Romantic Love

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Alex123
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:36 pm

Aloka wrote:But for the laity: in DN31 :


Not everyone wanted Nibbana (or at least not ASAP). So the Buddha would tailor his teaching to the level of the listeners.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:44 pm

Alex123 wrote:Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Yes, that goes with the bhikkhu-fication of the lay practice, but as discussed earlier in this thread that is not at all necessarily necessary.


Bhikkhu-fication may be if a lay follower tries to follow 227 or so rules. Anagarika aren't even samaneras but they follow 8 precepts which includes celibacy.

As for "necessary": It depends upon ones goal
a) Does one only want to live less stressful life?
b) Does one want more optimal conditions to reach Nibbana?
The bhikkhu-fication of the laity does not require the laity follow the Vinaya, but it does mean reading the texts directed at monastics as being normative for the laity

tiltbillings wrote:what one thing do good Buddhists desire more than anything else?


That desire is better than desire for BMW, hot wife, and fat bank account. At some advanced point, it has to be dropped like a raft.
But just like you don't let go of the raft while still at this shore, or in the middle of the sea, same here.
Clarify what it is you are trying to say here, if you would, please.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Alex123
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:01 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex wrote:That desire is better than desire for BMW, hot wife, and fat bank account. At some advanced point, it has to be dropped like a raft.
But just like you don't let go of the raft while still at this shore, or in the middle of the sea, same here.
Clarify what it is you are trying to say here, if you would, please.



That different people have different goals. For those people who are intent on Nibbana, the Buddha gave appropriate teachings. For those who just want to live overally more meritorious life, the Buddha gave more accommodating (to their defilements) teachings.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:38 pm

Alex123 wrote: more accommodating (to their defilements)
Interesting and telling choice of words. Fortunately, the married layperson is not limited to the unpleasant pictures of lay-life that the Buddha taught to accommodate the defilements of the monastics. Monastic and lay-life each have their own difficulties and their own advantages. There is no singular set way from beginning to end for either group. How one engages the Dhamma changes as one moves along the path, hopefully with self-reflection and insight.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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mikenz66
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:04 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Aloka wrote:But for the laity: in DN31 :


Not everyone wanted Nibbana (or at least not ASAP). So the Buddha would tailor his teaching to the level of the listeners.

And, of course, not every one was suitable for intensive practice, which is recognised in a number of suttas.

:anjali:
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Aloka
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Aloka » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:... How one engages the Dhamma changes as one moves along the path, hopefully with self-reflection and insight.


Well said. :anjali:


.

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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:09 pm

Do any of the suttas ,which discuss lay followers who have reached some level of awakening, indicate that they were married?
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Aloka
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Aloka » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:56 pm

clw_uk wrote:Do any of the suttas ,which discuss lay followers who have reached some level of awakening, indicate that they were married?


There's this one:


AN 4.55 Samajivina Sutta: Living in Tune

Once the Blessed One was staying among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt. Then early in the morning the Blessed One put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went to the home of the householder, Nakula's father. On arrival, he sat down on a seat made ready.

Then Nakula's father & Nakula's mother went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, Nakula's father said to the Blessed One: "Lord, ever since Nakula's mother as a young girl was brought to me [to be my wife] when I was just a young boy, I am not conscious of being unfaithful to her even in mind, much less in body. We want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

And Nakula's mother said to the Blessed One: "Lord, ever since I as a young girl was brought to Nakula's father [to be his wife] when he was just a young boy, I am not conscious of being unfaithful to him even in mind, much less in body. We want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

[The Blessed One said:] "If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity, and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.

To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.055.than.html[url]



:anjali:

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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:02 pm

Aloka wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Do any of the suttas ,which discuss lay followers who have reached some level of awakening, indicate that they were married?


There's this one:


AN 4.55 Samajivina Sutta: Living in Tune

Once the Blessed One was staying among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt. Then early in the morning the Blessed One put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went to the home of the householder, Nakula's father. On arrival, he sat down on a seat made ready.

Then Nakula's father & Nakula's mother went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, Nakula's father said to the Blessed One: "Lord, ever since Nakula's mother as a young girl was brought to me [to be my wife] when I was just a young boy, I am not conscious of being unfaithful to her even in mind, much less in body. We want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

And Nakula's mother said to the Blessed One: "Lord, ever since I as a young girl was brought to Nakula's father [to be his wife] when he was just a young boy, I am not conscious of being unfaithful to him even in mind, much less in body. We want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

[The Blessed One said:] "If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity, and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.

To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.055.than.html[url]



:anjali:



That doesn't state that Nakula's father was a stream-enterer etc.

The sutta also seems to hint at a "self"
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:04 pm

See: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version Chapter X. The Planes of Realization.

(4) The Completeness of the Teaching (from MN 73) MN 73 The Major Discourse to Vacchagotta
Stream enterers who are still indulging in sensual pleasures:
‘’Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred. There are many more female lay disciples of mine wearing white clothes lead the holy life, while partaking sensual pleasures, doing the work in the dispensation have dispelled doubts. Have become confident of what should and should not be done. They do not need a teacher any more in the dispensation of the Teacher.

:anjali:

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Alex123
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Alex123 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:09 pm

mikenz66 wrote:See: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version Chapter X. The Planes of Realization.

(4) The Completeness of the Teaching (from MN 73) MN 73 The Major Discourse to Vacchagotta
Stream enterers who are still indulging in sensual pleasures:
‘’Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred. There are many more female lay disciples of mine wearing white clothes lead the holy life, while partaking sensual pleasures, doing the work in the dispensation have dispelled doubts. Have become confident of what should and should not be done. They do not need a teacher any more in the dispensation of the Teacher.

:anjali:


bolded is mine
What does white clothes signify? Holding 8 precepts?

So sensual pleasures in this case might not involve sex which would breach the celibacy precept.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:19 pm

mikenz66 wrote:See: In the Buddha's Words - Open Source Version Chapter X. The Planes of Realization.

(4) The Completeness of the Teaching (from MN 73) MN 73 The Major Discourse to Vacchagotta
Stream enterers who are still indulging in sensual pleasures:
‘’Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred. There are many more female lay disciples of mine wearing white clothes lead the holy life, while partaking sensual pleasures, doing the work in the dispensation have dispelled doubts. Have become confident of what should and should not be done. They do not need a teacher any more in the dispensation of the Teacher.

:anjali:



Yet it doesn't mention sex
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby daverupa » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:26 pm

Not directly, but it's contained in the broader category that is mentioned.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Romantic Love

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:51 pm

Yes, it's clearly implied. As Bhikkhu Bodhi notes in his Introduction to the chapter:
Lay streamenterers and once-returners, however, are not necessarily celibate. In the sutta the Buddha describes them as “lay followers … clothed in white, enjoying sensual pleasures, who carry out my instruction, respond to my advice, have gone beyond doubt, become free from perplexity, gained intrepidity, and become independent of others in the Teacher’s dispensation.” Thus, while some stream-enterers and once-returners may observe celibacy, this is by no means typical of these two classes.

:anjali:
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:45 pm

clw_uk wrote:Do any of the suttas ,which discuss lay followers who have reached some level of awakening, indicate that they were married?


Visākhā, wife of Puṇṇavaḍḍhana and mother of Migāra, is reported in the Suttas to have been a married and highly fecund lay sotāpanna.

http://www.softerviews.org/DPPN/visakhaa.html

More importantly:

    “There are not only one hundred, Vaccha, or two or three or four or five hundred, but far more male lay followers, my disciples, clothed in white enjoying sensual pleasures, who carry out my instruction, respond to my advice, have gone beyond doubt, become free of perplexity, gained intrepidity, and become independent of others in the Teacher’s Dispensation.”
    (Mahāvacchagotta Sutta)

This refers to stream-entry. The same is repeated for the higher ariyan stages up to non-returning (though excluding arahatta). The same is also repeated for female lay followers. The phrase “enjoying sensual pleasures” (kāmabhogin) indicates that these spiritual virtuosos were not brahmacarīs.

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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:50 pm

Alex123 wrote:What does white clothes signify? Holding 8 precepts?


No. Since the Sutta describes both the celibate and the non-celibate householders as being "clothed in white" the phrase merely signifies that they were householders and not monastics.

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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:12 am

clw_uk wrote:That doesn't state that Nakula's father was a stream-enterer etc.


That Nakulapitā was an ariyan is reported in several places in the Anguttara Nikāya. E.g.,

    “Bhikkhus, possessing six qualities, the householder Nakulapitā has reached certainty about the Tathāgata and become a seer of the deathless, one who lives having realized the deathless. What six? Unwavering confidence in the Buddha, unwavering confidence in the Dhamma, unwavering confidence in the Saṅgha, noble virtuous behavior, noble knowledge, and noble liberation. Possessing these six qualities, the householder Nakulapitā has reached certainty about the Tathāgata and become a seer of the deathless, one who lives having realized the deathless.”

And so was the missus:

    “It may be, householder, that you think thus: ‘Nakulamātā has not attained a foothold, a firm stand, assurance in this Dhamma and discipline; she has not crossed over doubt, gotten rid of bewilderment, attained self-confidence, and become independent of others in the Teacher’s teaching.’ But you should not look at the matter in this way. I am one of the Blessed One’s white-robed female lay disciples who have attained a foothold, a firm stand, assurance in this Dhamma and discipline; I am one of those who have crossed over doubt, gotten rid of bewilderment, attained self-confidence, and become independent of others in the Teacher’s teaching. If anyone has any doubt or uncertainty about this, the Blessed One, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One is dwelling among the Bhaggas at Suṃsumāragira, in the deer park at Bhesakalā Grove. They can go and ask him. Therefore, householder, do not die full of concern. To die full of concern is painful. To die full of concern has been criticized by the Blessed One.”
    (translations from Bhikkhu Bodhi's Numerical Discourses)

The sutta also seems to hint at a "self"


Only to someone led astray by Buddhadāsa. To a Buddhist of orthodox view it shows merely that strongly developed traits can persist not only during a single lifetime but also through saṃsāric time — a phenomenon abundantly attested to in the Suttas and Vinaya.

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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:42 am

Dhammanando -

Visākhā, wife of Puṇṇavaḍḍhana and mother of Migāra, is reported in the Suttas to have been a married and highly fecund lay sotāpanna.


Thank you for that example Bhante. As a lay follower, I ask you as a monastic how lay followers should approach celibacy? Is it beneficial?

Only to someone led astray by Buddhadāsa. To a Buddhist of orthodox view it shows merely that strongly developed traits can persist not only during a single lifetime but also through saṃsāric time — a phenomenon abundantly attested to in the Suttas and Vinaya.


Yet they aren't the same "person" from birth to adulthood, so how can they be the same "person" when they get reborn? Personally Ajahn Buddhadasa seems to have the correct perspective on this matter.
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby mal4mac » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:15 am

clw_uk wrote:Yet they aren't the same "person" from birth to adulthood, so how can they be the same "person" when they get reborn? Personally Ajahn Buddhadasa seems to have the correct perspective on this matter.


"Seems to". Dhammanando's got you wondering...

Why not simply suspend your view? From my reading of Ajahn Thanissaro, it's not necessary to have any view on this to follow the path. The right answer might appear at the end of the path. If you do not suspend your view, then you are liable to be racked by doubt & confusion, and suffer mental torment. I speak from experience.
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:22 pm

clw_uk wrote:Thank you for that example Bhante. As a lay follower, I ask you as a monastic how lay followers should approach celibacy?


If they feel drawn to celibacy they might begin by observing the eight precepts on Uposatha days. If they find it’s doing them good, then they might try observing them every day. If their employment or state of health make it impracticable to eat only in the mornings, then they can observe the five precepts but with the third one changed to “abrahmacariyā veramaṇī...”

clw_uk wrote:Is it beneficial?


It may be beneficial or detrimental. It’s most likely to be beneficial when the decision to undertake it is prompted by saṃvega and the paññā that discerns the peril in sense-pleasures and the advantage of renouncing them. It’s less likely to be so when a person is weak in paññā, such that his decision is prompted by something else, such as aversion or sīlabbataparāmāsa.


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