If You Want Ecstasy, Put Your Attention On “This”

Hands reaching for each otherOnce upon a time, I thought I had to “do” something to experience more ecstasy in my life — like see more sunsets, or meditate more or better to get “there.” As if ecstasy is something to achieve, like we often think of “achieving” orgasm.

I also once thought I needed to make love in a special way to experience sexual ecstasy. (By the way, I define sexual ecstasy as powerful energy flowing in a dynamic blend of full-body physical bliss, deep emotional connection, and spiritual union.)

But over the years, I’ve discovered that true ecstasy in any situation is like “mainlining” the Divine, which is already within each of us.

And experiencing ecstasy on a regular basis is actually very simple (not necessarily easy, but simple). A subtle internal shift in any moment can enable us to experience more joy and ecstasy. And it’s totally accessible to all of us all the time.

Ecstasy is all about attention to “this” as opposed to “that.” To the here and now, surrendering to this moment. The ecstatic is in the fullness of now. We are where our attention is, so it might as well be “this,” the only moment in which we can possibly experience ecstasy.

In other words, our attention determines our experience. If we aren’t attending to or surrendering to our experience of this moment, we are generally resisting it, often distracting ourselves into “that” or “there” with stories of the past or fantasies of the future.

I speak in terms of “we” and “our,” because I must admit I’m an expert at spinning off into “that,” with my “story.” But with baby steps, I’m bringing my attention back to “this” more and more, and the impact in my life in general is huge. And specifically in my love life, which was already extraordinary, I’ve taken leaps into ecstatic territory I didn’t know existed.

Some common lovemaking situations:

1. Many people have sex in a semi-conscious dreamlike state, at least some of the time. They drift off, absent from the event, borrowing each other’s bodies to have sex.

In doing so, we may become focused and goal-oriented (alone or with a partner), trying to have an orgasm or giving our partner one or more. The rub is, if your attention is on achieving orgasm, then you will experience trying, rather than pleasure and joy (except for the actual brief experience of orgasm, which requires full attention or surrender to “this”).

2. If you are a man trying to hold back ejaculation, you cannot simultaneously connect deeply with your experience or your partner and be aware of the feelings of love and ecstasy, because your attention is on holding back.

Relaxing helps keep you in the moment with no need to put effort into holding back. Breathe deeply into your belly. Put your attention on your lover’s eyes, on the pleasure throughout your body, on your feelings rather than thoughts. Verbally expressing your feelings while looking into your lover’s eyes can also bring you into this moment.

3. If you’re concerned about how you look to your lover, or whether you’re doing something right, you will experience concern rather than rapture. If you’re fantasizing about being somewhere else (or with someone else) to get to orgasm, you will not be with your lover or yourself, and you won’t experience true delight.

4. If your attention is on trying a new position or technique, you will be experiencing the technique or position, but not ecstasy.

It’s a fine line here. If you are “in the moment” and fully experiencing ecstatic lovemaking, new positions or techniques may occur naturally, without any agenda. Some may work out, bringing you and your partner more pleasure, and some may not. That’s OK, just keep experiencing all of it fully, and something else will unfold.

Here’s a little trick I sometimes use if I find my attention wandering to “that”…

I ask myself, “What if I knew this was the last day of my life?” Or, “What if this was the last time I would ever be with my lover?” Wouldn’t I want to experience it as fully as possible? I know this is thinking, but this kind of question helps me get out of my head and back into fully experiencing my partner, my senses, my emotions.

Thinking is the antithesis of sexual ecstasy, and being mentally oriented, I’m the worst offender. But I’ve learned by fire that the more my attention is with the enjoyment, my present-time feelings, sensations and connection, the joy of my partner’s pleasure, the more I experience ecstasy, and the less thoughts are able to intrude.

Conscious breathing can help you get started, but if you go this route, then allow your awareness of your breathing to fade into the background. In this way, it can support your attention and your surrender to the ecstasy of “this” without drawing attention away from it.

If you find yourself thinking about anything, simply and gently redirect your attention to the love and pleasure. Without the fuel of attention, thoughts can drift away and evaporate, like wispy clouds.

Enjoy the love dance. If we chase sexual ecstasy, we’ll never experience it, because then our attention is on the chase and not on the experience. If our attention is any place other than “this,” the richness and joy of the present moment, we can’t experience true ecstasy. So I suggest we all master our attention!

7 Responses to “If You Want Ecstasy, Put Your Attention On “This””

  1. Tim Frame says:

    I’ve often thought how odd that we call or imagine it “making” love, rather than innately allowing, discovering, embracing, sharing and surrendering to love that we already are.

  2. Lion Goodman says:

    Thank you, Ellen. You remind me that this full experience of ecstasy and bliss is available in every moment, whether I’m making love, meditating, writing an essay, watching a movie, eating a meal, alone or together, sitting still or engaging in activity. It’s all available, right here, now, where we already are. Kindling the fire of love and sexuality is icing on the already sweet and fulfilling cake of being alive!

  3. Mary says:

    Thank you. I needed to be reminded of this. I sometimes find of so hard to get out of my own head.

  4. Jim Greene says:

    Ellen, you show such remarkable insight and wisdom. You are an amazing woman — so feminine and so together. I should not say so but as a man, my asperation is to experience sexual intimacy with a woman like you on a level that would be ecstacy for you. I have so much to give but no one to appreciate it as you would. I read everything about relationships I find on line and elsewhere and I am obligated to tell you yours is the absolute best of the best.

    • Shirley says:

      I’d love to experience ecstacy as Ellen has described as well…

      I so relate to your statement … I have believed for many many years that sexual intimacy could be way more than I’ve experienced… just haven’t met any potential partners who see sex beyond the end goal of orgasm..

      Ellen’s work has been the confirmation that I knew was in my heart…

      Maybe we should meet..

  5. H says:

    ThanX sO sO much for clearing up alll itty bitty details of why others weren’t there physically spiritually emotionally or mentally WiTH me!

    • Ellen Eatough says:

      You’re sO welcome! It lights up my day to know this sort of thing is helpful. 🙂

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