Friday, April 13, 2012

Buddhist "smut peddlers"?

Wisdom Quarterly (SEX DEBATE)


Editors: Has Wisdom Quarterly become a coven of "smut peddlers" with all this discussion of sex?
Contributor Gary Kramer (ATS): I can only speak from my point of view. I didn't FEEL anything was wrong with it, personally. But I'm in a committed relationship with someone I love deeply. The Slow Orgasm program to me SEEMS like it would be in line with the 3rd precept, as long as it wasn't used as a pick-up tool. What do you think?
Ashley Wells: This site, this resource, is principally for Buddhists not monastics, more West than East. My understanding of what makes Buddhism such a fantastic spiritual discipline and philosophy is that it promotes integrity rather than hypocrisy.
Bhante: I think what you are writing is very good. [What about the pictures?] The pictures are very nice compared to what is on the Internet.
Seth Auberon: Buddhists may be hypocritical, but Buddhism is not. Individuals, contributors can be all over the map.
Amber Dorrian: The whole world has been ruined. Something made it sexist, rewrote sacred texts. The shame and fear about sex, our bodies, desire, child bearing... are not limited to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Dharma, too. There are sutras that are sexist when the Buddha was progressive. We have to think that the same is true of ancient shamans, healers, and medicine men (most of whom were women), rabbis, Jesus (St. Issa), the prophet, Mahavira, and the nuns and holy women that have always existed. One could hardly be blamed for believing that equality, matriarchy, and the divine feminine are new concepts. They are some of the oldest traditions we have any remaining knowledge of in history/herstory.
Contributor Roshi Jeff Albrizze
(PasaDharma): I'm happily married and always enjoy reading. I can see how some people might raise an eyebrow, not readers. American Buddhists are certainly open if it's for them, an "American Buddhist Journal."

(mademan.com)

Dharmachari Seven: If one reads AN X.206 (Numerical Discourses, Book of the Tens, Discourse 206), one finds the Buddha, or the monastics in his memory, defining "sexual misconduct" in detail: Misconduct is having sex with one of ten kinds of forbidden females. Nowhere does it "forbid" fornication (sex before marriage). What it warns against is harm. Do not be harmful. Do be careful. Do not ruin others' relationships. How? Avoid other people's dependents, their children, their spouses, those under protection. It applies to women as well as men. But in a sexist twist it is remembered by the monks as a sutra to them, as men. So it seems to promote norms that act as if only men were active sexual agents, as if women were passive recipients, or as if the females considered off-limits (e.g., married women) were seducers trying to lure them to the ruin of males' virtue.
Ashley: I don't know enough about this "tool" to use it to pick up. Assuming that's what it is or can be, I still don't think that would be out of line. All's fair in love and war. Creepy is never good, but whatever works. Is this some kind of magic that seduces? I don't think so.
Editors: The stories we hear! Women and men are suffering the same in this society. No one's having a good time. We have to be sex positive. And we have to leave sex out of our minds during periods of intensive practice, if we want to advance as we meditate without dissipating those gains, particularly on retreat. But the rest of the time? Be healthy, be fair, be open and communicative.
Seth: I have trouble with intimacy. It scares me. There are worse things in how we relate to people. If we want to express loving kindness, we can treat people by the Golden Mean and, sometimes, be treated well in return.
Amber: I used to think Tantra was another thing to add to the bucket list. But I have come to believe that the real scary/super thing about it would be to be vulnerable to someone, to be available, to be "intimate."
CC Liu: Imagine the mind blowing connection, the momentary nonduality between at least to pairs of aggregates. [*General Laughter*]



Kalyani: I would try that. It's better than what we actually do. Being grabby, selfish, win-lose, underhanded...
Ashley: What if we were open? What if we actually discussed it openly?
Seven: That's a great idea! What if this could be a forum to DISCUSS things rather than promote shame or squeamishness about sex, like a blog? [*General Laughter*]
CC: I heard a great thing. Someone brought a Chinese Zen nun came to Shambhala. She was taking notes and asking how Americans were getting people, Westerners, to be interested in the Dharma. It wasn't happening in Asian communities. People there weren't knocking down temple doors to meditate. How in the world were Americans doing it. That's what she wanted to know.
Ashley: Perfect. So we agree. We are not "smut peddlers." [*General Laughter*] If readers think we are, that's what COMMENTS are for.

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