The Path of Service and Mastery

21 Sep

The third spiritual path of BDSM that Raven talks about is the Path of Service and Mastery.  There is so much here that speaks to me.  He says,

Service is about attitude, about learning to give yourself a good attitude about whatever you’re doing.  It’s about joyful service, not service done with”murmuring in the heart.”

This idea actually comes from the rule of the Benedictine monks, which describes how to be a good monk.  Raven says that Joshua studied this rule as part of his training, as part of his learning how he was going to serve.

i’m a little bit familiar with St. Benedict’s rule for his monks, so this was easy to imagine.  For example, the chapter  on obedience starts out:   

“The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.”

And how often do we talk about that?   Isn’t that often a basic expectation for the sub?  Further on in the chapter, Benedict says:

“But this very obedience
will be acceptable to God and pleasing to all
only if what is commanded is done
without hesitation, delay, lukewarmness, grumbling, or objection.”

There’s much, much more about the Path of Service, but i want to look at the Path of Mastery a minute.  Benedict says:

However, just as it is proper 
for the disciples to obey their master, 
so also it is his function 
to dispose all things with prudence and justice.

Raven says the Path of Mastery invovles motivation, that the Master scrutinizes every order He gives to be sure it comes from “a clean place.”  To be sure it’s not vengeful, petty or self-serving.

Of course it can be “self-serving” in the sense of being what the Master wants.   In the lifestyle, we agree that serving the Master’s wants is a reasonable goal.

But it needs to be “cleanly from there.”  So ~ without hidden agendas or secret motives.  

i think this means that the Master has to be very clear with himself or herself what he or she actually wants.  i think it takes tremendous strength of character to be this kind of Master.

Anyone who wants to call himself a Dom or a Master needs to have a certain level of integrity.  Needs to be able to control himself and act rationally.  But someone on this spriitual path is actively working to increase their ability to ~ as Raven says ~ act from the right motives ~ or from clear motives.

The example that comes to my mind is my ex-husband, not the first one, but the second (and last) one, who was {maybe} a Dom.  One of the last things he said to me was, “All those {kinky} things  we did?   I didn’t want to do them.  I just did them to please you.”

That’s the ultimate muddy motivation.  He’s whipping me with a riding crop without warm-up or after care strictly for my pleasure?   Then, um, don’t do it.  Please.  That wasn’t a necessary part of my kink ~ and he knew that.

In fact, he was lying.  Believe me, i know this.  i think he’d started telling that lie to himself because he couldn’t face his own sadistic part.

Ms. Constance says that it is often very difficult for a Dom or Master to recognize that there is a part of His “self” that enjoys inflicting pain on someone else.  That this maybe more difficult than accepting that i kinda like receiving pain.

That makes perfect sense to me.

In my mind, Master and slave, Dom and sub, are on parallel paths that criss-cross but are not the same.  So the Master is working on knowing and mastering himself as much as being Master to his slave.

The slave or sub is working on learning to obey, rather than to agree.  

Agreeing is what we do at first.  He gives me an order and i {quickly} decide if it’s something i’m willing to do.  If it is, then i do it.

When i learn to obey, i do it without weighing out whether it’s right or wrong.  Without that split second of deciding.  i just do it.

i think it’s perfectly reasonable to agree at first.  It takes tremendous trust to truly obey.  And ~i don’t think everyone who calls himself Sir or Master is worthy of being obeyed.

But agreeing is not obeying.  Obeying comes from a deeper place of trust.

Last night, i was hog-tied.  i agreed to it.

He had not told me to get my mat.  

He put the rope harness on me first, it wraps around my hips, between my legs, the rope pulled snug, and back up to my waist.

Then, “Lie down,” He says, “Face down on the wood floor.”

It’s a quick pause ~ can i do this?  will i do this?

Then yes, of course i do, and it looks quick, i think, but the pause is there.  And that’s ok.

Once i’m lying face down on the floor ~ and how odd that feels!  He ties my hands behind my back.  And then, attaching to the rope at my hips on the way, connects my hands to my feet.

After checking to make sure i’m comfortable, well, not comfortable, but ok, He tells me to take a little time to think about the fact that i’m hog-tied face down on a hard, wood floor.   To ponder what that means about my submission.

He turns away and i don’t know what He’s doing, but with my face down on the floor, i do as i’m told and think about what it means.

At first, i’m kind of wiggly.  It’s not very comfortable, and i’m squirming a little bit, which makes the rope running between my legs move, and that’s not all bad either.

But i think about what it means, that i’m lying here like this, how it feels in my body to be restrained this way, and as i do, my body grows still.  

i notice this, and feel myself relaxing into it.  

All of my body ~ my arms which had felt strained, my legs and hips, even my neck ~ relaxes into it.

It is that open, receptive feeling ~ that big  “ahhhhh, yes,”  of submission.

The next time He gives a command like that, there will be less agreeing and a little more of obeying.  It takes time ~ it should take time.  But He is moving me that way.

There’s more ~ much more ~ to say ~ tomorrow.  

4 Responses to “The Path of Service and Mastery”

  1. Mick September 21, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    No mat? Poor Aisha.

    I need to apply this to keeping wine glasses full when entertaining.

    • aisha September 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

      @Mick ~ i know, it was kind of sad… and I thought you were feeling it ~

      ~~ but, um, applying it to keeping wine glasses full when entertaining???

      Um, in the voice of your not-in-the-home adolescents:




  2. vanillamom September 21, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    dayam…you left us hogtied on the floor womman!!


    i love-hate-love when you do that!!


    • aisha September 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm #


      Laughing… but the rest of it was the same as always ~ arms above my head, hand, flogger, stringy thing, belt. Well, nipple clamps too. But still.

      Then orgasms…



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