Sex and Sacred
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« on: February 01, 2020, 04:29:55 am »

Hi,

a few years I wen't to Bodh Gaya in India. I am a Buddhist and Bodh Gaya is a sacred place for Buddhists. I met a guy there and he gave me a gift of a Mala, a string of prayer beads which had been kept in the hands of the Buddha statue in the temple overnight.

Later we had sex and he told me that I should take off the prayer beads whenever I have sex or go to the toilet because they are sacred. To me, as a Zen Buddhist, all of my experience is equal and I don't think there is anything polluting or not sacred about about having sex or even going to the toilet.

What do other religions think about this? For example if your are Christian and wear a crucifix, do you take it off when you have sex?

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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2020, 04:50:34 am »

I think it more often depends on the piety of the individual and how they understand the symbols/artifacts of their faith. I am a Christian who believes that sexuality, as part of the human experience, is an aspect of being "made on God's image" and a sacred activity, in its own right, whether it is casual or intertwined within a committed relationship. I mean there is a whole book in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) that is filled with sexual language. If I regularly wore a symbol of my faith, I would probably only take it off if there was a concern of it getting in the way or hurting someone. I don't, but that is how I would treat it.

That's not to say that this is a widespread sentiment, though I wouldn't know.
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2020, 04:49:41 pm »

Judaism is very focused on proper social behaviour. 

So, a symbol of our faith in the sense of something that would tell a person whether or not we are Jewish has no regulation banning it from the toilet or sex.  I would wear my kippa/yarmulka/that-thing-on-my-head pretty much anytime I'm awake.  I make an exception for walking down really windy streets where it could get blown off.  The same would apply to any symbol worn on a necklace or ring.

From what I've been told by Muslim women the similar rules apply to the hijab.  It wouldn't be worn in private or with your family.

WE have ritual garments, like the Sikhs, Mormons, Zoroastrians, and Hindus.  A Tallith (prayer shawl) and T'fillin require a special blessing to be said when they are first put on and only used for prayer.  They have to be removed when going to the washroom and as the conclusion of prayer.

Here's a picture of a young man of my ethnic background wearing the garments.
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/young-sephardic-jewish-man-tallit-tefillin-56352403
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