My name is Bill, and I’m recovering from sex and love addiction.
There. I said it. Continue reading
My name is Bill, and I’m recovering from sex and love addiction.
There. I said it. Continue reading →
I wrote this a couple of years ago. Given the current atmosphere of (in)tolerance that seems to pervade America, I thought it might be appropriate to link back to it.
I believe it is fine to debate religious ideas, within reason, but debate is always with the consent of both sides. It is not accomplished with bludgeons on unwilling participants. We need to understand that when people’s core beliefs are threatened, they become defensive and inflexible regardless of the content of those beliefs….
…Biologists and earth scientists agree that in the 20th century a sixth mass extinction began, and the only one to be caused by a particular species: us. Coral reefs are likely to be the first entire ecosystem to be eliminated from the Earth by human activity. A quarter of plant and animal species may vanish by 2050, an evolutionary crisis that is related to global climate breakdown but usually overshadowed by it. In essence, our present economic model is pushing all life on Earth towards tipping points for both biodiversity and the climate system.
This is quite possibly the biggest news for 65 million years, but it barely makes the mainstream news at all, because it raises taboo questions for the industrial growth society that we have come to take for granted…
GARRISON, N.Y. — Crosses still adorn one wall of this former Roman Catholic monastery, but a 6-foot golden Buddha now anchors the main room. The meditation hall, also used as a meeting space, is where the luminaries of Buddhism in the West recently gathered to debate.
The issue they were facing had been percolating for years on blogs, in Buddhist magazines and on the sidelines of spiritual retreats. It often played out as a clash of elders versus young people, the preservers of spiritual depth versus the alleged purveyors of “Buddhism-lite.” Organizers of the gathering wanted the finger-pointing to end. The future of American Buddhism was at stake, they said….
The controversy over a Thai Buddhist nun successfully petitioning an Indian court to gain control of a temple has raised broader questions surrounding the administration of temples overseas. It has also highlighted the ambiguous role nuns, or mae chi, face within the structure of Buddhism in Thailand.
This is really clever. Thanks, Pat.
If you have been around here much, you will have noted that lately my posts have dropped off dramatically. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in Digital Dharma, but rather a matter of time constraints.
For about a year I have been writing a blog for a chain of drug and alcohol detox facilities. I took on the job primarily because it was a unique way to facilitate the spread of information and hope regarding addiction and recovery. Over the past few months it has turned into a sort of full-time part-time position, and my duties have expanded to writing informational material that will eventually be placed in such a way as to reach most everyone who contacts any of the facilities.
This is far more reach than I had hoped for Continue reading →
A thoughtful, well-written article, by a man who earned the right to his opinion by confronting Texas “morality” at close range. How many of us have thought this carefully about the homicides committed in our names?
We now have another well-publicized suicide of a gay teenager.
It’s well-known in the mental health field that suicides come in clusters, especially in well-defined groups of teens. I imagine that we can expect to see more gay teens at risk — especially since they might see their “sacrifice” as advancing the cause of gay equality by bringing attention to discrimination.
They might well be right, and that might be a slight upside to the loss of these kids. Still, if you know a teen who might fit into this category, now would be a great time to show some compassion and support. We don’t need sacrifices, we need live people with a conscience. There aren’t enough.
I had a good friend who blew his brains out with his dad’s gun at age about 19, because he was gay, depressed, and got no support. I still miss him.
Today is the 163rd anniversary of the birth of Annie Besant, a principal in the Theosophist movement of the 19th Century and an influential campaigner for human rights and Indian self-rule. A remarkable women. Check her out.
“Anger is the feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind.” ~ Evan Esar
I would add, “and fear,” remembering that, when we dig into it deeply, most anger is fear-based.
Apart from their both being Buddhist teachers, one does not often think of Brad Warner and the Dalai Lama in the same context. Over the years, I’ve come to see that as a mistake. Warner and His Holiness have one major thing in common: no matter what they write about, at the end you’ve gotten a good education in basic Buddhist philosophy and practice. They give good Dharma.
One of the things that I find most charming about HHDL’s writings is the way he sticks with the basics. My understanding of practice is that it is about incorporating the Eightfold Path into my life. Many writers and teachers, even Zen teachers, get carried away with the details and seem to forget that Buddhism is about living, not about having scholarly discussions. Both Brad and His Holiness manage to make their teachings accessible — albeit in radically different ways — without getting bogged down in esoterica. I like that. A lot of my own practice has been about getting over myself and my IQ, and they both help me a lot when it comes to simplifying my thinking. Steve Hagen is another favorite for the same reason.
Sex, Sin and Zen* is not an attempt on Warner’s part to pontificate about what “good Buddhists” are supposed to believe with regard to the beast with two (or more) backs. What it really comes down to is a very personal exploration of Buddhist ethics and teachings as they seem to him to apply to situations that he has experienced, or heard, or been asked about. He doesn’t claim to have the answers — is, in fact, excruciatingly careful to make it clear that these are personal decisions — yet he provides a first-class framework to use in thinking about such issues as they apply to us. I mean, this book includes an entire chapter devoted to examining the practice of well-known porn star Nina Hartley, and how she incorporates Buddhism into her work and marriage. It would take a writer with a background in blogging for “Suicide Girls” to even dream of pulling that off — but Warner does, and we feel as though we learned something. (I felt a couple of shifts in my attitudes while reading it, and I consider myself about as sexually liberal as you can get.)
Of course the book is written in Brad’s eminently readable — albeit sometimes joltingly non-traditional — style:
We reflect on the effort that brought us this piece of ass
and consider how it comes to us.
We reflect on our virtue and practice, and whether
we are worthy of this piece of ass.
We consider sexual greed to be the obstacle to freedom of mind.
We consider this piece of ass to be good medicine to sustain our lives.
For the sake of attaining the Truth we now receive this piece of ass.
If you’re too goddamned horny to think straight, then perhaps the best way to avoid misusing sex is to log on to Suicide Girls, or whatever website you enjoy, masturbate furiously, be done with it, and then go out into the world more mellow, less sex-crazed, and less likely to misuse sex in a far more damaging way.
See what I mean?
Sex, Sin and Zen may shock you, it may leave you flabbergasted at the idea that an ordained priest of any religion would think it appropriate to write in the way that Warner habitually does. But you know what? You won’t be bored; you won’t feel you’ve wasted your time; and — unless you work hard** at avoiding it — it will give you a lot to think about.
*Available in your favorite bookstore this Labor Day weekend.
**Hee hee, I said, “hard.”
Disclaimer: the writer was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher.