Ceremonies for Love: Creating Intimacy in Your Relationship
Feb 01, 2016 04:45PM
By Dianna Daffner
Rituals are part of everyone’s life, whether they are formally created or simply performed out of habit or tradition. My mom can’t imagine a birthday without a cake, even for my dad when he could no longer eat it! Couples often have anniversary or New Year’s or Valentine’s Day rituals of dining at the newest restaurant or a forever favorite one. Bridal showers, baby showers… we celebrate upcoming events with intentional gatherings.
There are rituals for graduation ceremonies and memorials. Baby-namings, even ship-namings, are cause for a ceremony. Families have holiday rituals and many of us have daily patterns that also qualify—this could be a cup of coffee or tea and a morning meditation. For me, it’s a morning soak in my hot tub (yes, even here in warm Florida!).
Weddings and vow renewals are usually orchestrated by an officiant who must create and hold a sacred ceremonial space for the couple in the presence of family and other well-wishers. Ceremony sets an activity apart from the mundane ongoings of daily life. When the candles on the birthday cake are lit, the hubbub and chit-chat among guests cease, all attention is focused on the birthday person. This attention is exactly what couples need to give one another, to bring their relationship to a higher level.
My husband and I find that having a ceremonial attitude toward our lovemaking awakens a profound sense of mindful and intimate attention. We have shared many of our practices in our book, Tantric Sex for Busy Couples: How to Deepen Your Passion in Just Ten Minutes a Day, and introduce couples to them at our vacation/workshops called “Intimacy Retreats”.
So this New Year’s, at home alone in advance of the midnight hour, we were prepared to engage in a sacred, focused and fun time in our bedroom. As I dimmed the lights and prepared the room, I noticed two sets of mala on the nightstand. A mala is a string of 108 wooden beads used in Hindu and Buddhist traditions as an aid to chanting the names of God or another japa practice of mantra (sacred sound or prayer) repetition.
I invited Richard to welcome the New Year by doing a mantra practice together. We sat on the bed facing each other and allowed a chant to develop organically. As each bead on the strand was fingered, words flowed from us in the most amazing and synchronized way, crystallizing into the phrase “You are my beloved, I love you as I love myself.” Eyes open, softly gazing at each other from the center of our hearts, we said this over and over again. Occasionally the phrase would change. “I am your beloved, you love me as you love yourself.” Other variations arose and fell away. We stayed steady with the sense of presence, honor and love that these words evoked.
This was the best foreplay ever. As always, I am delighted to share it with others, in the hope that they too will experience this intense joy of intimacy. What a wonderful Valentine’s night ceremony this would be!
Diana Daffner and husband Richard, authors and workshop leaders, are the creators of the ritual movement practice of Tantra Tai Chi. For more information, contact them at 941-349-6804 or visit Intimacy Retreats.com. See ad page 51.