Over the years, I had several experiences pre- or post- masturbation that involved deep meditation. Not like I see crystal clear pictures. Instead, it’s like seeing shadows in the darkness, which sounds kind of granola – yes, I know. But, that’s really the only way to describe it. Shades of black and grey. When I was meditating in the dark, I’d open my eyes and see those shadowy visions climb up the walls. That doesn’t happen often, though. When I try to have more than one orgasm, I stop touching myself and meditate before switching on the vibe. It’s a really peaceful moment for me.
I first learned about meditation when I just finished sex work for the first time. During the summer I performed in The Bi Apple, Afrodite Superstar, and a series of other films. By Fall, I was emotionally exhausted and confused. I needed to make space for myself and come to grips with the darker parts of my personality. Some interventions endured more than others. Therapy was a sporadic but lengthy attempt to unravel my emotional knots, those points of tension about latent memories and behaviors. 12-step programs were a quick and hard mode of bonding with other people who, like me, were trying to feel whole. I’m not the type to follow steps so it turned me off fast. What has been the most steadfast of therapies have been meditation and visualization. Visualization has been with me since high school. Acting and musical theater classes always reserved 15 minutes for visualization and breathing techniques, all of which was meant to release inhibitions and stress. After reading my therapist’s book about Buddhism, I visited temples on the lower east side and meditated. It felt awkward to me because I was out of my comfort zone. At home, I turned off the lights in my big bedroom. There I meditated. On the subway I meditated. Whenever the opportunity was open, I walked right into it.
There have been many explanations about how meditation works. For me, I know it requires some preparation. First I have to let go. Tension from work. Maybe a recent fight or some worrying thoughts have thrown me off. My jaw needs to relax. My breathing slow and deep. When my body can relax, then my mind will follow. I’m sure for others they see it as the other way around. Regardless of what happens, the ultimate goal is to make the mind and body like, to be figuratively suspended in a state of peace.
So, not a surprise that my post-orgasmic self is also primed for meditation. I’m ecstatic and doped up with pleasure, maybe some pain as well. My mind is spiraling out of a vortex of sexual fantasies that continued to linger. Then, like smoke, it clears. My eyes are closed. I can feel my eyeballs move around, which is bothersome so I stop. I remain in this moment, sinking slowly down into the bed. When meditation begins, it’s a struggle to let go. It’s hard to explain, really. All I know is that the moment I hesitate, that I feel my body tense up, then I haven’t begun to meditate.
Letting go is like dropping out. Nothing else matters but now. When I meditate I’m okay with looking into the black. My thoughts are still going. Sometimes you can’t stop them, but they shouldn’t overpower the process. Thoughts of doubts or insecurity can scream through your head. Feelings of impatience can make you drop back in before you had a chance to begin. So you have to let go. Be patient. Look into the black.
When I was younger, I remember zoning out – perhaps earlier forms of meditation – and seeing shadows. Gray white rocks flowing downward toward me. They roll around and move like little organisms. This all happened with my eyes opened. Now I’m older and my eyes are closed. Go figure. This time it looks like a windmill in slow rotation. That’s been the most common vision. But, recently, after some time of meditation, I saw the sun. It felt like I was right underneath it. I could feel the glow caressing my face. Everything felt warm. It was a flash-in-the-pan vision. When it was over, I opened my eyes. Satiated, I took another turn with my vibrator. I rolled and kneaded the Hitachi head around my clitoris, both as it was exposed and underneath its hood. During this time I cannot meditate. Too much going on, obviously. But, the sexual fantasies have receded. Only a few glimpses of inappropriate fondling and touching, penetration. Just thinking about the sensations of such encounters was enough for me to orgasm a second time. I come down from the high and I gradually return to meditation. And, after some time had passed, I saw another shadowy vision: The mountains. High and looming. And rolling from it are the small brisk waves of the ocean.