As you may have noticed, I’m covering the Five Precepts. This week I offer you the practice of the third precept: being careful with your sexuality. This precept is taken differently in different communities. For monks and nuns, this means practicing a celibate lifestyle. For many of us in the outside world, this may mean something different. I can’t tell you exactly what this should mean to you, but I can offer some common guidelines: don’t sleep with anyone that is in a relationship, don’t sleep with someone else if you are in a committed relationship with the expectation of monogamy, and only sleep with consenting adults. Although these are good basic guidelines, there are other things you may investigate practicing such as avoiding masturbation, not having sex out of aversion, and even trying celibacy.
This may seem like a strange tip to offer, but I offer it because it has been extremely useful to me. When we watch our cravings for sex, we learn a lot. It’s not that sexuality is bad, but we often cause harm with it. Maybe try watching your intention for having sex or stay celibate for a week or a month. The general idea is here is to not cause any harm with our sexual drive. This includes causing suffering in others and causing harm to ourselves. Just try bringing some mindfulness to this in your life however it arises!