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There is no fire like lust - Dhamma Wheel

There is no fire like lust

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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fearandloving
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There is no fire like lust

Postby fearandloving » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:47 am

I've heard many many different approaches for overcoming/understanding sexuality, but my mind always finds a loop hole somewhere. When I'm feeling "true", for lack of a better word, or maybe "authentic", then I don't want any involvement with relationships or sexuality. I feel very sure of myself in these moments. Then one day the fire comes, an I end up doing something that I regret. Here are some examples of how my mind persuades me to doing these things.
"Sexuality should be explored, not denied. Just look at all of nature, sexuality is everywhere, you should embrace it."
"Sexual energy can be harnessed and used as a spiritual path, don't smother those possibilities."
"By denying yourself what you want, your just involved in self deception. Better to be honest and real than to just pretend in favor of a life devoid of sexuality."
"The only reason you deny sexuality is because you are a coward and are afraid of intimacy. You should use sexuality as a learning experience."

And then, of course, every time, if I follow through with it I hear myself saying "well that was stupid, I won't let that happen again."

Is this familiar to anyone? It's very schizo, very intense how easily I go along with one side, then the other, then the other...
If anyone's found a way out of this cycle I'm all ears.

Virgo
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby Virgo » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:52 am

Fire burns and scorches.

Kevin


culaavuso
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby culaavuso » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:54 am



Virgo
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby Virgo » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:05 am

What is pleasant, and what is painful?

Here is the answer:



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Weakfocus
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby Weakfocus » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:33 pm


Virgo
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby Virgo » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:22 pm

Being completely celibate as a lay person, in the way that a bhikkhu is, is very challenging. A bhikkhu has less contact with women, all women know he is a celibate (or learn it pretty quickly if they are around him, generally speaking), he eats less, which helps to reduce passion, and he is a lot of time for meditation on vileness of the body, and so forth.

A lay person,] eats more, is more active, has many more instances of contact through the 6 sense doors with females (or males), has more stress, less concentration, and overall is in a bad situation for dealing with lust.

The best you can probably hope for is to limit all direct sexual contact - that is not too difficult. Having a mind free of passion, however, is not so easy. Nevertheless, you can just do your best, and most importantly, do not commit sexual misconduct, and also not flirt or arouse sexuality in others.

all the best,

Kevin


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Unrul3r
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby Unrul3r » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:50 pm


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Jetavan
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby Jetavan » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:31 pm


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manas
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby manas » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:05 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

boris
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby boris » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:52 am

The man who wants to avoid grotesque collapses should not look for anything to fulfill him in space and time.

Nicolás Gómez Dávila

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fearandloving
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby fearandloving » Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:14 pm


binocular
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby binocular » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:13 pm


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waterchan
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby waterchan » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:11 pm

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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Buddhistboy
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby Buddhistboy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:53 pm

Lust is a defilement of the mind which has a powerful magnetic potential to deviate one from the path. Most people including myself are affected by this. Im also trying to find a way out. So far this is most of what I know.

There are 2 types of meditations recommended by the Buddha to 'dissolve and neutralise' lust.

1) Meditation / Reflections on Repulsiveness (Patikulamanasikara) - This is the meditation where the mind focuses on the different parts / impurities within the body. Here is the Wikipedia article if you are interested in reading about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asubha and around the end of the webpage there are references which should contain more information.

2) Cemetery Contemplations (Marananussati) - also known as 'Recollection of Death'. This is the second type of meditation. Here is the link from Dhamma Wiki http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Marananussati

The two types of meditation are known as 'Meditation on the Foul' (Asubha Bhavana).

It is recommended that one practices Mindfulness meditation prior to engaging in the 2 practices mentioned above so that the reflections on the foul can be done with maximum possible mindfulness.

Also Ajahn Chah (as well as many other Buddhist monks who taught meditation) had suggested that when such feelings arise in oneself, try not to forcefully eliminate those thoughts, but instead just observe the mind. Observe, observe and observe instead of acting upon this. This is because all thoughts that arise in our mind are temporary and it should be 'let go of' with mindfulness rather than forceful elimination. If one relies on elimination then the feelings of lust will bounce back and arise when one's elimination mechanisms (defenses) are down.

Ajahn Chah also mentioned that the defilements in one's mind (which includes lust) is like a raging untamed tiger. Use the 'cage of mindfulness' to trap the tiger first. Second, stop feeding the tiger. Then the tiger will become weaker and weaker and eventually die. Likewise the practice and its results are gradual. Use mindfulness to be aware of the lust that arise in your mind. Next stop feeding this and slowly let go of this. Observe the mind.

There is also another useful aspect of Buddhanussati (Recollection on the qualities of Buddha). I am not going to explain all of this type of meditation as it is not entirely relevant to the discussion. The Buddhanussati is usually incorporated as a form of meditation but in addition to this, one can also also reflect on the qualities of the Buddha in day-to-day life. Whenever defilements arise in our minds we can always use the Buddhanussati to remind ourselves the state of our defilement and appreciate how the Buddha was free from that. We all know that the Buddha was free from defilements (including lust). Whenever I have feelings of lust I try to think like this - 'I accept that I have lust, I am affected by it, but the Buddha was free from that'. It is an acceptance that I still have to travel The Path yet there is someone who I can look up to who is the Buddha who had traveled The Path.

Remember that all these Enlightened beings which we admire today, at one point in there lives (or previous lives) they were nothing more than what we are now. They managed to escape from their defilements because they put the hard work into traveling The Path. If it was possible for them, then it is possible for us too, provided we put that same (or bigger) effort into traveling The 8-Fold Path. Its just an encouraging thought that we too can overcome our lust like they did.

These are just a few techniques which I am planning to use. Some may need to use all the techniques while others may overcome lust with just one method.

For example asthma is a disease of the airway. There are many medications available to treat the asthma. Asthma also comes in various forms from mild to moderate to severe. Some may relieve their asthma with just one drug, but some may need several different drugs to keep the asthma under control. Unfortunately there could be a few who's asthma wont be controlled despite even getting treated with all the drugs. This is the same with lust. Our lusts comes in different shapes and sizes. Some are more affected by it than others. Being mindful of the present moment may suffice for some, while there can also be people who will still find it difficult to keep lust under control despite practicing all the different mechanisms to control it. We should not be discouraged, we should all try for the best as practice can take time to bear results like a sapling growing into a massive tree. It all requires time, patience and endurance.
'Buddhistboy' is my username, even though I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not a boy. I am an adult.

david.sojourn
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby david.sojourn » Tue May 06, 2014 6:34 pm


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manas
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby manas » Wed May 07, 2014 1:00 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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waterchan
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby waterchan » Wed May 07, 2014 1:27 am

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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manas
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby manas » Wed May 07, 2014 11:17 pm

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

SarathW
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby SarathW » Thu May 08, 2014 12:12 am

“to draw that pleasure upwards into the body, up into the spine instead”
=======================
I have used this technique (similar) to control my pain in the body.

“to draw that pain upwards into the body, up into the whole body”

I found this help me to ease pain and help me to exercise equanimity towards pain instead of aversion.
This is also a good technique for people have problem with pain when they start meditation.

Perhaps this is what professional boxers do to control their pain.

Please note this is my personal opinion and experience.
:idea:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Dom
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Re: There is no fire like lust

Postby Dom » Sun May 18, 2014 5:09 pm

Hello fearandloving, I had read your topic a while back because it was very relevant to me and my personal urges. Only now do I feel comfortable replying to you because of how I feel and what I've done. So you are aware, I plan on using straightforward wording and practices that have been for me crucial, but other people might find uncomfortable, so please be forewarned of how I'm going to post.

For information on me, today I'm celibate for 29 days including self pleasure (coming from masturbating 1x a day if not 1x every 2 days), I'm about 27 years old, male, do not have children, live on my own in a one bedroom apartment, 6 feet tall, 170 lbs at 10% bodyfat, very physically fit/healthy/attractive with healthy hormone function from weight training and yoga (meaning sexual relationships are available and celibacy is not forced).

Most importantly I know that no matter what I say I cant give you my experience of happiness I feel not craving lust; all I can do is show you that I am at a point in my life where most people can be very sexually active, and still my personal experience and my willingness to not take part in sexual/self stimulation is more valuable and pleasurable to me. If you do not believe me that is your choice, but I am willing to offer my help and my experience if you are sincere in wanting to free yourself from this.

I reflected on three subjects with different topics when working with lust, and all of these were crucial as supports while I got through the cravings. The subjects were: The physical realities of lust, the drawbacks of lust, and the benefits of not craving lust.

WARNING: Please be warned that the following is very graphic, but that the intensity of the image and mental fabrication is what helped me overcome my strong feelings of lust.

The Physical Realities of Lust
- I reflected on how many times I've been horny or aroused, and how the feeling vanishes without a trace once I orgasm, showing it's transitory nature.
-I reflected on how no matter how much sex I have it will never be enough to satisfy the desire permanently, it will only push it into the background for a few hours until it comes up again.
-I reflected on how the best sexual experiences I've ever had all came to an end, and typing at the computer now they don't improve my experience of right now even though they seemed of the utmost value at the time.
-When seeing a beautiful woman (same imaging can be used for a man), I asked myself "What would they look like if the skin on their face was cut off? Would my lust still be there?" I reflected on the muscles of the face and the bones showing, bloody and dripping during sexual intercourse.
-When desiring the touch of a beautiful woman, I imagined putting my ear next to her warm stomach in a silent room, hearing the acids of her stomach breaking down food, sending liquids through her body and waste material to fill her bladder, and sending unusable solid fecal material through it through long winding tubes to be excreted like a biological machine. I reflected on the discomfort and disgust coming from those functions and questioned my desires to insert my sexual organ into to a bag of skin (the torso and pubic region) that performs all these functions and features, and thrusting against it for gratification.
-When desiring sex, I imagine the beautiful woman growing old during the course of sex, her sexual organs drying and shriveling with age and chafing my skin until they turn blue and bruised from death and lack of blood, with time rotting and infested with worms and maggots burrowing into my sexual organ from inside the pubic region of this future corpse.
-I reflected on what parts of the beautiful woman were necessary for lust to be maintained. I imagined having sex and one of her fingers being removed and put next to me on the bed, then another, then a hand, then an arm. I imagined removing all these parts one by one at different times in different ways to see what was necessary for lust to exist. I imagined sex and removing an eye, or a woman with an eye infected with disease, or a woman with only half an eye left on one side. With all her teeth, with yellow teeth, with broken teeth. With healthy skin, with skin covered in blemishes, with skin covered in infections, with skin covered in lacerations, with skin peeled off in different places. I imagined having sex with a partner having a head crushed by a truck and asked if it was still an object of lust, a body burnt and charred, bloated and blue from drowning, and I imagined the different feelings my body would feel touching the bodies in different realistic circumstances, and how it would feel as I caressed it.

The Drawbacks of Lust
-I reflected on how much money I had spent to have sex only to want it again later.
-I reflected on how much of a persons personality I don't enjoy I endured so I could have sex with them, only to want it again later.
-I reflected on the amount of time and effort I put into having sex only to want it again later.
-I reflected on my attachments to my sexual fantasies, what I was willing to do to fulfill them, the feeling of the experience compared to my expectation of the experience once it happened, and how it still didn't satisfy me even after getting what I imagined were the greatest most valuable things available in life.
-I think about all the porn I watched, including violent and abusive porn, including violent cartoon drawings of sexual acts, fetishes, and the shame associated with being willing to watch those things and support those things once I orgasmed, and knowing even though I hated those feelings and they were shameful to me, my lust would still argue like a group of thieves, crooks and con men to convince me of how valuable and alright it was next time I was sexually aroused, only to disappear once I had orgasmed.
-Whenever a beautiful woman or women were attracted or showed interest, I reflected on what they desired. If they desired my body, I remembered my body would get old, sick and die, and how they wouldn't pay attention to me if that was the case. If they liked my personality or attitude, I remembered how its only attractive to them because it satisfies some desire they have for a person to act a certain way, and how if I was different they wouldn't pay attention to me. If they loved me, I reflected on how much their happiness depended on my actions because of their attachment to me, and considering how valuable I was to them, the things they would do to keep me in their lives (guilt trip me, make me feel responsible for their happiness, lie to me, hide things from me, ect), I also reflected on how difficult it would be to do something I wanted to do that they didn't want me to do and how they would try to stop me or restrict me by getting angry, getting upset, crying, guilt tripping, being passive aggressive, threatening, becoming violent, all the things people do to manipulate others, making acting on my personal happiness that much more difficult.
-I reflected on how painful it is to feel embarrassed and to feel like you must act cool or attractive in front of a beautiful woman or women, how much cologne I'd use from scent insecurity, how much memory I dedicated and attention to cool culture I recalled because of speech and action insecurity, how many clothes and accessories I'd purchased and worn because of looks insecurity, all the status symbols such as high paying job, expensive car, large home, upscale furniture and electronics because of self work insecurity, all the useless knowledge of current culture and gossip I maintained and kept up with to have a conversation with a woman, all the fights, chest thumping, physical comparing, mental comparing, material comparing with other men and all the anger, jealously, ill-will, pride, insecurity, desire to be more, desire for others to be less, depression and dissatisfaction that came from that: all of this effort and pain for the CHANCE to have sex, and even if I DID have sex, I'd want it again later and would still lack satisfaction. I also reflected on how woman and other men do this exact same thing and get the exact same result, and how their sexual desire for me is just to try and escape this dissatisfaction as I was using them to escape my own.

The Benefits of Not Craving Lust
-I don't worry about what others think of me except for professionalism and being able to maintain employment and lawful status in my community.
-I can talk to any person, no matter how beautiful or ugly, in any way I desire.
-My mind is clear of all useless information as there is no need to recall it for the entertainment of the opposite sex.
-Money is spent only on things I need and not wasted.
-My energy is spend only on the things important to me and not wasted on another to gain access to their body.
-I could live my entire life under surveillance 24 hours a day and not feel shameful or embarrassed.
-When I exercise, my exercise is focused on enjoyment and health rather than attachment to body image and painful training regiments.
-When I eat, I eat for health and satisfaction rather than trying to look a certain way.
-No one relies on me for their satisfaction, I can do whatever I please without being held back by the manipulations of a potential sexual partner; it's no longer like trying to move through tar toward my happiness when its something they don't want me to do.
-I remain unmoved when others threaten me by saying they won't have sex with me.
-I remain unbothered and out of the way of men who are craving a sexual partner, and am not subject to all the fighting, chest thumping, physical comparing, mental comparing, material comparing with other men and all the anger, jealously, ill-will, pride, insecurity, desire to be more, desire for others to be less, depression and dissatisfaction that comes from that. I am like a man who has stepped outside of a smoking house filled with people into the fresh air and sunlight of a vast green field.
-I can see a beautiful, curvaceous, attractive woman walking down the street in my view, appreciate the body in an artistic sense and return to what I was doing without having lust arise. There is no need to hide or turn from beautiful sights anymore, nor is there a need to chase them or try to prolong them.
-My mind is free of all the cravings for things that would only be necessary for impressing potential sexual partners; everything I own is basic, simple, reliable, and very easy to replace.
-My time and my energy are entirely my own, and dedicated to my own goals of a meaningful and true happiness.

As I said before, I cannot give you my experience of the happiness being free from lust; I can only describe my experience, my situation, and tell you I'm very happy with the decision - it's up to you to decide if you think what I'm saying seems valuable and useful for your personal situation. If you are sincerely looking for it's cessation, the above is the way it worked for me.

If freedom from lust is really what you want and you are willing to put in the effort, I wish you good luck. If you would like to ask any questions please feel free to do so and I reply in the way I feel will be helpful to you.


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