Sensual Meditation is the set of exercises made public by Claude Vorilhon in his book La mťditation sensuelle. It is practiced by members of International Raelian Movement (IRM). The first of these exercises is usually taught in RaŽlian Seminars.
Although the IRM disagrees with consumerism, the sensual meditation they advocate is a practice in metaphysical materialism.
RaŽlian structure members who run the seminars have organized group exercises involving meditation with the senses. James R. Lewis-an authority on fringe religious movements-spoke of RaŽlians who practiced sensual meditation and discovered "playing fields" where "radical self-reconstruction," "new forms of authority," and "new modes of self-relating" were encouraged.
The seminars have attracted a diverse mix of sexually adventurous people. KNBC called the annual RaŽlian seminars "a cross between a nudist camp and new-age retreat." Activities such as observations of one's own private parts and masturbation with them disturbed Brigitte McCann, a Calgary Sun reporter who entered one of the RaŽlian seminars. A Spanish television reporter saw RaŽlian men and women in crossdressing plays. Susan J. Palmer said a French journalist went to a RaŽlian Seminar in 1991 and taped couples having sexual intercourse in tents. These tapes gained widespread negative publicity-with news stories that described these practices as perverted and a form of brainwashing.
Six meditations are explained under six subheadings in Chapter 6 of RaŽl's book Sensual Meditation.
The first step is to arrange a setting in which to meditate. Harmonious settings are preferred such as laying beneath a star-lit night sky, under good weather conditions. Or, prepare a room, decorated with pleasurable sights, textures, and smells. During the program of sensual meditation, being undressed or wearing soft silky material is preferable. Work clothes which are subject to pollutants and material which constrict blood flow and compress the sexual organs are not recommended.
The goal of a breathing exercise is to improve the oxygenation of the cells within one's organism in order to balance the chemical secretions within the body. This involves a few to several minutes of deep regulated breathing and increasing of one's mental and physical awareness of the introduction of oxygen inside the many kinds of organs within the human body. Conscious awareness of these effects is important for a process of bodily feedback.
The next step is to feel, from within oneself, all the cells and tissues one is made of, and to consciously link them through our central and peripheral nervous systems. After this feeling is felt throughout the body, one begins feeling the vibrations and pulses of musical sounds not only by the ears but through the pores and within the body itself.
In the following step, one feels the animate external environment through the many penetrating vibrations animating ones body from all angles and radial distances. This attentive awareness develops the sense of feeling harmony that surround one's organism. Lastly, one uses this feeling to become aware of the humanity he or she is a part of.
Breathing begins again in a more physically arousing way by feeling the exchange of air inside the whole respiratory apparatus including the bronchial tubes inside the lungs, nasal cavity, and mouth. As the oxygenation is increasingly felt within, one then begins to feel the heart pulsating and pumping blood within one's chest. While being highly oxygenated and having the tactile sensuality developed in the previous exercise, the calming pulse of this blood is felt spreading from the heart and into the rest of the body.
After having sensually connected the many cells and tissues in the body by developed the tactile sense of touch from within the body itself and feeling the pulsing phenomena within the body itself, the sensuality of external senses is developed. As one closes his or her eyes one begins to develop the sense of touch and does so intensely by feeling the parts of oneself by enjoying being the touched and toucher while feeling more intensely with the fingertips. The taste of one's own skin is then explored. The feeling of oneself talking is then guided by a hand touching the parts of the head which vibrate during speech. Then the eyes are opened to discover oneself by appreciating the moving of one's hands, a bit like a baby, however, now one can be fully conscious of his or her animation. One looks at oneself with new eyes, looking in places where one would not normally look, as if discovering our physique for the first time and with attraction rather than aversion.
Decorations are placed around the room as well as posters to contemplate for their harmonious expression the various patterns and colors of lights they reflect. Among them is the symbol of infinity which in RaŽlian cosmology represents the infinitely large particles and infinitely small particles that dance and intermingle among themselves as an animation which endures without beginning or end.
This exercise involves a massage by a partner, not necessarily sexual, (and vice versa) the purpose of which is to become conscious of one another's shape and constitution through the sensuous touching. This exercise need not be erotic when involving gentle kneading of the individual one feels in order to become aware of their contour of flesh and bones (and vice versa). The expectation of being touched in certain places turns into pleasure improves one's unity. This meditation is the last exercise for those without sexual partners.
After the intense vaporous breathing exercise, which is performed at the beginning of each meditation, one lays down with their eyes closed while becoming aware and feeling another's gaze as it caresses their body which they present to the gazer. The person laying down anticipates the gaze of the other as though it were are source of a soft diffuse beam of light. Erogenous zones are later excited though a very light and delicate massage by the partner of the one lying down. Sensual feedback is expected between the massager and the massaged so that individual preferences and sensitivity are accounted for which allows both partners to receive maximum pleasure from the exchange. After seeing, touching, and hearing, the senses of taste and of smell are introduced. Breathing in with the nose enhances smell whereas breathing out through the mouth allows for exhalation on the skin of the one lying down to occur more sensually. This, as well as kissing, encourages the exchange of hormones between the caresser and the caressed. At the end of this exercise, it is repeated, where the massager now becomes the massaged and the massaged becomes the massager.
This article is based on "Sensual Meditation" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sensual+Meditation&action=history