the real reasons for celibacy

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the real reasons for celibacy

Postby identification » Sun May 11, 2014 8:32 pm

There are many traditions that consider the male semen absolutely vital to enlightenment and without it there is minimal progress. It is said to be the strongest energy in the male and when you waste it you lose your creativity, become depressed, weak, your mental health decreases, weaker immune system, etc. This is in very many traditions including taoism, hinduism, different forms of Mahayana, and it's well known among martial artists and in the sports world. Mohammed Ali claimed that he stopped all sexual activity months before a fight. I would like to know if the Buddha ever mentioned anything about this, or if there's esoteric Theravadan teachings about it. Thanks
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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 11, 2014 9:24 pm

Hi Identification. I don't think that the Buddha spoke of sexual activity in those terms in the Pali Canon. As I recall, it's all about attachment to sensual pleasures.
See the links here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... sensuality

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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby Mkoll » Sun May 11, 2014 9:31 pm

The Buddha never talked about that AFAIK.

In the context of the Buddhist Path, sexuality is one of the strongest sensual desires and thus comes with some of the strongest craving. The ultimate goal of the Buddhist Path is the extirpation of craving. Thus the Buddha precluded sexuality amongst his more dedicated followers.

Although of course you can have a sex life and practice the Buddhist Path very well.

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[ References to "qi" and other non Theravada concepts removed - Retro.]
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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun May 11, 2014 10:13 pm

identification wrote:There are many traditions that consider the male semen absolutely vital to enlightenment and without it there is minimal progress.


Probably a myth perpetuated by those unwilling or reluctant to adhere to celibacy...

It is said to be the strongest energy in the male and when you waste it you lose your creativity, become depressed, weak, your mental health decreases, weaker immune system, etc.


It would be interesting to do a study of Theravadan monks to see just how prevalent such conditions are....
I doubt very much it is the strongest energy in a man. Stronger yet is lust and sensual desire...

Mohammed Ali claimed that he stopped all sexual activity months before a fight.

He claimed a lot of things. Sportsmen with huge egos often blow their own trumpets a little too loudly... Let me add that the man is immensely likeable and I admire him enormously....

I would like to know if the Buddha ever mentioned anything about this, or if there's esoteric Theravadan teachings about it. Thanks

Are you ordaining? Abstention is only mandatory for those taking vows and ordaining....
As a layperson, no such stringency is necessarily required....
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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby identification » Mon May 12, 2014 12:26 am

The huge loss in energy is very much an observable part of reality. Which is why I'm surprised the Buddha never mentioned it. But he did say he only taught a little of what he knew. Wonder what else he didn't teach.

[EDIT: Qi etc. removed, in line with Theravada focus of this topic and Discovering Theravada forum - Retro. ]
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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon May 12, 2014 1:08 am

In that case I should have more and more energy as I grow older, but actually its quite the opposite!!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 12, 2014 1:46 am

Greetings,

Please note the original question... "I would like to know if the Buddha ever mentioned anything about this, or if there's esoteric Theravadan teachings about it. Thanks"

Subsequent responses that do not address the question will be removed. Thank you.

:focus:

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Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby manas » Mon May 12, 2014 3:43 am

identification wrote:There are many traditions that consider the male semen absolutely vital to enlightenment and without it there is minimal progress. It is said to be the strongest energy in the male and when you waste it you lose your creativity, become depressed, weak, your mental health decreases, weaker immune system, etc. This is in very many traditions including taoism, hinduism, different forms of Mahayana, and it's well known among martial artists and in the sports world. Mohammed Ali claimed that he stopped all sexual activity months before a fight. I would like to know if the Buddha ever mentioned anything about this, or if there's esoteric Theravadan teachings about it. Thanks


Hi identification,

I suspect that the main reason, though perhaps not the only one, that the Buddha recommended celibacy for monks was simply because their path was an all-out attempt to transcend Samsara, and sensuality is regarded as one of the main obstacles to this. But you are correct in saying that much energy in the male is directed towards maintaining sexual readiness, and that therefore spending one's seed needlessly (when not trying to conceive a child) is an awful waste, not just of energy but of all the nutrients needed for semen's manufacture. Basically, Nature cares more about the survival of the species, than it does about us as individuals, hence the investment of bio-energy into keeping the stores of semen available. So when one retains it, one experiences better health, naturally. Less need for sleep, more focus and creativity, better meditation.

But I will also add that one need not give up sex - one need not be celibate - in order to retain the semen. There are techniques whereby one draws the sensation of orgasm upwards just as it is manifesting, so that one still experiences a modest amount of sexual pleasure (at that peak, modest; but that is more than compensated for by how much better the journey to get there is...) yet does not spill any seed (and another advantage is that the tendency of long-term celibates to end up with prostate issues later in life, is also avoided). But obviously this practice is an intimate engagement with sensual pleasure, and so only a lay Buddhist could practice it, and not a monk.

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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby someguysomeguy » Mon May 12, 2014 6:44 am

identification wrote:There are many traditions that consider the male semen absolutely vital to enlightenment and without it there is minimal progress. It is said to be the strongest energy in the male and when you waste it you lose your creativity, become depressed, weak, your mental health decreases, weaker immune system, etc. This is in very many traditions including taoism, hinduism, different forms of Mahayana, and it's well known among martial artists and in the sports world. Mohammed Ali claimed that he stopped all sexual activity months before a fight. I would like to know if the Buddha ever mentioned anything about this, or if there's esoteric Theravadan teachings about it. Thanks


There is a distinction between sexual misconduct and complete celibacy. In my opinion, only Arhants can observe complete celibacy without any problems.....For others it is difficult.

Having said that, Sexual Misconduct (having sex with women other than wife/having sex before marriage/Masturbation) are all forms of Sexual Misconduct which are not the Buddhist path.
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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 12, 2014 7:07 am

Hi someguysomeguy,

You make some good points. However, sexual misconduct as defined in the suttas is probably not so strict as to include masturbation or sex before marriage. The stress is generally on not having sex with an inappropriate person, those "under protection" (presumably too young) or married. This is a typical sutta on the subject:
He engages in sensual misconduct. He gets sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man. This is how one is made impure in three ways by bodily action.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby Mkoll » Mon May 12, 2014 7:27 am

someguysomeguy wrote:In my opinion, only Arhants can observe complete celibacy without any problems.....For others it is difficult.


Minor correction:

Both non-returners and arahants observe celibacy without issue. Non-returners have eradicated the fetter of sensual desire which obviously includes sexual desire.
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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby Zom » Mon May 12, 2014 3:27 pm

There is a distinction between sexual misconduct and complete celibacy. In my opinion, only Arhants can observe complete celibacy without any problems.....For others it is difficult.


If you practise consistently, you can observe ceibacy without any problems, no need to be an arahant.
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Re: the real reasons for celibacy

Postby Bakmoon » Mon May 12, 2014 9:10 pm

There is nothing to my knowledge in the Pali Canon that talks about any sort of energy related to semen in connection either to celibacy or to attaining enlightenment. In the Theravada school, celibacy is practiced by monks because they have given up worldly pleasure, which of course includes sex.

This sort of energy idea exists in Taoism and also in the various forms of Vajrayana Buddhism, but there is no analogue to this in either the Theravada school or in the early Buddhist texts.
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The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
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