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The Daily Dharma – September 10, 2021

Teenage Wildlife Painting by Cecily Brown

Continuing from When you Greet Me I Bow . . .

I am sure that what I am saying here [about intimate connection] is so, but I also know that it is not what most of us experience most of the time. Sexuality may be the natural expression of a pure and selfless love, but it is also, in the deep economy of human emotion, chameleonlike; according to inner conditions, it takes on many colors. Clearly, the body only seldom operates in the pure service of selflessness. More often we can at any moment fall in love with the whole world, get distorted confusion of ego. We become conditioned to see sexuality as a replacement for so much else in our lives that we need but are unable to come into contact with. So sexuality becomes, among other things, a way to express a need for power, a way to avoid loneliness, frustration, or fear. Probably nothing produces more self-deception, and when sexuality is deeply self-deceptive, it becomes dark and is the source of enormous suffering.

Norman Fischer
from When You Greet Me I Bow; Notes and Reflections from a Life in Zen
Chapter: Falling in Love

To be continued . . .