Violet Blue: What’s the basic philosophy about sex from a Zen perspective?
Brad Warner: There’s no specific philosophy as such. When you enter the Buddhist order either as a layperson or clergy you take ten vows, one of which is not to abuse sexuality. But there is no specific definition of what that means. In the earliest Buddhist sanghas they decided that meant you had to be celibate. And some orders still interpret it that way. Lucky for me, Japanese-style Zen Buddhism does not interpret it in that way.
So many individuals seem to think that for any person to be spiritual they need to negate any impulse that originates below the neck. And yet cutting ourselves off from our bodily urges is just another attachment. At the same time, indulging our bodily urges is also just another attachment. Finding the middle space where our sexuality is neither abusive to self nor other helps us in this navigation.