tiltbillings wrote:The tolerance shown by Western Buddhists toward gays and lesbians is a breath of fresh air, definitely, compared with how things had been in the past. On the other hand, in this day and age its a "slippery slope" (pardon the pun) between healthy sexual habits (actions) and potentially unhealthy ones, imo.
Much of sex is play, unless one is uptight and unimaginative. Unless you want the grim missionary style, man always on top with no variation and side trips, as the only true god-given way to do the ins-and-outs, there is always going to be variations in that play, some of which some of us might find a bit odd, weird, strange, and distasteful, but Higgins makes an interesting point with his referencing Salon Kitty's rules, and Will Robinson, if he follows Salon Kitty's rules has little to worry about.
The view you present is representative of our generation, definitely. Freedom, creativity, imagination, variety is what we value. Unfortunately, based on discussions I had with friends while back home this summer (for our high school reunion) i have to disagree that there is "little to worry about." A sizable portion of my graduating class appeared to be struggling with either sexual, food and/or alcohol issues. It all started innocently enough for most, but over time the problems (and habits) seem to have grown...
Salted food is salted food. What you have described is kinda like saying cigarettes are "safe" or Hagan Daz won't make you fat in the long run, imo... There's a cumulative effect with habits like these, when the acts and/or attitudes are continued over time...
And you quote this from the ascetic side: For example, I remember a Westerner coming to see Ajahn Chah once and saying that he was sexually active but without being attached to the sex. Ajahn Chah completely ridiculed the statement as an impossibility, saying something like "Bah! that's like saying there can be salt which isn't salty!" Ajahn Chah taught all who came to him, monastic and lay, that sexual desire is KILESA (defilement of the mind), it is a hindrance to success in meditation and an obstruction to Enlightenment. He taught that sexual activity should be abandoned if one wants to end suffering. He would never speak in praise of sex. He would only speak in praise of letting go.
Ajahn Chah was right to ridicule such a silly claim, but there is a more tempered, more skillful, approach than what is presented here.
More tempered, more skillful then the approach of Ajahn Chah? Please explain.