Romantic Love

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:52 pm

Bears repeating:

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:
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 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:15 pm

Hello all,

The famous Middle path avoids two extremes:
There is devotion to indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire, which is inferior, low, vulgar, ignoble, and leads to no good;
and there is devotion to self-torment, which is painful, ignoble and leads to no good.
SN56.11



In suttas after suttas we read:
"In the same way, Magandiya, sensual pleasures in the past were painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures in the future will be painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures at present are painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; but when beings are not free from passion for sensual pleasures — devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever — their faculties are impaired, which is why, even though sensual pleasures are actually painful to the touch, they have the skewed perception of 'pleasant.'
...
"Very good, Magandiya. Neither have I ever seen or heard of a king or king's minister — enjoying himself, provided & endowed with the five strings of sensuality, without abandoning sensual craving, without removing sensual fever — who has dwelt or will dwell or is dwelling free from thirst, his mind inwardly at peace. But whatever brahmans or contemplatives who have dwelt or will dwell or are dwelling free from thirst, their minds inwardly at peace, all have done so having realized — as it actually is present — the origination & disappearance, the allure, the danger, & the escape from sensual pleasures, having abandoned sensual craving and removed sensual fever."

MN75


And

In many ways, friend, the Blessed One has described obstructive acts, and when indulged in they are genuine obstructions. The Blessed One has said that sensual pleasures are of little satisfaction, much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks. The Blessed One has compared sensual pleasures to a chain of bones: of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks. The Blessed One has compared sensual pleasures to a lump of flesh... a grass torch... a pit of glowing embers... a dream... borrowed goods... the fruits of a tree... a butcher's ax and chopping block... swords and spears... a snake's head: of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks."
MN22


And for those who have said "I have sex without attaching to it", the Buddha called it impossible.
For a person to indulge in sensual pleasures without sensual passion, without sensual perception, without sensual thinking: That isn't possible.
MN22
"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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Mkoll
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Mkoll » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:28 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
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.

:goodpost:

As always, a calm port amid the storm.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Dan74
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Dan74 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:20 am

Great thread to remind oneself of the Middle Way on a Sunday morning. Deep bows, everyone! :bow: :bow: :bow:
_/|\_

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:22 am

Alex123 wrote:Hello all,

The famous Middle path avoids two extremes
Which is why this can also find this also within the suttas:

      ‘’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." -- MN 73
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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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:57 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Hello all,

The famous Middle path avoids two extremes
Which is why this can also find this also within the suttas:

      ‘’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." -- MN 73



That passage seems a bit contradictory. On the one hand we are advised to practice sense restraint, with sensual desires being described as a snare etc and on the other hand we are told that indulging in sensual pleasures is ok.

How do you square the two?
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:17 am

clw_uk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Hello all,

The famous Middle path avoids two extremes
Which is why this can also find this also within the suttas:

      ‘’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." -- MN 73



That passage seems a bit contradictory. On the one hand we are advised to practice sense restraint, with sensual desires being described as a snare etc and on the other hand we are told that indulging in sensual pleasures is ok.

How do you square the two?
It is a secret, and I am not going to tell you.
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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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:28 am

It is a secret, and I am not going to tell you.



That seems a tad bit childish
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:37 am

clw_uk wrote:
It is a secret, and I am not going to tell you.



That seems a tad bit childish
Given that this has been talked about here, in front of gawd and everybody, it is not much of a secret. I think you can figure it out.
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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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:49 am

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
It is a secret, and I am not going to tell you.



That seems a tad bit childish
Given that this has been talked about here, in front of gawd and everybody, it is not much of a secret. I think you can figure it out.



Actually I can't. On the one hand we are told to practice sense restraint, yet on the other we are told that it's ok. It makes me really confused.

If indulging in sense pleasure doesn't matter then why bother being a monk at all?

If we can indulge in sense pleasures and reach a certain level of attainment why should I bother not drinking or taking cocaine?
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:02 am

clw_uk wrote:
If indulging in sense pleasure doesn't matter then why bother being a monk at all?
I am not talking about being a bhikkhu here, and that is the point.
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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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:01 am

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
If indulging in sense pleasure doesn't matter then why bother being a monk at all?
I am not talking about being a bhikkhu here, and that is the point.



Why be a monk if the benefits of Dhamma can be realised in the lay life?
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:18 am

clw_uk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
If indulging in sense pleasure doesn't matter then why bother being a monk at all?
I am not talking about being a bhikkhu here, and that is the point.



Why be a monk if the benefits of Dhamma can be realised in the lay life?
Because there are benefits to being a monastic.
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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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:46 am

Because there are benefits to being a monastic.



Such as?
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:06 am

clw_uk wrote:
Because there are benefits to being a monastic.



Such as?
There aren't benefits to being a monastic?
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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clw_uk
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby clw_uk » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:10 am

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
Because there are benefits to being a monastic.



Such as?
There aren't benefits to being a monastic?



I think there is in terms of practicing sense restraint and being celibate, but your argument seems to be that a Buddhist can achieve some levels of awakening whilst being sexually active and whilst indulging in sensual pleasures. If so, what is the point of the monastic life?
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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tiltbillings
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:49 am

clw_uk wrote: If so, what is the point of the monastic life?
Ideally, less potential for distraction and ideally an environment that supports practice and study.
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

mal4mac
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby mal4mac » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote: If so, what is the point of the monastic life...


"The practice of Dhamma, the practice of continence, mastery of this is said to be best if a person has gone forth from home to the homeless life. But if he is garrulous..."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
- Mal

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Ben
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:48 am

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
Because there are benefits to being a monastic.



Such as?
There aren't benefits to being a monastic?



I think there is in terms of practicing sense restraint and being celibate, but your argument seems to be that a Buddhist can achieve some levels of awakening whilst being sexually active and whilst indulging in sensual pleasures. If so, what is the point of the monastic life?
-----------------

Craig,
What I am sensing is that you seem to believe that there are really only two options, either living a monastic life or a bacchanalian life of orgiastic pleasure seeking. The reality, certainly for those of us who have been in long term romantic relationships, much broader and more nuanced.
What you may find very instructive of what lay spiritual life can look like then you should read Ananda's Ornament of Lay Followers. As I mentioned earlier - there are opportunities for deep and rich growth in the Dhamma as a monastic or a lay follower whether one is sexually active or celibate - however, one must make use of the opportunities (and the nature of the opportunities are different) for spiritual growth to occur.
Kind regards,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Alex123
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Re: Romantic Love

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:49 am

Hello Ben, all,

like Craig I am a bit perplexed by the (hopefully only) apparent inconsistency.

On one hand we have LOTS of suttas (of which I provided only few random ones) that talk about the necessity of sense restraint and all,
and on the other hand there are those householder suttas.


One possible solution is that those lay people were (Ugghaṭitaññū, vipañcitaññū) and could reach high maggaphala despite being lay people.
Just because some people could succeed despite their circumstances, it doesn't mean that all of us here can or that that is preferable.
"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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