Often we mislabel our hunger for more as being greedy. We shame ourselves for wanting “too much” food, sex, money, etc. Shaming our hunger does nothing beneficial in our personal growth. For example, our sexual appetitive is a natural, important, and good thing. Wanting more in the bedroom, in our relationships, in our lives, all of it is a good thing. The insatiability of greed is merely a by-product of refusing to receive what has already been given. What is being given in the present moment, including pleasure, love, and attention needs to be received.
This greed is what author Ken Mcleod labels in Wake Up to Your Life as “The Hungry Ghost.” Unlike our natural appetite, the hunger of The Hungry Ghost can never be gratified. We all have an inner Hungry Ghost. It is the insatiable part of us. When the Hungry Ghost is activated it twists the lens of our perception so that otherwise pleasurable things become objects of disdain. We cast a judgment that what is present is not good enough.
When my Hungry Ghost disrupted the bedroom it felt like a sudden switch in perception that everything my partner was doing was not good enough. Ironically, I masked my own greed and block to receiving pleasure with higher ideals of awakened sexuality. He was not surrendered enough, vulnerable enough, and connected enough.
Although this was my personal experience, often with clients I see some version of comparing their partners with an ideal image of whom they think their partner should be. This can be sexually and non-sexually because any degree of disappointment in our partners influences our ability to have good sex.
What I discovered in my experience was the cyclic behavior of my Hungry Ghost to kick in when I am feeling overly vulnerable, the intimacy in a relationship has increased, and I default into sabotaging my desires under the pretense that I can’t have what I want. Fear is at the root of the Hungry Ghost. Mine was activated after I moved in with my partner and the intimacy skyrocketed. I was scared of the commitment and this influenced our sex.
Upon recognizing what was happening, I was able to release my greed. The passionate sex was turned back on with my partner. I discovered what was available in sex with my partner was much more than enough. I had gotten scared and wasn’t allowing myself to feel the pleasure and enjoyment of what was already there. If there was something specific I wanted I voiced my desire without needing to make anything else wrong. In fact, it evolved into the hottest sex of my life.
The Hungry-Ghost is identifiable in the bedroom when leaning towards two different extremes: lots of insatiable sex with little to no gratification, or little to no sex at all. These are two sides to the same coin.
Here is a list of tips that helped me find healing with my greed and increase the pleasure in my sex.
I Created a Relationship With My Hungry Ghost:
Creating a relationship with our Hungry Ghost can help build self-awareness. Recognizing that my Hungry Ghost was activated in past relationships when intimacy increased helped me to discover what triggered my greed. I began to meditate on my Hungry Ghost to better understand it. I ask myself these questions:
- Am I coming from scarcity or abundance?
- What fear is at the root of the greed?
- What does it feel like in my body and what emotions does it trigger?
- How does this show up in the bedroom?
I remembered to approach the Hungry Ghost with more child-like innocence and curiosity than anger or judgment, nothing can truly be understood unless out of love.
I Was Grateful:
Gratitude is the digestion phase of sexual and emotional appetitive. Thankfulness acknowledges the reception of the pleasure that is being given. I began writing a gratitude list in the evening of everything I was grateful for, as a simple way to confirm this digestion was happening. Doing this revealed there is more to be grateful for than I naturally gave recognition. Gratitude is the ultimate medication for the Hungry Ghost. I created this to be a daily mindful practice, including during sex. When I was being given attention, praise, a gift, pleasure etc.; I began to challenge myself to receive with an authentic and meaningful, “Yes I will take in and I am grateful.”
I Gave Back:
I found that my ability to receive strongly correlated with my ability to give. I was a cup that was full and needed to pour out, in order to make room to receive. Finding acts of service weekly or daily that feel enjoyable is a great way to accomplish this. Additionally, giving back looked more like giving up the pieces of myself I had been withholding. Whether it is emotionally or sexually, giving is an extremely vulnerable act. It means allowing ourselves to be seen in the places we are frightened to be. I began letting go of my defenses, games, and manipulation when it was hard to give my vulnerable, soft, and tender truth. Not giving can stop the flow of receiving and result in greediness. This includes our willingness to give ourselves fully in a sexual experience.
I Slowed Down:
The anguish of our Hungry Ghost hijacks us from the present moment into fantasy of something better. Specifically in the bedroom, I slowed down. I asked my partner to slow down and remembered to allow my senses to fully draw in all that was available in touch, taste, sight, and smell. I focused on my breath, what I felt in my body, and what I noticed about my partner. I didn’t move any faster until I felt we both were fully engaged and connected with eachother. Slowing down kills the greed of the Hungry Ghost that wants to block pleasure by moving too fast into sex in pursuit of more heightened sensation.
With the help of the above practices I began feasting on the sensual delight that was formerly inaccessible.
Tips ABout Greed
- Created a Relationship With The Hungry Ghost
- Be Grateful
- Give Back
- Slow Down