An attention-grabbing headline, but that is not the reason I choose to take up the subject. With the presidential campaign that is grinding to an agonizing halt, like the slow death of a pet that you cannot bear to put down, it seems necessary to grapple with sexuality. It has been brought front and center, in our face.
I would never have imagined that sex — a very touchy subject, no pun intended — would have become an issue in a presidential campaign, especially driven by the oldest candidate in the thundering herd, the oldest in history, one who is a member of my generation, I am embarrassed to admit. And therefore, one would hope, would no longer be driven by raging hormones, to the point of having no judgment as to what kind of speech and behavior is really appropriate. Been there and done that myself, as I assume many of you have, as well.
But since it has reared its head — whether you consider it ugly or not seems beside the point — let’s examine sex in the context of Zen. For those who have lived as long as I have, sex seems to occupy the center of another endless campaign — one of finding balance between the biological urge to reproduce, and the demands of society, including those imposed by our loved ones. It is not for no reason that the history of Zen has emphasized celibacy on the part of the monastics, but more for purposes of simplicity and harmony in the community, than for the sake of misguided morality, I think.
For Zen does not presuppose a morality that is based on social mores and norms as being the natural way, but one that comes from realization of nonduality, in all matters, including sexuality.