Dogen Sangha Blog


Japanese / German

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Regulating Sexual Desire

I have heard from my student that in USA, several Buddhist leaders laugh at Ven Brad Warner's Buddhism as porno Buddhism, looking at his blog called "hard core zen". Therefore I looked at his blog recently, but it was only a picture, in which a tall stylish woman, who is wearing her swimming suits, appears to a swimming pool to jump into the water.

Therefore looking at such a very common picture, I noticed that those Buddhist Masters in US haven't been successful yet in regulating their sexual desire. Because I noticed that those very sincere Buddhist Masters haven't known the method of regulating sexual desire, which Master Dogen describes in the chapter of Shobogenzo, which entitled "Kuge, or Flowers in Space" (43) yet.

The Chinese word Kuge means Flowers in Space, and the words suggests simbolical expression of interectual consideration, or sensitive perception. In other words Kuge means what we think in our brain, or what we perceive through our sense organs. So it is possible for us to think that Kuge is simbolical expression of intellectual thoughts or sensitive perception, which are not real entities at all, but at the same time they are very convenient methods to grasp the Universe as if it were some kinds of thoughts or sense stimuli in our human civilization.

Master Dogen explained his philosophical ideas in chapter "kuge," and near the end of chapter he descibes an excellent method to regulate our sexual desire actually.

Master Dogen quoted a Chinese poem, which was composed by a Chinese man called Cho Setsu, who was a mandarin in the Chinese Government. The poem says;

Brightness is serenely illuminating the whole sands-of-ganges world.

All souls, common and sacred, are my family.

When not one image appears the total body manifests itself.

If the six sense organs are slightly moved [the mind] is covered with clouds.

By eliminating disturbances we redouble the disease.

To approach the Truth intentioally is also wrong.

In following worldly circumstances there are no hindrance.

Nirvana, and living-and-dying, are just flowers in space.

And the most important point in regulating sexual desire is in the 5th line of the poem, that is, "By eliminating disturbances we redouble the disease. " And for this line Master Dogen added his own comments. "We have not been free of disease hitherto; we have had the Buddhas bug and the patriarch bug. Intellectual excluding now adds to the disease and augments the disease. The very moment itself of eliminating is inevitably disturbance. They are simultaneous and are beyond simultaneousness. Disturbance always include the fact of [trying to] eliminate them."

Reading these lines of "Kuge" in Japanese when I was very young, I was much surprised by the excellency of Buddhist philosophy, which has pierced through almost all so excellent philosophies and religions in the world by indicating the ultimate Truth of the Universe so clearly.


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