Dear Still Water Friends,
Protecting Ourselves and Society
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful sexual behavior, I am committed to cultivating sexual responsibility and respect in myself and in others. This commitment, contained in the Third of the Five Mindfulness Trainings, goes to the core of mindfulness practice: looking inward rather than grasping after externalities.
“To practice the Third Mindfulness Training is to heal ourselves and heal our society. This is mindful living,” Thay explains in “For a Future to be Possible: Commentaries on the Five Mindfulness Trainings.” For some practitioners, this training might seem like a “no-brainer”; for others it involves introspection and potential lifestyle adjustments.
In a Q&A published in 1993, Sister Chan Khong had this to say about mindfulness, love and sexual attraction.
“When you do two or three things at the same time – like eating dinner, watching television and having a conversation with friends around at the dinner table, you do not do any of these things deeply. You cannot truly taste and enjoy each morsel of food that your beloved one prepared for you. You cannot give your full attention to the television program, and you will be unable to listen carefully to what your friends are saying. It is even more difficult if you have several sexual partners at the same time….None of your relations will be profound….are you certain that you are not causing suffering in yourself or your partners. A superficial non-committal relationship never leads to real happiness or peace.”
This Thursday, following our regular periods of seated and walking meditation we will recite the Five Mindfulness Trainings and engage in a dharma discussion about the Third Mindfulness Training.