renunciation

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: renunciation

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:55 pm

Lazy Eye, I'm not a Theravadan practitioner but I've found celibacy to be really helpful. As physical sensuality moved out of the picture, deeper spirituality moved in. I love being celibate but it took a while to see that corrolation between abstinance anda more peaceful spiritual journey (and life in general).

But I don't see it working very well within the context of a committed relationship or marriage.

:anjali:


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kc2dpt
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Re: renunciation

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:34 pm

- Peter


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Re: renunciation

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:01 pm


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Ben
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Re: renunciation

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:31 pm

Hi LazyEye

I'm not sure whether I agree that celibacy is the 'goal' within the context of marriage or LTR.
I think what you might find is that celibacy is the natural by-product within a marraige of two sincere practitioners. My teacher actually said as much during one of his Dhamma talks. As mike said, one should be developing equanimity and not aversion. And so being in a marriage, we should be sensitive not to our own 'needs' but be sensitive and accommodating to the 'needs' of our partner.
Kind regardds

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

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Lazy_eye
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Re: renunciation

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:36 pm

Thank you all for the good advice. I suppose the particular issues I'm having here are a) my wife is not a Buddhist practitioner, and b) I don't aspire to eliminate sexual intimacy from our marriage, whether deliberately or as a natural byproduct of practice.

Don't get me wrong -- I have the greatest respect for renunciates; there's no doubt in my mind that celibacy can be a more peaceful and spiritually focused way of life. If I were single, I might strongly consider it. Perhaps I'm preparing to go forth in a future life. For now, though, I feel physical intimacy has its place within a loving, committed relationship (as does going to the movies). So I'm wondering how appropriate it is to pursue a spiritual training program aimed at eliminating desire. Would it be better to concentrate on making merit for this and the next life?

I gather that, traditionally, many lay Buddhists just confined themselves to devotional activities and support for the monks. But we Westerners tend to be disatisfied with such a role, wanting instead the higher fruits of the practice -- and our worldly pleasures too. :popcorn:

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mikenz66
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Re: renunciation

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:06 pm


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Lazy_eye
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Re: renunciation

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:49 am


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kc2dpt
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Re: renunciation

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:59 pm

- Peter


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Jechbi
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Re: renunciation

Postby Jechbi » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:17 pm


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Lazy_eye
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Re: renunciation

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:48 pm


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kc2dpt
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Re: renunciation

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:58 pm

- Peter


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Lazy_eye
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Re: renunciation

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:03 pm


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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: renunciation

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:59 pm

Hi Lazy_eye,

I think if you're in a marriage or long term relationship, it would be considerate to make sure that a partner agrees to celibacy at any level, or it could really mess things up. That's my two cents.

For example years back I married this nice fellow, but very shortly after the wedding he decided he didn't want sex any more. Like, ever.
I thought he should have told me that before we got married.

Best,
Ngawang
Last edited by Ngawang Drolma. on Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: renunciation

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:30 am

It is not immoral to have sex with one’s own wife or husband. However, it is not wholesome kamma either. Renunciation of sexual pleasures is wholesome kamma, and chastity is essential for those intent on gaining realisation of the Dhamma. “For as long as the slightest brushwood (of the passions) of man towards women is not cut down, so long is his mind in bondage, like the milch calf to its mother-cow.” (Dhp v.284) A lay person can enjoy sex from time to time, but it will inevitably lead to attachment, grief, and despair in the long term. It is therefore wise to treat it with respect, as one treats a fire in one’s own home.

A devout lay person should observe chastity on the Uposatha days of the full-moon and new-moon. That is the traditional practice. In Wat Pah Nanachat, when I was there, some of the villagers would spend the entire night in the monastery, meditating with the monks. That is the orthodox and traditional way to properly observe the Uposatha — not as is now often the case, taking five precepts in the early evening, and going home to eat an evening meal, and sleep with one's wife/husband as usual. That is called observing the cowherd's uposatha.

Please don't worry about not being able to enjoy sexual relations if you meditate too much. You're very unlikely to become a Non-returner (anāgāmī) after just one-night in the monastery.

In the Noble Eightfold Path, Right Thought includes renunciation of sensual pleasures (nekkhamma sankappa), so renunciation of sensual pleasures is an essential factor of the eightfold noble path.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Dan74
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Re: renunciation

Postby Dan74 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:04 am

_/|\_

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kc2dpt
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Re: renunciation

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:17 pm

- Peter


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Dan74
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Re: renunciation

Postby Dan74 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:25 pm

_/|\_

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kc2dpt
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Re: renunciation

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:53 pm

See now, I've resisted using that icon in this discussion. ;)

Actually, I just popped in to share a different thought. We've perhaps been talking about a dichotomy between being someone who only makes merit and being someone who strives to give up all sensuality. But Ven. Pesala's post reminded me that a sotapanna has not abandoned sensual desire. And a sotapanna is ariya, a noble one, a goal certainly worthy of any spiritual aspirant. So if as married laypeople we set our sights on sotapanna, I don't think that's selling ourselves short.

And, yes, I have heard it said that an anagami or arahant would not be able to engage in sexual intercourse due to the complete eradication of lust.
- Peter


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Dan74
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Re: renunciation

Postby Dan74 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:01 pm

Thank you for elucidating this.

I guess you know that Mahayana has quite a different approach to this, but it is not appropriate to share it in this subforum.

_/|\_
_/|\_

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: renunciation

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:39 pm




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