Comments on “The heart of sun and moon”

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Free Love

Dear Mr. David,

Hope this message finds you well and sane!

I'd pretty much appreciate your opinion on something, if you don't bother to help me:

After reading "Brave New World" from A. Huxley in my late childhood, I've been always interested in alternative models of relationship.

Tantra always seemed the right pick and it sure is. However, sometimes things get a little strange.

A friend of mine connected with so-called tantric therapies decided to start an "open relationship" with one of his colleague "tantric therapists". They were all doing fine until he made love to another "tantric therapist" and this one specifically turned the first official girl into a steamroller of jealousy.

Since our tradition has figures such as Drukpa Kunleg, I'd like to understand your view when it comes to free love, open relationships and orgies.

I said to my friend that, in my humble opinion, he only exercised his dualistic desire, still being a trap of biological and egocentric behavior, no matter how much cheat-chat he pulls on me about the generalized hypocrisy of society with its taboos and non-virtuous actions involving sex and relationships.

How do you see these topics on light of Tantra and Dzogchen?

Thanks already!!

Best for all!!!

Sexual norms and Vajrayana

Hmm. A full answer would be very complicated, so I can only give a simple one. Even it will be somewhat complicated, because there are several distinctions that have to be made first.

Contemporary Western sexual tantra doesn't have much to do with Buddhist tantra. Western sexual tantra is based mainly in Hindu tantra, plus various other sources. There's very little if any Buddhist material in it. Because Hindu and Buddhist tantra have shared roots, there are some similarities in view and practice, but those two have evolved separately for a thousand years. Plus Western sexual tantra is a pretty big step away from Hindu tantra.

Within Buddhist tantra, different schools, lineages, and teachers, in different times and places, have taken very different views of sexual norms. So there's no "Vajrayana sexual ethics" as such.

If you practice within a particular lineage, or with a particular teacher, then you can consult them.

The Aro gTér takes a strong position against any sort of non-monogamous sexual practice. This is not an ethical claim; it does not say that other lineages or teachers are wrong for having other views. It applies only to people committed to the specific lineage.

By this view...

Of course, I've no hope to exhaust the topic here and I'm aware of such distinctions.

However, one cannot say that there are no Vajra communities where a different tonic in sexual practice from the monogamous is employed.

Why the Aro gTer stresses monogamy?

I can imagine that it's not a case of ethics but of practicality: if one really has gentle concern for the other person, one wants to dive deeper and fuller into the relationship and this demands time and energy, so one is not expected to have a deep relationship if other partners keep intruding.

How could we understand the situation at hand by the eyes of Aro gTér?? Or better said, how would YOU evaluate such a situation??

I know this blog here is about the Aro gTér, but I couldn't find a more propitious topic on this issue at the Vividness blog.

Even though trying to live a different relationship model from Western society is something necessary, most of the time I see people trying, what they're actually doing is reinforcing attachment.

Monogamy

one cannot say that there are no Vajra communities where a different tonic in sexual practice from the monogamous is employed.

Yes, you are right.

Why the Aro gTer stresses monogamy?

I think this is discussed in Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon (but I'm not totally sure of that). It has to do with practices of view, relating to vajra romance, that are unique to the Aro gTér.

if one really has gentle concern for the other person, one wants to dive deeper and fuller into the relationship and this demands time and energy, so one is not expected to have a deep relationship if other partners keep intruding.

Yes, that's basically it.

Even though trying to live a different relationship model from Western society is something necessary, most of the time I see people trying, what they're actually doing is reinforcing attachment.

Well, from a tantric point of view, attachment isn't a bad thing. But if you changed the last word to "samsara," then yes, this is right.

On the other hand, the mainstream models of relationship also reinforce samsara much of the time. A main point of Sun and Moon is a way of being in romantic relationship that points toward non-dual awareness, and away from samsara.

What's the point?

Well, from a tantric point of view, attachment isn't a bad thing. But if you changed the last word to "samsara," then yes, this is right.

I tried to say this to my friend, but in a seemingly different approach: that his wife being jealous would be a good thing because it shows that he matters to her and that she wants to keep connected and further.

On the other hand, I see not much difference between samsara and attachment. Ngakpa Semge Dorje says that samsara doesn't exist. How to discriminate between attachment and samsara? I understand in Tantra is not a bad thing because there are no bad things in Tantra, only play.

Yes, that's basically it.

My friend said that I should change my view because having multiple partners in sex is not an energy waste, on the contrary, it is an energy intensifier, because "love produces love" (his words in bold).

Ok, sensation is very important. As Namkhai Norbu points out, if you're able to be present while doing sex, that's the best practice, but generally we fall in dualistic vision (as you pointed out).

Then I think that having multiple partners is really superficial.

Well, maybe I'm just jealous because I don't have enough guts (or am lazy) to try to live an open relationship and keep myself conforming to a monogamous-quasi-monastic-challenging parade... being proud of behaving properly and not having sex outside marriage, even when it means just plain fun.

I don't know, I'm kinda lost, and please, don't tell people to consult one's lineage – most of the Lamas are too busy to have this simple conversation and will be even more laconic and complex than you do, when they don't treat you like nothing. But I'll try to find a 1-800-CALL-LAMA-NOW on my area... I promise... ROLF

I see... Nebulosity... Ok. In the end, having a monogamic relationship (c'mon, this is completely Sutric, because "to stay with only one woman is to renounce – or cheat on – all others") or tossing a Saturnalia everyday are both just chasing rabbits, pure fantasies of one's mind. Or not?

Experimentation in different models of family may be needed for the continuation of our species. But this is not just founded on sex.

Monogamy can be damn joyful, too, and I don't think that the existence of so many people having problems with monogamy is a big issue in order to point it as a root cause of human suffering in general as my friend did.

Thank you so much for your kind patience, time and energy spent here with me!!

In return, my house and heart are open in case you want to venture yourself in a tropical jungle or wild beach.

Good Cummings!!!

complement

I forgot to mention that sometimes the distinction or confusion between attachment and samsara and that the kleshas "are not a bad thing" may sound overly simplistic.

That's what led me to write "What's the point?" as the other title.

Because sometimes, no matter if one is from OTO, AA, Nyingma, Bön, Rajneesh or any others, Tantra becomes a charte blanche for one to keep self-centered, still dualist ego indulgence.

Non-dual attachment

his wife being jealous would be a good thing because it shows that he matters to her and that she wants to keep connected

Yes, that is true. Of course, jealousy can also be hurtful and destructive.

difference between samsara and attachment

Attachment can be dualistic or non-dual. Attachment is a manifestation of the fire element energy, which can appear in dualized form as selfish lust, or in non-dual form as discriminating compassion. "Discriminating" means that your compassion is not "for all sentient beings" interchangeably, but that you have compassion for specific people and things for specific reasons. This is compatible with sexual desire and romantic attachment.

Spectrum of Ecstasy includes a chapter on the transformation of dualized to non-dual forms of fire element energy. Sun and Moon is about how this can happen in romantic/sexual relationships specifically.

having multiple partners in sex is not an energy waste, on the contrary, it is an energy intensifier, because "love produces love" (his words in bold).

Some people have the ability to do that without causing big emotional problems for other people. Drukpa Kunley is an example. Most people do not have this ability.

sometimes, Tantra becomes a carte blanche for one to keep self-centered, still dualist ego indulgence.

Right. The fact that your friend is causing big emotional problems for other people suggests he does not have the ability to maintain multiple relationships in a non-dual way.

Monogamy can be damn joyful, too,

Yes indeed. And, as far as I know, there is no extant lineage of Buddhist Tantra that prohibits or denigrates monogamy. Most do not *require* monogamy, but they aren't against it, either.

I don't think that the existence of so many people having problems with monogamy [makes it] a root cause of human suffering

No. Humans have problems with everything. That's what "samsara" means. People have problems with monogamy, with celibacy, with non-monogamy, with homosexuality, with heterosexuality, with asexuality, with kink, with vanilla, ...

Life is endless problems—unless it isn't.

Ngakpa Semge Dorje says that samsara doesn't exist

I don't know what context he said that in, so I can't really comment... But I expect this was expressing the view on samsara from the standpoint of non-duality. From the standpoint of non-duality, there are no problems, and no samsara.

From the standpoint of samsara, obviously there are problems. The view from samsara isn't incorrect; it's just unsatisfactory.

Care

Good! The perspective of sex as a means, not an end, is way more healthy than this approach of him. Well, he's not really condemning monogamy. He objects against the hypocrisy of most couples cheating on each other and hurting themselves in the process way up to divorce and children growing in unhealthy or even dangerous homes. Or, maybe worse, children growing in families that keep the appearances, but where the wife silently supports the husband having "dinner outside", so to say.

Anyways, no, he's not from any Vajra gate, but from a poor derivation of Osho stuff focused in sexual health. The founder is a nice guy that created a method using tantrik techniques especially with good effects on women's orgasm.

As he started talking about Tantra, I showed him some nice Vajra material from Namkhai Norbu & Bön stuff from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, but he himself is still now too focused on that sexual tiny detail of Tantra (he was abused by his older brother when a youngster, so he says this method cured his trauma, which i think its good but cannot be overvaluated).

What is sad is that this same friend of mine todays criticizes the institution saying that they focus too much on this sexual aspect of Tantra.

The thing that gets me very angry is that he criticizes his wife for: (A) not respecting their agreement of an open relationship pushing him with her jealousy; (B) not being happy for him and the other girl of their team because they had a great magickal moment in sex; (C) not having light, well solved feelings about this specific extra relationship he had, as she is a Tantrika and should not behave with so much possessiveness (something he sees as a poison that pollutes all romantic relationships).

Well, again, maybe I'm just rationalizing this and should set my sexual monster free (kiddin'...!).

Sorry to bother again, but could you elaborate a little more from the perspective of sexual activity and compassion??

There's a story from Kunga Legpa where he tries to copulate with an old lady that is his devout, but his dorje doesn't come up and he has to give her some more common transmission.

Thanks again for all this generosity of yours!!

Sexual activity and compassion

could you elaborate a little more from the perspective of sexual activity and compassion?

I'm not sure what you are looking for... presumably you have compassion for your wife, and also sexual activity with her, so there is no contradiction.

Unspeakable Thousand Dicks

Sorry, I'm unable to express what I'm feeling and would proceed rationalizing my envy of Drukpa Kunleg & my friend and mix it with my self-pity & self-hate for not indulging so much in sex or not being so skillful on such matters.

Maybe I was thinking about a world full of more generous people that gives good sex to those in need, but this is not as it is.

But I myself have never been generous to make sex or even kiss people I was not in the mood to.

I've just got the Heart & Sun book and will read it instead of taking your precious time anymore.

Maybe I can blossom a new mind to spread more happiness through my romance.

Thanks, buddy!

Forgiveness

Right. The fact that your friend is causing big emotional problems for other people suggests he does not have the ability to maintain multiple relationships in a non-dual way.

Just a little thing else, please.

I have been into her role too and in a certain way, am grateful for the men-eater gal that left me on despair (LOL – and there's a plus, she had been consort to a famous Lama I cannot obviously mention the name and at that same time my own lama was being accused of sexual advances – a hell out of a period in my life).

So, maybe those people that make us "suffer" in the sexual field are Herukas and Dakinis helping us face the empty reality of sex.

And then everything is pure as it is.

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