Celibacy

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Celebacy

Postby Moth » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:56 am

Practicing Brahmacharya now. Trying to dissolve lust from the mind, though I realize it is a long process. One thing I've really started to notice is how entranced I become upon seeing an attractive woman. The mind becomes stuck, overwhelmed by craving. It's not entirely sexual, but it all has to do with the physical form. Sometimes it erotic, sometimes its like being awestruck by a work of art. I was wondering if anyone knew any good techniques to aid in overcoming this attachment to physical beauty. I've been trying to apply Buddha's teaching on analyzing the impurities of the body, imagining the pretty girl as an old woman, as a corpse, etc. It works a little bit but not enough.
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Re: Celebacy

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:17 am

Moth wrote:Practicing Brahmacarya now. Trying to dissolve lust from the mind, though I realize it is a long process. One thing I've really started to notice is how entranced I become upon seeing an attractive woman. The mind becomes stuck, overwhelmed by craving. It's not entirely sexual, but it all has to do with the physical form. I was wondering if anyone knew any good techniques to aid in overcoming this attachment to physical beauty. I've been trying to apply Buddha's teaching on analyzing the impurities of the body, imagining the pretty girl as an old woman, as a corpse, etc. It works a little bit but not enough.

imagine her with really bad diarrhea.

also, how are you living? just out in the world with a job or school etc? not in seclusion or temple? this makes a great deal of difference, but as my situation shows (as well as that of many exmonks) even this is no guarantee of success :toilet: meditation and similar practices have their usefulness in this area but i think the real work here is just taking a step back, being honest about your situation and analyzing it rationally. ie. when i see this person i get these feelings, are these feelings i want, or am comfortable with, are they beneficial to progress in the areas i want to work on? things such as this. you will find that sometimes a clear headed rational look at a situation will do the trick, other times we choose more pain and suffering regardless. i knew at the time if i left the temple, didnt fully ordain (i was an angarika) and went off to make a life with the person i'm with now that i would be looking at a life with more suffering than my life as a monk would have, or at least a very different type of suffering. i knew my time for practice would be cut to almost nothing as i would have to go back to college, i'd have to work and support another person, i'd have to deal with jealousy, arguments, sickness, separation, death etc. but i also knew if i was having this dialog with myself that i wasn't ready to ordain, so i said hey give me some more of that samsara please, knowing i'd either be okay or so disgusted by lay life that I'd be 100% ready for the robes. it's still a struggle
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Celebacy

Postby Terasi » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:47 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:imagine her with really bad diarrhea.

That's epic! :twothumbsup: I guess females have it easier in this matter, not so much problem with this.

thereductor wrote:Of course, they doll themselves up, right? Hard to see the foul. But the makeup and deodorant and perfume is a testament to their naturally foul state, as it would be for ourselves.

That got me to think about the motive for using make up. I find most of the time make up is for wellbeing, to make ourselves look presentable (because every woman out there is wearing lipstick, I'll look like lazy pig who just jumped out of bed without one... ), only when we try to impress certain somebodies that this particular sexual motive arises. I mean, just because a woman is having make up on everyday, doesn't mean she's flirting everyday. It's mostly just to conform to other women at her work, school, etc.

(But probably my understanding of dolling up is incorrect, I thought it is just applying make up.)
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Re: Celibacy

Postby PeterB » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:16 pm

I am seeing a lot of aversion here and not so much upekkha.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:23 pm

PeterB wrote:I am seeing a lot of aversion here and not so much upekkha.
Yeah. Ya can't get it, so ya might as well hate it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Celebacy

Postby PeterB » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:37 pm

:lol:
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Re: Celebacy

Postby Vepacitta » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:36 pm

I really wonder whether this isn't a "boy" thing. I can see a nice looking guy - know that he's really nice looking - etc etc etc - and - whatEVA. Drop it. No big shing-a-ling. Maybe some girls do get obsessed with lust. But usually, our lust - which then leads to attachments to our 'selves' - or I, me, mine-making - is different - "does he like me?" "did he look at me?" "what did he say?" "well, exactly HOW did he say it" blah blah blah

"yeh I could like him - if he liked ME enough"

(These conversations are the same whether you're in the 8th grade (that's 13) or 40s - by the way - and although I generally find them tiring - and am generally above them - on occasion my inner "gurl" comes out).

Girls are different - we're superior! :rofl: :tongue:

V.

NB For you suffering dudes - somewhere Aj. Sumedho talks about the problems of boy - lust lust lust - and he doesn't advocate looking at a woman as if she's a charnel ground. He speaks of appreciating the beauty - without grasping to it and bringing it to self (I'd better not say what I wanted to say here - it's pretty raunchy).

Kaplah boys! (Where's that Klingon smiley?)

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Re: Celebacy

Postby Monkey Mind » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:36 pm

I think it was Ajahn Amaro who said in a talk that he will allow himself to notice a beautiful woman once, because he is human, but he does not allow himself that second glance.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Celibacy

Postby 5heaps » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:30 pm

manasikara wrote:And sex is not such a big deal anyway: even pigs and earthworms have orgasms, in fact pigs' orgasms last for half an hour...so, pigs have better orgams than us, but (to my knowledge) they can't access the Buddha-Dhamma as well as humans can (if any intelligent porcine being is reading this, I apologise and retract this :pig: ). When you look at it that way, orgasm loses some of its specialness.

yay, realistic context. that seems like an excellent approach: on a daily basis realistically review and consider the negative qualities of sexual exertion and the good qualities of abstaining (particularly its link with meditation and cessation, not just stuff like 'more calm').

negative qualities include the fact that the need for sex is just an insubstantial habit (like feeling the urge to eat lunch at midday due to doing it every day), is normally constructed by a superficial and irrational mind (ie. exaggerating the good qualities of merely the outer layer of skin to the exclusion of the rest - and then conjuring even more elaborate attributes based on that superficial conception), takes up a goddamn lot of time, money, effort, etc.

the Dalai Lama says the need for sex is like an itch - better not to have the itch. the more we can understand that latter part as being correct and true the easier we'll be able to bring our minds into it... of course... because actually what we all like and know is sex and nothing more about it
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Re: Celibacy

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:55 am

tiltbillings wrote:
PeterB wrote:I am seeing a lot of aversion here and not so much upekkha.
Yeah. Ya can't get it, so ya might as well hate it.

i had a monk tell me to see all women as a sister, i should have told him I'm from the south :tongue:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Celebacy

Postby PeterB » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:43 am

The Dalai Lama of course like all higher ranking practitioners of the Higher Tantras would probably have his Sang-Yum. ( spiritual consort ) As did all his predecessors, as did all the Karmapas etc.
This is not considered to be a breach of the Vinaya. Although it involves penetrative sex.
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Re: Celebacy

Postby Kenshou » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:11 am

...huh.
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Re: Celebacy

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:23 am

PeterB wrote:This is not considered to be a breach of the Vinaya.

I think it would depend on who you are talking to,wouldn't it?

tiltbillings wrote:
PeterB wrote:I am seeing a lot of aversion here and not so much upekkha.
Yeah. Ya can't get it, so ya might as well hate it.

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in mountain clefts and chasms,
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sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Celebacy

Postby PeterB » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:35 am

Surely Ben. I meant that within the Vajrayana it is not considered a breach of the Vinaya.

Most of the main teachers have their Sang-Yums or " secret " consorts. With some teachers they are not secret at all particularly with the Nyingmapa who are mostly not monastic.
Among the monastic traditions of the Gelug and Kagyu these things are conducted with more circumspection.
The object is to master a particular Tantric technique called " Karmamudra"....information regarding these practices are understandably hard to come by outside of a one to one relationship with a teacher, where they are imparted by word of mouth.

But in terms of the Theravada I digress....
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Re: Celebacy

Postby Vepacitta » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:21 pm

" ... where they are imparted by word of mouth"

Brings such ... images to mind ... :roll:

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Re: Celebacy

Postby Ytrog » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:23 pm

I apologise for necromancing this thread but I have a video on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/user/BuddhistSoc ... XocSGQFvmw

People who know my posts (I'm not even registered here for a week though) know that I have posted from this source earlier. ;)
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mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


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Re: Celebacy

Postby manas » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:23 am

Moth wrote: I've been trying to apply Buddha's teaching on analyzing the impurities of the body, imagining the pretty girl as an old woman, as a corpse, etc. It works a little bit but not enough.


Sometimes I do this the other way around. I look at old women on the train (very discreetly so as not to offend) and really examine how the flesh that was once firm has now sagged, the skin that was once smooth is now wrinkled and blotched, the gait that was once graceful is now plodding. They were once young girls full of youth, beauty, charm and dreams, just like my daughters are now. When I approach it from this angle, my heart softens. It makes me reflect (regarding younger women) "this beauty is deceptive, it is a trap! (for them as well as me)...do not be averse, but rather, have compassion!"
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Re: Celebacy

Postby Dan74 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:42 pm

manasikara wrote:Hi all, I'm posting here cos I am in a hurry and don't know where else to post...I wonder if any other householder experimenting with complete sexual abstinence has found that just when they have begun to taste some higher pleasure in meditation, just when they feel like they have had a GLIMPSE of what it is like to let go of the five-sense world obsession for a little while and experience a relatively still mind (and taste the sweetness of this), suddenly the defilement of lust takes a big swipe at you. Today I'm assailed by strong doubt re the higher aspects of the doctrine (stuff that I should not ponder on at this stage, but mara uses this to get me down often), and now for the first time in over a week sensual desire seems to be CALLING me! Just when I have been feeling like I have made more progress in calming the mind than ever before in this current lifetime.

This might not be the right forum for a sob story like mine. But I hope someone can advise, can a deep darkness stand on the edge of a brightness? Just when I felt some sweetness in letting go, should lust come and assail me like this? Should I press onward, or am I pressing too hard?

This must be why the Buddha encouraged pp to ordain. It is tough having to interact with the opposite sex every day while guarding the door of sight so that one does not grasp at the form with desire. I feel I'm ready to give up on celibacy, though this is probably my defilements working hard to stay alive. I am certainly confused.

(PS: I realize that 'the forms' are human beings. I have compassion and I am not averse. My anger is with myself alone; that sex desire came to so dominate me, that I have to now take such an extreme counter-measure to truly free myself. Lust is the enemy; women are not. :anjali: )


My approach would be rather than wasting energy on this inner battle, to find a suitable partner (preferably Buddhist or sympathetic) and engage in healthy sexual activity.

For a layperson living in this society it is usually unhealthy and unproductive to try to be celibate. It is likely to just increase the energy around this issue at the expense of practice. There are exceptions of course, but these people (from what I've seen) are the ones who have had a very serious immersion in practice, so they are not really of the world (even as they are in it).

Occasionally a person may have such a deep affinity and commitment to Dhamma that this ceases to be important, but this is probably not (yet) the case here.
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Re: Celebacy

Postby Laurens » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:41 pm

I don't think celibacy is something you should enforce upon yourself, it should come from letting go of the desire.

We all know what happens with certain Catholic priests force celibacy upon themselves without actually letting go of their sexual urges. I don't think that's the way forward. Its probably best to talk with your teacher about it, and ask for the best ways to let go of sexual urges, because repressing them can harm you and others.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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Re: Celebacy

Postby Moth » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:31 pm

"Is it beautiful? Yes. Do I want it? No." -Ajahn Jayasaro.

Dan74 wrote:...healthy sexual activity. For a layperson living in this society it is usually unhealthy and unproductive to try to be celibate.


"Now, Udàyin, the pleasure and joy that arises dependent on these five cords of sensual pleasure are called sensual pleasures - a filthy pleasure, a coarse pleasure, an ignoble pleasure. I say of this kind of pleasure that it should not be pursued, that it should not be developed, that it should not be cultivated, that it should be feared… (whereas the pleasure of the Four Jhànas). This is called the bliss of renunciation, the bliss of enlightenment. I say of this kind of pleasure that it should be pursued, that it should be developed, that it should be cultivated, that it should not be feared." (ibid p.557)

"Misguided man, in many discourses have I not stated how obstructive things are obstructive, and how they are able to obstruct one who engages in them? I have stated how sensual pleasures provide little gratification, much suffering, and much despair, and how great is the danger in them. With the simile of skeleton… with the simile of the piece of meat… with the simile of the grasstorch… with the simile of the pit of coals… with the simile of the dream… with the simile of the borrowed goods… with the simile of the tree laden with fruit… with the simile of the slaughterhouse… with the simile of the sword stake… with the simile of the snake's head, I have stated how sensual pleasures provide little gratification, much suffering, and much despair, and how great is the danger in them. But you, misguided man, have misrepresented us by your wrong grasp and injured yourself and stored up much demerit; for this will lead to your harm and suffering for a long time." (The Buddha in the simile of the Snake; ibid p.225f)
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