Your Holiness, many believe that as a monk you have renounced pleasure or enjoyment.” “And sex,” the

Your Holiness, many believe that as a monk you have …

Your Holiness, many believe that as a monk you have renounced pleasure or enjoyment.” “And sex,” the Dalai Lama added, although that was not exactly where I was going. “What?” the Archbishop said. “Sex, sex,” the Dalai Lama repeated. “Did you just say that?” the Archbishop said incredulously. “Oh, oh,” the Dalai Lama said with a laugh, noticing the Archbishop’s surprise, and then reached over to reassure him, which caused the Archbishop to erupt in a gleeful cackle. “So aside from sex,” I said, trying to bring us back, “have you renounced pleasure and enjoyment? I sat next to you at lunch, and it looked like you were really enjoying the wonderful food. What is the role for you of enjoying the pleasures of life?” “I love food. Without food, my body can’t survive. You also,” he said, turning to the Archbishop, “can’t just think God, God, God. I cannot just think about compassion, compassion, compassion. Compassion will not fill my stomach. But, you see, each meal we have to develop the ability to consume the meal without attachment.” “Huh?” the Archbishop asked, not quite following how the Dalai Lama was using the Buddhist term attachment, and perhaps also not quite following how anyone could not be attached to one’s food. “Not eating out of greed,” the Dalai Lama explained. “Eating only for the survival of the body. One must think about the deeper value of nourishing the body.

Dalai Lama XIV