Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western Zen

Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Sara H » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:04 am

tobes wrote:

I'm not denying the reality of power relationships, nor defending some conception of equality. Sexual attraction can often be about power and authority in many other contexts, and that can be okay -

It is not that uncommon that teachers and students hook up and have a wholesome relationship - be it sexual, marital or otherwise.

That's fine if they wait until their institutional conditions change (i.e. the semester ends). If they want to get to know each other outside of the dynamic of authority/no authority, and they do so, and it works: wonderful. The point is that both parties are stepping out of the context where they have particular ethical obligations beyond themselves, and beyond their desires.

It's not fine if it happens during the semester.

Surely you can see why.

Surely I do not have to explain why it is problematic for a prof to shag one of his students whilst the classes are still running?

Surely there is a non-puritanical reason why this would violate every university ethics code, and be grounds for dismissal?

:anjali:


I can see why, but I also don't think it's a "scandal" if they do.

Sometimes people just come together.

Regarding sleeping with others wives etc.

You know, that kindof thing is usually indicative of a deeper relationship problem in the marriage,
something is not being satisfied in the marriage.
I have a family member who is a naturally polyamourous person, , a monogamous relationship just doesn't truly satisfy them.
They're in a marriage with a person who believes strongly in monogamy, that one person is all the other should need to be satisfied. And maybe for them, that is true, but it isn't for their partner. And the other person doesn't understand that.

As you might expect it has created a great deal of tension in their marriage. Even though they both love and care for each other and have had a child, the sexual orientation of one of them is still Poly.

This kindof thing is more common than you might think.

I have a great deal of compassion for people in these kindof situations, and I don't think that people's marriage problems go away just because they are a Zen Buddhist or Zen Priest.

They are ordinary human beings just like the rest of us.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby shel » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:14 am

Sara H wrote:They [Zen masters] are ordinary human beings just like the rest of us.


If that were the general perception this discussion wouldn't even be taking place, right? Inequality, or rather power or position, can be attractive, remember.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Sara H » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:17 am

I just want to add to that last, if the Teacher is a Zen Buddhist, and the other person is their student, when exactly does the "semester" end?
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby shel » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:26 am

Sara H wrote:I just want to add to that last, if the Teacher is a Zen Buddhist, and the other person is their student, when exactly does the "semester" end?


For the cases in question? I'd say it ends when the parties involved don't risk harming their spouses or significant others who have some expectation of fidelity. Also the sangha may have some expectation of fidelity and could be harmed.

Also, as you may know, many people come to spiritual practice because of trauma or hardship in their lives, and they can be very vulnerable and fragile. In these cases the semester may never me over, in my opinion.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby shaunc » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:41 am

Sara H wrote:I just want to add to that last, if the Teacher is a Zen Buddhist, and the other person is their student, when exactly does the "semester" end?


When the teacher or student move to another monastery to either teach or study, so as to pursue the relationship in a way that could not be regarded as scandalous.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby shaunc » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:41 am

:good:
shel wrote:
Sara H wrote:I just want to add to that last, if the Teacher is a Zen Buddhist, and the other person is their student, when exactly does the "semester" end?


For the cases in question? I'd say it ends when the parties involved don't risk harming their spouses or significant others who have some expectation of fidelity. Also the sangha may have some expectation of fidelity and could be harmed.

Also, as you may know, many people come to spiritual practice because of trauma or hardship in their lives, and they can be very vulnerable and fragile. In these cases the semester may never me over, in my opinion.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby justsit » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:05 am

Sara H wrote: I have a family member who is a naturally polyamourous person, , a monogamous relationship just doesn't truly satisfy them.
They're in a marriage with a person who believes strongly in monogamy, that one person is all the other should need to be satisfied. And maybe for them, that is true, but it isn't for their partner. And the other person doesn't understand that...
the sexual orientation of one of them is still Poly.

This kindof thing is more common than you might think.


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Men are Polygamous
Higamus Hogamus
Women Monogamous

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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:42 am

Sarah H wrote:We, especially in America, are far too prudish about sex


Curious, then, that according to a PBS documentary about 5 years back, the US 'sex industry' has a larger annual turnover than professional sports. I visited the states recently ad in every hotel room I stayed in, X-rated video was available 24 hours a day, on tap. Opposite the hotel I stayed in in LA there was a billboard for a 'gentleman's club'. There have been a few cases of obscenity taken against producers of pornographic videos in the last few years that have been thrown out because the US Courts can't agree on what constitutes 'obscenity', even though these materials routinely depict sexual activities that were prohibited by law a generation ago, and still are prohibited in many countries to this day.



How does this constitute 'prudishness'?
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby greentara » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:56 am

Why not press the flesh, exchange bodily fluids and sleep with the master? Well basically its an incredible abuse of power. The devotee usually full of faith and fervour watching the teacher explaining methods of meditation and sutras and going about his business, but not the business of sexual exploitation. In Christianity most sex-abuse cases involving priests are pedophilic. In fact, only about one-third of priests who sexually abuse children are pedophiles (that is, they molest a prepubescent child). The rest sexually abuse adolescents, generally boys. The precise clinical term for their behavior is ephebophilia. Although few would dispute the fact that sexual violations against youngsters of any age or women are really quite detestable.
With advanced age, some well know spiritual teachers become uninhibted in old age. Usually they are elderly men and who knows if the problem isn't a form of senility.
Who wants a lusty or senile teacher? Deep down I believe no one!
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Fu Ri Shin » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:30 am

jeeprs wrote:How does this constitute 'prudishness'?

A good point. It doesn't. The U.S. has one foot in its puritan roots and the other in a rebellious anti-puritan streak. The two exist simultaneously and cause great dissonance.

What sheds the most light on America's cultural attitudes is the distinction of sex into two categories: sexiness and sexuality. Sexiness is a commodity exchanged in the patriarchy and economy which takes the form of male-dominated power dynamics as well as oversexed marketing and products. Sexuality is a personal matter which really has nothing to do with all that. Unfortunately a lot of people can't tell the two apart, which is probably the biggest part of the problem. Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs is a good quick read on this subject.

Sara H wrote:...

I have to say, I'm rather perplexed by this thread and pretty much everything you've put forward in it. I've found most of your points incoherent and/or incomplete.

Most perplexing to me has been the dismissal of abuse being part of the sex scandals. If one does the research one finds that teachers have sometimes presented the affairs as Zen practice and that people have been hurt. It's best to not allow such any such relationships (and I don't mean committed relationships that exist outside the Zen center, I mean casual intercourse in the dokusan room) to exist in the institutions so that these negative outcomes are avoided. We might all be human, but considering these sexual encounters scandalous isn't puritan, it's practical.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:21 am

I don't accept the notion that 'Buddhism has no concept of sin'. It is post-sixties Western culture that has declared the notion of sin obsolete, as a consequence of the Sexual Revolution. And it is more than coincidental that many Western Buddhist groups have roots in the sixties counter-culture, for whom such notions as sexual propriety were 'hang-ups' and part of what had to be let go. I think it was assumed that Buddhism, because it was cool, was also cool about sexual mores, as indeed many Western Buddhist teachers are. The fact that many of the traditional sources were silent on such questions was interpreted it as complicity in that view. And at least one of the well-known Tibetan teachers to establish Buddhism in the US had a very laissez faire attitude to sexual morality - but how typical is that of the tradition as a whole?

In fact I think that traditional Buddhism, like all the traditional cultures, was, by modern standards, very conservative on questions of sexual ethics, and their silence on it is mainly due to the fact that it was not considered part of their role to comment on sexual relationships and practices. But the Dalai Lama has generally expressed a conservative approach on same sex relations, something which many Western Buddhists are very uncomfortable, even defiant, about. (This remains a controversy.)

As for 'sin', the ubiquitous term klesha, which is usually translated as 'defilement', would have to include at least some meanings of that word. I think the real divergence is between the Calvinist notion of 'original sin', from which one can only be redeemed by 'faith in Jesus' for which I agree that there is no direct counterpart in Buddhism. But you can't overlook the fact that the Buddhist diagnosis of the human condition is that it is, by default, charachterised by 'beginningless ignorance', avidya, which is, in some respects, a counterpart to ' original sin', although it is cognitive, rather than volitional. And among the older Buddhist texts, there are graphic depictions of the hell-realms, in fact Buddhism has a much more developed notion of hell than found in the Bible.

So I just don't accept this idea that Buddhism doesn't associate sex with sin. The early texts are full of warnings about 'the canker of sensuality' and 'the fetters of the senses'. Regarding sexuality as somehow exempt from this is a misreading of the teaching, in my opinion.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby tobes » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:25 am

Sara H wrote:
tobes wrote:

I'm not denying the reality of power relationships, nor defending some conception of equality. Sexual attraction can often be about power and authority in many other contexts, and that can be okay -

It is not that uncommon that teachers and students hook up and have a wholesome relationship - be it sexual, marital or otherwise.

That's fine if they wait until their institutional conditions change (i.e. the semester ends). If they want to get to know each other outside of the dynamic of authority/no authority, and they do so, and it works: wonderful. The point is that both parties are stepping out of the context where they have particular ethical obligations beyond themselves, and beyond their desires.

It's not fine if it happens during the semester.

Surely you can see why.

Surely I do not have to explain why it is problematic for a prof to shag one of his students whilst the classes are still running?

Surely there is a non-puritanical reason why this would violate every university ethics code, and be grounds for dismissal?

:anjali:


I can see why, but I also don't think it's a "scandal" if they do.

Sometimes people just come together.

Regarding sleeping with others wives etc.

You know, that kindof thing is usually indicative of a deeper relationship problem in the marriage,
something is not being satisfied in the marriage.
I have a family member who is a naturally polyamourous person, , a monogamous relationship just doesn't truly satisfy them.
They're in a marriage with a person who believes strongly in monogamy, that one person is all the other should need to be satisfied. And maybe for them, that is true, but it isn't for their partner. And the other person doesn't understand that.

As you might expect it has created a great deal of tension in their marriage. Even though they both love and care for each other and have had a child, the sexual orientation of one of them is still Poly.

This kindof thing is more common than you might think.

I have a great deal of compassion for people in these kindof situations, and I don't think that people's marriage problems go away just because they are a Zen Buddhist or Zen Priest.

They are ordinary human beings just like the rest of us.

In Gassho,

Sara H.


Sure, I grant you this.

I'm not trying to claim that there is only one way of being sexual. In fact, I think everyone needs to find their own way - be it poly or mono or hetro or homo or trannie or some interesting variant of them all.

But the point is, whatever mode works for us, our sexuality is not something that can be expressed willy-nilly (pun was not actually intended, but I'll roll with it) without consequence, without due and careful consideration to the effect on others.

It is not as simple as desire lining up with mutual consent.

If it harms others, it is a harmful act. Full stop. No form of Buddhism endorses that.

Who are they others in this instance? Well, in the prof example, it may be the other students who perceive it as an injustice. It may be the department who perceive it as unprofessional. It may be the family of the student who perceive it as exploitative. I don't know about the particular sangha in question - but you tell me, were other people harmed or not harmed?

If it doesn't harm anyone, then good luck to all who intercourse. May it be joyful.

If it harms, then it is akusala by definition.

:anjali:
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby tobes » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:31 am

jeeprs wrote:I don't accept the notion that 'Buddhism has no concept of sin'. It is post-sixties Western culture that has declared the notion of sin obsolete, as a consequence of the Sexual Revolution. And it is more than coincidental that many Western Buddhist groups have roots in the sixties counter-culture, for whom such notions as sexual propriety were 'hang-ups' and part of what had to be let go. I think it was assumed that Buddhism, because it was cool, was also cool about sexual mores, as indeed many Western Buddhist teachers are. The fact that many of the traditional sources were silent on such questions was interpreted it as complicity in that view. And at least one of the well-known Tibetan teachers to establish Buddhism in the US had a very laissez faire attitude to sexual morality - but how typical is that of the tradition as a whole?

In fact I think that traditional Buddhism, like all the traditional cultures, was, by modern standards, very conservative on questions of sexual ethics, and their silence on it is mainly due to the fact that it was not considered part of their role to comment on sexual relationships and practices. But the Dalai Lama has generally expressed a conservative approach on same sex relations, something which many Western Buddhists are very uncomfortable, even defiant, about. (This remains a controversy.)

As for 'sin', the ubiquitous term klesha, which is usually translated as 'defilement', would have to include at least some meanings of that word. I think the real divergence is between the Calvinist notion of 'original sin', from which one can only be redeemed by 'faith in Jesus' for which I agree that there is no direct counterpart in Buddhism. But you can't overlook the fact that the Buddhist diagnosis of the human condition is that it is, by default, charachterised by 'beginningless ignorance', avidya, which is, in some respects, a counterpart to ' original sin', although it is cognitive, rather than volitional. And among the older Buddhist texts, there are graphic depictions of the hell-realms, in fact Buddhism has a much more developed notion of hell than found in the Bible.

So I just don't accept this idea that Buddhism doesn't associate sex with sin. The early texts are full of warnings about 'the canker of sensuality' and 'the fetters of the senses'. Regarding sexuality as somehow exempt from this is a misreading of the teaching, in my opinion.


:good: Agree. Very well put. In Pali canon it is not merely sex that gets a bad wrap - it is any kind of sensory consciousness. I don't think later traditions move as far away from this as post 60's western Buddhism wishes to infer.

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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Sara H » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:59 am

jeeprs wrote:
Sarah H wrote:We, especially in America, are far too prudish about sex


Curious, then, that according to a PBS documentary about 5 years back, the US 'sex industry' has a larger annual turnover than professional sports. I visited the states recently ad in every hotel room I stayed in, X-rated video was available 24 hours a day, on tap. Opposite the hotel I stayed in in LA there was a billboard for a 'gentleman's club'. There have been a few cases of obscenity taken against producers of pornographic videos in the last few years that have been thrown out because the US Courts can't agree on what constitutes 'obscenity', even though these materials routinely depict sexual activities that were prohibited by law a generation ago, and still are prohibited in many countries to this day.



How does this constitute 'prudishness'?


We're prudish because it's still not considered acceptable open behavior.

This is part and parcel of it, openly we are very "chaste and proper" while privately we are all kinky as hell.

It's a lie.

It's a cultural thing that says being openly sexual and open sexual diversity is not ok, so it's driven underground the same way prohibition drove pot smoking underground. People still do it in large ammounts but it's not socially acceptable. That is of course, changing, but the metaphor is still valid.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Sara H » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:09 am

tobes wrote:If it harms others, it is a harmful act. Full stop. No form of Buddhism endorses that.

Judging others is also harmful.

Blaming others is harmful.

Gossip is harmful

Speaking against others is harmful.

Yes, there are consequences for people's actions.

Sexual misconduct is harmful.

But so are the people speaking against and blaming them and judging them.

They too, are furthering their own ignorance.

The correct response to seeing harm, is sadness, and compassion.

And seeing what one can do to help in a practical, loving and wise way.

That's not necessarily what's always been the case in these situations, people have tended to go to some very extremes in judgement.

And especially because there's sex involved, it becomes all the worst.

Americans especially, are very insecure about sexuality.

Regarding sin: No, Buddhism does not view things as sin.

We view things as harm. Things "it's best you don't do, because they can cause harm to yourself and others".

It's not the same in any way as a Christian concept of sin, which is something that is separate from, and apart from god, and is evil.

That's not the case at all, there is nothing separate from the Buddha Nature.

There are things that cause harm, but even that harm, in itself is a part of the Buddha Nature.

It's not our place to judge other human beings who are doing the best they can.

If they knew better, they would do better.

Every one of us on this thread has made mistakes, and we will continue to do so, even bad ones.

We don't have a right to be speaking against or judging others for theirs.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Sara H » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:34 am

You know tobes, I'm not saying there wasn't harm done, I acknowledge that.

But what I am saying is that the way people are responding to it, is a second harm, in and of itself.

Creating one harm, and then people responding to it by creating another, is not helping anyone, in any way.

Right Speech, Right Action, non-judgement, the Precepts, Compassion for those doing the harm, Love and Wisdom for those doing the harm, Not setting oneself up as being better than or more superior morally than others...

These all still apply.

The laws of Karma don't go out the window and give us a green light to indulge our own harmful pleasures of gossip and pride, and anger, and judging others, indulging our own ignorance, just because we see someone else may have done harm.

We don't get to say "Oh it's their karma that this is happening to them, because they did harm".
Or pump ourselves up and say that we are better than those "harmful sinners".(pride, and devaluing others). That's not the way it works in Buddhism.

No, it's our karma if we break the Precepts, and indulge wrong speech, wrong thought, etc, no matter what our rationale is for it.

It's still our own karma, and we are still doing actual harm when we do that.

And it's this fear, this fear of sex, and our own insecurity with ourselves and others, that is the root of much of our judgement.
Just because sex can be harmful, doesn't mean it always is, and it doesn't mean we need to judge ourselves or others, or be vindictive or hard-hearted if we see others make a mistake and do some harm. We all do harm. Have some compassion for them.
It will make the world a kinder, and more wise place.

We don't need to shut our hearts off to other people just because they've done some harm.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Matylda » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:57 am

Generally I can only support Sara in what she has stated here in this thread... there is a lot of judeo-christian, and so to say Western influence in all those scandals about sex, teacher behavior etc.

I think that people who feel bad about it should just complain in the court about how they were abused... Teachers can go to prison, they can bear it, I do not think that there is any problem about it. They are free in sansara and nirvana... their unfortune will be perceived only as a illusion, or dream, the drama of impermanent phenomena by themselves :) They are fully responsible adults, and teachers, so they will show their qualities.

Just one thing.. many say about teachers incredibly stupid things, who is it, what should or should not etc. ''equality'' is also a big issue here... what?! What equality? Oh yeah, a pretty delusioned or stupid individual, a student wants to be ''equal''? Have all rights secured, specially rights to be arrogant and finally to be able to put some critics in front and blame the teacher?.. Oh yes, Westerners have real problem with puritanism, hypocrisy, bigotry, ''equality'' and many other nice qualities imposed on them by history, religion, society etc. as Maezumi wrote about Bays, who is pretty much into business of witch hunting. Being for a girl whom? A b..ch???

There are many idiots who call themselves dharma students, but they want to bring into dharma their own standards, opinions etc. and their distorted views or emotions mostly anger, very well justified anger... now there comes something special.. ''power abuse''.. wow, what is that? Of course there is something like that.. but a buddhist teacher, as power abuser? what does it mean? of course I heard already millions of times ''power abuse'' definition, carried from social matters on buddhism, but does it apply to dharma? According to those standards Buddhism in most Buddhist countries should be criminalized. And many teachers in Asia should serve already life sentence.

West is totally arrogant, almost unable to receive dharma... you should look deeply into the source of this arrogance... and history of the West itself... holy Inquisition, puritans, holocaust of Indians, Jews etc. bloody extermination of non-christian religions, crusades etc. etc. etc. witch hunting, sex banishment etc. etc. etc. since it is what one can hear as echo in many many voices of Western Buddhists... also Western stress on success and show of individualism even if it means one's ignorance etc.

These all Western Buddhism issue is pretty much full of hatred, and this is called ''moral standard''....

Once I read some of Aitken papers, I got really sick, not about Eido, he failed or not failed, I do not know his motivations, but I got sick about Aitken himself.. what an obsession, anger, frustration, even with other teachers... and to have guts to entrust it to some uni. archives etc.?!!!!! this is something what calls for red alarm... and then thousands of people involved, interested, bashing etc. and still they believe that they follow dharma path to satori? or nirvana? well in some sort of Christian extreme way probably yes... Westerners make Buddhism more Christian, Jewish, biblical maybe in a way Islamic...

I think that generally it is Buddhism which has failed in the view of Westerners.. it was supposed to be some unearthly, supra-mundane entity, a capsule which once entered put us in different dimension, where there are no problems, no pain, no struggle etc. nice, cozy, warm, secure etc. But dharma is a deadly poison for any individual... It is not secure at all, it is deadly to its extremes... it will tear one's skin and nerves. You want to have nice Buddhism? Moral Buddhism? OK, Make it like Christian church.. Sunday school, parish, and put under control right from the beginning your parish priest.. best would be to castrate him - there is never enough security, then make him some plastic surgery, he/she should have always nice smile, take out his vocal cords, and implement some speaking computerize device, so you can control his/her speech, I guess his/her brain is useless, so better remove it, and then you will have this heavenly religion... with angel as a priest, nice, speaking truth, no sex, no dilemma etc.

good luck!
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Astus » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:23 pm

Matylda,

Are you saying that expecting a Zen teacher to follow common moral standards of a culture is beyond human abilities? An interesting idea.
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True Buddha can’t be found.
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Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Matylda » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:16 pm

Astus wrote:Matylda,

Are you saying that expecting a Zen teacher to follow common moral standards of a culture is beyond human abilities? An interesting idea.


No, it is what you say to me, suggest and impose on what I have said... pretty unwise.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:21 pm

All I see in this thread are people making a variety of excuses (social, cultural, religious, personal, ideological, etc...) for the incapcity of teachers to "practice what they preach" or, at the very least, practice what they have been taught.

Now, of course, teachers are human too, with all the frailties, weaknesses and unwholesome behaviour that humans are capable of expressing. But what is this BS about not judging behaviour? What is this BS about of labelling anybody that expresses an opinion as "prudish"? I'm sorry, but banging your wifes best friend is just not on. Especially when they happen to be your student too. This has nothing to do with prudishness and everything to do with common sense.

So he had an unhappy marriage. So what? Get a divorce and then stick it/have it stuck anywhere you wish, to/from anyone you wish. It is that simple. Pay up the alimony and move on. Will it generate suffering? Of course it will. Will it generate the same type of suffering? Probably not. Will it contravene the third precept? Definitely not. Conscience is clean, behaviour is correct, suffering is minimised, life goes on. No need for excuses.
:namaste:
"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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Sherab Dorje
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