Lama Jigme Gyatso
CELIBACY: is it Beneficial or even Healthy?
Do you think it is necessary/ healthy
to live a celibate life?
It really depends upon whether or not
the celibacy is spontaneous
Approximately twenty-seven centuries ago
Lao Tzu taught
that the three treasures of the Tao
were: simplicity, patience, and compassion.
What did he mean by simplicity?
The antidote to scatteredness
is the mindfulness
that gives birth to centeredness.
And the antidote to the contrivance
of our controlling tendencies
is the mindfulness
that gives birth to spontaneity.
The team of centeredness and spontaneity
create the simplicity of the Taoist Sage
as well as the Tantric archetype of the Sky Dancer
or Da-ki-ni, if you prefer Sanskrit.
Five centuries elapsed
between the assassination of the Buddha
and the time when at last
the teachings attributed to Buddha
were at last written down.
We really don’t know
precisely what the Buddha taught.
But we do know of a test
with which to evaluate the trustworthiness of the writings
claiming to be the Buddha’s words.
It is a method that is deliciously pragmatic
and smacks of the scientific method
that would not be codified
until many centuries in the future.
A tale is told
that the Buddha explained
that the test of any teaching or its teacher
is NOT their popularity, prestige, wealth, beauty, nor age,
nor their credentials nor letters of recommendation,
nor even our evaluation of them
be it intellectual or intuitive.
No, the ONLY test of any teaching
are the results that they generate
when we apply them
as often as once every morning
as well as once every evening
and for as little
as seven consecutive days.
Although we don’t really know for certain
what the Buddha instructed…
we can see the results
of certain actions and practices
in our lives.
We know what it is like
to feel attached to a romantic partner
and many report that the attachment they feel for their children
is even ten times stronger.
Some have little attachment
and feel no need for children or spouse.
Some feel the desire for a life partner
some desire merely a lover,
and some are rather content with solitude.
In the Tibetan tradition
of the wild, mountain yogis.
Aging lamas were often advised
to accept a life partner
to act both as tantric partner
and personal assistant.
What is paramount
is to exercise the vulnerable mindfulness
that honestly observes
our needs and desires;
for we turn a deaf ear to them
at our peril.
Beware the tyranny of patriarchy
that seeks to tell people
who to love
and how to love.
For living life
in the shadow of should
is a quick path
to great neurosis.
Beware of Hindu tantra’s instructions
to chase orgasmic intensification
as well as Taoist tantra’s imperatives
to chase orgasmic sublimation
for both are contrivances
that can crush our hearts.
Better to bring centered spontaneity
into all actions:
both naked and clothed
and bring all experiences
into the Buddha’s path
of contemplation and meditation.
For by applying the same set of antidotes
to every experience both pleasurable and painful
the duality of dread and desire
is quickly overcome.
Some require solitude,
some require lovers,
some require sweethearts,
some require families.
Our worth is not determined by our needs
but by our ability and desire
to serve the common good.
So let us turn away
from the folly
of judging both self
Traversing centered-spontaneity’s path
of the dancing dakini
it is imperative that we neither flee our dreads
nor chase our desires
but flow in simplicity
for the Tibetan yogis insist
that the highest compassion
is spontaneous and uncontrived.
shouldn’t that apply
to our sensuality
and relationships as well?
Tonight’s guided meditations
could help cultivate
the centered spontaneity
of the archetypical sky dancer.
Let us conclude
with a simple
call to action
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