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An interview with David Deida by Charley Cropley in the Boulder Weekly

David Deida must have the biggest balls in contemporary spirituality.” So writes Vijay Rana in the Watkins Review.David Deida Known internationally for his unique workshops on spiritual growth and sacred intimacy, Deida has designed and developed a remarkably effective program of transformative practices that addresses spiritual awakening in mind, body, and heart.David teaches and embodies a fully sexual spirituality which integrates our lowest sensual lusts and fears with our highest yearning for the Divine. He demonstrates and invites a level of personal mastery that seems almost unattainable, yet compelling, necessary, and practical. He is intensely alive, outrageously funny, and unwaveringly devoted to his purpose: fully embodying love.

David exemplifies what it is to be a fearless, fully human lover. When you engage David personally you are taking a risk. He has but one commitment and that is to open you to love NO MATTER WHAT.

Ken Wilber, Marianne Williamson, and a host of other “spiritual” celebrities acclaim David Deida to be one of the most insightful and provocative spiritual teachers of our time. He continues to revolutionize the way that men and women grow spiritually and sexually. His teaching and writing on a radically practical spirituality have been hailed as among the most original and authentic contributions to personal and spiritual growth currently available.

In his inspiring and challenging workshops David offers a unique and effective program of transformative practices that fully addresses spiritual awakening in mind, body, and heart. He is a founding associate of Integral Institute and has taught and conducted research at five different universities and colleges. He is the author of hundreds of essays, audiotapes, books, videotapes, and articles.

HYGEIA Let me get right to it. Many people’s experience of being with you is they find it frightening.

DEIDA Laughter Why?

HYGEIA Obviously because they are afraid you are going to ask them to face their fears which you do, both in your workshops as well as by giving them incredibly creative assignments.

DEIDA Um hmm. Sometimes that’s necessary, especially if you have to get right to it in a ten minute moment where someone asks a question and you want to point something out.

But another aspect of my work is the healing aspect which comes from the celebration part of it too. So not only do we consider our fears and what is beyond our fears and relaxing into that love, but we celebrate that love. We celebrate the depth of divine truth and love.

HYGEIA I don’t think anyone would deny that your celebration of love is open, free and intense.

DEIDA In that celebration everyone can also feel where we hold back from celebrating. I mean authentic celebration, the celebration of life of offering your heart through your whole body and mind as a celebration.

HYGEIA So you’re suggesting that in addition to considering one’s relationship, i.e. pondering our difficulties and what causes them and what we can do to improve, that it is equally important that we practice the art of celebrating our love.

DEIDA Exactly. What would happen for every hour that a person spent fully investigated in the consideration of love, specifically “how do you give love, how do you withhold it, the mechanics”; you spent equal time celebrating love, the love that you would be otherwise waiting for from others so you could open? Imagine you just took it on like you took on a yoga practice, for one hour, no matter what your partner does, you are going to practice love in the most sensitive but creative way with her. What if you practiced that kind of celebration in all of your relationships?

HYGEIA Can you talk about the masculine way of giving and receiving love?

DEIDA Sure, as a man grows spiritually both his intimate relationship and his career become less and less for personal gain or pleasure and more an expression of love. The masculine penetrates both his woman sexually as well as the world through his work both as expressions of his love.

HYGEIA Interesting. You’re saying that entering your woman and entering fully into the world can be viewed as forms of intercourse, one sexual and the other worldly.

DEIDA Yes. Doubt and uncertainty cause men to “go limp” or they hold back out of fear. In order to penetrate the chaos and closure of the world and his woman with his love a man must develop sensitivity, spontaneity and a deep connection to truth.

HYGEIA You can’t fool Her. She wants to know that your love is real.

DEIDA Right. They know when you are just dicking around. If you sheepishly penetrate them to gratify your own needs, your woman and the world will feel your lack of dedication. If you are tentative, unclear, doubting then you find that they distract you, suck your energy and draw you into endless complications.

HYGEIA How is the feminine expression of sexuality and spirituality different?

DEIDA Whereas for the masculine his purpose in life is dominant, for the feminine, nothing is more important than love. Sex is one place where you discover just how open are your body and heart.

HYGEIA Meaning that as a woman actually makes love, if she closes her body and heart to some degree she is closing down the flow of divine love?

DEIDA Yes. It is easy to practice surrendering as love in the ways you find comfortable. But you should practice flowing with the energy of love that you most resist. If you are comfortable giving tender motherly love but resistant to humping your man like a drunken slut, then you have more to learn in the art of transmitting love and light.

HYGEIA This is truly embodying love, not just feeling the emotions or thinking or talking about it. You are saying that spiritual growth for a woman means, among other things, growing in your capacity to flow energy and love through your body;

DEIDA Yes, you learn to flow with every possible energy, savage and pristine, motherly and witch-like, bitchy and saintly. To love this big, you must be willing to feel every possible emotion… whether you like it or not.

HYGEIA Describe the three stages of masculine feminine relationships.

DEIDA First, my use “of masculine and feminine” refers not to gender but to sexual “essence”. So these principles apply equally to gay, lesbian and all types of intimate relationships. Stage one we could describe as the stereotype macho jerk and submissive housewife. Each is selfishly seeking their own pleasure and fulfillment with little regard for the other and disagreements are dealt with through force and manipulation.

HYGEIA The pain and conflict of stage one move couples to learn how to communicate better; developing listening skills, setting barriers, keeping your word etc.

DEIDA All of which are valuable and necessary. Also as women grow into second stage, they tend to become more decisive and self-directed and men tend to become more sensitive, learn to feel their feelings, explore music, dance, nature. Women enjoy their independence and careers. Men enjoy their capacity to let go and allow things to be without effort. Women become more purposeful and success oriented. Men become more radiant and sensually alive.

HYGEIA So in stage two men and women become more independent by men developing their feminine side and women their masculine. They also become more alike.

DEIDA Exactly. There is not the dramatic attraction and repulsion there was in stage one. Often this may lead to sexual neutralization and spiritual stagnation. Women can become hardened and men can lose their edge. Stage two spiritually oriented people often become stiffened women and spineless men–very efficient and quite safe, but their sexual and spiritual passion screams for satisfaction.

HYGEIA You are describing many of the relationships in Boulder.

DEIDA Correct. One big missing piece in stage two is that occasionally, women want to be ravished by a dangerously loving man of strength and integrity. And men want to be invited into pleasure by a sultry slut with a deep and open heart.

HYGEIA These longings are our very nature and must be fulfilled.

DEIDA Of course. If you suppress the darker, more wicked textures of love, then your sexuality becomes tepid. And the same is true spiritually: unless you can really “do it” with the divine, your spiritual heart begins to starve.

HYGEIA Say more.

DEIDA Without knowing the ever-present edge of death a man can become a sexual and spiritual wimp. The sensitive, stage two man must now grow to risk everything for the sake of love. He realizes that he must discover and live his deepest purpose in life or die a mediocre fizzle. He can no longer tolerate bullshit, his own or his lady’s.

HYGEIA And women?

DEIDA A woman’s heart desires passionate communion more deeply than the competent independence of stage two. If she is honest she’ll admit constant self-protection and self-sufficiency is stressful, boring, and unfulfilling. She must allow and actively invite deep, forceful, blissful penetration–spiritually and sexually. Welcome to stage three.

HYGEIA What are you most passionate about now David?

DEIDA I am most passionate about bringing people together in circumstances that permit further growth in a free spirit of consideration and practice. I am hosting an ongoing global consideration and celebration which I am calling The Symposium.

It involves bringing friends and teachers and people who have practiced the sacred arts together and gathering with people for the purposes of celebration and consideration. Not just a verbal consideration but a whole bodily celebration, a ceremony that takes place through movement, through ecstatic dance, through silence, through meditation, feasting eating, every avenue, every possible aspect of life.

The Symposium is an ongoing global consideration that people can participate in, step out of the daily cycle of life and enter into a sacred space, a sacred occasion, a celebration of profundity whereby they pass through all the limits on love and spiritual practice.

It gives people that opportunity to really do it, to enter into a place where they themselves are transformed, not only by the light that they bring down but by the light of everyone else. If we can’t enter into the Light together, we can never do it alone. The Symposium is a sacred space beyond time and place where human beings gather together. It’s THE great consideration, in praise of Divine Love. That’s The Symposium. A place to be intoxicated by the profundities and mysteries of spiritual and human life. Truly.

HYGEIA Its contagious!

DEIDA Its absolutely contagious. Laughter. We live in a troubled time. The fear factor is so great that the most ordinary processes, how to breathe, how to walk, these things have to be relearned because of the fear factor. It’s so dominant everywhere. But no man has any resistance to love and truth once he’s really tasted it. But he has to get a feeling for the sacred way of life.

We all, men and women, have to come to a greater understanding in which we see that love and wisdom really are our primary obligations in this life.

Providing a culture of forums in which such an opportunity for celebration and consideration exists is what the Symposium is about. Realizing that culture is what you do every day, then how do those of us living in this unique era of human hisrory transform life into sacred culture? The symposium gatherings are about how to do just that. How to make sacred culture out of ordinary life. How can we help one another do this?

HYGEIA That’s beautiful. Life itself is sacred and everything in it lived rightly works together and is absolutely necessary.

DEIDA Yes. Restoring the sacred, the mystery to human existence is the focus of the Symposium gatherings I am hosting.

Think of everything that is now known by the collective of humanity and ask yourself how much more loving has it made anybody? If mere knowledge or more experience was the cure to what ails us then we’d have all been enlightened a long time ago.

HYGEIA Yes, nuclear power, television, it all gets subsumed to our greed and our fear.

DEIDA No one is any more loving and our world is not growing any wiser because of it. Just take a look at the world as it is. Stand still long enough and relax the head and you’ll notice that you are being lived, being breathed, being meditated. That’s the room of the Symposium. That’s the sacred center; coming into that place, staying in that room. That room is inherently full of Light. In that room the knower is transformed into a lover. Its not the knowers that we need it’s the true lovers of wisdom; men and women, who not only understand but whose lives are a living demonstration of love and wisdom.

HYGEIA Sacred words. Thank you.

DEIDA It is my pleasure.

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