Episode 5 John Answers 'Ask Me Anything' Questions

“Sacred intimacy is loving each other and being physically and sexually intimate with each other from the deepest parts of you, from the infinite parts of you, from the part of you that is love eternal, from the parts of you that are infinite consciousness expanding as the cosmos. And once we start to train our bodies to love from those places, a whole new f*cking world of beauty opens up. ” — John Wineland

Today on The Embodied Relationship Experience:

  • How would you describe sacred intimacy and embodiment and a good place to start this practice?
  • What’s John’s best spiritual practice and teacher?
  • Is unconditional love pure consciousness?
  • What would you do if you were into sacred sexuality, but your long-term partner was only interested in hard s&x?
  • How do you encourage your partner to get into this work, whether it’s a man or a woman?
  • How can I feel and hold her expression while addressing the triggers that arise in her?
  • When a safe masculine wants to give me something but I don’t feel safe, how do I transmute that?
  • What are ways to show devotion both to a monk in a monastery and when he’s focused on you?
  • I can’t seem to shake the need for women’s validation. How can I manage the anxiety I feel in relationships?

Connect with John:

Love can be unconditional, but it doesn’t exist unless we’re conscious that it’s unconditional. I don’t think there can be one without the other. You can have unconditional love, you can love somebody unconditionally, and it’s beautiful, but if there’s not a corresponding awareness within us, then we’re not even aware that it’s happening. And that’s pretty much true for all experience. Welcome to the Embodied Relationship Experience Podcast. I am your host, John Weinland. I’ll introduce Jennifer in just a moment. If you are watching on YouTube, please go ahead and like and subscribe, and share the podcast with anybody who you think might benefit. It really helps us with the algorithm. If you are listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or anything else, please rate and review. That will also help get the word out. Sitting to my left is the lovely and wonderful Jennifer Vega. She is my right hand in so many ways and is going to deliver the questions that we took from the audience. So what I’d like to do every few weeks is create a space where I can answer your questions on everything from sacred intimacy to embodiment practice, men’s work, women’s work—anything that is covered in the world of embodiment. And we have a list of questions. Yes, we do. Say hi, Jen.

Hi! Yeah, so we have a list of questions and she’s just going to fire them off, and I’m going to address them one by one. Some of them are kind of similar, but just know that we’re going to do the best we can in about 45 minutes to answer these questions. When we finish answering them, we’ll post it on Instagram and tag all of you that sent in questions. Let’s go—love getting these questions. Let’s rock and roll.

All right, so the first question is: how would you describe sacred intimacy and embodiment, and a good place to start this practice?

Okay, let’s tease those two apart. Let’s start with embodiment. Embodiment is the practice of bringing your awareness into the body. If we think of how we live a good chunk of the time, our awareness is on our thoughts, right? We’re thinking about our thoughts. We bring our awareness to our thoughts so much of the time, and that produces what so many people complain about: “He’s always in his head,” “She’s always in her head,” right? When we can train our awareness to be not just in the body, like feeling my legs or feeling the hair on my forearms, but deeper into the body, into the deep spaces of the body—for example, the root chakra, the perineum, the cervix, the base of the internal penis for a man, the womb, the heart, the deep parts of the heart, the root of the heart, the deep parts of the throat, the back of the throat—when we’re bringing our awareness and our breath to those parts of our body, we are said and felt to be more embodied.

So, that’s one way to think about embodiment. It’s the meditative and yogic practice of bringing your awareness deeper into the wisdom of the body versus just following the thoughts of the mind. Another way to look at it, and this is where it starts to get into advanced practice, is that embodiment is the practice of bringing esoteric textures, energies, archetypes, and concepts through the body and making them real in the body so that you not only feel them, but people around you can feel them. For example, we can say something like “fierce love,” right? There’s this concept of fierce love, loving somebody fiercely. Well, that’s just an esoteric concept, but there are practices and ways for you to fill every cell of your body with fierce love, to be the transmission of fierce love through your body, to be the transmission of devotion, to be the transmission of naughty sexual energy—this could be virtually anything, right? There are so many various textures and ranges, especially for feminine practitioners, from making your body the expression of softly falling snow to an exploding volcano. All these various textures of love—fierce love, grounded love, the wide expanse of love, the sexual flow of love—when we start to think of our bodies as instruments of expression and instruments of love, a whole new world opens up. Not only do we have a deeper, more expressed relationship with our own bodies, but we have more capacity to give love in all its various forms to other people.

That’s embodiment. That was actually longer than I thought it was going to be, but I wanted to cover it well. Sacred intimacy is the practice of intimacy from the spiritual level, and there are a lot of ways to define that. What makes intimacy sacred is that it’s not just relating from the surface. We’re not just relating body to body or mind to mind; we’re relating from deep heart places, from these deeper spots in the body. To be intimate heart-to-heart, or from the deepest parts of our bellies and wombs, or so intimate that our spines are merging or our hearts are merging, or Consciousness and love are in this dance. When we think about sacred intimacy, we’re thinking about the intimacy of depth, the intimacy of our divine natures together—not just our physical bodies or emotional bodies, which are beautiful in the human realm—but sacred intimacy includes not just the physical and emotional experiences of intimacy, but the divine experience of intimacy. It’s when I’m feeling the infinite nature of life through me, and you’re feeling the infinite nature of life through you, and we’re seeing, sexing, and loving each other from that place.

In the framework that I teach and that I’ve learned, there is a divine masculine and divine feminine essence that you can embody, and then love each other from that place. So, an easy way to look at what sacred intimacy is: it’s loving each other and being physically and sexually intimate from the deepest parts of you, from the infinite parts of you, from the part of you that is love eternal, from the parts of you that are infinite Consciousness expanding as the cosmos. Once we start to train our bodies to love from those places—a whole new world of beauty opens up.

Yes, it does. Yes, it does. Okay, what’s next?

All right, so next is about you. People want to know if you have a spiritual practice or a teacher, which I love this. question: Yeah, yeah. So, uh, yes, I have a spiritual practice that I have been doing since I was seven. My mother became a Buddhist when I was seven, my sister was six, and they took us out of Catholic school. My mom said, “Okay, we’re now Buddhists,” and so we learned quite early how to meditate and chant. It’s a practice that I’ve had with me my entire life. Within that, probably my greatest teacher in this work was David Deida. I worked with David for almost 15 years, but I also have trained with quite a few other teachers.

I’ve trained with a teacher who has over 20 years of experience in the shamanic realms, a martial arts Sifu for almost four years, and another man who lives in Kauai—though I don’t even know how to describe what he does, but he’s been an amazing teacher of mine. I’ve also had a teacher in the realm of Neo-Tantra for many years, about 10 years. I have quite a few teachers and I spend a lot of time and money investing in new teachers and new training. I’ve spent quite a bit of money because I consider it my continuing education. Most years, I didn’t last year—last year was the first year I didn’t have an active relationship with a teacher for almost 50 years. I was really just letting life kind of direct me, but I’m starting up again with one of my teachers this year. So yeah, I’m very serious about my continuing education and have done all kinds of trainings in many different spiritual realms—from Toltec shamanism to classic Vipassana and other kinds of classic meditation, to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism from Japan. I’m kind of a spiritual mutt, pulling pieces from many different practices.

When you didn’t have a teacher, you were deeply in your daily practice?

Yeah, I have a daily practice. For those in my programs, it’s not the same every day—it varies, but it’s usually some combination of chanting, yoga, qigong, and meditation. I do a lot of walking meditations. I try to walk for 30 to 40 minutes every morning and do that as a meditation. The first hour or two of my day is some form of meditative, yogic, or movement practice.

I need every minute of it.

Oh, I like this one. Okay, is unconditional love pure consciousness?

That is a heady question, that’s why I like it. Probably from a dude. Some people may have different opinions about this. In the framework of masculine and feminine essences, think of it this way: let’s call it God, although not everyone calls it God. In Buddhism, we call this the Mystic Law. In the Mystic Law, there is the form of energy and the form of consciousness. We could say the pure feminine essence is energy, which is love, and consciousness itself is the part of us that is aware that love exists. Any experience—whether love, pain, joy, or ecstasy—means nothing if we’re not consciously aware of it.

So, an easy way to tease this apart is to think that the masculine spiritual tendency is consciousness—empty, vast, unchanging, infinite consciousness. The feminine experience is the flow of love and devotion. Depending on your tradition, love can be unconditional, but it doesn’t exist unless we’re conscious that it’s unconditional. I don’t think there can be one without the other. You can love somebody unconditionally, and it’s beautiful, but if there’s no corresponding awareness within us, then we’re not even aware that it’s happening. And that’s pretty much true for all experience.

Certain Indian traditions seat consciousness at the center of the heart, and I think that’s a beautiful way to think about it. When you feel into your core heart, when you feel into the part of your heart that is infinite and spacious, it makes sense that consciousness emanates from there. Who knows where consciousness is—it just is. Consciousness has no beginning or end, and love has no beginning or end. It’s not important to understand these concepts intellectually as it is to feel them. Feel pure love, feel pure unconditional love expressed through every cell of the body. That may occur as being awakened, fully removed from thought, and resting as pure consciousness, which men have tried to achieve for tens of thousands of years. It may also occur as blissful openness.

Depending on your spiritual practice, I wouldn’t bind yourself too much over this. Think about the experience of pure consciousness and the experience of pure love over trying to understand them as intellectual concepts.

I like that. Okay, here’s one: what would you do if you were into sacred sexuality, but your long-term partner was just into hard sex?

I’m just going to try to extrapolate a little bit about what’s happening. I think this person is asking if they want a more sacred intimacy, but their partner is more into kind of hard sex. Let’s expand this and get to the heart of the question, which is how can our practice of sacred sexuality evoke in our partner a deeper, more sacred place in them.

For Game of Thrones fans, remember in season one when Daenerys was given to Khal Drogo, who mistreated her and raped her, treating her as a piece of meat. She went to the village elder, the sacred sexual deity of the tribe, and asked what to do. The elder told her to make him see her as love. She went to him, and when he threw her around, she said no, sat on top of him, looked him in the eyes, and opened as love. This deep-hearted connection blossomed into a legendary love affair.

If one partner is committed to being the deep experience of love—masculine or feminine—it will deepen the experience. It’s not an easy practice, but it’s a practice. If there’s a moment where you can put your hand on his chest, make him see you as love, soften your eyes, open your heart, and make him look at you. Being a stand and a demand for your partner’s deep openhearted presence during sex is worth fighting for. A lot of people fall into the habit of just using each other to get off, rather than making love sacred. Holding the pose is staying in it longer than you’re comfortable. Making your partner see you as love might not be a 5-second practice; it might take a minute, two minutes, or 30 minutes. It’s about not tolerating anything less than the deepest love between you.

Is it also about taking a risk, holding the pose, and being with it?

Maybe. Every moment is different. Holding the pose might mean staying in it longer than you’re comfortable until your partner feels your heart so much they can’t just use you to get off. This is a practice worth fighting for, even with people you love. It’s about making love sacred and not just using each other to get off, even if it’s great for stress release.

And it’s great for some oxytocin, but it’s not the deepest thing. It’s actually kind of a shame and a missed opportunity.

All right, what’s next?

We get this question a lot: how do you encourage your partner to get into this work, whether it’s a man or a woman?

Yeah, okay. Most people go about this the wrong way, especially women. Let me speak to the feminine partners first. If you’re primarily feminine-identified and he’s primarily masculine-identified—now you both have both, of course—then whoever is primarily feminine in the relationship is going to care about the relationship more. The masculine-identified partner, whether man or woman, will mainly focus on purpose and freedom, driven by purpose and freedom.

So, if you are the one who’s more into love and you want to call that out of your partner more, the first step is your own personal practice. I get this all the time: rather than asking him or tagging him on a post that I or someone else does, which basically says to him, “You’re not loving me the right way,” you should come do the work and then show him through your body and your practice what it’s doing for you. Start practicing, get on the Embodied Relationship Experience platform, and start doing the feminine practices. Let him feel those practices in you. Start bringing that openness to him, and he will notice.

When he does, you might say, “Hey, I’ve really been digging these practices. Would you want to do one with me?” Step in and invite him from a place of enjoyment rather than from a place of criticism. It’s a huge difference. If he feels you’re enjoying something and it’s making your heart fuller and your body more alive, he’s more likely to join you. You can temporarily lead from a place of pleasure-filled embodied love and invite him to be with you. Our platform makes it easy; it’s free for a few days, and you just push and play a practice together.

David, my teacher, used to give the practice of reading one of his books in bed and, when you read something that feels good, make a little moan or sigh. Let him know you’re enjoying what you’re reading. Chances are, he’ll ask what you’re reading, and you can tell him how sexy or deep it is.

So, there are more artful ways to invite your partner into this work rather than presenting it as a subtle complaint. It involves trial and error, but start with your own practice and let them feel you in it. You become magnetic.

Yes, you do. You absolutely become magnetic. For women, there’s a whole master class on the Embodied Relationship Experience platform about embodying desire. I strongly suggest checking that out if you want to get into the practices.

This actually comes up in some of our intensives: how can I feel and hold her expression while meeting triggers that arise in her?

This is a very consistent challenge for men. Any good masculine practice is about expanding your capacity to hold energy. If the feminine is energy—all experience, the feminine in us, in her, in the world is energy—then good men’s work involves expanding your nervous system and embodied capacity to be with more energy, including your own emotions and hers. It takes practice, especially since it’s the hardest practice to learn: staying open, grounded, responsive, aware, wide-hearted, and loving while the storm is coming at you.

It’s very challenging for men, and women often don’t understand how challenging it is. Women might think they can just express everything, even if it’s mean or wound-dumping, and if he’s a strong man, he should hold it. But that’s not healthy. It’s like expecting a woman to hold a man’s uncontained rage; it’s emotional abuse. A man should not tolerate wound-dumping, character assassination, or meanness. Just as a woman shouldn’t have to hold a man’s uncontained rage, tolerating that from a feminine partner because you’re supposed to hold space is not healthy.

A good masculine practice involves meeting her storm with love, honoring her experience with validation, open-heartedness, and even playfulness. Saying things like, “That makes sense you’d feel that way,” or “I did that, I can see why that would hurt your feelings,” can soothe her nervous system. Owning your actions, validating her feelings, and meeting her with depth is an art and a martial art—it depends on your breath, nervous system capacity, and ability to feel deeper into what she’s really upset about.

Breath is crucial. The deeper and slower your breath, the more you regulate your nervous system. This regulation helps create safety, trust, and can bring someone out of a trauma state. Gentle, kind words of reassurance and validation, and physical touch like placing your hands on her body, can help. Each partner’s nervous system may need different things, so learn what works for your partner.

Okay, you got time for a couple more?

Great. So, when a safe masculine wants to give me something, but I don’t feel safe, how do I transmute that if we grew up in an environment where there wasn’t a safe and trustable masculine presence?

Boy or girl, man or woman, if we grew up with parents—in this case, a masculine-identified human—that wasn’t trustable, wasn’t available, or wasn’t dependable, that imprint will be the original masculine imprint we received. We will be predisposed to see all other masculine beings, especially those that want to get romantic with us, through that lens. Nobody’s wrong; it’s not your fault. It’s just the way our nervous systems work.

Having some awareness about this is crucial. Recognizing that the imprint you have will make you nervous the closer someone gets is a beautiful piece of awareness. Narrating your feelings can be very helpful. For example, you might say, “I know you only want to take care of me, but my heart is fluttering, and I’m feeling all these butterflies. I’m scared you’re going to give me all this love and then leave, or make me trust you and then hurt me.” Narrating these feelings openly can help you articulate what’s going on inside you.

Another much deeper practice is learning to open as love with whatever is coming through. Opening as love with desire, anguish, yearning, or even rage. This is the quintessential feminine practice—to open as love. It’s an embodied practice where you feel love and open as love, like a cosmic flower blooming. As you do this, fear will come up, and you show the fear and open as love. You might feel both fear and love simultaneously. It’s an important part of practice, and we have many practices on the ERE platform that guide you through this process.

I related to that a lot. My practice in what you just described brought me to a place of feeling worthy and being able to receive it, practicing with someone that was trusted.

Right. Feeling unworthy is very common. Men often feel unworthy, and women often feel scared. It’s natural, but the trick is not to let that collapse you. Often, when we focus too much on our fear, our bodies start to cover up. What we’re talking about is staying open—open heart, open chest, deep breath, soft belly—while acknowledging the fear. You might say, “I’m afraid you’re going to hurt me,” but it’s not a collapse. Learning to keep your body upright, open, moving, filled with breath, and openhearted no matter what emotions are moving through is a very deep part of this work.

This is a good one too. What are ways to show devotion both to a monk in a monastery and when he’s focused on you?

I love this question because I think my brothers could use more devotion. I’m always a stand for men receiving more devotion from their partners. Let’s start with the monk. Remember, if he is a monk in a cave, he is seeking God, or whatever he calls God, the Divine. As his feminine partner, be devotional to his seeking of God. Show him in creative ways that you are devoted to his spiritual journey. Greet him warmly, fill your body with devotion to his seeking of the Divine, and practice your own spiritual seeking.

You can even practice energetically by sending him love and energy while he’s away. Practice in the esoteric and energetic realms. It might seem “woo-woo” to some, but you can often feel it. Meet him with your practice, your devotion to the goddess meeting his devotion to God, and come together in love that way.

When he’s focused on you, the masculine loves winning, especially when it comes to loving you well. Men want to provide, make you feel safe, and care for you. Show deep appreciation when he focuses on you. If he feels his efforts are making a difference and bringing you joy, he will be inspired to continue. Appreciate him in a whole-body way. When he does something that feels good to you, amplify your pleasure and gratitude. If you respond to a four, give him an eight. If you think you’re a ten, you’re probably a five to him.

The more masculine identified your partner is, the denser his nervous system, so amplify your responses. This will light up his nervous system and make him want to do more of what pleases you. Practice responsiveness and do the practices on the Embodied Relationship Experience platform to get into this.

Last question. I can’t seem to shake the need for a woman’s validation. I also tend to get anxious in relationships. Help?

On the Embodied Relationship Experience platform, there’s a practice called the Feminine Cleanse—a six-month cleanse where you remove the possibility of relating and exchanging energy with women and create a deeper relationship with men, your purpose, and the great feminine (nature, life, the world). This is where I would start.

Find a great men’s group and stop seeking validation. Practice becoming magnetic. Seeking from a place of hunger and unfulfillment attracts the reciprocal. But if you are full, grounded, and living a fulfilled life, you become magnetic. Take six months to chase the crown, not the queen—focus on self-validation, your mission, your purpose, and deep practice.

Women are looking for men who can love from a place of not needing them, sharing your depth rather than seeking validation. Be so grounded and steady in your own life that you don’t need a woman, but rather share your depth with her.

Thank you so much, John.

Yeah, thank you all for sending in these questions. We look forward to receiving more and having this opportunity to answer them. This is fun. We might even have a live version in the future. We’re here in Mount Shasta for our last teacher training cohort and immersion. The teacher training cohort for next year is now open and over half full. If you’re interested in a deep dive, it’s a year-long program with four deep intensives. The link is below in the description.

Thank you for joining us on the Embodied Relationship Experience Podcast. We’ll see you next time.

 

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