Monday, December 29, 2008

Lama, marriage, and teaching peace to the community

Many Western Buddhist students are confused about the freedom of Lamaism's student/teacher relationship. They bring their Judeo-Christian concerns about sexuality to the environment of Lamaism and become judgmental and fearful. Their misconceptions are also prompted by Buddhist traditions from Southeast Asia that hold celibacy in supreme regard. Southeast Asian monks and nuns are forbidden to have sexual relations even in their imagination.

The chaste Buddhist monk has been stereotyped to a degree Buddhist traditions to the contrary are mistakenly viewed as corrupt and exploitive. Western Buddhist students and non Buddhist onlookers disconcert with ideas of chastity and violation in ways that serve no one as well as diminish the idea that love can be a powerful vehicle of teaching in some Buddhist settings.

In Lamaism a student and teacher falling in love is not only acceptable but serves as a working example of the interpersonal blended with the spiritual at the most intimate level.

Here is a wonderful example of how a loving relationship between teacher and student can serve an entire community:

Lama teaches path to peace, happiness - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "By the time Grossmann decided to finish her doctorate, she and Lama had fallen in love. They got married and moved to Pittsburgh after Grossmann landed a post-doctoral research position at Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Engineering and Public Policy." Watch the video.

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