Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

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Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Sanjay PS » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:31 am

In 1979 in Barre, Massachusetts, during a question-and-answer session 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?" After Ajahn Chah had the question translated, he pondered for a moment and then started picking his nose in a very graphic and extended way. When everyone was rolling on the floor laughing and he was sure they definitely got the point, he pulled his finger out of his nose: "There's nothing more to it than that, except what the mind adds to it." Perhaps this story has been altered a bit in the telling, but it's still a good story.


http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha299.htm
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:53 am

Sanjay PS wrote:In 1979 in Barre, Massachusetts, during a question-and-answer session 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?" After Ajahn Chah had the question translated, he pondered for a moment and then started picking his nose in a very graphic and extended way. When everyone was rolling on the floor laughing and he was sure they definitely got the point, he pulled his finger out of his nose: "There's nothing more to it than that, except what the mind adds to it." Perhaps this story has been altered a bit in the telling, but it's still a good story.


http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha299.htm
Poor Ajahn Chah. It goes both ways as to what is and is not added to it.
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 Sanjay PS » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:05 pm

"There's nothing more to it than that, except what the mind adds to it. "

If we understand and accept this , we come to terms to our delusions , and gradually avoid reactionary habits to essentially what is our own clinging of imaginary likes and dislikes, we then think and make a middle path that is as per our convenience and living . Middle path is a middle path , objectivity looses its beam of focus , should the acceptance in the first place be denied .

Its like some one saying ; poor fellow , he is gone off his bonkers in thinking and understanding that life is a suffering .

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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby chownah » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:25 pm

Whether anything is noble or mystical seems like the domain on which a monk could be expected to give an informed answer but asking a monk about sex in general?......not surprising that sex would get aliased as nose picking......if Chah is correct then is there or should there be a vinaya rule against nose picking?

If Chah is correct then there will be a lot of surprised people when nine months after nose picking they give birth......unless of course they use a nose picking condom or other preventive measure.
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Sanjay PS » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:34 pm

chownah wrote:Whether anything is noble or mystical seems like the domain on which a monk could be expected to give an informed answer but asking a monk about sex in general?......not surprising that sex would get aliased as nose picking......if Chah is correct then is there or should there be a vinaya rule against nose picking?

If Chah is correct then there will be a lot of surprised people when nine months after nose picking they give birth......unless of course they use a nose picking condom or other preventive measure.
chownah


Why just a monk , any one knows that the body contains that what is disagreeable , its just the sensation that makes us blind in liking it . When the sensation is over , the matter is over , we are no longer as interested . Goes on to show that the body and its curves has little do with our liking , it is just a perception , strengthened from time immemorial .

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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby daverupa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:42 pm

"Dance of the sacred marriage" sounds like some sort of New Age shamanism; I am left wondering if 'noble and mystical' isn't just code for a given enjoyment of sensual pleasure.

Nobility means very different things, in the Dhamma, than even the most loving sexual embrace, and experiences of the numinous are just as impermanent as any other feeling, generally offering distracting vistas and little else.
    "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 binocular » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:18 pm

I find that many views of sex are biased in a particular way - because they are made and held by men (and sometimes, unquestioningly copied by women). And this bias is there regardless whether said views are held by monks, lays, or non-Buddhists.

On principle, women, primarily being the ones to have to deal with the potential consequences of sex, can see the whole thing quite differently ...
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Aloka » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:22 pm

Sanjay PS wrote: Couldn't it be noble and mystical?"


Sounds like romantic fantasy fiction rather than an exchange of body fluids.


.
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Sanjay PS » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:31 pm

daverupa wrote:"Dance of the sacred marriage" sounds like some sort of New Age shamanism; I am left wondering if 'noble and mystical' isn't just code for a given enjoyment of sensual pleasure.

Nobility means very different things, in the Dhamma, than even the most loving sexual embrace, and experiences of the numinous are just as impermanent as any other feeling, generally offering distracting vistas and little else.


Sorry Dave ! i couldn't but stop laughing heartily while reading the first sentence of your post . We go a at such great lengths of convincing ourselves in justifying our delusions .

:anjali:

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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Sanjay PS » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:39 pm

Aloka wrote:
Sanjay PS wrote: Couldn't it be noble and mystical?"


Sounds like romantic fantasy fiction rather than an exchange of body fluids.


.


Its always nice to go and feel deeper how the earth element solidifies like the setting of concrete when sensual indulgence arises in the mind . All that arises in the mind , arises along with sensations .

The english language got it dead right , when mentioning that " sense and sensibility can overcome our pride and prejudice ". Sense is the sensation , sensibility is the knowing of its impermanence and not clinging to it , thus peeling away the layers of our ignorance :smile:

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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Aloka » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:49 pm

Sanjay PS wrote:
Aloka wrote:
Sanjay PS wrote: Couldn't it be noble and mystical?"


Sounds like romantic fantasy fiction rather than an exchange of body fluids.


.


Its always nice to go and feel deeper how the earth element solidifies like the setting of concrete when sensual indulgence arises in the mind . All that arises in the mind , arises along with sensations .

The english language got it dead right , when mentioning that " sense and sensibility can overcome our pride and prejudice ". Sense is the sensation , sensibility is the knowing of its impermanence and not clinging to it , thus peeling away the layers of our ignorance :smile:

sanjay



I find it easier if I remember to just let go of concepts altogether.


:anjali:
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Sanjay PS » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:12 pm

sanjay



I find it easier if I remember to just let go of concepts altogether.


:anjali:


Sensations are the heart of the Buddhas teachings Aloka :smile:
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Aloka » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:42 pm

Sanjay PS wrote:Sensations are the heart of the Buddhas teachings Aloka



To me, emptiness is at the heart of the Buddha's teachings.

''Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya'' - nothing whatsoever should be clung to.


:anjali:
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:49 pm

Sanjay PS wrote:"There's nothing more to it than that, except what the mind adds to it."
While this may be not be without some degree of truth, that really does not answer the question, and the "answer" given to us by Ven Chah is what our good monk is bringing to it is what he added to it, which is a life long celibate monk's answer, which seems to be missing something.
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 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:22 pm

The story in the OP seems a bit decontextualized.
Perhaps Ajahn mocked the idea of "the dance of the sacred marriage" and "noble and mystical".

Perhaps if we'd collect all the instances in which he spoke about sex, we might get a wide variety of responses, from serious to mocking.
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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Sanjay PS » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:25 am

Aloka wrote:
Sanjay PS wrote:Sensations are the heart of the Buddhas teachings Aloka



To me, emptiness is at the heart of the Buddha's teachings.

''Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya'' - nothing whatsoever should be clung to.


:anjali:


Emptiness , hollowness , yes ; is that what all the Buddhas point out to , guiding us find the same within ourselves .Hence , what you said is true , but to understand , realize and dip in this truth , all the Buddhas stress the nature of change of sensations as the important point , in order to break the shackles of clinging to a self . Will post this subject as a new topic .

Sensation is not a concept, it is experienced here and now . Say for example if one has got mildly angry , or hatred arises , one can feel heat and tautness , surging through the body . The ears get heated up , the breath becomes hot , it is the truth , for buddhist , and for non-buddhist alike . What is there to say it is a concept . Its just but a change of cause and effect , like when 2 parts of hydrogen is added to 1 part of oxygen , the resultant combination gives rises to water . Similarly , when this happens in the mind , that happens as the sensation . Nothing buddhist ,or abstract about it . Universal truth , for one and all to practice and put to good use in daily life :smile:

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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Sanjay PS » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:54 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Sanjay PS wrote:"There's nothing more to it than that, except what the mind adds to it."
While this may be not be without some degree of truth, that really does not answer the question, and the "answer" given to us by Ven Chah is what our good monk is bringing to it is what he added to it, which is a life long celibate monk's answer, which seems to be missing something.



Hi Tilt ,

It can not be easily said that the Venerable One may have missed something in context to the question and the reply . i may be wrong , but i think it was a very straight forward answer , to what was a "honey quoted question" :smile:

All of us i think, understand and accept that intimacy is a deeply ingrained perception , and is one of the last fetters that gets eradicated . Similarly , it is easy to understand and accept that the co-habition is just a grotesque part of our nature , since the mind clings to that what is repulsive " when scattered " , a step more , and the mind is actually just clinging to the sensations caused , when the sensations pass away , the body fluids , the contents , and all loses its appeal :smile:

For a Monk or a Nun , yes , the sensual self-indulgence of this kind , goes against the very grain , since the path of Dhamma is to come out of subtle and gross craving of sensations , but even for us lay people , at least we can acknowledge it as a hindrance , without feeding the fire of aversion to this primordial contents of the mind.

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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:30 am

Sanjay PS wrote:,

It can not be easily said that the Venerable One may have missed something in context to the question and the reply . i may be wrong , but i think it was a very straight forward answer , to what was a "honey quoted question" :smile:

All of us i think, understand and accept that intimacy is a deeply ingrained perception , and is one of the last fetters that gets eradicated . Similarly , it is easy to understand and accept that the co-habition is just a grotesque part of our nature , since the mind clings to that what is repulsive " when scattered " , a step more , and the mind is actually just clinging to the sensations caused , when the sensations pass away , the body fluids , the contents , and all loses its appeal
Unclear here what you are saying. Please clarify.
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 Sanjay PS » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:06 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Sanjay PS wrote:,

It can not be easily said that the Venerable One may have missed something in context to the question and the reply . i may be wrong , but i think it was a very straight forward answer , to what was a "honey quoted question" :smile:

All of us i think, understand and accept that intimacy is a deeply ingrained perception , and is one of the last fetters that gets eradicated . Similarly , it is easy to understand and accept that the co-habition is just a grotesque part of our nature , since the mind clings to that what is repulsive " when scattered " , a step more , and the mind is actually just clinging to the sensations caused , when the sensations pass away , the body fluids , the contents , and all loses its appeal
Unclear here what you are saying. Please clarify.


Sorry Tilt . The quotes and unquotes may have taken perspectives out of context .

In a nut shell , what i mentioned was that Venerable Ajhan Chah gave a straight forward answer on a question of bed partners . Its not that he missed anything , he was addressing an audience who were wanting to be serious on the path of Dhamma , even though many may have been lay people , hence the forthrightness of the answer . People who do not want to understand and accept suffering , or are simply not interested , its a different matter , they would naturally not accept that sexual urges are but a limiting factor in understanding the truth of our suffering .

Its not that there should be an aversion towards what people do or what we may do in our private chambers , its just acknowledging , yes that its just about sensation that we keep looking to endure and catch , but it soon ends , and the object is no longer as desirable, as it first seemingly was :smile: For our two children , i have explained about good touch and bad touch , and they should always talk to us should this come up in their day to day living , once they are adults and married , there is no good touch , and no bad touch , it is just a natural part of being together , and then should we sincerely want to understand our life and its living , then any kind of a touch in a marriage has also no meaning . A couple can be far apart on the two edges of a bed , turned sideways, away from each other, with their head gently resting on their hand with their feet together , yet the night can be filled with the intimacy of content and good will , its a wonderful calm feeling of being satiated with the awareness of impermanence , with the metta that you and all the forum members give :smile: Thank you.


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Re: Intimacy and all that we perceive it as

Postby Aloka » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:35 am

Sanjay PS wrote:
Aloka wrote:
Sanjay PS wrote:Sensations are the heart of the Buddhas teachings Aloka



To me, emptiness is at the heart of the Buddha's teachings.

''Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya'' - nothing whatsoever should be clung to.


:anjali:


Emptiness , hollowness , yes ; is that what all the Buddhas point out to , guiding us find the same within ourselves .Hence , what you said is true , but to understand , realize and dip in this truth , all the Buddhas stress the nature of change of sensations as the important point , in order to break the shackles of clinging to a self . Will post this subject as a new topic .

Sensation is not a concept, it is experienced here and now . Say for example if one has got mildly angry , or hatred arises , one can feel heat and tautness , surging through the body . The ears get heated up , the breath becomes hot , it is the truth , for buddhist , and for non-buddhist alike . What is there to say it is a concept . Its just but a change of cause and effect , like when 2 parts of hydrogen is added to 1 part of oxygen , the resultant combination gives rises to water . Similarly , when this happens in the mind , that happens as the sensation . Nothing buddhist ,or abstract about it . Universal truth , for one and all to practice and put to good use in daily life :smile:

sanjay



I was not really seeking to engage with a lengthy commentary on my first post mentioning body fluids, which is why I said "I find it easier if I remember to just let go of concepts altogether."

In general, I don't think of my practice in terms of "all the Buddhas" because that is a Mahayana/Vajrayana concept.

Anyway, I have nothing more to say in this thread, so moving on now.....

Have a lovely day. :)
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