I Became Someone My Daughter is Proud Of

BY MARK ANDEL

Since discovering Orgasmic Meditation at 42, I’ve experienced many openings—the most surprising being a shift toward genuine connection and deeper friendships with men. 

Before I found OM, my 16-year marriage fell apart and I hit bottom. We’d had a shotgun wedding after she got pregnant on our second date, and we were never a good fit. We tried everything to make it work, including marriage counseling, which is why we had two more kids. Toward the end, we opened the relationship in an attempt to spice it up, but we had no clue how to do it right. She loved having an open marriage, but I couldn’t stand it.

To top it off, my career in the IT industry was in peril. My employer was going out of business and the paychecks were dwindling. I was drinking a fifth every night and getting blackout drunk, just to deaden everything.

My friendships with other men had revolved around my job, but our connections barely grazed the surface. If we went out for lunch or an after-work drink, we’d talk shop about cars or whatever new technology was coming out. Even though most of us were married or in relationships, we’d chat about the hot secretary and what she was wearing that day. That’s about as deep and intimate as we got with each other. 

There was even an air of competition to our guy talk. Sometimes we asked about each other’s girlfriend or wife, but we didn’t divulge real details about our lives or inquire further into what was going on with each other. 

After my marriage and my job exploded, I was pretty miserable. There was no silver lining and not much to look forward to. One day, I found myself looking on Meetup for things to do in my area of Los Angeles, just to get out of the house. Orgasmic Meditation came up, and it sounded weird to me, but interesting. I decided to check it out. 

What I enjoyed most about that OM meet-up were the people who were doing it. The ones who practiced regularly were solid, clean-feeling people who exuded a powerful confidence. I wanted to be around that. I wanted to be one of them. That’s a big part of why I felt called to explore the practice further.  

As I met more people through OM, I realized that the community wasn’t just a small group of people in LA. The people doing it were from all over the world, and from many different backgrounds. I dove into the practice and decided to go as deep as I could with it.

After I had been OMing for about three months, I had a breakthrough with sitting meditation. I had never really been able to meditate. Even though I could sit still, “monkey mind” would always take over. So, when a group of us were about to start meditating, I went into it thinking, “I guess I’ll just sit here bored while everybody else is doing their thing.” 

But this time, I was able to drop into it. I realized that monkey mind was sitting next to me; it wasn’t taking over. I thought, “How cool is this?” The 30 minutes went by like a breeze, and in the last few minutes, I even experienced a kind of hyper-awareness. That blew me away.

Along with my meditation skills, I developed a capacity to connect better with others. Practicing OM gave me a kind of permission to go deeper with people, to go beneath the surface and care for one another in a reciprocal way. It’s not a transactional relationship of “I’ll give attention to you if you give attention to me.” It’s more about giving each other attention because it feels good.

One example is a close friendship I have with a guy who is Chinese-American. He was raised in America, but his family is Chinese and they brought him up with Chinese viewpoints. He also spent part of high school in Hong Kong. As a result, he doesn’t feel completely at home in the U.S. or in China either. He feels awkward talking to people and socializing, and I’m one of the only people he can really connect with. 

So, I try to help him. I coach him about American faux pas and give him advice in talking to women. He tells me, “I can actually talk to people when I'm around you.” It’s great to see him open up. In turn, I’ve learned so much from him about other perspectives. I’ve benefited from white male privilege, and I learn a lot from my friends who are people of color or LGBTQ+. 

It helps that I really listen to my friends—which is a skill that I connect back to OM. I’ve always been good at listening, but I didn’t know what to do with it. OM has helped me deepen my ability to focus and follow through. It has also helped me be more open and honest in the way that I communicate.

Most of all, OM has made me feel more comfortable in my own skin. That makes other people around me feel more comfortable too. My connections and relationships are deeper as a result. 

Relations with my kids are better, even though I don’t see them often enough. Last year, my grown daughter and I sat talking in a coffee shop for hours. We have this close, amazing connection, but she was going off on me about what a horrible father I had been. I was shocked, because I felt like I’d always tried to do everything I could for my wife and kids. It was awful to hear it from her perspective. 

But then the conversation turned, and she said, “You used to be the devil to me, and now you’re my hero. You’ve become this beautiful person.” I broke down and bawled right there in the coffee shop.

I’ve come a long way since my marriage and career blew up, but I’m in a good place now. I work in event production and, at 48, I finally figured out what I want to do with my life. I also feel more connected, with genuine, caring relationships. And I know for certain that I wouldn’t have gotten to this place without OM.