but it worries me how we tend to put a monastic on a pedestal.
JKhedrup wrote:but it worries me how we tend to put a monastic on a pedestal.
I don't think this is the case with the vast majority of Westerners I have met who practice in the Tibetan tradition (especially when it comes to Western monks/nuns), though it might be said for some Theravada communities.
JKhedrup wrote:Of course these kinds of misconceptions have to be corrected. We need to avoid falling into either extreme- complete blind idealization or complete dismissal.
If you're married with kids, a job, a lawn to mow and a dog or two to walk, you probably won't have the appropriate conditions to seriously cultivate merit and yogic attainments. The same can be said for living in a noisy monastery and having many tasks, too. This is why the bodhisattva is encouraged to abandon society and even monastic environments to cultivate him/herself. Having a mundane life is contrary to the path. That doesn't mean practice won't be highly beneficial, but realistically it has many limits.
JKhedrup wrote:I don't take offence don't worry- we are just debating, and you are always welcome to your views. But as a monk myself I do feel I have to balance the kind of opinions you are expressing (which are very common nowadays) with the "other side" of the coin.
Huseng wrote:If you're married with kids, a job, a lawn to mow and a dog or two to walk, you probably won't have the appropriate conditions to seriously cultivate merit and yogic attainments.
Yudron wrote:Exactly. In my experience in a woman's body, it's not sex that is any kind of problem for my practice, it would be dwelling on thoughts about sex, and then getting in to relationships with non-practitioners which ends up with a lot of wasted time doing things to please someone whose priorities are different than a practitioners time are. Sex itself is no big deal, it's what we make of it.
I don't know if loosing semen creates all the problems some texts say they do, but in my body sex for me does not leave me depleted at all... I just feel a little healthier and happier afterwards... as I recall.
Seishin wrote:How can we tell the difference between a monastic who has overcome desire and a monastic who is still grappling with desire?
jeeprs wrote:There is a whole generation of children growing up who have been exposed to extremely graphic sexual content from a very young age via the Internet. Heaven knows what effect that will have on their capacity for intimacy as adults.
So, generally I think Buddhists ought to adopt a conservative stance on these questions. There is a lot of pressure, overt and covert, to 'go with the flow' but this case, in particular, is one where we need to go against it.
Fu Ri Shin wrote:The lust = desire = suffering equation has always been intuitively obvious to me, even before my exposure to Buddhist outlooks. The choice of "manifesting" one's sexuality has only ever seemed sensible and desirable to me within the context of a selflessness-cultivating and loving relationship. Anything short of that is far to akin to treating another person as a sex toy, in terms of my sense of ethics, and besides which it would just feel like an empty physiological reaction. Like Kool-Aid without sugar. Thankfully, I've never let social-cultural pressures get the better of me. People may do as they wish, but it bothers me that others with innately more healthy attitudes are probably getting sucked into the great and powerful hyper-sexual mindset. There's no real respect for diversity when it comes to "prudes" like myself.
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