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Monks and sex

2

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2012

    buddha did not see there was much difference:
    no, but men do.
    there are young Christian men who have developed the spiritual path but in the middle age married women, simply out of compassion, because many Christian sects believe this is the will of God. but Buddhist men free of sexuality generally do not do this
    i disagree, because the reasons monks are expected to be celibate, is quite different to the reasons western priests are expected to be celibate.
    on the one hand it is a question of detachment from sensual pleasures, on the other it is a move away from an impure and sinful practice.
    some traditions permit monks to marry, and have families.
    The christian faith - Catholicism especially - forbids and commands celibacy. but the reasons are at opposite poles.....
    trust me dear Fede. buddhist men that are free of sexuality never look at a woman sexually again. they look upon all women as mothers & sisters. so how would it feel if all men attained the buddhist state? a world full of men with no sexual interest in women?
    not sure i understand your point here; it's possible you misunderstand my point....

    The thread hinges upon this question:
    I've always been curious to know how young male monks deal with sexual urges and hormones while respecting their vow of chastity? Are they allowed to masturbate, and if not, how do they deal with what are sometimes overwhelming urges in meditation?
    the question does not seek to establish whether laymen should be celibate or have no desires.
    The question focuses on HOW monks manage to deal with sexual urges - and i pointed out that this seems to be a predominantly male concern, as to date, i have personally never seen any concerns voiced, in the first person, as a specific personal issue - by a woman.

  • The question focuses on HOW monks manage to deal with sexual urges - and i pointed out that this seems to be a predominantly male concern, as to date, i have personally never seen any concerns voiced, in the first person, as a specific personal issue - by a woman.
    Therefore?

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    I'm a woman, I'm curious as to how, why and therefore - from men.

    I gave a different viewpoint (ie from nuns) further up the thread.....
  • I don't have an answer and no monk or ex-monk I know has an answer. It's just the way it is. I would not say it represents a weakness, psychological, moral, on the part of men. It is apparently something very basic and old. Maybe an evolutionary biologist would have some insights?
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    i wasn't wishing to imply a weakness.
    but i am implying a difference.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited March 2012
    There is clearly a difference. Many men, most men.. maybe all men, can have a real monkey on their back at some point..
  • ...And yes, according to reliable reports from the female side, women in places where sex is prohibited have just as much trouble.
    in all my years as a Buddhist, i have never come across this topic as being as high-profile as it is with men.
    to my recollection, i have never seen or heard any evidence of this.
    please could you cite or link these 'reliable reports'....?

    i am convinced this is an almost entirely male gender based issue.... and as such, a clear indication of how different, gender priorities can be!

    I'm not talking about nuns, because quite frankly those almost became extinct in the Buddhist world and even now, the female monk is rare. You don't have entire temples and dormitories devoted to women living celebate lives anymore. I'm talking about the other place where women are thrown together and told they must be celebate: prisons. From people I know who work with women in prisons, sex is just as huge a problem with them as it is with men, it just takes a different form. Less casual rape and more committed sexual bonds. It somehow always surprises guys that woman actually like sex as much as men do.
  • "It somehow always surprises guys that woman actually like sex as much as men do."
    I don't think it always surprises them!

    Its certainly quite common for women to masturbate - but they just don't have whole topic threads in Buddhist forums devoted to it, like we see in some places on the internet, lol !
  • patbbpatbb Veteran
    Gananath Obeyesekere, a Sri Lankan professor at Harvard has published a number of articles on this issue in his country. He's pushing to limit entry into the monastic life to those who are past high-school age:
    http://www.infolanka.com/org/srilanka/cult/13.htm On the situation in Tibetan monasteries: http://lamashree.org/dalailama_08_childabuse_tibetanbuddhistmonasteries.htm and recently, this:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/mar/09/youtube-confessional-buddhist-kalu-rinpoche
    the first link is useless, no information in it.

    but WOW did the second link bummed me out!!!

    is this an isolated thing or it is really widespread?

    if it is widespread, then why would anyone follow Tibetan Buddhism?


    I always used this argument for Buddhism, "the difference with Buddhism and Catholism is that Buddhists actually address their urges and free themselves from them, as oppose to Catholics who have to ask their god to do so which result in them just pushing the urges down which nurture them, which results in priests abusing kids".


    I remember watching Ajahn Chah biography
    http://www.ajahnchah.org/video/video20.php
    where he describe how Chah dealt with his sexual urges and freed himself.

    I thought this was how Tibetan Buddhists dealt with this also. I guess not.
    thats bad. really bad.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited March 2012
    "It somehow always surprises guys that woman actually like sex as much as men do."
    I don't think it always surprises them!

    Its certainly quite common for women to masturbate - but they just don't have whole topic threads in Buddhist forums devoted to it, like we see in some places on the internet, lol !
    This once again introduces the idea implicit in Federica's line that men are sexually the same but morally or psychologically weaker or less mature, or some such bit of triumphalist gender pettiness.

    :coffee:
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited March 2012
    For myself while in a practice setting refraining from masturbating really wasn't all that difficult. If one can access an internal peace and happiness then engaging in sexual acts pulls one away from that feeling and tastes more like suffering. I once went 5 months without much difficulty. Though living a lay life in the world there are unavoidable distractions and sexual stimulus around and the peace and happiness from within isn't available to the same degree so sex feels good.

    For a monk who started as a child I can see how not ever being able to freely explore that side of ones being there would be a certain attraction to the taboo that would make abstaining harder to do. For the record I don't feel that young children should be monks or at least there needs to be better safeguards for them and harsher treatment of abusive monks.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2012

    This once again introduces the idea implicit in Federica's line that men are sexually the same but morally or psychologically weaker or less mature, or some such bit of triumphalist gender pettiness.
    don't pull me into this.
    i'm all for attempting to avoid gender battles.
    That wasn't my implication at all....
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited March 2012

    This once again introduces the idea implicit in Federica's line that men are sexually the same but morally or psychologically weaker or less mature, or some such bit of triumphalist gender pettiness.
    don't pull me into this.
    i'm all for attempting to avoid gender battles.
    That wasn't my implication at all....
    Ok. I apologize for the provocative language.

    Male sexuality is clearly different than female. Most of the time that difference is benign, but men also have to face the dark side of male sexuality... violence, objectification, etc. which at the very least is different in scale than demonstrated by women.

    Personally I think it is a matter of what was once an evolutionary advantage being pathological in another context... like so much of human behaviour. ...or so i think anyway.


  • One of the main reasons I'm against grabbing young children and proclaiming them reincarnated monks or shoving anyone not an adult into a robe is the prohibition against orgasm. Even masturbation, which any competent psychologist will tell you is completely natural and harmless, is proscribed compeltely. If adults struggle with such an unnatural restriction, then teenagers have no chance. So sex in some form happens anyway, since the sex drive always finds a way. And yes, according to reliable reports from the female side, women in places where sex is prohibited have just as much trouble.
    I agree wholeheartedly. Take it from a teenager: it's hard when you're growing up and you have to suppress your sexual urges. It is by no means impossible, just extremely difficult. And then, of course, the difficulty of suppression differs depending on your personality.


    Also, I don't think it's that men have more sexual urges, it's just that in a lot of cultures women are not as open about it because it is frowned upon. America is a great example of that. So I'm quite sure if these nuns were having these urges, they would not be open about it to the same degree that men would, because in many cultures, it is not viewed as absurd for men to have strong sexual urges.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited March 2012
    It is interesting that refraining from sex is seen as a gender issue - maybe it is a social thing in the West that males discuss need more and woman discuss more sexual abuse. As Brad warner discusses in the video above in other cultures there is a different emphasis.
    Where is this discussion of other cultures, in the video? I got that it was just repeating what we've discussed here. Sexuality was the most difficult stumbling block for both monks and nuns, from what I've read about the Buddha's time, and the Vinaya goes into seemingly absurd detail about what auto-stimulating activities are to be avoided. Each time he made a rule, the monks found a loophole. One gets the impression from the Vinaya that the Buddha spent a lot of time closing loopholes.
    yeah, but why is 'sex' always the stumbling block?
    Hormones, lol!
    why not the only eating before noon?
    Not all traditions prohibit meals after noon, but this one does seem like a biggie.
    why do men seem to think that celibacy will be such a stumbling block?
    Men have more testosterone than women. And it's not socially acceptable for women to talk about their sex drive. We did have a thread recently, though, that discussed a woman's difficulty in readjusting to single life after a divorce. That one didn't sound any different than the guys. o.0

    Remember, that like boys in the monastic system, girls get given away to nunneries at a tender age, and find themselves trapped when adolescence hits. It doesn't always work out. Let's hope the giving-kids-away custom eventually fades from practice, or is replaced by secular boarding schools, like Kalu Rinpoche plans to set up.

  • "It somehow always surprises guys that woman actually like sex as much as men do."
    I don't think it always surprises them!

    Its certainly quite common for women to masturbate - but they just don't have whole topic threads in Buddhist forums devoted to it, like we see in some places on the internet, lol !
    This once again introduces the idea implicit in Federica's line that men are sexually the same but morally or psychologically weaker or less mature, or some such bit of triumphalist gender pettiness.

    :coffee:

    That wasn't my intention at all, Richard !

    I mentioned earlier in the thread that women might be shy about talking publicly about sex. Then in the post you mentioned, I observed that men have recurring threads discussing masturbation on some Buddhist forums. (At Dhamma Wheel for example)

    I'm not sure how you make a jump from that to imagining I was implying that it means that men are weaker in some way - it just means they don't have a problem talking publicly about sexual matters.

    .
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    There are no rules in Buddhism, only guidelines! If you're suggesting there's too many guidelines in Buddhism, I suggest you go practice some mindfulness meditation to be with those thoughts.

    :-P
    Unless you are a monk, then there are like 500 rules, haha!
    That then leads to me wonder why this prohibition is necessary if it is causing these problems in which monks are violating one of the Five Precepts regarding sexual misconduct and creating suffering for those they're trying to liberate? Has anyone not found enlightenment because they had sex and conversely are there those who have a sex life who find enlightenment and can carry on in a spiritual path? I've always thought chastity was unnecessary in Catholicism, but is it absolutely necessary in Buddhism?
    It's not absolutely necessary, but according to the Buddha, it's easier to abandon sense pleasures when you are not continually partaking in them.

  • If I were a young man again (and a Buddhist — as I am now, I suppose), I would have huge problems in relating to unmarried females within a Buddhist group and whom I found attractive. I mean, if one is strongly attracted to someone, it is quite difficult, I would think, to have a sisterly relationship. And what if she were just as interested in oneself? The need to express feelings, and the consequent conflict with propriety, would be very, very problematic. In my sectarian Christian youth, I was subjected to a great deal of (implicit, not explicit) indoctrination that sex was unclean. This caused problems when I became of an age to marry. The feeling was: either religion, or a normal sexual interest in the other sex, but not both together. When I became involved with Buddhists, my problems about sex (even within marriage) only increased. To be honest, I used to wonder whether the married couples that I met were now living without sex, and whether young, unmarried women who attended this group would be as cold as ice to any approach from an unmarried man. It seemed to me that the subject of sex was "the elephant in the room". At the time, I had only encountered Theravada Buddhism, and marvelled at the degree of restraint that the Buddha imposed upon his followers. He said to Ananda, who pressed the matter of seeing attractive women, and being overly interested in them: "Do not even see them, Ananda (if they pass by)". What a price those young men paid for the religious life!

    Much later, I read a great deal about Zen Buddhism in China (in days of yore). These practitioners of Dharma had no problem, it seems, with married life, and with producing a family. I never could understand the great disparity between early Buddhism and Zen, in this regard, and still cannot.
    Just my two pennyworth...
  • Why worry about the urges and desires that someone else may have. Control yourself and get on with your life.

    Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do. ~ Elvis Presley

    Every one of us must practice looking deeply into our perceptions, whether we are a father, mother, child, partner, of friend. --Thich Nhat Hanh--
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited March 2012
    What a price those young men paid for the religious life!
    If they can overcome it, it will surely be worth the price a thousand fold. :)

    By the way, just on a sidenote - men in general have issues with sexuality when they don't have a relationship or think about ordaining, but t is my observation that females (again in general) get a bit similar issues when they get in their mid-30s and don't have a child yet.. Guess it's both only natural.
  • possibilitiespossibilities PNW, WA State Veteran
    Try to think about what society looked like 2500 years ago. There was none of the provocative nature of sexual relationships, and entertainment and advertizing had not discovered how to make huge amounts of money off people's basic instincts. Sex probably WAS a distraction in line with all the others like dancing, perfume, hair, and fancy clothes etc.

    As far as Federica's concern re male/female .... I am surprised this is even a question any more. Men ARE more sexually driven, and abstinence will be a bigger problem - it's best to acknowledge reality, like it or not. We simply are not equals.
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    Try to think about what society looked like 2500 years ago. There was none of the provocative nature of sexual relationships, and entertainment and advertizing had not discovered how to make huge amounts of money off people's basic instincts. Sex probably WAS a distraction in line with all the others like dancing, perfume, hair, and fancy clothes etc.

    As far as Federica's concern re male/female .... I am surprised this is even a question any more. Men ARE more sexually driven, and abstinence will be a bigger problem - it's best to acknowledge reality, like it or not. We simply are not equals.
    Well, if I read this which was quoted before, I get a different idea:
    . Bhikkhus, I do not know of a form that captivates the mind of man as that of woman.
    Sometimes my limited knowledge of the English language combined with the awkward writing in suttas confuses me, but doesn't it mean that the 'form of a women' captures the mind of a man more than any other form?
  • I'm delighted by how much you all have read into my simple question, so I will explain where I'm coming from. I'm a 26-year-old bisexual American male who has never had sexual contact in my life. I also have depression and anxiety and take medications for it. A side effect of some of those medications is it lowers my libido. Now through my spiritual path I have lifted myself significantly out of my "mental illness" to the point I am tapering off some of those medications (with doctor's approval). As a result of that, and my working out more (which increases my testosterone levels) and spring time coming (more sunshine and Vitamin D), my libido is beginning to reassert itself. I have also been toying with the idea of whether I could become a monk even for a short time,not that I'm serious about it, but just curious, especially since others suggest that being a virgin I'm at a point where I could forsake those pleasures and have an easier time working with those desires (I somehow doubt that).

    I don't know how my libido compares to other men my age, but I know it is potentially very strong, and even overwhelming if I did not masturbate. So I was just curious how a young male monk with a similar libido would deal with those urges. And yes, I am asking because I am a horny young male, but I'm also curious, something I thought The Buddha encouraged on this path. @Federica it seems to me you think we're better off not being curious about such things and focusing on our own path, do I have that right? If so, I can respect that, but for me curiosity, for the most part, has served me well in my life and is essential on my path. I don't think being curious about these things is wrong or unhealthy, so long as we don't grasp for and cling to the answers and a certain way of being.

    @Federica, it might be hard for you to understand strong sexual urges for whatever reasons, but I've met several women my age and older who have quite powerful sex drives, especially if they are bi-polar or schizophrenic, even with meds, so I can't imagine some women don't experience some trials in dealing with those as well in joining into monastic life. I think, in part, the idea that women are sexless beings comes from many centuries of sexual repression of women furthered by patriarchy. So yes, many women might not have as many problems with sexual urges as men, but some of that is more cultural and societal rather than biological.

    Someone brought up converting sexual energy into creativity and it can be done. My reiki healer instructed I do this because I had a lot of energy stored in my root chakra, which, among other things, is where your creative source comes from. She instructed me to masturbate and when I orgasm to visualize the divine source/creative energy coming into my body and to imagine bringing it up to my head or crown chakra. I have done it many times and it definitely works, even if it's just a placebo effect as some might suggest. You just want to actually use that energy and continually imagine bringing it up from your root chakra to your head. I'm not sure what that would look like when you can't masturbate but I would imagine visualization would be a part of it.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    Yes, Sabre, you're right. Plus back then, there was very sensual entertainment, hence the prohibition against visiting theaters, viewing "dancing girls", and listening to music.
  • possibilitiespossibilities PNW, WA State Veteran
    @Sabre and @Dakini duh. I said it wasn't *as much of a problem*, never said it didn't exist.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited March 2012
    Now through my spiritual path I have lifted myself significantly out of my "mental illness" to the point I am tapering off some of those medications (with doctor's approval).
    :clap: Impressive work!

    Young Vajrayana monks are given visualizations that work with those energies in a somewhat similar way to what your reiki teacher has recommended to you. On a different note, Shantideva's "The Bodhisattva Way of Life" has a whole section dealing with this issue. The recommendations are as someone mentioned earlier: visualize women as bags of bones, blood and pus, or visualize them as your sister or mother. It might also be useful to visualize STD's or AIDS coming home to roost in your body. And visualizing unwanted drama entering your life through a relationship.



  • Young Vajrayana monks are given visualizations that work with those energies in a somewhat similar way to what your reiki teacher has recommended to you. On a different note, Shantideva's "The Bodhisattva Way of Life" has a whole section dealing with this issue. The recommendations are as someone mentioned earlier: visualize women as bags of bones, blood and pus, or visualize them as your sister or mother. It might also be useful to visualize STD's or AIDS coming home to roost in your body. And visualizing unwanted drama entering your life through a relationship.

    My challenge would be double since I'm attracted to men as well! ::facepalm:: Fortunately, I do plan to explore my sexuality to some extent so I'm not too worried.

  • SabreSabre Veteran
    @Sabre and @Dakini duh. I said it wasn't *as much of a problem*, never said it didn't exist.
    Hi @possibilities,

    Just to clarify: I also don't deny it didn't exist, but because you said "Sex probably WAS a distraction in line with all the others like dancing, perfume, hair, and fancy clothes etc." which I interpreted as sexual desire being as strong as dancing-desire ;), I posted the quote above.

    Sorry if I interpreted it wrong.

    With metta,
    Sabre
  • Also remember that monks in various traditions might not be bound to celebacy, and also some cultures have a tradition of temporary ordination, where a man might put on the robe for a year or so and return to a married life. Some of our folks from Asia can probably clear that up better. An actual celebate monk from early adulthood to old age might be rarer than we think.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2012

    As far as Federica's concern re male/female .... I am surprised this is even a question any more. Men ARE more sexually driven, and abstinence will be a bigger problem - it's best to acknowledge reality, like it or not. We simply are not equals.
    what, I'm not allowed to ponder a moot point, now?
    i didn't bring the question up, i just pointed out the idiosyncrasies of it....
    @Federica, it might be hard for you to understand strong sexual urges for whatever reasons,
    no, not at all, i've had many a strong sexual urge. i just haven't ever considered it a problem.
    I'm ok having them - i'm a layperson.... i don't intend to ordain, and i'm a householder.... so there's no problem.
    is there?
    but I've met several women my age and older who have quite powerful sex drives, especially if they are bi-polar or schizophrenic, even with meds
    ,
    if i was a feminist i'd be thinking you're suggesting only women with mental problems have sexual urges. but i'm not going to twist your words that way.... there again, why should bi-polar women, or those with schizophrenia have stronger urges than women without those mental issues?
    is it the drugs, or the way they're "hard-wired"...?
    Someone brought up converting sexual energy into creativity and it can be done. My reiki healer instructed I do this because I had a lot of energy stored in my root chakra, which, among other things, is where your creative source comes from. She instructed me to masturbate and when I orgasm to visualize the divine source/creative energy coming into my body and to imagine bringing it up to my head or crown chakra. I have done it many times and it definitely works, even if it's just a placebo effect as some might suggest. You just want to actually use that energy and continually imagine bringing it up from your root chakra to your head. I'm not sure what that would look like when you can't masturbate but I would imagine visualization would be a part of it.
    TMI..... :lol:

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    I think women are more in tune with the divine side of sexual energy, but maybe not. Clay seems to be getting a lot of mileage out of it in that respect.
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited March 2012
    Someone brought up converting sexual energy into creativity and it can be done. My reiki healer instructed I do this because I had a lot of energy stored in my root chakra, which, among other things, is where your creative source comes from. She instructed me to masturbate and when I orgasm to visualize the divine source/creative energy coming into my body and to imagine bringing it up to my head or crown chakra. I have done it many times and it definitely works, even if it's just a placebo effect as some might suggest. You just want to actually use that energy and continually imagine bringing it up from your root chakra to your head. I'm not sure what that would look like when you can't masturbate but I would imagine visualization would be a part of it.
    That would have been me. Thank you for the response. I've heard something similar before somewhere. I don't really practice chakra things, but I can see some reasoning behind this working. Bringing the attention from down to up when sexual urges arrive can trigger the mind to losen its attention on the bodily part of it. (which I feel is mostly "down there", not to refer to any specific body parts..) Or, at least that's my theory right now.. :P

    I'll try it out without the masturbation/orgasm part.. :lol: Think I'll also leave out the visualization.

    Maybe if someone else knows more? I know Thich Nhat Hahn also says you can transform sexual energy, but I've never found very practical information about it. Don't think it will be the same method as described above..
  • @Federica, it might be hard for you to understand strong sexual urges for whatever reasons,
    no, not at all, i've had many a strong sexual urge. i just haven't ever considered it a problem.
    I'm ok having them - i'm a layperson.... i don't intend to ordain, and i'm a householder.... so there's no problem.
    is there?
    but I've met several women my age and older who have quite powerful sex drives, especially if they are bi-polar or schizophrenic, even with meds
    ,
    if i was a feminist i'd be thinking you're suggesting only women with mental problems have sexual urges. but i'm not going to twist your words that way.... there again, why should bi-polar women, or those with schizophrenia have stronger urges than women without those mental issues?
    is it the drugs, or the way they're "hard-wired"...?
    Someone brought up converting sexual energy into creativity and it can be done. My reiki healer instructed I do this because I had a lot of energy stored in my root chakra, which, among other things, is where your creative source comes from. She instructed me to masturbate and when I orgasm to visualize the divine source/creative energy coming into my body and to imagine bringing it up to my head or crown chakra. I have done it many times and it definitely works, even if it's just a placebo effect as some might suggest. You just want to actually use that energy and continually imagine bringing it up from your root chakra to your head. I'm not sure what that would look like when you can't masturbate but I would imagine visualization would be a part of it.
    TMI..... :lol:



    This is partly anectodtal, but partly based on science. Those with bi-polar disorder tend to have a stronger sex drive, I am not entirely sure why, but it has been documented by psychologists and those who are close to someone with bi-polar disorder. I have known a few women with bi-polar or schizophrenia and they have strong sex drives, especially when they get manic. I am definitely not suggesting only women with mental illness have stronger sex drives, I've met women who don't have a diagnosable illness who like to have sex and lots of it and might have issues with overcoming the urges as Buddhist nuns, but I don't know, which is why I was curious. To suggest definitively it would just be a male issue based on your limited knowledge seems very egoistic to me.

    TMI=proving my point about how sexually repressed we are in this culture. You can't discuss fairly basic human functions, sexuality, without someone giggling or shying away because it's "icky." Part of the path is confronting and accepting stuff that makes us uncomfortable and what I've described is very routine compared to the darker stuff around sexuality in people's minds.

  • possibilitiespossibilities PNW, WA State Veteran

    As far as Federica's concern re male/female .... I am surprised this is even a question any more. Men ARE more sexually driven, and abstinence will be a bigger problem - it's best to acknowledge reality, like it or not. We simply are not equals.
    what, I'm not allowed to ponder a moot point, now?
    Haha :-) likewise. Am I not allowed to wonder why on earth you'd wonder.... ?
    :wave:
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    http://bipolar.about.com/cs/hypersex/a/aa_hypersex.htm

    So you don't think I'm making it up.
    I truly never thought for one moment you were.....

  • possibilitiespossibilities PNW, WA State Veteran


    Someone brought up converting sexual energy into creativity and it can be done.
    I remember reading about this way back.... either Reich or Freud or Jung, saying that creativity or intellectual work absorbs some of the sexual energy....
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2012

    As far as Federica's concern re male/female .... I am surprised this is even a question any more.
    what, I'm not allowed to ponder a moot point, now?
    Haha :-) likewise. Am I not allowed to wonder why on earth you'd wonder.... ?
    :wave:
    we could go on all night....
  • edited March 2012
    i disagree, because the reasons monks are expected to be celibate, is quite different to the reasons western priests are expected to be celibate.
    on the one hand it is a question of detachment from sensual pleasures, on the other it is a move away from an impure and sinful practice.
    i disagree. the rationale of both is the same. Jesus did not teach sex is sinful nor does the Catholic Church, which teaches marriage is a sacrament. Jesus taught celibacy was for the few. he said his disciples are celibate for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (realm of bliss). this is the same as buddhism, where buddha said one gives up a lesser happiness to attain a higher happiness (of heavenly realm of jhana). metta :)
    The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+19&version=NIV
    If by renouncing a lesser happiness one may realize a greater happiness, let the wise one renounce the lesser, having regard for the greater. Dhammapada 290

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.21.budd.html
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    i cannot and will not believe Jesus - if indeed he existed - ever said that, and the catholic church is quite explicit about the matter for priests, because the rules of ordination are canonical, not biblical.....

    and let's not take this too far off topic.
  • edited March 2012
    The question focuses on HOW monks manage to deal with sexual urges - and i pointed out that this seems to be a predominantly male concern, as to date, i have personally never seen any concerns voiced, in the first person, as a specific personal issue - by a woman.
    yes, you have never personally heard it. but i have seen & heard, in person, Western two nuns scolding a Western monk about how "selfish" he was, in the manner wives scold a husband (because they felt the monk was playing on their affections by getting them to do the standard work of the monastery. both nuns were so emotionally attached to this monk, who is now disrobed living with a woman and one of the nuns is also disrobed)

    there are two talks at this link by a nun on Love, Sex & Awakening, where I recall she talked about her personal experiences

    http://awakeningtruth.org/teachings/talks?start=40

    possibly nuns do not talk about it much because the monks want them to maintain the public perception they are like perfect angels



  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator


    yes, you have never personally heard it. but i have seen & heard, in person, Western two nuns scolding a Western monk about how "selfish" he was, in the manner wives scold a husband (because they felt the monk was playing on their affections by getting them to do the standard work of the monastery. both nuns were so emotionally attached to this monk, who is now disrobed living with a woman and one of the nuns is also disrobed)
    sounds like they all had problems with physical issues....
    emotional attachment is not the same as having constant sexual urges, such as being addicted to porn, and many Buddhist male followers seem to be....
    possibly nuns do not talk about it much because the monks want them to maintain the public perception they are like perfect angels
    what....? :scratch:

    Or possibly they simply don't talk about it because it's not such a big deal for them.....

    I'm not disputing this may be an issue for some women.

    what i am saying - and many on this thread are confirming the same thing - men are far more frequently prone to physical sexual urges and desires than women are.

  • what i am saying - and many on this thread are confirming the same thing - men are far more frequently prone to physical sexual urges and desires than women are.
    This is largely true, at least biologically and from an evolutionary standpoint. That's mainly why I asked the original question about young male monks and tampering that sexual urge. I wasn't implying with my question it would be more or less a challenge than any of the other vows, but if you knew what it was like to be a young man with an unchecked libido, it can seem overwhelming and make eating once a day or some of the other vows quite easy in perspective.
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    I can say that too, Tom, And because of my previous commitments to children and husband it is not what is happening now.
    Do you go on Buddhist forums that are in other languages? I'm sure people of other hemispheres and cultures have sexual urges too...

    :scratch:
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited March 2012
    "It somehow always surprises guys that woman actually like sex as much as men do."
    I don't think it always surprises them!

    Its certainly quite common for women to masturbate - but they just don't have whole topic threads in Buddhist forums devoted to it, like we see in some places on the internet, lol !
    This once again introduces the idea implicit in Federica's line that men are sexually the same but morally or psychologically weaker or less mature, or some such bit of triumphalist gender pettiness.

    :coffee:

    That wasn't my intention at all, Richard !

    I mentioned earlier in the thread that women might be shy about talking publicly about sex. Then in the post you mentioned, I observed that men have recurring threads discussing masturbation on some Buddhist forums. (At Dhamma Wheel for example)

    I'm not sure how you make a jump from that to imagining I was implying that it means that men are weaker in some way - it just means they don't have a problem talking publicly about sexual matters.

    .
    Ok.

    Women might be more shy talking about sexual matters in public, but can often be more at peace with their own sexuality than men. For instance I think women are more comfortable with a spectrum of gender eroticism than men, less black and white.

    Men seem to create forms to contain and repress. All the sex talk is compensatory. Men are better at locking their embarrassing things in dungeons. Or covering up woman who might tempt them into terrible things.

    It's an interesting topic....


  • Ok.

    Women might be more shy talking about sexual matters in public, but can often be more at peace with their own sexuality than men. For instance I think women are more comfortable with a spectrum of gender eroticism than men, less black and white.

    Men seem to create forms to contain and repress. All the sex talk is compensatory. Men are better at locking their embarrassing things in dungeons. Or covering up woman who might tempt them into terrible things.

    It's an interesting topic....

    Can you provide evidence for your statements? Generalizations, especially about people, are rarely true and are especially laughable when only backed up with anecdotes. I can find so many examples to violate everything you just said, but then I'd be doing your work for you.
  • Hmm OK that came out wrong. I apologize. What I meant to say was I think those are generalizations which always have exceptions, especially when dealing with human beings who are complex. I would just ask that we, including myself, keep that in mind when talking about the differences between men and women. I think Buddhism would teach us we have much more in common than different, even in regard to sexuality.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Why worry about the urges and desires that someone else may have. Control yourself and get on with your life.

    Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do. ~ Elvis Presley

    Every one of us must practice looking deeply into our perceptions, whether we are a father, mother, child, partner, of friend. --Thich Nhat Hanh--
    It isn't that we "worry" about it. Many of us see monks as an example in following the Precepts, and it therefore helps to see monks who are dedicated to their vows...and in this case, determining just what those vows are.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    what, I'm not allowed to ponder a moot point, now?
    We don't want our moderator going insane!
    ;)

  • what, I'm not allowed to ponder a moot point, now?
    We don't want our moderator going insane!
    ;)
    I'm not sure why you speak in the future tense... :P

This discussion has been closed.