Defining sexual misconduct

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Defining sexual misconduct

Postby lotwell » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:28 am

If sexual misconduct is defined as sexual activity that leads to harm/suffering, then is there anything that can be considered proper sexual conduct?

If certain chemicals which are released during physical intimacy create emotional attachment to the other party and, due impermanence , the other the party will either die, leave, change etc. it naturally follows that we suffer.

Can there be any sexual activity without subtle traces of harm?

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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby xtracorrupt » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:09 pm

lotwell wrote:If sexual misconduct is defined as sexual activity that leads to harm/suffering, then is there anything that can be considered proper sexual conduct?

If certain chemicals which are released during physical intimacy create emotional attachment to the other party and, due impermanence , the other the party will either die, leave, change etc. it naturally follows that we suffer.

Can there be any sexual activity without subtle traces of harm?

Lotwell


I think in Buddhism, proper sexual conduct is generally considered sexual conduct in reason for reproduction and not for pleasure. However, some consider sexual conduct rightful if necessary in order to prevent suffering and acceptable if preventing suffering. I wouldn't ask for any sexual conduct but if someone want's to have sexual conduct with you, refusal might cause suffering.

I wouldn't advise sexual conduct unless to prevent suffering, any form of suffering caused in doing so is unacceptable. You can't justify your attachment and suffering by unnecessary belief in forceful chemicals, this is selfish and attachment that your body needs to follow a certain path.
Existence can be normal.
Ex:a Apple tree is a apple tree
Ex:Michael is Michael, Michael is who Michael is


Existence can be conditioned.
Ex: Apple tree is apple tree if apple tree grows
Ex: Michael is Michael if Michael is a king
Ex: Michael is Michael if Michael is walking
Ex: Michael is Michael if Michael is not walking

Existence can be unconditioned
Ex: Apple is apple tree once apple tree is grown for 50 weeks
Ex: Michael is Michael once Michael is a king
Ex: Michael is content Michael once Michael is walking
Ex: Michael is discontent Michael once Michael is walking.
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby KeithBC » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:54 pm

It is true that all sexual activity is samsaric. But even in the field of samsara, some actions can be right and some wrong.

Any action motivated by an intention to cause harm is wrong. Any action that can be reasonably expected to cause harm is at best unskillful, and is probably wrong. Any action that is motivated by a wish to reduce harm and cause happiness is good. Even if it is samsaric and therefore doesn't totally succeed.

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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Seishin » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:21 pm

I agree with Keith.
Something to also ponder about is self gratification. Whilst this is not "misconduct" it could lead us to cling to our ego that little bit more :tongue:

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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:31 pm

Many people have aversion to or avoid this topic because it's such a 'touchy' topic; however it's unavoidable now that the knowledge is out there, and taught about openly by H.H. the Dalai Lama no less:

Karmamudra

Many also try to marginalize Karmamudra as an unimportant practice, but it actually contains the very essence of sexuality, especially within the context of the Buddha Dharma. So if one receives instructions on Karmamudra and applies it correctly, there won't be any issues about what is sexual misconduct and what isn't.

And for monks and nuns who are not allowed to practice Karmamudra—and for bachelorettes & bachelors in general—there are always practices such as Trul Khor or 'Khrul 'Khor (Yantra Yoga), Tsa-Lung, Tummo, Pranayama, etc. in order to work with ones Sexual Energy (Thigle, Dhatu, Bindu, Prana, Srog, Lung, Nadis, Tsa, Chakras, various Glands & Hormones etc.). In this way it is said that one can much more easily keep one's monastic, Mahayana, and/or Tantric commitments without repression, as one is directly working with the Sexual Energy and sublimating It.
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby xtracorrupt » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:52 am

KeithBC wrote:It is true that all sexual activity is samsaric. But even in the field of samsara, some actions can be right and some wrong.

Any action motivated by an intention to cause harm is wrong. Any action that can be reasonably expected to cause harm is at best unskillful, and is probably wrong. Any action that is motivated by a wish to reduce harm and cause happiness is good. Even if it is samsaric and therefore doesn't totally succeed.

Om mani padme hum
Keith


At best unskillful? What if someone did an action expecting to bring harm but ended up bringing only happiness? That perspective would be dissatisfied but the sentient being causing the action would lose attachment to the dissatisfied perspective as he would be only bringing happiness therefore avoiding attachment to dissatisfaction. I guess one would need to have complete control over ignorance in order to want suffering yet bring only happiness, as to avoid any possible suffering. Well then maybe it actually isn't the desire of suffering then as it brings only happiness. I guess the complete desire to bring happiness is just as good the complete unsuccessful desire to bring suffering.
Existence can be normal.
Ex:a Apple tree is a apple tree
Ex:Michael is Michael, Michael is who Michael is


Existence can be conditioned.
Ex: Apple tree is apple tree if apple tree grows
Ex: Michael is Michael if Michael is a king
Ex: Michael is Michael if Michael is walking
Ex: Michael is Michael if Michael is not walking

Existence can be unconditioned
Ex: Apple is apple tree once apple tree is grown for 50 weeks
Ex: Michael is Michael once Michael is a king
Ex: Michael is content Michael once Michael is walking
Ex: Michael is discontent Michael once Michael is walking.
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:41 am

Sexual misconduct as defined by the Buddha:
Skillful Bodily Action
"And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take, in the manner of a thief, things in a village or a wilderness that belong to others and have not been given by them. Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man (1). This is how one is made pure in three ways by bodily action.
(1) Betrothed or engaged to be married.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:50 am

xtracorrupt wrote:What if someone did an action expecting to bring harm but ended up bringing only happiness?
Well then, I guess they saved themselves and others from a host of suffering then! But realistically this merely shows that they had ignorance of the consequences of the action. It could also be that the victim did not have the requisite karma to experience suffering from the action OR that the victim has developed their mind to a point where it is not swayed by the eight worldly dharmas. But really, only a Buddha can know the exact consequences of a particular action. This is why, before one has developed a degree of wisdom, it is smart to engage only in actions that are considered wholesome by the Buddha and avoid actions that are considered unwholesome.
That perspective would be dissatisfied but the sentient being causing the action would lose attachment to the dissatisfied perspective as he would be only bringing happiness therefore avoiding attachment to dissatisfaction.
Want to rephrase this? It doesn't really make sense.
I guess one would need to have complete control over ignorance in order to want suffering yet bring only happiness...
Refer to the first answer.
Well then maybe it actually isn't the desire of suffering then as it brings only happiness. I guess the complete desire to bring happiness is just as good the complete unsuccessful desire to bring suffering.
Ummmm... no. You see if your intention is to cause harm and you mistakenly cause happiness YOUR mindstream will still be effected by your intention. It is more than possible that you will feel ever more anger, hatred and aversion due to the victim experiencing happiness and thus cause even more suffering for yourself.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Zealot » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:37 pm

You forgot protected people, Greg! Meaning don't go after a horny daughter with a disagreeable father (or mother, or anyone else protecting them). Well, I guess the quote covered it, but you only said "(1) Betrothed or engaged to be married." /end nit picking :offtopic:

And Keith, motivation is but one part of an action. There are three that affect karma as far as I know: Intention, Action or Concentration, and Wisdom or Blessing. In order for the karma to be completely pure, you must have pure intention, the action itself must be pure, and afterwords you must wish that your pure action benefit all beings. If all three areas are not pure, then there can be negative karma produced or the positive karma generated would be less. At least this is my understanding.

Also, I wouldn't say just because someone wants to have sex with you and would be sad if you didn't, you should. There are many more things to consider. Perhaps the person is addicted to sex and is only interested in the intoxication there-of. Perhaps they have an older brother who wishes to protect them. Perhaps they have an STD and are willing to spread it and never inform you. More or less, I believe intent on both sides must be pure in order for there to be no sexual misconduct.

Hope that helped!

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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby seeker242 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:50 pm

Sexual misconduct for a layperson does not mean "causing no harm whatsoever" IMO. Because you could argue that engaging in any sexual activity causes some harm to yourself, if only to perpetuate attachment to sense pleasures that is already existing. It mean more like "not causing additional excessive harm" by doing some other wrong act because of it, like committing adultery (lying), etc, etc.

This sums it up well, for a layperson that is. :)

The five precepts constitute an integrated set - each precept supports the others. To know what 'sexual misconduct' means you look at the other precepts. 'Sexual misconduct', in the spirit of the precepts as a job lot, means any sexual conduct involving violence, manipulation or deceit - conduct that therefore leads to suffering and trouble. By contrast good sexual conduct is based on loving kindness, generosity, honesty, and mental and emotional clarity - conduct that has good results.

The third precept about sexual misconduct is strictly superfluous - if in our sexual lives we act non-violently, do not take what is not freely given, do not deceive and do not act out of delusive and irresponsible mindstates, we cannot fall foul of the third precept anyway. Buddhism's very tough sexual ethic would be complete without the third precept. It's really there for the sake of emphasis. Sexuality is a very strong energy, the focus of many cravings, vanities and delusions. It calls for its very own precept!
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Zealot » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:59 pm

seeker242 wrote:Sexual misconduct for a layperson does not mean "causing no harm whatsoever" IMO. Because you could argue that engaging in any sexual activity causes some harm to yourself, if only to perpetuate attachment to sense pleasures that is already existing. It mean more like "not causing additional excessive harm" by doing some other wrong act because of it, like committing adultery (lying), etc, etc.

This sums it up well, for a layperson that is. :)


You could argue that. I could could argue that if one is detached from their body and is able to operate in the samsaric realm, it matters not if the activity is good, bad, pleasurable, or painful because the detached mind does not cling to such things, only participates, mindful in all actions. But that supposes one is no longer attached to sense-pleasures. :thinking:

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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:09 pm

Zealot wrote:You forgot protected people, Greg! Meaning don't go after a horny daughter with a disagreeable father (or mother, or anyone else protecting them). Well, I guess the quote covered it, but you only said "(1) Betrothed or engaged to be married." /end nit picking :offtopic:
The footnote was referring specifically to the phrase: "crowned with flowers by another man".
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Zealot » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:38 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Zealot wrote:You forgot protected people, Greg! Meaning don't go after a horny daughter with a disagreeable father (or mother, or anyone else protecting them). Well, I guess the quote covered it, but you only said "(1) Betrothed or engaged to be married." /end nit picking :offtopic:
The footnote was referring specifically to the phrase: "crowned with flowers by another man".
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby nilakantha » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:11 pm

I find the clearest explanation of sexual misconduct to be from Geshe Jampa Gyatso’s book Everlasting Rain of Nectar:

Sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct occurs in relation to four types of basis: an unsuitable person, an unsuitable bodily part, an unsuitable time, and an unsuitable place. An unsuitable person is someone else’s partner, a close relation, a minor, or someone with a vow of chastity. An unsuitable bodily part is, for example, the mouth or anus. An unsuitable time is daytime, during pregnancy, or when one of the partners has taken the eight Mahāyāna precepts, since these include refraining from all sexual activity for twenty-four hours. An unsuitable place is in front of our guru, parents, or images of the buddhas, near a stupa, or in a temple. The correct recognition of our partner is not necessary to complete the path of action of sexual misconduct. The affliction accompanying sexual misconduct is generally attachment but can be hatred (e.g., rape) or ignorance (e.g., thinking that sexual intercourse is a way to gain spiritual realizations). The motivation is the wish to engage in sexual activity. The execution is sexual activity with an unsuitable person, with an unsuitable bodily part, at an unsuitable time, or in an unsuitable place. The completion is experiencing the pleasure of orgasm.

I also wonder why we are so obsessed with sex if we’re really interested in practice. I tend to side with the Ven. Ajahn Chah:

Ven. Ajahn Chah, the teacher under whom we both trained for many years, similarly taught that sexual practises had to be given up if one aspired for Enlightenment. For example, I remember a Westerner coming to see Ajahn Chah once and saying that he was sexually active but without being attached to the sex. Ajahn Chah completely ridiculed the statement as an impossibility, saying something like "Bah! that’s like saying there can be salt which isn't salty!" Ajahn Chah taught all who came to him, monastic and lay, that sexual desire is KILESA (defilement of the mind), it is a hindrance to success in meditation and an obstruction to Enlightenment. He taught that sexual activity should be abandoned if one wants to end suffering. He would never speak in praise of sex. He would only speak in praise of letting go.

Buddhist Sexual Ethics - A Rejoinder

by Ajahn Brahmavamso
and
Ajahn Nanadhammo
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with elevated heart, spontaneously directed towards his Refuge,
wholly occupied with the solemn duty of saving others.

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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:14 pm

nilakantha wrote:
Geshe Jampa Gyatso’s book Everlasting Rain of Nectar wrote:or ignorance (e.g., thinking that sexual intercourse is a way to gain spiritual realizations).


Of course this only applies to Sutrayana.

Nothing wrong with that; although if one is a Vajrayana practitioner, then the above does not apply.

Now thinking that the emission of Ojas, Bodhicitta, Thigle, Dhatu, Bindu, Virya, etc. is a way to gain spiritual realizations, would be a downfall in Tantrayana however.

(See: The Terma Anuyoga teachings in Yeshe Tsogyel's Skydancer translated by Keith Dowman, or Berzinarchives website on Kalachakra Karmamudra teachings by H.H. the Dalai Lama.
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby greentara » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:13 am

There has been a lot of controversy about the Catholic Church recently. This is a snippet of a letter to a local newspaper. "As young Catholic, with qualifications in criminology, I am disturbed when I hear that removing the vow of celibacy for priests will somehow fix the issue of men abusing children.
In offering this 'quick fix' Joseph Wakkim and others ignore evidence-based research which has consistantly shown that married men with children are the most common abusers of children"
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:57 am

http://sacred-sex.org/scriptures/buddhi ... d-sex.html

Or as was written in my previous post, one could look up Berzinarchives as well; or at least see what Tibetan Medicine says about sexual activity....
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby greentara » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:15 am

Lhug Pa, I agree and of f course there are a few rare people who are ripe and can practice Tantra in Buddhism and Hinduism. This is a difficult path, practioners balancing on the razors edge.
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:41 am

True indeed, Greentara.

The only problem with advocating celibacy in these times and contemporary circumstances, is that there usually isn't an alternative to repression offered; which is why I'd posted:


"And for monks and nuns who are not allowed to practice Karmamudra—and for bachelorettes & bachelors in general—there are always practices such as Trul Khor or 'Khrul 'Khor (Yantra Yoga), Tsa-Lung, Tummo, Pranayama, etc. in order to work with ones Sexual Energy (Thigle, Dhatu, Bindu, Prana, Srog, Lung, Nadis, Tsa, Chakras, various Glands & Hormones etc.). In this way it is said that one can much more easily keep one's monastic, Mahayana, and/or Tantric commitments without repression, as one is directly working with the Sexual Energy and sublimating It."


I think one of the main problems that confronts monks and nuns nowadays, is that celibacy is only realistic for people who can retreat to the forests to meditate, that is unless one has access to a powerful method such as Yantra Yoga or Tsa-Lung.

Without a said powerful Vajrayana type of method, celibacy would be nearly impossible considering all the lustful images, talk, etc. going on all around us, not to mention all the pollution and various forms of radiation which negatively effect our Nadis or inner channels.
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Re: Defining sexual misconduct

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:40 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:Nothing wrong with that; although if one is a Vajrayana practitioner, then the above does not apply.
Thus Tantra is like licking nectar off a razor blade.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
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