Sex Scandals And A Buddhist Nun


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Some would argue that the purpose of religion and philosophy is to curb man’s baser instincts. So do they have anything useful to say about today’s ongoing sex abuse scandals? My friend the groupie who became a Buddhist nun provides a useful insight.

The world’s religious and spiritual traditions acknowledge the powerful, sometimes overwhelming, biological drives for food, for territory, for status and power, and for sex. We see these same instincts at work throughout the animal kingdom.

Spiritual traditions recognise these biological drives and suggest strategies to manage and contain them.

Monks, nuns and priests of all religions take vows of celibacy.

More extreme, in Christianity there are flagellants who whip their own bodies. There are some Shiite Muslims who also self-flagellate. And Hinduism too has yogis who perform various weird acts of bizarre self-harm.

All of these dramatic strategies are attempts to contain the instincts of the flesh.

Samuel Johnson, our great eighteenth century essayist and also a committed Christian, realistically commented on all this:

‘Mortification is not virtuous in itself, nor has any other use, but that it disengages us from the allurements of sense.’ [The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia]

But it is not realistic, is it, to envision the Houses of Parliament or Hollywood studios as places inhabited by nuns and monks, who authentically practice, abstinence, self-restraint and mortification of the flesh? (Is this what Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey are pretending to do when they go for residential therapy?)

Many years ago I had a good friend who was a 1960s Swinging London groupie into sex, drugs and rock and roll. She then disappeared out of my life for a few years. When she reappeared a decade later she had transformed and become a Buddhist nun. By the time I met her she had kept to her vows, including celibacy, for seven years. She was authentic.

Obviously there was a question that I was dying to ask her.

'What'. I asked her, 'have you done with your libido, with your animal instincts?'

She smiled and responded that she had followed the counsel of her Abbess who gave her very simple advice:

Notice the arousal, but do not wallow in it.

Notice the instinct, but give it no energy.

Notice and move swiftly on.

This is useful advice for all of us, isn’t it, when we are aroused and might behave in a dishonourable, inappropriate or bullying way.

Notice the arousal.

Give it no energy.

And move swiftly on.

You can comment on this piece here.

William Bloom is Britain’s leading author and educator in the mind-body-spirit field with over thirty years of practical experience, research and teaching in modern spirituality. He is founder and co-director of The Foundation for Holistic Spirituality and the Spiritual Companions project.

See also:
Want To Prevent Sexual Harassment And Assault? Start By Teaching Kids
An Energy Healing Strategy for Victims of Rape and Sexual Abuse

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February 22, 2018

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February 2018

Spend a cozy winter weekend with colleagues diving into the rich material contained within the Dàodéjīng. While each class builds upon the material covered in the previous...

Cost: $325

Where:
Roots and Wings Yoga and Healing Arts
317 North Main Street
Natick, MA  01760
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Great readings at a great rate - only $20 for 15 minutes. Join us for a great day with lots of specials too! Our web site is not currently able to take registrations for the psychic fair. Please...

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Circles of Wisdom
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Join us for an afternoon of messages from your loved ones on the other side. As an empath and a healer, I am able to connect with random loved ones on the other side and connect them with the right...

Cost: $30 in advance/$35 day of show

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Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church
9 Ayer Road
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Harvard, MA  01451
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February 18 - 23, 2018 With Rev. Michelle Renee Pelletier, founding director of the Center for Psychic Healing, Harwich, MA.

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Calistoga Spa Hot Springs
Calistoga, CA


Sponsor: Center for Psychic Healing
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Are you curious about yoga but don't know where to begin? The Intro to Yoga Series is a great place to start your practice. This series will provide a safe, non-competitive and welcoming...

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YogaLife Institute
6 Chestnut St, Suite A
Exeter, NH  03833
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Chelmsford Wellness Center
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Westford, MA  01886
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A guided tour in discovering, confirming and verifying your personality, behaviors and habits. A three part series at the Waltham Public Library Monday, February 5 7:15PM Monday, February 12...

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February 20 - 22, 2017 Three day training including new techniques for advanced Reiki training, Reiki master training, and Holy Fire II upgrade. Includes discussion, demonstrations, practice...

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Experience the power of singing gospel music with more than 250 others as part of the Mystic Chorale, led by award-winning director and composer, Jonathan Singleton. Join Mystic as we prepare...

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Come by anytime during open shopping hours! Friday, February 23: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, February 24: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, February 25: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm We are very...

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Circles of Wisdom
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6 Week Series with Sherri Snyder-Roche Start your year with greater awareness. In Kundalini Yoga, we harness the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the...

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Uxbridge, MA  01569
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Come by anytime during open shopping hours! Friday, February 23: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, February 24: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, February 25: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm We are very...

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Circles of Wisdom
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Andover, MA  01810
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Romy Valdez There are few instruments like the Gong that can heal us through its purification properties of sound vibrations. In this energy field, the beginnings of removing all blocks can...

Cost: $30 early bird ($35 at the door)

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Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
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