Tao or Dao (meaning ‘way’ or ‘path’) is a Chinese metaphysical concept that originated with Laozi. Its popularity grew such that it became a religion which is more commonly known as Taoism.
In Taoism, as well as Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism, the focal point of all spiritual practice is to become one with the Tao through effortless action.
While at its core this is an essentially Eastern mystical philosophy, interest in the Tao principles and practices has become extremely popular in the West in the last few decades.
In a modern world that is so full of emotional stress, psychic imbalance and poor moral standards, the Tao is seen as a way to reconnect with our spiritual essence and discover our place in the world.
Solala Towler has studied the Taoist tradition and been a practising Doist for more than 20 years.
In The Tao of Intimacy and Ecstasy, he presents a practical analysis of core Tao principles and their effects on human relationships.
The book opens with a look at what Taoism is and how couples in intimate relationships can benefit from its core idea of balance and harmony.
From here, Towler explores the area of human passion before diving into an exploration of sexuality and sensuality.
By this point, the book starts to integrate those other two great areas of Eastern philosophy. Meditation and tantra, or sacred sexuality.
It draws upon the concepts of kundalini and breathing as ways of raising and balancing the twin energies of Yin and Yang in both sexually active partners.
The Tao of Intimacy and Ecstasy makes it clear that according to Taoist tradition, the regular practice of these activities creates balance and harmonization within the psychic bodies of both partners.
Practising any of the meditations that the author provides should lead to a closer understanding between both partners.
This approach is a long way from the ‘thrust-and-grind’ style of sexual congress preferred in the West. It offers a more spiritual approach to the movement of subtle energy during love-making.
The book’s later chapters offer in-depth advice to those involved in marriage.
Once again, Towler focuses on themes of openness and honesty in long-term relationships.
He argues that, through the integration of both the Yin and Yang elements of life—of cycles of growth and decay, a marriage can survive the pressures of modern life.
To compliment this, the book closes with a look at Tai Chi, Chi Gong—motion and movement, the excitement of new relationships, the ending of old ones and the return to a natural state of being.
The book contains a list of resources and is not illustrated in any way (so you are safe to leave it lying around with kids in the house!).
Our Review of ‘The Tao of Intimacy’ by Solala Towler
The type of overtly-sexualized and unsustainably-romanticized idea of love that is so favored in the West has done more to raise our expectations of marriage and relationships than anything else.
Sadly, these often fail to give us the deeper emotional experience and sexual satisfaction that we expect from them.
Love takes work. And sex, the most intimate expression of love, requires regular practice and a constant awareness of your partner’s needs.
In The Tao of Intimacy and Ecstasy, Solala Towler gives every couple the key to form a deeper connection with each other as well as a way to express the universal energy that flows through us all.
This book was deeply fascinating.
It enters areas that many people in the Western world are simply not psychologically mature enough to explore.
It is an open and honest account of how we can embrace a new spiritual doctrine based upon a very grounded form of sacred sexuality, instead of one whose deeper spiritual meaning is suppressed by religious dogma.
The featured meditations and quotes are joyful and powerful. Its commentary flows like the Chi energy it explores.
Above all, this is a book about intimacy and Towler conveys this same sense of close emotional feeling between himself and you, his reader.
The Tao of Intimacy and Ecstasy is a powerfully illuminating book. It takes you on a journey of intimate sexual exploration. For many couples fortunate to be blessed by love, it will be both delightful and consciousness shifting.
Book of the Month: August 2014