How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:23 pm

Still a strawman. To make comparisons to bible-belt fundamentalists is plain silliness. So what if bible-belt fundamentalists also happen to disagree with homosexuality. I'm opposed to just about everything that bible-belt fundamentalists and neo-conservatives stand for.


treehuggingoctopus wrote:So 'defending homosexuality' is now reactionary?


That's not what I said. What I said is that to imply that many who disagree with homosexual acts are in the closet, is a typical reactionary text-book response. There may exist a few people who act like they dislike homosexuality as some sort of psychological way of dealing with their own homosexual tendencies; but really, there are many who just disagree with homosexual acts and see them as incompatible with the Dharma, and that's it.

And I won't debate more about the Dravidians here. Huseng recently started a related thread called Harrapan Yogis in either the Lounge or Dharma-free-for-all where this could be maybe be discussed more later.


As for the rest:


Hsuan Hua on Homosexuality
Will wrote:The Dharma has always been "conservative".
And:
Remm wrote:Whether people want to accept these teachings or not is up to them. If they find it offensive and are turned away by it, then fine--their good roots were insufficient so they cannot listen or hear the truth of the matter. You have to start examining your own ideologies if they start to contradict what eminent masters have said. If HHDL, Karmapa, Ven. Hsuan Hua, Chin Kung state that the act of homosexuality is prohibited, then you might want to reevaluate your own ideas and perceptions about this. Firstly, who are you to question what these teachers have taught, and have you even attained a single realization beyond them? If not, why do you insist that they are wrong simply because what they said goes against your own interpretation of Buddhism?
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:01 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Still a strawman. To make comparisons to bible-belt fundamentalists is plain silliness. So what if bible-belt fundamentalists also happen to disagree with homosexuality. I'm opposed to just about everything that bible-belt fundamentalists and neo-conservatives stand for.


I never said you aren't. What I said is that you twist and manipulate language just as they do - in order to promote and disguise as liberal a deeply conservative stance (in your case, homophobia).

Lhug-Pa wrote:As for the rest:

Will wrote:The Dharma has always been "conservative".


And that's just utter nonsense, too. What Shakyamuni taught was hardly conservative by his time's standards - even if some of it will be by ours. (And yes, I am talking here about gender issues too.)

What really surprises me here, I must say, is that it is you, a Dzogchen practitioner, who approvingly quotes Will's statement. Dzogchen teachings so effortlessly prove that no, the Dharma by no means has always been 'conservative' even if the Buddhist establishment may be inclined to become so - in fact, if you believed the story that Dzogchen is the very core and the highest peak of all Dharma, you could well claim that the real juice is never 'conservative', and that the 'conservative' element is just an unnecessary and troubling additive.

As far as HHDL goes: I've said it before and will say it again, HHDL is not just a Buddhist teacher.

While he may very well be Avalokiteshvara's Nirmanakaya, he's also, and today could not avoid being, a media-made sigil of all things Buddhist and a politician with all the glory and all the stench that vocation will forever entail - as well as a living symbol of Tibet, Tibetans and their desperate plight, a (or perhaps the) cultural icon of his people and, possibly, their last hope of survival. The latter cannot be overemphasised.

If HHDL doesn't condemn the self-immolations - and hell, by scriptural standards alone they should have been condemned - it is because he can't and won't betray his people. If he won't say openly that being gay and practicising tantra is not mutually contradictory, it is because, I believe, he feels he cannot change the doctrine more than he already has because, firstly, it would alienate the conservative (and major) part of the Tibetan society which now needs no additional internal strife, and, secondly, because it would alienate the conservative Tibetan clergy and possibly cause a still greater rift than the one caused by the Karmapa-vs-the Karmapa affair. And what Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism need right now - when the things are getting grimmer and grimmer - is healing, togetherness and at least some promise of a hope of making it into the next century.

Rowan Williams's case comes readily to mind here - him being a liberal and voicing liberal views until he became the Archbishop of Canterbury - and started expressing much more conservative views (even though remaining, as it now apprently turns out, very much a closet liberal all the time). There are faces and masks which every public person must put on - and the more public they are, the greater the need for making the proper and properly balanced choice here.

And, the sad truth is, you can't be more public than HHDL is. He's really high up there, on the cloud nine, together with the King, above the Beatles, JFK and the Fuhrer, waaaaaaaay above Lady Gaga.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Josef » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:18 pm

Ikkyu wrote:So there are a lot of gay-friendly sanghas around nowadays. Yet again I find contradictions between what so many Buddhists believe and what is in the sutras:

"If sex is practised under the inappropriate times (times not allowed by precepts), [at] inappropriate place[s] (places not allowed by precepts), with non-female[s], with virgin[s], with a married wife, if sex relates to self-body, it is known as sexual misconduct."
-- Upasakasila Sutra

Anybody care to explain this?

P.S. I'm gay friendly, and at this point skeptical of Buddhism. I guess that's why I'm asking for clarification.


The explanation is pretty simple if you ask me. This was written down by monks in positions of authority centuries after the Buddha died. In that light it is a pretty useless statement for us now as practitioners since we are not a group of monastic authorities living in ancient India. Passages like this from the sutras are in my opinion self-serving to the authors another example is the treatment of nuns in the vinaya.

For some reason institutional religion doesnt like homosexuality. In my opinion our world would be far less interesting if everyone was straight. I think homosexual culture has been a wonderful influence on our world and continues to be.
Nothing in any old religious texts can change that.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:31 pm

It is very doubtful that H.H. the Dalai Lama is merely trying to "appease conservatives" on this issue.

Yes H.H. the Dalai Lama often speaks in laymen's terms so to speak in order to not go over the heads of the majority of his listeners, however this is different.

I quoted Will there because of his use of quotation marks around "conservative", meaning that I got the sense of what he was getting at. If I really did get the sense of what Will meant, he wasn't saying "conservative" in contrast to liberal in it's real sense, but in contrast to its popular meaning. The popular meaning of liberal is basically equal to libertine, whereas the real meaning of liberal is—like I said—basically synonymous with progressiveness. So in comparison to libertinism, the Dharma is indeed "conservative". Yet in itself the Dharma is liberal, as in the Liberal Arts and Five Sciences. Also, Will has expressed interest in learning about Dzogchen, and from what I've gathered it's not merely to argue against it, but is actually a genuine interest. Although of course he can speak for himself.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Yudron » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:41 pm

I am 53, and I have been out since I was 17 in the 1976. Being a lesbian (and people’s homophobia) is a really fascinating topic for about 20 years—then gardening becomes way more enthralling. Now, I am utterly bored with the topic of homosexuality. I live in a part of the world where people could care less if you are gay or lesbian, so antiquated and uninformed views like Lhugpa are expressing are, honestly, pretty funny.

However, I am always concerned that gay and lesbian people who are new to the Dharma will get the impression that they will not be welcomed into the Dharma. So, I am just going to give a reality check here—not about books and ancient texts, but about what people are likely to experience in the world of the Nyingma tradition, which is what I know best.

Homosexuality was completely hidden in old Tibet, but as present as anywhere. It’s slightly better now, but still similar to how things were here in the U.S. in the 1950’s. If you have a close relationship with older Tibetans who are comfortable talking about sexuality, as I do, you can ask them about how it was when they were young. Some will tell you about the secret overtures they received from other same gender men or women. (And I don’t mean in a monastery, which is a whole different topic.)

And in current Tibet, it’s like anywhere, you can see gays and lesbians all over if you have the right eyes. Yet, perhaps their own brothers and sisters would say they have never met a gay or lesbian person, or that there are no gays and lesbians in Tibet. Here is an example of a gay man’s fun trip there recently: http://www.stickyrice.ws/?view=tg_tibet
Probably all these hunks are in the closet to their families, and there certainly is no Gay Pride Parade (yet).

I hear that a few of the great lamas of 20th century were actually gay or bisexual. I’ve heard from western men visiting senior lamas in the exile Tibetan communities that they have been propositioned at times. Lesbians are more beneath the radar, but we have our guides as to where to find each other in all the cities of Tibet and the Tibetan diaspora.

Most of the lamas who come to live in the U.S. (and I imagine this would apply to most Western countries) generally like our ways. At least most of the Nyingma lamas I know – and I know a lot of them—like the improved status of women, and are comfortable that homosexuality is out in the open rather than closeted. They welcome gay and lesbian students with open arms, along with anyone else who will practice. Occasionally Tibetans, such as relatives or minor lamas, come to visit our center from Asia and say ridiculous things about women not being able to gain enlightenment (or other baloney like that), and our wisdom lamas just roll their eyes. Same with homosexuality.

Dzogchen masters in particular, seem to be very comfortable with gays and lesbians, and every other conceivable kind of human, even when they are just flown in from the back roads of rural Tibet for the first time.

A serious practitioner of any Buddhist path comes to a point where every moment of day and night needs to be integrated with practice. The strength of the Vajrayana is it’s wide assortment of techniques for every possible occasion, from sleeping and dreaming, to having a bowel movement, to exercising, to having sex, etc… These are instructions one receives from one’s lama, and there is something for everyone. These instructions are personal, in my opinion it is not appropriate to mouth off about them with pride on internet forums. Especially practices one has no personal experience of.

So, LGBT folks, PM me if you are trying to find a home in the Dharma here in the U.S., I’ll send you some place loving and supportive. Of course, most Zen and Vipassana centers run by Westerners are good, too.

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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:12 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:It is very doubtful that H.H. the Dalai Lama is merely trying to "appease conservatives" on this issue.

Yes H.H. the Dalai Lama often speaks in laymen's terms so to speak in order to not go over the heads of the majority of his listeners, however this is different.


We'll have to agree to dsagree here.

Lhug-Pa wrote:I quoted Will there because of his use of quotation marks around "conservative", meaning that I got the sense of what he was getting at. If I really did get the sense of what Will meant, he wasn't saying "conservative" in contrast to liberal in it's real sense, but in contrast to its popular meaning. The popular meaning of liberal is basically equal to libertine, whereas the real meaning of liberal is—like I said—basically synonymous with progressiveness. So in comparison to libertinism, the Dharma is indeed "conservative". Yet in itself the Dharma is liberal, as in the Liberal Arts and Five Sciences.


That paragraph, though seemingly devoid of any real substance, in fact betrays your actual views. You're juggling with words like 'liberal', 'libertinism' and 'conservative', and doing weird things to the pretty transparent meanings they have in the relevant context - and yet what it all clearly communicates is indeed that the kind of 'liberal' spirit your posts express is in no way liberal at all.

And if your 'liberalism' is so very distinct from the 'libertinism' which, as you explain, is what the 'popular' liberalism amounts to, then my Nouvelle Droite associations were absolutely spot on.

Small wonder some of your posts remind me of Julius Evola & co so much.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Namgyal » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:13 pm

Hello, in my experience elderly Tibetan Lamas are rather wide-eyed and curious about homosexuality along the lines of 'wow, really what's that all about?'...but hostile, no of course not because that would be discriminatory and cruel. If they had any concerns it would that the individual might experience extra suffering in the societies in which they live. Technically, it is sexual misconduct, but this must be understood within a spectrum in which celibacy is the ideal at one end of the spectrum and sexual obsession, of any kind, is at the other extreme. In general if there are any ancient rules which appear heartless and unkind though our modern eyes then they should be abandoned, because of course it us who actually set these rules for ourselves.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:27 pm

Yudron wrote:Here is an example of a gay man’s fun trip there recently: http://www.stickyrice.ws/?view=tg_tibet


:cheers:
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby justsit » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:36 pm

Yudron wrote:...I hear that a few of the great lamas of 20th century were actually gay or bisexual. ...
Yudron


Maybe even some 21st century ones?
"Kelly Roberts: You must have done at least a hundred interviews by now. Are there any questions which you are surprised were never asked?
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche: I am surprised that no one has ever asked if I’m gay or not.
Kelly Roberts: Are you gay, Rinpoche?" Read more here.
Yeah, those Nyingmas, kinda crazy.

Great post, Yudron, thanks. :thumbsup:
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby lobster » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:44 am

I want Yudron and her gay gardening [not yet available] in an inclusive sangha
devoid of calls for the exclusion of those who like to dig. :applause:

I want a sangha that embraces :group:

Beginners welcome, red neck lamas, aubergines
and deluded lobsters welcome.
Modern? Just suited to needs . . .

This is the jewel
these are the facets . . . :twothumbsup:
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:36 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:At any rate, the best Nyingma writings I'm sure were written by straight Lamas.


Wow.

I really don't know what to say. :applause:

Btw, how do you check whether the autor of a given text is straight or not? Is it the number of adjectives, just as some claim it was with Ernest 'the manly man' Hemingway? The size of letters? The spaces between the syllables? How would you verify the straightness of Garab Dorje, who left no actual writings but only spoke?

Also, are you sure that your present teacher is truly straight? Quite sure? Absolutely, positively sure? Have you asked him about that?
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:38 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:You're free to view that as only my opinion of course.


And Rinpoche is married to a woman afterall. :yinyang:
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:45 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:
Lhug-Pa wrote:You're free to view that as only my opinion of course.


And Rinpoche is married to a woman afterall. :yinyang:


Of course. And every man married to a woman is 100% straight. :mrgreen:
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Yudron » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:00 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:At any rate, the best Nyingma writings I'm sure were written by straight Lamas. You're free to view that as only my opinion of course.


:lol:

Actually, probably all the best writing, music, theater and visual arts are created by straight people, don't you think?
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby catmoon » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:29 pm

At any rate, the best Nyingma writings I'm sure were written by straight Lamas. You're free to view that as only my opinion of course.


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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:52 pm

La-la-la-la??? C'mon catmoon! Shouldn't there be a clause in the ToS about racism, homophobia, etc...?
This statement, for example is disgustingly homophobic:
Well I won't hold my breath waiting for any dirt like that to show up on the Dravidians.
Insinuating that evidence of homosexuality is dirt??? I mean really! You should be ashamed of writing crap like that Lhug-pa!
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:06 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Shouldn't there be a clause in the ToS about racism, homophobia, etc...?


Seconded. Very much so.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby justsit » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:07 pm

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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby underthetree » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:12 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Shouldn't there be a clause in the ToS about racism, homophobia, etc...?


Thirded. The offensiveness of the opinions on this and other recent threads are matched only by their incoherence, and I suspect that, were they more coherent, they'd be much more offensive.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:23 pm

Yudron wrote:Actually, probably all the best writing, music, theater and visual arts are created by straight people, don't you think?


And science. And cooking. And calligraphy, of course. Because LGBTQ people, you know, are a tiny bit substandard. Nearly, but not really fully, purely, perfectly human. Almost, but somehow not quite human yet. Just 99% there. And hence the relevance of your sex life to your Dharma practice: If you're 99% human, you're not entirely in the human realm. There has to be invented yet another, seventh, category, or at least some sort of unequal compromise between categories - and that means of course plenty of bureaucracy. Tons and tons of dull and difficult paperwork. Better not go there at all.

Seriously though: Lhug-Pa, cut the crap for your own sake. Look into the matter really closely, and honestly and attentively go over your feelings towards it and the opinions you've formed about it. You're an intelligent, well-educated and courageous person. I really won't believe you are going to stay in that mire only because you've already entered it. And really, there's no other reason for you to do so.

And if you really, really feel it's such an impossibly important issue for a practitioner, do ask your teacher about his views on homosexuality and Dzogchen practice. Though I suspect you already know his answer very well.
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