Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Aloka » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:21 pm

.

The Buddha didn't condemn loving relationships between lay couples. He said:


"Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire"

(AN 4.55)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.055.than.html



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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Thule » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:23 pm

binocular wrote:Perhaps once all these men, monks and lays, take birth in female bodies, maybe then they'll see things differently ...


So has she, too, Bhadda the Kapilani, gained for herself
The threefold knowledge and has vanquished death.
Having bravely vanquished Mara and his host,
It is the last formation of a body that she bears.

Seeing the world's deep misery, we both went forth
And are now both free of cankers, with well-tamed minds.
Cooled of passions, we have found deliverance;
Cooled of passions, we have found our freedom.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .hekh.html
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:25 pm

binocular wrote:Perhaps once all these men, monks and lays, take birth in female bodies, maybe then they'll see things differently ...
One would hope that it work that way, but that would assume that that they would still male somehow looking through a woman's point of view. I think we bearers of the penis as such can do a little better with empathizing with women. it is always work in progress.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:28 pm

Aloka wrote:.

The Buddha didn't condemn loving relationships between lay couples. He said:


"Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire"

(AN 4.55)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.055.than.html



:anjali:
Thanks for that. There is also the quote from the Buddha about a married couple can travel through various lives together.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:06 am

It's probably important to keep in mind that he was probably only capable of sexual desire whilst not in robes for about 5 years, which was over 40 years before this nose picking occurred. So this is the response of someone who has been practicing with incredible vigor to obtain enlightenment for almost their entire life, and hasn't been laid in AT LEAST 41 years. The fact that he responded the way he did isn't the least bit surprising, and I don't think his response should be considered insufficient. If anything the question was simply asked to the wrong person, or at least should of been clarified as to what it was a "barrier" too.



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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Mkoll » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:Thanks for that. There is also the quote from the Buddha about a married couple can travel through various lives together.

Same sutta.

[The Blessed One said:] "If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity, and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."
-AN 4.55
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby chownah » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:46 am

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
There is an interesting thing about this. In a recent Science article (Science 20 September 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6152 pp. 1336-1339) there is discussion of a difference between empathy and compassion:

When Singer asked (Matthieu) Ricard to "do his thing," focusing on compassion, in the MRI scanner, she got a surprise. The brain regions she saw light up were not the ones that she had seen time and again when subjects tuned into the suffering of another person. Instead, areas associated with romantic love or reward, such as the nucleus accumbens and ventral striatum, were activated.

Confused, Singer asked Ricard what he had been doing. He explained that he had put himself into a state of compassion, a warm feeling of well-wishing toward the world. When Ricard went back into the scanner and concentrated on the plight of children in a Romanian orphanage he had seen in a documentary, his brain showed the typical signature of empathy. But Ricard later said that the pain quickly became unbearable. "I felt emotionally exhausted, very similar to being burned out."


So there are at least two systems of goodwill, one of which can be quite weighty, even painful. What I wonder is, whether the romantic relationship and its features lean more towards empathic results or towards compassionate ones, as a general theme.

Empathy tends to be the result of a breakdown of interpersonal barriers such that the other is taken, at the neurological level at least, to be almost an appendage of the self - the pain of another is simulated as though it were one's own pain, and this is what leads to the burnout described above.

I wonder if romantic relationships foster one or another of these two systems more than the other, & I wonder if the brahmaviharas et al are similar or different with respect to that. I have my suspicions; sexual desire & activity is handled very differently than pervading space with goodwill, in my experience.

day erupt,
First, my automatic spell corrector wants your name to be as shown.....no hidden messages here at least on my part.
A couple of things. Do you think that "romantic love" as used in the article means sex, or emotion, or both combined, or none of the above. Also, seems to me that in the article their description of compassion as a warm feeling of well wishing toward the world may be more or less void of a self construct (I.e. An amorphous world idea is probably not conducive to formulating a self to represent it.)........while ideating about children, who are orphans, who live in Romania almost begs for a self construct to represent them and to hang our dukkha on........a playable explanation for the different types of neural response?.......or rather is the neural response a playable explanation of why the Buddha obsessed on the have no self doctrine.
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:29 am

PsychedelicSunSet wrote:It's probably important to keep in mind that he was probably only capable of sexual desire whilst not in robes for about 5 years, which was over 40 years before this nose picking occurred. So this is the response of someone who has been practicing with incredible vigor to obtain enlightenment for almost their entire life, and hasn't been laid in AT LEAST 41 years. The fact that he responded the way he did isn't the least bit surprising, and I don't think his response should be considered insufficient. If anything the question was simply asked to the wrong person, or at least should of been clarified as to what it was a "barrier" too.
Sure, the emphasized is true, and the point is, in keeping with the OP, it is reflective of how he perceived things, but we can also see from the suttas that a different answer quite possible.

Was Ajahn Chah's answer insufficient? Well, it does show that it very possible that some degree of awakening may not always sufficient to the teaching moment.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby binocular » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:59 am

Aloka wrote:The Buddha didn't condemn loving relationships between lay couples. He said:


"Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire"

(AN 4.55)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.055.than.html

Different people interpret such suttas quite differently sometimes.
I agree with it, and another person agrees with it - but in practice, we understand vastly different things by it - incompatible.


tiltbillings wrote:One would hope that it work that way, but that would assume that that they would still male somehow looking through a woman's point of view.

A reflection on karma and rebirth can do that too to some extent, even as one is one's current body, male or female.

I think we bearers of the penis as such can do a little better with empathizing with women. it is always work in progress.

Hopefully, yes.
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby binocular » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:14 am

tiltbillings wrote:Was Ajahn Chah's answer insufficient? Well, it does show that it very possible that some degree of awakening may not always sufficient to the teaching moment.

Personally, I tend to perceive Ajahn Chah as more akin to quirky Zennists than to Theravadans. Speaking and acting in riddles and such. Therefore not simply to be taken literally, at face value.


The question that that person put to Ajahn Chah - I've seen similar questions put to a Hindu swami, and he, too, replied in a similarly harsh manner (moreover, this was also somewhere from the 1970-80's, so possibly a similar cultural background for those Westerners). But with some of those, I know the context - the question was asked by people who claimed to be said swami's students, but who behaved as if they weren't, asking him questions that they should have settled long before agreeing to be his students.

So what's a teacher supposed to do when he has people declaring allegiance to him, declaring respect for him, but effectively not being his students?
I don't want to presume too much, but if I were in the teacher's position, I might say something similar as Ajahn Chah did.
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Babadhari » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:55 am

while on retreat, someone asked Ajahn Chah, "Is it necessarily a barrier to be in a sexual relationship? Can one not view sex in terms of it being the dance of the sacred marriage? Couldn't it be noble and mystical?"




list of the 227 rules of conduct
The 92 pācittiyas
#68 Not to affirm that things such as sexual pleasures are not an obstacle to the development of ariyā stage or to jhāna realisations, nor to rebirth in the deva world, when the Buddha explains that these things are precisely an obstacle to those, and not to maintain erroneous views.


perhaps this is the reason Ajahn Chan acted as he did
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby binocular » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:21 pm

Yes ... It's not rare to find esp. Westerners sign up for things and then it turns out they don't really know what it is they signed up for ...
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby kmath » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:10 pm

kitztack wrote:

list of the 227 rules of conduct
The 92 pācittiyas
#68 Not to affirm that things such as sexual pleasures are not an obstacle to the development of ariyā stage or to jhāna realisations, nor to rebirth in the deva world, when the Buddha explains that these things are precisely an obstacle to those, and not to maintain erroneous views.


perhaps this is the reason Ajahn Chan acted as he did


:goodpost:

Well there you have it.
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby daverupa » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:23 pm

chownah wrote:Do you think that "romantic love" as used in the article means sex, or emotion, or both combined, or none of the above.


an fMRI study of romantic love wrote:...These and other results suggest that dopaminergic reward pathways contribute to the “general arousal” component of romantic love; romantic love is primarily a motivation system, rather than an emotion; this drive is distinct from the sex drive; romantic love changes across time; and romantic love shares biobehavioral similarities with mammalian attraction.


It's an interesting line to walk, but they are not the same.

If I dig around on wiki, I can read that the two parts of the brain which were mentioned in my earlier post,

Although the nucleus accumbens has traditionally been studied for its role in addiction, it plays an equal role in processing many rewards such as food and sex. The nucleus accumbens is selectively activated during the perception of pleasant, emotionally arousing pictures and during mental imagery of pleasant, emotional scenes.


& the olfactory tubucle (the other part of the ventral striatum) are involved in reward systems (see below). The important point, of course, is that the experience of pervasive compassion differs from visualizing the pain of others or otherwise taking it on.

Perhaps it is as you suggest, that an amorphous world idea is not conducive to empathy, but instead to this broad compassion. On the one hand, self- and other-awareness tend to develop together in infants because they both require a way of secondary representation in the mind, and empathy is probably a by-product of this (with potentially interesting consequences in terms of asmi-mana).

By way of contrast, we can consider the neural correlates of maternal and romantic love. I note with interest:

Romantic and maternal love are highly rewarding experiences. Both are linked to the perpetuation of the species and therefore have a closely linked biological function of crucial evolutionary importance. Yet almost nothing is known about their neural correlates in the human. We therefore used fMRI to measure brain activity in mothers while they viewed pictures of their own and of acquainted children, and of their best friend and of acquainted adults as additional controls.

The activity specific to maternal attachment was compared to that associated to romantic love described in our earlier study and to the distribution of attachment-mediating neurohormones established by other studies. Both types of attachment activated regions specific to each, as well as overlapping regions in the brain's reward system that coincide with areas rich in oxytocin and vasopressin receptors. Both deactivated a common set of regions associated with negative emotions, social judgment and ‘mentalizing’, that is, the assessment of other people's intentions and emotions.

We conclude that human attachment employs a push–pull mechanism that overcomes social distance by deactivating networks used for critical social assessment and negative emotions, while it bonds individuals through the involvement of the reward circuitry, explaining the power of love to motivate and exhilarate.


:thinking:

Probably there is some overlap, of course, especially around the reward circuits, but it may be worth emphasizing again that romantic love in terms of broad compassion is not necessarily paired with sexual/sensual pursuits, and furthermore that this sort of compassion is different than empathy.

(There may be something important to learn about the term anudayata, 'sympathy', which is one of the four ways to protect oneself by protecting others, and how this might relate to empathy. I think they are probably different in terms of how they motivate the individual, if nothing else, and this probably has consequences for one's bhavana; the bolded portion in the last quote, above, suggests the possibility that empathy and broad compassion may be opposed processes...)

:heart:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Mkoll » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:09 pm

So Freud was on to something after all...Though not in the perverse way that he imagined it.

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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Sanjay PS » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:35 am

Groaning , moaning , sighing , and yet singing the nuances of dhamma and abidhamma . If dhamma was so easy , all of us would have walked the talk by now :smile:

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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Mkoll » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:51 pm

Here are the first 10 suttas from Anguttara Nikaya. Take them as you will.

Bhikkhus, I do not see even one other form that so obsesses the mind of a man as the form of a woman. The form of a woman obsesses the mind of a man.

Bhikkhus, I do not see even one other sound that so obsesses the mind of a man as the sound of a woman. The sound of a woman obsesses the mind of a man.

Bhikkhus, I do not see even one other odor that so obsesses the mind of a man as the odor of a woman. The odor of a woman obsesses the mind of a man.

Bhikkhus, I do not see even one other taste that so obsesses the mind of a man as the taste of a woman. The taste of a woman obsesses the mind of a man.

Bhikkhus, I do not see even one other touch that so obsesses the mind of a man as the touch of a woman. The touch of a woman obsesses the mind of a man.

Bhikkhus, I do not even see one other form that so obsesses the mind of a woman as the form of a man. The form of a man obsesses the mind of a woman.

Bhikkhus, I do not even see one other sound that so obsesses the mind of a woman as the sound of a man. The sound of a man obsesses the mind of a woman.

Bhikkhus, I do not even see one other odor that so obsesses the mind of a woman as the odor of a man. The odor of a man obsesses the mind of a woman.

Bhikkhus, I do not even see one other taste that so obsesses the mind of a woman as the taste of a man. The taste of a man obsesses the mind of a woman.

Bhikkhus, I do not even see one other touch that so obsesses the mind of a woman as the touch of a man. The touch of a man obsesses the mind of a woman.

"Obsesses" could also be read as "overpowers" or "takes hold of" among others.

http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/angu ... 1-001.html
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