I think the worst thing that can happen from this thread is if the idea "monks can do tantric sex" is what is understood by the casual reader. That possibility makes me very uncomfortable. The point I was trying to make was that, from the Gelug standpoint, karmamudra is not "sex" per se. It does not matter that we cannot look at that action and see it as anything other than what we think of as sex. Our imagination automatically tries to make something outside our experience fit into what we think we already know. In our unawareness we try to make great awareness fit into our worldview. That is why the ChNN quote is so apropos to so much of dharma practice.
In Vajrayana it is said the poisons are transmuted into medicine. I've heard the analogy of a poisonous snake bite used. It turns out that the antidote for a snakebite is made from venom. But untransmuted venom is still poison. At no point in Vajrayana (Gelug perspective, but applicable to other schools too) is venom, or the defilements, to be indulged in. That's like getting bitten by a snake, going to the hospital, and then getting bitten by another snake once there. You don't want that. You want the antidote to the poison, not more of the poison. That's why the Gelug school keeps those types practices exclusive to people that aren't going to use them to poison themselves even more.
My schooling in this is very much from the Gelug camp. Nyingmapas have a different idea about things. But there aren't many Nyingma monks to begin with, so they don't really factor much in the present discussion. Even though I self-identify as a Karma Kagyu practitioner, I actually can't say anything about the Karma Kagyu take on any of this because I have not had those discussions with any KK lineage lamas. And I've only met a couple Sakya lamas in my entire life. So yes, my perspective is not universally accepted, but even so it highlights an important point about a very misunderstood subject.
Last edited by smcj
on Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
There is a tradition of making a distinction between two different perspectives on the nature of emptiness: one is when emptiness is presented within a philosophical analysis of the ultimate reality of things, in which case it ought to be understood in terms of a non-affirming negative phenomena. On the other hand, when it is discussed from the point of view of experience, it should be understood more in terms of an affirming negation.