how to slow down and just be

On how to slow down

I was struck recently by an article written by Carl Honore, on the subject of slow sex..
He writes:

‘The other day a buddy of mine was making love to his new girlfriend when her IPhone beeped with an incoming text message. Like any guy, he hoped she would ignore the alert – or even fail to notice it altogether. The opposite happened. The woman opened her eyes, grabbed the phone from the bedside table and read the message. She then typed out a short reply.

To be fair, she apologised and suggested we go back to the sex” says my crestfallen friend, ” But it was kind of a mood-killer.”

Two conclusions can be drawn from an anecdote like this. The first is that my friend maybe needs to brush up on his sexual technique. The second is that his girlfriend’s behaviour reveals something alarming about the way we live nowadays. In this media-drenched, mutitasking, always-on age, many of us have forgotten how to unplug and immerse ourselves completely in the moment. We have forgotten how to slow down.’


The reason this article attracted my attention was that this used to happen quite a lot during tantric massage sessions, especially  when mobile phones first became popular. We even had a client who insisted on placing his mobile by his head, because he was always expecting ‘urgent calls.’ You can imagine the interesting situations which arose when the phone would ring at  a particularly inappropriate moment !

I started practicing tantric massage in 1992 and most people didnt have mobile phones or websites in those days – but gradually since then, life has speeded up more and more.

So, how to slow down?  You might think the answer is easy – ie just simply decide to  slow down. But anyone who has seriously tried, knows that it is not that simple. Or you might be one of those people who has become addicted to living at a fast pace, and are asking why should I slow down ?

As Carl Honore says: ‘ Everywhere, people are discovering that doing things more slowly often means doing them better and enjoying them more. It means living life instead of rushing through it.’

There are numerous best-selling  books, workshops, websites, and courses which  teach a wide variety of  ways to slow down, reduce stress, lead more meaningful lives, etc.  At the end of the day,  we each need to re-discover  that ‘still place’ within ourself which has always been there –  Just as a tree just IS  – and offers its flowers and fruit to all – the sages tell us that our fundamental nature is peace, bliss and love – but we identify instead with the busy workings of our mind.

Naturally, you will expect me to say that  a tantric massage at our studio at tantric massage london in kensington, will give you the beautiful experience of totally relaxing into the moment, and will hopefully give you some tools and insights for maintaining that state in the future…..and it is true, it will….. but what else could I suggest….

Personally, I love the poems of the great mystics because poetry can obliquely  give us a taste of  something which is harder to convey in a more straightforward way. It can draw our attention inwards to the peace within, and touch our inner being simply by reading and assimilating the words.  Here is one of my favourites – It is by Ibn Arabi, the great sufi mystic (1165-1240).

Dearly beloved!
I have called you so often and you have not heard Me.
I have shown Myself to you so often and you have not seen Me.
I have made Myself fragrance so often, and you have not smelled Me,
Savorous food, and you have not tasted Me.
Why can you not reach Me through the object you touch
Or breathe Me through sweet perfumes?
Why do you not see Me?  Why do you not hear Me?
Why? Why? Why?
For you My delights surpass all other delights,
And the pleasure I procure you surpasses all other pleasures.
For you I am preferable to all other good things,
I am Beauty, I am Grace
Love Me, love Me alone.
Love yourself in Me, in Me alone.
Attach yourself to Me,
No one is more inward than I.
Others love you for their own sakes,
I love you for yourself.
And you, you flee from Me.

Dearly beloved!
You cannot treat Me fairly,
For if you approach Me,
It is because I have approached you.
I am nearer to you than yourself
Than your soul, than your breath.
Who among creatures
Would treat you as I do?
I am jealous of you, over you,
I want you to belong to no other,
Not even to yourself.
Be Mine, be for Me as you are in Me,
Though you are not even aware of it.

Dearly beloved!
Let us go toward Union.
And if we find the road
That leads to separation,
We will destroy separation.
Let us go hand in hand.
Let us enter the presence of Truth.
Let It be our judge
And imprint Its seal upon our union
For ever.

The following video is a meditation on the perfection which lies within every single one of us, and is set in the modern life of today, on a London street. Watch it when you have some time to yourself, when you are not in a rush….. the words of the poem are slightly different to the poem above, as it is based on another translation of the original, but the meaning is very well conveyed – make sure you turn the sound on….

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