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San Diego, Ca
I am just a regular guy who is learning the importance of happiness through diet and exercise. I am in school for sociology and psychology, I do not have a formal degree in nutrition or fitness. I do all research on my own time through books, internet, friends, documentaries, and school. I believe in basics, and I want to clear through the smoke surrounding a lot of nutrition and fitness claims pushed to the public, and find the one's they try to hide.I also like to discuss other topics related to happiness.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Buddha Explains Fitness and Sex

I asked my Buddhist teacher what the viewpoint is by Buddhism on a focus on physical health an also intimate relationships. I have been having conflict on these issues with the views of the Buddha and concerned if I was at least stumbling down the right path. This is the amazing (delivered in a very Buddhist fashion of open ended thought) answer she gave me on the two issues. Made me feel a bit better.

ANSWER:

In view of Buddhism's nondualism, there is also no mind/body dualism. Hence they have a sound mind mind/sound body viewpoint. I notice at the temple that the monks and nuns are well-groomed and very neat--with few exceptions I have always seen them dressed in immaculate, pressed robes. They also are encouraged to be physically active (with exercises ranging from taiji to basketball). The historical Buddha realized that the self-denial of asceticism compromised his understanding of reality--the Middle Way!

As for relationships, the original plan seems to be a world of monks and nuns on the express lane to enlightenment. But gradually a recognition of lay practice evolved. Weddings are celebrated. So intimate relationships can have a very important role in grounding people and providing support. This means avoiding the 3 poisons of greed, anger and delusion as well as obsessive attachment. I believe this approach actually makes for the best possible relationship.

My understanding is that no activity is "forbidden"--all that matters is the motivation (wisdom and compassion).
I received this quote from a Thai Buddhist I met at a conference in Asia:

What money can buy:
       a bed, but not sleep;
       a computer, but not brains;
       food, but not appetite;
       finery, but not beauty;
       a house, but not a home;
       medicine, but not health;
       luxuries, but not culture;
       amusement, but not happiness;
       sex, but not love.

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