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"For all its ecstatic nature,
for all its power, sex is just

another human drive. If we

avoid it just because it is

more difficult to integrate

than anger or fear,then we

are simply saying that when

the chips are down we

cannot follow our own

practice. "This is dishonest

a nd unhealthy." The Mind of

Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist

Ethics (1984), Robert Aiten
Roshi said (pp. 41-42)


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Origins of Buddhist Tantra

Vajrayana Buddhists say tantric practices were expounded by the historical Buddha. A king approached the Buddha and explained that his responsibilities did not allow him to abandon his people and become a monk. Yet in his privileged position he was surrounded by temptations and pleasures. How could he realize enlightenment? The Buddha responded by teaching the king tantric practices that would transform pleasures into transcendent realization.

Historians speculate that tantra was developed by Mahayana teachers in India very early in the first millennia CE, possibly as a way to reach those who weren't responding to teachings from the sutras. Wherever it came from, by the 7th century CE tantric Buddhism was fully systemized in northern India. This was significant to the development of Tibetan Buddhism. The first Buddhist teachers in Tibet, beginning in the 8th century with the arrival of Padmasambhava, were tantric teachers from northern India. By contrast, Buddhism reached China about the year 1. Mahayana Buddhist sects that emerged in China, such as Pure Land and Zen, also incorporate tantric practices, but these are not nearly as elaborate as in Tibetan

Sutra Versus Tantra

Vajrayana teachers compare what they call the gradual, causal or sutra path of Buddhism to the speedier tantra path. By "sutra" path, they mean following the Precepts, developing meditative concentration and studying sutras to develop seeds, or causes, of enlightenment. In this way enlightenment will be realized in the future. Tantra, on the other hand, is a means to bring this future result into the present moment by realizing oneself as an enlightened being.