Celibacy

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.
greentara
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Re: Celibacy

Post by greentara » Thu May 22, 2014 6:22 am

Rory, You pointing out which path is possibly right for me is interesting to say the least. Most practitioners have a devotional side and a discriminating side. Without a devotional pull the practice becomes arid and can falter.

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Zhen Li
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Zhen Li » Fri May 23, 2014 5:38 am

Apparently those of us who are pure land practitioners are just immature, childish and wilfully ignorant of archaeology. I personally wouldn't trust advice on the spiritual path from one with so little faith in her fellow human, who assumes without knowing them in any way beyond the most surface acquaintance, the very worst of the lot of them.

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Re: Celibacy

Post by JKhedrup » Fri May 23, 2014 7:02 am

There is a huge amount of what people tell me is very sophisticated literature in the Chinese language on the Pure Land School. Chinese Pure Land Buddhism also incorporates many elements from the broader bodhisattva path. My feeling is if more of this were available in English people would have a great appreciation of the complexity and philosophy of the Chinese Mahayana Pure Land Approach. Hopefully work is being done in this regard.

ugetsu
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Re: Celibacy

Post by ugetsu » Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:13 pm

Another angle to view it, Is bieng non celebate is actually showing loving kindness and compassion for the ladies, its a lonely world out there, a little lovin goes a long way to ease the gravity of loneliness many cutties suffer from
Have a heart,,,and share it,.
That said im no holy man or monk im just a sensitive guy with a shoulder to cry on if need be, and some cool wheels to cruise in,
Im sure buddha wants ladies to be satisfied and feeling good, they will be better at zazen and so on . Trust me it works,,,
Where the good guys. best to be there for those in need,
Carry on
My opinion anyway for what its worth, and i admit i have no authority or anything. Dont know sanskrit and all that..but just thought to chime in with another view. And if anyone has found this post offensive i apologize. And hope it finds you well,

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yan kong
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Re: Celibacy

Post by yan kong » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:37 am

ugetsu wrote:Another angle to view it, Is bieng non celebate is actually showing loving kindness and compassion for the ladies, its a lonely world out there, a little lovin goes a long way to ease the gravity of loneliness many cutties suffer from
Have a heart,,,and share it,.
That said im no holy man or monk im just a sensitive guy with a shoulder to cry on if need be, and some cool wheels to cruise in,
Im sure buddha wants ladies to be satisfied and feeling good, they will be better at zazen and so on . Trust me it works,,,
Where the good guys. best to be there for those in need,
Carry on
My opinion anyway for what its worth, and i admit i have no authority or anything. Dont know sanskrit and all that..but just thought to chime in with another view. And if anyone has found this post offensive i apologize. And hope it finds you well,
This is a little like saying the chocolate maker is a bodhisattva because people like chocolate.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun

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Re: Celibacy

Post by Jesse » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:07 am

yan kong wrote:
ugetsu wrote:Another angle to view it, Is bieng non celebate is actually showing loving kindness and compassion for the ladies, its a lonely world out there, a little lovin goes a long way to ease the gravity of loneliness many cutties suffer from
Have a heart,,,and share it,.
That said im no holy man or monk im just a sensitive guy with a shoulder to cry on if need be, and some cool wheels to cruise in,
Im sure buddha wants ladies to be satisfied and feeling good, they will be better at zazen and so on . Trust me it works,,,
Where the good guys. best to be there for those in need,
Carry on
My opinion anyway for what its worth, and i admit i have no authority or anything. Dont know sanskrit and all that..but just thought to chime in with another view. And if anyone has found this post offensive i apologize. And hope it finds you well,
This is a little like saying the chocolate maker is a bodhisattva because people like chocolate.
If one is not a monk, then sexual encounters are a type of closeness many people are fond of. It brings people closer together and alleviates loneliness. Sure we won't find that mentality in the Vinaya, or amoung any other monks.. but for the averge person, layperson, There are thing's with far more karmic weight than sex! This certainty doesn't make one a Bodhisattva for alleviating peoples loneliness though haha. At best it makes you a damned friendly person! :emb:
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

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yan kong
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Re: Celibacy

Post by yan kong » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:09 am

Jesse wrote:If one is not a monk, then sexual encounters are a type of closeness many people are fond of. It brings people closer together and alleviates loneliness. Sure we won't find that mentality in the Vinaya, or amoung any other monks.. but for the averge person, layperson, There are thing's with far more karmic weight than sex! This certainty doesn't make one a Bodhisattva for alleviating peoples loneliness though haha. At best it makes you a damned friendly person! :emb:
I agree, but I wouldn't call it loving kindness. And I wouldn't imagine it's the satisfaction the Buddha had in mind when he expounded the Dharma either, at least from my understanding of it.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun

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Grigoris
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:40 am

Personally, I see the reaction against monasticism to be mainly based in a jealousy of monastics, due to an inability on most of our behalf, to have the perseverance, determination, and personal capacity necessary to devote ourselves COMPLETELY to liberation.

The Buddha was a monastic, so the Sangha is monastic too. Now, of course, there is a non-monastic sangha too, but most of the time we are kidding ourselves if we think that we can devote the necessary time and energy to practice that a monastic can. Of course, there are some rare individuals, but really...

Even during short home retreats (4-5 practice sessions a day) it is pretty bloody obvious that having a partner and social life is an impediment to practice. No doubt about it.

So full respect to monastics!!! Don't let peoples petty jealousy cause you to doubt the incredibly important/central role that you play in Buddhism.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Dan74
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Dan74 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:04 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Personally, I see the reaction against monasticism to be mainly based in a jealousy of monastics, due to an inability on most of our behalf, to have the perseverance, determination, and personal capacity necessary to devote ourselves COMPLETELY to liberation.

The Buddha was a monastic, so the Sangha is monastic too. Now, of course, there is a non-monastic sangha too, but most of the time we are kidding ourselves if we think that we can devote the necessary time and energy to practice that a monastic can. Of course, there are some rare individuals, but really...

Even during short home retreats (4-5 practice sessions a day) it is pretty bloody obvious that having a partner and social life is an impediment to practice. No doubt about it.

So full respect to monastics!!! Don't let peoples petty jealousy cause you to doubt the incredibly important/central role that you play in Buddhism.
I agree with much of what you say, but not the part in bold. Especially not, if you have a partner who is a fellow practitioner. But even otherwise.

For most of us, there are so many hours in the day when we are realistically able to devote ourselves to formal practice. Able, not just due to time constraints but because of where we are karmically. The rest of the time we can work on incorporating the teachings into our lives. The actual circumstances of our lives can provide great fodder for practice, great opportunities not just to cultivate the Paramitas but engage with and benefit others. They can be a valuable barometer of practice too and provide diverse challenges that would not exist in monastic life. I've heard a number of monastics lament about the difficulty of maintaining their practice in the absence of the routine and formalism of the monastery and the support of the fellow monastics. I've seen them struggle with the difficulties of managing in a lay society both on the material and spiritual levels.

I think it can be a 'grass is always greener' situation. "If only I had the freedom of ordaining..." My teacher, ordained for over 30 years, once told me 'whether in the monastery or with a family, it's about the mind.'

Of course this is not to say that ordaining can't be beneficial. It can and some people turn out to be fantastic practitioners and teachers having done some very intense practice in the robes. But let us not sell the lay life short either. There is so much we can do within our circumstances. It is too easy to compare and make excuses (not that you did in your post). Once I can honestly say that I use the opportunities my life affords me to practice and practice hard, I can contemplate going further. Not before that.

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Re: Celibacy

Post by uan » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:17 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Personally, I see the reaction against monasticism to be mainly based in a jealousy of monastics, due to an inability on most of our behalf, to have the perseverance, determination, and personal capacity necessary to devote ourselves COMPLETELY to liberation.

The Buddha was a monastic, so the Sangha is monastic too. Now, of course, there is a non-monastic sangha too, but most of the time we are kidding ourselves if we think that we can devote the necessary time and energy to practice that a monastic can. Of course, there are some rare individuals, but really...

Even during short home retreats (4-5 practice sessions a day) it is pretty bloody obvious that having a partner and social life is an impediment to practice. No doubt about it.

So full respect to monastics!!! Don't let peoples petty jealousy cause you to doubt the incredibly important/central role that you play in Buddhism.
Hi SD, was this comment meant for this thread? It doesn't seem to be (I didn't see any recent posts that were reacting "against monasticism") but I can be fairly dense at times.

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Re: Celibacy

Post by ugetsu » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:28 pm

Shareb dorje
I dig your post, and im the first to admit that indeed im not as strong as monks. Monks are a strong brew in my opinion, and i have alot of respect for them,
But isnt celibacy itself an extreme postion rather then a middle way? I sure understand Having long term relationships or bieng married can stall or hinder practice, but what if its not insititional and instead free, as in when you connect with someone and its mutual a.good night or two of lovin is just that, wicked for the time and like anything fleeting,
All things in moderation a wise man once chimed seems to be a solid idea really, even celibacy in my opinion
For what its worth
Jesse like your post,,well said and put better then any thing i could type,
Yon kong,
A box of fine chocalate does have its place in a ladies lap,, just sayin

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Grigoris
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:46 pm

uan wrote:Hi SD, was this comment meant for this thread? It doesn't seem to be (I didn't see any recent posts that were reacting "against monasticism") but I can be fairly dense at times.
This. You replied to it on the previous page, remember?
Dan74 wrote:Especially not, if you have a partner who is a fellow practitioner.
My partner is a part-time/casual practitioner and it's just not enough. There is more pressure to go out for beers, than to do a sadhana. Okay, maybe if you both are doing the exact same practices too. But even then it can be problematic when it comes to timing ones practice. I tend to arse around quite a bit before I can drum up the energy to practice so...
For most of us, there are so many hours in the day when we are realistically able to devote ourselves to formal practice.
Available time is not the issue. We have plenty of time to practice, but we spend most of it in wasting time. Which is what I am doing right now. Instead of practicing I am sitting here having a fairly pointless discussion, in the grand scheme of enlightenment, about what is conducive to practice!.
I've heard a number of monastics lament about the difficulty of maintaining their practice in the absence of the routine and formalism of the monastery and the support of the fellow monastics. I've seen them struggle with the difficulties of managing in a lay society both on the material and spiritual levels.

I think it can be a 'grass is always greener' situation. "If only I had the freedom of ordaining..." My teacher, ordained for over 30 years, once told me 'whether in the monastery or with a family, it's about the mind.'
Of course it is about the mind. But it is also about the structure of one's daily routine and access to entertainment/diversions. When you are not allowed to watch film, theater, music, etc... then being distracted by these is just not an issue. Going to the beach (for example, as it is stinking hot today and I live a five minute walk from the sea) takes time, energy, etc... regardless of how relaxing it is. Actually, it is too relaxing. So when my better half says: "Let's go for a quick dip, just to cool off!" Well... And, unless you are a complete cad, you gotta make time for your partner too. Time that could be spent much more wisely, if one's real goal is enlightenment in this lifetime.

Ex-monastics I have spoken to all readily admit that being a monastic makes life (and practice) infinitely simpler.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Grigoris
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:51 pm

ugetsu wrote:But isnt celibacy itself an extreme postion rather then a middle way?
Are you sure you understand what Madhyamaka (Middle Way) actually means?
I sure understand Having long term relationships or bieng married can stall or hinder practice, but what if its not insititional and instead free, as in when you connect with someone and its mutual a.good night or two of lovin is just that, wicked for the time and like anything fleeting,
Samsara is mutual. Mutual suffering.
All things in moderation a wise man once chimed seems to be a solid idea really, even celibacy in my opinion
Except it wasn't the Buddha that chimed it...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

uan
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Re: Celibacy

Post by uan » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:00 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
uan wrote:Hi SD, was this comment meant for this thread? It doesn't seem to be (I didn't see any recent posts that were reacting "against monasticism") but I can be fairly dense at times.
This. You replied to it on the previous page, remember?
:rolling:

did I say dense? I'm thick as a brick! Though in fairness, that was waaaaaay back in May, so not "recent"!

I see I did say:
Overall, I find tremendous value in having the monastic Sangha, especially in this day and age when there are so many sources of information and people putting themselves out as experts/gurus and what not, that having some institutions that a person can turn to as a beacon of legitimacy (for lack of a better word), with a long and stable lineage, is indispensable.
Two months later, I still stand by the value of monasticism. :twothumbsup:

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Re: Celibacy

Post by Nemo » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:06 pm

My understanding is that Buddhist monasticism is simply how an enlightened individual would naturally act. If you are not spiritually mature enough to see that perhaps you should temper your comments so as not to seem wholly ignorant of the religion you profess to follow.

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Re: Celibacy

Post by Dan74 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:24 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
uan wrote:Hi SD, was this comment meant for this thread? It doesn't seem to be (I didn't see any recent posts that were reacting "against monasticism") but I can be fairly dense at times.
This. You replied to it on the previous page, remember?
Dan74 wrote:Especially not, if you have a partner who is a fellow practitioner.
My partner is a part-time/casual practitioner and it's just not enough. There is more pressure to go out for beers, than to do a sadhana. Okay, maybe if you both are doing the exact same practices too. But even then it can be problematic when it comes to timing ones practice. I tend to arse around quite a bit before I can drum up the energy to practice so...
For most of us, there are so many hours in the day when we are realistically able to devote ourselves to formal practice.
Available time is not the issue. We have plenty of time to practice, but we spend most of it in wasting time. Which is what I am doing right now. Instead of practicing I am sitting here having a fairly pointless discussion, in the grand scheme of enlightenment, about what is conducive to practice!.
I've heard a number of monastics lament about the difficulty of maintaining their practice in the absence of the routine and formalism of the monastery and the support of the fellow monastics. I've seen them struggle with the difficulties of managing in a lay society both on the material and spiritual levels.

I think it can be a 'grass is always greener' situation. "If only I had the freedom of ordaining..." My teacher, ordained for over 30 years, once told me 'whether in the monastery or with a family, it's about the mind.'
Of course it is about the mind. But it is also about the structure of one's daily routine and access to entertainment/diversions. When you are not allowed to watch film, theater, music, etc... then being distracted by these is just not an issue. Going to the beach (for example, as it is stinking hot today and I live a five minute walk from the sea) takes time, energy, etc... regardless of how relaxing it is. Actually, it is too relaxing. So when my better half says: "Let's go for a quick dip, just to cool off!" Well... And, unless you are a complete cad, you gotta make time for your partner too. Time that could be spent much more wisely, if one's real goal is enlightenment in this lifetime.

Ex-monastics I have spoken to all readily admit that being a monastic makes life (and practice) infinitely simpler.
Thanks for keeping it real, Greg. In the midst of all the fuss, the silence is accessible, as the masters remind us, even on the way to the beach, even when making time for your partner's needs. If the usual narrative lets up a little.

And "simpler" isn't always better - immersing oneself in a life less complicated after a simple monastic life, can see many hard-won fruits of practice, shrivel and rot, one by one. Tragic, but I've seen it happen.

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Re: Celibacy

Post by uan » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:29 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote: When you are not allowed to watch film, theater, music, etc... then being distracted by these is just not an issue.
then again :)

phpBB [video]


The lama in the video is Loppon Rechungpa (Nyingma).

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Grigoris
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:38 pm

uan wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote: When you are not allowed to watch film, theater, music, etc... then being distracted by these is just not an issue.
then again :) ... The lama in the video is Loppon Rechungpa (Nyingma).
I mean easier in the following way:

It's Saturday night and you are a vow holding monastic, do you:

a) Go out with some friends, to a venue of your liking, to imbibe the intoxicant of your choice and hopefully end up in bed for some causal sex.
b) Go out with your better half to a movie/restaurant, have a couple of drinks and go home to make love.
c) Stay at home with the spouse and kids, suffer through some children's movies before putting them to bed, put on a show of your choice and drink a couple of glasses of wine/beer before going to bed.
d) Stay at "home" and practice sadhana, then go to bed and practice sleep/dream yoga.

See how it is "easier"?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Mkoll
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Mkoll » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:01 pm

ugetsu wrote:But isnt celibacy itself an extreme postion rather then a middle way?
No. This is the middle way:
SN 56.11 wrote:I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Varanasi in the Game Refuge at Isipatana. There he addressed the group of five monks:

"There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.

"And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Celibacy

Post by ugetsu » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:31 pm

Wow. foot in my mouth in that post didnt i?
Thank you mkoll
And thank you sharebe dorge,
Yeah no excuse here, need to get my buddhist studies a bit squared away,
Thanks again

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