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Tung Lin Kok Yuen Public Lecture Series: Gender, Sexuality & Tibetan Buddhism

Tung Lin Kok Yuen Public Lecture Series: Gender, Sexuality & Tibetan Buddhism

February 27, 2009

7:30 pm

AA112, Arts & Administration Building Lecture Theatre

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The Tung Lin Kok Yuen Public Lecture Series presents “Gender, Sexuality and Tibetan Buddhism: How Sex is Used in the Spiritual Path,” a lecture by Buddhist Studies professor Jeffrey Hopkins of the University of Virginia.

Much of world culture views reason and sexual pleasure to be antithetical and relegates the pleasure of orgasm to a baser level of the personality incompatible with the true and the good. This has lent intellectual justification to exaggerated attempts by some males to assert control over the "baser" self (1) by identifying women and, by extension, homosexuals with these "base" passions and (2) by committing violent acts (including sex) against these lowly creatures in order to foster the self-delusion that sexual impulses are under their control. In Tibetan Buddhist systems, however, there are hints of a compatible relationship between reason and orgasmic bliss in that developed practitioners seek to utilize the blissful and powerful mind of orgasm to realize the truth and the all-good ground of consciousness. The suggestion is that the sense of bifurcation between reason and orgasmic bliss is the result of not appreciating the basic nature of mind.

Jeffrey Hopkins is Professor Emeritus of Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia, where he taught Tibetan Buddhist Studies and Tibetan language for 32 years starting in 1973. Hopkins is considered one of the most renowned Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Studies scholars of his generation.




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