37 replies to this topic
Posted 2009-11-23 09:29:41
So, you've created a shrine for Buddha, placing a statuette on an elevated space above the dresser. But (according to your Thai partner) it is crucial that 'Buddha' (=the image) doesn't
watch you doing things that adults of different genders sometimes do..
Now, do you really have to rearrange all furniture, putting the wardrobe in front of the image, or are there other ways to eliminate the chance that 'Buddha' can watch you doing 'the dirty'?
Posted 2009-11-23 10:17:51
Buddhism is somewhat unique in that it is not a religion per se and thus has no rules. There is really no "crucial" in the Dharma teachings. But for many, since Buddha is seen as a teacher worthy of respect, it is inappropriate to have sex in front of his image, just as I would imagine one would not have sex in front of one's priest, minister or rabbi. Everything is done according to the practitioner's own beliefs so if one holds the teachings (not the Buddha image) in high regard, one reinforces that internally by not doing things he or she may feel would be disrespectful.
Posted 2009-11-23 11:07:58
Good idea, but impractical.
Problem is, that the image has to be in that particular place, but it shouldn't 'watch nighttime activities'.. BTW, is this a Buddhist, or a Thai thing??
Edited by 7, 2009-11-23 11:19:46.
Posted 2009-11-23 11:14:27
Good point, Yamantaka. I'm a converted Buddhist myself, and I don't have a problem with that, as I just presume, that the image, which is well above and away from the bed, won't care or even pay attention to what is going on on the other side of the room. But for my partner it is a big problem. And therefore for me too, as I don't want to move the wardrobe to a 'weird' place close to the door, as I really like the current furniture arrangement..
Posted 2009-11-23 11:57:11
The statue is plastic or metal. "It" isn't 'watching.' Nor does 'it' eat the food offerings.
Posted 2009-11-23 12:54:29
Well, explaining this to a Thai, will, more often than not, result in an angry reaction, not dissimilar to the one of a three-year old..
Posted 2009-11-23 13:22:30
.... a sane view of the reality of this philosophy is all about in it's very essence and NOT what people
read into it!
Don't believe the BS!
Think yourself and use common sense!
If nobody ever would have sex and abstained from it, abstained from seeing beauty in the genders,
where would the monks coming from?
is imho the same as with this Mary and the the immaculate Conception stuff!
It can't watch, if it is not alive, an image is an image, an image is an image, an image.......is like this cross thing...
is like a very, very conservative, repressed view of something very natural - as having sex, being naked,
this is pre-victorian thinking, no good and certainly no useful in either way!
For a monk there are rules, for a layman there are rules, but aren't the general rules already enough?
Did this help anybody for the past 2550 (or so) years?
This is the sort of stuff why the Taliban have blown up the ancient Buddhas statues at Bamian!
Where the Shador, Burqua and all this stuff set's in - middle aged rural dwelling laws!
Posted 2009-11-23 13:32:00
The function of a Buddha image is to remind us to be mindful, but that isn't something you really need in the bedroom. Better to have the Buddha image in another room. Obviously, your partner feels very uncomfortable about this, feeling that the image is sacred and that ideally one refrains from sensual pleasure. The problem here is how your partner feels rather than how the Buddha image feels. No amount of logical argument will change that.
Posted 2009-11-23 13:41:46
The function of a Buddha image is to remind us to be mindful, but that isn't something you really need in the bedroom. Better to have the Buddha image in another room. Obviously, your partner feels very uncomfortable about this, feeling that the image is sacred and that ideally one refrains from sensual pleasure. The problem here is how your partner feels rather than how the Buddha image feels.
Excerpt from post above:
No amount of logical argument will change that.
...till then I will not rest trying to change that....!
Cause if the same people still go to the temple, worship a stone, bronce, or any other image, place a green or red Fanta, serve food and make donations to monks for the ONLY purpose of having a better life or this or that, a more dedicated lover, husband or the right lottery numbers - I will not rest and simply "accept" this - for me it's is the base of all ignorance, of distorting the meaning of what this man, the "Buddha" has been trying to teach, to give to the people... it's has nothing to do with middle aged chastity and all these weird other remnants from animism and worshiping ghosts and spirits!
Nor I will ever accept monks who support this BS!
Same as with all other man made images of ANY god or deity, they are simple sculptures, images....
"it can't be named, thought, touched or in any other form be represented - it's beyond this!"
Absolute Reality or universal substrate it is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and ultimately indescribable in human language.
in that sense camerata is right, it's a statue of a teacher, which one may pay respect and yes to remind one of being mindful - for me this is an immense contradiction!
But well.... it's the world as we perceive it, as we make it, as we are conditioned to...
Or would anyone in his/her right mind worship a garden gnome of some sort?
It's a statue as the other one, we fall into the trap of thinking, are lost in believing it has a higher meaning, it doesn't!
Edited by Samuian, 2009-11-23 13:53:31.
Posted 2009-11-23 13:50:18
I wonder how many of our Buddhist members have actually had sex in front of a Buddha image and felt totally comfortable about it? I don't even have one in my bedroom.
On the other hand, a couple of weeks ago I was groped by a Thai gay guy in a Chiang Mai temple in front of an enormous Buddha image. He obviously didn't feel uncomfortable about it.
Posted 2009-11-23 13:57:46
interesting. My last GF is a very devout Buddhist. She had a shrine at the head of her bed. It was never a problem for her.
Posted 2009-11-23 16:09:01
I think it's missing the point, it's neither the statuette,
nor sex or having sex in front of a statuette and feeling comfortable about it,
neither of someones sexual ambitions in front of one such statuette!
It's how one sees it... it a reminder at best, it can't see it can't be hurt and that what this supposed to represent for some - can't be soiled, destroyed or in ant other way degraded!
Everyone who has a problem with this - is conditioned and stuck there somewhere!
As I wrote who in his good mind would worship a garden gnome because the looks of it are so "austere"?
So why then worship a statuette?, No matter what or whom it supposed to represent!
Posted 2009-11-23 16:46:10
I've never had any issues performing natural functions in front of a Buddha statue.
Having said that, do you think Buddha statues have their place with those who are at the beginning of their journey?
Those very much still anchored in the ego & who initially turn to the Dhamma for selfish reasons might find power & motivation in symbols.
Eventually their practice will take a hold & the true nature of the stature will begin to become apparent.
Naturally those anchored in superstition with no inclination to study & practice actual Dhamma will remain attached to their life long beliefs.
Posted 2009-11-23 16:55:20
Say no. I gave in too turning the bed around so as feet were not pointing, but when the next request would have meant putting furniture in front of the window, I said no. I told her not to worry and that the statue would be asleep too. It worked.
Posted 2009-11-23 21:06:59
Posted 2009-11-24 07:27:56
Some time ago when a Buddhist partner of mine went abroad for a lengthy period, I promised him to put flowers on his Buddha image- not for the image, but his peace of mind.
None of my temporary 'flings' seems to object to the few small Buddhist images I still have being on top of the bedroom bookcase now that I live alone again.
On the other hand, I slept with a former bf in a house full of antiques including many large Buddha images and it made him distinctly uneasy.
Posted 2009-11-24 09:31:12
Here,here... however, the image is NOT an object of worship (although Thai reaction would be the one you profer - but that's because they don't really understand Buddhism - or if they do its an infantile one - I generalise there are exceptions).
The image IS, however, a catalyst for internal recognition of our state and as such should be treated with respect.
Posted 2009-11-25 00:59:58
ours is also up over the bed, therefore, over our heads (bed on floor, buddha up on shelf a bit over my and husband's head level- along with various amulets we've accumulated, braided stings and waist band amulets from MIL a place for candles and some silk flowers.) .
it definately doesnt cramp his (our) style in bed. and sometimes husband ligths candles (no incesne in bedroom or we cant breathe and the lit candles make me paranoid when we go to sleep with wind blowing on them, but thats an other story) and wei pah.
sometimes i join him. we do that sometimes after both of us are showered so hubby usually uses a towel as his cover up, and i do with t shirt and pa sin or towel wrapped. two seconds after , we are both in naked action so its the exact moment of giving respect that we are dressed more or less, while facing the buddha statue over the bed.
i think he would feel uncomfortable with the shelf being opposite us. ist kind of like some people have a cross with jesus in the bedroom, not every one feels comfortable with that; or some jewish religious dont feel comfortable with a photo of various important rabbis, or even photo of your kids or mom in the bedroom 'watching' you. its not because of the picture or the statue itself, its because of the thoughts or symbols behind it.
many thai seem to place there buddha shelf over the bed, at least most of the workers here do, because there is not much room any where else. havent seen that it bothers them.
perhaps your girlfriend is shy and modest about her self and the statue watching connotates things that she feels uncomfortable with. like a girl peeing in a stall next to a guy. its like a personal modesty, even if she wonders around the apartment naked, or wears skimpy clothes. ask her if u can place it over your and her heads over the bed.
Posted 2009-11-25 08:15:56
This would be highly offensive to Buddhists and Thais particularly - it is what He represents - not the metal or wood figure. I guess if there is NO choice a corner in the room away from the bed would be best - sounds like you have your Buddha there for 'fun' not serious engagement with the Buddist teaching - intent is everything.
Posted 2009-11-27 00:26:42
chaing mai fun:
my husband was a monk for a year , he is issaan thai, and trust me, defiantely not buddhist for fun. he would have stayed a monk if his mother had not asked him to come go to work to support family. he spent the last five months after khao pansa as a forest monk.
his first cousin is a highly respected monk in his muubaan, and an other friend is still a monk.
the shelf over the bedi was in several houses that ive been too around udon thani, nong khai, korat and ban chiang... (obvously i wasnt in the beds with someone under these shelves, but in the bed (told not to touch the amulets hanging on the sides of the shelves as they belonged to male cousins/brothers of those folks i was visiting) as a guest of the people of the house.
and teh budha in my sister in laws house is in the middle of the room (a one room shack divided by a wardrobe) facing the bedroom (actually just a bed , no room for anything else)where sis in law sleeps with husband; the children all sleep in a mattress on the floor ont he other side of the wardrobe, and pick up the mattress in the morning before school. the buddha statue hasnt been cleaned in a while, and over looks the bedroom since that is where there was room (and a cement 'sao' post) to stick a small piece of wood for the budhha statue to sit on.
and hubby checked various places in our room before deciding that over our heads (still higher then us when we stand up since bed is on floor) is better and more appropriate then facing us. it cant be in the salon since i have 3 children one of whom is slightly more religious jewish and it made him feel unfomfortable as it did make some of my more religious jewish friends. since i live in a country where religious sensibility and sensitivity is complex, we decided that bedrrom was better then salon. our house is quite small and there was no where to set up a shelf high enough and accessible to be used as a place for wei'ing pah/contemplation when needed. we found that people would also pick up or handle things on the shelf which bothered anon. therefore the bedroom.
u would be surprised how flexible practicle and accomodating thais can be in their personal lives to avoid confrontation and ugly scenes.
Posted 2009-11-27 06:33:13
I made the point Bina due to the way you phrased 'doesn't cramp our style in bed' - and having lived in a temple does not make you a Buddhist, by the way, and amulets are not a sign of devote practice but superstition. The larger point is that, generally (unless living in one room), it is not thought good to place a Buddha in the bedroomwhere sex takes places because of respect for what the image portrays (not the metal itself of course). peace.
Posted 2009-11-27 08:43:23
The bottom line is that if a Buddha image is making someone feel uncomfortable, for whatever reason, then it isn't serving it's purpose. Better to not have one in your house at all.
Posted 2009-11-27 22:19:59
thats one way of putting it. then a mojority of thai arent really buddhists? even if they were monks, or not? just because they dont follow specific rules that someone outside of their culture uses to decide if someone is something or not? (touche, since i live in a country that still has the question 'who is a jew' as a serious debate question over and over again, but we'll skip that...)
as for living in a temple, then i suppose most male thai arent really buddhists? as most drink, smoke and carry on? yet a majority of the guys when i speak to them are very aware of their 'failings' and as far as statues of buddha go, well they all 100 % treat with respect, even though many have them over their beds with their filipina mia nois in the bed with them
and i would say that hubby is far from superstitious. his mother is of course, even very animistic as is his hunter father; but he himself, having got a good education from the monks he was with, lost the superstitious stuff that goes with it. therefore, he feels it is less a problem to have the statue over the bed. what he says is that it is more important the intent, rather then the action.... (remember the two monks with the young girl carried over the puddle- metaphor?)
which means it is better to put the statue in a comfortable place to u within cultural propriety (high over everyone's heads, not in the bathroom) then to follow the exact 'rule', but not be mindful in every day life.
so back to the OP; let your girlfriend decide what she wants since its more important to her than u.. AFAIcan see...
Posted 2009-11-28 07:56:05
Yes... it's true... living in a temple or wearing the 'orange' robe does not make one Budddhist - or the not wearing of one or not living in a temple. In Thai tradition it is normal for boys to undergo a period of temple life - it is a very good practice but doesn't make them Buddhist. What is a Buddhist? a very good question... but not for this thread. It would be like saying all Farang are Christian - and my arguement is the same - so I'm not picking on 'Buddhists' - and as for mixing Animism and Hinduism into the mix - that's a very interesting debate but not for this thread...
by the way... the intention OF the action is crucial - but do not be lulled into believing the action is not important! that would be a very big mistake and a misunderstanding of Buddhism - so you may not have understood, with all due respect, your hubby on that one as I'm sure he meant something slightly different - probably that the action IS important (obviously) but that the INTENT of WHY you undertook it is important (i.e. killing a dog - was it in pain? for instance... justifying the action). Om Shanti