Should sex be demonized so much?

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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:09 am

Hi Hanzze,
Hanzze wrote:If we look at serval suttas, there are also advices to have some kind of aversion against unwholesome mindstates appearences in one self. If not getting it fixed would lead to search for people who have mastered it and seek an advice. Meditation of corps would be one possibility.
I guess there is nowhere such a hint as "You are doing good so, it is natural..."


I disagree. Aversion has no place in the recollection of the repulsiveness of nutriment, death, body parts or charnel ground.

Aversion, desire... there is no different. From the raw to the fine till both is gone. Just give it a try and another.

The difference being that, in my experience, it is far easier to deal with the dhammas associated with aversion than it is with craving/lust/greed. Then when craving becomes very subtle it is extremely difficult to distinguish from equanimity.

It might be a good idea to start with the aspects lying behind Dana (letting go at the raw) if one is more from a "compassionated" weight. Maybe to involve in such pleasure just if the partner likes to, desires to. It would be a great first step and honest observed many things will come up.

Yes, I agree. Just treat it as another aspect of life and relationships. When it is happening it is something to be observed and experienced but when it is over its over.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:11 am

tiltbillings wrote:No. Anything personal about me is none of your business.

Not all of my questions where personal (You could also view your sex drive as impersonal ) + they were relevant to the discussion and your "guessing" comment.

There is no argument that age can and does diminish sexual feelings, but that does not mean that sexual feelings cannot be and not quite strong in older people.

So you agree with what I was saying?

You ae the one who talked about "life force."

Where was that?
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:26 am

Mr Man wrote:
You ae the one who talked about "life force."

Where was that?
Ooops. Wrong man(as).
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:07 am

Ben wrote:Hi Hanzze,
Hanzze wrote:If we look at serval suttas, there are also advices to have some kind of aversion against unwholesome mindstates appearences in one self. If not getting it fixed would lead to search for people who have mastered it and seek an advice. Meditation of corps would be one possibility.
I guess there is nowhere such a hint as "You are doing good so, it is natural..."


I disagree. Aversion has no place in the recollection of the repulsiveness of nutriment, death, body parts or charnel ground.

Maybe we have a misunderstanding in regard of what is the cause of unwholesome actions and it is not rupa that is the cause. I spoke of mindstates and there it is well adviced to uproot them, put them an end, develope a kind of aversion against unwholesome mindstates, for sure not against the objects which might cause the contact and it's arising. While avoiding such contacts is adviced as the first step (like in handling with traumata, the first step is to bring the patient out of range of contact).

Aversion, desire... there is no different. From the raw to the fine till both is gone. Just give it a try and another.

The difference being that, in my experience, it is far easier to deal with the dhammas associated with aversion than it is with craving/lust/greed. Then when craving becomes very subtle it is extremely difficult to distinguish from equanimity.

That is the common, but not successful way as it turns in loops. Renounciation is a importand part of right intention, unbeloved but needed to walk further on the path.

It might be a good idea to start with the aspects lying behind Dana (letting go at the raw) if one is more from a "compassionated" weight. Maybe to involve in such pleasure just if the partner likes to, desires to. It would be a great first step and honest observed many things will come up.

Yes, I agree. Just treat it as another aspect of life and relationships. When it is happening it is something to be observed and experienced but when it is over its over.

Things do not run out by them self, but yes slowly slowly.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:30 am

Hannze wrote:
It might be a good idea to start with the aspects lying behind Dana (letting go at the raw) if one is more from a "compassionated" weight. Maybe to involve in such pleasure just if the partner likes to, desires to. It would be a great first step and honest observed many things will come up.

Yes, I agree. Just treat it as another aspect of life and relationships. When it is happening it is something to be observed and experienced but when it is over its over.

Things do not run out by them self, but yes slowly slowly.

Yes, I agree. What I was trying to get at was developing a more healthy attitude towards sex. I think many of us in the west have grown up with a lot of conflicting baggage regarding sex. But you know, its important to remember that we're not Robinson Crusoe in dealing with these issues.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:21 am

Ben wrote:
Hannze wrote:
Yes, I agree. Just treat it as another aspect of life and relationships. When it is happening it is something to be observed and experienced but when it is over its over.

Things do not run out by them self, but yes slowly slowly.

Yes, I agree. What I was trying to get at was developing a more healthy attitude towards sex. I think many of us in the west have grown up with a lot of conflicting baggage regarding sex. But you know, its important to remember that we're not Robinson Caruso in dealing with these issues.
kind regards,

Ben


The conflict comes from the telling of the wise and the tendency and general rejection of the sociaty. The more refuge the virtues get, the lesser they will doubt. Some of 60 years ago, there would have been no doubt, no matter which religion and tradition the people had come from.
There is also a conflict in regard of group pressure and if there is a strong virtues groupe one would have not that much conflicts to change the groupe. Even if we are still not defect to the other side, we can point out where we go and show samples of good friendship.

We are over all not about to just get free from sex desires but to get free of the roots of desire its twin brother hate. So one free of just a particular desire should not feel secure. Choclate is a good compensator, while in the ealy 60thies there was a sentimental film with regional background having a famous song refraining "I don't like choclate, I prefer to get a man...". Media has done much.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Jhana4 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:38 pm

manas wrote:I have noticed in myself and other Buddhists, a kind of underlying assumption that sex pleasure is inherently 'bad' or 'unwholesome'. In my case, I got this neurotic notion from earlier Christian conditioning, and not from Buddhism, but I must say that Buddhist ideas about sex did not do much to overturn it.


Agreed. Western Buddhists unconsciously superimpose many Judeo/Christian concepts when the look at Buddhism, but Buddhism does okay on its own demonizing sex. I'm thinking of the meditations visualizing bodies as being repulsive. No thanks. In the end, Buddhism is just a religion, not a set of facts. I didn't like that kind of negative thinking in Western religion and since it isn't a fact I choose to leave that kind of thinking alone.

Where sex can be harmful, as I now understand it, is in the loss of life-force with every ejaculation of a man


I've ejaculated a lot and I have not suffered for this. I don't the above quote is a fact.

No disrespect
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Alex123 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:50 pm

Jhana4 wrote:Agreed. Western Buddhists unconsciously superimpose many Judeo/Christian concepts when the look at Buddhism, but Buddhism does okay on its own demonizing sex. I'm thinking of the meditations visualizing bodies as being repulsive. No thanks. In the end, Buddhism is just a religion, not a set of facts. I didn't like that kind of negative thinking in Western religion and since it isn't a fact I choose to leave that kind of thinking alone.


Am I strange? I find that "repulsiveness of nutriment" , "mindfulness of body", "defining four elements", "mindfulness of death", to be extraordinary profound and useful - not just as asubha but as anicca and anatta as well. It is "mindfulness of death" (especially after I nearly died from strong pneumonia) that lead me to spirituality and eventually Dhamma. These 4 contemplations is the chief reason I like VsM so much.

IMHO, in many cases it is much better to start "dirty" and build the fertilizer for the plant of wisdom to grow from.


However, the fact that people resist this meditation so much shows that it's important. It's threatening, for it gets right to the core of our attachment. There's nothing in the world we're attached to more than our own bodies. That's why people have so many excuses for not focusing right here.

If you don't focus right here, what's going to happen? You're going to maintain your deep attachment to the body. It's not going to go away on its own. Some people think they can short circuit the process of attachment by going straight to their sense of self, thinking that by cutting out the sense of self they won't have to work on contemplation of the body because the work they're doing goes deeper, straight to the root. But attachment is like a vine: You can't find the root until you take hold of the nearest branch and trace it back. You can't really get to the root of your attachment to self until you've looked at where your most blatant day-to-day, moment-to-moment attachment is: right here at the body. The least little thing happens to your body and you can't stand it. A little bit of hunger, a little bit of thirst, too much heat, too much cold sets you running off. A little bit of illness and you go running for medicine. If that's not attachment, what is?
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Re: Should Demons be Sexed so much?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:11 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Yes, even in the compassionate teachings of Buddhism, sex is unwholesome. It is not possible to engage in or even to think about enjoying sex without an unwholesome mind rooted in greed (lobha mūla citta).

I don't think sex should be demonized, but Pesala is correct; sex is unwholesome and although Buddhists are totally able to indulge in it, we should probably keep in mind that like many other activities we partake in as lay Buddhists, it isn't the best use of our time.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Should Demons be Sexed so much?

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:06 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Yes, even in the compassionate teachings of Buddhism, sex is unwholesome. It is not possible to engage in or even to think about enjoying sex without an unwholesome mind rooted in greed (lobha mūla citta).

I don't think sex should be demonized, but Pesala is correct; sex is unwholesome and although Buddhists are totally able to indulge in it, we should probably keep in mind that like many other activities we partake in as lay Buddhists, it isn't the best use of our time.

Hi, LY and all,
I would agree with, "we should probably keep in mind that like many other activities we partake in as lay Buddhists, it isn't the best use of our time," but, with due respect to Bhikkhu Pesala, I can't agree with, "It is not possible to engage in or even to think about enjoying sex without an unwholesome mind rooted in greed." If we accept that proposition, where does it lead?
Sex is a natural biological drive which we have inherited from every single one of our ancestors right back to the beginning of sexual reproduction - all the way back to the little animals swimming in prehistoric oceans, eating, avoiding predators and mating. If any single one of yours had failed to breed, you wouldn't be here now to read this.
Denying the drive is as difficult and pointless as denying hunger. Are we going to say, "It is not possible to engage in or even to think about enjoying food without an unwholesome mind rooted in greed"? Or continue to, "It is not possible to engage in or even to think about enjoying breathing without an unwholesome mind rooted in greed"?

IMO, sexual activity within its proper bounds is a perfectly natural and wholesome part of the lay life. Not something to be overindulged or fetishised, of course, any more than food is, but not something to be demonised.

:namaste:
Kim
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:19 am

If we accept that proposition, where does it lead?

Nibbana?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should Demons be Sexed so much?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:19 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Sex is a natural biological drive which we have inherited from every single one of our ancestors right back to the beginning of sexual reproduction - all the way back to the little animals swimming in prehistoric oceans, eating, avoiding predators and mating. If any single one of yours had failed to breed, you wouldn't be here now to read this.

The same could be said for almost everything, wholesome or not. Very few of us would be here if not for the greed, hatred, and delusion of our forefathers.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:36 am

Yes, we could be also frogs, so its maybe not so good if we do not appreciate the generosity of our ancestors. Or as Ajahn Fuang once said: "How can I blame anyone else? Nobody ever hired me to be born. I came of my own free will."

But there is also a good saying of him if the opposit arises:

§ Once, when one of Ajaan Fuang's students was being pressured by her parents to look for a husband so that she could settle down and have children, she asked him, "Is it true what they say, that a woman gains a lot of merit in having a child, in that she gives someone else the chance to be born?"

"If that were true," he answered her, "then dogs would get gobs of merit, because they give birth to whole litters at a time."
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:02 am

Hanzze wrote:§ Once, when one of Ajaan Fuang's students was being pressured by her parents to look for a husband so that she could settle down and have children, she asked him, "Is it true what they say, that a woman gains a lot of merit in having a child, in that she gives someone else the chance to be born?"

"If that were true," he answered her, "then dogs would get gobs of merit, because they give birth to whole litters at a time."

That fits perfectly with the life-denying, life-hating views which are found within both Christianity and Buddhism but not - so far as I know - in the direct teachings of either founder.

:namaste:
Kim

(edited for clarity)
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:13 am

Can you explain your fear more in detail?

Neither Buddha nor the teachings which are called Christian denying life, of course they do not force it like Hindus do (remember the Linga quote). But people of all religions are actually attached to becoming as long as they do not attain the first path fruit. A worldling is always somebody who likes to become or like to disappear. Aversion and desire is a pair, it just changes its poloricy like alternating current and is therfore a very powerful force and not easy to catch.

Here we are, neither in the future nor in the past and to see that would be dethlessness, or one could call it awaken or real alive.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:25 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Hanzze wrote:That fits perfectly with the life-denying, life-hating views which are found within both Christianity and Buddhism but not - so far as I know - in the direct teachings of either founder.

Hmmm....
I would have to disagree with you Kim with regards to your statement of 'life-denying, life-hating views which are found within both Christianity and
Buddhism"
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:58 am

I guess this three translation might help to understand the nuance of "aversion"

"And in conceiving this aversion he becomes rid of passion, and by the absence of passion he becomes liberated, and when he is liberated there comes the knowledge that he is liberated, and he knows that birth is finished, that he has lived the spiritual life, done what is to be done, there is no more returning to this world ..."
Adittapariyaya Sutta on Buddhanet


"When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.''
Translation by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli Thera


"He grows disenchanted with the intellect, disenchanted with ideas, disenchanted with consciousness at the intellect, disenchanted with contact at the intellect. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: He grows disenchanted with that too. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"
Translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


A very useful statement in this regard:

ground wrote:I would not express it that way. It is just that sex pleasure is becoming unattractive if one follows the teachings of the Buddha in a certain way. If one finds it unattractive and expresses this with speech those clinging to sex pleasure may perceive this to be aversion or morally judgemental. But that misperception is only the consequence of language perception being merged with feelings.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Dan74 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:19 am

Ben wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Hanzze wrote:That fits perfectly with the life-denying, life-hating views which are found within both Christianity and Buddhism but not - so far as I know - in the direct teachings of either founder.

Hmmm....
I would have to disagree with you Kim with regards to your statement of 'life-denying, life-hating views which are found within both Christianity and
Buddhism"
kind regards,

Ben


Yes.

I guess when we speak of "wholesome" or "unwholesome" it is very relative. For instance for somebody with a great deal of aversion to the opposite sex, with fear of intimacy or a good dollop of self-loathing, to speak of the unwholesomeness of sex is poison - it just reinforces their aversion. In their case, a wholesome relationship would indeed be wholesome, because it would help them heal these deep wounds.

Indeed for most of us there can be a great deal of good that comes from a solid sexual relationship, even though ultimately (perhaps in this life perhaps many down the track) it is something to let go of.

So it seems to me that celibacy or the talk of the unwholesomeness of sex is medicine that is not for common consumption. This is a bridge we should cross when we come to it, which is not to say that bringing as much mindfulness and honest reflection to this subject is not useful. But a foregone conclusion is rarely helpful in an honest inquiry that's why I agree with the OP that we should let go of the aversion, and indeed of all views regarding sex, as much as we can, and investigate honestly and openly.
_/|\_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:45 am

Well said, Dan!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:46 am

Dan74 wrote:The talk of the unwholesomeness of sex is medicine that is not for common consumption.

Was never and will never be, that is why there are special forums. Earlier they did not talk at all.

we should let go of the aversion

Yes, it should be no more tabu to speak of the unwholsesomeness of sex.

Right resolve is threefold and pulling on one string does not help.

"And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation (against greed), on freedom from ill-will (against ignorance and to get the angle and devil not fighting), on harmlessness (against hatred): This is called right resolve."
— SN 45.8
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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