Celibacy

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

Post by uan » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:50 pm

Mkoll wrote:
uan wrote:I think there's a school of thought where the Dharma is about purifying the mind, and then there's a school of thought where there is no mind to purify.
You can replace "purifying one's mind" with "the Buddhist Path" or something so as not to get hung up on the phrase. That way, you can address my point.
To your point, I think the Buddha would praise any monk who kept all the precepts, who practiced restraint. I also believe he would praise those monks (and practitioners) who understood emptiness as well. I wasn't really challenging your point, only that the term "purify" reminded me of the Huineng story. Within that context, Huineng is seen as being "correct" and indeed he was given the begging bowl, etc. But there should be no disrespect either to Shenxiu's dharma practice. Just two different paths. And there are many more as well. :namaste:

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Indrajala
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Indrajala » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:12 am

Mkoll wrote: Or maybe restraint is something the Buddha praised as part of purifying one's mind and has nothing to do with (spiritual) economics or veneers.
Sure, but restraint is used to ensure an image of purity which the sangha has used to secure material and social resources.

Even if people are impure, they are supposed to look pure as much as possible so as to ensure the laity maintains their faith in the sangha.
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Mkoll
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Mkoll » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:35 am

Indrajala wrote:
Mkoll wrote:Or maybe restraint is something the Buddha praised as part of purifying one's mind and has nothing to do with (spiritual) economics or veneers.
Sure, but restraint is used to ensure an image of purity which the sangha has used to secure material and social resources.

Even if people are impure, they are supposed to look pure as much as possible so as to ensure the laity maintains their faith in the sangha.
Restraint isn't only practiced by monastics.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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kirtu
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Re: Celibacy

Post by kirtu » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:52 am

Mkoll wrote: This excerpt from the Uposatha Sutta should answer your question. The Uposatha is a day of special observance where monks recite the Patimokkha and laypeople may undertake the Uposatha precepts and live more austerely if they so choose. This applies to Theravada. I'm not sure how it works with Mahayana/Vajrayana.
These vows are especially followed in Gelug and Sakya (all the traditions but I have never known them to be even spoken of in Nyingma and the seem to be relatively unknown in Kagyu amoungst the laity).

The vows themselves are the same as in the Theravadin tradition except that the Bodhisattva motivation is emphasized and there is a mantra of pure morality recited that is clearly taken from Avalokiteshvara teaching (in fact in Gelug one does visualize taking the vows from Avalokiteshvara while in Sakya one visualizes all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas so there is a slight difference here).

So these are called the Eight Mahayana vows in Tibetan Buddhism. They are taken for 24 hours. Jamgon Kongtrul in his Ethics division of his Encyclopedia (Book Five from Snow Lion) seems to have thought of them highly.

The first time one takes them, one takes them from someone how holds the vows, typically a lama or a monk (but it could also be a layperson who is holding the vows). After that, at least in Sakya, one can take them on your own. Ideal times for taking them are the new moon, half moon and full moon days but in Vajrayana they can be taken on any day at all.

Lama Zopa and Ani Thubten Chodron both have an explanation of the vows and ceremony (the Sakya version is essentially the same the only real difference being that if one has time one does the 35 Buddha Repentance practice first [which is also done in Gelug so really there is no difference]): Ani Thubten Chodron, Lama Zopa (FPMT). We have also discussed them extensively here. I personally find them very helpful and have been taking the vows at least once a year since I changed my practice from Zen to Vajrayana.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: Celibacy

Post by kirtu » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:54 am

smcj wrote:
Actually I think desire is something that comes with a human body, therefor I believe it's not possible to live in a humand body without experiencing it.
Maybe that's true when you're 20, but when you're 70 it's a different story!
It depends on the person.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Zhen Li
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Zhen Li » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:01 am

Mkoll wrote:
Indrajala wrote:
Mkoll wrote:Or maybe restraint is something the Buddha praised as part of purifying one's mind and has nothing to do with (spiritual) economics or veneers.
Sure, but restraint is used to ensure an image of purity which the sangha has used to secure material and social resources.

Even if people are impure, they are supposed to look pure as much as possible so as to ensure the laity maintains their faith in the sangha.
Restraint isn't only practiced by monastics.
I think that while, from an institutional perspective, Indrajala is correct, fundamentally when it comes down to it, insight makes indulgence essentially immaterial and pointless. Kind of like how an alien might think of skiing, the alien would have no desire to put sticks on his feet and slide down a hill because he has no habit to do so, and sees it for what it is. Restraint can be genuine, and it's clearly pointless to reduce it to one motivation or another.
kirtu wrote:
smcj wrote:
Actually I think desire is something that comes with a human body, therefor I believe it's not possible to live in a humand body without experiencing it.
Maybe that's true when you're 20, but when you're 70 it's a different story!
It depends on the person.
Fundamentally, the nature of mind is the same for everyone, so it doesn't depend on the person. It's all a question of practice and insight. Anyone who thinks desire is purely mechanical and material clearly hasn't done much meditation, and clearly hasn't observed their mind lately.
:anjali:

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kirtu
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Re: Celibacy

Post by kirtu » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:03 am

kirtu wrote:
smcj wrote:
Actually I think desire is something that comes with a human body, therefor I believe it's not possible to live in a humand body without experiencing it.
Maybe that's true when you're 20, but when you're 70 it's a different story!
It depends on the person.
Zhen Li wrote:Fundamentally, the nature of mind is the same for everyone, so it doesn't depend on the person. It's all a question of practice and insight. Anyone who thinks desire is purely mechanical and material clearly hasn't done much meditation, and clearly hasn't observed their mind lately.
Desire of all sorts easily arises in the minds of people even well into advanced age. Most people lead fairly unrestrained and unreflective lives for the most part.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Zhen Li
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Zhen Li » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:08 am

If you think that mind is of a different nature if you don't cultivate, then you pretty much don't really care much for the teaching of Buddha nature do you?

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Mkoll
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Mkoll » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:09 am

kirtu wrote:
Mkoll wrote: This excerpt from the Uposatha Sutta should answer your question. The Uposatha is a day of special observance where monks recite the Patimokkha and laypeople may undertake the Uposatha precepts and live more austerely if they so choose. This applies to Theravada. I'm not sure how it works with Mahayana/Vajrayana.
These vows are especially followed in Gelug and Sakya (all the traditions but I have never known them to be even spoken of in Nyingma and the seem to be relatively unknown in Kagyu amoungst the laity).

The vows themselves are the same as in the Theravadin tradition except that the Bodhisattva motivation is emphasized and there is a mantra of pure morality recited that is clearly taken from Avalokiteshvara teaching (in fact in Gelug one does visualize taking the vows from Avalokiteshvara while in Sakya one visualizes all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas so there is a slight difference here).

So these are called the Eight Mahayana vows in Tibetan Buddhism. They are taken for 24 hours. Jamgon Kongtrul in his Ethics division of his Encyclopedia (Book Five from Snow Lion) seems to have thought of them highly.

The first time one takes them, one takes them from someone how holds the vows, typically a lama or a monk (but it could also be a layperson who is holding the vows). After that, at least in Sakya, one can take them on your own. Ideal times for taking them are the new moon, half moon and full moon days but in Vajrayana they can be taken on any day at all.

Lama Zopa and Ani Thubten Chodron both have an explanation of the vows and ceremony (the Sakya version is essentially the same the only real difference being that if one has time one does the 35 Buddha Repentance practice first [which is also done in Gelug so really there is no difference]): Ani Thubten Chodron, Lama Zopa (FPMT). We have also discussed them extensively here. I personally find them very helpful and have been taking the vows at least once a year since I changed my practice from Zen to Vajrayana.

Kirt
:thanks: for the information, kirtu. It's good to see this similarity between the traditions.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Mkoll
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Mkoll » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:15 am

Zhen Li wrote:Restraint can be genuine
Exactly. And that's what the Buddha instructed his disciples to do, among other things.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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kirtu
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Re: Celibacy

Post by kirtu » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:42 am

Zhen Li wrote:If you think that mind is of a different nature if you don't cultivate, then you pretty much don't really care much for the teaching of Buddha nature do you?
Mind isn't of a different nature but people harvest what they have cultivated their whole lives. People who have not previously meditated can start late in life of course but most people don't meditate and are thus not able to begin to see their Buddhanature.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

theanarchist
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Re: Celibacy

Post by theanarchist » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:40 pm

Indrajala wrote:
Even if people are impure, they are supposed to look pure as much as possible so as to ensure the laity maintains their faith in the sangha.

I am under the impression that a monk or nun who breaks the main precepts automatically loses the ordination and is therefor to be kicked out of the monastery.

So what you are writing is complete nonsense. In some degenerated places calling themselves buddhist monasteries it might be handled that way, but that's typical human shortcomings you can find everywhere, from political parties up to big companies, and has nothing to do with dharma or vinaya whatsoever.

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Zhen Li
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:03 am

theanarchist wrote:I am under the impression that a monk or nun who breaks the main precepts automatically loses the ordination and is therefor to be kicked out of the monastery.
In practice this isn't always the case. In many monasteries, individual circumstances are considered. Regret is also an important component of whether or not you are defeated.

theanarchist
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Re: Celibacy

Post by theanarchist » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:07 am

Zhen Li wrote: In practice this isn't always the case. In many monasteries, individual circumstances are considered. Regret is also an important component of whether or not you are defeated.

Aren't there definitive rules for when you lose the ordination in the vinaya? I am quite sure I read that as soon as the male organ enters the female the ordination is irrevocably lost. Only les severe downfalls can be mended with confession and repentence.

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Zhen Li
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Re: Celibacy

Post by Zhen Li » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:54 pm

It depends on circumstances and regret. In practice you may hear all sorts of stories. Bodily contact isn't enough, it also needs the intent, and it also needs to be consensual.

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