Making Their Own Limits in Spiritual Partnership

Making Their Own Limits in Spiritual Partnership May 18, 2008

Some of the ongoing issues in the transmission and adaptation of Buddhism to the West and to the postmodern world are love, intimacy, sexuality and their relationship to dharma practice. I am familiar with Geshe Michael Roach through his very useful book on karma and emptiness, The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Strategies for Managing your Business and Your Life. Thanks to E for recommending a recent NY Times article about Geshe Michael Roach and his spiritual partner, Christie McNally.

After reading the article and the longer interview sited below, I find myself inspired and wondering. Roach and McNally live together in a yurt, vowing never to be more than fifteen feet from each other. They view their relationship as celibate and yet they also report that they practice high-level tantra.

On the one hand, it is refreshing to find a couple who create a dharma reality together and stick to it regardless of the contemporary boundaries that divide spirituality and love. On the other, I find myself wondering (based on my own experience), how much intoxication is going on here?

Other questions include, how can we enter a tradition without selectively using elements of that tradition to justify our self-clinging? What should be kept private (to the extent that privacy is still possible) and what should be shared publicly?

Check it out:

And for a much more detail, see the following interview of Geshe Roach and Lama McNally:

"Ah, whoops! and thank you. That's been fixed."

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