Sexual Desire, by The Dalai Lama

Buddhism now

Tibetan shrine. Photo from the British Library #endangeredarchives project, #endangeredarchives, @bl_eap Q: In the West it is thought that desire, especially sexual desire, is a problem because it is largely unconscious. It is also thought that denial and absten­tion only changes the form of desire. How does Buddhism ap­proach the Unconscious?

Dalai Lama: ‘Conscious level’, ‘semiconscious level’, ‘uncon­scious level’ — these are terms used by Western psychologists. Anyway, as you know, in all matters there are limits; it is as well to realize those limits. I think there are two major factors which contribute to our experience of sexual desire — one is the structure of our bodies and the elements within our bodies, and the other is the level of our minds — delusion.

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