Beliefnet
Benedictions: The Pope in America

A story in today’s New York Times about a Buddhist couple–he’s a monk–who have vowed never to have sex, but also never to be more than 15 feet from each other:

“It forces you to deal with your own emotions so you can’t say, ‘I’ll take a break,’ ” said Mr. Roach, 55, who trained in the same Tibetan Buddhist tradition as the Dalai Lama. After becoming a monk in 1983, he trained on-and-off in a Buddhist monastery for 20 years, and is one of a handful of Westerners who has earned the title of geshe, the rough equivalent of a religious doctorate. “You are in each other’s faces 24 hours a day,” he said. “You must deal with your anger or your jealousy.” Ms. McNally said, “From a Buddhist perspective, it purifies your own mind.” Ms. McNally is 35 and uses the title of Lama, or teacher, an honor not traditionally bestowed on women by the Tibetan orders.

Okay, everyone jumps on Catholic notions and tales of purity and sex. But even Abelard and Heloise had the good sense to live in different convents. I have no problem with celibacy. A little solitude now and again is indispensible, however.

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