Food, Sleep & Sex are said to be instinctive needs and basic necessities for survival and health. But each of these 3 are very interesting phenomena by themselves. Food, Sleep and Sex go much beyond instinctive needs and also serve as some of the most powerful tools to go deeper into our own beings and bring forth a greater spiritual transformation in our systems.
1. FOOD / WATER
Beyond eating for survival and pleasure, start to observe how different foods influence your moods and your body. Experiment with your diet. Eliminate sugars for a while. Eliminate meat for a while. Eliminate all cooked /processed food for a while (eating only fruits and vegetables). Go Vegan for a bit. Try fasting as a part of your daily diet (Read up on Intermittent Fasting). See how you feel. Check out how your body and mind feel.
Many people who practice working on their diet for a period of time, observe that they feel a lot lighter, they feel a lot more energy. Many chronic conditions have healed slowly and gradually simply by altering the content & timings of our diet. Many people even heal out of emotional issues simply by altering their diet.
Ayurveda talks a lot about the tri-dosha and how what we eat plays a role even in our personality and characteristic traits.
“Your Body’s Many Cries For Water”, by Dr. F. Batmanhelidj is a very interesting book that documents water as a prescription for many forms of illnesses. The author contends that most illnesses start at a cellular level as a result of dehydration.
And then there are people who have used diet to access higher levels of consciousness. They have used diet as a spiritual practice and have eventually graduated from eating food to taking in nourishment directly from the 5 elements. Breatharianism, as they call it, is a whole new way of life, of living with a higher level of sensitivity and consciousness. They say these are advanced Yogic practices that some of the ancient sages and seers used to practice.
One of the pioneers in this practice is Jasmuheen.
Another interesting practitioner is Hira Ratan Manek who lives off the energy of the sun through his practice called Sun Gazing. Have a look at this beautiful report about Sun Gazing – http://guardianlv.com/2013/05/
I believe that if we learn to sleep well and sleep deeply for about 7-8 hours everyday, and we do this for at least 6 months, we have a natural healer for our physical health and an inbuilt therapist for most of our emotional issues in our sleep. I believe it is hard for someone who is sleeping well to have deep psychological or emotional issues cropping up in life.
Interestingly, many people with deep psychological issues tell me that their issue started with a disruption in their healthy sleep cycle and their healthy Circadian Rhythm.
[An interesting study in Harvard Health talking of how sleep issues can lead to mental health issues – https://www.health.harvard.edu/sleep-and-mental-health]
However, there are people who have eventually graduated from sleeping in an Unconscious state to Conscious sleep cycles. While the majority of us are ‘busy sleeping’, these people have walked towards Sleep-Mastery. These are people who use their sleep-time to engage in advancing themselves and actualising higher states of consciousness.
Many spiritual seekers engage in Astral Projections, Lucid Dreaming and Out of Body Experiences during their sleep. While they leave their body and mind to rest, they use their spiritual beings to consciously access higher states of consciousness and higher dimensions of existence.
I have once attended a workshop by Kaya and Christiane Muller who spoke of their experiences using their sleep states to access a higher dimensional awareness and using that to rescue people in accidents, heal people with illnesses from across the globe or sometimes even mysteriously send signs and symbols of reassurance to people in distress across the globe.
Check out the work of Kaya & Christiane Muller at https://www.ucm.ca/en
And I am sure there a tonne of other people who do similar and much more powerful work as well.
Off the 3 basic needs, sex is the one topic with the most conditioned beliefs and opinions. It is also the one where we carry a lot of trauma and suppression.
Everybody has a Sexual Appetite (just like their appetite for food). Some need more to be satiated, some need less and are quite easily satiated. Well sexual energy is a very versatile energy and it fuels not just our need for sex, it fuels even our creative side and our ability to connect and relate to people.
Napolean Hill in his book, “Think and Grow Rich” dedicates one entire chapter to Sexuality and says that he finds an interesting link between millionaires and their sexual expression and sexual appetite, and that most wealthy people seem to have a higher sexual appetite. Many studies have shown that there is an undeniable link between sexual energy and creativity, ambition, desire and the willingness to live life fully. They say that in order for us to create anything – whether it is a baby, a piece of art or a fabulous life – we need sexual energy.
And eventually, like with the other 2 basic instincts, people have graduated from sex as a carnal experience to a spiritual experience. They have learnt to look at sexual energy as much more than the intercourse. Many people explore aspects of Tantric Sex, which believes in the concept of the ‘Orgasm’ being a much deeper experience of Bliss and Ecstasy. If the regular orgasm would mark the peak of sexual union and feeling of oneness with the partner, Tantric Sex is a technique to experience a deeper level of orgasm at a higher state of consciousness. Orgasms experienced through tantra allow one to be in tune with the highest experience of Oneness and Union with the Divine, and eventually carry this state of bliss and Cosmic Oneness into our regular lives.
Food, Sleep and Sex are all viewed as a very basic and physical need. Yes, sure it is. But today there is a lot more awareness through the spread of advance Yogic Sciences. The ancient science teaches us that our Physical Body is also a powerful and mystical creation. It is the seat of tremendous energy and immense wisdom.
Spirituality cannot be complete without aligning with the wonders of the body.