Celibacy

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.

Re: Celibacy

Postby In the bone yard » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:22 pm

Not you greg, how did you get that?
I meant a Church (or a top head in the church) telling parishioners they can or can't do something, morally speaking.
The church is still going through a lot of hypocrisy right now.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby In the bone yard » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:43 pm

But people do take merit way too lightly and then they wonder why they achieve no results.

So, apart from impure, masturbation is demeritorious as well? :shrug: Some scripture to back that one?


In the sense that both wisdom and merit are required for realization.
Merit encompasses all of one's activity (karma).

You can't expect to do whatever you want and meditation will somehow clean all of your karma.
If meditation (wisdom) was all you needed than why would you commit demeritorious deeds?

You don't need scripture for everything. :smile:
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:14 am

In the bone yard wrote:Not you greg, how did you get that?
I meant a Church (or a top head in the church) telling parishioners they can or can't do something, morally speaking.
The church is still going through a lot of hypocrisy right now.
Well, you started the post by referring to me, so I assumed the rest of the post... :smile:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Celibacy

Postby In the bone yard » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:06 pm

I'm sorry about that...I'm not as good as I want to be with these forums. I'm still learning!
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Aemilius » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:18 am

Konchog1 wrote:Celibacy is not having sex. Porn is not sex.


If you that line of thinking seriously, you can have pornography and be celibate, because in your thinking "pornography is not sex". Can you see it?
There are deeds of mind, speech and body. I think that pornography would fall in the category of deed of the mind, in the mind.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:50 pm

Aemilius wrote:If you that line of thinking seriously, you can have pornography and be celibate, because in your thinking "pornography is not sex".
Yes, that's right.

In the same way that sex is a Parajika, but masturbation is not.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Celibacy

Postby wisdom » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:00 pm

Its just my opinion, although one shared by many others, that ultimately those who are really serious about the path will seek to *eventually* become chaste in thought, word and deed at least for a period of time in order to overcome sexual desire and lust. The benefits of this are recorded in many traditions throughout the world and it spans thousands of years of time, it has been said by many of the greatest sages this world has ever produced.

The best approach is to not develop any neurosis about it. Whatever you do, if you create more stress and suffering, that is not the path (in the Dharma). Although struggle might be required and so a brief period of internal war or stress might ensue, ultimately if one is ready for the practice of celibacy one will experience directly the cessation of attachment to sexual desire and the benefits of chastity will arise on their own.

Sexual activity of any kind is samsaric like everything else. As such it is ultimately unreal and unimportant. Any importance or value placed on it is placing importance and value on a samsaric activity. The only case where such value and importance is in line with the path to enlightenment is as skillful means in the various paths of using sex and desire as the path that many traditions offer. Otherwise its essence is suffering, its nature is endless, and it is a form of bondage and delusion.

If you are looking for a way to justify bringing yourself to orgasm this is equal to looking for a way to justify engaging samsara because of your desires. Whether the penis enters the vagina or not is irrelevant. If you think you need to masturbate and engage in mental fantasy you basically think you need to create mental and emotional obscurations and indulge them for your own pleasure. I fail to see how anyone can actually line this up with the Dharma regardless of what scripture says unless it is combined with skillful means.

If anyone thinks otherwise, I challenge them to try to remain chaste in thought, word and deed for even a week (not in isolation) and see what happens. Most people will experience effects that will show them that their minds are totally attached to this idea and these actions, and you will be able to see just how entangled in samsara we get when it comes to sex.

By not placing value on sex, we can enjoy it when it is available and not be attached to it when it is not. By not placing value on sexual activity, we can simply refrain from the pointless actions of masturbation. The only case where masturbation as indulgence is really in line with Dharma is when ones lust is so strong that one cannot focus for even a moment on ones practice. It is better to release that energy and then engage in meaningful practice than to try to practice while fantasizing and sick with desire.

I say all this as someone who has struggled with this issue for years and experienced both the benefits of chastity and the pitfalls of continuing with sexual activity of any kind. Ultimately all of samsara is a misappropriation of value onto something which is valueless and pointless. Its like making a cheap product but then calling it a luxury item and selling it in a store for the rich. People spend 600$ on an item that is usually worth 20$ because someone told them its valuable. The true wealth is freedom from samsaric entanglements. We can enjoy sensory input when it is combined with skillful means and wisdom. Otherwise, we are screwed :tongue:
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:54 am

Found this interesting video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGeOeISnb6M

The key point is that the cause of sex addiction (and any other addiction too) is self-hatred. Specifically:

1. I am unlovable. I am different. If people really knew me they would hate me.
2. If I shared myself with others, they would reject me.
3. If I trust and rely on others, they will betray me.
4. Therefore, due to this feeling of social isolation your addiction is the only way to meet your emotional needs.

Therefore, the cure of sex addiction is the following thought:

Please look at an image of Padmasambhava, or of your teacher, or of your yidam. I can assure you that you are loved unconditionally. I can absolutely promise you this. There is no mistake. Somewhere in this universe, you are loved unconditionally. What you must do is learn to gradually exchange your experience of broken love for this other love -- this unconditional love that is continually being offered to you by all the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions.
-William Cassidy


A wonderful mediation that uses this idea in a variation on the one on page 88 of The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane:

1. Relax
2. Imagine your yidam/lama/etc in front of you
3. Imagine their love and kindness for you
4. See yourself through their eyes
5. Feel the figure completely and unconditionally forgive and love you
6. Rest with this feeling for at least 10 seconds

Use this mediation whenever you feel stressed, depressed, or angry at yourself.

With time one will find it easier to connect with other people and have less of a need for one's addiction.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:49 pm

greentara wrote:jeeprs, "I am also averse to the suggestion that if you advocate a traditionalist view, then you are, therefore 'a slave to Christian morality', or are 'blaming or spreading guilt'. The fact that a discussion of the morality of pornography can't be had, without that accusation being made, says something"
I agree with you totally. Secularism is the new religion, the net is flooded by porn so where's all this supposed guilt? Most people revel and celebrate sex unashamedly. It's everywhere, it saturates the media, people talk and joke about it constantly. As far as I can see there's not much guilt around at all.



I'm way late to the discussion, but this stuck out at me...people in Christian cultures usually don't show or admit guilt, much less being publicly contrite about anything they do, unless caught in the act. So it is 100% unsurprising that you can't "see guilt" surrounding sex in these cultures. Nonetheless, I think if you make even a basic, cursory analysis of sex and it's place in the lives of many in Christian cultures, there is a huge undercurrent of not only guilt, but all kinds of other things surrounding it, sex is connected at such a deep level to so much of how we see ourselves in relation to others, i'm not sure these simple answers do it for me.

In addition, I think it's very simplistic when talking about media to just chalk it up to "sex sells", sex sells not only because it's sex, but because sex itself is representational and connected to a whole bunch of other complicated neuroses and desires, plenty of which aren't actually related directly to sex. I remember going to strip clubs as a young man, one thing that is very interesting about these places is just how little what is going on is actually about sex, the pervasive feeling is loneliness, isolation, and people lacking a feeling of love, acceptance, or belonging..on both ends of the transaction, it's a fantasy of being "wanted", played out through sex.

It just seems like an awfully convenient answer (and I have to say, somewhat puritanical) to shake our fists as if "sex" is it's own thing, part of why sex is so powerful is because it is biological but also often deeply connected to a bunch of seemingly non-sexual stuff for us, so to me, the place to start if one wants to know what is right or wrong with sex in their lives is to try tracing that stuff within ourselves, rather than trying to set hard and fast rules about masturbation etc. Does anyone really need hard and fast (lol) rules about masturbation to figure out what's right or wrong?
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Celibacy

Postby greentara » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:09 pm

Johnny, Spot on! "I remember going to strip clubs as a young man, one thing that is very interesting about these places is just how little what is going on is actually about sex, the pervasive feeling is loneliness, isolation, and people lacking a feeling of love, acceptance, or belonging..on both ends of the transaction, it's a fantasy of being "wanted", played out through sex" You're a reflective man. Unfortunately many keep repeating the same old repetitive fantasy and then feel isolated but don't know why. Why is life so pointless, so meaningless?
To know why and when to stop is maturity....that is the spiritual journey.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby In the bone yard » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:15 am

Engaging in SIE is socially acceptable. Perfectly normal. And if it's socially acceptable then what could be wrong with it?

Several weeks ago while at work this subject came up, and it was agreed that we are human and it is a biological need...it was impossible for anyone to avoid doing it. I asked if the saints from the bible had done it. I just wanted to see where they were spiritually on the topic. After it was confirmed that they had, I asked if Jesus had ever done it. The answer after a short pause was, "Yea of course!" Joining in on the debate was a 'registered' minister belonging to a church. He has one of those licenses that verify one as being a licensed minister. Been married 20 years.

After that ran its course I asked them what the moral requirements were to become a saint from the bible, or to be declared a saint by today's standard. The answer didn't have an impact on me or I would have remembered it, and telling them what it meant to be a buddhist saint would have been a waste of time.

There are people in this world who believe it's impossible not to engage in SIE. What if it weren't socially acceptable? What if it was considered shameful like it used to be? Would it be possible then?

But if there are people who are bothered by it then there has to be something to it. I'm reminded of when I was young and struggling with being a strict Catholic. I thought it was unfair that I had to abide by all these rules and others were living seemingly free and unaffected. I knew I could never be free without being unhappy. I didn't think this was fair and I questioned it deeply for years. Were these people going to heaven when they died and where did that leave me?

It is said in the tantras that desire closes to the door to virtue.
Virtue brings joy.
Mahayana sutras state that joy arises when we care more about others than ourselves.
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