Health Impact of Celibacy

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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby greentara » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:54 pm

Yudron, "Judaism, including Kabbalah, honors marriage" Yes it seems to be a very family orientated religion. I've noticed in recent years that talks on Kabbalah are now being influenced by Buddhist and yogic terminology. I guess they cherrypick the most appealing quotes from eastern religion, it sells the product.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:43 pm

Greentara, I wouldn't confuse the cultish marketing scheme of The Kabbalah Center
with the actual mystic tradition itself. They are not synonymous!
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby greentara » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:32 am

adamantine, I agree, most big cities have a Kabbalah center and nearly all of them are just seeking to profiteer and exploit an ancient mystical teaching. All you need is a 'mouth from the south' and they're off and running.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:05 am

Huseng wrote:Yes, I've thought about that, too. The hierarchy in business suffocates creativity. You get plenty of sturdy cogs in the wheel, but that doesn't foster innovation. In fact in such a culture people are afraid to speak out for fear of stepping on toes and being punished for it. In religion especially the leadership will be prone to running on outdated ideas and hence things either plateau or just go downhill, and there's no way to prevent decline.

An absence of hierarchy does wonders for creativity and innovation.

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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:46 am

Here we go, just about men though.

This current study examined the effect of a 3-week period of sexual abstinence on the neuroendocrine response to masturbation-induced orgasm. Hormonal and cardiovascular parameters were examined in ten healthy adult men during sexual arousal and masturbation-induced orgasm. Blood was drawn continuously and cardiovascular parameters were constantly monitored. This procedure was conducted for each participant twice, both before and after a 3-week period of sexual abstinence. Plasma was subsequently analysed for concentrations of adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, prolactin, luteinizing hormone and testosterone concentrations. Orgasm increased blood pressure, heart rate, plasma catecholamines and prolactin. These effects were observed both before and after sexual abstinence. In contrast, although plasma testosterone was unaltered by orgasm, higher testosterone concentrations were observed following the period of abstinence. These data demonstrate that acute abstinence does not change the neuroendocrine response to orgasm but does produce elevated levels of testosterone in males.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/117 ... t=Abstract
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby Indrajala » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:58 am

Konchog1 wrote:These data demonstrate that acute abstinence does not change the neuroendocrine response to orgasm but does produce elevated levels of testosterone in males.


That explains a lot actually. :smile: :smile:
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:41 am

Karma Dorje wrote: I have known monks that took their vow out of a sense of anger and hurt that women weren't interested in them, for example. It was ultimately an act of aggression against themselves, one indeed giving back his vows at the first flush of real interest from women.


Story 1 - There was once a woman who married a man older than her. But the husband had an affair with the woman's mother. When the wife found out about her husband's affair with her mother, she became so angry and pissed off that she threw her baby girl onto the floor. The baby girl miraculously survived but she had a permanent hole/indentation in her skull. The wife then left her home and wandered around the world for a number of years as a vagabond.

Then the same woman met her second husband who was much younger than her. She treated her second husband with extreme love and devotion. But again, the second husband cheated and married a second wife who was even younger than the second husband and actually brought the younger woman back to the first woman's household. The first woman got very mad and angry again but this time she decided to let it go and share her second husband with his second, much younger wife.

As the second husband had to leave home for work commitments on a number of occasions, he requested his first wife to take care of his second wife. One time, when the first woman was brushing the hair of the second wife, she found a hole/indentation on the second wife's skull. The second wife was no other than the first woman's daughter from her first marriage. When the first woman discovered this joke of the millennium, she renounced the material life and became a nun. She eventually became enlightened and attained the position of a luohan arhant.

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Story 2 - A female spiritual teacher I know once had a fiance whom she loved dearly. But her fiance broke up their wedding arrangements and married another woman instead. The female spiritual teacher only found out about this on the eve of her ex-fiance's marriage to this other woman. On the same night, she became so depressed that she went to her own teacher's temple and sought refuge there.Her teacher asked her to meditate in front of Kuan Yin and sincerely look into the past to the cause and effect of her fiance's betrayal.

In this female spiritual teacher's past life, this other woman was actually this female teacher's sister and the fiance was her sister's fiance in that past life. But the female teacher got into an affair with her sister's fiance behind her sister's back. Her younger sister had a couple of older man-and-wife servants who dearly dote on the younger sister and they were outraged at why the spiritual teacher, in her past life, cheated on her own sister.

In this life, the older man-and-wife servants were reincarnated as the parents of the female teacher's fiance. The female teacher had been dating her fiance for about 5 years and were about to get married with him yet the fiance's parents actually collaborated with their son to betray the female teacher by hiding the fact that the fiance was seeing another woman.

At the temple, the female teacher's elder told her that because the couple of older servants were so angry at how she cheated on the sister's fiance in her past life, this is why in this life-time, the fiance's parents actually helped him to cheat on her. Even though she is the victim in this life-time and had the moral right to disrupt her ex-fiance's wedding to this other woman (her sister in her past life), by doing so, the female teacher would create another round of misery and pain and the whole shenanigans would be repeated in the next life.

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Synopis - In countries where Buddhism flourished, there are many women than men who turned to Buddhism and Religion because their husbands cheated on them or left them for younger women. It is no secret that the value of a woman decreases as she grow older. I mean, if you are a rich man and you have a choice between shagging a younger woman or an older woman, which would you choose? No sane rich man would choose an older woman over a younger woman.

However, there is never a lack of sexual partners for men with money. As long as hookers and escorts exist, any man can pay for his sexual satisfaction. Most men I know can find sex anywhere even if it is with a 50 dollar hooker. Even if that same man is 80 year old, fat and ugly as shit. The same can't be said for women. If a woman is 80 years old, fat and ugly as shit, she would be the one paying for sex with younger men instead.

So your stance that monks put on robes because they can't get women don't really hold true. Most of the people who renunciate because they can't attract members of the opposite sex or because they fail to hold on to their spouse are women.

Most men I know renunciate because they do not know how to control their sexual desires and needed help. If a monk can so easily throw away his robes at the first sight of women, he wouldn't put on the robes in the first place! Why go to such extremes and the long way round like becoming a monk to attract women and get sexual satisfaction? Just take the short-cut, spend $50 on the local street hooker and shag your brains out! In asia countries, the rates are even cheaper. Sometimes 20 USD is more than sufficient to get you one hour shag with a young nubile attractive woman!
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:46 pm

Huseng wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:
I am simply saying that when outward circumstance doesn't favour it, we need to look to the essence rather than the outward form.


... and meanwhile are justifying your family life and a lack of support for monasticism, moreover your own claims that sexual desire isn't really a problem:

The long and the short of it is that getting laid is no big deal, really. Craving sex is another matter altogether, like any other kind of craving. Tṛṣṇā is *not* equivalent with sexual desire, and one can crave it as surely by abstaining from it as indulging it. Let's leave aside using bliss as an upaya. A simple married life can be very conducive to Dzogchen practice. There is no need to run down the married life to speak of how wonderful ordination is.


This is contrary to what the Buddha himself taught. Married life is the bane of practice, which is why the Buddha, among many others, suggested that serious practitioners abandon the home life.

What you are advocating here sounds like self-justification for desire and married life. You are putting yourself on par with renunciates.

It is a very common quality to justify what we enjoy. It is like the addict who comes up with various reasons as to why their lifestyle is alright.


And these are the same people you want to sponsor your monastic lifestyle?



I've not asked for anything. I earn my money fair and square like any other working joe at the moment.



The reality is, many of us have been practicing along with raising families for nearly as long as you have been on the planet.


Chimpanzees can raise a family, too. Raising a family is nothing to be proud of really. Having children is a demonstration that one is bound by desire, and a lack of disgust for saṃsāra. These are qualities unbecoming of someone on the path. It might be bitter to swallow that, but nevertheless that's the nature of life and saṃsāra.



We are raising a generation of children with profound understanding of the importance of the teachings and the importance of acting with loving kindness.



I commend you for it, too. However, your dismissal of monasticism is still problematic. Having kids raised as Buddhist is one thing, but in secular societies with an increasing disdain for anything called religion, I imagine the efforts might only go so far.


The simple reality is that right now the lay traditions are more successful because they are more in tune with life in the West.



Yes and no. Part of the fact is that people are morbidly addicted to sex and relationships, and do not want to give any of it up. It is considered abnormal to even speak of curtailing such desires as a means towards liberation. Lay traditions as you call them are, as I would observe, often divorced from a lot of key teachings from the native Asian traditions from whence they stem from. It isn't so much of being in tune with prevailing conditions, but just a reflection of deep problems running through western cultures perhaps.


Look at the all of the great masters of the many traditions who were not celibate monks: the eighty-four mahasiddhas, Marpa, Milarepa, Khyungpo Naljor, the Sakya royal families, all of the many great married Nyingma masters, etc.


Right, but most of us are not like Milarepa. Most of us are pretty low level ordinary bodhisattvas at best.

I'm fine with lay practitioners as I am one. I'm simply saying that your dismissal of monasticism is part of the problem that Ven. Khedrup has lamented encountering all too often.

The knee-jerk reaction against celibate traditions in western culture is a serious concern because, after all, the Buddha did teach that liberation is not possible unless one abandons sexual activities and desire.


Let me reveal a secret. The more a couple is in love, the more sex which this couple has, the greater the good times which exist between a man and woman, the greater the karmic bonds between that man and woman.

And that man and woman would be reborn again and again in successive life-times until the karmic energies of the bonds are exhausted. Of course, countless and I mean countless men and women never failed to destroy these karmic bonds and in fact add more and more karmic energies to these karmic bonds with each successive lifetime of birth.

This is the sad truth about the lie which the media in every country has propagated about "love" and "soul-mates". Even if you have the most loving marriage in the world, so what? Your wife or husband would pass away sooner or later because of old age, disease, accidents. If you are lucky, you would pass away before your spouse so that your spouse would be the one to suffer alone in this world.

Your children would have their own families and if you are lucky, they would invite you to live with them when you grow to become an old man/woman. But in the end, because you are a mundane human, you would still pass away in the end and you would lose your children and your grandchildren.

Of course, you might get to meet your spouse, children and grandchildren again in your next life but in your next life, would you still remember the good times which you have in this life?
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:06 pm

purestsoul wrote:Let me reveal a secret. The more a couple is in love, the more sex which this couple has, the greater the good times which exist between a man and woman, the greater the karmic bonds between that man and woman.
a) You are confounding sexual desire with love. b)You are being heterosexist.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:19 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
Huseng wrote:
Imperfect as the vessel may be, Buddhist institutions, made up primarily of monks and to a lesser extent nuns, have been responsible for transmitting Buddhist traditions from generation to generation for the last twenty-five centuries. What you propose here sounds rather arrogant and individualistic to me. The outward form of celibacy and monastic living is a hell of a lot more reflective of renunciation than a bunch of middle class people reading Dharma books in Starbucks while doing their practice on the weekends in expensive retreat centers.



Wow, and you call my suggestion arrogant? And these are the same people you want to sponsor your monastic lifestyle? This is the sort of disdain you feel your celibacy entitles you to? How unfortunate. The reality is, many of us have been practicing along with raising families for nearly as long as you have been on the planet. We are raising a generation of children with profound understanding of the importance of the teachings and the importance of acting with loving kindness. We have contributed tremendous amounts of money to teachers, their monasteries, retreat centers, schools and hospitals. All of this is necessary if we are ever to have sustainable monastic institutions in the West.


Yes your view is very arrogant and ignorant. I have lived in both eastern countries and western countries for the better part of the past two decades and I understand how people in both spheres think.

The typical westerner is brainwashed into thinking that "freedom", "equality", "rights" are the epitome of life so when you ask a Westerner to suffer in the quest for enlightenment by cutting off his material desires to sensual pleasures, they will suddenly start screaming that it is their "right" and "freedom" to enjoy life and why should it be a barrier to enlightenment?

Well first of all, let's define enlightenment? What is enlightenment? Is enlightenment simply all about living with unbounded love for everything and everyone? Or is enlightenment all about evolution of the human race from a lower life-form to a much higher life-form?

You are not enlightened simply because you love everyone, you love food, you love sex. First of all, the love and compassion in buddhism and other major spiritual traditions around the world exist free from selfish desires and greed.

If you have true love and true compassion, you will feel love for your worst enemy even though he puts you through the worst most painful hellish time of your life.

If you have true love and true compassion, you will offer your body up for food to a tiger because that tiger is starving for food and you will rather suffer than to let another being suffer.

If you have true love and true compassion, you will look upon the woman whom you love most in the world shagging with your most hated enemy and you will feel happy for this woman and your worst enemy because they have found happiness in each other's arms.

True love and true kindness/compassion doesn't exist just because you are in love with a thing a concept an object which makes you feel good. That is not true love or true compassion/kindness. That is called selfish greedy desire!

Unbounded pure compassion and love is the first step to enlightenment but it is hardly the only step. Don't be naive!

Both monasteries and lay traditions have passed on the Dharma successfully in many countries. The simple reality is that right now the lay traditions are more successful because they are more in tune with life in the West. Until there is a really secure base of lay support, we may never get the monastic institutions that they have in India and Tibet. Not unless you can manage to make Buddhism the state religion in a Western country.


Money is not the main reason why monastic institutions don't exist in the West. Motivation is. There are thousands of monks who live in the forests and mountains without any income at all. They grow their own food or beg for food from laymen. They construct their own shelters from chopped wood or lived in caves.

If you are a true monk, you wouldn't be afraid of living without food or shelter or medicine or whatever. You surrender to the Buddha or God or the Tao or whatever name the Divine has and trust that the Divine will take care of you regardless of whatever obstacle which comes up in your way.

And let me give you a warning. If you are a true seeker on the spiritual path of enlightenment, the Universe, the Gods, Life itself will throw all sorts of problems, obstacles and temptations on your path just to test you. Test your heart. Test your faith. And if you fail, start over. This is the harsh reality we call enlightenment and not some new-agey bs about how enlightenment is about love and abundance and all that.

Ask the true spiritual seekers in here. Ask them if they have never been tested by the gods by the buddhas in the past.
However, that doesn't mean everything is on hold until the monasteries are here. Look at the all of the great masters of the many traditions who were not celibate monks: the eighty-four mahasiddhas, Marpa, Milarepa, Khyungpo Naljor, the Sakya royal families, all of the many great married Nyingma masters, etc. There are many role models, regardless of your outward circumstance. If you are inspired to be a monk, great! If you are inspired to be a married ngakpa, wonderful! Both to me are equally wonderful if the motivation and diligence is the same


The married masters got married not because they wanna indulge in the pleasures of life. They got married because their blood carried the spark of buddhahood/divinity in them and they have been instructed by the buddhas/devas to have descendants so their descendants can pass on the teachings of enlightenment to others. The Sakya royal family for eg descended from gods and devas and if their line was terminated because they refuse to have descendants, who is going to spread the teachings?

Are your ancestors descended from gods and devas? Do you have a spark of divinity/buddhahood in your blood? Are you instructed by the gods and devas themselves to have descendants so that your descendants can transmit the teachings of enlightenment to others?

The common man got married because he wanna have a taste of the pleasures of married life. The masters got married because they need descendants to spread the teachings of enlightenment.

If given a choice, I can assure you those masters would rather not get married because to have descendants is pretty much guaranteeing that you would be reborn again on this earth which most masters would not want to if given the choice.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:27 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
purestsoul wrote:Let me reveal a secret. The more a couple is in love, the more sex which this couple has, the greater the good times which exist between a man and woman, the greater the karmic bonds between that man and woman.
a) You are confounding sexual desire with love. b)You are being heterosexist.


Sexual Desire
I love this person's body.
I love this person's heart and soul.
Oh I love the happiness of sharing my material essence and fluids with another person.
I love the happiness of me penetrating the woman I love most or of me being penetrated by the man whom I love most.

Trust me, I understand all there is to know about sexual desires and love.

There are no differences.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:35 pm

JKhedrup wrote:
And these are the same people you want to sponsor your monastic lifestyle?


I know that this is directed at H. but I'd like to address this attitude and statement. People somehow have this impression that Western monks and nuns expect support, and moreover aren't willing to do anything to receive it. Perhaps my story will help counter this myth.

I have never asked a layperson for a cent in my 8 years of monastic life. If people wish to give to me, I accept but often for example end up sponsoring pujas and initiations at Sera and making offerings to my teachers. My savings are enough that I could maybe sustain 2 weeks of hospital care in India if I were to fall seriously ill. I have never been comfortable fundraising for myself and have gone on faith that if people find my work useful, they may help a little bit. (Fortunately as a translator this happens from time-to-time, but not every often). A small monthly stipend from the centre and the fact that Geshe la (unlike most teachers) always gives me a little bit of the offerings he received during teaching events I translate, cover my basic needs.

I want to address this sort of statement in the context of my story. Those of you from E-sangha are perhaps familiar with it.

Since middle school I had the wish to be a monk but my teacher advised me to finish an undergraduate degree at university first, which I did. Then at the age of 23, using money that I had earned working at Chapters (a bookstore) while a student, I flew to India for the first time to stay 6 months at Sera at my teacher's urging. I decided that becoming a monk was indeed what I wanted to do, flew back to Canada, and worked for another 6 months as an Office assistant, serving cofee at Starbucks and doing other menial adminstrative jobs for friends to save up enough money.

I returned to Sera but at that time could not get a long visa,but having finally taken ordination, after 6 months returned again. Once again I was not able to get a visa to stay long term in India. I spent the summer in robes in an office, working at a travel company that took care of the arrangements of foreigners studying English in Canada. I encountered a lot of open hostility from several co-workers and managers although initially told that my robes were no problem.

The last visit to India I pretty much lost all hope of being able to learn Tibetan if I had to spend the rest of my life doing 6 months in 6 months out. When I returned to Canada the third time my parents who had been initially supportive of my ordination saw that no support was forthcoming and began to worry for my future. They said if I continued to stay at their home, I should think about returning to lay life as there was obviously no support for me in the Buddhist community. Obviously if I had to pay rent in an expensive city like Toronto there was no way I was going to be able to save for a plane ticket and expenses in India. And if I wanted a better paying job, I would have to live in Canada year round as that would have been the only way to build up a career.

At the end of my rope, I considered disrobing. The funny thing is, I was criticized with venomous words by several laypeople. "We would have supported you and always thought highly of you." I found this funny because they knew well my situation all those years, saw me in a positive light as I had been with my teachers since the age of 14, but never indicated they'd be willing to help until I was in a difficult predicament. Though several people offered help, none of them came through in the end.

Deciding that I really couldn't disrobe, a kind nun at a Chinese temple offered me a job working in their bookshop. From there I went to a Chinese Mahayana monastery where I was very unhappy but stayed for 7 months, eventually leaving and going to Thailand. In Thailand the community was very supportive and provided me all the requisites of life, and I served the community at temples both in Thailand and New Zealand.

The Thai Lao community in New Zealand was not rich. But recognizing my sincerity, the work I did with their kids, and my willingness to submit to monastic discipline, when I said I wanted to study further they gave me money for a plane ticket to wherever I wanted to go. I never asked, they just gave from their heart. And these were poor refugees.

Only then did things finally come together for me. My teacher Khensur Rinpoche told me I should try, "one last time" to do something with my Tibetan. FPMT offered sponsorship to study the Translator's course, my parents offered a plane ticket and I was able to learn enough Tibetan in two years to become an interpreter.

After finally experiencing just a little support, I am able to be of service to the lay community, translating teachings of our precious Geshe not only in Holland and France but all over Europe (and hopefully this summer in the US and Canada as well). In addition, I serve as the attendant and often cook for Geshe la. I cook dinner several times a week here, do fundraising for monks in Sera Jey and Sera Mey, help out with odd jobs around the institute, and have corresponded with several prisoners interested in Buddhism. I even volunteer on a Buddhist discussion forum :tongue: .

I am only able to serve in this way because a small number of laypeople decided to take a risk and support Western Sangha. The amount was small- because it was a few people it really didn't hurt anyone financially to give a little, but I think the result was more than worth it.

I have never asked for a free lunch, support, even one rupee. I have faith that if I continue to serve, I probably won't be out on the street.

Many other Western monks and nuns feel the same.


The Gods, Buddhas, Universe, whatever, tested you, tested your heart, tested your faith and you passed. Congratulations.

I am learning to be as persistent and as faithful as you are to the Truth.

Trust me, I am and had been on the verge of giving up many times.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby greentara » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:46 pm

In her book The New Celibacy, Gabrielle Brown states that "abstinence is a response on the outside to what's going on, and celibacy is a response from the inside."[6] According to this definition, celibacy (even short-term celibacy that is pursued for non-religious reasons) is much more than not having sex. It is more intentional than abstinence, and its goal is personal growth and empowerment.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:52 pm

Adamantine wrote:Huseng, I don't think the encouragements to not be limited by external vows of conduct were merely meant for already realized beings. They are intended for people who have both felt aversion for the suffering of samsara, and the accompanying heartfelt feelings of renunciation-- as well as some degree of foundation in sincere aspirational bodhicitta. They are provocations for those of us who have the courage to try to take these beyond a conventional safe approach towards practice and grasping to our own individual liberation . . . It is encouragement to go beyond what is safe, even risk going to the lower realms-- if it may benefit others. Even considering this, even if we don't yet have the capacity-- is meritorious.. and it is the opposite to discourage others from this approach or to act like it is not possible for our self or others. It is not hard to recognize when we are acting out of one of the 5 poisons and when compassion is our guide. The signs are evident.

You are correct in citing some Vajrayana teachers who publicly try to instill caution regarding some of the tantric practices of union yoga. It is true that it may require a high level, a higher level than you or I are at, to practice them properly.
But I am not intending to regard completion stage practice as the only reason or justification to have a sexual life as a practitioner. For instance, some people will not overcome their lust or sexual desire by avoiding it, or abstaining from it. This may fill their minds more with lust in the form of fantasy and longing. Some require the fulfillment and experience of it in order to see the impermanence of it's rewards and the futility of seeking any lasting solace there. Some may have a genuine sincere desire to offer a precious human rebirth to another, as an expression of their cultivation of the paramita of generosity. Some may perfect their paramita of generosity through the selfless giving that is required of a parent. A qualified Guru will know what the hang ups and motivations of their disciples are and advise accordingly.
Some may receive instructions from their Gurus in ways to work with their sexual life at the level that they are able to, without it being at the very high level of a great tsa-lung master. There are actually many levels of approach and practice that are possible, and in Vajrayana it is all about one's own personal Guru's instruction. What Thrangu Rinpoche says doesn't really matter to me. What matters to me is what my own Guru instructs. After all, Thrangu Rinpoche is a monk. Why would I expect him to know much about the path of a Ngakpa?

I don't glorify my own capacity or experience in any way. But I do have immense faith in my teachers. If any one of them ever recommended I be celibate or even take gelong vows I would seriously consider it, I may even be relieved. But this is not the path they have prescribed. The Vajrayana path simply boils down to Guru Yoga, and the advice of the Guru is the ultimate authority. You may not accept this, but it would be considerate of you to accept that this is the path of practice of many of your Dharma brothers and sisters and to treat them and their path with the respect that they try to treat you and yours.


There are a lot of us who do not wish to be reborn as a human on planet earth again.

Yes tantric yoga can lead you enlightenment but enlightenment alone will not free you from being reborn again on this earth as a human being or if you are unlucky enough as an animal.

There are several enlightened masters in the past who has achieved enlightenment. Yet they are reborn again and again in this life time? Why do you think this is the case? Because they failed to eliminate the tracings of all material desires and attachments in their mind.

I do not wish to be reborn again as a human on planet earth. I do not wish to be associated with a race like humanity which cannot look past the limits of their own desires and attachments.

There is a reason why the Buddha threw away his wife, son, kingdom to escape from samsara. There is a reason why so many monks and nuns have taken the vows not only in the East among buddhist, hindu, taoist traditions but among gnostic and orthodox churches and temples in Europe.

Celibacy and the severing of material desires and attachments isn't just a buddhist concept. It is a concept belonging to all spiritual traditions around the world.

Of course, there will always be some who think they know bigger than all the major spiritual traditions around the world. I should know. I was one of them.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:58 pm

purestsoul wrote:Sexual Desire
I love this person's body.
I love this person's heart and soul.
Hogwash. If sexual desire and love were the same thing then prostitues would be the most emotionally satisfied people in the world. They are not.
Trust me, I understand all there is to know about sexual desires and love.
Trust me: you don't (and neither do I).
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:59 pm

Adamantine wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:I was worried I missed something when you mentioned bodhisattva vows. How do you feel these vows indicate that celibacy is not a Mahayana practice?


Dude. Is there a noise filter over my posts or something?

#1 I said:
asking him to respect that there are other valid expressions of Mahayana Dharma.


and #2 I said, in the same sentence you quoted me
I do not disagree that promotion of celibacy is one important way that the Dharma is approached and expressed, but it is not the default Mahayana method


How do these statements lead you to ask me
How do you feel these vows indicate that celibacy is not a Mahayana practice?


I never said, implied, or even ever remotely thought anything of the sort!

I was saying it is not __THE ONLY__ expression of the Mahayana.

In the vein of the shastra Huseng himself quoted, I cited Bodhisattva vows because there is a specific one that points out that the outer vows of external conduct are superseded by the wish and ability to benefit others, even at the expense of one's own karmic consequence. So one vow is explicitly to not refrain from engaging in any of the seven non-virtuous acts if the circumstances require it to benefit beings. You and Huseng may counter that this is only in the case of a very highly realized Bodhisattva already on the bhumis.. and I am not so sure about that. The vow's intent is not to have us constantly conducting ourselves in this way, but if the circumstances arise and it is very certain that these actions will benefit others then they are permissible. This clearly
is not an absolutist path, which considers one action always "good" and one always "bad", but one based on view and motivation in the context of specific circumstances as they arise. As you must know, this is the basis of "skillful means" and much of tantric thought arises from this.

Of course, I understand your position as your lineage is one that prides itself on a type of pure sutric conduct. However, I ask the same from you as from Huseng: which is to simply accept with openness that there are other (perhaps equally valid) interpretations of these subtle points, and rich lineage traditions that are constantly churning out realized beings despite a lack of stringent adherence to celibacy.

As a contemporary Gelug I imagine one of your root teachers is HH the Dalai Lama. (If I am wrong, I apologize). Now while HH is a pure monk, he practices the terma of Lerab Lingpa as one of his heart practices, afaik. Lerab Lingpa was a Ngakpa yogi who had children. Likewise, HH studied Dzogchen with HH Dudjom Rinpoche, whose tradition I follow and whose children and grandchildren continue to benefit the Dharma and sentient beings in profound and vast ways. Us disciples of these great beings are generally not encouraged (or discouraged) to be celibate. I think it may behoove you to respect the various views on this issue, and to read my posts more carefully. :namaste:


The Dalai Lama had experienced previous lifetimes on planet earth as a human. Does that count as complete enlightenment? I think not. If the Dalai Lama is fully enlightened, I don't think he would be reborn again in this lifetime.

This is not to say the Dalai Lama is not enlightened. He is way enlightened beyond the likes of me and you. But the fact that he is reborn again in this life-time means he didn't finish his "business" in his previous lives and I for one, do not wish to be reborn again as a human on planet earth being a slave to my material desires.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:05 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
purestsoul wrote:Sexual Desire
I love this person's body.
I love this person's heart and soul.
Hogwash. If sexual desire and love were the same thing then prostitues would be the most emotionally satisfied people in the world. They are not.
Trust me, I understand all there is to know about sexual desires and love.
Trust me: you don't (and neither do I).


Sexual desires is all about love but love is not always about sexual desires.

The love which I was talking about in the post addressed to Huseng is the material love between a man and a woman and that more often than not involves sexual desires.

viewtopic.php?f=39&t=11512&p=151084#p151064

If you have true love for a man or a woman, he or she can shag or be married with your most hated enemy and you wouldn't be affected adversely in the slightest.

Oh yes, I don't understand everything about love.. I am working on it.. but I sure understand everything there is to know about sexual desires.. I even know how to defeat it now in as explained in my PM to you.. :thumbsup:
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:18 pm

JKhedrup wrote:His Holiness the Dalai Lama, quotes on monastic ordination:

You should all develop some appreciation toward such a way of life. That way, even if you are unable to become ordained, if you appreciate this way of life, it leaves an imprint to be able to be ordained in the future. In the case of the vows, and of them there are vows for the lay person, the vows of the monks are treated as more important, of which the vows of the bhikshu are treated as the most important. Whether it is the practice of the bodhisattva path or the practice of the tantric path, the vow of a bhikshu is said to be the supreme and the most important.
...Buddha himself commented that: “Wherever there are these basic Vinaya practices, then I can rest and relax.”


http://imisangha.org/digitalmedia/artic ... ddha-relax

People may question my agenda here, so let me lay it out. I am not trying to convince people that monasticism is necessary for spiritual advancement, only that is can be a valuable assist to that aim.

I am not advocating that lay teachers cannot be realized, as should be clear from those who have read my posts in this thread and elsewhere on the forum.

I am not advocating this way of life for everyone.

My fear, though, is that this tendency of Westerners to dismiss monasticism as unnecessary will lead to this tradition degenerating and disappearing in the world. If this were to happen, according to the teachings of Lord Buddha, the dispensation would indeed be in danger.

Another fear I have has less to do with the survival of monasticism and is more connected with people thinking that somehow working full time and practicing in the morning and evening is enough, and full time practitoners (whether monastic or lay) don't really need to be supported, because I work and practice, why can't you?

We can see that for the survival of any lay or monastic lineage there need to be people who are devoted full time to practice. For that to be possible there needs to be a little bit of support. If no one supports full-time practitioners I firmly believe the power of the lineages will be diluted.

The alarming trend I see in Western Buddhism in general, not just Vajrayana, is that whatever little support there is for full-time practitioners (monastic or not) is slowly being whiddled away as time goes by- perhaps due to the cultural conditioning of the "Protestant Work Ethic" I don't know. If there are no full time practitioners it does not bode well for Buddhism. We see that when support for this erodes naturally you have less qualified lineage holders, masters in the true sense of the word. And Vajrayana depends on realized masters as the very life-blood of the transmission.


The spiritual energies in the West are not as high as in the East. If a true seeker really wanna become a monk and is sincere about it, take a course in one of the asian languages, make contacts and then move to one of the countries in asia and become a monk or nun there.

Worse come to worse, if one lacks the finance or opportunities or time to move to asia, become a monk or nun in one's heart and mind but remain involved in the material world.

Anyone can work in MacDonald or at the local gas station and remain unaffected by one's desires. Then slowly build up the cash reserve, work the asian languages, network and sooner or later, the seeker will move to asia if he or she truly wanna become a monk.

Or take a job teaching english in asia. Where there is spare time, meditate with the monks. There are countless westerners in asia who move to asia for the money and women. A true seeker can be different if he wants to. Instead of partying and hitting the clubs when the seeker is not teaching English, go explore the spiritual side of asia. Visit the temples and monasteries. Network with the monks. Many temples in asia are frequented by the rich men and political figures in asia. Ask Huseng. He is in Taiwan, I believe.

There are more than one westerner who is a monk in asia. Google them and you will discover who they are. If they can get long-term permanent visas in asia, I don't see why anyone else can't. If there is a will, there is a way.

I am practicing now in a foreign country. I keep to myself most of the time. Live like a hermit. No women, no drinking, no partying, no tv, no meat, no socializing, no nothing. Meditate and Chant at least 3-4 hours a day. But I am not a monk in a temple.

Sometimes, a true seeker needs to be isolated in order to face the loneliness inside him. But sooner or later, he will discover that the loneliness inside him is nothing more than his own Buddha looking at him.

EDIT: Dear Venerable, my advice about getting a job while remaining a hermit in your heart and mind because of a lack of finances and opportunities is not addressed to you. It is addressed to those who can't find a true monastery in the west. I understand your fears about the monastic traditions deteriorating in the west. Michael Roach is good example of this and I for one who do not want more Roaches cropping up.
Last edited by purestsoul on Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:21 pm

purestsoul wrote:Sexual desires is all about love but love is not always about sexual desires.
Define love, then we can analyse where the dissonance exists.

This is what the Buddha has to say about desire:
SN 1.69 PTS: S i 40 CDB i 132
Iccha Sutta: Desire
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1999–2013

[A deva:]
With what is the world tied down?
With the subduing
of what is it freed?
With the abandoning
of what are all bonds
cut through?

[The Buddha:]
With desire the world is tied down.
With the subduing
of desire it's freed.
With the abandoning
of desire all bonds
are cut through.

And this is what he has to say about "love" (metta)
...As a mother would risk her life
to protect her child, her only child,
even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
with regard to all beings.
With good will for the entire cosmos,
cultivate a limitless heart:
Above, below, & all around,
unobstructed, without enmity or hate.
Whether standing, walking,
sitting, or lying down,
as long as one is alert,
one should be resolved on this mindfulness.
This is called a sublime abiding
here & now.

Not taken with views,
but virtuous & consummate in vision,
having subdued desire for sensual pleasures,
one never again
will lie in the womb.
Karaniya Metta Sutta: Good Will

You also may want to check out this teaching http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/dhammananda/marriage.html by Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Health Impact of Celibacy

Postby purestsoul » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:24 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:Time and again I hear in this thread the (rather uninformed) view from promoters of celibacy that marriage is some sort of extended sex party, some even saying that ordinary couples are different only in degree to sex addicts. By the same logic one can say that one who takes food once a day is only different in degree from a glutton or that someone taking a glass of wine with dinner is only different in degree with alcoholics.

The fact of the matter is for most committed married practitioners, sex is an almost insignificant part of one's life. Very little time is spent obsessing over it or engaging in it, particularly compared to the countless hours one spends serving one's partner and children, cooking for them, instructing them, listening to their problems and offering advice, meditating with them, etc. This is not lost time! This is the practice in daily life.

To say "Well Padmasambhava, Saraha, Machig and others were special beings, we are not like them" is unfortunate. Neither are we like Shantarakshita or Gampopa, but that does not stop us from practicing the path that they prescribe. What matters is the path we are engaged in under the supervision of our gurus. All the rest is irrelevant.

Sexual desire is not so simple to excise from one's life by mere abstinence. If it was, all eunuchs would be arhats. It is a struggle regardless of the path one chooses.


If you are truly Enlightened, you would attain accomplishments with or without a mate. The way you are talking now, I think if your mate is separated permanently from you, or if your children are separated from you, you would go mad with sadness and grief.

Well you better be prepared. Your mate and your children would be separated from you sooner or later. This is the sad reality of life.
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