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« OUT Magazine Asks: Has MANHUNT Destroyed Gay Culture? | Main | $1.2 Million Grant to Support Pro-LGBT Faith Work »

August 26, 2008

Comments

Kittredge Cherry

P.S. After I originally posted this, I discovered that others are also blogging lately about Buddhism and homosexuality.

The Buddhist Blog does an excellent job of explaining Buddhist sexual ethics -- including the Dalai Lama’s less-than-enlightened statements on gay and lesbian sexuality. Don’t miss the great comments!

https://thebuddhistblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/buddhism-and-homosexuality.html

The Saint Sinner Shiksa blog offers a more personal account on “Is there something in particular that attracts homosexual women to Buddhism?”

https://sinnersaintshiksa.blogspot.com/2008/08/buddhist-pride.html

Thanks, Riverwolf, for introducing these blogs!

Mark

I'm a gay man and consider myself a fairly traditional Buddhist. I know a few gay Buddhists, and the priest I took the precepts from is openly gay and in a relationship. This is a complete non-issue in our tradition. Frankly, I don't feel that being gay makes me any more spiritual than anyone else. I have different experiences because of it, and they have shaped my point of view, but I'm not willing to lay claim to some kind of mystical "specialness" arising from my sexuality. I like the fact that I have been able to casually "out" myself to fellow Buddhists, have it be a total non-issue, and be able to go on about my business.

One thing I'll mention is that there are many different "denominations" within Buddhism, and they are all quite distinct from one another. This is especially so when comparing traditions across cultures - Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism are two very different animals, for instance.

While I have no illusions about Buddhism being a totally peaceful and tolerant past (or present, for that matter), no other path has come close to having the impact on me and my life that this one has.

Novice

Buddhists learn from the Four Noble Truths that human existence is subjected to constant uncontrollable changes - because everything is a result of millions of converging conditions. Life is unstable, insecure, and prone to unhappiness, pain and suffering as long as we have attachments and clinging to things and ideas, they are all impermanent, come and go.

Straights and gays are equally prone to dejection, disappointment, loss, pain and suffering due to their thirsts.

Since Buddhists value true happiness over transient sensual pleasures, such fleeting pleasures while real and enjoyable are consider inferior and should be abandoned with insight.

The monks and nuns vow to celibacy since they choose a vigorous life-style to de-couple from sensual cravings, while lay-followers will gradually reduce their thirst for sensual gratification.

Buddhists do not "suppress" the sensual desires, instead a peaceful and cool pleasure of meditative stillness is cultivated to replace and displace the old sensual desires gradually. At the early stages, socially sanctioned consensual sexual acts are not considered sinful, just less than desirable, like any form of addictive sensual cravings.

Thus Buddhists attitude towards GLBT should be tolerance, understanding and compassion, because until we are free from our own cravings and other unwholesome mental states, we are no better. We are equally prone to suffering although some people's addiction problems are stronger than others. And one day when we are successful in getting rid of the unwholesome thoughts, we will have even greater compassion to others still suffering from delusion, but not out of superiority but higher insight.

Torin

I am a Buddhist and a Gay man. In my tradition, the New Kadampa Tradition, begin gay is a non issue. I was the Administration Director for my Center in 2007 and my spouse of 13 years was and is accepted without question. I know of several Resident Teacher and Administration Directors that are Gay. There are also several gay monks and nuns in our tradition.

I would say one thing that makes Buddhist more tolerant, is our realization that we all suffer. Every Sentient being is separated from the things we enjoy and encounter things that we dislike. This is the nature of suffering. Since suffering is at the core of our existence, why would I want to create more suffering by attacking or viewing someone who is different as moral corrupt or evil (a sinner). Because I am a Buddhist does not make me special or "elect".

I am reminded of a prayer:

"Of this I am certain; Brahmans, Dogs, and Outcast are inseparably one."

Robben Wainer

I am a gay Buddhist, Recently I have been contemplating the Heart Sutra and what it means to follow a practice of mind, body, and spirit. As a homosexual I feel the physical and mental states we reach may differentiate from traditional heterosexual values. To say that there is no mind, body, or form only consciousness, and no old age or death, may be how many Lesbian and Gay people view themselves for the moment without any attachments to Earthly beginnings. My understanding of LGBT Buddhism teaches me that it may not be enough to include there is no gay or straight to a teaching like the Heart Sutra, We must also contemplate in a divine sense what it means to detatch from a homosexual mind, body and spirit, so that we may become reunited and acquainted with a more natural form of being. One that maybe more than inclusive or outspoken of an LGBT community, yet one that affirms and confirms a homosexual divination through out all of our relationships in the univere.

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