Wakes the lovers,
Floods the valley.
Making love is natural. Why be ashamed of it?
That seems simple, but it is actually a great challenge in these complex times. Too many other layers of meaning have been imposed upon sex. Religions straitjacket it, ascetics deny it, romantics glorify it, intellectuals theorize about it, obsessives pervert it. These actions have nothing to do with lovemaking. They come from fanaticism and compulsive behavior. Can we actually master the challenge of having lovemaking be open and healthy?
Sex should not be used as leverage, manipulation, selfishness, or abuse. It should not be a ground for our personal compulsions and delusions.
Sexuality is an honest reflection of our innermost personalities, and we should ensure that its expression is healthy. Making love is something mysterious, sacred, and often the most profound interaction between people. Whether what is created is a relationship or pregnancy, the legacy of both partners will be inherent in their creation. What we put into love determines what we get out of it.
– from 365 Tao: Daily Meditations, by Ming-Dao Deng
Next Monday, I am scheduled to give a teaching style talk on the topic of working skillfully with sexual energy at our local sangha Be Here Now. My talk is also intentionally paired with our next installment of Mindful Community Conversations on Thursday October 3rd, which is centered on the same topic thread and will feature a 4-person panel.
This topic has been on my mind to delve more into for quite a while now, especially as I continue to hear from young, single sangha members about the trials and tribulations of the dating scene. There is so much to bring into the light of our awareness and out of stigma and shadow when it comes to sexual relationships. And I don’t mind telling you that I’ve not known quite where/how to start until recently. But starting somewhere is better than not starting at all, so this is our sangha giving it a go.
I plan on focusing on these two specific parts of the Third Mindfulness Training in our Plum Village mindfulness tradition:
– Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct…
– Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy.