One of my favorite accounts of sacred sex is contained in the Hua Hu Ching, a little-known collection of teachings attributed (as is much Daoist wisdom) to master Laozi (Lao Tzu). In the Walker translation, which includes material passed down orally, Laozi warns:

    Although most people spend their entire lives following the biological impulse, it is only a tiny portion of our beings. If we remain obsessed with seeds and eggs, we are married to the fertile reproductive valley of the Mysterious Mother but not to her immeasurable heart and all-knowing mind. (p. 83)


If you wish to unite with her heart and mind, you must integrate yin and yang within and refine their fire upward. Then you have the power to merge with the whole being of the Mysterious Mother. This is what is known as true evolution. (p. 83)

He explains further:

The first integration of yin and yang is the union of seed and egg within the womb. The second integration of yin and yang is the sexual union of the mature male and female. Both of these are concerned with flesh and blood, and all that is conceived in this realm must one day disintegrate and pass away. (p. 84)

So far we are on familiar ground, but then Lao Tzu suggests that there is an entirely different experience open to us through union.

It is only the third integration which gives birth to something immortal. . . . The new life created by the final integration is selfaware yet without ego, capable of inhabiting a body yet not attached to it, and guided by wisdom rather than emotion.Whole and virtuous, it can never die. (p. 84)

Lao Tzu advises that this mystical union of yin and yang can be achieved through sexual intercourse.

Because higher and higher unions of yin and yang are necessary for the conception of higher life, some students may be instructed in the art of dual cultivation, in which yin and yang are directly integrated in the tai chi [disciplined practice] of sexual intercourse. . . . If genuine virtue and true mastery come together . . . the practice
can bring about a profound balancing of the student’s gross and subtle energies [otherwise it can have a destructive effect].
(p. 85)


The result of this is improved health, harmonized emotions, the cessation of cravings and impulses, and, at the highest level, the transcendent integration of the entire energy body. (p. 85)

My husband and I have already experienced some of the benefits mentioned as a result of making love frequently and affectionately, without pursuing the overstimulation of sexual satiety. We have noticed definite
improvements in our health, greater emotional balance and harmony, and decreased cravings.

Here are two other sections from the Hua Hu Ching, offering additional pointers.

Section 69

A person’s approach to sexuality is a sign of his level of evolution. Unevolved persons practice ordinary sexual intercourse. Placing all emphasis upon the sexual organs, they neglect the body’s other organs and systems. Whatever physical energy is accumulated is summarily discharged, and the subtle energies are similarly dissipated and disordered. It is a great backward leap. [Laozi presumably knew nothing about neuroscience, but “dissipated and disordered subtle energies” is a surprisingly good description of events in the brain after orgasm.]

For those who aspire to the higher realms of living, there is angelic dual cultivation. Because every portion of the body, mind, and spirit yearns for the integration of yin and yang, angelic intercourse is led by the spirit rather than the sexual organs.

Where ordinary intercourse is effortful, angelic cultivation is calm, relaxed, quiet, and natural. Where ordinary intercourse unites sex organs with sex organs, angelic cultivation unites spirit with spirit, mind with mind, and every cell of one body with every cell of the other body. Culminating not in dissolution but in integration [“not in separation but in merging”?], it is an opportunity for a man and woman to mutually transform and uplift each other into the realm of bliss and wholeness.

Section 70

The cords of passion and desire weave a binding net around you. . . . The trap of duality is tenacious. Bound, rigid, and trapped, you cannot experience liberation.

Through dual cultivation it is possible to unravel the net, soften the rigidity, dismantle the trap. Dissolving your yin energy into the source of universal life, attracting the yang energy from that same source, you leave behind individuality and your life becomes pure nature. Free of ego, living naturally, working virtuously, you become filled with inexhaustible vitality and are liberated forever from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Understand this if nothing else: spiritual freedom and oneness with the Tao are not randomly bestowed gifts, but the rewards of conscious self-transformation and self-evolution.

Other ancient Daoist sex manuals, such as Secrets of the Jade Chamber and The Dangers and Benefits of Intercourse with Women, also refer to the phenomenon of man and woman achieving immortality together through conservation of sexual energy. Dangers and Benefits says it is achieved through a combination of deep penetration, low arousal, and visualizations of energy moving through the body. [Douglas Wile, Art of the Bedchamber (New York: State University of New York Press, 1992): 45, 48.] True Transmission of the Golden Elixir describes a spiritual parthenogenesis, “forming the holy fetus,” dependent upon conserving one’s life force energy. Exposition of Cultivating the True Essence explains that sexual alchemy is only possible when the unstable male sexual energy (1) is aroused without “bursting out,” (2) welcomes the more stable yin energy, and (3) fuses with it. (pp. 8, 50)

This lofty objective of spiritual union between equal partners eroded in later Daoist writings—first into plots for “stealing” the sexual energy of the opposite sex, and more recently into techniques for men and women to produce multiple-orgasms in themselves and each other. In short, even the Daoists haven’t always been able to resist the tug of humanity’s subconscious mating program—perhaps because they lost sight of the gifts of deep emotional bonds between mates. Still, I am very grateful to the Chinese for preserving some of the oldest accounts of controlled intercourse. They confirmed my own experience in surprising ways.

Scholar Douglas Wile, who translated and analyzed numerous early Chinese texts on sex, observed that, “For the Christian, sex is for procreation; for the Chinese orgasm is for procreation, but sex is for pleasure, therapy and salvation.” (p. 70)

As I will share in my next post, early Christians may also have taught that sex was for salvation.

Author's Bio: is a premier wellness site and supportive social network where like-minded individuals can connect and support each others' intentions. Founded by Deepak Chopra's daughter Mallika Chopra, aims to be the most trusted and comprehensive wellness destination featuring a supportive community of members, blogs from top wellness experts and curated online content relating to Personal, Social, Global and Spiritual wellness.