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Lions Roar : May 2017
WHEN I STARTED prac- ticing meditation, I just wanted to feel better. I was newly sober, chock full of childhood trauma, and had a brain wired for negativity and suffering. I didn’t expect the simple practice of sitting in acceptance with my thoughts and emotions to blow up my world and thrust me into an entirely different way of living. But that’s what medita- tion did to me. There was no part of my life that my practice didn’t touch, including my sex life. I went from a shutdown, checked-out lover to an in-the-present, wildly open lover. I woke up to good sex, and, let me tell you, I’m never going back. I took my first steps down the path of good sex by bringing simple mindfulness tools into the bedroom (or onto the kitchen floor). I learned to be in my body during sex, instead of hooked to my mind. This is easy to do if you think of it in terms of your medita- tion practice. You can return to all the wonderful sensations in your body dur- ing sex in same way you return to your breath on the cushion. The more you practice embodied sex, the easier it will HEART & MIND The Fourfold Path to Good Sex Buddhist principles make everything else better, says JESSICA GRAHAM. So why not sex? JESSICA GRAHAM’s book Good Sex: Getting Off without Checking Out will be out in June from Parallax Press. EMILYBLYTHEJONES become—so practice every day! If you don’t have someone to practice with, do it on your own. Yes, sex can be totally hot and totally spiritual at the same time. Just as wash- ing the dishes or creating a piece of art can be spiritual, so can sex. Actually, I’d say everything is spiritual. The insight of oneness shows us that nothing is left out from the whole, not even an amazing makeout session with your sweetie. When sex gets left out of the explora- tion of spirituality and Buddhism, a big part of being a human gets left out too. If our human sexuality isn’t acknowledged and embraced, we limit our ability to connect with our partners and lose the potential for deeper awak- ening. In ignoring sexual- ity, we resist and repress a basic human drive, and this creates suffering. Instead, I suggest getting incredibly mindful about your sexual- ity, even if you aren’t having sex. It’s just another beauti- ful aspect of existence to get curious about. The principles of Bud- dhism’s eightfold noble path can easily translate into guidelines for good sex. Here’s how you can start using four of these principles to have more present, more connected, and hotter sex. Try them out, and then keep exploring. There is no limit to the ways you can awaken sexually. 1. Right Mindfulness Find yourself caught in your mind dur- ing sex? Right mindfulness can help. Just like with your meditation practice, don’t try to quiet your mind. Instead, keep bringing your attention back to your body during sex and all the won- derful sensations you feel. Anytime you get pulled into thought, gently return to embodiment. Enjoy how good mindful- ness can feel. LION’S ROAR | MAY 2017 21 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE