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From Passion & Lust … Toward Intimacy

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Quietly whispered phrases you overheard as a child told you everything you needed to know about coupling and sex. You were also subliminally taught that there was no need to Consciously question what everyone already knows.

The Shambhala Master

I'd Love You If I Could

Most people think that the romantic rush of passion between people who are “in love” leads to emotional Intimacy. It's a lie. Shambhala Masters know that romance, and the chemical rush that accompanies it, more typically leads to frustration, confusion, resentment, emptiness, and bitterness. Why? Countless unrealistic expectations ride on the coattails of romantic passion, especially when romantic passion precedes Intimacy. And unfulfilled expectations breed rancor.

But, if Intimacy precedes and underlies romantic and sexual moments, then romance, sex, passion, and the chemical rush that goes with them typically strengthen the relationship. But without Intimacy, which is hard earned and only emerges slowly with courage, diligence, time, and Self-loyalty, romantic passion is a chemically charged, but empty illusion, and sex is just sex.

This, then, is the difference between intimacy (spelled with a lower case "i") and Intimacy (spelled with a bold capital "I"). When spelled with a lower case “i,” intimacy refers to the physical proximity and/or sexual familiarity between two or more people. This kind of intimacy can quickly be generated through chemical triggers and/or social programming. For example, two people in the mood for “love” meet and spend the evening together, and end up becoming intimately involved – meaning they have sex.

Another example of intimacy with a lower case “i” is that we have been taught to believe that most family members are intimately involved in each others' lives. Another lie. They may live in close proximity, but the saddest reality of family life is that spouses rarely know each other's deepest fears, fondest hopes, or darkest secrets. Worse yet, parents are the last people to genuinely know their children's thoughts and emotions. And children almost never know their parents as people.

Every society’s concept of family is so steeped in roles, expectations, and illusions of what mothers, fathers, grandparents, and children are supposed to be that family members do not even want to look behind the socially prescribed masks to discover the person hidden beneath the surface. Consequently, there is little to no Intimacy found within the family unit.

On the other hand, relationship Intimacy (when spelled with a bold capital “I”) is the spiritual merging of two or more souls. It always results in a deepening of your relationship with your Self. This soul enrichment endures; it is timeless. Shambhala Masters know that individuals can draw upon this added soul strength long after an Intimate experience has ended. In stark contrast to this spiritual Intimacy, the chemical high resulting from romantic intimacy quickly fades, leaving in its wake a vast emptiness.

Relationships, because of the way they are socially designed, preclude Intimacy. Relationships preclude Intimacy because they are socially founded on romantic illusions, and romantic illusions cannot withstand the personal disclosure, honesty, and Clarity that must be present to foster and maintain Core Intimacy.


Shambhala Masters teach their students that sexual Intimacy is just one of countless ways to share a Core-connective (Soul-bonding) experience. Some other ways to share a Core-connection are through communicative Intimacy, emotional Intimacy, spiritual Intimacy, intellectual Intimacy, philosophical Intimacy, and experiential Intimacy (shared experiences). Of all these pathways to Soul-bonding, however, sexuality rarely ever leads to Intimacy because sexuality has been so socially distorted. Sexuality has been socially designed to be a release from boredom, a distraction, stress reduction, ego fulfillment, manufactured rush, a way to get to know each other, exercise, emotional manipulation, a leveraging tool, a role-playing medium, adventure, challenge, a way to kill time, a sedative, and/or an attempt to fill emptiness. Using sexuality in these ways fosters resentment, frustration, hurt, confusion, anger, and alienation, but not Intimacy.

Shambhala Masters know it is critical for their students to know the ways in which sexual reactions, or lust, are socially and chemically controlled. Only by understanding the source of their sexual yearnings and desires will Shambhala students be able to Consciously direct their own behavior. Shambhala Masters require their students to become knowledgeable about their sexual reactions or lust, not to condemn their social or biological inheritance, but to examine its powerful influence.

Shambhala Masters will explore at least four sources of lust or sexual reactions. They are:

  1. Socially Generated
  2. Emotionally Generated
  3. Romantically Generated
  4. Chemically Generated

These four sources form a complex, intricately interwoven network of sexual programming. None of them exist in a vacuum. They are all intertwined. They all influence each other. But for the purposes of this exploration they will be separated and discussed individually.


Most all societies throughout the ages have taught and continue to teach their people that it is extremely undesirable to be single. Most societies put a great deal of pressure on their citizens to be paired, bonded, mated, coupled with someone of the opposite sex. By the time children enter their teens they know what their culture expects of them.

Children quickly figure out that opposite sex pairing, bonding, mating, and coupling presupposed sexual activity. Children know that if they do not want to be thought of as socially odd they will need to be paired up with someone of the opposite sex, who finds them sexually desirable. Societies give their people very few non-sexual options. Pairing up and remaining chaste is typically incomprehensible. Even if people could conceive of the concept of non-sexual bonding, they can not seriously consider it, because societies also teach that celibacy and people who abstain from sex are weird. That is, unless they are priests or nuns, in which case celibacy is revered. We encourage our students to wonder why it is that what is spiritually revered for God's servants marks the bulk of people as social deviants.

Shambhala Masters know that people grow up knowing that celibacy is only reserved for the very religious. We also know that people do not give much conscious thought to the fact that celibacy is considered taboo for everybody but the clergy. Shambhala Masters know that these messages are subtly conveyed. They are subliminally taught and unconsciously absorbed. Quietly whispered phrases you overheard as a child told you everything you needed to know about coupling and sex. You were also subliminally taught that there was no need to Consciously question what everyone already knows.

The following bits of conversation in any language have formulated perspectives on opposite sex pair bonding (OSPB) throughout the ages:

“She's only five, but it's easy to see she is going to be a man killer.”

“Priests give up sex for God. They marry the Church.”

“John is pushing twenty eight. We've got to set him up with someone before it is too late.”

“Is she dating anyone yet?”

“It's so sad. They've been married for years, and they're still childless.”

“Is she still single? Time is running out for her.”

“She's so strong willed and independent. She needs a real man. One who can control her.”

“You can't stay home alone again tonight.”

“She's always alone. I feel so sorry for her.”

“It's OK for her to have a career, but her biological clock is still ticking.”

“Oh, poor thing; she's a spinster.”

These sound bites and thousands more just like them with the right intonations, gestures, and facial expressions told you, without you ever knowing that you were being told, that women and men should be coupled, sexually involved, and have children, or be seen as socially undesirable.

All this programming leads young girls and boys, men and women, to repeatedly ask themselves, “How can I prove to myself and to others that I am sexually desirable?” The answer: “I must find someone who wants to have sex with me.” After bonding with a partner there is no end to the social pressure applied through fear for partners to sexually submit to each other, whether they want to or not. Every young woman knows that a good wife should keep her man sexually satisfied. In reaction to this socially understood mandate many women defiantly take the opposite tact. They create countless evasive maneuvers to put off their husband's sexual advances.

Because of all these social messages that pressure women to keep the men they love sexually satisfied, women are required to keep their men sexually serviced if they want to feel good about themselves as friends, lovers, companions, and wives. Women are programmed to sexually respond to hundreds of different cues indicating their partners want sex. If women do not respond to their man’s cues, they have been trained to feel guilty, mean hearted, or even cruel.

Men give their partners these cues without even knowing they are doing so most of the time, and women automatically, unconsciously respond. Women unconsciously become their own pimps, and in the end resent their partners, whether or not their partners ever intended to give them any sexual cues at all.


Shambhala Masters teach their students how to protect themselves and their loved ones from socially generated sexuality. We teach our students to be clear with themselves and their partners that “just because” they are cued to be sexual does not mean that they are going to respond sexually.

Here are some typical socially generated sexual cues that are not necessarily reason enough for Shambhala students to be sexual:

  • Just because you (or your partner) are sad, dispirited, or feeling unloved.
  • Just because you (or your partner) put out the extra time and energy to dress up and look sexy.
  • Just because you (or your partner) are affectionate.
  • Just because you (or your partner) think you want sex.
  • Just because you (or your partner) gets sensual or physical.
  • Just because you (or your partner) feel sexually attracted.
  • Just because you (or your partner) are aroused.
  • Just because you (or your partner) are sexually erger.
  • Just because your partner gifts you or does special favors for you.
  • Just because your partner is good to your children.
  • Just because you (or your partner) are in the mood.
  • Just because you (or your partner) work hard and are a good provider.
  • Just because you and your partner have not made love for a long time.
  • Just because you and your partner are married.
  • Just because you and your partner are feeling connected and loving each other.
  • Just because you (or your partner) might get it (sex) somewhere else.
  • Just because you and your partner love each other.

The beginning Shambhala student frequently asks the Master: “If all these socially generated sexual cues are not reason enough to be sexual, then what is reason enough?”

When you are both lovingly connected to each other, when all your concerns have been discussed, when you share an amalgamating perspective on how you are going to creatively deal with your relationship dilemmas, when the time is right for both of you, and when neither of you can stop yourselves, then, only then, is sexual intimacy Self-furthering. Because, if everything is not just right, then one or the both of you will be capitulating to each other's needs for sex. Such capitulation reduces sexual Intimacy into duty and empty ritual. You will end up sexually resenting each other.


After Shambhala Masters teach their students about socially generated sexuality we familiarize our students with emotionally generated sexuality. We want Shambhala students to know that sexuality is not only socially generated, but that it is often generated by emotions (fear, anxiety, insecurity, respect, admiration). For example, the fear of abandonment may move you to secure a loved one with sex. You may be motivated to initiate sex, submit to sexual advances, fake climaxes, and/or participate in “kinky sexual acts” to keep a loved one in your life. Also, fears that your lover will stop approaching you for sex can drive you to initiate sex, even when you do not want it.


Shambhala Masters teach our students to recognize that the conscious (or completely unconscious) desire to dominate and/or be in control frequently drives not only men, but also women, to initiate sex. For example, oral sex is frequently used for domination and control. There are women who hate men who get a thrill out of seducing men into the vulnerable position of having their penises between the teeth of a woman they barely know. This can give an angry woman a powerful rush. She can now feel powerfully in control, whether or not she actually takes action on her hateful fantasies of hurting her partner. Similarly, men who hate women will often allow, subtly manipulate, or forcefully require a women to “go down” on them because these misogynists see the act of oral copulation and semen swallowing as degrading to women. These men typically would not swallow a drop of their own semen, much less someone else's. They may convince the woman that going down on them is an “act of love,” or it is safe sex, or convenient birth control, but nevertheless, men who secretly hate women feel a strong sense of sexual control over partners they can command and degrade in this manner. It is important to note that it makes no difference to women/men who desire to dominate whether or not their partners feel controlled or degraded through oral sex. Most sex, though shared with a partner, is an entirely private, imaginary affair.


Shambhala students soon discover that another example of emotionally generated sex is when built-up anger, frustration, stress or tension leads to sex. Hard and vigorous sexual pumping is not only seen as a stress-reducing exercise for some people, but is also an anger release. These releases can also be achieved through rough handling of a partner, or through sexual teasing and then withholding sexual satisfaction.

Other emotions that often generate sexuality are envy and jealousy. If you think your partner is enjoying sex with someone else, or if you think other people are enjoying sex but you are going without, jealousy and envy can drive you into desiring the same for yourself with almost any available partner. Similarly, feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness cause many to initiate or respond to sexual advances.

Most important, for Shambhala students, they need to recognize that feelings of Self-alienation may motivate individuals to try to fill their emptiness with the human warmth they hope to purchase through shared sexuality. To feel less Self-alienated they may try to substitute physical/sexual connection to another person as a way to escape, cover up, and distract themselves from their Self-disconnection.

Also, the absence of an emotional, mental, and spiritual closeness between your Self and your partner's Self may errantly cue you to attempt to reconnect your Selves through a shared sexual experience. Shambhala Masters warn their students that this misguided sexual attempt to create the Oneness and Intimacy with others that you are Called to create with your Self is soul-severing.

All such emotionally generated sexual moments end in a relentless, gnawing sense of emptiness. These feelings always take a toll on relationships that could be growing strong if it were not for the misdirected use of sexuality.


To protect themselves against Emotionally Generated Sexuality Shambhala students must learn to differentiate between their acquired emotions versus their Core generated emotions. Acquired emotions lie just below the surface and are easily triggered and manipulated. These acquired emotions are usually simplistic, childish, self-imploded, and promote tunnel vision. They come with a pre-programmed set of behaviors. For example, you find out that your lover had lunch with someone of the opposite sex and s/he neglected to tell you so. Your acquired emotions and the behaviors they prompt cause you to feel abandoned, betrayed, deceived, left out, and jealous. Instantaneously you want to verbally accuse and attack or withdraw and fearfully sulk or sneak around and spy on your lover.

Shambhala students learn that their Core generated emotions differ from their acquired emotions in that Core emotions are slow to emerge and take form, they are deep-seated, and it takes considerable time for students to mentally collect them. And, when Shambhala students learn to collect their Core generated emotions, those emotions will be broad based, diverse, multifaceted, and often conflicting. Their Core generated emotions will represent a wide horizon of their own and their partner's personal history. And once they take the time to distill their Core generated emotions students will note that these Core emotions are tempered with a generous helping of built-in wisdom.

But, unlike your acquired emotions, your Core generated emotions come with no set of automatic, built-in behaviors. Quite the contrary. Instead, Core generated emotions are so rich with paradoxical behavior they demand that your behavior be Consciously weighed and carefully selected.

For example, taking the same scenario (finding out that your lover had lunch with someone of the opposite sex and s/he neglected to tell you about it), Shambhala students learn to bracket their lightening-quick acquired emotions/behavior in favor of allowing their Core generated emotions to slowly emerge. Caution will be the first Core emotion to surface. Shambhala students recognize that these situations are loaded with acquired emotions and dangerous built-in behaviors, behaviors that create unnecessary problems.

For Shambhala students, your first behavior is always to bracket (set aside) your acquired feelings and your knee-jerk behavior. Your next behavior will be to Consciously scan your knowledge of yourself and the other people involved. For example, with the situation mentioned above, through bracketing and Conscious scanning, Shambhala students realize that there could be any number of reasons why they were not told about this lunch. Then, depending on a wide spectrum of possibilities, Shambhala students Consciously decide on the best way to move forward. They may decide simply to wait and see if, with time, their partners eventually speaks to them about this experience. They may decide to wait and see if similar incidences come to their attention, creating a pattern of behavior that they may then Consciously decide to address. Or they may decide to get more information from their partners.

Shambhala Masters awaken our students to know that their acquired emotions and their built-in behaviors keep them herd-bound and Self-alienated. We teach our students to focus on their Core emotions, bracket their acquired feelings and behavior, and to Consciously select their course of action. By learning these skills Shambhala students draw closer to their Selves and the Selves of others. They are able to move closer to Self-Intimacy and Intimacy with others.


We have explored the ways in which Socially Generated Sexuality uses our acquired emotions to promote sexuality. We have discussed the relationship damage and Self-alienation that results with Emotionally Generated Sexuality. But, what does shared sexuality look like when it is generated from Core emotions as opposed to our socially generated and acquired feelings?

Shambhala Masters will tell you that when they are Intimately connected to their Spiritual (Core) centers, they feel present within their bodies. They experience an ever-present need to care for their physical selves, to groom themselves, to pleasure themselves with comfortable clothes that fit, and to nurture themselves. They reach out to themselves; they treat myself to small, but sumptuous meals. They gift themselves with a day at the beach. They play and enjoy their bodies in motion. They dance with themselves. In other words, Shambhala Masters revel in their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and sensual Core-connections with themselves.

Similarly, when Shambhala Masters feel that same Core-connection with others (emotional, intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual oneness), they almost always feel compelled to reach out and physically actualize the internal bond they are experiencing between themselves and others. This is when Shambhala Masters reach out with a pat on the back or your hand, or a hand on a shoulder, or initiate a side hug with an arm around the waist. This is clean affection. It is generated internally from the depths of one’s Being, and its singular purpose is to actualize externally the Intimacy both individuals are already experiencing within their Selves.

Image of a Giraffe and Ostrich

This external bridging of physical bodies whose souls are already Intimately merged is the beginning of physical Intimacy. With time and countless more of these Core generated moments, physical Intimacy may, or just as rightly may not, take Conscious individuals into sexual Intimacy. Sexual Intimacy requires that an additional set of variables be just right. Not only must our souls be so merged that we are compelled to reach out to each other physically, but we will have explored each other's sexual history and present relationships. We will need to be knowledgeable about each other's fears, hopes, and concerns about sexuality in general and about our relationship in particular. We will have explored in depth our social expectations and beliefs about our shared sexuality, love, and relationship. We will need to know, clearly, that we have shared perspectives about our responsibilities, or lack of responsibilities, to ourselves and each other.

We will have created a shared understanding of the other Intimate partners in our lives and how we will tell them about our current feelings and our sexual experiences with each other. We will need to know that we are prepared to deal with the added complexities of sexuality within our relationship and the difficulties that our sexuality will bring to the relationships we have already established with others. We will need to create a clear understanding with others that what we experience with each other will not undermine or weaken our feelings for the people we already love. We will need to agree to go slowly and baby-step into our sexuality, discussing each step along the way, not only with ourselves, but with the other loved ones in our lives.

Knowing all this, we may, and then again we may not, move toward sexuality as an added means for actualizing the Spiritual merging we are currently experiencing.

*The word “Called,” is spelled with a bold capital “C.” The Shambhala Master uses bold capitals when referring to the primal, Core, spiritual essence of a word, as opposed to the conventional understanding of the word. Please consult the Master’s Glossary for the definition of this and other unfamiliar terms.

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