Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby duckfiasco » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:56 pm

So much divisive speech. I think everyone could benefit from the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation.
With the thought of attaining enlightenment
For the welfare of beings,
Who are more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel,
I will constantly practice holding them dear.

Whenever I am with others,
I will practice seeing myself as the lowest of all
And from the very depth of my heart,
I will respectfully hold others as supreme.

In all actions, I will examine my mind
And the moment a disturbing attitude arises,
Endangering myself and others,
I will firmly confront and avert it.

Whenever I meet a person of bad nature
Who is overwhelmed by negative energy and intense suffering,
I will hold such a rare one dear,
As if I had found a precious treasure.

When others, out of jealousy,
Mistreat me with abuse, slander and so on,
I will practice accepting defeat
And offering the victory to them.

When someone I have benefitted
And in whom I have placed great trust
Hurts me very badly,
I will practice seeing that person as my supreme teacher.

In short, I will offer directly and indirectly
Every benefit and happiness to all beings, my mothers.
I will practice in secret taking upon myself
All their harmful actions and sufferings.

Without these practices being defiled by the stains of the eight worldly concerns,
By perceiving all phenomena as illusory,
I will practice without grasping to release all beings
From the bondage of the disturbing, unsubdued mind and karma.


Especially in matters of being right or wrong, it's easy to get into samsaric games. If some honestly feel that this or that person is being hateful or bigoted, then that's all the more reason to respond with a good-natured desire to love and help. I think it's obvious by this point though that a lot of the speech so far has not been beneficial or well-timed, two of the Buddha's criteria, either for want in the writers or the readers.

And as an aside, being a gay man, I find the posts about the evils of Westerners and Caucasians to be more salient than ideas about magnetic channels in my penis or anus.

I would also say since nearly every one of us is likely to have many more rebirths, we should probably focus on uprooting the more gross fetters of hatred and self-cherishing in "them bigot, us not" "them White, us not" "them degenerate, us not" than in worrying about who's technically "right." Can any of us honestly say "I don't need to liberate my ideas about this, I'm already liberated"? Then get to work liberating your ideas and your aggregates that are so miserable here in samsara :heart: Time's a-wastin'!

Just my thoughts on this :) PEACE THE EFF OUT :rolling:
Last edited by duckfiasco on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Namu Amida Butsu
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:16 pm

Huseng wrote:As a celibate bhikṣu(ni) it is probably useful to maintain a view of sexuality as vulgar and inappropriate, otherwise it could lead to a loose attitude. If you have full precepts, which the scriptures often assume, then having a strict attitude when it comes to any kind of sex will be important. As a layperson it is easy enough to speak of sex in liberal terms and think anyone who says otherwise is attached to forms, but if you have to maintain strict celibacy for the rest of your days, attitude counts for a lot, or so I have come to think after living in monasteries with bhikṣus.


The attitude must be dissolved for Bhikkhus too or they are not enlightened.
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:27 pm

You can be a GBLT dzogchen or tantra practitioner. Homosexuality is not negative. Both males and females have both male and female energies. That's just your limitation. Anyone of any orientation should feel welcome to tantra and dzogchen especially. For Dzogchen any sensation is a way to be introduced to rigpa. Could be two males or two females or any combination. If the intention is to recognize, then it is possible. It is up to the individual to decide if they have that capacity. The nature of mind is Samantabhadra/Samantabhadri nondual.

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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby wisdom » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:45 pm

The biggest obstacle most gay people will have to any Dharma practice is the same obstacle most straight people will have, the concept of self and other. Many gays have a very strong sense of identity as a result of years or a lifetime of persecution, they have grown thick skin and their imputation of subject-object is strong (but then again so is the subject-object imputation of the ones persecuting them!). Each person is of course different, but thats all I can see in terms of why being gay would or could be a hindrance to Dharma. The whole concept "Im Gay!" must be abandoned. At the same time its just as harmful for a person to strongly impute the concept "Im straight!" and identify with being straight as a sexual identity. All identity hinders the perception of non-dual wisdom.

Why identify sexually at all? It makes no difference. Allow yourself to be attracted to whom you are attracted, and deal with it based on your level of practice and understanding. You can't change what you are, but you can work with your circumstances and the teachings you've been given.
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:45 am

Nobody, no religious or state authority should have anything to do with whom we decide to screw, whether man, woman or in between. Being gay is not related with moral. It's a sexual preference. It shouldn't offend anyone. People should mind their own business, gays included. Some men prefer blonds. Some women prefer blacks, some men prefer other men, some women prefer other women. What is it to us? Some consider it a sexual deviation to the norm because it's the behavior of a minority of the general population and look at with with suspicion. Even if it is a marginal behavior, so what?! It doesn't hurt anyone.

I can only imagine having to hide one's sexuality to fit the norm. It's like me having the need to pretend to like men! Just put yourself in their shoes and think about what you're saying. People should be free to love who they decide. OK, but that's not the debate we're having.

Anal sex, whether homo or heterosexual alters the the prana circulation in the nadis. Even if that's correct, so many other things do that! And we do them all the time. We can balance it though. So, for the sake of the discussion, let's assume anal sex indeed makes your energy flow backwards or something. Bad diet, stress, lack of sleep and so on also unbalance our elements. A lot of heteros like parking their car through the back alley too. If that's the case, what do we do? We correct it as we correct any unbalance. Heteros have the choice of performing different kinds of sex. Male homosexuals have less options. So? They shouldn't have sex? What will that do to their psychological well being and how will that reflect in their practice? Not everyone is cut to be a monk.

We all have obstacles. If being gay poses some challenges because of the way sex is performed, so do many other things. Probably most are busy paying their bills and working their jobs and that's their biggest obstacle to practice if they aren't careful. Not sex.

Finally, in the case of Dzogchen practice, it doesn't matter much if you're gay or not. It's not that your natural state is different because of that.
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:57 am

tomamundsen wrote:Why? Theravada has a different view of the Buddha than Mahayana and Vajrayana do.


Not as to omniscience. The Pali is very informative about that and the Mahayana doesn't really contradict it. You can read more about it in the Mahayana Parinirvana Sutra where omniscience is described basically as knowing the path and realizing emptiness.
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Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby Tara » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:17 am

Topic temporarily removed for cleaning.

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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby Tara » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:29 pm

Topic unlocked.

Several inflammatory posts, responses to those posts and posts quoting sections of the inflammatory posts have been removed. Apologies for any inconvenience.

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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby greentara » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:32 am

'Filthy and vulgar are creations of mind and notions based in perception. In and of itself, the process is rather neutral of value association, like white noise"
The above statement sounds good but couldn't be further from reality, it's just intellectual flimflam. Birth is very painful for mother and baby alike and even though there are many bodily fluids present, yes, this is nature in the raw. If the outcome is a healthy baby the parents feel they have created an extraordinary miracle, there is joy all around.
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:48 am

I'm glad this topic has been unlocked and I hope that the discussion here can be fruitful. Sex as a form of communication is valuable. But often we are in it for ourselves. We are mesmerized by our own experiences. But if we get beyond this and think in terms of sex as a way to communicate then I think it is really healthy.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:01 am

Andrew108 wrote:I'm glad this topic has been unlocked and I hope that the discussion here can be fruitful. Sex as a form of communication is valuable. But often we are in it for ourselves. We are mesmerized by our own experiences. But if we get beyond this and think in terms of sex as a way to communicate then I think it is really healthy.

What is sex communicating?
May all beings be happy
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:53 am

The ability to integrate.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby viniketa » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:45 pm

As 'vulgar' means 'common', then of course sex is vulgar. If it were not, the human species would cease to exist. More than anything else, the purpose of sex is procreation, and toward that purpose it is a powerful human behavioral drive (hormones + pheromones). As such, it engenders strong emotion. Thus, sex can 'communicate' emotion.

It seems the question the OP wants answered is not whether or not sex is 'vulgar' (it is), but whether engaging in sex is considered 'bad'. Sex is neither 'good' or 'bad'. Sex is. Like any emotional action, 'intention' is key. What is the human intention when purposely arousing this emotion? How do we avoid becoming overly attached to this emotional state?
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby KeithBC » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:20 pm

Terms like 'vulgar', 'nice', 'normal', 'abnormal', 'messy', 'pleasant', 'good, 'bad', etc, etc are invented concepts that are pasted over reality to hide it. The Buddhist path is to see through all that crap and see the reality. If one person considers sex vulgar and another considers it good, those are both attachments to non-reality.

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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby My Socks Smell » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:34 pm

Regarding the LGBT issue, I've heard it explained this way. Buddhism is about the union of form and void, compassion and wisdom, bliss and emptiness, method and wisdom, space and luminous awareness. It's not about the union of penis and vagina, sperm and ovum, testosterone and estrogen or male gender and female gender. To make procreation a concern of Buddhism is to demote it to a fertility cult.
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby My Socks Smell » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:06 pm

Huseng wrote:In any case, I still think the whole process is rather bloody, sticky, gooey and full of normally disagreeable substances.
Just had a flashback of being a lonely, testosterone-overloaded teenager. Sticky, gooey and full of normally disagreeable substances is a good description of how my socks often ended up back then. :pig: It wasn't technically sex, but was still vulgar.
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby nilakantha » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:55 am

In the Lalitavistara Sutra, the Lord likens those who participate in sexual pleasures as "the ignorant who play with their own excrement, like children." In the Ugraparipriccha Sutra, the Lord tells the layman Ugra that when he desires sex with his wife "because it is due to the influence of the defilements," he should think "I should not act on my desires even by inclining my mind toward them; how much the less should I enter into the actual conjunction of the two sexes or into erotic love? No, I should not do so." Of course Buddhism considers sex vulgar, or disgusting, because the human body is disgusting. As Shantideva tells us in the Bodhicaryavatara, Ch. 8:

52. If you say ‘I do not lust after filth,’ why do you embrace on your lap something else that is a
skeleton tied together with sinews, and plastered over with a mire of flesh?
53. You have plenty of filth yourself, and you always have the use of it, yet out of craving, you desire
the filth in another sack of muck.
54. Casting aside a fresh lotus opening, under the rays of the cloudless sun, why do you, with your
filth-cravingmind, take delight in a container of muck?
55. The mind that you desire cannot be seen or touched; and that which can be is not conscious. Why
do you embrace in vain?
56. It is not surprising that you do not look at another persons body as composed of filth, but it is
astonishing that you do not perceive your own body as composed of filth.
May I be a poet in birth after birth, a devotee of the feet of Lord Avalokiteśvara,
with elevated heart, spontaneously directed towards his Refuge,
wholly occupied with the solemn duty of saving others.

--Lokeshvarashatakam of Vajradatta
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:44 am

nilakantha wrote:As Shantideva tells us in the Bodhicaryavatara, Ch. 8:

52. If you say ‘I do not lust after filth,’ why do you embrace on your lap something else that is a
skeleton tied together with sinews, and plastered over with a mire of flesh?
53. You have plenty of filth yourself, and you always have the use of it, yet out of craving, you desire
the filth in another sack of muck.
54. Casting aside a fresh lotus opening, under the rays of the cloudless sun, why do you, with your
filth-cravingmind, take delight in a container of muck?
55. The mind that you desire cannot be seen or touched; and that which can be is not conscious. Why
do you embrace in vain?
56. It is not surprising that you do not look at another persons body as composed of filth, but it is
astonishing that you do not perceive your own body as composed of filth.
Prostrations.

(40) Those (bodies) for which sake,
you repeatedly begged
Before male and female go-betweens,
And for which sake, you didn't shrink
From either negative behavior or disgrace,

(41) (For which) you threw yourself even in danger
And even spent all your wealth,
And embracing which,
You experienced the utmost pleasure (of sexual release) -

(42) They were nothing but skeletons,
Independent, and never yours!
Why not push on, (instead,) to nirvanic release,
Which you can fully embrace to your heart's content?

(43) That face, which, (at your wedding,) you lifted up first with effort
and drew near,
Although it was bashfully looking down,
And whether previously seen or not seen (by you),
Was covered with a veil,

(44) That face, which emotionally moved you so,
Is now unveiled by the vultures
And can be directly seen.
Why do you run away now?

(45) That (face) which you protected (before)
From the leers of others' eyes,
Why aren't you protecting it now, (jealous) miser,
While it's being devoured by them?

(46) Seeing this pile of meat
Being gulped down by vultures and the rest,
(Tell me), is the food of others something to be offered
Garlands of flowers, jewelry, and sandalwood scent?

(47) If you (experience) fright from seeing even a skeleton,
Though it lacks any movement,
Why wasn't there horror when it was set into motion
By some (intent), like a zombie.

(48) You lusted after it, even when it was covered,
Why don't you lust for it (now), when uncovered (from its skin)?
If you have no use for it (now),
Why did you sexually embrace it when covered?

(54) (Thinking,) "But it's the flesh I delight in,"
You long to touch and look at it.
But why have you no desire for the flesh
(Here,) in its natural state, devoid of a mind?

(55) And whatever mind you might desire,
Cannot be touched or looked at,
And whatever can, hasn't a consciousness.
So it's no use! Why do you sexually embrace it?

(49) Its excrement and saliva
Arise from one and the same food;
So why, out of the two, do you take no delight
in the excrement
And yet delight in (a taste of) saliva?

Shantideva was either totally bonkers or a genius. Probably both.
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."

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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby Ikkyu » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:12 am

nilakantha wrote:In the Lalitavistara Sutra, the Lord likens those who participate in sexual pleasures as "the ignorant who play with their own excrement, like children." In the Ugraparipriccha Sutra, the Lord tells the layman Ugra that when he desires sex with his wife "because it is due to the influence of the defilements," he should think "I should not act on my desires even by inclining my mind toward them; how much the less should I enter into the actual conjunction of the two sexes or into erotic love? No, I should not do so." Of course Buddhism considers sex vulgar, or disgusting, because the human body is disgusting. As Shantideva tells us in the Bodhicaryavatara, Ch. 8:

52. If you say ‘I do not lust after filth,’ why do you embrace on your lap something else that is a
skeleton tied together with sinews, and plastered over with a mire of flesh?
53. You have plenty of filth yourself, and you always have the use of it, yet out of craving, you desire
the filth in another sack of muck.
54. Casting aside a fresh lotus opening, under the rays of the cloudless sun, why do you, with your
filth-cravingmind, take delight in a container of muck?
55. The mind that you desire cannot be seen or touched; and that which can be is not conscious. Why
do you embrace in vain?
56. It is not surprising that you do not look at another persons body as composed of filth, but it is
astonishing that you do not perceive your own body as composed of filth.


There you have it. Buddhism is a life-denying religion which is unhealthy if we pay attention to these ridiculous and frankly harmful injunctions. Human sexuality is a wonderful and natural thing that is part of a healthy and normal life. I understand subduing cravings as a way to achieve peace, but the fact that Buddha said this makes me think twice.
"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)
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Re: Is sex considered vulgar to Buddhists?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:17 am

Ikkyu wrote:There you have it. Buddhism is a life-denying religion which is unhealthy if we pay attention to these ridiculous and frankly harmful injunctions. Human sexuality is a wonderful and natural thing that is part of a healthy and normal life. I understand subduing cravings as a way to achieve peace, but the fact that Buddha said this makes me think twice.
But did the Buddha mean this teaching as an absolute truth or as clever help for someone tormented with lust? As for Shantideva, he meant those teachings only for people who can't meditate because they keep thinking about the opposite gender.
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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