Review: "The Intimate Life"
The Intimate Life: Awakening to the Spiritual Essence in Yourself and Others
By Judith Blackstone, PhD (Sounds True)
For many people, the word “spiritual” suggests something intangible, inaccessible, and perhaps even unreal. For Dr. Judith Blackstone, however, the spiritual is what is most real in us. It’s our basic and true nature ― who we really are beneath the façades with which we usually meet the world. It’s only when we enter the spiritual path that we are on the way to becoming real. Even more, Dr. Blackstone declares that “spiritual realization is synonymous with personal maturity.”
Based in the Hindu system of non-duality (advaita), the Tibetan Buddhist Mahamudra and Dzogchen schools, and in Western psychology and mind/body healing, Dr. Blackstone’s wise and graceful book explores the spiritual essence of sexuality and the ways in which experiencing sex in the awareness of unified consciousness enhances our pleasure, deepens intimacy, and becomes an avenue for our liberation. When we learn to discern the subtle essence of our own being and become attuned to it, we find that we can feel the life force ― the essence of who we are ― in our whole body, and when we do, we can recognize it in all of life. At this point, we know, at a very deep level, that we are not separate from all that’s around us but an integral part of it, fully rooted in all that is.
Dr. Blackstone is a licensed clinical psychotherapist in New York and has been a teacher in the field of contemporary spirituality for more than 30 years. She has created a powerful approach to spiritual awakening that she calls the “Realization Process,” from which she shares 17 innovative relational practices that deepen our ability to relate to an intimate partner fearlessly, ecstatically, and “core to core.” Some of the practices are meant to be done alone, and others are for couples to experience together. All of them stretch our consciousness and help us to let go of old conditioning, experience our unified consciousness, and fully relate to our partner without losing ourselves in the encounter.
“Human beings know instinctively that the ability to love is more valuable than any other type of accomplishment,” she says. “The path of personal and spiritual growth leads to the ability for genuine contact. This is a transformation of our entire organism. The body softens and becomes available for pleasure, the heart opens and becomes available for feeling, and the mind clears and becomes available for understanding.”
Dr. Blackstone teaches us how to meet ourselves and our intimate partner with the whole of our being and to become lovers of all of life.