Monk’s Life

Monk's Life

The modern religious idea of a ‘Buddhist’ monk as a lifelong celibate is part of a later interpretation by the scholastic monks (not the meditators, who strongly objected to it). Everyone knows that the Buddha grew up in an atmosphere of sensual pleasure. And there is evidence that the Buddha had several love affairs, even after becoming a monk.

That said, anyone who is serious about meditation and the search for enlightenment is naturally going to drop everything that distracts from it—and that of course includes sex. People do so many unnecessary nonsense things motivated by the adolescent search for a mate. Tantra is a disciplined approach that dovetails very nicely with the spiritual life.

A neurotic, frustrated person will find it very difficult to attain the tranquillity required for deep meditation. The mind will be drawn to sensual pleasures again and again until one has fully experienced their core sexuality. Otherwise, repression of creative energy cripples originality and initiative. We observe those symptoms in many monastic and religious organizations that cling to tradition.

We cannot become free from desire by repression, nor by indulgence. A careful, disciplined approach is required. Tantric rituals must be seen as sacramental initiatory experiences. One must come to understand and realize the fundamental mechanism of desire, and that cannot happen by contemplation, only by experience.

One who attains even the first stage of enlightenment, stream-entry, is freed from the four kinds of clinging: clinging to sensuality, clinging to precepts and practices, clinging to views, and clinging to doctrines of self. (Mahā-nidāna Sutta) Clinging to dogmatic views, religious precepts and ritualistic practices is just as ignorant as clinging to sensual pleasures.

One should live mindfully, without a set plan, taking each moment as it comes. This is the holy life that the Buddha and other great sages praised—not the living death of static dogmas, repetitious religious rituals and rigid vows.


Published by

Dev Jacobsen

Musician, author and yogi, developer of Palingenics.

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