SANTA ROSA, CA (July 14, 2022) – Research into the benefits of meditation for reducing stress and increasing relaxation has been conducted for several decades, yet little attention has been paid to how meditation may foster states of life-awareness and vitality, as well as personal strength and even resilience.
Through the established practice of Orgasmic Meditation (OM), researchers are investigating new aspects of the very questions that have been asked of meditation not just for decades, but for centuries.
OM is a partnered meditation, done in a repeatable way, where one person stimulates the clitoris of another person for 15 minutes in a prescribed manner.
OM applies attention in a similar manner to sitting meditation, but instead of the focus of the practice being limited to an individual experience of the breath or even a mantra, attention is applied to the genitals — specifically the female genitals. In this way, OM enables partners to have a meditation experience that is connected. The aim of OM is to expand both practitioners’ capacity to feel and achieve a focused state of presence, in even high-arousal experiences, in tandem.
In a recent self-report study involving 780 OM practitioners, more than 60 percent of participants reported reaching “mystical experiences” during a past OM session.
A follow-up study found that 23 percent of practitioners attained a “mystical experience” in their most recent session, with a strong correlation between partners, suggesting OM participants may share similar aspects of the experience in a quantifiable way.
Additionally, recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies conducted at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University have found significant changes in the brain function of OM session participants – changes that appear similar to those observed during meditations that involve an intense focus or genital stimulation. This study of 20 pairs of OM meditators used fMRI technology to measure the changes in functional connectivity between brain regions during the OM practice, compared with a control situation (or, a “neutral” state).
The paper detailing the fMRI-observed results noted that participants of OM often report emotional feelings of “intense spiritual experience,” “connection” and “oneness.”
Brain activity changes observed in this study included:
- Frontal lobe changes that have been observed in other meditation practices that involve intense focus as well as a sense of release or flow.
- Parietal lobe changes, an area of the brain involved in the spatial representation of the self, and associated with feelings of oneness and connectedness during spiritual practices.
- Temporal lobe changes that included the emotional centers of the limbic system, which have been observed to be affected during meditation practices as well as genital stimulation.
"This is … a very unique practice," says Andrew Newberg, MD, lead author on the study, research director of the Department of Integrative Medicine and Nutritional Sciences, and director of the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University. “Recent studies suggest the possibility of an important link between sexuality and spirituality. It should be no surprise that there is such a relationship since both sexual and spiritual experiences can be referred to as ‘ecstatic’ and spiritual traditions have long struggled with the potential problems and benefits of the sexual human being.”
The fMRI study was first published in Frontiers of Psychology:
To learn more about the practice of Orgasmic Meditation, please visit iomfoundation.org.
The Institute of OM Foundation
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