shaunc wrote:what in your opinion are the pros & cons of this type of Buddhism.
I'm coming from a Theravada background where celibacy is the norm for the monastics, and for the laypeople during times of taking 8 precepts. Many of the esteemed teachers like Bhante G and Ajahn Chah have explained that celibacy is a tool for realizing where your mind goes. Also, basically that not spending time chasing after romance/sex with other people gives you more time for meditation practice. Bhante G describes it as also, losing the predatory nature of those types of relationships. Creating an environment where we can live in comfort as brothers and sisters in the dhamma without pretense. But...
I've been on retreat in a monastic setting with noble silence and 8 precepts. I can tell you that of course, I'm still not seeing women as 'sisters' during the retreat. When I see a woman there, I think in a relationship way that I wonder what could be, even though I've never spoken to them due to noble silence. I think it would be nice to be with someone, who has common values in the Buddhist path, which is rare in my country to find a woman like that who is so serious about practice, to go to a retreat. But, that's clinging too. And that's something to reflect on. In the retreats that I've been on, the women and men sit on opposite sides of the meditation hall. I guess the abbots, understand that even being close to the opposite sex can create a meditation distraction.
Ajahn Chah suggested that people who are laypeople, need to meditate even more than monks. Because they have this stress of personal relationship.He told monks, that laypeople have become enlightened, then he expects monks can easily do it because they have none of those distractions.
That's what non-celibacy is in Buddhist practice terms. It's a distraction. For example, one of the benefits of not eating after noon, is not spending time eating and having more time to meditate. Then..how much time is spent chasing the opposite sex? Also, lost meditation time. That's how some teachers view it.