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A Matter Of Life And Death

Apr 142013

The death of one of Britain’s most controversial Prime Minister’s this week provoked some surprising reactions around the world. While some mourned the passing of a ‘great leader’, others partied in the streets, spraying champagne and adopting the song ‘Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead’ from the Wizard of Oz as their victory cry. It’s no surprise that the passing of Margaret Thatcher would be a controversial subject – but I couldn’t help wondering about the wide range of reactions we have to something we’ll all need to face at some point.

Death is still one of society’s last great taboos. In fact, we’re only really reminded of it when it happens to someone close to us, or to a public figure like Thatcher. Yet proper and full awareness of our own mortality doesn’t need to be scary, intimidating or morbid. It can actually be liberating to think about our impermanence on this earth, bringing all kinds of gifts as we learn to fully appreciate each breath, each moment and each day that passes.

So often, we can take life for granted, getting caught up in the minor details instead of seeing the big picture and celebrating our very existence itself. Sex can be a powerful way to reaffirm this ‘aliveness’. It’s no surprise that sex is something that’s often resorted to in the wake of the death of a loved one, and a means of helping us to feel safe, reassured and alive in the aftermath of grief.

Sex itself is sometimes compared to a kind of death. It’s no coincidence that the French refer to orgasm as ‘la petite mort’ or ‘the little death’. Orgasm can be an overwhelming feeling of peace, stillness and letting go, and it’s in the afterglow of an orgasm that you can get a sense of what it’s really like to be released from the physical body and reality as we know it.

It’s said that our spirit enters our body through the crown chakra at the moment we’re born, and leaves through the same doorway when we die. This centre is our gateway to the next level of spiritual maturity – and in tantric terms it’s the chakra of the ultimate orgasm, the surrender to death.

To get a feeling for this chakra, here’s a meditation to try. Sit in a chair a comfortable position, with back straight, feet firmly planted and your hands resting palm up on your thighs. Now start to breathe into the belly, slowly, deeply and rhythmically. On each inhale, imagine a beam of white light entering the crown of your head from above and traveling down to your heart. Then on each exhale, imagine pushing or sending that light out from your heart and down your arms into your hands. After a while you may start to notice heat, or a tingling sensation in your palms. You’ve just connected with your crown chakra and used it to move energy through your body.

We could all benefit from examining our beliefs about dying. So next time you have an orgasm, let go as completely as possible, of body, mind and emotions. Simply do nothing, be nothing, and make friends with that timeless, weightless feeling. This post-orgasmic ‘little death’ is actually as close as we can get to an after-death experience while still alive.

If we can make peace with the inevitability of death, we can bring greater meaning to our time on this planet. Because, after all, it’s only in the face of our own death that we can really know and celebrate life.

In love and light,


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