From 'Creating True Peace' by Thich Nhat HanhTo better understand the practise of protection, please study the Five Mindfulness Trainings in Chapter 3, particularly the third, sexual responsibility. By practising the Third Mindfulness Training, we protect ourselves, our family and society. In addition, by observing all the trainings we learn to eat in moderation, to work mindfully and to organise our daily life so we are there for others. This can bring us great happiness and restore our peace and balance.Expressing Sexual Feelings with Love and CompassionAnimals automatically follow their instincts, but humans are different. We do not need to satisfy our cravings the way animals do. We can decide that we will have sex only with love. In this way we can cultivate the deepest love, harmony and nonviolence. For humans, to engage only in nonviolent sexuality means to have respect for each other. The sexual act can be a sacred expression of love and responsibility.The Third Mindfulness Training teaches us that the physical expression of love can be beautiful and transcendent. If you have a sexual relationship without love and caring, you create suffering for both yourself and your partner, as well as for your family and our entire society. In a culture of peace and nonviolence, civilised sexual behaviour is an important protection. Such love is not sheer craving for sex, it is true love and understanding.Respecting Our CommitmentsTo engage in a sexual act without understanding or compassion is to act with violence. It is an act against civilization. Many people do not know how to handle their bodies or their feelings. They do not realise that an act of only a few minutes can destroy the life of another person. Sexual exploitation and abuse committed against adults and children is a heavy burden on society. Many families have been broken by sexual misconduct. Children who grow up in such families may suffer their entire lives, but if they get an opportunity to practise, they can transform their suffering. Otherwise, when they grow up, they may follow in the footsteps of their parents and cause more suffering, especially to those they love.We know that the more one engages in sexual misconduct, the more one suffers. We must come together as families to find ways to protect our young people and help them live a civilised life. We need to show our young people that happiness is possible without harmful sexual conduct. Teenage pregnancy is a tragic problem. Teens are not yet mature enough to understand that with love comes responsibility. When a thirteen-or fourteen-year-old boy and girl come together for sexual intercourse, they are just following their natural instincts. When a girl gets pregnant and gives birth at such a young age, her parents also suffer greatly. Public schools throughout the United States have nurseries where babies are cared for while their mothers are in the classroom. The young father and mother do not even know yet how to take care of themselves - how can they take care of another human being? It takes years of maturing to become ready to be a parent.
Thich Nhat Hanh