So I have to start by saying that I never see Buddhist Blog posts that talk about sex. One might make the assumption that Buddhists don’t have sex!
Well Monks do not, but laypeople certainly do. At least I assume they do. ;-)
But the reason I bring this topic up is not for shock value, nor is it really to discuss something so personal.
But I do think it’s a perfect way to start talking about sensual desires and clinging.
Actually every single thing a human being does has its origin in sensuality, not just sex.
Whether we love, become angry, hate, feel envious, murder, or commit suicide, the ultimate cause is due to some sensory object.
Sensual attachment (Kamupanana) is clinging to attractive and desirable sense objects. It is the attachment that we naturally develop for things we like and find satisfaction in: colors and shapes, sounds, tastes, tactile objects, or mental images, objects past, present, or future that arise in the mind, and either correspond to material objects in the world outside or within the body, or are just simply fantasies.
Attachment to opinions (Ditthupadana). Clinging to views and opinions can be difficult to detect and identity, and require a little introspection. Ever since we were born into this world, we have been receiving instruction, training, and experiences which have given rise to ideas and opinions.
Attachment to rites and rituals (Silabbatupadana). This refers to clinging to meaningless traditional practices that have been thoughtlessly handed down, practices which people choose to regard as sacred and not to be changed under any circumstances. These can sometimes be very deeply ingrained in our minds. It is clinging to wrong practices that do not lead to the cessation of suffering.
So you see, all of these are sensual in one way or another. All encompass desire and clinging. All create suffering.
Since we can see that these statements are in fact true, it would beg the question “so what’s the solution?”, right?
In my limited and very small amount of knowledge, I see the answer as mindfulness.
None of us are likely planning on moving to the woods and becoming celibate Monks.
So we have to live in this World, and accept these realities.
But if we can become more mindfully aware of how these sensual and sensuous desires affect us, we may also be able to drastically reduce the suffering that they cause.
It is unlikely that the desires will go away, but we can become much more skillful in the way we respond to them. This too becomes wisdom for each of us.
My you be well, be happy, be peaceful