Episode 01 The 3 Pillars of Sacred Intimacy

“The way that intimacy works is through revealing, and intimacy gets strengthened when we’re able to know each other’s deep desires, needs, childhood programming, know each other’s deepest fears and wounds. So when we endeavor to expand and deepen our intimacy together, there are very specific practices we can do to know each other better as humans and to know each other as divine beings beneath the human. And when we practice these things pretty consistently, it creates a really beautiful, resonant hum in our love life.” — John Wineland

Today on The Embodied Relationship Experience:

  • Embracing and resonating with intimacy through human recognition
  • Prioritizing the relationship’s welfare and devotion to love
  • Balancing masculine and feminine energies for sexual polarity
  • Continuous practice enhances deeper connections
  • Evaluating relationships and identifying areas for growth

Connect with John:

The way that intimacy works is through revealing and intimacy gets strengthened when we’re able to know each other’s deep desires, needs childhood programming, know each other’s deepest fears and wounds. So when we endeavor to expand and deepen our intimacy together, there are very specific practices we can do to know each other better as humans and to know each other as divine beings beneath the human. And when we practice these things pretty consistently, it creates a really beautiful resonant hum in our love life. You are listening to the Embodied Relationship, experience Plumbing, the depths of the human heart at the intersection of desire, spiritual practice, and sexual clarity. I’m your host, John Wyman.

Hello. Welcome to the Embodied Relationship Experience. I am your host, John Weinland. This is the first episode. So I am incredibly excited because I’ve wanted to do a bit more of a long form presentation of ideas and concepts, and of course have some guests and do some q and a asking me anything. And just really wanted a little more space to be able to deliver content above and beyond Instagram. So I’m really excited that this is our first podcast. And being that it is the first, I thought I would start with a framework that I use that is my framework for sacred intimacy. And as we go through this framework, I’m going to invite you to kind of check yourself. Where would you find yourself on a scale of one to 10 in each of these, what I call pillars? And there’s three pillars of sacred intimacy, and you can pretty much break down.

Every relationship that is struggling is that one of these pillars is not being met, practiced, embodied, et cetera. So I want to go through each pillar. There’s three of ’em. The three pillars of sacred intimacy are number one, intimacy, which I will define more. Number two, devotion to love, love itself, like love itself as a entity, as a flow, all of those things. And the third pillar is sexual clarity, which I will define more of as we go along. But I really wanted to jump into this framework because I think it’s really helpful for any of us to, and it doesn’t really matter, this is hetero relationship, same sex relationships, any sort of intimate relationship. These three pillars still carry a lot of value. So I want to start with this framework and then as we go through the following months, I’ll expand and I’ll just kind of keep pulling threads on various practices and principles of sacred intimacy and invite you into what I hope will be an embodied exploration of your own intimacies.

As I said, there are three pillars to sacred intimacy, and the first one is simply intimacy, which we could divine as a sort of sameness, like a recognition of oneness, of sameness, of humanness, of divine nature, of consciousness, of light. And so when we think about intimacy, we’re really talking about it’s a little bit more of a resonant seeing of each other, like really seeing and loving and being able to receive all of somebody. So the way that this way that intimacy works is through revealing and intimacy gets strengthened when we’re able to know each other’s deep desires, know each other’s needs, know each other’s childhood programming, know each other’s deepest fears and wounds. So all of this humanness, this same humanness, this what we can relate to in our partners, even though we’re not obviously having the same experience. That is the practice of intimacy, at least one practice, a couple more.

So having spaces where this kind of stuff is practiced, where just human recognition and human acceptance and human being witnessed as a human that creates and strengthens intimacy. So I would ask you, how well are you doing that in your relationship? I know when I’m struggling in my relationship, it’s usually because there’s some breach in our capacity to see each other is flawed, but beautiful humans. So first question, just take a look. Scale of one to 10, how revealed are each of you to each other? And we’ll get into what accepting that is, but really just being able to share fears, for example, that’s a really simple and easy intimacy. Practice. Share desires, listen to each other’s desires for the relationship. That’s a really beautiful way to massage this human component together. And as we do more and more of that, our hearts, our nervous systems become resonant, become literally we start to hum in the same way when we’re in that really beautiful space of being revealed as who we are and being accepted obviously as who we are.

And so intimacy is the practice. One component of it is the practice of recognizing each other’s sameness as human beings. There’s another piece to intimacy which looks beyond the human that looks deeper. If you’re staring into your partner’s eyes, you can see the surface of them. You see who they are, their body, their emotional body, their sort of unique come. But as you look deeper, you’ll start to feel parts of them that are, for lack of a better word, divine and being able to soul gaze, so to speak, where you’re recognizing love, loving love, as my teacher used to say. And you’re recognizing consciousness and love in each other. You’re recognizing the divine, unchanging, beautiful essence of them. And in that recognition, it’s the very deep sameness. It’s a sameness that says we are one and we are two bodies in one heart. We are two bodies, one consciousness really being able to enter those states.

And so those things are usually accessed by things like eye gazing or synchronizing breath. That’s a beautiful way to cultivate an intimate moment is to synchronize your breath with each other. And if you’re doing that while eye gazing, that is a very deep start for soul gazing and just continuing to look deeper and deeper until you see the stars in her eyes and until you see the vast sky or desert in his eyes, it’s of course a practice like virtually everything I’m going to be talking about in this podcast. These things are practices. They’re not meant to be mastered quickly. They’re filled with failure and recommitment, especially when we start getting into the second pillar and they are like gestures towards I think is a good way I like to describe them. They’re just an incremental movement towards deeper and deeper practice. So when we endeavor to expand and deepen our intimacy together, there are very specific practices we can do to know each other better as humans and very specific practices we can do to know each other as divine beings beneath the human.

And when we practice these things pretty consistently, it creates a really beautiful resonant hum in our love life. The second pillar of sacred intimacy, I would call devotion to love. Devotion to love itself over our oftentimes personal and more self-interested needs and devotion to love itself is probably where the rubber I think meets the road in so many relationships. This has certainly been my experience. It’s relatively easy to cultivate intimacy. I just gave you a few practices to do that. It’s relatively easy once you know the formulas and the practices and the yoga of it to create sexual polarity. But being able to continually return to a devotion to love itself above and beyond you as individuals above and beyond the relationship per se. This is about you being willing to do whatever it takes to move the relationship even deeper state and flow of love.

And there’s many, many, many ways to do this. There’s no right or wrong way per se, but there is a gesture towards that. Usually involves things like creativity, openness, acceptance, empathy, just all kinds of gestures towards moving the relationship closer to love. Now we’ve all had this experience where humming along, sailing along in our relationship and all of a sudden disharmony rears its head. And in disharmony, there’s all of these, usually these things in between you in the space between you seems empty, but there’s possibly resentments, there’s possibly judgments, there’s possibly unmet needs. There’s all kinds of stuff that it will often just cloud the relationship field between two people. And so devotion to love in one essence means that we’re going to kind of continually clear that field so that the flow of love is just kind of constantly getting refreshed, I guess would be a good way to say it.

So devotion to the flow of love could take many different shapes in some moments, in some relationships. It could be taking space so that each of you can kind of ground and return to yourself. It could be bringing play and laughter and playfulness to a specific moment that’s getting quite heavy. It could mean, and I think it really does include all sorts of practices of intimate communication that the communication that reveals things to each other, but also requests that you love the other person’s experience as best you can. So a devotion to love, really, this is hard. This is really hard. A devotion to love means I’m going to love their experience and understand and witness their experience as best I can. I’m going to open my heart to their experience rather than do things like be right and rather than devotion to whatever our ego is wanting us to have.

So devotion to love is this constant kind of leaning in oftentimes when you want to die, leaning in and being playful, leaning in and being vulnerable, leaning in and holding space for each other’s feelings, leaning in and creating a culture of open, honest, truthful communication that’s met with compassion. So the second pillar about devotion to love is one where we’re really kind of pressing up against our patterns and our childhood wounds. And it’s because we’re devotional to something beyond our childhood patterning and wounds that things expand, right? When we’re in a moment with our partners and we’re like, I do not understand how they could feel that way. I do not understand how they could think that. I do not understand how they could do that, right? Those are moments where your intention to move your relationship closer into the flow of love or back oftentimes into the flow of love will be a unique and creative endeavor for all of you.

Another way I think you can look at this sort of devotion to each other’s nervous systems and devotion to love itself. It’s kind of accepted that when there’s a flow of love happening, everybody’s nervous system is sort of smoothed out. And so sometimes devoting ourselves to somebody else’s nervous system rather than just focusing on our own will help move a moment back into a deeper flow of love. So for example, if you’re sitting in front of your partner and they’re angry and they’re kind of giving you a list of things that they want you to do differently, maybe you put your hands on their legs, maybe you try to lower your voice so that relaxes their nervous system. Maybe you do some deep breathing and just bring breath to the space. Maybe you give some kind words like, I’m with you here. I want to hear what’s important to you.

You try to give words of affirmation, you try to give words of safety. So putting hands on somebody when they’re triggered in speaking differently, trying to breathe differently, softening your gaze. All of these things are ways to kind of nudge to be the first one. This is what often fucks people up. I’m not going to go first, but if you’re devoted to love above all the other fucking noise that happens in a relationship, then you go first because you’re devoted to love. So this second pillar is what I consider probably the deepest spiritual practice in all three of these pillars. It is a constant self-reflective, refining, opening, bringing your very best commitment to love to the relationship, and then knowing your partner enough to know what helps them return to love, not necessarily what you would want, might not be the same for them. In fact, in my relationship, it’s absolutely different.

So it’s important that we’re clear about what helps to move our partner back to love, what helps to move the moment back to love? What do we have to do also for ourself to open our hearts and be with the deepest, most vulnerable truth of love that exists in the moment. So these are all pretty important practices of relational mindfulness, of relational embodied awareness. And these things don’t just happen. They need to be cultivated. Just like any great awareness skill like we’re really talking about in this pillar is we’re talking about expanding our awareness to the space into our own hearts, into the hearts of our partners, the bodies of our partners, and we’re also talking about expanding our capacity to express, to communicate all of those things that are really important. There’s a final piece I think about in this second pillar that I think is really quite powerful, and that is owning what your own work is.

So what do you need to do to heal yourself, your body, your nervous system so that you can be more of an agent, let’s call it for love, so you could be more of an agent for the devotion to love. Do you have anger issues to work with? Are you reactive in a certain way? Is there some childhood wounding that needs a little attention? Are there addictions that keep you from being in the flow of love? Are there other patterns and distractions? And do you scroll all the time? When your partner’s next to you, what is it that you personally are doing to make yourself a better agent and a better transmission of this devotion to love itself? And that personal piece, it’s not all relationship, right? The relationship is just going to be as strong and as deep and as healthy as the two people who are in it and the work that they do, both individually and then in relationship is all part of this devotion to love itself.

To recap, the second pillar is about devotion, to love itself, devotion to what? Liberates more love in a moment versus what we’re kind of fixated on for our own needs. Devotion to being able to fully share truths and hold others’ truths, devotion to anything, anything, whether it’s play, whether it’s depth, whether it’s radical responsibility, whether it’s intimate communication, whether it’s physical affection, whether it’s taking a walk together, whether it’s putting on a certain song, whether it’s pouring each other, a glass of wine, whatever is just, we’ll take the moment a little bit closer and deeper into the flow of love, devotion to that, that intention is an incredibly powerful pillar that is a lifelong endeavor, again, of failure and recommitment. I really want that to land because this particular piece, we’re revealing our ugliest, nastiest bits to each other. We’re showing each other and holding each other in the deepest, most reactive wounds that we carry.

And so we’re going to fail, we’re going to fall. But failure and recommitment to step up to own where you may have been hurtful to your partner’s nervous system to own the impact of your sharp words or your stupid behaviors on your partner’s nervous system, stepping up to really own it and make apologies where necessary and make commitments to try to shift things. Those are all huge pieces of being devotional to the deeper, more expansive, more spacious flow of love in the relationship space, in the relationship field. The third pillar of sacred intimacy is sexual clarity, which is the magnification and amplification of one or the other’s masculine traits and essence and feminine traits and essence. So the way this works is that one partner sort of agrees to let go of their masculine and live and embody more in their feminine. And I’ll explain what that means in a bit.

But the other partner now will let go of their feminine, let go of their feminine traits and aspects for the most part, not totally right. We never totally let go of our masculine or feminine, it’s just we actually dial one up and dial one down so the masculine agrees to let go of their feminine. Again, this is gender neutral, partner neutral. You can switch, it could be same sex couples, it doesn’t matter. So we have one partner embodying and identifying more with their feminine. So what is that? I think we all have some basic ideas, but I’ll give a framework that you can hold loosely and see and take what you like. So the feminine in all of us, in every moment in the universe, in all natural phenomena, is that which is experiencing that part of us that’s experiencing love, sensation, energy flow, openness, heartbreak, desire, pleasure, all of that is the feminine, all of the experiential flowing, changing moment to moment juice and beauty that is the feminine.

So one partner choosing to kind of align their bodies, I guess would be a way to put it, to align their bodies with more juice, more fullness, more flow of love, more energy, you know what I mean? Just all of the things that amplify the experience. So you could say that the feminine partner, whoever that is kind of in charge of amplifying the experience, the masculine on the other hand, will be in charge of deepening the experience. So how does that happen? When you are identified with your masculine, you are more identified with consciousness. You are more identified with the infinite space of awareness through which the experience is being felt, right? You are much more, rather than being full of movement, you’re closer to emptiness and stillness. The masculine is spacious, deep, grounded kind of grounds the moment. So when you have these really beautiful high energy experience and expressions and something grounding that it creates this really beautiful lock you could imagine yin and yang, but it’s much deeper.

It’s much sexier. It’s not just the natural kind of masculine and feminine of nature and of all phenomena. It is that expressed through sex, through love, through sexual intimacy. So as we turn up the magnets on each pole, as the feminine partner kind of relaxes their masculine and turns up the energy, the fullness, the expression, the desire, all of it, the invitation to be ravished, the invitation, the desire to be ravished, all of those things, the more the feminine partner turns that up, and then the more the masculine partner turns up, the part of them that is deep and penetrative and grounded and spacious in awareness, the more this arc of energy between these highly charged poles. So you could think of this as a super magnet. If the poles are only slightly charged, this arc of attraction, this arc of energy is going to be placid.

As you turn up the power of each pole, the strength of each pole, that arc of attraction, that arc of energy just becomes incredibly powerful and it becomes this deep flow of love, desire, openness, expression, all of these things like cosmic penetration, cosmic invitation. It’s energetic, it’s physical, it’s all the things. We can just have physical sex, which we all know how to do and feels good, and nothing really wrong with that. But when we want to deepen the experience and when we want to amplify, what we’re looking for here is a deeply charged and juicy experience that’s being held in depth. When you do that, then you’re in rarefied air of being able to make left. And so what are the practices of masculine, feminine, sexual clarity? Well, they involve embodying these various traits, embodying the traits of the feminine, this fullness, this expression, this desire, this invitation.

And then the other partner, the masculine partner, embodying meaning make real through the body, make felt through the body, fill every cell with consciousness, fill every cell with grounded, expansive awareness, become the embodiment of those ways, that textures of being, of those ways, of those beautiful sort of infinite elements. So what we’re doing is we’re taking our bodies and we’re turning up those poles by embodying the traits of the masculine deep masculine, totally expressed feminine. And those embodiment practices our practices. It’s one of the reasons why I have sort of as a companion to this podcast, I should mention it now. I have this really beautiful platform with thousands of hours of content from workshops and practices and breath work and all kinds of movement work for both masculine and feminine. Because embodiment practice is different. It’s a different animal. It’s not yoga, it’s not working out, it’s not breath work.

It’s some beautiful amalgam of all things expressed and amplified and deepened through the human body, part shape, shifting part, allowing the flow of love and consciousness to be transmitted through our eyes, through our breath, through our sounds, through our hearts, through our bodies. That takes time and effort to learn how to train your body to do that, right? Most of us are just taught, Hey, you show up for sex, you get turned on. Nature takes care of the rest. And that’s true when all we were hunting for was procreation. But we’re obviously in a place that it’s not just about procreation, it’s about deeper spiritual experiences, deeper knowings of love, deeper expressions of parts of ourselves that maybe we haven’t fully let out. And so the desire for sex now has gone beyond just making children and getting off. I mean, of course there’s plenty of people who are still in those two camps, and I’m not dissing those camps.

It’s just not the deepest camp. But when you take all of those things, when you take, you don’t have to get rid of them, but just start to feel what it’s like to have sex beyond those things, to have sex, that is meant, the devotion to love piece is what’s more important than getting off piece. And so there might be different things that happen in the sexual arena as we become more and more practiced and become more and more capable of moving these infinite kinds of energies. Well, on the feminine side, it’s experience. The feminine is experience. So there’s an infinite amount of experience that can happen through the feminine as the feminine. Everything from deep grief to deep rage to deep turn on to. So it’s infinite. On the masculine side, it’s much more simple. It’s about consciousness, it’s about awareness. It’s about grounded depth in the body, right?

There’s not a lot of thought. There’s aliveness and sensation, but there’s not a lot of movement of thought, and there’s not a lot of deep expression of like if the masculine partner was making a bunch of sounds and moving a lot, that’s not going to hold the pole, right? So the masculine is more still and empty, deep and grounded. The feminine is more fully expressed in movement and sound and dah, dah. When you put those two things together, magic. Now, this is not heteronormative. It should switch even in a same sex couple in a hetero couple, a cisgendered hetero couple. You can switch. The man can absolutely become and should. This is really good practice, should learn how to embody the feminine, should learn how to, and really have it be a deep, deep practice. And the feminine should learn how to ground his consciousness, how to expand into the infinite awareness, how to wrap in consciousness, wrap the moment in consciousness.

And so these things should absolutely shift between partners. Or they might shift in one night, they might shift back and forth. But what we’re going for here in this realm of sexual polarity is the agility and the skillset to be able to kind of just naturally flow out of feminine and into masculine naturally kind of go from stoic, not stoics, not even the right word, more just like empty, spacious, wide into flowing, to go from the sky to the wind, to go from the sky to the storm clouds. And that is a beautiful practice to be able to go back and forth. So sexual clarity is really where we find the juice. Intimacy is where we find the sameness, the closeness, the beauty of really knowing another and having them know you. Devotion to love is where we create safety, where we create safety for deeper and deeper practice.

Sexual polarity is where the magic and the juice comes through in our sexuality. And again, there are dozens and hundreds of practices in the embodied relationship experience platform there. So if you want to dive in, you can, of course, but we’ll talk about other ways to, we’ll start to tease apart these three pillars and just kind of go through different practices for each of them. But I think that for now, I want to leave you with a little inventory now that I’ve given you the definitions and characteristics of these three pillars. Rate yourself in each pillar. Just give yourself a general, how much intimacy do we experience? And if you’re not in relationship, rate yourself on your last relationship and just kind of just get clear, like, oh, okay, where to six, six. And then what would I need to be at a 10? What would I need to start doing more of?

So creating space for more of so that we can go from a six to an eight or a nine, and then check yourself on this devotion to love pillar. How deep on a scale of one to 10 are you practicing together? Do you guys feel you can bring anything to each other and it will be held in love? Do you practice making devotion to each other’s nervous system and devotion to love itself? A central part of your relationship above and beyond tasks and duties of the day? Above and beyond being right above and beyond getting what you want? Sometimes. The funny thing is that when you are devoted to love, you tend to get what you want a lot more. And the third piece, the sexual clarity rates yourself on a scale of one to 10, 10, as you guys are, there’s juice flowing through you at all times.

You’re totally turned on together, you’re totally locked in together. Sure, there’s moments of ebbing and flowing, but in general, you’re on it and on each other. Zero is you don’t want to be in the same room. Zero is there’s just like zero. Could be, let’s call three or four being like roommates, three, four, or five being like roommates, depending on how much you have sex as roommates. But maybe that’s it. And then absolutely just no attraction to each other whatsoever. That would be a zero or a one. So rate yourself on all these things, and then what it would take for you to elevate your score, elevate your experience, because this is all about the embodied relationship. Experience is about the experience of relating through the body. Sounds really simple, right? But that’s what I want to bring to you in this podcast, and I’m really grateful to kick it off. I hope this has been helpful for you, and we will see you next time.

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