Posted by David on December 14, 1998 at 06:51:33:
In Reply to: A question of morality (and a personal problem) posted by Alejandra on December 14, 1998 at 05:01:41:
That is a beautiful post. And it seems that you have many of the right ideas in your heart already. But like all of us, there is also confusion.
I am no "guru," but I will offer you what I have been taught and what I have learned through my own practice.
Regarding the relationship issue. If it would cause your grandparents grief, maybe it is not necessary for them to know. If it would lead them to distance you, not trust you, or to see you as a source with no credit, then when you offer them the compassion and wisdom that you have or will develop, they will not listen. To keep a strong and positive relationship with others allows you to help them in the future. Honest may mean to speak the truth when one must speak. But one is not abliged to speak always. If you feel you have to be so frank about it, it may be that you are looking for confirmation from yourself or others about what you do - which may show some inherent doubt within yourself about your profession, your approach, or understanding (a doubt which you voiced openly already). As for your parents, if they know, they know. But just as you need your own time and space right now to figure out what it means and what the consequnces (postive or negative) are to be an escort, they to need this time and space. To give yourself and others time and space to work things out within is to give yourself and others a freedom and ease that most people do not get from others. Sometimes time and space is a great gift.
Your questions on sexual misconduct and the benefits or harm you may cause through your work I can only investigate with you. What are your options to keep food on the table and a roof over your head? Also, remember that the precepts are only for training. The question is, what do they train? They train the mind to let go of craving, craving being the root of so much suffering. Sexual craving is of course very strong, and can cause a lot of suffering in one's own mind as well as to others if one cannot control their own craving. Does your profession increase or decrease the craving within yourself or others? Likewise, your question about where will they go if not to you is very valid. But if you work for an agency, then if you are not there, there must be co-workers who will take the clients and thus the client will not need to resort to rape or to taking advantage of someone non-professional in your absence.
Because of your profession you are not evil or wrong, but you must look into yourself and see if it is the best expression of wisdom and compassion that you, within your own set of circumstances, can be doing right now for yourself and others. Will you regret it later? Do you regert it now? Whether yes or no, it is imprtant to be very clear and very thorough about it. We can only give to others as much peace, clarity, and love as we have within and for ourselves.
Maybe, as long as you feel you are going to remain an escort, you can at least find ways to use it also for the benefit of others as best as it can be used for such. Maybe you can use subtle and kind-hearted expedients to lead the men who come to you to no longer need to come to you (or other escorts either). Thus, helping them put down craving and at least stop threatening the trust of their spouses, etc. It's not so good for business, but it may have greater consequences. :)
I do not know if you have a teacher or how much you study the Buddhist Sutras or Suttas or teachings (it is clear that you do somewhat) but if there is a good Master or teacher in your area, it would be good to practice with others, as well as to study the Sutras or Suttas, or other teachings of late or contemporary Masters as much as possible. Meditation is also a key! Even if you must experiment on your own until you find a teacher, there are many good books on methods of Buddhist meditation.
I hope this rambling has helped maybe a little. I would very much like to read your other post, but will have to do that later tonight.
Best wishes to you Alejandra,
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