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Old 11-29-2008, 09:07 PM   #1
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Dalai Lama: Sex Spells Trouble

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The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader, on Friday said sex spelt fleeting satisfaction and trouble later, while chastity offered a better life and "more freedom."

"Sexual pressure, sexual desire, actually I think is short period satisfaction and often, that leads to more complication," the Dalai Lama told reporters in a Lagos hotel, speaking in English without a translator.

He said conjugal life caused "too much ups and downs.

"Naturally as a human being ... some kind of desire for sex comes, but then you use human intelligence to make comprehension that those couples always full of trouble. And in some cases there is suicide, murder cases," the Dalai Lama said.

He said the "consolation" in celibacy is that although "we miss something, but at the same time, compare whole life, it's better, more independence, more freedom."

Considered a Buddhist Master exempt from the religion's wheel of death and reincarnation, the Dalai Lama waxed eloquent on the Buddhist credo of non-attachment.

"Too much attachment towards your children, towards your partner," was "one of the obstacle or hindrance of peace of mind," he said.
Sex invariably spells trouble, says Dalai Lama

Well, he wouldn't really know how spiritual sex can be.

But why say all sex is not good? And what is so wrong about the ups and downs of life? I know Buddhist teachings are all about freeing one from the troubles of life, but then again difficulties are part of life! And if sex is part of nature, why would the Dalai Lama say that sex is bad?

And what's wrong with being attached to your spouse/partner? Or am I not getting something?

I'm just posting this in hopes of starting a discussion on Buddhist philosophy and sexuality.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:34 PM   #2
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It's based on the idea of looking to not be reborn.

You have to take religions with a grain of salt. I have enormous love for what Buddhism taught me but I'm not going to abandon science for superstition. As laity it's important to separate your life from that of a monastic lifestyle.

audio dharma

This is a good place to get free audio courses on a more Western interpretation that focusses on the basics for most people. Gil Fronsdal is particularly good at conveying Buddhist thought in a practical way so the average person can see what can be achieved when you are mindful of your thoughts and actions.

all talks

This has all the dharma talks and I would refer you to:

The Evolution and Transcendence of the Self

It is a talk from scientists that look at the brain and what happens when you practice mindfulness and the benefits. They come to the conclusion that you can't completely remove your self-centeredness but you can reduce it's power and gain benefits in how you operate in your life.

Buddhists are very aware of how unhappiness arises in most people. They are also very aware of habits and addictions in people. If you want something and you don't get it you feel anxiety. If you want something and it's not important to your life and you feel anxiety for not having it you can see where it would be more peaceful to not want it in the first place. Reduce your wants to things that are more realistic and less full of fantasy. Buddhists are very aware of how the mind can go off into fantasies even if we don't want it to. Meditation provides a way for you to train your brain to stay in the present moment more often because all your important choices in life happen during the present moment and we need to be more mindfull instead of reactive. The ultimate goal is to live with equanimity.

Humans are greatly attracted to things and averse to things. Some of those things we should be attracted to or averse to and some not. If we are just reactive to things in the short-term we develop nasty habits that prevent us from controlling our impulses to make a better life.

Sexuality is something that can be pleasurable and fullfilling but only if it does not harm yourself or others. People can be addicted to pleasure (including sex) leading to unhappiness. I'm sure most people know of how these pleasures can lead to regretful choices involving infidelity or disease. So ultimately we have to control our impulses so there is some thought before we act. Buddhists are obsessed about thinking before acting and finding that reacting too quickly to emotional impulses can lead to regretful decisions.

Does Nirvana exist? There is no scientific proof. I think it's just the same as heaven or any other mythical superstition. Yet many myths tell psychological truths and wisdom from prior generations we can use.

In the above mp3's I noted they get you to do some guided meditations to show your limitations of your senses and how the brain fills in gaps in knowledge and perception. An example they use: There are people with damaged parts of their brain related to seeing and the brain has been known to fill in strange unreal images to replace the blindspot for a time. This proves that the brain repeats experiences, fills in the blanks and you can see how fantasy and dreams can be created. The lesson is to try and use your consciousness more and be aware of your thinking mind. When your mind goes into a movement of day dreaming like 'spinning wheels' try and see if you can bring yourself to the present moment and most people who don't have a trained mind will find that it's not so easy to do that. Your mind has a mind of it's own because of innate impulses and habits. When meditating you can get into problems of over judgmental behaviours of your meditation ability or overly confident attitudes so I would recommend the "Intro to meditation" course and go to other courses of higher levels afterwards. There are so many nuances and traps to keep a beginner from continuing.

A common occurrance to those who go to meditation retreats, where they meditate for days, they can have enormously powerful sexual fantasies that break their concentration. Your thought process can go on for minutes before you notice you were in la la land. A typical buddhist practice to control yourself is to be mindful of your fantasies and feel the urge decline and go away. Most emotions and impulses when analyzed simply and mindfully dissolve after a few moments leaving you in peace.

I think sex is great with someone you love but the urge has to be controlled so you don't become like some people who have their lives driven by an addiction to sex. Buddhists who are monks full time aren't supposed to have sex but the general public have normal families.

One of the five precepts is:

I undertake the training rule to abstain from sexual misconduct.

Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man.


In other words, keeping sex in the moral sphere so it doesn't hurt others or yourself.

Monastics have many more rules. I guess they are supposed to be examples and I think they are able to reach higher jianas (levels of contemplation) that require more hours in a day than most people have to practice. For the average person they are expected to meditate 40 min per day. Many look at this as a kin to being an athlete who willfully sacrifices some part of their lives to achieve some achievement of peace and equanimity because they find it fullfilling and benefits spill into the rest of their daily lives.

Vinaya - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As humans we can have hurtful things happen to us but in our minds we can repeat those moments over and over again releasing more stress (cortisol) chemicals into our body and to create our self-ownership of every event as being "I" or "me" makes it hard to change your life. People with low self-esteem keep saying things like "I'm no good". "I can't do this" "I'm this way". If you can practice to use your consciousness side of your brain and exercise it by meditation you can develop a habit that checks your reactions so you don't go down a path that leads to "unskillful" habits.

Anyways that website will give you lots of gems. It doesn't have perfect knowledge or promises of eternal life but reducing your pride and ego to a realistic assessment of reality is healthy. Those 'pulls' you can get in your chest or gut from anxiety get slowly reduced and you feel you can act more calmly when drastic events are occurring. Having more moments of equanimity in your mind smooths out your experience from having high highs and low lows, and your concentration improves.

Hopefully this short summary helps.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:51 PM   #3
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Hmm...that would eventually solve all the world's human-based problems.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:20 PM   #4
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^^^^^^^^



Uh, Indra ......The (formally) Shakers (an off-shoot American Christian group, I think), did just that!

And day-am they made such fine furniture, too!
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by indra View Post
Hmm...that would eventually solve all the world's human-based problems.
Remember there are people who are psychopaths. Their brain chemistry prevents equanimity.

I've been in stressful jobs that have situations where you feel you give your freedom to others and they yank your puppet strings in a hard way and I desperately needed to find a way to control my mind from anger and anxiety to maintain concentration. Buddhism and Stoicism has helped me more than anything else so far. It's a work in progress but I don't have as much stress anymore and I care less about praise and blame. Both praise and blame can be inaccurate and you might give your independence to other people when you give their opinions too much creedence.

Just think about different choices in your life and how no matter what choice you make you can see someone in your life making a negative judgment or criticism. A lot of people have trouble decoupling from other people's praises and blame assertions. If you want to be more free you need a personal rock you can rely on and practicing to stay in the moment with your breath is a good way to pull yourself away from rash reactions to stimuli so you can think before acting.

Those scientists I mentioned have a website that talks in more depth on their studies and keys to better meditation experiences:

WiseBrain.org - News and Tools for Happiness, Love, Effectiveness, and Wisdom - Welcome Home - Rick Hanson Ph.D. and Rick Mendius, M.D. Founders of the Wellspring Institute

Meditation is a long process and has to be a lifestyle choice to get meaningful benefit from it. In my mind it's better than vegging out on TV laughing at canned laughter. Most humans have bad habits and habits take a long time to create. So therefore good habits will also not happen overnight but they can manifest with practice.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:50 AM   #6
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wow, another religious leader telling us not to do something that feels good. thats a fucking suprise!
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:01 AM   #7
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The Stoics, Cynics and Epicureans all idealized celibacy as well...this tends to be a common theme in philosophies promising access to 'the enlightened life,' whether a personal deity is involved or not.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Anyways that website will give you lots of gems. It doesn't have perfect knowledge or promises of eternal life but reducing your pride and ego to a realistic assessment of reality is healthy. Those 'pulls' you can get in your chest or gut from anxiety get slowly reduced and you feel you can act more calmly when drastic events are occurring. Having more moments of equanimity in your mind smooths out your experience from having high highs and low lows, and your concentration improves.

Hopefully this short summary helps.
It certainly did. Thanks purpleoscar!
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