Musings about Tantra...

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
chownah
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Re: Musings about Tantra...

Post by chownah » Thu May 10, 2018 2:05 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:01 pm
"A wise man should avoid unchastity as (he would avoid falling into) a pit of glowing charcoal. If unable to lead a celibate life, he should not go to another's wife.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .irel.html
this is not just talking about uposatha.
I don't know anything about tantric sex but isn't it supposed to just be a way for those who want to have sex to do it in a way that might bring them to a better realization of the way things really are? I mean people are going to have sex anyway.....so is tantric sex a step forward for them?......just wondering.....I don't know anything about tantric sex.
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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: Musings about Tantra...

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Thu May 10, 2018 2:16 am

it's definitely not

"that one can engage in sensual pleasures without sensual desires, without perceptions of sensual desire, without thoughts of sensual desire—that is impossible."
Alagaddūpama Sutta

"Lord, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of actors that 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.' What does the Blessed One have to say about that?"
[...]
"Apparently, headman, I haven't been able to get past you by saying, 'Enough, headman, put that aside. Don't ask me that.' So I will simply answer you. Any beings who are not devoid of passion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of passion, focus with even more passion on things inspiring passion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of aversion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of aversion, focus with even more aversion on things inspiring aversion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of delusion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of delusion, focus with even more delusion on things inspiring delusion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Thus the actor — himself intoxicated & heedless, having made others intoxicated & heedless — with the breakup of the body, after death, is reborn in what is called the hell of laughter. But if he holds such a view as this: 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas,' that is his wrong view. Now, there are two destinations for a person with wrong view, I tell you: either hell or the animal womb."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html

arguably it would be better to have sex just because it feels good and you like to feel good than to do it because you think it's a beneficial spiritual practice
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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Grigoris
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Re: Musings about Tantra...

Post by Grigoris » Thu May 10, 2018 10:54 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:01 pm
this is not just talking about uposatha.
If you cherry pick quotes and leave out the concluding paragraph, you can make it sound like anything. ;)

"Do not kill a living being;
do not take what is not given;
do not speak a lie;
do not drink intoxicants;
abstain from sexual intercourse;
do not eat food at night, at the wrong time;
do not wear flower-garlands nor use perfumes;
use the ground as a bed or sleep on a mat.
"This is called the eight-factored observance made known by the Awakened One who has reached the end of suffering.

"With a gladdened mind observe the observance day (uposatha), complete with its eight factors, on the fourteenth, fifteenth and eighth days of the (lunar) fortnight and also the special holiday of the half month. In the morning, with a pure heart and a joyful mind, a wise man, after observing the uposatha, should distribute suitable food and drink to the community of bhikkhus. He should support his mother and father as his duty and engage in lawful trading. A layman who carries this out diligently goes to the devas called "Self-radiant."


In the Tapussa Sutta the Buddha says:

"Then the thought occurred to me: 'If, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I were to pursue that theme; and if, having understood the reward of renunciation, I were to familiarize myself with it, there's the possibility that my heart would leap up at renunciation, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace."

Here he is clearly stating that sensual pleasure is an obstacle to renunciation (monkhood), not to practice per se. Nor is he saying that lay people should refrain from sensual pleasure. The teaching is about how attachment to sensual pleasure is an obstacle to renunciation.

The Kama Sutta talks about attachment to sensual pleasures in general, not attachment to sexual pleasure specifically.

But here we start to approach the crux of tantric sexual practices (again I have to remind people that Buddhist Tantra is not JUST about sexual practices): for a Tantric practitioner the problem is attachment or aversion to certain activities (based on ignorance of their true nature), not the activities themselves.
the buddha never encouraged sex or described it any beneficial way.
Not in the Pali Canon, no.
the dhamma is the same dhamma for everyone, there are just different levels of practice
Hmmmm...
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Grigoris
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Re: Musings about Tantra...

Post by Grigoris » Thu May 10, 2018 1:24 pm

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 2:16 am
arguably it would be better to have sex just because it feels good and you like to feel good...
In many cases: Yes.
...than to do it because you think it's a beneficial spiritual practice
Except that in some rare cases it is a beneficial spiritual practice.

Overall though: I agree with you.

I think that the Tantric teachers see this quite clearly too in Western students, which is why it is rare as hen's teeth to find a real teacher that gives Karmamudra practice outside of a strict retreat setting. Frauds abound. I have seen more than enough of them myself.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Grigoris
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Re: Musings about Tantra...

Post by Grigoris » Thu May 10, 2018 1:35 pm






For those that wish to learn a little about Buddhist Tantra from something other than a brief dictionary definition.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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