“The Dalai Lama’s views on gay sex.”

Via
on May 28, 2012
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Dalai Lama has thrown his considerable moral weight behind gay marriage, condemning homophobia and saying sex was fine as long as it was consensual.”

The Dalai Lama’s views on gay sex: “If two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay.”

 

 

“If two people — a couple — really feel that way is more practical, more sort of satisfaction, both sides fully agree, then okay.”

We are all equally possessed of fundamental human goodness.

The tradition of Buddhism (I’m Buddhist, this is what I’ve been taught) is this:

“Always trust the principle one.” Meaning, trust your own judgment before any outside (theistic) wisdom.

“Do not follow what I say. Only do what I say if it meets your experience.” ~ Buddha

Dalai Lama: “If Buddhism and science conflict, we go with Science.”

I don’t have the exact quotes, but that’s the gist.

The Dalai Lama’s views on homosexuality.

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

In his discussions of the traditional Buddhist view on appropriate sexual behavior, he explains the concept of “right organ in the right object at the right time,” which historically has been interpreted as indicating that oral, manual and anal sex (both homosexual and heterosexual) are not appropriate in Buddhism or for Buddhists, yet he also says that in modern times all common, consensual sexual practices that do not cause harm to others are ethically acceptable and that society should not discriminate against gays and lesbians and should accept and respect them from a secular point of view.[75] In a 1994 interview with OUT Magazine, the Dalai Lama clarified his personal opinion on the matter by saying, “If someone comes to me and asks whether homosexuality is okay or not, I will ask ‘What is your companion’s opinion?’. If you both agree, then I think I would say, ‘If two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay.'”[76]

In his 1996 book Beyond Dogma, he described a traditional Buddhist definition of an appropriate sexual act as follows: “A sexual act is deemed proper when the couples use the organs intended for sexual intercourse and nothing else… Homosexuality, whether it is between men or between women, is not improper in itself. What is improper is the use of organs already defined as inappropriate for sexual contact.”[77]

He elaborated in 1997, explaining that the basis of that teaching was unknown to him and acknowledging that “some of the teachings may be specific to a particular cultural and historic context,” while clarifying the historical Buddhist position (in contrast with his personal opinion) by saying, “Buddhist sexual proscriptions ban homosexual activity and heterosexual sex through orifices other than the vagina, including masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand… From a Buddhist point of view, lesbian and gay sex is generally considered sexual misconduct”. Nonetheless, he reiterated, Buddhism calls for respect, compassion, and equal treatment for all, including homosexuals.[78]

[With thanks to Reddit for the heads up on this. Many of his public statements of tolerance go back to (at least) his 1994 interview with Out Magazine, so he is not late to the civil rights/tolerance cause]

Say these every morning:


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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

Comments

64 Responses to ““The Dalai Lama’s views on gay sex.””

  1. krista says:

    I grew up Catholic and seeking a 'different,' 'more enlightened' spiritual path I gravitated towards Buddhism. People seem to think that Buddhism is simply a spiritual way of being, but a few months into the teaching and practice I realized that Buddhism IS A RELIGION (which, yes, is obvious but somehow Buddhism in American culture is viewed separate from)- and the teachings had the same strictness, the same closed minded mentality as those taught in Catholic school- this article really exemplifies this….I steer clear of all organized religion now- I find my spirituality within and from there look out and find the beauty and joy and love I need to give life meaning.

  2. I am encouraged to hear that somethings are to be one way, while there are many ways available, and that while we can do certain things, they are not acceptable. I seek meaning from a culture that has sustained itself through time and space and a God that exits beyond it.

    Here we must discrimiante between a truth, that is like a beautiful color, each seperate, and distinct, however it is in finding THE TRUTH that we combine all colors and obtain no color; hence the way to the truth about LIGHT.

  3. …and yes we must respect all people, we are not God to JUDGE them.

  4. elephantjournal says:

    Pawo: What's the point of this article ?

    #
    elephantjournal.com What are you asking, exactly? Did you read the article? I guess the point is two things: 1) tolerance is a wise and compassionate thing and 2) if your religion "traditionally" advises doing something other than compassion and tolerance, change your religion.
    ~ Waylon.

  5. David Lewis says:

    I appreciate the DL's views, and his flexibility. However, when it comes to conflicts between Buddhist teachings and science, beware: my experience is that there is far more fraud, and less skepticism, in science than in Buddhadharma.

  6. guest says:

    Somehow I feel the Dalai Lama doesn't want to make a stance. so he tells everyone what they want to hear. very disappointing, he should know that he as a leader has the ability to change our rather bigoted society (societies) Not sure what all the hype around this man is, he doesn't seem to be any better than the pope. (at least the pope has an opinion, even if it sucks)

  7. JOsh says:

    "from a buddhist point of view"- notice the indefinite article. there's no single view, dalai lama is referencing i think gampopa who wrote close to a millenium ago, for a particular audience. at roughly the same time in japan, kobo daishi was being credited with bringing the art of male love to japan. a bit later we get records in letters of complaint by shingon monks that the richer rinzai zen monks were driving up the price of male prostitutes in kyoto. best not to oversimplify the issue i think.

  8. __MikeG__ says:

    It is still my belief that all religious leaders should make unequivocal stances on all moral issues. In my limited knowledge of the DL it does not appear to me that he did so on this particular issue. To me, he appeared to brush aside the issue with the call to for "respect, compassion, and equal treatment for all". Which, BTW, is still a fantastic sentiment. There is no way I can argue against a statement like that. I wish all people would emulate the DL in that.

  9. Jogan says:

    Okay, I only read the top comments so I don’t know if anyone else has said anything like I’m about to. Buddhism for monks and other people who are culturally exposed directly to the religion can have its affects, depending on local traditions and its historical background, same as any religion. Look at modern Christianity, there are so many different factions and beliefs and interpretations its mind-boggling. Tenzin Gyatso (The 14th Dalai Lama) was practically born and rasied in a monastery. Being chosen as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and being formally recognized as such when he was 15! Imagine you were raised in your local church and taught by the clergymen (I think that’s the right word for it) for the greater part of your life. Do you think someone with that much religion ground into his very core would throw out his beliefs just to please a minority? If he thought it was wrong he would have said so, and gave his reasoning as to why. Reason and understanding are practically the core of Buddhist teaching. They are taught not to let ignorance get in the way of what is actually happening. They are taught to see without anger, fear, and other emotions that will twist your view on life. He was not placating the homosexual community, hell he probably made more straight people angry than he would ever have made gay people by saying that. Why would someone as firm in his own beliefs as he was even give homosexuals as much ground as he did? Because he realized that times and circumstances change and what was appropriate in the past might not be now. If you don’t believe me read Beyond Religion. It’s a book he wrote on how Buddhist beliefs and gteachings can be useful in a sefcular context to achieve happiness in life

  10. Jogan says:

    Sorry, my kindle has problems with these kinds of text boxes.

    If you don’t believe me read Beyond Religion. It’s a book he wrote on how Buddhist beliefs and teachings can be useful, in a secular (as in non-religous or atheistic), to achieve happiness in life. I’m an atheist and this book helped me a great deal (being a teenager I tend to have a lot of unruly emotions and unrealistic views about things). And please don’t give me crap about being young, we don’t all watch Jersey Shore.

    I’m telling you, READ THE BOOK, it’s amazing if you take the time to understand what he’s saying. Hope I helped. (:

  11. There are thousands of sects of Buddhism from Zen to followers of the Dalai Lama. Shakyamuni expounded his highest teaching, the Lotus Sutra, in the last years of his life which teaches the enlightenment and equality of all humanity.

    After I tried practicing other forms of Buddhism and being a former Catholic, I wanted to find a philosophy that set me free from constraints and regulations.

    That is when someone introduced me to Nam myoho renge kyo (the Mystic Law of Cause and Effect through Sound and the Buddha’s teachings) and the SGI-USA.

    Chanting this creates inner peace, compassion, wisdom and courage to overcome any problem or obstacle in life. It creates true happiness from within.
    We believe in actual proof that chanting actually creates tangible change within our lives and unlocks limitless potential and our Buddha Nature.

    Many people forget that the Buddha is not a god like figure. He was an ordinary human who awakened to the truth of life.

    We have that same ability, just as we are.

    Check out: http://www.sgi-usa.org

    Thank you!

  12. […] mention the gays though. Sad […]

  13. Robert A. says:

    Lets not forget that the Dalai Lama's form of Buddhism is unique to Tibetans and does not, in any way, represent any official stance from a buddhist perspective. Tibetan Buddhism, in particular, if filled with many unique cultural traditions, ritual and folkways not found in any other form of Buddhism.

    The Buddha taught one thing and one thing only: suffering and the release from suffering. Many of these questions are inconsequential to the path of ending one's suffering and working towad enlightenment.

  14. anthony tran says:

    I believe Buddhism is a religion. however the strictness of it varies on how dedicated you are. there really no pressure. if you can handle to a certain amount of strictnesss you stop at whatever level your comfortable with. you just try your best. so really there is no strictness at all becuase you just do all you can. and about "the same closed minded mentality as those taught in Catholic school". if you study budhism well you know that it isn't close minded at all. its rather open to other ideas and thought process. as budhha said before he died he only taught a small fraction of what he knows, so always try to listen and learn new ideas and theories. throw away the rubbish and take the good. Buddha also taught us to never hold on to his word or anything for that matter. he even said I've said nothing in 48 years of teaching (obliviously a metaphor) . that why buddhism can be so adaptive because the whole point of buddhism is doing the right thing and becoming enlightened. Buddhism is so flexible and adaptive depending on environment I highly doubt its a close minded, strict religion. if it is, its not Buddhism that close minded, instead its the Buddhist practitioner that your getting your information from that close minded.

  15. Pratit Gurung says:

    To be precise, the goal of Buddhism is to find true happiness, to be enlightened and be free from 'Samsara'. Please, check wikipedia if you do not know what 'Samsara' means.The goal here is to be free from all samsaric desires, defilements and attachments…to shed what is not real and realize what is real…to realize the ultimate truth. Buddhists believe in the middle way. We neither support nor discourage or judge homosexuality.As long as the act is consensual, non violent and hurts anybody(including yourself;which is very very important!) in any way whatsoever, we do not judge or say our way is the highway. We believe in equality, respect and compassion and once again the main purpose of a Buddhist practitioner is to be free from Samsara and rescue others from Samsara if you are willing to do so as a Boddhisattwa.

  16. Kate says:

    I think the Dalai Lama knows the difference between his personal views but has ensured that they do not conflict with his overall message of tolerance. While his generation and culture are as a whole going to be less understanding and supportive of homosexuality, he is more concerned with finding peace and tolerance in the world than giving into his own personal aversions.

  17. mrchokeys says:

    I remain astounded that people are still obsessed with other people's sex lives. Unless one is invited to participate, or wishes to participate in the act, it should not be a matter of concern. Unsatisfied with their own obsession, they must ask a spiritual teacher (not a sexual research scientist) whether their own reaction is justified by doctrine, and supported by authority. It is such a profound, and convoluted viewpoint; a hall of mirrors – if it's not something that you would want to do, or believe should be done, than don't do it – leave it at that. Manifestations of consensual adult sexuality all have healthy and dysfunctional aspects, without regard to the gender or sexual orientation of those involved.

  18. Tanukisan says:

    The Dalai Lama is entitled to his views, but he does not speak for all Buddhists. Tibetan Buddhism is only one school; there are others in which sexual misconduct is seen only as sexual acts which do not involve mutual consent, which involve coercion, or which are between partners clearly unequal in terms of power relations. Essentially, those schools see the sexual act as mutually consensual and pleasurable, and ideally the ultimate expression of love between two people, regardless of gender. If the Dalai Lama thinks otherwise, then perhaps he still has some things to learn.

  19. Cristian Lang says:

    Tibetan Buddhism is… Five schools, not just one! As HH also accepted the Bon school as being Buddhist. How much more compassion does one want from the Dalai Lama? He even practices Dzogchen, which in his school (Gelugpa) had been seen as heresy by many… Look up Dzogchen, it is the peak of all Tibetan teachings, and was taught also in the previously non-Buddhist Bon school…

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