Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Resilient Romance Teleseminar Q&A

"Someday, after mastering the winds, tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of sexual love. Then, for the second time in history, we shall have discovered fire!"

~Teilhard de Chardin

To find out how resilient your romantic relationship is, take the
Resilient Romance Quiz here:

Our guests on Thursday night, Al and Pala Copeland, are internationally famous experts and teachers on the subject of "sacred sex", an ancient paradigm that looks at romance and
sexuality in a holistic way and teaches you how to use your sexual energy to improve your health and immunity, heal your partner, calm your emotions, deepen you affection and even develop yourself spiritually.

Most often this is referred to as "Tantric Sex" and is associated with India in the popular mind, although there is a Chinese Taoist version of it that's just as highly developed and that I myself was taught years over a decade ago as part of my Qi Gong training. And similar practices can be found among aboriginal cultures in the Americas.

Since there are a lot of misconceptions about this approach, I'll address some of those misconceptions right now:

MISCONCEPTIONS (ideas from people who are "unencumbered by facts and information")

1. "Tantric Sex contains deviant sexual practices"

While we can't take responsibility for what everyone who claims to practice "Tantric sex" may do, this idea is completely FALSE. To learn Tantric sex and greatly improve your intimacy and emotional connection, there is no need to do anything that could remotely be considered "deviant".

2. "To practice Tantric sex you need to practice Hinduism."

NONSENSE. That's like saying you have to become a Taoist to do Tai Chi. All you really need is a desire to discover the full potential of your God-given human sexuality and how this can

help you and your partner fall far more deeply in love than you ever have before, with all the benefits that will bring to you, your children and everyone around you.

3. "Tantric sex requires you to master difficult postures."

No. Although the science of Tantra has devised many different sexual positions for various purposes, you don't have to stretch beyond your capabilities to reap the benefits. Class is not
limited to Olympic gymnasts ;-)

4. "Tantric sex is the hedonistic search for the ultimate

No. Tantric sex will indeed introduce you to far greater levels of pleasure than you're used to and redefine the whole notion of orgasm, but the PURPOSE of this is ultimately to deepen your
relationship with your partner and develop you spiritually.

5. "Tantric sex is incompatible with our Western way of life."

Well, if you mean that it's incompatible with chronic emotional and sexual repression, with the violence, deviance and self-loathing all that repression causes, with widespread neurosis,
sexual frustration, sexual dysfunction, failed marriages, broken homes and the rest of our social mess, then the answer is yes.

6. "There's no point in learning this because my partner will
never get into it anyway."

Lots of people have entirely transformed their relationships without getting their partner to attend a single class or read a single book. Once you learn this material, you will become the catalyst for transforming your relationship and, chances are, your partner will be delighted.

7. "Tantric sex is 'new age'."

Hmmm.... difficult to say. Maybe I should ask my university students what they think. "New Age" is simply a label and a very broad one. The question is, what are you afraid of? Tantric sex is an invitation to explore your total physical, emotional and spiritual potential using a very ancient
science that's been used across many cultures with various worldviews.

8. "Only New Age people are interested in this stuff."

NO. Tantric sex is rapidly becoming the sex education method of choice for committed couples of all kinds in North America., a portal site for Tantric sex resources, is now getting over fifty thousand hits every day.

9. "There's no point in learning this stuff since I'm not in a relationship right now."

If you're looking for a new relationship, what better preparation could you have than to master your own sexual energy? Many of the exercises are in fact ones that you have to do alone anyway, so you can still benefit enormously. And you'll have a much clearer idea of the kind of person you want as a life partner in the future.

10. "I seem to have a sexual dysfunction, so there's no point in trying to learn this."

Actually, Tantric sex is a healing method designed to overcome common sexual dysfunctions (such as inability to reach orgasm easily in women or erectile difficulties and premature ejaculation in men) as well as previous sexual traumas.

Hopefully that's put to rest some of the misconceptions you may have heard about Tantric sex. Remember to join us on Thursday night - here are the call-in details again:

Thursday night, August 26, 2010 at 9pm EST / 6pm PST

Keep Love Thriving and Passion Hot for a Lifetime Together!


Al and Pala Copeland

Call-in Number: (218) 862-1300
Guest PIN: 550604

Dr. Symeon Rodger

Monday, 23 August 2010

Spiritual Life: Reality or Delusion (Part 2)

Last time, I talked a bit about how we can discern real spiritual paths from the zillion "spiritual" side-tracks out there that can seriously mess up your life.  

This time, as promised, I'd like to talk about how you can begin an authentic spiritual life or get the one you have back on track. 

Now you may be thinking, "How can I start a spiritual life if I'm not really sure what I believe in yet?"  The answer is simple: if you feel the need to begin or expand your spiritual life, that means you most likely believe already that there is an Absolute Reality behind this visible universe, that life does have meaning, and that you can bring your own life more into alignment with this Absolute Reality than it is right now.  

I've studied spiritual life for decades and met some extraordinary people worldwide while doing so.  And over time I've become less and less interested in the specifics of each person's theological beliefs (as important as those may be) than in what they actually DO in their spiritual lives.  In fact, it's scarcely an exaggeration to say most people I know who would claim to have a spiritual life don't really do much of anything on a daily basis by way of practicing it. 

On the other hand, some of the people with the "busiest" spiritual lives, who "do" lots on a daily basis are primarily engaged in ritual actions that make them "feel" spiritual without actually transforming their consciousness.  In other words, they too have a "spirituality" largely confined to beliefs, to the intellectual level, that doesn't affect how they use their mind-body organism at all. 

Unfortunately, according to every Authentic Ancient Tradition worldwide, that kind of spiritual life is pure self-deception.  Real spiritual life depends not only on what you do, but on doing the one thing that will transform your life...

The 5 Laws of Spiritual Life:

Here are five things to put on your spiritual "to-do" list.  If you do each one consistently, patiently and joyfully, I'll guarantee you'll reap the fruits of your spiritual practice in your own life before long.  Remember, of course, that in spiritual life, the journey itself is to be enjoyed - not because it's easy (it's not), but because of how it changes you.

1. Persevere:
Spiritual life is about repeating the same basic practices over and over until they transform your inner world into paradise.  While you do this you will be tested beyond your current limitations.  You'll find it boring... or painful... or useless... and you have to learn to disregard all that and continue.  That's the plain truth.    

2. Discover the Miracle of Stillness:
Inner stillness is the foundation of every Authentic Ancient Tradition without exception, including the original Christian tradition, where it's called "hesychia", meaning "stillness" or "silence".  This silence is interior and doesn't refer to whether you talk or not.  You discover inner silence by sitting in quiet meditation and using some psycho-somatic method to calm your mind and observe your inner world without getting caught up in the emotional drama.  To get started, simply pray to be open to the truth and to be preserved from harm.  Then go into your stillness practice with that intention.  The most common, safest and powerful method is simply to use your mental attention to observe your breath.  Random thoughts will come, of course, and you can't stop them.   Don't try.  Just bring your attention back to the process if your mind wanders.  

3. Find Inspiration:
It's vital that you stay inspired in your spiritual life, and that's partly why a community of like-minded practitioners has always been considered so important.  Whether or not you can find such a community right away, you do need to find books, articles, videos, etc. to keep you spiritually inspired.  You need to build yourself a steady diet of this inspiration because, if you don't, the pressures of daily life will almost certainly derail your spiritual intentions.

4. Pursue Harmony:
In everything you do, pursue harmony.  This means first and foremost pursuing harmony within yourself, harmony of thought and emotion, harmony between your mind and body.  And then it means harmony with the created world, with your environment, with your spouse, your children your friends and colleagues.  

5. Beware of the Dark Side:
The dark side of spirituality is very real and it's all around you.  You'll find some people telling you that you need to join their group to be saved from hell, or that you need to persecute groups they don't like because God said so, or that you have to fit into their preconceived ideas of behavior and social morality.  Stay away from these people and from what they teach.  You'll find other well-meaning people telling you that we're here to suffer for our sins and the more wretched and miserable we feel, the better our spiritual lives.  That's a tiny bit of truth mixed in with some huge twists, so be careful.  If you're not sure about where the line between truth and delusion is, be sure to solicit the opinions of people of integrity you trust.  That doesn't mean you take their opinions as gospel, just that you ask for help in discerning what's for real and what's not.  

Implement these five steps and you'll be well on your way to a genuine spiritual life.  

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Spiritual Life: Reality or Delusion? (Part 1)

"All fantasies, especially that of religion, are caused by a short-circuit at the centre of the human personality.  This short-circuit, which exists between the heart which pumps blood (the circulatory system) and the spinal cord which circulates spinal fluid (the nervous system) is only repaired by ceaseless prayer in the heart.  It is only when the short-circuit is repaired that you begin to be liberated from the realm of fantasy."

- Rev. Dr. John Romanides in “Religion as a Neurobiological Illness”

Startling, isn’t it?  - A world-renowned Orthodox Christian priest and theologian calling religion a “neurobiological illness” and a "fantasy"!    You may remember that quotation from chapter one of The 5 Pillars of Life.  I'm bringing it up here because one question I get asked frequently is:

"How do you tell which spiritual paths will transform you life and which ones will wreck your life?" 

A month from now I'll have a whole new class of university students to explore that question with, as we take a really hard, analytical look at not only the world's major "religions", but contemporary spiritual trends as well.

So why is spirituality important at all?  Who needs it?  Simple... if you want to become a truly resilient human being, you cannot do so without a spiritual life because spiritual life, if it's real, is the only way to actualize the full potential of your being.  On the most obvious level, committing yourself to high values and principles will take you beyond the narrow confines of your ego and even beyond the constraints of this short life.  On a deeper level, there is no other way to open the depths of your being to a direct experience of the Absolute Reality. 

Of course, a quick look at the news is all you need to convince you that what we conventionally call "religion" can be a pretty scary thing - right wing fundamentalists condemning minority groups or telling their people how "God wants them to vote", Muslim demonstrators carrying placards saying, "Behead those who insult Islam!" are just the tip of the iceberg.  

You may remember that in The 5 Pillars of Life I make a clear distinction between "religions" and "Authentic Ancient Traditions" and outline the differences.  People in our culture these days tend to think religion - the institutional version - is bad, whereas "spirituality" - the individual version - is good.  Reality is not quite so simple.  So how do you tell the kind of spiritual approach that will transform you into a saint / Bodhisattva / immortal from the kind that will transform you into a neurotic, a terrorist or a self-righteous jerk?

Powerful Questions to Ask About ANY Spiritual Path:

1.  Does it insist that the only way to be saved or avoid eternal torture is to become a member and / or believe in its creed?

2. Does it tell you that God is angry, judgmental and is basically just waiting for you to slip up so He can punish you?

3. Does it give rise to a culture of guilt and shame?

4. Does it teach you that God hates "unbelievers" or that you need to convert them by force or otherwise oppress them?

5. If you try to leave this spiritual path, will your life be in danger?

6. Do its teachings give rise to large scale emotional dysfunction? 

If you're involved in or thinking of becoming involved in any spiritual path where the answer to any of these questions would be "yes", then I'd suggest you run screaming in the other direction... fast.  

In general, any "spiritual" path advocating violence is simply a fascist religious ideology masquerading as the will of God.  Those that have moral teachings that produce emotional dysfunction are usually distorted versions (religions) of earlier Authentic Ancient Traditions.  

Unless a tradition meets the following criteria, it's highly likely to be either a dumbed down version of an authentic tradition (i.e., a religion) or simply a fake from day one.  Here's what every legitimate spiritual path must have or do:

1. It must teach that a total mind-body transformation of the human being is possible, that it can begin in this life and that every human being, here and now, can come to a direct experience of the Absolute Reality (God or whatever the name might be).

2. It must possess a deep spiritual teaching that includes meditation and / or unceasing noetic prayer.

3. It must be able to prove that there is an unbroken lineage of transformed people who have put this teaching into practice, been transformed by it, and can pass it on.

4. It must be able to prove that it gets the results it claims, preferably by demonstrating this across multiple cultures for several centuries.

5. It must value love, compassion and humility above all else and teach forgiveness.  

These simple criteria will enable anyone to get to the truth about any tradition in short order.  

If you're a Christian or if you know the New Testament well, you may remember a section from the book of Acts (5:34-40) where a Pharisee named Gamaliel says that any spiritual movement that comes from God will survive and thrive, whereas any movement not from God will just fade away.  Since many Christians are used to the idea the Bible contains no errors, they may not have noticed that there's only one problem with Gamaliel's theory...

...It's plain wrong.  Total crap, actually.  History proves that many religious movements have existed for over a millennium, with hundreds of millions of followers, and that these same movements have given rise to near constant strife, killing, emotional dysfunction / neurosis and endless misery.  

So be really careful before you commit your spiritual future to anything.  If you apply the simple criteria above, though, you'll be just fine.

Next time, we'll talk about how to build a firm foundation for your spiritual life.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Thursday, 12 August 2010

How to Take a Vacation Now, Even if You "Can't Get Away"

I hope you enjoyed Tuesday's blog post with the video of Tao Garden.  Now that you understand how vital a vacation is for maintaining and building your personal resilience, I can guess what you're probably thinking...

"Yeah, that's great... and I could probably take some time off work... but there's no way we can afford the Caribbean, much less jetting off to Thailand!" 

And you may be right.  Whether it's lack of time or lack of funds, maybe you can't get away right now, or at least not for long.  If that's the case, don't feel badly.  I couldn't manage a long vacation away right now either for various reasons, but that didn't stop us from taking a "mini-vacation" last week, and it was super!  Here's what we did...

First, I cleared most items off my calendar for two weeks - no speaking, no consulting, just some routine business tasks and time to think about the future.  Then I booked a day at a local spa called "Spa Nordik" (see the photo below), including massages for myself and my wife, as well as use of their amazing wet and dry saunas and hot and cold pools.  

Spa Nordik - two thumbs up!
Basically, this place is a paradise.  It's literally minutes away from the city, yet remote enough that you're not conscious of the city's hustle and bustle.  

Phase two of our plan was to do an overnight getaway at a local hotel, as well as taking in a movie and having dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant.  So, although this has been mostly a stay-at-home vacation, it really has been a very relaxing holiday.  

Planning Your Own Stay-at-Home Vacation:

To do something similar for yourself, just review the vacation priorities I mentioned in the previous post.  If you look at them carefully, you'll realize you can in fact accomplish most of this without ever leaving home!  In fact, let's assume a "worst case" scenario where you can't get much if any time off work...

Step One: Arrange your affairs so you won't have to make any big decisions or worry about anything for a two-week period.  If there's something really stressing you out that's not going to go away, I would highly recommend using an energy-psychology method such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to manage your stress, and perhaps talking it through with a trusted friend or counselor in advance, so your vacation is as worry-free as possible.  

Step Two: Book a massage at a local spa.  You'll probably want a "relaxation massage" or something similar.  Just make sure you don't get some idiot who's digging into your flesh as if you were at a sports medicine clinic.  That happened to me once - my wife, who was getting a massage in the same room at the time, said later, "I was sure you were going to flatten him!"  Well, I avoided bloodshed at the time, but the point is that you want your massage to relieve tension without causing you physical pain.  

Step 3: Plan a healthy menu for your vacation.  Many people think of vacation as a time to go binge drinking and discard all restraint.  Of course, what we have in mind is a vacation that builds your resilience instead of depleting it.

Step 4: This step is optional but very much worth considering - watch the video below, where Feng Shui expert Elizabeth Chamberlain shows you how to transform one room of your house into the perfect stay-at-home vacation spot:

Step 5: Plan your light exercise and fresh air for the week - perhaps long walks, walks to places you don't get to very often or a hike in the nearest wilderness area.  Swimming comes highly recommended as a vacation exercise, especially in summer.  

There's your blueprint.  I hope you've enjoyed learning about "resilience vacations" this week, why your body-mind organism desperately needs one and that you can take one very soon no matter what your financial or work situation.  I look forward to your comments and to hearing about your vacation!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

You NEED a Vacation More Than You Think...

You need a vacation.  In fact, there's a high probability you need a vacation now and you need it more than you think.  

Your body knows you need it.  Your subconscious mind knows you need it.  So then why is your rational mind so good at finding excuses not to take any holidays, even if those are paid holidays you have coming to you?

"I'll wait until flights are cheaper in the off-season."  "I just have this one project to get out of the way."  "The kids have too many activities for us to take time off."  "The office will fall apart without me."  And the list goes on...

So why do you desperately need a vacation?  Consider the following:

  • You are under a lot more chronic stress than you're consciously aware of (and you probably know from experience the only way to verify this is to take a holiday from your regular responsibilities)
  • You're under continual non-psychological stress from your environment and the way you treat your body-mind organism
  • These stress factors are harming your nervous system, your energy system, probably your cardiovascular system and more on a daily basis
  • Therefore, you need to rest and rebuild your health and immunity on a deep level
  • And you need a time where you can relax and make no decisions at all
Vacation Myths:

It's often said, "A change is as good as a rest."  Nonsense!  It's not uncommon to find people whose vacation was a whirlwind tour of ten European capitals and who come home all excited... only to realize they're more exhausted than when they left. 

Don't get me wrong - it's great to go see the world... as long as you take a true vacation that's separate from that.  So I'm not saying you should cancel your flight to Frankfurt; just that the vacation you mind-body organism most needs, the one that will build your personal resilience instead of depleting it , is a little different.

The holiday you really need requires lots of fresh air and sunshine, light exercise, a healthy diet, some light detoxification, better quality sleep and probably a bit more of it, and deep relaxation.

An Ideal Vacation?

In the video below you'll see an example of a near perfect, resilience-building vacation.  Please note that the point here is not so much the place itself, nor the Qi Gong master who devised it (Mantak Chia), but the key resilience-building components of the experience.  Can you pick them out?

Design Your Vacation Today:

[NOTE: The following advice is for people in a state of overall good health.  If you have particular health challenges or preexisting conditions, you should consult your health care practitioner before undertaking some elements of the following]

So now that I've persuaded you to take that long overdue vacation (!), here are some of the things you might want to consider:

First, you need time off work.  So tell the office to take a hike for at least a week and preferably no less than two weeks.

Second, make sure that at least part of your vacation involves a change of surroundings for at least a few days if possible.  You're looking for a calm and orderly environment, a place conducive to good sleep, fresh air, light exercise and a healthy diet.

Third, book yourself a few hours at a good spa, including at least one massage treatment of sixty minutes or more, plus use of the sauna and, if possible, swimming pool facilities.  This is the "light detoxification" I referred to above.  A good relaxation massage will help detoxify your body naturally, as will a sauna, especially if the sauna is followed by a dip in a cold-ish pool. 

Fourth, surround yourself with warm, optimistic and loving people.

Next time, I'll let you in on the secrets of how to construct a mini-vacation anytime, even when you can't really get away for long or at all.  That's what I did just last week ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Building a Resilient Romance

Calling all Couples (and singles who would like to find their soul mates)!

If you're in a committed, long-term romantic relationship or you'd like to be, you'll want to read this very carefully.  It could be one of the most important things you ever read.

Healthy human relationships are one of the indispensable keys to building a resilient and fulfilling life.  And for most human beings the single most important relationship in life is with their spouse.  

Healthy marriages mean healthy homes, healthy kids and a healthy society.  And yet, as we all know, the chances of any marriage lasting for the long haul these days are barely fifty-fifty, if that. Part of the reason is that almost none of us are taught how to create a true romantic relationship, one full of trust, respect, mutual affection and everything that goes with that.  

What most people are unaware of is that this was turned into a science by at least two ancient cultures - the Hindu  and the Taoist - and it's a science that anyone and any couple can learn with just a little dedication.  

Yes, I'm talking about "Tantric Sex" (TS).  Before you stop reading, I'd ask you to bear with me while I explain.  First, most people who've heard of TS buy into one of the many misconceptions out there, such as the idea it's about using gymnastic positions for love-making, or it's a hedonistic search for the ultimate orgasm.  

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The truth about this ancient science is that its real purpose is to introduce you to the spiritual potential of romance and love-making, and to build emotional and spiritual intimacy that not only lasts a life time, but goes far beyond what most people consider humanly possible.

As a Qi Gong expert, I've known about the Taoist versions of this for ages.  With further research, though, I've noticed that most of the Taoist writings about this available today will send you spinning off in the wrong direction.  Fortunately though, there are some excellent resources out there for you, resources that can make a huge difference in your relationships very quickly. 

That's why I'm delighted to inform you that I'll soon be interviewing two of the world's most respected experts in TS, Pala and Al Copeland, on Thursday, August 26 at 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific.  

Pala and Al are a married couple who have devoted the last decade and a half to helping couples to find a true spiritual connection through their romance, to keep that romance alive and  to elevate their overall health and quality of life in the process.  They've helped thousands of people worldwide and they can help you too.

You'll learn:

1.       The difference between falling in love and creating love.

2.       Why sex fizzles, love fades, and passion dies after couples have been 
together for a long time.

3.       How couples can create love that will thrive for a lifetime together.

4.       What sexual nutrition is and why it is so important.

5.       What Tantra is.

6.       What spiritual sex is

7.       Simple practices any couple can do to re-introduce zest, spark, and 
sizzle into a stale relationship.

Now you may be asking yourself, "Does this stuff really work?"  Well, I can tell you from my personal experience that it is startlingly effective on all levels.  In fact, the only reason I'm bringing up this topic at all is that I believe it's a crime that couples are not taught how to deliberately create the affection, the friendship, and the intimacy that they and every human being crave.  

So whether you're in a committed relationship or you want to be, take note of that date (August 26) and mark it on your calendar.  Feel free to bring your spouse along and to invite anyone else who could benefit from this priceless information.  
I'll be sending you further information over the coming weeks, including the call-in details.
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger