One of the things that struck me when looking at the rules for monks and nuns, is their strictness concerning sexual activity and I have been reflecting on the reason for this.
One reason that I have heard is this: if you engage in sexual intercourse you cannot develop deep meditation, so it’s either one or the other.
This reasoning seems to make sense, however for example in the following video the monk speaks of his experience as a student: one week he was having sex with his girlfriend, and the week afterwards he had a very deep meditation (which led him to the conclusion that meditation, for him, is better than sex).
So it seems that it is possible to have sex, and a week later a very deep meditation. This led me to think that the reason for the rules might be another one. Could it be that the rules are made to maximize the chances that the Sangha receives good support from lay people, and gives an image of itself that leads to this? By being celibate the monks and nuns set themselves completely apart from ‘ordinary’ human beings (something the catholic priests do too, at least in theory - and something which for some critics was lost by the protestants when they were allowed to marry). Also a lay person would probably be more reluctant to donate to a monk if he thinks that he enjoys sexual intercourse like ordinary people.
So what do you think: were the rules of celibacy created because they were conducive to deep meditation, or to enhance the status of the Sangha in the eyes of lay people, and thereby increase the chances that they would be well supported?