I had a lady-boy/boy rent bar in Thailand years ago…
The kids (young monks) used to tip out of the local Wat …temple…on ‘de-mob’ so to speak, and straight into my bar/club looking for work.
I was shocked…
“Why you shokky shokkky…”?
No diffelent…wat….bar…crub….all same same..
Wat …bum parass…club u, also bum parass..Thairand one BIG bum parass (Palace).
And for those of you who unfamiliar with Ingritsch as she is a sapoken (spoken) by Thai boy…
“What are you on about, you stupid foreign tit….! The temple is a bum-palace, no different to your club here, in fact no different to the whole f—-g country; (Thailand) which is one huge bum palace.!!”
The first in the Q, b/t/w, are the senior monks themselves…
No different to Father O’Clodgepiece here, is it.?
Have I a jaundiced view …?
You betcha sweet bippy..!
Seen too much for it to be any different.
Tell yer what…these senior monks in Thailand will have their work cut out goin’ down that road…after the usual ‘inspections of the younger clergy’, of course..!
All in the best posssssssible taste…of course!
Of course I cannot speak from experience on this subject like our friend Keith who will never cease to amaze me.
However, speaking as an amateur academic, allow me a rather lengthy quote from Prof. Louis Crompton:
‘…homosexuality in the Far East was never, as in ancient Rome, associated with slavery.
Buddhism was primarily concerned with propitiatory rites and ceremonies; its mythology fostered nationalism through the cult of divine emperors, but it had no special code of morals and seems to have regarded sex as a natural phenomena to be enjoyed with few inhibitions.
Early law codes penalized incest and bestiality but not homosexual relations.’
To me, this phenomena of monks in Thailand wearing make-up et al indicates that gays all over the world are taking the lead in transforming the world as we have known it.
This is the 21th century, men have landed on the moon, the Hubble telescope is delighting us with close-up shots of the four moons of Saturn, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. (Who can forget Yul Bryner and Deborah Kerr in ‘The King and I’?)
I am deliberately omitting the planetary mess the industrial revolution has brought about in the name of progress because frankly, it depresses me, although I do admire Al Gore and our own David Susuki, whose concerns have yet to mention that the whole thng is a punishment from gawd because of the ‘rampant activities of us sodomites’.
I know enough about transexuals to know that their main concern is to match their finger nail polish with the color of their lipstick. And you’ve got to admit that that shade of orange is absolutely delectable.
Let me preface my comment by disclosing that I am a gay Buddhist.
Buddhism has no prohibitions against homosexuality for the general population but has MANY specific restrictions (over 100) for monks and nuns. However, NONE of the restrictions are discriminatory based on the sexuality of the monastic. None of the restrictions apply just to gay monks and nuns. Monks and nuns can’t have sex whether they are gay or straight. Monks and nuns, gay or straight, aren’t supposed to adorn themselves in ANY way. They are prohibited from singing, dancing, listening to music, etc. None of these prohibitions apply exclusively to gay monastics.
Even the Buddha had to scold some His monks for “breaking the rules”. He told them that no one should put on the saffron robe who is unwilling or unable to live up to its standards. He said that it would be better to swallow a burning ember than to voluntarily and continually wear the saffron robe while knowingly breaking the precepts that one promises to abide by to become a monastic. A monastic can leave the monkhood/nunhood any time they want. I think these monks should do so and THEN live how they want.
Buddhist monks are cool and all that, but I’d still rather join the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. ~<3
Thank you for your tremendous insight.
I am a cradle christian and I shared four years of my life with a gay Buddhist. I went to temple and I especially enjoyed the bells and the chanting, but the chanting I loved the most was the one my lover did every morning when he opened his gohonzen (spelling?) and I could hear him chanting quietly from our bedroom as the sun came up. He said he was chanting a mantra to bring about world peace, and to me it sounded as if he was talking about the Golden Rule.
Meeting his Buddhist friends was also a priviledge, and listening to them speaking so peacefully and intelligently was really more than I deserved.
Frankly I didn’t know about the restrictions.
However, if you take a minute to re-read my last post(2), you will notice that I said that gays the world over are transforming our civilizations to fit the paradigms of the 21st century.
It is not too difficult to imagine that the world’s religions as we know them will have been transcended in a century or two and what will remain is the Golden Rule.
When I speak of transcendence, of course I mean learning and applying the techniques of meditation for which I respect Buddhism so, so much.
More brilliant minds than ours have understood that religions have reeked havock on our little blue planet long enough and that whatever humanitarian benefits given to us traditonally by religious organizations can be just as well done by secular organizations according to the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights.
This might sound like the twilight zone to you, but I do not mean any disrespect.
As for the monks breaking the rules, that is only the beginning of the new paradigms that we will be facing, whether we like it or not, and these gay Buddhist monks are not harming others.
One of my best mates is a lapsed gay buddhist. In the next life he wants to be fabulous!
Speaking as a Buddhist monk, I have only one question for our brothers in Thailand… don’t you have anything better to do with your time than go on a witchhunt? With the current state of the institutionalized Sangha throughout the world one would think there are more pressing matters to attend to.
Wow! Where did you come from? And welcome to the human race. I have been putting off listening to the Dalai Lama’s CD’s concerning global ethics. I will be listening to them very soon, and I will keep you in mind. Who knows, I may even learn the meaning of the word ‘Sangha’?
Jean-Paul, thank you for your kind and respectful response.
I would gently suggest that you consider investigating great teachers of the Dhamma from other paths of the Buddha Damma (Buddhism) besides Tibetan (Vajrayana Buddhism). Many westerners are only familiar with Tibetan Buddhism which is actually the smallest Buddhist “sect”. Many westerners also have many misperceptions about Buddhism based on their misunderstanding of Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama. For example many people believe that Buddhist believe that the Dalai Lama is the reincarnation of the Buddha. I’m not exactly sure if Tibetan Buddhist believe this or not (I kind of doubt it) but to the overwhelming majority of Buddhist the very concept is ludicrous since “Reincarnated Buddha” is an oxymoron. The whole point of attaining enlightenment or Buddhahood (as a Bodhisatva) is that you break the cycle of sansara and reincarnation.
Anyway, I don’t mean to preach and I certainly don’t mean to proselytize.
The point that I was trying to get to is to suggest that you check out other paths of Buddhism (like Therevada) for a greater understanding of the Dhamma (or life philosophy) that Lord Buddha rediscovered and taught.
An excellent resource is http://www.justbegood.net. Check it out!
Buddhism is amazingly scientific and contemporary.
I’d like to clarify something I wrote earlier. I fully support these men’s free expression of their sexuality and their gender expression but if they are expressing themselves in ways that violate their precepts as monastics they should leave the Sangha and live their lives as they wish as lay Buddhists. Again, NONE of the precepts single out homosexuality or gay monks. NO monk or nun is supposed to be concerned with or attached to their appearance. NO monk or nun is supposed to be flamboyant or adorned or loud or worldly. Nuns aren’t allowed to wear makeup so why would monks be allowed to?
The Buddha Himself made the rules and let’s not forget that the position should be, and in most cases is, voluntary. He said that if men or women were unwilling or unable to live up to the standards of the saffron robe then they shouldn’t wear it.
What an education you are sharing with me. Thank you so much.
As you know, a Roman Catholic Trappist monk named Thomas Merton was attending a conference with Buddhist monks in Bangkok when he was accidently electrocuted while taking a shower. His objective, which did not always suit his superiors, was to integrate the meditation techniques of Buddhism with those of Christian monasticism, which in my opinion pale by comparison. (I was a Trappist monk for 5 years).
I have taken note of the website you have suggested. I will check it out, but I must tell you that I am at a point in my life (I’m 64) where I have lost faith in institutionalized religions of any sort.
For example, the fact that there are so many paths in Buddhism implies to me that your religious institution has and/or is going through the same kind of brutal inner conflicts that have vitiated the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I feel too tired to tackle this kind of bewilderment, but I have been praticing hatha yoga for the last 39 years and I am primarily interested in continuing to experience the peace and tranquility of my inner core. That, I believe will never change, even in my old age when I will probably be able to do nothing more than my breathing exercises.
Finally, it is my understanding that Buddhist monasteries recruit new members when they are very young, 10-12 years old. Would that not imply that these children, who have not really made a voluntary choice, will get older (again not a voluntary choice) and their identities will manifest themselves when they become monks?
Frankly, are they really trained to participate in society when they become an embarrassement to those who take the standards of the saffron robe too literally?
In fact, as an ex-monk myself, I faced an incredible amount of discrimination when applying for a job in the secular world. Being a monk implies a certain amount of moral awareness, and in today’s world, an employee is most often expected to lie and cheat without batting an eye in order to make a profit. Employers shy away from the ‘good guys’.
Getting rid of monks who bend the rules does not seem to be a solution to me. We all have positive and negative in us, and I believe it is a mistake to demonize others while thinking we are pure.
Please do not be offended, I am only stating my opinion. Also, I am aware that as gays, we are inclined to demonize those who discriminate against us as a result of homophobia. This may never change, but I believe that as elders acquire gay wisdom, they will be in a position to teach the younger generations a thing or two.
Leaving you with this dream in mind, thank you again for taking the time to share your ideas with me, especially your explanation of re-incarnation.
? … :o) !
How refreshing and joyful to read the above comments from Zeke, Jean-Paul and others. Jean-Paul, I wrote something for you in the article titled ‘First Lesbian Poet Laureate.’