Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"How Sex Changed the World" (video)

History2 Channel via Discovery HD; Ven. Khantipalo, Bag of Bones: A Miscellany on the Body; Ashley Wells, Pat Macpherson, text edited by Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly
Start at Min. 10:00 for sex in the USA, partying and prostitution in NYC under Teddy Roosevelt.

Discovery HD WORLD(Discovery HD World via History2) Extreme Sex: How Far Humans Will Go for Sex? or Brain Sex: How to Work Sex in Human Brain. This playful, prime time U.S. television documentary was actually titled "How Sex Changed the World."

This Body: Bag of Bones
Ven. Khantipalo (BPS.lk via accesstoinsight.org) edited by Wisdom Quarterly


This body is thought to be most obviously "me," what I regard as the most tangible part of myself.

Around it are constructed many views, all of them distorted in some way. They prevent insight from arising into the body as it really is.

Bag of Bones is a small anthology relating to the body. It presents material that, if contemplated by an earnest and sincere student of the Dharma, will eventually provide fruitful insight and freedom from the many kinds of craving and fear focused on this body.
 
Such overwhelming desires for pleasure with the body as the instrument (even though craving dwells in the heart-mind not the body itself) stir up and intensify greed of all kinds -- lust for sex or food, for instance.

Greed is accompanied by pleasurable sensations that are desired. So greed needs rather bitter medicine to undermine it. One antidote is simple: reflecting on the unattractive aspects of this beautiful body. It's beautiful but it also houses decay, repulsiveness, and death, all unpleasant matters to work hard to avoid and be ignorant of.

Reflection concerned with bodily unattractiveness is like medicine that only needs to be taken while the disease of greed-craving-lust is active. Afterwards, it may be discontinued.
 
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It is important to understand this rather than form the mistaken impression that the Buddha advocated viewing all beauty as loathsome. It is only that there is a hook in beauty. It is tangled up with greed in our hearts, and it leads to more and more complications and difficulties.
 
Beautiful on the inside: sexy sex organs.
Fears center around aging-decay, disease and death. They are not overcome by pretending they do not exist. It is said that an ostrich buries its head as danger approaches. If it were true, not many ostriches would be left.

It is only by resolutely facing the inevitable difficulties of life that can bring insight and relief from fear.
 
The Buddha's instructions on the contemplation of the body are addressed to those who are able, through their lifestyle, to practice them. This means, in effect, monastics together with dedicated lay people.

Monastics practice the contemplation given to them by their teachers as they ordain or "go forth" from homebound life into homelessness. They need such a medicine to combat lust, which is destructive to the celibate way of the supreme faring.

(Uncensored) Real sex education for teens in England

Lay people have the Five Precepts to develop contentment with their partners as an important part of their lay practice.

Sex is a natural part of their life but should still be restrained and kept within the bounds of the Third Precept (not to harm other people's relationships). If not, how much trouble follows!

Some may wish to live without sexual attachment for a time. This cannot be done in the way of the Dharma by ignoring the power of the sexual drive or by suppressing it with willpower.

Only when it is treated with mindfulness can it be transcended. The aspect of mindfulness that is needed for this is the subject/interrelated subjects of Bag of Bones.

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The future sex trade: android sex dolls for sale for home use or for rent in legal brothel?
 
In the world today people are subjected to a bombardment of sensuality by way of the mass media. Sex is used as a bait to sell things. Adverts (advertisements) exploit sexual urges to titillate many kinds of pleasant sensory experiences -- pleasing sights, sounds, tastes, and so on.

When subjected to this continuously, the defilements of the mind -- notably lust, greed, and attachment -- are sure to be strengthened. Then when this has happened the result is not more happiness but only more dukkha (disappointment, dissatisfaction, woe, suffering, troubles, and difficulties. The medicine for such over-indulgence and over-stimulation is given here.
 
It is said that this subject of meditation is unique to the Buddha's Teachings and that elsewhere it is not clearly taught. This is not surprising as we find that craving, particularly in the form of sexual desire, is sometimes accepted as being "natural."

Wherever desires are viewed as "natural," as inherent in one's nature or self, nothing much can be done about them.

Mind leads the body. The ancient swastika symbol signifies spiritual nobility here.
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But the Buddha analyzed desires into those which are wholesome -- to practice the Dharma, gain enlightenment, reach nirvana, for instance -- and those which are unwholesome, like greed and lust.

They may not be gross either, as in the case of the meditator who is greedy for bliss, or lights and visions, and attached to such things.

The Buddha provided medicine -- antidotes -- for all unwholesome desires. And according to our various ways of life, we can use this "medicine" to effect a partial or complete cure to our unhappiness (dukkha).

When emphasis is placed on so much sensuality, youth, and beauty as we find now, the darker sides of life get pushed away and attempts are made, always futile, to sweep them under the carpet.

Those who try to do so will not be pleased with the exercises contained in the Buddha's contemplation of the body.

Such meditations, contemplations, and reflections will appear to them as morbid and unnatural. Yet, they are also a part of this life and should be seen rather than ignored.

If an effort is made to ignore what is unpleasant about the body, sooner or later one will be jolted into the recognition of these things by circumstance. Such jolts are very unpleasant. Rather than leave it until one is forced to know the body's unpleasant sides (illness, old age, gory accidents, death), it is better to acquaint one's emotions with this knowledge gradually.
 
Marge's sisters and their new sex robots.
In this spirit, Bag of Bones was published by the Buddhist Publication Society. As a book and only a book, it cannot give person-to-person advice on special problems. It can offer general guidelines to laypeople interested in reducing pathetic clinging, craving, greed, and consuming lust.

A word of warning: meditation on the unattractiveness of the body can be very potent and should only be practiced with moderation and care, particularly if one has no personal contact with a good Buddhist meditation instructor.

If fear, anxiety, or other extreme unwholesome emotional states arise after practicing it, then it will be better to lay it down and take up Loving-Kindness (metta) or Recollection of the Buddha (Buddha-anussati) as one's meditation subject instead.
 
This book, therefore, is not so much for beginners in Buddhism but rather for those who have already practiced for some time. May it inspire many people to practice the Dharma more intently!

-Bhikkhu Khantipalo, Wat Buddha-Dhamma
Forest Meditation Centre, Ten Mile Hollow
Wiseman's Ferry, N.S.W. 2255, Australia

"Meditators, when one dharma is developed and cultivated,
it leads to a great sense of urgency, to great benefit,
to great safety from bondage, to great mindfulness
and full awareness, to knowledge and insight,
to a pleasant abiding here and now, to realization
of the fruit of true wisdom and liberation.
What is that one dharma? 
It is mindfulness with regard to the body." More

- (A. I. 43, translated by Ven. √Ďanamoli, edited by Wisdom Quarterly)

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