Dharma Talks / Mindfulness of Sexual Desire

Br Pháp Lưu

Brother Phap Luu teaches on the 14th Mindfulness Training, True Love.

The 14th Mindfulness training, True Love, address our sexual energy, which is also the energy of reproduction, an energy that compels is to continue ourselves, and is a vital life force. Sexual energy is part of a human’s evolutionary history, it is directly transmitted to us as a need to continue and is an energy that is selected for in each generation.

It is important to understand and touch the nature of sexual energy, it does not need to be suppressed. We need to have a healthy relationship with it that does not cut it off or smash it down. It does not have to be bounded by the framework of family life, and within the context of a celibate monastic life, can find expression in being one with the Sangha, being part of the larger human family and cultivating a love that knows no bounds. We are free when we are not in love with an image.

Br. Phap Luu shares his practice with sexual energy using the 16 exercises of mindful breathing. The first four exercises address sexual energy within the body and learning to calm it down. The fifth to eighth exercises teach us how to generate joy and happiness not tainted by sexual desire. When we are aware that our sexual desire is being stimulated by our environment nearly constantly by images, we learn to recognize the mental formation when it arises and calm it down.

The ninth to twelfth exercises teach us that thoughts provide us with nourishment, so what is being cultivated in our mind’s eye? What we cultivate becomes a reality. Gladdening the mind is also a mind training, we are asked to find the root of our joy and happiness and this is a way to sublimate our sexual energy and channel it to the breath and spirit energies. A concentrated mind does not allow sexual energy to penetrate deeply into it, and a mind that is not enslaved by sexual energy is liberated from it.

Further reading:
The 14 Mindfulness Trainings
Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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