How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Simon E. » Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:08 pm

He may have had a personal agenda...or he may just have been immersed in the body-negative culture that has always been a part and parcel of much of the religious culture of the Indian Subcontinent.
A culture that ( of course ) resulted in the Tantras.
There was only one way to go...
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Nilasarasvati » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:24 pm

Yeah. I mean it makes sense. I also think that comparing my lust to drinking saltwater is a pretty apt description :shrug:

However, as much as I feel like I have a bead on this and how it must look in my own life, I know that a lot of young LBGT Buddhists, feminists like me, women in general, struggle to make sense of a path that seems, from its history, not to be that compassionate after all.

But the key word here is "seems"

This thread is evidence of the endless arguments and plethora of scriptural sources that can be used to purport any agenda, whether it is sex negative, sex positive, sex neutral, affirmative of women, disparaging of women---Buddhism is a religion with a corpus of scripture and commentary vaster and more diverse than any other major world religion except perhaps Hinduism. We can cherry pick evidence that supports our own lifestyle, biases, or prejudices, or affirmations, all day long. We can define and redefine terms and it won't change the fact that the Dharma is not words, nor rules, nor prohibitions, nor is it not these things.

So it really comes down to what your incomparable Root Teacher tells you. His or Her instructions are more important than "the Buddha" of Sutra, because...Siddharta Gautama isn't currently available for interview.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby rory » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:45 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:
So it really comes down to what your incomparable Root Teacher tells you. His or Her instructions are more important than "the Buddha" of Sutra, because...Siddharta Gautama isn't currently available for interview.


That's one scary thought; is this a common opinion in Vajrayana that the teacher is more important than the words of the Buddha? The Avatamsaka Sutra says we're all part of Vairocana Buddha and the Lotus Sutra states all beings sentient and non-sentient will become Buddhas. There's also plenty of excellent ethical advice also contained in both. One of the ways that people go astray in Mappo is relying on leaders who can be corrupt, misogynistic, gay-hating, sexual predators, power hungry etc instead of the Dharma.
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Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:04 am

That's one scary thought; is this a common opinion in Vajrayana that the teacher is more important than the words of the Buddha?


We're only talking about realized, genuine, bona fide lamas. That the process of finding one of those is incredibly dangerous is no contest--"not examining the master is like drinking poison" is what they say. HH Dalai Lama says you're totally justified in spying on them, getting to know them for upward to (twelve? I can't remember the exact number) years before deciding that they are a true Lama.

Moreover your "root teacher" is a much bigger deal. Very few fortunate individuals actually have one of those in the flesh. And for them, they are no different from the Buddha.

And it's not that their words are more important, necessarily. But more immediate.
Their pith instructions are the only way you can really get a grip on the vastness of the teachings.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby rory » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:29 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:

Moreover your "root teacher" is a much bigger deal. Very few fortunate individuals actually have one of those in the flesh. And for them, they are no different from the Buddha.

And it's not that their words are more important, necessarily. But more immediate.
Their pith instructions are the only way you can really get a grip on the vastness of the teachings.


Thanks for the explanation but then how do you handle something like the young Kalu rimpoche's oh so sad youtube confessions? (not to argue, just to understand)
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Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:50 am

Wonderful example. I hope I can shed some light on how this stuff (seems to) work. I mean it's really, really sticky. When I first was reading Words of My Perfect Teacher I was totally appalled. I was offended. I thought it sounded like a surefire way to end up with cults, abuse, meglomania, and the whole nine yards of what we DO see, undeniably, within the Vajrayana establishment (plenty). The Vajrayana literature however, completely acknowledges this. It's the swift, dangerous path.

Lets go back to Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche:

1. If you revere Kalu Rinpoche, or for example, if his predecessor was your root guru (which is the case for plenty of people in the West) and you saw his confessions, you will hopefully have the merit and wisdom to see it unobstructedly as the most profound teaching. Enlightened display. At the same time, every disciple struggles with tainted perception, and anybody with a heart is going to watch that video and think "Jesus, this poor kid needs some help!" But that, too, could be seen as the pure activity of Avalokitesvara: You could see him as a profoundly compassionate bodhisattva who had suffered all of this in order to benefit beings. A bodhisattva muckraker. He's one of the most revered incarnations and he basically hung the dirty laundry of the Tibetan Monastic system out to dry for all the world to see, skidmarks and all.

If there's somebody out there who thinks he was throwing his teachers under the bus, that it wasn't the enlightened courage of a highly realized being, I'll call them a fundamentalist...the merit required to do what he did is unfathomable.

2. If you, like me, have no damtsik/samaya (that I know of) with Kalu Rinpoche, you'll inevitably see him as an ordinary being tormented by the evils of a really messed up feudal system of patriarchy. You will see him as an object of compassion--even if he is an 10th Bhumi Bodhisattva, he is still an object of compassion. Ideally you should see the teachers who hurt him as objects of compassion, too, because they've committed some of the heaviest karma possible.

It's not so much the objective reality that these teachers are TRULY EXISTING buddhas--i mean, that's absurd! It goes against the whole view. Not to say that they aren't, either! There's a common saying:

"Who sees the teacher as a Buddha--that's how much blessing they will get from him.
Who sees him as a Bodhisattva--that's how much blessing they will get from him.
Who sees him as an ordinary old man--that's how much blessing they will get from him."

Devadatta is the classic example of this: he ended up in Hell even though he was the Buddha's own cousin and a Bikkshu who could recite the dharma verbatim.

And it's not to say you should force yourself (it's impossible/fraught with terrible ego indulgence and ignorance) to see a teacher as a Buddha. It's just the reality of how our perceptions alone dictate the amount of faith, devotion, aspiration, and diligence we bring to the path.





You take it as a teaching.
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