Sex and the Lama

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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby undefineable » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:30 pm

anjali wrote:1. Each person (lama) should avoid even the appearance of wrong-doing.
2. Each person (lama) is responsible not only for his/her own reputation, but also for that of the organization (Buddhism in general/Tibetan Buddhism more specifically/the lama's immediate lineage in particular).


In principle, appearance and reputation aren't always supposed to be a concern in Buddhism, but in practice they have to be (hence the forewarned dire consequences of 'creating a schism in the sangha', I'd imagine) if the teachings are to continue to benefit human beings.

anjali wrote:In my opinion, lamas who fail to take these two rules into consideration will eventually be the cause of suffering for themselves and others. At least in the cultural context of the West.


Every culture has its own definition of sexual misconduct, as laid down by its laws. i understand that ours is unambiguous about the unnacceptability of any sexual conduct within a relationship formally defined by an imbalance of power. If the only formally-defined roles adopted are those of yogi and yogini, there needn't be a problem, I guess _ _ _
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby undefineable » Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:16 pm

Yudron wrote:I have ideas of what might make women be more likely to participate in this kind of thing, that are based on similar observations to the post by "Undefineable" above.


A 'masculine' reaction: 8-) :twothumbsup:

Yudron wrote:Bottom line, though, is that long time female practitioners would need to be actively involved in the envisioning of the entire project from the base, and their input, different priorities, and mode of expression would need to be respected by the men who wanted to partner on the project. How the resultant site would look under those circumstances would probably be very different.


Yes, a wider range of approaches would be established.

What 'intuition' I may have (however much it gets diverted into supporting my 'intellect') tells me that the culture here isn't as balanced as I'd ideally prefer it to be. There's plenty of what's traditionally called 'masculine compassion' or (more usefully) 'method', but discussions of Practice along the lines of (what's traditionally called) 'feminine wisdom' seem to be thinner on the ground, which can feel a bit cloying whether one is naturally drawn to the 'side' that's been better established or to its opposite. It's bound to depend partly, of course, on where you choose to read and post. :yinyang:

I'm scratching the surface here of course, but an aggressive intellect/'method' seems to have its uses in understanding and developing solutions to problems, in Buddhism as elsewhere, while 'wisdom' seems to allow Buddhism a more 'feminine' side that's needed in order to implement those solutions and to deal with the problem while it remains 'unsolved' - as the therapist's cliche has it. {Would someone who held Buddhist beliefs still be considered a practicing Buddhist if 'she' wanted to personally 'have' the 'problem' of samsara forever, I wonder :shrug: }

I was puzzled and interested to read, elsewhere on this forum, that scholars have always had more popular appeal than yogis in 'Buddhist' cultures. From a layman's perspective, it seems that something similar happens in fields like science&technology, in which populist writers clearly have more prominence than engineers involved in the nitty-gritty - You wonder what happens to 'PR skills' among practical types; I guess verbal presentation's just too wordy a mode of expression to easily do justice to practical concerns like machines or enlightenment :tongue: .

Yudron wrote:The decision-making process of the moderator's group would be different, and the governance might even be different.


Hmm _ ?? _

Anyway, I'm off now, as I can see I've only posted this 'cos I just 'bent' the 5'th precept ODing on energy drinks after feeling sleepy on a commute :crazy:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:53 pm

Oh my god! Women and men are having sex with each other instead of members of the same sex or their own hands! Call the police!
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby undefineable » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:02 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Oh my god! Women and men are having sex with each other instead of members of the same sex or their own hands! Call the police!


:rolling:
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Tilopa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:33 am

anjali wrote:1. Each person (lama) should avoid even the appearance of wrong-doing.
2. Each person (lama) is responsible not only for his/her own reputation, but also for that of the organization (Buddhism in general/Tibetan Buddhism more specifically/the lama's immediate lineage in particular).

In my opinion, lamas who fail to take these two rules into consideration will eventually be the cause of suffering for themselves and others. At least in the cultural context of the West.


undefinable wrote:Every culture has its own definition of sexual misconduct, as laid down by its laws. i understand that ours is unambiguous about the unnacceptability of any sexual conduct within a relationship formally defined by an imbalance of power.

Thanks anjali and undefinable.

Of 63 comments on this thread I think yours are the only ones that actually address the issues raised by the essay noted in my OP.

On other forums it might have provoked a mature discussion about a problem many believe is a threat to the credibility of dharma in the west.

Not here though - or at least not yet.

I think that's a bit sad.
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:59 am

By the way Tilopa, my previous comment was not directed at you (not that you thought it was) as the thread starter here, but at a general hypocritical attitude towards sexuality that is unfortunately prevalent or common among Westerners (an attitude that has—even if only by implication—reared it's ugly head in this very thread).

Anyhow, ideally anyone, Lama or not, would practice Karmamudra or Sexual Yoga with only one consort, until they attain the level of being able to practice with consorts other than their initial consort.

Who is to judge if any Lama is at that level or not? If one has not enough confidence that any given Lama is at that level, then why not go find a teacher that one does have confidence in.

If one does not think that a teacher is a good teacher, then why not simply put them aside and find another teacher, instead of writing articles about how wrong one thinks the other Lama is. Although from what I saw of the article in the original post, no specific names were actually mentioned.
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Tilopa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:12 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:By the way Tilopa, my previous comment was not directed at you

I know and nor was mine directed specifically at your post.

Anyhow, ideally anyone, Lama or not, would practice Karmamudra or Sexual Yoga with only one consort, until they attain the level of being able to practice with consorts other than their initial consort.

In the context of HYT it seems few people fully understand when it's appropriate to practice with a consort and who is a suitable person to practice with. Everyone has an opinion but I wonder how many have actually received complete instruction on karmamudra practice from a teacher who really knows what they're talking about. Reading books, internet forums, or even the original Tantras and commentaries leaves a lot of scope for subjective and faulty interpretation. The most secret aspect of consort practice is an ear whispered teaching and anyone who's received it knows that a considerable amount of what's written about utilizing sexual desire on the path is at best partially correct and at worst misleading nonsense - especially, but not only, here at DW.

Who is to judge if any Lama is at that level or not?

This is often said to justify a lama's sexual activity with his female students and also one of the points raised by the author of the essay.

If one does not think that a teacher is a good teacher, then why not simply put them aside and find another teacher, instead of writing articles about how wrong one thinks the other Lama is. Although from what I saw of the article in the original post, no specific names were actually mentioned.

I thought it was written as an expression of concern about an important issue. It's not a criticism of any particular lama or teacher.
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:36 am

Tilopa wrote:I know and nor was mine directed specifically at your post.


Right, that's why I'd edited my post and said: "Not that you thought it was".


In the context of HYT it seems few people fully understand when it's appropriate to practice with a consort and who is a suitable person to practice with. Everyone has an opinion but I wonder how many have actually received complete instruction on karmamudra practice from a teacher who really knows what they're talking about. Reading books, internet forums, or even the original Tantras and commentaries leaves a lot of scope for subjective and faulty interpretation. The most secret aspect of consort practice is an ear whispered teaching and anyone who's received it knows that a considerable amount of what's written about utilizing sexual desire on the path is at best partially correct and at worst misleading nonsense - especially, but not only, here at DW.


I agree with you to an extent. However H.H. the Dalai Lama himself has spoken quite openly and very clearly about Karmamudra. Perhaps we'll examine some of what he has said about it, citing Berzin-Archives and some of the books by H.H. the Dalai Lama. Also, I have received instructions on Sexual Yoga practice. Of course in order to determine, in an open forum, if the said instructions are complete, could be a cause of Samaya breakage for one or both of us (although not necessarily).


Tilopa wrote:This is often said to justify a lama's sexual activity with his female students and also one of the points raised by the author of the essay.


It's still the Lama's business if he or she engages in consentual sexual activity with students of the opposite sex. And even if some Lama's aren't really qualified to do that, there are much worse forms of sexual misconduct that are rampant within the contemporary world of Buddhism. I don't really see how the author of the essay's essay will do much good. But if the author of the said essay is clairvoyant and can see that many Lamas don't actually have the capacity to enter into sexual contact with students without them accruing negative karma, then that's his choice to write such articles, for better or for worse (or maybe the author can see that many of the said Lama's other actions are not in accordance with Dharma, such a case being a major cause of suspicion in regard to their motivation for practicing Sexual Yoga with students; but I don't recall the article mentioning this).

However, there are as I said much worse forms of sexual misconduct rampant within Buddhism especially with Westerners. So again, if one doesn't have confidence in a Lama being qualified to enter into sexual union with students, then simply find another Lama. Maybe some unqualified Lama's are entering into sexual contact with students as an excuse to samsarically indulge. But this doesn't mean that there aren't many Lama's who actually are qualified to practice Karmamudra with students as authentic Dharma activity.


I thought it was written as an expression of concern about an important issue. It's not a criticism of any particular lama or teacher.


Well that's why I said:

"Although from what I saw of the article in the original post, no specific names were actually mentioned."

Even so, I don't see what the article would accomplish.

And, in regard to what I said here:

"There are much worse forms of sexual misconduct rampant within Buddhism especially with Westerners."

There are bigger fish to fry so to speak, this being the case.
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Tilopa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:03 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:I agree with you to an extent. However H.H. the Dalai Lama himself has spoken quite openly and very clearly about Karmamudra. Perhaps we'll examine some of what he has said about it, citing Berzin-Archives and some of the books by H.H. the Dalai Lama. Also, I have received instructions on Sexual Yoga practice.

The general practice of Karmamudra is no secret but some details are which is possibly why it's often misunderstood. If you've received the instructions I'm referring to you know exactly what I'm talking about and if not it's something to look forward to but I'm not aware of it being written about in any book by HHDL, Berzin or anyone else. AFAIK it's only given as an oral teaching.

It's still the Lama's business if he or she engages in consensual sexual activity with students.

How consensual can it really be given the teacher/student dynamic in Vajrayana Buddhism? And why is it only the lamas business? What about the women who might feel manipulated or his other students who might feel embarrassed, betrayed or deceived. Don't they count? What Kilty says in his essay rings true for me:

"If the Dharma is to find its place in the western world, it should, as far as possible, conform to the conventions of the society it finds itself in. It is simply unacceptable in the world these days for those in positions of power and influence to have sexual relations with those who look up to them, or who defer and rely upon them. No doctor or teacher would last five minutes in his job if he was discovered having sex with his patients or pupils. Why should it be any different for a lama in a position of great influence over the minds of others? "

Even so, I don't see what the article would accomplish.

It might help people understand that lamas should also be accountable for their actions.
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:34 am

Tilopa wrote:"If the Dharma is to find its place in the western world, it should, as far as possible, conform to the conventions of the society it finds itself in. It is simply unacceptable in the world these days for those in positions of power and influence to have sexual relations with those who look up to them, or who defer and rely upon them. No doctor or teacher would last five minutes in his job if he was discovered having sex with his patients or pupils. Why should it be any different for a lama in a position of great influence over the minds of others? "
Agreed.

"In outward behaviour keeping the Hearer’s conduct, Let me, in inward belief, revere the Profound Vajrayana, and practice the Two-Stage Path" http://resources.tsemtulku.com/prayers/ ... lible.html

There are similar teachings elsewhere.

'Crazy' Yogis are called crazy because they let their Vajrayana views affect their public conduct (imo of course).
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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."

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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:43 am

Tilopa wrote:How consensual can it really be given the teacher/student dynamic in Vajrayana Buddhism and why is it only the lamas business? What about the women who might feel manipulated or the other students who might feel embarrassed, betrayed or deceived. Don't they count? What Kilty says in his essay rings true for me:

"If the Dharma is to find its place in the western world, it should, as far as possible, conform to the conventions of the society it finds itself in. It is simply unacceptable in the world these days for those in positions of power and influence to have sexual relations with those who look up to them, or who defer and rely upon them. No doctor or teacher would last five minutes in his job if he was discovered having sex with his patients or pupils. Why should it be any different for a lama in a position of great influence over the minds of others? "


Didn't say that it's only the Lama's business. It's obviously the consort's business too. Nevertheless, the woman can make her own decision. If she doesn't feel that the Lama is qualified to enter into sexual union with her, then she can refuse (unless she gets raped, in which case there is an obvious problem that has to be addressed right away).

Now I know that I said that there are much worse forms of sexual misconduct rampant within the world of contemporary Buddhism, meaning that Lama's having causal sex with students of the opposite sex, even if under the guise of spiritual practice, could not be near as bad as some of the other stuff that gets passed off as kosher with many contemporary Western Buddhists. Nonetheless, my main point, is that how can we know whether or not a Lama is actually qualified to practice Karmamudra with students?

If a Lama actually is qualified for it, and we criticize them, then that's negative.

If they're not qualified, then the student should simply refuse if they don't think that the Lama in question is qualified. And if the Lama/Lama's in question actually is/are qualified to enter into sexual union with students, yet the student doesn't want to, the said Lama(s) would not obligate them to do it. And if a Lama is abusing his or her status; then like I've said, why not simply refuse, set them aside, and move on.

I might have more to reply regarding this, and the other part of your post. Although perhaps a little later.

:anjali:
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Sheila » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:39 am

Maybe there aren't many women posting on this issue because, contrary to what the illusionists would have us believe, we Vajrayanettes aren't in fact being haplessly seduced in droves by our teachers, but are rather sitting through years of their completely-clothed commentary on Nagarjuna like anyone else.
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Tilopa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:09 am

Sheila wrote:Maybe there aren't many women posting on this issue because, contrary to what the illusionists would have us believe, we Vajrayanettes aren't in fact being haplessly seduced in droves by our teachers, but are rather sitting through years of their completely-clothed commentary on Nagarjuna like anyone else.

Not everyone is so fortunate.

http://downthecrookedpath-meditation-gu ... th_01.html

Sadly there are many other examples.
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Jnana » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:00 am

Some council from Longchenpa's Semnyi Rangdrol (rdzogs pa chen po sems nyid rang grol):

    In the path of "skill in means," indulging in the bliss of the sense (-organs),
    Is attachment to sensuality; so in most cases it is the cause of birth in the inferior realms.
    Even if one reaches happy realms, one will be reborn in inferior births.
    "Skill in means" is the path of only a very few yogis.
    (In this path) there are great dangers of deviative obscurations, and it is very difficult to see the meaning of realization.

And from Thrangu Rinpoche's commentary on Tilopa's Ganges Mahāmudrā:

    This technique, which is called karmamudrā or the action seal, has two styles or varieties of practice. And they are called the upper door or upper gate and the lower door or lower gate. The lower door or lower gate is very dangerous, so very few people actually practice this. There are a few great yogis and yoginis who do it, but most do not. [Editor’s note: Karmamudrā using the lower gate refers to the actual use of sexual union as a path to enlightenment.]

    What is of utmost importance in either form of karmamudrā — either the upper gate, or the lower gate version of this practice — is that there be no craving for the bliss, that there be no attachment to it. The purpose, of course, is to use the bliss as a basis for the realization of emptiness.
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Yudron » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:25 pm

Tilopa wrote:
Sheila wrote:Maybe there aren't many women posting on this issue because, contrary to what the illusionists would have us believe, we Vajrayanettes aren't in fact being haplessly seduced in droves by our teachers, but are rather sitting through years of their completely-clothed commentary on Nagarjuna like anyone else.

Not everyone is so fortunate.

http://downthecrookedpath-meditation-gu ... th_01.html

Sadly there are many other examples.


I don't see why that lama is apologizing, at least from that link. He was separated from his wife and having exploring new sexual partners. If if was consensual and the women were not married (unclear from the blog), what is wrong with that?
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby heart » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:12 pm

Yudron wrote:
Tilopa wrote:
Sheila wrote:Maybe there aren't many women posting on this issue because, contrary to what the illusionists would have us believe, we Vajrayanettes aren't in fact being haplessly seduced in droves by our teachers, but are rather sitting through years of their completely-clothed commentary on Nagarjuna like anyone else.

Not everyone is so fortunate.

http://downthecrookedpath-meditation-gu ... th_01.html

Sadly there are many other examples.


I don't see why that lama is apologizing, at least from that link. He was separated from his wife and having exploring new sexual partners. If if was consensual and the women were not married (unclear from the blog), what is wrong with that?


The problem was that there were a few of them and they all thought they were the only one if I understood correctly.

/magnus
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Sheila » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:44 pm

Blogs like Down the Crooked Path make frequent use of a "quote" from Gedun Chopel--a quote he never uttered.

This is the infamous "feed twelve year olds sweets before ritual sex" nonsense. I finally got a copy of Chopel and Hopkins' book, Tibetan Arts of Love, the alleged source for this quote; there is no such text in it. In fact, Chopel's book is a love manual for householders and the only thing he says about twelve year olds of either sex is that they are not ready for it.

This "quote" was fabricated by the Trimondis (real names Herbert and Mariana Rottgen), and is, quite frankly, grounds for libel.

I do think, though, this type of thing betrays the fact that, when the illusionists are trying desperately to paint tantra and sometimes Tibetan Buddhism itself as evil, they don't have any material to work with that is "shocking" enough, and have to instead Frankenstein bits and pieces of out-of-context phrases in order to generate anything which meets their standard for scandal.

Sad and fascinating.
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:29 pm

A clarification:

Lhug-Pa wrote:[...]instructions on Sexual Yoga practice. Of course in order to determine, in an open forum, if the said instructions are complete[...]


Well I know that they are complete in their own context, even though they're not the same as Kalachakra instructions.

Anyway, the title of that article cracks me up:

"Lama apologises for having sex with women"

At least it was with women, unlike this...:

Child Abuse Rampant in...

...or the Roman Catholic church, etc.

Strict celibacy was more for the previous age, when there was much more possibility to become a monk and go meditate in the forest. Most people don't have that opportunity anymore.

I'm not saying that everyone should just jump right in to Sexual Yoga right away. I mean, if one can remain celibate and maintain their chastity through Meditation, Pranayama, Yantra Yoga practice, etc. alone, then that's good.

But even casual sex between opposite sexes is still much more healthy than giving in to the vice of masturbation or other forms of sexual deviance. At least with real actual sex between woman and man, one is sharing that enjoyment with someone, instead of squandering it on ones own.

Also, masturbation is bad for the Nadi's/channels.

And even though it may be possible to remain chaste as a celibate, that is, with a lot of discipline and Pranayama practices for sublimating the sexual energy; it's very difficult for most to achieve for a long period of time in this contemporary world.

See also:

THIS POST
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Yudron » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:59 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:A clarification:

Lhug-Pa wrote:[...]instructions on Sexual Yoga practice. Of course in order to determine, in an open forum, if the said instructions are complete[...]


Well I know that they are complete in their own context, even though they're not the same as Kalachakra instructions.

Anyway, the title of that article cracks me up:

"Lama apologises for having sex with women"

At least it was with women, unlike this...:

Child Abuse Rampant in...

...or the Roman Catholic church, etc.

Strict celibacy was more for the previous age, when there was much more possibility to become a monk and go meditate in the forest. Most people don't have that opportunity anymore.

I'm not saying that everyone should just jump right in to Sexual Yoga right away. I mean, if one can remain celibate and maintain their chastity through Meditation, Pranayama, Yantra Yoga practice, etc. alone, then that's good.

But even casual sex between opposite sexes is still much more healthy than giving in to the vice of masturbation or other forms of sexual deviance. At least with real actual sex between woman and man, one is sharing that enjoyment with someone, instead of squandering it on ones own.

Also, masturbation is bad for the Nadi's/channels.

And even though it may be possible to remain chaste as a celibate, that is, with a lot of discipline and Pranayama practices for sublimating the sexual energy; it's very difficult for most to achieve for a long period of time in this contemporary world.

See also:

THIS POST


Oh, my, we are from such different worlds. None of your comments above have any relationship to my Nyingma lamas perspective in the slightest. So, gays and lesbians and people who like to masturbate, don't take this person's perspective as representative of Tibetan Buddhist perspectives and be driven off.

And to lhug-pa--from whom did you get these ideas? Books?
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Re: Sex and the Lama

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:08 pm

It's standard Ayurveda/Kalachakra/Tibetan Medicine phsyiology:

With masturbation or anal sex there's no contact between opposite poles.

I'll quote again another forum-member's post because it sums it up well:


gad rgyangs wrote:the central channel in a male ends at the tip of the penis, in a women it ends at the cervix. In heterosexual sex, the ends are brought in close proximity or contact. two men or two women are going to have a hard time with this. i believe it goes way beyond just this though, in terms of winds and drops, mirroring of side channels etc.


If you can show me one authentic Dharma source that says otherwise, then please do.
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