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no inherent i
08 Mar 10, 14:53
Now I don't know if this is in the right section but i'm sure Aloka will redirect it if not. I've took a vow of celibacy even though I'm a lay buddhist as I hope to become a monk in the very near future. I wondered if there was anyone else out there who's took a vow of celibacy (Lay or a Monastic) who can give me advice on keeping up my vow when things get tough. I'll be grateful of any advice. Thanx

Aloka
08 Mar 10, 15:07
Hi no inherent i and welcome ! I think I'll move this to General Buddhism. Which tradition are you planning to be a monk with ?

Your e-mail address that you registered with for Yahoo.com has bounced. Could you contact woodscooter with an active one, please.

no inherent i
08 Mar 10, 15:20
Hi Aloka,

seem 2 be having some problems with e-mails will forward one to woodscooter in the very near future.

I hope to become a monk.

Aloka
08 Mar 10, 15:29
Okey Dokey. Well I haven't taken a vow of celibacy myself, so we'll see if anyone else has who can give you some advice.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Sobeh
08 Mar 10, 22:15
I'm in the process of getting my ducks in rows before I ordain in the Thai Forest Tradition, and as part of my own personal process I'm dipping my feet into a monastic interpretation and practice of the eight precepts, and not a lay interpretation; to this end I am celibate, and maybe can communicate something of my experience with it.

First of all, the Vinaya (the one I'm familiar with, at least) reflects that while sex is an offense that disrobes you, masturbation is a severe offense but one that offers a chance of restraint in the future. Far from allowing the injunction against sexual pleasure to be interpreted in a lazy way, however, the point I'm making here (based on my experiences) is to highlight that the Buddha knew this was a particularly difficult sense pleasure to overcome an attachment for, and as you attempt to keep your vow of celibacy it is important to be realistic about the difficulties that will arise, and to not beat yourself up unduly when (if) you falter. This compassion for yourself while you undertake this vow is very important.

On a related note, it is one thing to abide by the injunction to not partake of sexual pleasure, but the goal is not the practice so much as to see it with Right View for what it is: just one more attachment to form. Once this is seen, celibacy becomes a peaceful abiding here and now.

Last, it is important to realize that celibacy is easier to the extent that you aren't subjecting your senses to things like advertisements, because they usually contain some sexual imagery and what seem like minor points now will, for a time, become VERY salient and bothersome. The precepts against entertainments, shows, perfumes and such can help, as separating oneself from those things often also creates a felt sense of distance from such distractions.

frank
09 Mar 10, 06:53
I'm in the process of getting my ducks in rows before I ordain in the Thai Forest Tradition,

Congratulations Sobeh,hope you enjoy the experience.

I would humbly suggest that ducking and diving around the rules is not conducive to peace of mind.
I remember it took me about 18 months before l could stop fighting The System. Life became much easier when l realised that the rules are there to help. The rules are designed by monks for monks,so when l got my mind around that life in the Order became actually easy.

Anyway you will figure all this out for yourself,which monastery will your be at?

andyrobyn
09 Mar 10, 07:34
My congratulations and best wishes also http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Japhy
09 Mar 10, 07:34
I would humbly suggest that ducking and diving around the rules is not conducive to peace of mind.

Good observation, Frank.

The practice of "antidotes" to desires exists in many traditions. When I first received the Eight Precepts, I was referred to the Reflection on the Thirty-Two Parts, contained here in the Chanting Book for the Western Forest Sangha:

http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/ChantingBook.pdf

In Mahayana there are many teachings which also apply in reference to emptying oneself, but for one intent on "going forth" in a specific tradition the best advice to to seek this advice there; with all respect, not here.

Aloka
09 Mar 10, 07:41
My congratulations and best wishes also

Mine too Sobeh - I have really enjoyed the Thai Forest Tradition teachings that I've encountered so far. I'm hoping to visit Amaravati Monastery in the UK again in the early summer.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Aloka
09 Mar 10, 07:44
When I first received the Eight Precepts,

Hi Japhy,

I must have misunderstood you in earlier posts because I thought you hadn't actually had any experience or offline contact with Buddhist centres and monasteries at all.

At which centre or monastery did you formally receive the eight precepts?.......or did you repeat them to yourself at home perhaps?



Chanting Book for the Western Forest Sangha:

This is a lovely little book available to all - I got one from Amaravati when I was there.

In Tibetan Buddhism the ''May all beings have happiness...'' prayer seems to have perhaps originated with the ''Reflections on Universal Well-Being'' chant in Theravada.

Anyway, sorry, back to topic again !

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif
Dazz

frank
09 Mar 10, 08:07
Ducking and diving:


masturbation is a severe offense but one that offers a chance of restraint in the future

Are you sure your not an attorney?
As l understand these things,(going forth) the best way 'forward' is to establish peace of mind,without this such a life will be...difficult.

Sobeh
09 Mar 10, 08:32
Just facts, frank. (And no, I'm not an attorney, but I wonder why you'd bother making such a comment at all.)

The four Pārājika offenses are related to sexual intercourse, theft, killing, and claiming superhuman states not actually attained.

"Should any bhikkhu — participating in the training and livelihood of the bhikkhus, without having renounced the training, without having declared his weakness — engage in sexual intercourse, even with a female animal, <u>he is defeated and no longer in affiliation</u>."

Masturbation, however, is a Saṅghādisesa offense: "Intentional emission of semen, except while dreaming, <u>entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community</u>."

Compare the language, and you will see the distinction. Have a look here (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/bmc1/bmc1.intro.html) if you want to check my work.

Now, obviously, using these sorts of things to squeeze around rules and live in grey areas is against the spirit of the Vinaya, but I never advocated such ridiculous maneuvering.

You looked at this distinction in type of offense and saw an attempt to generate wiggle-room. I looked, and saw a compassionate mulligan for people just beginning the Path. Why such a negative take?

Aloka
09 Mar 10, 08:52
Are you sure your not an attorney?

I'm afraid Ive got lost and I'm not understanding your meaning here Frank. The purpose of this remark to someone with sincere aspirations is....?

Japhy
09 Mar 10, 15:33
from post #10

I confess. I have mixed feelings this approach, but then intent is everything and I'm sure there is a good reason for it.
For the benefit of others, taking the Eight Precepts is not just done in anticipation of ordination. It is also done for major observance days, particularly by those aspiring to live life as an Upasaka/Upasika.
Arrow River Forest Hermitage was where I received the counsel or advice of which I wrote; Ajahn Punnadhammo gave me the teaching regarding Precept taking. I was there for Vesakkha Puja, last year and stayed on for a short time as a Monastic Steward.
I received my vows online from Bhikkhu Samahita, however. I repeat them myself for each of the major observance days. I renew them twice a year with Bhikkhu Samahita.
I practice alone. I am not a member of any traditional sangha or limited to one traditon's interpretation. That allows me to incorporate elements of the aspirations common to Mahayana and Theravada, in the spirit of Kalama Sutta.
Was I less than clear? If I in some way I was, I apologize.

Esho
09 Mar 10, 16:07
from post #5

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Aloka
09 Mar 10, 16:14
I confess. I have mixed feelings this approach, but then intent is everything and I'm sure there is a good reason for it

Not at all sure what you mean here Japhy, which approach ?...and who's intent are you speaking about ? - could you clarify please ?



Was I less than clear? If I in some way I was, I apologize.

I wasn't sure of what you meant because I thought that you had once mentioned that you mix traditions together and that you didn't go to offline centres.
From my own experience in Tibetan Buddhism one usually takes precepts offline in a formal ceremony with others wishing to take them and directed by an abbot , tulku or lama. Ordinary Tibetan Buddhist monks, to my knowledge, don't usually perform precept ceremonies for others, nor can one receive them online, - - not with the school I'm familiar with anyway.
I've been an offline Vajayana practitioner for many years and have only fairly recently been investigating Theravada, which obviously has some differences.
In any case, I wasn't aware that one could receive distance precepts online with any tradition. I confess it seems quite an alien notion to me ..but that's just a personal view of course. At the end of the day its always what's in one's heart and the results of one's practice that truly counts.

Thank you for your explanation. How long did you stay at the Forest Hermitage? Is it in the USA ? I'm in the UK, so obviously I'm not familiar with American centres. The members of the group live all around the world, so we have an international flavour, which is really nice !

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Japhy
09 Mar 10, 17:14
Arrow River is outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
I went there because there are no members of the ordained sangha in good standing where I live. I took my first vows online for the same reason.
Isn't it interesting there is such a divergence of opinion regarding vow and precept taking, even within orthodox traditions? At one point feeling frustrated with this I wrote to the Office of the HH The 14th Dalai Lama. The answer I received was both courteous and compassionate as one might expect; that one becomes a Buddhist, even an Upasaka, first in one's own heart.
At Arrow River the Ajahn was surprised I would go to such lengths as to travel a great distance to receive vows and precepts when they were always as close as my own mind and heart. I stayed there for a month to work, to learn puja practice and chanting.
In Dhammapada, I read "Oneself is one's own protector, what other protector could there be".
Online I receive Dharma/Dhamma teachings every day from Bhikkhu Sammahita in Sri Lanka. It is not uncommon there to have nearly one thousand participants registered as having done the same.
Every indication is that unaffiliated Buddhists are likewise becoming far more common. If Shambhala Publications (ie Buddhadharma's Spring Edition) is sitting up and taking notice and teachers like Joseph Goldstein are writing books like "One Dharma" with encouraging forewords by the Dalai Lama; if the proliferation of Solitary Buddhist Blogs are any indication, the Dharma continues to adapt, spread, grow in amazing ways. Some would say, "as it has always done".
In light of all this (and perhaps in response to it) I am tempted to ask those of Buddhism's conservative core, where is it written "Don't seek the truth, just stop cherishing opinions"? Opinions of what Buddhism is, is not, or shall be are (like vows and precepts) as near as your's are to you, or mine are to me.
More than this, what is the teaching of all the buddhas regarding judgement of others? Or "labelling" things in our own minds?
I dream of a far more inclusive Buddhism; more accepting; more compassionate. Take your vows as you wish, the truth will out in intent and conduct whether these are received by bhikkhu or broadband.

Japhy
09 Mar 10, 17:22
The question about "intent" occurred to me as I struggled with the question why anyone here would need to provide justification or cv for such an innocent posting as I made? But it's not important. It slipped because I am imperfect and incomplete. Mea culpa.

Japhy
09 Mar 10, 17:36
...and I take my leave, to trouble you no more.

Aloka
09 Mar 10, 17:46
You may not be aware of the fact, Japhy, that there are people who post in internet Buddhist groups making all kinds of false claims..... Including claims of being monks requesting funding and also claims of being reincarnate lamas. I'm not exaggerating either.

Anyway, I'm really sorry if you feel so deeply offended by my curiosity about your precept vows and so affronted by my surprise at online commitments being available. I simply told the truth - for me it seems odd without any personal contact. Bhikkhu Samahita I'm sure must be wonderful, he posts his daily Dhamma tirelessly all over the internet .

However, in general, if we post in internet groups we all have to get used to the idea that others may not have identical views to us and so its best not take it all too seriously.

You said " I dream of a far more inclusive Buddhism; more accepting; more compassionate"

If that's what you want then you must try to practice it too, instead of getting all huffy at a rather curious woman who actually means you no harm !

Anyway, I sincerely wish you every success with your future practice. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/peace.gif

Good luck, be well, take care.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Aloka
09 Mar 10, 18:32
So...back to the subject of celibacy again.

andyrobyn
09 Mar 10, 19:50
Wondering frank if you will share more on this topic in terms of discussing your experiences about taking vows ... it is very personal and individual, and your perspective is of interest to me http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

frank
10 Mar 10, 08:50
from post #22

What is there to say,l made the choice to "go forth" and got on with it.
Story of my life really decide to do something and do it.
I left the robes to go for a walk the length of Nepal.

andyrobyn
10 Mar 10, 09:00
Thanks frank ...
I have been to Nepal to do some walking too - BC ( before children ).



Story of my life really decide to do something and do it.

In some respects I have lived like this also ... often knowing what it is that I want to do has been difficult for me.

Having children was something that I did know I wanted to do ... there was a strong biological drive component to it for me ( not sure if it is different for men than women, know men who have had similar drive to have children ... that could be be another discussion all together http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif ) - actually probably the strongest sense of craving that I have experienced, led me to change my life at the time in a dramatic way to make it happen ... considered more commitment to a spiritual path around the same time.

frank
10 Mar 10, 09:04
I have been to Nepal to do some walking too - BC

Well the long walk didn't actually happen,thanks to the cost of permits and my reluctance to contribute to the Maoist coffers

Aloka
10 Mar 10, 09:05
What is there to say,l made the choice to "go forth" and got on with it.

How long were you a monk for, Frank?

By the way I asked you a question in post 13 which you may not have seen.

frank
10 Mar 10, 09:18
from post #13

My comments to Sobeh were with reference to his probing of the vinaya,there are plenty of senior monks who will willingly discuss these,(and some really obscure points).
So the point l was making is that there really is no need for an anagaraka to bother himself with this stuff.
Anyway Sobeh enjoy your stay,do you have a thought to how long your going to remain in robes?



How long were you a monk for

Including anagarika-ship just three years. I look back on it now as one of the best times of my life.

frank
10 Mar 10, 09:42
in Tibetan Buddhism one usually takes precepts offline in a formal ceremony with others wishing to take them and directed by an abbot

Same in Theravadan tradition,though for those taking 8 precepts there is no need to use the sima.
For those looking for 'stuff' sima's are an interesting subject.

Aloka
10 Mar 10, 09:48
sima

What does sima mean, please ? I can't find it in the Pali dictionary.

Sobeh
10 Mar 10, 21:54
So the point l was making is that there really is no need for an anagaraka to bother himself with this stuff.
Anyway Sobeh enjoy your stay,do you have a thought to how long your going to remain in robes?

Well, an Anagaraka keeps the eight precepts, and my interest was in seeing how the precepts correlated with certain parts of the Vinaya, because (in answer to your question) I'm interested in ordaining for life.

Sobeh
10 Mar 10, 21:55
from post #29

'Monastic boundary', I think.

frank
11 Mar 10, 02:32
my interest was in seeing how the precepts correlated with certain parts of the Vinaya

I rather think the precepts are a gentler version of the 217 rules in the Vinaya,sort of ease you into the life.
Congrats on opting for a life-times commitment,do you have a monastery in mind?

frank
11 Mar 10, 02:57
What does sima mean

A sima is an area (?) of land marked by recognisable markers.
Sima's are for the ordination of monks
A sima can be any size,(huge) but only if it can practically be made and maintained as 'pure',it is 'purified' by the monks making it so.(Chanting and such). This means the sima must not be trespassed on by a lay-person before the ceremony.
Sensibly speaking they are most often about 8/10m sq.
Where it gets interesting is what is considered as the 'surface' of the sima?,the blades of grass (if outdoors)? Supposing a bird or a plane flies over a sima? is it still pure? How far underground does a sima extend? If a miner is working under ground what has happened to the integrity of the sima?
Buddhism is full of this sort of stuff,it's all a distraction of course but nevertheless interesting all the same.

Aloka
11 Mar 10, 05:59
from post #33

Thanks Frank - that's really interesting !

Sobeh
11 Mar 10, 06:47
do you have a monastery in mind?

My preference is Santi Forest Monastery in Australia, but I suppose any port in a storm! http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Aloka
11 Mar 10, 08:19
My preference is Santi Forest Monastery in Australia

Sounds wonderful - isn't that Bhante Sujato's monastery ?

frank
11 Mar 10, 09:52
from post #34

A<u> little </u>more on sima's
I was looking up Santi Forest Monastery in Australia and in the link "Santi Forest Monastery" there are a few pic's of the monks establishing sima stones

Aloka
11 Mar 10, 10:37
Yes I saw those earlier Frank, but unfortunately didn't save the link.

I think this is the main link to the monastery but I don't know if the same photos are here somewhere -

URL (http://sites.google.com/site/santifm10/)

Sobeh
11 Mar 10, 17:21
from post #38

Those pictures are here (http://santi-forest-monastery.blogspot.com/).

Aloka
11 Mar 10, 17:37
Thanks, Sobeh. That's an amazing cave in the photos too !

no inherent i
15 Mar 10, 12:22
This discussion is facinating and making me even more determened to ordain. The advice about not beating yourself up to much is good. I think you make a vow for ever how long, but you just have to take a day at a time. Thats the only way I can do it

plwk
15 Mar 10, 13:41
Ordination...its a dream for me in this life...stays a dream...

no inherent i
15 Mar 10, 14:30
Plwk,

Why does ordination have to stay a dream in this lifetime. If you are really determined you can be anything you want to be my friend. I've been practising buddhism on and off for 15 years and since starting I had a dream of becoming a monk. I started in prison and I never thought it would be possible. Now I'm out and it is becoming closer. It might be the only chance you have for many lifetimes you have to practise in such a way. LIVE THE DREAM MY FRIEND, LIVE THE DREAM!!!!

Element
16 Mar 10, 18:32
from post #1

Right sexual conduct requires wisdom, strongly based in the perception of harming & non-harming.

As for total celibacy & masturbation, one can reflect it does not lead to samadhi & Nibbana.

The Dvedhavitakka Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.019.than.html) may be helpful.

Kind regards

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Element
16 Mar 10, 18:37
If celibacy does not have its base in compassion, my opinion is it will struggle.

If the basis for celibacy is the Vinaya & asuba (lothesomeness, looking at corpses), my view is it will struggle.

If we have compassion, the opposite sex is not regarded as expedient sex objects, for whatever reasons.

In compassion, celibacy comes easy & naturally.

If compassion is not there, our transformation of instinctual love into spiritual love can be blocked.

This will affect the chanda iddhipada required for samadhi.

Kind regards

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Sobeh
16 Mar 10, 20:19
Have a look at the Methuna Sutta (http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/21.9-Methuna-S-a7.47-piya.pdf) (AN 7.47).

It's called 'the discourse on coupling'.

srivijaya
16 Mar 10, 20:49
If compassion is not there, our transformation of instinctual love into spiritual love can be blocked.

Well said.

Esho
16 Mar 10, 23:36
from post #45

Thanks Element,

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/good.gif

Element
17 Mar 10, 02:19
Thank you

For me, I have always looked upon women as vessels of love.

For me, by nature, the seed of wholesome love is within women.

So for over 20 years now, I have never looked upon a woman in a sexual manner.

I try to see more of a motherly quality; the wish to give love & be loved.

I am sorry if some women think my view sounds sexist.

But with this kind of view, celibacy is not difficult for a man.

One abides in tune with the wholesome love rather working against the unwholesome love.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Aloka
17 Mar 10, 07:00
I am sorry if some women think my view sounds sexist.

Not at all Element, personally I understand completely.

srivijaya
17 Mar 10, 08:39
One abides in tune with the wholesome love rather working against the unwholesome love.

Very important point Element. When considering celibacy there are two approaches; the one you mention and the one which takes a more negative philosophy as its base.

Some male celibates regard women as sensuous temptresses, out to drag them to hell and vampirically rob them of their precious seminal essence.

This demonstrates that they are basically misogynist and grappling with frustrated anger born of their own desire.

There's no compassion in such a mindset and the resulting mind of ill will is not Buddhist either.

Esho
17 Mar 10, 14:12
For me, I have always looked upon women as vessels of love.

For me, by nature, the seed of wholesome love is within women

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Esho
17 Mar 10, 14:16
Some male celibates regard women as sensuous temptresses, out to drag them to hell and vampirically rob them of their precious seminal essence.

This is realy sad... and it is the concept that most religions have about female nature...

As Element has told us... celibacy do not bring compassion; on the contrary... it is about, again in buddhism, an understanding, a realization so it can not be imposed, it has to sprout out from that understanding.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Sobeh
17 Mar 10, 22:23
it has to sprout out from that understanding.

The precepts, and ultimately the entire Vinaya, are supposed to be like this.

Daozen
30 Mar 10, 00:19
Small technical point:

'Celibacy' actually refers to the state of being unmarried, not necessarily to abstinence from sex.

'Chaste' is the more correct term for abstinence, regardless of marriage status.

I know this is a losing battle as the word celibacy is so routinely misused it will probably officially shift meaning at some stage, but just thought i'd mention it.

Namaste

Sobeh
30 Mar 10, 05:23
It's not so much a losing battle as it is a word in transition, as happens in living languages. Lack of this process is how a language becomes a 'dead' language, such as Latin or Pali.

frank
30 Mar 10, 08:24
Celibacy

Word web also allows;

"(religion) abstaining from sexual relations (as because of religious vows)"