Is consort practice selfish?

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Is consort practice selfish?

Postby himalayanspirit » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:51 pm

Not getting into the argument of consort practice being one of the violations of primary Buddhist precepts (for both monks and lay alike) right, besides also being contradictory to various Mahayana and Sravakayana scriptures like Surangama Sutra which state it in now uncertain words that indulging in sexual desires will always impede a practitioner from attaining full Buddhahood.

Isn't consort practice of Tibetan Buddhists selfish? After all the high lamas use a consort just as a vehicle for the attainment of Buddhahood (if at all it is genuine Buddhahood and not a deluded state). What does the consort get? Does she attain Buddhahood too? At least if the Lama marries a woman and takes care of her (much less, "loving" her, like all other laymen are supposed to do), it could be accepted as a non-violation of Buddhism. Lamas aren't necessarily monks after all.

I once read on another forum (can't remember) that a Buddhist of the Chinese sect claiming that using consort or sex for attaining Buddhahood is a digression from true Buddhadharma. Is it true? Are the Lamas who propagate the exploitation of a woman for their own gain influenced by demons?

Avoiding to create another thread, I would also like to ask why the Tantrics claim to be Mahayanists and deride the Sravakayanists for being "selfish" in pursuing personal liberation, when they themselves pursue a personal liberation, that too by exploiting a woman/consort?
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:24 pm

Actually, I've decided to not list the sources posted earlier; but I agree with Mr. G.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Mr. G » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:28 pm

himalayanspirit wrote:Not getting into the argument of consort practice...


But you are getting into an argument though, and you're aware of this fragrantherbs...I mean himalayanspirit.

consort practice being one of the violations of primary Buddhist precepts (for both monks and lay alike) right,


It's not a violation of lay precepts and monks lay down their vows. Citation please.

besides also being contradictory to various Mahayana and Sravakayana scriptures like Surangama Sutra


And there are also questions to the authenticity of the Surangama Sutra:

http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/authenticity.htm

But, I'm not getting into an argument or anything...... (do you see how this intellectually dishonest game of "my scriptures are better than your scriptures" works now?)

However, it is once again not in contradiction. True consort practice eliminates afflictions...how is that contradictory to Buddhism?

which state it in now uncertain words that indulging in sexual desires will always impede a practitioner from attaining full Buddhahood.


Vajrayana does not "indulge" in sexual desires, hence you're understanding of what Vajrayana practice consists of is lacking.

Isn't consort practice of Tibetan Buddhists selfish? After all the high lamas use a consort just as a vehicle for the attainment of Buddhahood (if at all it is genuine Buddhahood and not a deluded state). What does the consort get? Does she attain Buddhahood too? At least if the Lama marries a woman and takes care of her (much less, "loving" her, like all other laymen are supposed to do), it could be accepted as a non-violation of Buddhism. Lamas aren't necessarily monks after all.


You do realize that if a monk decides to engage in consort practice they lay down their monk's vows. What does a consort get? Enlightenment. Sort of like how Machig Labdron was a consort which resulted in the creation of Chod practice which was confirmed by Indian panditas. Chod has been spread far and wide due to the efforts and results of the practices performed by Machig Labdron.

I once read on another forum (can't remember) that a Buddhist of the Chinese sect claiming that using consort or sex for attaining Buddhahood is a digression from true Buddhadharma. Is it true?


According to some schools, that's what they think. Every school of Buddhism has thoughts on what types of practice are authentic, and what is not.

Avoiding to create another thread, I would also like to ask why the Tantrics claim to be Mahayanists and deride the Sravakayanists for being "selfish" in pursuing personal liberation, when they themselves pursue a personal liberation,


Your question is loaded and silly. Every Mahayana Buddhist pursues enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.

Since it's evident you're fairly new to Buddhism, I recommend reading Chapter 7 in the book "Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition" This will explain Vajrayana to you at an elementary level without resorting to sectarianism.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:18 pm

If we use it wrongly, why not?

Only if we really have a solid Buddhist foundation, and perfect conduct (sila), consort practice becomes powerful. Now, Vajrayana cannot be considered secret anymore. Everyone know that and most Of them misunderstand it.

But based on what I know, most of consort practice is done with visualization, where the consOrt is deity. You can't have a secret desire with the deity. It is better be serious and pure if you don't want to go to the hell. :rolling:
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Jikan » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:24 pm

To the OP:

I'm not sure if it's even a relevant or useful question, given how rare it is to encounter the opportunity to practice in this way. I've been around Dharma centers for over half my life now and no one's invited me to prom. :crying:


Things go better when we take our own practice more seriously than we take our anxieties about the practices of others.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Tara » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:53 pm

Jikan wrote:Things go better when we take our own practice more seriously than we take our anxieties about the practices of others.



:thumbsup:

:good:

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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Pero » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Mr. G wrote:You do realize that if a monk decides to engage in consort practice they lay down their monk's vows. What does a consort get? Enlightenment.

Well now, it's not as simple as that I think. By merely being a "consort" to someone, that consort will not get enlightened.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Mr. G » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:30 pm

Pero wrote:
Mr. G wrote:You do realize that if a monk decides to engage in consort practice they lay down their monk's vows. What does a consort get? Enlightenment.

Well now, it's not as simple as that I think. By merely being a "consort" to someone, that consort will not get enlightened.


Indirectly, ALL Vajrayana practitioners are guaranteed enlightenment within 16 lifetimes.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Pero » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:35 pm

Mr. G wrote:
Pero wrote:
Mr. G wrote:You do realize that if a monk decides to engage in consort practice they lay down their monk's vows. What does a consort get? Enlightenment.

Well now, it's not as simple as that I think. By merely being a "consort" to someone, that consort will not get enlightened.


Indirectly, ALL Vajrayana practitioners are guaranteed enlightenment within 16 lifetimes.

If they keep their samaya, no? And also, "consort" then has to be a Vajrayana practitioner but it seemed to me OP was thinking that is just any chick which a male Vajrayana practitioner likes (which is why I put " ").
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Mr. G » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:38 pm

Pero wrote:If they keep their samaya, no?


Well, that's a given.

but it seemed to me OP was thinking that is just any chick which a male Vajrayana practitioner likes (which is why I put " ").


It doesn't seem like the OP is clear because they are unfamiliar with the tradition of Vajrayana and it's nuances.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Pero » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:57 pm

Mr. G wrote:
but it seemed to me OP was thinking that is just any chick which a male Vajrayana practitioner likes (which is why I put " ").


It doesn't seem like the OP is clear because they are unfamiliar with the tradition of Vajrayana and it's nuances.

True...
In consort practice, I think it would be correct to say that (true) practitioners are each others consorts, right?
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby wisdom » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:43 pm

himalayanspirit wrote:Not getting into the argument of consort practice being one of the violations of primary Buddhist precepts (for both monks and lay alike) right, besides also being contradictory to various Mahayana and Sravakayana scriptures like Surangama Sutra which state it in now uncertain words that indulging in sexual desires will always impede a practitioner from attaining full Buddhahood.


While I don't know a tremendous amount about consort practice, since your questions are not really about consort practice this is my opinion on the matter.

Indulging in sexual desires is not the same as performing a sexual act. Objects and acts in themselves are not the cause of ignorance and affliction. If you understood emptiness, you would know this.

himalayanspirit wrote:Isn't consort practice of Tibetan Buddhists selfish? After all the high lamas use a consort just as a vehicle for the attainment of Buddhahood (if at all it is genuine Buddhahood and not a deluded state). What does the consort get? Does she attain Buddhahood too? At least if the Lama marries a woman and takes care of her (much less, "loving" her, like all other laymen are supposed to do), it could be accepted as a non-violation of Buddhism. Lamas aren't necessarily monks after all.


Its not selfish unless you make it so. If you are acting in selfishness, you don't have bodhicitta and therefore can't really call yourself a lama or a Vajrayana practitioner. It would be in appearance only. Women can attain Enlightenment, I don't know if they are recognized as Buddhas or not, but certainly realized beings and recognized as Bodhisattvas and Dakinis, in addition to being revered and treated with tremendous respect according to tradition. I don't see *why* a woman couldn't achieve total Enlightenment, but there may be some kind of metaphysical reason that she can't achieve Buddhahood or something.

himalayanspirit wrote:I once read on another forum (can't remember) that a Buddhist of the Chinese sect claiming that using consort or sex for attaining Buddhahood is a digression from true Buddhadharma. Is it true? Are the Lamas who propagate the exploitation of a woman for their own gain influenced by demons?


Many people hold sectarian views. Followers of the Middle Way are free from extremes. Anyone who exploits other people for their own gain cannot be called a lama except in appearance only. No matter what they are practicing, its just a road to hell. Who knows if they are in turn influenced by demons or just delusional, or if there is even a difference...

himalayanspirit wrote:Avoiding to create another thread, I would also like to ask why the Tantrics claim to be Mahayanists and deride the Sravakayanists for being "selfish" in pursuing personal liberation, when they themselves pursue a personal liberation, that too by exploiting a woman/consort?


Nobody should deride anyone as selfish who seeks to achieve liberation. Each vehicle has its function, and each level of the path has its place. Solitary and Listeners will eventually experience bodhicitta, and when they do they will take up the path of the Bodhisattva. Better to have a world of solitaries than a world of delusional beings. Its better to say that they are "self centered" but not in a negative sense, but in the literal meaning of the term. They are focused on the self. Everyone needs to be focused on the self, most of the world consists of potential Solitaries and Listeners, and most people who enter the Dharma are on those paths. Very few have real bodhicitta or even aspire to have it, they just want to be free from suffering. Those who look down on these people are in essence not someone who has absolute bodhicitta and rather than wanting them to also be free from suffering, speaks of them derisively as though somehow they are bad people or inferior because of their practice. Thats completely missing the point in my opinion.

Also, don't view anyone as having Tantric sex as "exploiting women" because its not like that at all. While you might hear about that a lot, you don't hear about the thousands of practitioners who don't do that at all and are loving and devoted partners, because they aren't in the public eye or inclined to share these things with the public.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:04 pm

Hmmm..

to my understanding tantra may be a means to achieve total enlightenment(as human) in one lifetime. I have not heard it said by authoritarian source that this is the only means to human enlightenment. Quicker faster more immediate as I read it.

what exactly says or how could we know..... we have not been on a particular path for sixteen lifetimes and then this is the last of sixteen?
in which case it would be not one lifetime we had been working at this thing. Perhaps one would then know this thing and then know it is not so important for them.....is that not possible? And who exactly is to say we have not performed this thing in some manner before and we are just in human form burning a particular residual karma of some sort? Can not such a thing occur?

certainly woman are known to attain full buddhahood as women, one has even vowed to do so. And realized humans it seems.... women are also there.
I would say that is how this could happen.

I have heard vows to be born as man as have probably some here in ceremony...I suspect those are qualities attributable to male as a thunderstorm may be thought a male thing and a gentle rain a female thing....not real things of gender. We must be forceful in this thing. A woman may be as much a man as a man in this manner or even more so. It being essentially a linguistic thing, for description. As a library in spanish...it is female.

Taken literally....it is quite silly. Libraries are buildings. Genders are things of that sort as well. WE may use both for means or not use them.
There is no inherantly existant gender....essential buddhas are examples of concept, not real male or female beings.
They are essentially both male and female....presented both together for purpose. In consort in union.

Meaning I would not apply human notions of gender discription to other realms or forms. it would be silly.
This is after all a general forum...why not challenge these notions? If this was presented in other forum I would personally not challenge any of this..but it is here in dharma free for all.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Kare » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:47 am

Hmmm ... I would not call this kind of consort practice selfish:



:rolling:
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Merely Labeled » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:00 am

Wisdom wrote:

``Women can attain Enlightenment, I don't know if they are recognized as Buddhas or not, but certainly realized beings and recognized as Bodhisattvas and Dakinis, in addition to being revered and treated with tremendous respect according to tradition.``

:jawdrop:

I hope most Buddhist path practitioners are clear about the fact that women definitely can attain enlightenment.
Quite shocking that this statement comes from a January 2012 Buddhist forum user.

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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Mr. G » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:04 am

Merely Labeled wrote:
I hope most Buddhist path practitioners are clear about the fact that women definitely can attain enlightenment.


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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:12 am

Merely Labeled wrote:Wisdom wrote:

``Women can attain Enlightenment, I don't know if they are recognized as Buddhas or not, but certainly realized beings and recognized as Bodhisattvas and Dakinis, in addition to being revered and treated with tremendous respect according to tradition.``

:jawdrop:

I hope most Buddhist path practitioners are clear about the fact that women definitely can attain enlightenment.
Quite shocking that this statement comes from a January 2012 Buddhist forum user.

M.L.
I don't understand why you're upset. Wisdom said women can attain Enlightenment, but aren't always called "Buddhas". It's true. I never heard anyone discuss Machig Labdron (for example) as anything but a fully Enlightened being, but I've never heard of her referred to as a Buddha. Doesn't mean she isn't, but I've never heard that word.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby Merely Labeled » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:14 am

O.K., so I misunderstood the statement.
That`s a relief.

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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:22 am

We can find the life story of 84 Mahasiddha. They are the master of master in Tantric Buddhism.

4 out of 84 are women. This is a concrete proof we can become a buddha with this woman body. Just depends on efforts.

The story are absoluty interesting.
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Re: Is consort practice selfish?

Postby himalayanspirit » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:52 am

It's not a violation of lay precepts and monks lay down their vows. Citation please.


If monks can lay down precepts for some time (temporarily) then they are not monks. I mean, a monk can't say "I will lay down my precepts of not having sex and not eating meat next week, because I am going back to my hometown for holidays". Once the precepts are taken, they have to be followed sincerely, or at the very least, the intention should always be to maintain them completely.

If what you say were the case, then I would be a monk too, because I only indulge in sex once in a very rare while. :thinking:
I think this concept temporarily laying down precepts is a perversion of Buddhist precepts by the Tibetans or Westerners.

And there are also questions to the authenticity of the Surangama Sutra:


Same with most of the tantras.


What does a consort get? Enlightenment.

Really? Does the consort get the same kind of enlightenment as the male just be allowing him to come over her? If just offering oneself so passively to a reputed lama would bring enlightenment to women, most of the women would happily offer themselves - not to mention, the women would be superior in their potential for enlightenment considering that the male has to be active and put effort and the female has to just passively offer herself. Most of the Mahasiddhas chose prostitutes for their practice. I think this is a violation of Buddhist precepts, for at least the customers pay her in return for her services, where as the Mahasiddha merely uses her for his own personal benefit/liberation.

Every school of Buddhism has thoughts on what types of practice are authentic, and what is not.


The Hinayana vinaya is pretty uniform and none of the Hinayana sects claim that sex will not act as an obstacle in their path of personal liberation. Mahayana vinaya is even more elaborate than Hinayana, and it has even more stricter restrictions. Mahayana scriptures also consider sex as an impediment to Buddhahood.


You fail to see my actual question. I am not debating whether indulging in sex is allowed or not in Buddhism for the monks (this is pretty clear in all Theravada and Mahayana scriptures); what I am questioning is if exploitation of a woman just for a practice is contradictory to Buddhism? Of course, most of the monks and Lamas spend most of their time in seclusion while practicing Tantras, and then when they are quite old they want to practice with a consort. How do they select the consort? Does the consort always have her consent? What happens to the consort after the high Lama's consort practices are over and he retreats back to his seclusion?

___________________________________________

Surangama Sutra clearly says that indulging in sex is a great obstacle to enlightenment.
http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama6/shurangama6_1.asp

__________________________________________


My friend was a great fan of Osho once, and rather admired his lectures on politics and other worldly affairs more than in spirituality. One of the things Osho claimed was that Krishna, the god of the Hindus (Vaishnavites, specially) was a great Logician. And the reason for such assertion was that Krishna could justify almost anything by twisting logic. He could justify people fighting in the wars, people using conceit to take advantage over the enemies etc etc. Being an exHindu, I can say that Hindus in general have a monstrous bias towards their religion and mythical beliefs, and they have inherited such cunning logical abilities of justifying almost anything from their Lord Krishna. You can see staunch Hindus criticizing Muslims in online forums for being allowed to take 4 wives, but when the Muslims retort by giving example Krishna, their god, who himself had 16008 wives. Hindus justify this by various arguments.

The point is that anyone can justify anything. And I am surprised how Buddhists also (especially Tibetan) have fallen to the same state of trying to violate Vinaya and then to justify it as well.

___________________________________________


Lastly, I would like to post an excerpt from the prophecy of Padmasambhava to further my argument:

Guru Rinpoche further said that in that era, many ordained monks are greedy and pursue wealth and fame. They travel everywhere to cheat on their followers. They plan and think of ways to get offerings and donations from followers and possess their own private wealth and properties, yet they do not engage in any Buddhist practice or chanting on their own. They indulge in music, dance and entertainments. They break precepts and vows yet without any remorse
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