Friday, February 24, 2006

Polyamory

Is there a Buddhist perspective on this? Me and my lady friend are sort of doing it. Well, more she is, I'm happy with just her honestly. But I was wondering, does it represent non-attachment or just being greedy or? All thoughts appreciated.

11 Comments:

At February 24, 2006, Blogger K'vitsh said...

I'm just about the least qualified to write anything on this, but no one else has jumped in yet, so why not?

As long as all parties are in agreement and want to do it, whatever floats your boat, I guess.

I wonder though, how into it all parties really are. I always wonder if one is just doing it to keep the other happy.

It's not something that I would feel good about being involved in.

None of which is a Buddhist perspective.

I would wonder if it would be against sex that misleads someone, referring to my earlier comment.

 
At February 24, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

I think Thich Nhat Hanh once commented on this, comparing it to eating and painting at the same time, or something like that. Neither is honored to the extent it deserves, and the result is dissatisfaction with both activities.

 
At February 24, 2006, Blogger karen said...

I don't really know if this would work for me. If my husband wanted to have a fling or two, I'd just as soon not know about it. I think that everyone gets their head turned once in a while and sometimes things just happen. If you can be discrete, I think after being married for 30 years, that is how to look at it. As a lifestyle, no, I don't really think it would work out. I'm too jealous. Buddhist or not, it just wouldn't sit well with me. On the other hand I have a list of "big names" people like Eric Clapton, that I have told my husband, I would have to declare temporary insanity, and go with them if they every gave me the eye. I have given him my express permission to do the same if there is anyone out there that he feels strongly about. That being said, since this will never happen, it's not a threat to either one of us.

 
At February 24, 2006, Blogger endofthedream said...

When Suzuki Roshi, one the big boys of zen, was asked what the proper attitude towards sexual relations should be, he replied:

"Ah, SEX.........BIG problem!"

(Pregnant pause.)

"NO SEX.........BIG problem!"


The question seems to stem from confusing sex, infatuation ("romance") and genuine intimacy.

When you inquire about the "Buddhist" perspective, which "Buddhist" perspective are you speaking of? Tibetian? Indian? Chinese? Japanese? Each culture infused the Buddha's teachings with its own "flavor" and thus there is "one" Buddhism. And then, within each culture, different masters interpreted the teachings in their own, idiosyncratic ways. You can probably find some justification for this lifestyle in some "Buddhist" writings.

I would rather question this desire: seeking support from some "outside" authority (Buddhist or otherwise) on what is "right behavior." Instead of being a "sheeple" blindly walking like a lemming, folloing da others, why not stand on your own two feet and determine what is so for YOU and your partner? For one particular bodymind mechanism, such behavior might indicated greed or attachment. For another, it might signify an openness and lack of grasping. I think we each need to discover these things for ourselves, not basing our beliefs on what others have said. Look closely at your self, in both thought and non-thought, to determine what works for you, regardless of what "Buddhism" says.

 
At February 25, 2006, Blogger DA said...

Well, considering I have a pretty long history of arguing with Buddhists (especially Brad and hsi fans here) and am not myself a Buddhist, I suppose you COULD say I'm just looking for advice, not for authority.

But thank you for talking down to me, it's always a pleasure being condescended :-)

 
At February 25, 2006, Blogger K'vitsh said...

Talked down to? How?

 
At February 26, 2006, Blogger endofthedream said...

K'vitsh ~

I think "da" was referring to some of my comments ("Instead of being a "sheeple" blindly walking like a lemming, folloing da others, why not stand on your own two feet and determine what is so for YOU and your partner?").

And they were ill-spoken.

And mean-spirited.

I'm not denying or retracting the content of what I wrote. I am acknowledging, however, that the manner in which it was communicated was...insensitive.

I apologize to DA and the group at large.

 
At February 27, 2006, Blogger DB said...

I don't know about a Buddhist perspective, but there's one good book on the subject I'd recommend: "The Ethical Slut." Sorry, can't remember the author, but search on Amazon or B&N and you should see it.

From personal experience, I'd add that polyamorous relationships are VERY difficult to sustain. It's hard enough to find two people who can live together. Finding three is close to impossible, though the dynamics of such a relationship can teach you a lot about yourself, not all of it flattering. Good luck.

 
At February 27, 2006, Blogger DA said...

eotd: no harm, no foul. I appreciate the apology though.

Memory serves, I've actually been just as impolite to Jules, Brad, Ryunin, and probably others :-)

"though the dynamics of such a relationship can teach you a lot about yourself, not all of it flattering."

So Polyamory is kinda like Zazen!

 
At February 27, 2006, Blogger aumeye said...

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At February 27, 2006, Blogger aumeye said...

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