How practical is consort practice for the majority?

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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:36 am

you're one funny cat!
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby zerwe » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:45 am

catmoon wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
catmoon wrote:as LhugPa said, it has been handled before, many times, so poke around and see what comes up. I think you will find the topic has been beaten to death.


You said "handled," heh heh....and "beaten to death," heh heh.


Sorry, just couldn't resist. :shrug:


Ah! Someone noticed! An aware being indeed. :rolling:


Huh, huh, huh, huh, heh, heh, heh.... LOL. Very reminiscent of Beavis and Butthead.
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:14 am

Namdrol wrote:
Lhug-Pa wrote: Sexual-misconduct like masturbation


Wanking is only sexual misconduct for monks.


This is from Dudjom Rinpoche's commentary on Ngari Panchen's Ascertaning the Three Vows in relation to the fourth root downfall out of the fourteen root downfalls of the Secret Mantra, "abandoning bodhicitta":

The appropriate times to allow seminal fluid to leave the body are during the secret empowerment as an offering to the deities, when increasing the family line of ancestral heritage, and when making special pills or other medicines.
Otherwise, and especially out of desire, to ignore the words of honor and training and emit semen for one's own personal satisfaction outside the context of higher anuyoga practice constitutes a downfall. This also includes the abandonment of bodhicitta for any sentient being, because bodhicitta and the essential fluid are seen as one on the level of generation stage practice (of inner tantra). If aspirational bodhicitta is abandoned, practical bodhicitta is automatically forsaken.


Namdrol, could you explain how you can say wanking is only sexual misconduct for monks without contradicting Dudjom Rinpoche? I am not trying to debate, I am just genuinely interested.
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:22 am

Adamantine wrote:
Namdrol, could you explain how you can say wanking is only sexual misconduct for monks without contradicting Dudjom Rinpoche? I am not trying to debate, I am just genuinely interested.


Because that item is not covered as part of sexual misconduct for laypeople.

Losing the "white" bodhicitta is interpreted differently by different masters. So I regard the whole thing as a matter of opinion, with no masters opinion being defintive.

I don't consider either Ngari Panchen or Dudjom R. to be final authorities about anything. The same goes for Sakya Pandita, Kongtrul, etc.

In other words, I am happy to contradict any scholar living or dead if I think they are mistaken.

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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:30 am

Namdrol wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
Namdrol, could you explain how you can say wanking is only sexual misconduct for monks without contradicting Dudjom Rinpoche? I am not trying to debate, I am just genuinely interested.


Because that item is not covered as part of sexual misconduct for laypeople.


Right, but we are in a topic on karmamudra so clearly we're discussing these things in the context of Secret Mantra practitioners.

Losing the "white" bodhicitta is interpreted differently by different masters. So I regard the whole thing as a matter of opinion, with no masters opinion being defintive.


Could you give a rundown on some of the other interpretations? I can't even say with certainty that this was D. Rinpoche's intention, -semen- was the word used by Khenpo Gyurme Samdrup and Sangye Khandro in their translation of the original commentary in Tibetan. But it would be hard to contextualize the passage without it meaning that.

I don't consider either Ngari Panchen or Dudjom R. to be final authorities about anything. The same goes for Sakya Pandita, Kongtrul, etc.

Well, OK but could you please then elaborate on why you believe they're mistaken about this particular issue and how you are interpreting it, including any relevant sources?

In other words, I am happy to contradict any scholar living or dead if I think they are mistaken.
It's hard for me to think of Dudjom Rinpoche as merely a scholar with an academic opinion.
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Jnana » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:00 pm

There are also other conservative interpretations on the role and importance of karmamudrā. For example, Chomdan Rigpey Raltri's Dohālaṃkārapuṣpa (Do ha rgyan gyi me tog):

    People who do not know [that] the nature of everything [is] co-emergence claim that unadulterated great bliss is attained while engaging in sexual union with a karmamudrā. They are mistaken, like the thirsty wild deer who sees a mirage as water, goes running after it and gets injured. They die from thirst; can they get water from the sky? Similarly, [such people] mistake the bliss of the four joys to be primordial awareness, and do not realize co-emergence. For this reason, since that bliss which is born from sexual union has no capacity to give rise to and sustain co-emergence, where can it complete the realization [which is] free of the three worlds, [i.e.] the three doors? Well, it cannot complete this.

And for a modern example, Thrangu Rinpoche's commentary on Tilopa's Ganges Mahāmudrā:

    The next stanza describes another method that can be used to enhance the practice of mahāmudrā. And this is for someone who has a stable practice but is not able to achieve the intense wisdom of mahāmudrā. The text says, If you rely upon karmamudrā, the wisdom of bliss and emptiness will arise. Enter into union having consecrated the upāya or method and the prajñā or knowledge. Slowly let it fall or send it down, coil it, turn it back, and lead it to its proper place. Finally spread it or cause it to pervade your whole body. If there is no attachment or craving, the wisdom of bliss and emptiness will appear. [Lines 109-113]

    This is a supplementary technique that is used in order to enhance or intensify the wisdom of mahāmudrā. This technique, which is called karmamudrā or the action seal, has two styles or varieties of practice. And they are called the upper door or upper gate and the lower door or lower gate. The lower door or lower gate is very dangerous, so very few people actually practice this. There are a few great yogis and yoginis who do it, but most do not. [Editor’s note: Karmamudrā using the lower gate refers to the actual use of sexual union as a path to enlightenment.]

    What is more commonly practiced in this connection is the upper gate or upper door style of karmamudrā practice, which is the practice of caṇḍālī [Sanskrit] or tummo [Tibetan] as found for example in the Six Dharmas of Naropa. Essentially, what this technique involves is using the preexisting channels, winds, and drops within your physical body to produce or to allow to arise the wisdom of bliss and emptiness. The special benefit of this is that in the fundamental or central mahāmudrā practice, the wisdom of mahāmudrā is the unity of cognitive lucidity and emptiness. Here that same wisdom arises, because of the difference in technique, in a slightly different way. Instead of being primarily lucidity and emptiness, it is primarily bliss and emptiness, because of the physical technique. Essentially what occurs is that physical bliss arises in your body, and then, looking at the nature of that, which is emptiness, you experience or realize the unity of bliss and emptiness. In more detail, through the correct application of the preexisting channels, winds, and drops within your physical body, you generate a special type of warmth or heat. And that warmth or heat produces a sensation and an affect of bliss. This bliss becomes the environment or basis for the realization or experience of emptiness. The technique involves visualizations such as of bodhicitta dripping down from the HAM syllable visualized in the top of the head and the caṇḍālī blazing up from the AH stroke visualized below the navel. That is what is described in the text when it says bring it down, coil it, stop it, send it back up, and so on. The details of all of this, how to actually do it, are normally taught in long retreat sessions like the three-year retreat, and so on.

    What is of utmost importance in either form of karmamudrā — either the upper gate, or the lower gate version of this practice — is that there be no craving for the bliss, that there be no attachment to it. The purpose, of course, is to use the bliss as a basis for the realization of emptiness. So if there is no attachment to the bliss, then you will see the emptiness of it, and as the text says, the wisdom of bliss and emptiness will arise.
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:28 pm

Jnana wrote:There are also other conservative interpretations on the role and importance of karmamudrā. For example, Chomdan Rigpey Raltri's Dohālaṃkārapuṣpa (Do ha rgyan gyi me tog):

    People who do not know [that] the nature of everything [is] co-emergence claim that unadulterated great bliss is attained while engaging in sexual union with a karmamudrā. They are mistaken, like the thirsty wild deer who sees a mirage as water, goes running after it and gets injured. They die from thirst; can they get water from the sky? Similarly, [such people] mistake the bliss of the four joys to be primordial awareness, and do not realize co-emergence. For this reason, since that bliss which is born from sexual union has no capacity to give rise to and sustain co-emergence, where can it complete the realization [which is] free of the three worlds, [i.e.] the three doors? Well, it cannot complete this.


Correct. The bliss of karmaudra practice is just a tool. In the lamdre system, it is called the practice of small bliss and emptiness and is connected with the third consecration. It does not produce a final result since it works by purifying the the white and red bodhicitta. For that, you need the practices of the jñānavāyu, the wisdom winds (albiet still practiced with either sort of mudra), termed in Lamdre, great bliss and emptiness -- the practice that transforms the karmavāyus into jñānav̄ayus -- thus resulting in rainbow body, as in Dzogchen.

The main advantage of Dzogchen togal over these practices is that a) it does not require a consort b) it does not require the step by step purification of the four mandalas through the two stages (i.e. the outer body channel mandala, the inner channel syllable mandala, the bodhicitta mandala, and the vāyu mandala). This is why togal is sometimes equated with the completion stage practices of the gsar ma system.

The practice of tregchö, the inseperabilty of samsara and nirvana of Sakya, mahāmudra of Kagyu, and clear light nature of the mind of the Gelugpas have essentially the same point i.e. cultivating a momentary unfabricated awareness.

Dzogchenpas maintain however that this cultivation of a momentary unfabricated awareness by itself will not result in rainbow body, but rather, will result only in the the body dissolving at death into subtle particles. In Nyingma, Sakya and Gelug, it seems this cultivation of a momentary unfabricated awareness forms the basis for the pratice the two stages, whereas Kagyu dissents, and asserts that this meditation alone can be sufficient for a person of supreme caliber.

In any event, the main point of the view in all four (or five if we included Jonang) schools is the experiential cultivation of a momentary unfabricated awareness. Other than that, the main differences are terminolgies related to the specifics of each schools presentation of their respective paths and methodologies.

N

N
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:21 pm

Namdrol, I am wondering why you don't respond?
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby wayland » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:07 pm

Jnana wrote:What is more commonly practiced in this connection is the upper gate or upper door style of karmamudrā practice, which is the practice of caṇḍālī [Sanskrit] or tummo [Tibetan] as found for example in the Six Dharmas of Naropa. Essentially, what this technique involves is using the preexisting channels, winds, and drops within your physical body to produce or to allow to arise the wisdom of bliss and emptiness. The special benefit of this is that in the fundamental or central mahāmudrā practice, the wisdom of mahāmudrā is the unity of cognitive lucidity and emptiness. Here that same wisdom arises, because of the difference in technique, in a slightly different way. Instead of being primarily lucidity and emptiness, it is primarily bliss and emptiness, because of the physical technique. Essentially what occurs is that physical bliss arises in your body, and then, looking at the nature of that, which is emptiness, you experience or realize the unity of bliss and emptiness. In more detail, through the correct application of the preexisting channels, winds, and drops within your physical body, you generate a special type of warmth or heat. And that warmth or heat produces a sensation and an affect of bliss. This bliss becomes the environment or basis for the realization or experience of emptiness. The technique involves visualizations such as of bodhicitta dripping down from the HAM syllable visualized in the top of the head and the caṇḍālī blazing up from the AH stroke visualized below the navel. That is what is described in the text when it says bring it down, coil it, stop it, send it back up, and so on. The details of all of this, how to actually do it, are normally taught in long retreat sessions like the three-year retreat, and so on.

What is of utmost importance in either form of karmamudrā — either the upper gate, or the lower gate version of this practice — is that there be no craving for the bliss, that there be no attachment to it. The purpose, of course, is to use the bliss as a basis for the realization of emptiness. So if there is no attachment to the bliss, then you will see the emptiness of it, and as the text says, the wisdom of bliss and emptiness will arise.

Hi Jnana,
Thanks for that post. It reminded me of the instructions in Lama Yeshe's bliss of inner fire book. There are lamas who play down the consort aspect and others who state 'no mahamudra without karmamudra'. It's all a bit confusing at times.

I agree the energy must be different between the normal flow during intercourse and the bliss generated by absorption into the central channel. Quite how the one results in the other, I'm not sure?
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby wayland » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:09 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:
H.H. 14th Dalai Lama wrote:In Tibetan Buddhism, especially if you look at the iconography of the deities with their consorts, you can see a lot of very explicit sexual symbolism which often gives the wrong impression. Actually, in this case the sexual organ is utilized, but the energy movement which is taking place is, in the end, fully controlled. The energy should never be let out. This energy must be controlled and eventually returned to other parts of the body. What is required for a Tantric practitioner is to develop the capacity to utilize one's faculties of bliss and the blissful experiences which are specifically generated due to the flow of regenerative fluids within one's own energy channels. It is crucial to have the ability to protect oneself from the fault of emission. It is not just a purely ordinary sexual act. And here we can see there is a kind of special connection with celibacy. Especially in the practice of the Kalachakra Tantra, this precept of protecting oneself from the emission of energy is considered to be very important. The Kalachakra literature mentions three types of blissful experience: one is the blissful experience induced by the flow of energy; one is the immutable blissful experience; and one is the mutable blissful experience. To me, when Buddha took the celibacy vow, at that level he did not explain all the reasons behind that rule or that discipline. The complete explanation comes when we know the Tantrayana system. – The 14th Dalai Lama

Very informative Lhung-Pa. Thank you.
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:54 pm

Namdrol, I was merely asking for you to explain how you arrived at your view which contradicts Dudjom RInpoche among others. . . since you have replied to many other posts across this board in the meantime but not to this one I, and I assume everyone else with common sense, will have to assume you have no good justification for your view. Unless you can actually produce a reasonable explanation and some relevant sources.

SInce your view appears to justify the engagement in masturbation of a practitioner, and people respect you as an authority on this board, --since this could lead to many people's decision of personal conduct in this regard, I think you owe everyone a lucid explanation especially if your statement contradicts great practitioner-scholars of our time.
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:59 pm

Masturbation is not listed as lay sexual misdconduct in Abhidharma or the Vinaya Sutra.

It is a sexual misconduct that requires confession and penance in the case of bhikṣūs.

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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Kilaya » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:44 pm

Namdrol wrote:this cultivation of a momentary unfabricated awareness by itself will not result in rainbow body, but rather, will result only in the the body dissolving at death into subtle particles


What is the difference between the two? When we read about practitioners leaving only their hair and nails behind, is that rainbow body or the other one?
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Adamantine » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:56 am

Namdrol wrote:Masturbation is not listed as lay sexual misdconduct in Abhidharma or the Vinaya Sutra.

It is a sexual misconduct that requires confession and penance in the case of bhikṣūs.

N


So you don't disagree that for a Vajrayana practitioner it is breaking the fourth root vow?
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby JinpaRangdrol » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:31 am

Adamantine wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Masturbation is not listed as lay sexual misdconduct in Abhidharma or the Vinaya Sutra.

It is a sexual misconduct that requires confession and penance in the case of bhikṣūs.

N


So you don't disagree that for a Vajrayana practitioner it is breaking the fourth root vow?


Here's what Alexander Berzin had to say about the Tantric Downfall of "Giving Up Bodhicitta," specificaly in regard to the Kalachakra Tantra:
Whether male or female, whenever we experience the release of energy that accompanies sexual orgasm - regardless of the emission of gross fluids - we lose subtle creative drops, called "bodhichitta" or "jasmine flower drops (Skt. kunda)." These drops form the basis for achieving unchanging blissful awareness. Since such release discards the most efficient means for achieving enlightenment, it is called "giving up bodhichitta." For this root downfall to be complete, however, we need to understand the nature of unchanging blissful awareness, yet release these subtle drops anyway - when there is no special need to do so - through any means, with the wish to attain enlightenment through the bliss of ordinary orgasmic emission. The four binding factors need not accompany this action.

Release of orgasmic energy or fluids in ordinary sexual acts does not constitute a tantric root downfall, so long as it is not regarded as something spiritual - specifically, as a means for attaining liberation or enlightenment. However, any experience of orgasmic release, regardless of how we view it, weakens the form we are trying to give to our lives with Kalachakra root tantric vows. It counters the purpose of trying to achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible through the Kalachakra method of unchanging blissful awareness.

It is important to be realistic, not melodramatic about this matter. Taking this vow does not mean having to remain childless or never to have another baby. Nor does it condemn us to stop enjoying ordinary sex or to feel guilty about it. It does mean, however, seeing the bliss of orgasmic emission in the perspective of unchanging blissful awareness, and committing ourselves to revising our values. In short, when we have no control over our orgasmic energies, we stress, with this vow, never to regard the bliss of orgasmic release from ordinary as a spiritual experience, as a way to solve all problems, or as a path to enlightenment.


(Berzin, Alexander. Taking the Kalachakra Initiation. Ithaca, Snow Lion, 1997. http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... edges.html)

Again, this is specifically in relation to the Kalachakra Tantra. But in a nutshell, as long as you don't think jacking off is gonna get you enlightened, then you're not breaking your vows by doing it...
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:34 am

Adamantine wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Masturbation is not listed as lay sexual misdconduct in Abhidharma or the Vinaya Sutra.

It is a sexual misconduct that requires confession and penance in the case of bhikṣūs.

N


So you don't disagree that for a Vajrayana practitioner it is breaking the fourth root vow?



I disagree that it breaks the fourth root samaya.That vow is referring to Mahāyāna bodhicitta, not semen.
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby JinpaRangdrol » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:48 am

It's simply a preposterous idea. By that logic, then any kind of sexual activity that ends in ejaculation is basically a "sin," unless the purpose is procreation. This would also condemn contraceptive use, sex between infertile people, vasectomies, and any and all homosexual activity (and, as a homosexual, I'd consider it absolute BS to claim that any sex I have is a transgression of my vows).
This is Tibetan Buddhism, not Catholocism.
And if you want to go back to the age-old notions of "sexual misconduct" that include having sex in "improper orifices" and during the day, then I think it's time to update your sources...
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:41 pm

H.H. the Dalai Lama wrote:Q: Your Holiness, what do you think of homosexuality?

"It's part of what we Buddhists call 'bad sexual conduct.' Sexual organs were created for reproduction between the male element and the female element and everything that deviates from that is not acceptable from a Buddhist point of view. Between a man and [another] man, a woman and another woman, in the mouth, the anus, or even using a hand." — H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama


However "reproduction" has to be understood in context here (i.e. see the quote from the Dalai Lama that is posted earlier in this thread).
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby AdmiralJim » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:47 pm

I find it amusing when people quote the dalai lama's views on sex, a man who is probably still a virgin. I would take these views about as seriously as an anorexic giving dietary advice..................
I don't know where we are going but it will be nice when we get there
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Re: How practical is consort practice for the majority?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:53 pm

Consider that H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama could very well have performed the Completion Stage practices (including Karmamudra) in a past life.


Wayland wrote:
Lhug-Pa wrote:
H.H. 14th Dalai Lama wrote:In Tibetan Buddhism, especially if you look at the iconography of the deities with their consorts, you can see a lot of very explicit sexual symbolism which often gives the wrong impression. Actually, in this case the sexual organ is utilized, but the energy movement which is taking place is, in the end, fully controlled. The energy should never be let out. This energy must be controlled and eventually returned to other parts of the body. What is required for a Tantric practitioner is to develop the capacity to utilize one's faculties of bliss and the blissful experiences which are specifically generated due to the flow of regenerative fluids within one's own energy channels. It is crucial to have the ability to protect oneself from the fault of emission. It is not just a purely ordinary sexual act. And here we can see there is a kind of special connection with celibacy. Especially in the practice of the Kalachakra Tantra, this precept of protecting oneself from the emission of energy is considered to be very important. The Kalachakra literature mentions three types of blissful experience: one is the blissful experience induced by the flow of energy; one is the immutable blissful experience; and one is the mutable blissful experience. To me, when Buddha took the celibacy vow, at that level he did not explain all the reasons behind that rule or that discipline. The complete explanation comes when we know the Tantrayana system. – The 14th Dalai Lama


Very informative Lhug-Pa. Thank you.


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Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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