How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

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Ikkyu
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How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Ikkyu »

So there are a lot of gay-friendly sanghas around nowadays. Yet again I find contradictions between what so many Buddhists believe and what is in the sutras:

"If sex is practised under the inappropriate times (times not allowed by precepts), [at] inappropriate place[s] (places not allowed by precepts), with non-female[s], with virgin[s], with a married wife, if sex relates to self-body, it is known as sexual misconduct."
-- Upasakasila Sutra

Anybody care to explain this?

P.S. I'm gay friendly, and at this point skeptical of Buddhism. I guess that's why I'm asking for clarification.
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Huseng
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Huseng »

This is clearly reflecting the Brahman morality in India at a time when Buddhism was heavily brahmanized.

The original Magadha culture of Buddhism and Jainism was a lot more liberal it seems.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Seishin »

Is this the only sutra that states this?

Gassho,
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lobster
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by lobster »

How do gay Buddhists explain this one?
http://www.fwbo-files.com/satires/sec_teach.htm

You mean people is people? Well, well . . . takes all sorts
of Buddhas to make a pureland . . .

Follow the teaching and your common sense . . .
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by udawa »

Ikkyu wrote:So there are a lot of gay-friendly sanghas around nowadays. Yet again I find contradictions between what so many Buddhists believe and what is in the sutras:

"If sex is practised under the inappropriate times (times not allowed by precepts), [at] inappropriate place[s] (places not allowed by precepts), with non-female[s], with virgin[s], with a married wife, if sex relates to self-body, it is known as sexual misconduct."
-- Upasakasila Sutra

Anybody care to explain this?

P.S. I'm gay friendly, and at this point skeptical of Buddhism. I guess that's why I'm asking for clarification.
Have you seen this article ? http://archive.thebuddhadharma.com/issu ... er/sex.php

Rethinking Buddhism and Sex
When it comes to sex, Western Buddhists tend to be fairly liberal. But as scholar José Cabezón explains, Buddhist tradition takes a much more conservative approach, prohibiting, among other things, oral or anal sex, male homosexuality, and even sex during daylight hours. 
He challenges us not to dismiss traditional Buddhist views on sexuality but rather to critically examine them, beginning with the study of sexual ethics in Buddhist texts.
Edwards: You are a philosopher. Dr Johnson: I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Huseng »

udawa wrote: Rethinking Buddhism and Sex
When it comes to sex, Western Buddhists tend to be fairly liberal. But as scholar José Cabezón explains, Buddhist tradition takes a much more conservative approach, prohibiting, among other things, oral or anal sex, male homosexuality, and even sex during daylight hours. 
He challenges us not to dismiss traditional Buddhist views on sexuality but rather to critically examine them, beginning with the study of sexual ethics in Buddhist texts.
I have reason to suspect such attitudes towards non-vaginal sex are a reflection of Brahmanzed morality in India. The secular law text the Arthaśāstra establishes identical proscriptions with punitive fines in place to discourage people from such acts.

As we know Brahmins had a different perspective on purity from what the natives of Magadha did. Magadha is where Buddhism arose and in the early centuries there was minimal Brahmin influence. The Brahmins actually called the Greater Magadha peoples such things as demons given their dialect and customs.

The Buddha was pretty clear that the optimal course of action was to be celibate and abandon desires altogether. However, I don't see how something like oral sex could be karmically worse than vaginal intercourse. Both are driven by desire in any case. The former is not more intrinsically impure than the latter.
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Queequeg
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Queequeg »

lobster wrote:How do gay Buddhists explain this one?
http://www.fwbo-files.com/satires/sec_teach.htm

You mean people is people? Well, well . . . takes all sorts
of Buddhas to make a pureland . . .

Follow the teaching and your common sense . . .
this.

Believe it or not, contrary to common belief, the suttas/sutras were composed by ordinary human beings with all the inclinations to prejudice and bias our species is known for.

If you have decided to live your life 100% according to a book written by people who thought the earth was a giant disk floating in the ether, you are going to run into some problems.

The Suttas/Sutras were inspired by the Buddha; it follows we should approach these books for inspiration - not literal instruction.

Use your common sense, moderation, the middle path. In the aggregate, that seems to be the gist of the message delivered in the Suttas/Sutras, wouldn't you agree?

Unless you've taken up a vow of celibacy, the common sense approach to sex, regardless of your orientation would be to indulge mindfully, kindly, caringly, lovingly, without causing undue harm.

If its outlandish claims you are going to measure your commitment to the practice of Buddhadharma to, I can think of some that are way more outlandish than some of the sexual mores they promote.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by lobster »

Unless you've taken up a vow of celibacy, the common sense approach to sex, regardless of your orientation would be to indulge mindfully, kindly, caringly, lovingly, without causing undue harm.
. . . sounds about right to me . . . :popcorn:
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Huseng »

Discussion on cosmology split:

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=10230" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
wukong
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by wukong »

Ikkyu wrote:So there are a lot of gay-friendly sanghas around nowadays. Yet again I find contradictions between what so many Buddhists believe and what is in the sutras:

"If sex is practised under the inappropriate times (times not allowed by precepts), [at] inappropriate place[s] (places not allowed by precepts), with non-female[s], with virgin[s], with a married wife, if sex relates to self-body, it is known as sexual misconduct."
-- Upasakasila Sutra

Anybody care to explain this?

P.S. I'm gay friendly, and at this point skeptical of Buddhism. I guess that's why I'm asking for clarification.


I would say that it has something to do with a bunch of monks all living together in close quarters with no female company. It seems that the details of the prohibitions go towards ruling out sex under any circumstances, even sex with a man. A gay friend of mine was similarly disturbed by a point of detail in the 10 non-virtues which included 'wrong orifice' under sexual misconduct. when we researched it we came across an article that implied that around the time of the 4th council (mahayana version) there was concern that monks were breaking precepts with each other. so the sexual misconduct precept was redrafted to include in no uncertain terms that celibacy for a monk is not just about staying out of vaginas but other men as well. many of the precepts were composed with celibate monks in mind. unfortunately i can't quote that article i found as it was some time ago.


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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Astus »

It's unlikely to be meant for monks, since the very first precept of the pratimoksha already covers all kinds of genital-orifice contact (including even animals), and genital-manual contact is also covered in another rule.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Huseng »

Astus wrote:It's unlikely to be meant for monks, since the very first precept of the pratimoksha already covers all kinds of genital-orifice contact (including even animals), and genital-manual contact is also covered in another rule.
In addition, any intentional emission of semen also qualifies as a saṃghâvaśeṣa offence. A saṃghâvaśeṣa is the second most severe type of offence requiring confession to the assembly and temporary exile.

The original idea was that if you're a monk (or nun for that matter) you're completely celibate no matter what your earlier persuasions were. This includes no masturbation.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Yudron »

The passage also assumes everyone is male.

I suppose I'm a lesbian Buddhist, and I guess what you are asking is; how do I make sense of passages like this in the sutrayana? On a practical level the answer is that I made sure that both my teacher and specific tradition did not think this way before I made a commitment as a serious disciple.

One's sexual orientation or conduct is of no concern to my Tibetan lamas. Two of the three most important lamas in my life are not monastic, and they they want me to have a robust sex life with whomever I choose, and have personal love and support in my life. Why? Because they love me and care about me, see sexuality as a positive part of life, and want me to be happy. I don't discuss sexuality with my monk teacher, but he doesn't bat an eye when other people discuss their gay relationships with him.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Lhug-Pa »

Huseng wrote:This is clearly reflecting the Brahman morality in India at a time when Buddhism was heavily brahmanized.

The original Magadha culture of Buddhism and Jainism was a lot more liberal it seems.
However liberal is different than libertine.

And like I'd mentioned before, there's no evidence of homosexuality having existed within the Dravidian Harrapan and Mohenjodaro cultures for example; and the Dravidians were Matriarchal and therefore did not fit the 'conservative-patriarchal' bill which some attribute to the Vedics and/or Brahmins.


Also:

Alexander Berzin wrote:Since both Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism base their practice of ethical self-discipline on Vasubandhu's texts, their lineages still include homosexuality in their lists of inappropriate sexual behavior.
Even though many Sutrayanaists imply sex as unimportant, as Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and prominent Gelugpas, Kagyupas, and Sakyapas have said, Heterosexual Sex or Karmamudra is a very important aspect of Vajrayana.
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:29 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Huseng »

Lhug-Pa wrote: However liberal is not the same as libertine.

Like I'd mentioned before, there's no evidence of homosexuality having existed within the Dravidian Harrapan and Mohenjodaro cultures for example; and the Dravidians were Matriarchal and therefore did not fit the 'conservative-patriarchal' bill which some attribute to the Vedics and/or Brahmins.
There isn't a lot left of those civilizations. We haven't deciphered the Harrapan script. What little relics we have from that civilization are subject to a lot of speculation.

How would you find evidence of homosexuality, anyway? Figurines? Images? There is little of that to begin with from Harappan sites.

Every human population has a number of homosexual and bisexual persons. In some cultures this is out in the open and people don't think twice about it while in others it is concealed and/or condemned.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Huseng »

Lhug-Pa wrote: It is interesting that given the fact that it has been said: "Homosexuality exists in a society to the degree that a society embodies war." that evidence of homosexuality having existed very much within—at least the later periods of—warlike Greek & imperialistic Roman cults is most easily found.
What kind of statement is that? Nonsense.

You should get to know more gay people. They're all over the world. In every culture. Some cultures make a determined effort to cover it up, so homosexuals go underground, but nevertheless they are present.

In ancient texts if you see any proscriptions against homosexual acts, it clearly reveals some people were doing such things despite the authors of the texts feeling otherwise.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

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Lhug-Pa wrote:However liberal is different than libertine.
Please, Lhug-Pa. That's the kind of sophistry I'd expect to hear from a Bible Belt fundamentalist. Or Traditionalist Nouvelle Droite freaks (who, incidentally, quite often turn out in the end to have been self-hating closet gays all their lives). You really can do so much better.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche
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Lhug-Pa
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by Lhug-Pa »

Straw-man^.

Click on my posts-history to see that my posts are supportive of progressive—yet certainly not modernist—perspectives.

Bible-belt fundamentalists think liberal is a curse-word.

And implying that ones who see homosexual acts as unhealthy to exist as closet-cases, is typically a reactionary text-book response from those who defend homosexuality. In other words a cheapshot and logical fallacy.

I consider the true meaning of liberal to be basically synonymous with progressiveness, yet not libertinism. Libertines existing as more or less the same as or similar to Chalpas, Gyangphenpas, and Murthugpas.
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by underthetree »

Lhug-Pa,

In what way is a practicing homosexual any more or less of a 'libertine' than a practicing heterosexual?
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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: How do gay Buddhists explain this one?

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

No strawman at all, Lhug-Pa. You're manipulating language so as to pass for a 'liberal' even though your views are deeply conservative. Not every Bible Belt fundamentalist is a frank outspoken redneck. The more educated ones tend to be quite skilled at language exploitation. As (in)famously is ND.
Lhug-Pa wrote:And implying that ones who see homosexual acts as unhealthy to exist as closet-cases, is typically a reactionary text-book response from those who defend homosexuality. In other words a cheapshot and logical fallacy.
Reactionary?

So 'defending homosexuality' is now reactionary??

More Nouvelle Droite-style sophistry of yours, that's what it is.
Lhug-Pa wrote:I consider the true meaning of liberal to be basically synonymous with progressiveness, yet not libertinism. Libertines existing as more or less the same as or similar to Chalpas, Gyangphenpas, and Murthugpas.
And yet you suggested in this thread quite clearly than the kind of 'permissiveness' that accepts and cherishes gay/lesbian sex is libertinism.
Lhug-Pa wrote:And like I'd mentioned before, there's no evidence of homosexuality having existed within the Dravidian Harrapan and Mohenjodaro cultures for example; and the Dravidians were Matriarchal and therefore did not fit the 'conservative-patriarchal' bill which some attribute to the Vedics and/or Brahmins.
Firstly, there's no evidence of pretty much anything if you talk about the Dravidian Harrapan and Mohenjodaro cultures; we've got a a tiny heap of broken fragments, and most of the stuff we 'know' is just pure speculation. Secondly, there's no conclusive evidence that the ancient Dravidians were a matriachal society. The current consensus is that they may not have been a patriarchy, and that they're very likely not to have been misogynist; it seems, in any case, that they were less sexist than the later Indian civilizations were. And that's about it. Unless of course you want to believe a vast host of New Agers who 'intutively' know better.

Similarly, the whole proto-Indoeuropean matriarchy hypothesis is just that - a hypothesis. Much as I'd personally love Marija Gimbutas to have been right, so far her books are just riveting fiction.

Also, I have a question for you to ponder. Why the heck are you posting in the thread at all? What is your motivation? The OP is a self-proclaimed gay-friendly person, presently 'skeptical of Buddhism'. What you're doing here is telling him or her that basically, yes, Buddhism has been and is very much a homophobic ideology, and, in any case, certainly tantra is out of reach for gay/lesbian people. Which

1. is utter bollocks, and, perhaps much more importantly,
2. instead of making him or her overcome their skepticism, will in all likelihood only reinforce it, effectively driving them away from the Dharma.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche
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