Dechen Norbu wrote:Try Alan Wallace too and compare. Here: http://www.alanwallace.org/
But it's better to leave that for another topic alright. It's a cool discussion, though and your questions are fair.
JKhedrup wrote:I think you are heading in the right direction with this reasoning.
I also wonder if there were health reasons for the prohibition.
While female homosexual acts are considered the safest sex one can have AFAIK, with male homosexual activity there is a heightened health risk.
So in the age before condoms, STD testing and Hepatitis vaccines, proscribing such acts was the best option.
But now that there are measures for people to take to protect themselves it seems a more modern approach is warranted.
I think this becomes clear also when you look at the fact that certain heterosexual activity was also prohibited. So it was more the acts themselves than the fact it was same-gender
Dechen Norbu wrote:Not Watts.
Wallace, so that you can compare Batchelor's take with his. Wallace has a lot of texts online, so you can get a good idea if you explore his site and its links. You can also try to read something by Matthieu Ricard. Take a look at this article for instance: http://www.matthieuricard.org/en/index. ... _the_mind/
But I also dig a few writings of Alan Watts.
OK, let us not hijack this topic now.
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:If a certain speech makes your blood boil that doesn't necessarily give you the right to call it hate speech. I tend not to ignore statements, for example, made by this indiviual:
Too many people in the West have given up on marriage. They don't understand that it is about developing a mutual admiration of someone, a deep respect and trust and awareness of another human's needs. The new easy-come, easy-go relationships give us more freedom - but less contentment.
I don't think people have become more selfish, but their lives have become easier and that has spoilt them. They have less resilience, they expect more, they constantly compare themselves to others and they have too much choice - which brings no real freedom.
A gay couple came to see me, seeking my support and blessing. I had to explain our teachings. Another lady introduced another woman as her wife - astonishing. It is the same with a husband and wife using certain sexual practices. Using the other two holes is wrong.
A Western friend asked me what harm could there be between consenting adults having oral sex, if they enjoyed it. But the purpose of sex is reproduction, according to Buddhism. The other holes don't create life. I don't mind - but I can't condone this way of life.
The Dalai Lama
It’s part of what we Buddhists call bad sexual conduct. Sexual organs were created for reproduction between the male element and the female element – and everything that deviates from that is not acceptable from a Buddhist point of view.
The Dalai Lama
It should hardly be news to anybody that this is the view according to the tradition.
But neither do I ignore this individual's speech:
Do not believe in what you have heard; do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations; do not believe anything because it is rumored and spoken of by many; do not believe merely because the written statement of some old sage is produced; do not believe in conjectures; do not believe merely in the authority of your teachers and elders. After observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
Ikkyu wrote:So considering everything one has to ask, are all the Buddhist texts (sutras, tantras and suttas) true? And to what extent? To what extent are they allegorical or literal, metaphorical or culturally/historically irrelevant to our times? Can we cherry-pick the texts? As someone on here mentioned, this prohibition may be because of "Brahmanical sexual rulings" (I may have slightly misquoted but this seems to have been the basic statement). How much of the sutras do we take inspiration from? How much not? When I see Buddhist monks or priests lift up the sutras in reverence, are they believing word for word everything? I like Stephen Batchelor, author of "Buddhism Without Belief"'s approach, although despite how much we can secularize Buddhism or abstract the texts or look at them in a cultural context, they seem to be quite clear about the inferior status of women and homosexuals, as well as promoting sexual repression and austerity as the only way to be truly happy, thus eschewing a healthy sex life, and positing the existence of supernatural beings (devas, Buddhas and bodhisattvas) that we cannot prove exist through any epistemological investigation or Socratic deduction. They posit karma an rebirth and enlightenment, which cannot be proven as true.
Look: I'm playing the Devil's advocate here for a reason: I like Buddhism. There are aspects of it that make sense to me. But before I even slightly accept any belief I like to test and prod and debate. A Zen priest once told me to exercise "great doubt", so that's what I'm doing. Don't take my statements as an attack on Buddhism. Any good philosophy should be tested on a proving ground of evidence and reason.
I am eagerly awaiting your responses and I have enjoyed the ones posted thus far.
Nilasarasvati wrote:Oh invisiblediamond, I'm not really sure. It's possible that consort-practices, at least for Ngakpa couples, could be the route to enlightenment. But it's not "sex" really. Tantra has a lot to say about sexual symbolism, yoga etc. but it's got as much to do with everyday sex acts as meditation has to do with sleeping. They look sort of similar, but they're not.
Ultimately if we're talking about Sutra level discourse about sex, it's all bad. A snare of Mara. If you think the Dalai Lama was being "unBuddhist" by saying that stuff about sex, you may not know much about the History. Buddhism in general is not a sex-positive, anything-goes love fest...don't mistake the doctrine of the Mahashunyata for permission to go do anything that feels good!
I recommend reading that article I posted by Alexander Berzin. It's a really great, exhaustive, undeniably Buddhist (yet he's a Westerner) and even-minded but traditional perspective on all this.
Nilasarasvati wrote:Too late! I believe the four seals sold me on Buddhism a long time ago. However, don't mistake the religion for the path. Don't mistake the dogma for the dharma. There are both in Buddhism, and sometimes they are the same and sometimes they aren't. All the truths taught in the Sutras and Shastras are just carefully crafted delusions that, eventually, we have to throw away as garbage.
Unlike other religions, Buddhism's point is to hurl the crutches of duality away, not break everybody elses legs and then sell them your brand of crutches.
I'm at peace with my sexuality and I believe, through the correct aspiration and motivation, that anything (and eventually everything) I do (except the 3 nonvirtuous actions of mind) can be a source of merit and benefit beings. I don't, in short, think I'm going to hell for who I am or what I do.
If I end up in lower realms for anything, it will be my addictive habits that turn me into a Preta.
So I offer up my merits to the pretas and pray that all their craving will dissolve in me.
There's really no circumstance that can't be transformed into Bodhicitta.