Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Dalai Lama: No Sex Please, We're Buddhists

I don't normally disagree with the Dalai Lama. He's a pretty smart fellow.

But I think I take exception with his recent pronouncement (below) on sex. Certainly, being too attached to sex is not healthy. But it is an important part of the human experience. And ol Buddha was nothing if not human, albeit a very enlightened one.

An excerpt from a recent news report:

The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader, on Friday said sex spelt fleeting satisfaction and trouble later, while chastity offered a better life
and "more freedom."

"Sexual pressure, sexual desire, actually I think is short period satisfaction and often,
that leads to more complication," the Dalai Lama told reporters in a Lagos hotel, speaking in English without a translator.

He said conjugal life caused "too much ups and downs.

"Naturally as a human being ... some kind of desire for sex comes, but then you use human intelligence to make comprehension that those couples always full of trouble. And in some cases there is suicide, murder cases," the Dalai Lama said.

He said the "consolation" in celibacy is that although "we miss something, but at the same time, compare whole life, it's better, more independence, more freedom."

I'm thinking maybe His Holiness needs a hot girlfriend or a loving wife or something. That might change his mind on the subject.

Remember, Mr. Lama, the whole "middle way" schtick? Not too much carnal pleasure and not too much asceticism either?


Anonymous said...

His Holiness is quite adept at speaking to the audience at hand. I suspect this was intended for Sangha or aspiring Sangha rather than for everyone, explaining why vows of chastity are taken.

I could be wrong, and often am. :)

Anonymous said...

Regardless of who HHDL was speaking to, the Buddha was celibate wasn't he? Most of the great Indian pundit such as Nagarjuna, Candrakirti, Aryeadeva were celibate too. So why are you so surprised by this, as celibacy plays a large role in the tradition. Just because you don't like this fact doesn't mean it isn't true.

Also, we practitioners must, at some point, transcend sex. Sure, we can't all do it at once but, the fact remain, if you are attached to experiencing the release of seminal fluid, you will not experience Buddhahood.

I, for one, will have to wait until my next life before trying ;)

Witkh13 said...

I think that denial leads to our dark side, whether it is denial of sex or anything else. I agree with the idea that overindulgence can lead to trouble as well. I feel that we are living this life to experience it, and to deny ourselves part of the experience of life is to deny life itself. I think that people should trust their own inner guidance over some book or some guru.

Anonymous said...

It's not realistic to expect laypeople to be chaste. But I think to chastity is necessary for enlightmenment. "Bodily desires are the greatest of evils". Desire and attachment is the cause of suffering. This is fundamental Buddhist philosophy. Sex and romantic love is egoistic attachment, let's be honest here. Acceptable for laypeople but the serious bhodisattva would be obliged to avoid them.

Anonymous said...


The message is not about denial.
Emotions flow and we can do little to change this.
What we can control is how we react to feelings and emotions.
Controlling your response to anger as an example would likely not be considered "denial".

Liam said...

I am only just researching the idea of living a Buddisht life as I currently crave some form of spiritual awareness and understanding.

But so far I have come to the conclusion that he is only speaking of those that are following The Eight and The Ten Precepts - "Those who make the attempt are those who wish to experience the disciplined life of renunciation lived by member of the Order." (

But people who are living by only the five precepts are fine to have sex as long as it is not termed as 'Sexual Misconduct'. I think that just basically means that both parties consent and you have to intention to bring physical or mental harm to that person.

That is just my way of seeing it anyway. =]