“you might see a person who you think is very attractive and beautiful; if you contemplate that his or her body is a rancid skin bag put together by many causes and conditions and that it is merely an unclean bundle of flesh and bones, then naturally the mind will be rid of its lust”
Marriage is an institution that reflects the values of the society that supports it. If the people of a society no longer believe that it is important to be married, then there is no reason why they cannot change the institution of marriage. Marriage is a custom. Customs can always be changed. We can find the same core point in this question as we have in others — the ultimate truth of the matter is that individuals can and should decide for themselves what is right. As long as they are not violating others or breaking the laws of the society in which they are living, then they are free to do what they believe is right. It is not for me or anyone else to tell them that they must get married if they want to live together. That is their choice and their choice alone.
The same analysis can be applied to homosexuality. People often ask me what I think about homosexuality. They wonder, is it right, is it wrong? The answer is, it is neither right nor wrong. It is just something that people do. If people are not harming each other, their private lives are their own business; we should be tolerant of them and not reject them.
However, it will still take some time for the world to fully accept homosexuality. All of us must learn to tolerate the behavior of others. Just as we hope to expand our minds to include all of the universe, so we should also seek to expand our minds to include all of the many forms of human behavior.
Tolerance is a form of generosity and it is a form of wisdom. There is nothing anywhere in the Dharma that should ever lead anyone to become intolerant. Our goal as Buddhists is to learn to accept all kinds of people and to help all kinds of people discover the wisdom of the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Be Here Now by Ram Dass, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas, The Harvard Psychedelic Club by Don Lattin, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, Grist for the Mill by Ram Dass, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, High Priest by Timothy Leary, Being Good by Hsing Yun, Think on These Things by Krishnamurti, Rebel Buddha by Dzogchen Ponlop, The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – The Diary of Frida Kahlo, The Diaries of Anaïs Nin, Another e.e. cummings, The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman, I Wrote This For You by pleasefindthis, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, 1984 by George Orwell, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda, No one belongs here more than you. by Miranda July… That’s probably a good start. (:
Any book recommendations? Trying to read something different.
Spiritual/Self Help: -Be Here Now by Ram Dass -The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas -Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse -1325 Buddhist Ways to Be Happy by Barbara Ann Kipfer -Rebel Buddha by Dzogchen Ponlop -Opening the Lotus by Sandy Boucher -Being Good by Hsing Yun -The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle -A New Earth by Eckart Tolle -Towards the One by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan -The Book of Chakra Healing by Liz Simpson -Living on the Earth by Alicia Bay Laurel -Being of the Sun by Ramon Sender & Alicia Bay Laurel
Good reads: -A book of e.e. cummings’ Poetry -The Dairy of Anaïs Nin (any of them!) -As Often As Miracles by Clementine von Radics -The Giver by Lois Lowry -Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer -The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman -The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran -Net of Being by Alex Grey -On The Road by Jack Kerouac -The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
And I just ordered these so I can’t tell you whether or not they’re good, but I’m excited for them: -Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton -This Book Will change Your Life by Ben Carey -Off Track Planet’s Guide for the Young, Sexy, and Broke -The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images -How To Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter and Self-Preservation Anywhere by Bradford Angier -The Self Sufficient-ish Bible: An Ego-living Guide for the 21st Century by Andy Hamilton -This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men And Women