexual experience to the realm of the sacred, our world will be chaste and divine, holy and healed.
From the page:
Date: mid-17th Century
Artist: attributed to Muhammad Qasim Materials and technique: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
dimensions: 13 x 21.5 cm
Kept in Harvard Art Museum/Arthur M. Sackler Museum
Sources: ,نقاشی اروتیک هوسرانی عشاق - دوره صفوی - موزه هنر دانشگاه هاروارد
Safavid kings were generally patrons of art, and many influential artists lived at this period. This particular painting is a rare example of erotic art in Safavid period in which the woman is pictured in a more exposed fashion than her male lover. This work is kept in Harvard Art Museum. Not much information is known about the artist, but it is likely that this painting is the work of Muhammad Qasim. The painting is in the form of traditional Persian miniatures  with a touch of European influence. To me, the lovers’ eye contact is rather interesting and sensual.
Decorative painting within the Ali Qapu Palace, Isfahan; built for Shah Abbas in the 16th century.
Artist Unknown, 18th century Suzhou print, China, nd.
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