Homosexuality

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Grigoris
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Re: Homosexuality

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:17 pm

If people want to continue the current conversation/topic I recommend starting a new thread, as it will take this one off-topic. I am happy to post a link to the new thread so people can follow it there.
"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."
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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Homosexuality

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:54 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:17 pm
If people want to continue the current conversation/topic I recommend starting a new thread, as it will take this one off-topic. I am happy to post a link to the new thread so people can follow it there.
Agreed. I don't personally want to discuss it any further.

:focus:
Ricky wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:23 pm
Admin_PC wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:02 pm
Ricky wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:37 pm
Its completely irrelevant in Pure Land. Any homosexual who recites the nembutsu with faith while still performing homosexual acts throughout their lifetime will be able to take birth in the low grades of Sukhavati.
They are not restricted to low grades in Sukhavati.
I doubt it considering what the Buddha has said about it in other sutras.
In the Contemplation Sutra, the criteria for each grade of birth are laid out in detail. This is my summary:
I.a - Highest grade, highest level
* cherish the Threefold Thought
* compassionate heart
* observe the precepts
* chant sutras
* six forms of mindfulness

I.b - Highest grade, middle level
* don't necessarily chant sutras but understand the truths in the teachings
* believe in cause and effect
* don't slander Mahayana
* transfer merit to birth in the Pure Land

I.c - Highest grade, lowest level
* believe in cause and effect
* awaken bodhicitta
* don't slander Mahayana
* transfer merit to birth in the Pure Land

II.a - Middle grade, highest level
* five precepts
* eight precepts
* abstain from five grave offenses
* transfer merit to birth in the Pure Land

II.b - Middle grade, middle level
* for one day and one night, observe fasting, or the precepts, or the prohibitive precept for Sramanera, or the perfect moral precepts
* not lowering their dignity nor neglecting any ceremonial observance for one day and one night
* transfer merit to birth in the Pure Land

II.c - Middle grade, low level
* care for parents
* do benevolent deeds for others
* at death, encounter a good teacher and take refuge in the Pure Land

III.a - Low grade, highest level
* commit evil acts
* don't slander Mahayana
* at death, encounter a good teacher and take refuge in the Pure Land

III.b - Low grade, middle level
* continually violate precepts
* steal from the Sangha or monks
* preach Dharma with impure motives
* at death, encounter a good teacher and take refuge in the Pure Land

III.c - Low grade, lowest level
* commit five grave offenses, ten evil acts, etc. entire life
* at death, encounter a good teacher and merely repeat the name of Amitayus Buddha
Here are two translations: 1, 2.

So to make a determination either way, you have to decide whether homosexuality is a violation of the precept against sexual misconduct for laypeople. I've read the definitions of sexual misconduct in sutra and haven't felt they apply to my monogamous marriage.

If you do decide homosexuality is a precepts violation, the middle level of the middle grade is still within reach since one need only uphold some kind of rigorous Buddhist training for a day and night, and the other cumulative requirements below don't pertain to homosexuality.

Of course, I'll take the lowest level of the lowest grade 10 times out of 10 over rebirth in this Saha world.
We need to aim high for ourselves and help inspire faith and practice in others.

So especially when talking about "homosexuality", tact is necessary. It may look like just a word, but to me, it isn't some interesting behavioral quirk to speculate on. It's my husband and best friend, my daily life. Such an approach as sometimes happens in these threads can feel dehumanizing.

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sth9784
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Re: Homosexuality

Post by sth9784 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:11 pm

Admin_PC wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:28 pm
Ricky wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:23 pm
Admin_PC wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:02 pm

They are not restricted to low grades in Sukhavati.
I doubt it considering what the Buddha has said about it in other sutras.
Lucky for us, we don't have to worry about your baseless speculation. The Larger Sutra has an "evil ways of the world" section that completely explains what qualifies as precept violations in Pure Land. Homosexuality is not in itself a basis of precept violation. Homosexual acts between 2 committed partners also does not fall under what is listed.
I am just curious, but is the 'evil ways of the world' section to which you are referring to the description of the 5 evils/sufferings/burnings in the second fascicle? I never really thought of that as an exposition of precepts, but that does make some sense to me now. I will have to read through that section again tonight.
Crom!

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Admin_PC
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Re: Homosexuality

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:26 pm

sth9784 wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:11 pm
I am just curious, but is the 'evil ways of the world' section to which you are referring to the description of the 5 evils/sufferings/burnings in the second fascicle? I never really thought of that as an exposition of precepts, but that does make some sense to me now. I will have to read through that section again tonight.
Yes, in the 2nd fascicle. In this translation it starts with "The Evil Ways of the World", continues through "The Solemn Admonition", and "The Five Evils and Five Virtues". It's not a perfect 1-to-1, but pretty close. For example, the 2nd Evil/Virtue seems to discuss harmful speech more than thievery (though it is mentioned). The point still stands though, every single thing listed involves doing harm to others, not just indulging in pleasure or being "impure" by some arbitrary standard. The idea that Pure Land is ignoring "the other Mahayana sutras" is kind of silly when there's literally only 1 actual Mahayana sutra quote that's been brought up even supporting the idea that homosexuality qualifies as sexual misconduct. Nothing more than homophobic fear mongering to say that one's sexual preference alone limits one's capacity for rebirth in Sukhavati.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

SunWuKong
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Re: Homosexuality

Post by SunWuKong » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:06 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:00 am
Just so people are aware: I am watching this topic closely. If I get even the faintest whiff of homophobia, I will act swiftly and without mercy! So, do not feign ignorance in the event of a moderation action. You have been warned.
I’m not so sure that the Sutras etc say anything specific about homosex but if they do it’s prolly consistent with sexuality in general. People will quote whatever they want I’m sure. Actually the way I read the Bible is much the same; there’s strong language warning against sensuality in general. I regard sexuality, eating, breathing all as subject to this practice. All 3 are physical needs that one has partial moment by moment control over

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Homosexuality

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:36 pm

Well, for laypeople sexuality and sexual misconduct are not really the same. That is, laypeople are not expected to abandon all forms of sensuality so we have the Precepts to refrain from overtly harmful actions instead.
Some people interpret sexual misconduct as covering homosexuality. I personally do not and will happily cite sutra to explain why.
I'll also rigorously refute any claims that being gay is an obstacle to birth in the Pure Land, or even to higher lotus grade birth as was suggested earlier.

I think the thread being in the Pure Land forum means doublerepukken is interested in a Pure Land view. Maybe he can clarify for us?

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doublerepukken
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Re: Homosexuality

Post by doublerepukken » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:26 am

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:36 pm
Well, for laypeople sexuality and sexual misconduct are not really the same. That is, laypeople are not expected to abandon all forms of sensuality so we have the Precepts to refrain from overtly harmful actions instead.
Some people interpret sexual misconduct as covering homosexuality. I personally do not and will happily cite sutra to explain why.
I'll also rigorously refute any claims that being gay is an obstacle to birth in the Pure Land, or even to higher lotus grade birth as was suggested earlier.

I think the thread being in the Pure Land forum means doublerepukken is interested in a Pure Land view. Maybe he can clarify for us?
I definitely do, yes.

Also thanks everyone for your replies, this has been a very enlightening thread.

Namu Amida Butsu
南無阿弥陀仏
なむ あみだ ぶつ
Namu Amida Butsu

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