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Where does meditation lead?
To here and now
I found the discussion in the start of this chapter interesting, as it seems we will have to learn to infer which definition of Kama is being referred to through the book. Desire in general, desire for specific sense pleasures, or the pleasures themselves. "When referring to sensual desire, the word has such strong connotations that it could be translated as "lust"'. When thinking about seeking pleasure experiences/items to that degree, it's easier to see why it's such a problem. But there aren't a lot of experiences I crave or seek out so much that I would identify it as lust. I do lust for summer, LOL. But not much else.
I do very much enjoy the "other" Kama sutta, lol, and have different illustrated versions...
I am not ready to part with lust and desire yet.
I very much enjoy the good things in life and that includes sex, good food, and wine.
Yet I would not consider myself attached or slave to any cravings.
Pleasure does not take my psyche as hostage.
When the chance presents itself, I enjoy.
Then I move on with my life and tune in to whatever the present moment brings.
But though I do understand how cravings and attachments can undermine our best intention to cessation of suffering, I must own I have a hard time when suttas emphasize the negative effects of sex and lust.
It's repression of our pulsions that I find negative.
And yet, I bear in mind that the suttas refer to men who voluntarily choose the path of seclusion.
This is a more modern version for the whole Sutta Nipata:
And a more direct link to the Atthakavagga sutta:
it seems some of you do not want to go into the deapth of Buddha's Teaching with 'thama thama nana pamanin/ pacchanthan vethi thbbo'
With all due respect, please drop the Theravada path, @upekka and embrace the Zen path.
It will simplify things way soooo much for you.
(And for us, by extension)