Zen is really weird. It has no Ten Commandments, should, shouldn’t or rules about conduct which are set in stone. It’s precepts suggest that deliberately doing harm will have certain, long term effects. If you don’t want that–then modify your behavior and really ask yourself why you do what you do.
Seems like you could have no belief system behind you and think that, right? Zen agrees completely. They just think all this sitting still and wearing black helps you get there.
When it comes to sex–they have the same tone. It’s as if, for some reason, they don’t think it’s such a big deal.
Buddhism does not come from Abraham based traditions like Judaism,Islam or Christianity which have laws which govern and sort by that which is good or bad. Breaking the rules, violating religious law will result in sometimes severe punishment. Violating sexual rules can get you killed in some places and a movie deal in others..but either way it’s a big deal and discussed early and often.
In Buddhism making a choice results in a long term effect, making one that’s harmful will harm you. You punish yourself. You decide. That’s it. They have nothing more or at least not much more to say about anything you do including sex.
Here are some questions I’ve been asked and while I’m new to this, here’s what I’ve got so far:
Do Zen Buddhist priests, monks and practitioners have sex?
There is a belief that all natural and normal human behaviors are teachers and sex is included in that.
Does Zen allow for gay priests, practitioners, monks and others?
Zen does not appear to have an opinion on this. In our Center there is at least one gay priest..maybe more.
The only thing ever discussed in Zen practice so far as I can tell in terms of sex is that your intentions be beneficial for better long term results and health. If you just want to have sex with someone because it pleases you and you don’t care what happens to that other person, the people in your life or if the time and place are appropriate–well that’s your choice but expect a big fat whamy of Karma coming your way. And Karma is a fast moving train once it’s coming it cannot be stopped. So that’s intense enough to get me thinking more clearly.
Here’s another scenario: If it’s all fine and dandy, you don’t have an intention that’s loving but it’s also not careless or harmful..well that’s neutral. Nothing comes of it.
If you’re loving and clear and have gone to great measures to inquire about your own intentions..expect that to work out really well. Don’t get attached to outcome, don’t be clingy, jealous or obsessive about it. If that does happen notice and correct. That’s it. This is what I’m looking for. There have been some very lovely people come through here and I’ve been attracted but that’s not really enough to go on by this standard. I can wait, actually forever, rather than bring on bad sex Karma. Haven’t we all had enough of that hassle?
That’s how this practical thinking turns your head around.
Once again Zen doesn’t appear to bring any odd customs, criticisms,fascinations or rules to the subject. It’s just open minded and practical.
Now how am I ever going to get any traction from that? We want steamy, forbidden, good, bad and judgmental sex so we can distract ourselves from life’s more real concerns. We want there to at least be some strict and punishing practices so we can talk about how kinky it all is…but they’ve shown up empty again. “Realty is boundless, I vow to perceive it..” They won’t budge off reality. And in truth, really, loving kind actions whether in the context of sex or anything else yields greater results. That’s about it.
Zen, if you boil it down, says only…do as you choose..but choose wisely.
We want it to be more complicated so we can have wiggle room in the rules and insert our ego mind into it and brag about how we either follow the rules or don’t or how we skirted the consequences. Zen just gives all that a knowing smile.
So go ahead; have sex and be nice about it and responsible. No worries. They’re so secular and modern about it all.
Urghh..such buzz killers.