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In the introduction to this DVD, Steve and Lokita Carter explain the benefits of breathing as a way of bringing couples together. His has gray hear and round glasses, and is wearing a Hawaiian shirt; she has slightly disheveled brown hair and wears a dark top with a chunky necklace; she has a slightly foreign accent: her biography on their website says she spend many years in Germany, India and Australia, and her accent is a mixture of all these. They sit in front of pink curtains and a table with a vase of red flowers on it. They talk about the sacred experience of everyday life. They go on to explain about the chakras and the seven energy centers of the body. They speak with vigor and often look at each other in the eyes or laugh cheerfully or playfully in response to what the other says; occasionally they look into the camera and open their eyes wide.
In the main part of the DVD, Steve and Lokita sit cross-legged facing each other. He is bare-chested and with some loose pants, while she is wearing a leopard-skin print night dress. First they cast out of their bubble some ideas they do not want, and then they bring in those ideas they want. Steve compliments Lokita, and she does the same for him. Steve gives her a bowl of bliss in his cupped hands, which she pours over herself, and Lokita gives him a golden key to her heart -- both of these are imaginary. They honor each other for their great qualities. They go on to do away with their inhibitions by playing The Lion's Game, in which they roar at each other like lions until they start laughing. They are then ready to do some Chakra Breathing, which involves escalating levels of heavy breathing together, while moving their bodies in a sort of dance. Now they are ready to harmonize their rhythms, so they sit back down again facing each other, and breathe in together at the same time, squeezing their pelvic muscles, moving their bodies toward each other. They continue this, sharing their sexual energy, through breathing. Finally, they press their bodies together as she climbs onto his lap.
Steve and Lokita have a sense of fun while they demonstrate these exercises, but also take it quite seriously. They certainly believe in the ideas of the energy centers and the power of breath to move their sexual energies. They refer to each other's genitals as his thunderbolt and her lotus bow, which seems a little coy. But their manner is pleasant and enthusiastic, and one could hardly ask for more from people demonstrating such techniques.
I can't say whether these exercises work, and I can hardly imaging taking them seriously myself. Clearly, I'm not well suited to them, at least at this point in my life. Watching the DVD provoked in me a sense of embarrassment and jokiness, and Steve and Lokita reminded me of a Saturday Night Live skit. My reaction to the DVD reminded me of Louis Theroux's reaction to American swingers in his Weird Weekends TV show: a bemused inquisitiveness (unfortunately the show is only available on British DVD). It is tempting to insinuate, as Theroux does about swingers, that the advocates for their views are foolish or charlatans, but that would be uncharitable to Steve and Lokita. Following these exercises is probably helpful to some people, and it is hard to see how they could be harmful, even if they may be a silly waste of time. There's no denying that they are entertaining.
Link: Institute for Ecstatic Living
© 2007 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.
Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.
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