How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhism?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhism?

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:09 pm

If one is practicing meditation, will repeated masturbation with pornography (say once every 3 days or week) or without pornography (with mental fantasies that may involve his sexual partner or if he is a virgin actresses and such) or repeated sex (again frequency of once or twice a week being the maximum) hinder his ability to go into samadhi/jhanas or gain insight?

How many days or weeks of or months or years of celibacy (i.e. not losing a single drop of seminal fluid in the waking state via orgasm--losing while urinating or passing stool being okay) did most of you guys require before you could say that yes I was making rapid progress in meditation because of both eradication of sex drive through meditation as well as non-stimulation of the latent residue sex desire through caressing, fondling other people/self stimulation/pornography


I once went over a month without pornography , masturbation and of course sex and had a wet dream on the 31st day

but then when I started doing meditation along with it some Bandhas , I went over 67 days without any wet dreams before I wilfully lost it....

and do monks get urges to masturbate? if they have willful ejaculation are they kicked out?
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby bodom » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:01 pm

Have a look at these threads:

masturbation what's wrong?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6847

Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=17958

Porn Free for 90 Days
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13168&start=220

overcoming lust as a teen
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=15435

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:03 pm

okay thank you Sir..!!
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:55 am

Does your wife want you to quit having sex with her, I would at least get her opinion!!!!
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: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby Dan74 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:44 am

I kind of get puzzled at the way most of us approach this sex question in relation to practice.

It's sort of like asking "can you become a good driver if you get distracted every now and then?" "Is changing the station every few minutes OK?" "What about texting or checking your facebook?" Of course, sex is a distraction and not having it can also be a distraction. Celibacy can be a distraction, and all of these can bolster the sense of self in different ways.

We all know that sex is a big magnet of energy and it is going to stay a big magnet until either the body and brain chemistry change, the practitioner finds a greater commitment, or when it is seen to be unsatisfactory and not conducive to happiness. To approach it as some sort of a requisite that one then forces upon oneself in order to progress in practice seems to me to go about it in a pretty convoluted way.
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby Sanjay PS » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:52 am

Dan74 wrote:I kind of get puzzled at the way most of us approach this sex question in relation to practice.

It's sort of like asking "can you become a good driver if you get distracted every now and then?" "Is changing the station every few minutes OK?" "What about texting or checking your facebook?" Of course, sex is a distraction and not having it can also be a distraction. Celibacy can be a distraction, and all of these can bolster the sense of self in different ways.

We all know that sex is a big magnet of energy and it is going to stay a big magnet until either the body and brain chemistry change, the practitioner finds a greater commitment, or when it is seen to be unsatisfactory and not conducive to happiness. To approach it as some sort of a requisite that one then forces upon oneself in order to progress in practice seems to me to go about it in a pretty convoluted way.



Sex being a big magnet of energy , i would disagree .

Its just a very natural form of habituated craving of the senses that leads to reproduction . And as like all kinds of craving, will very naturally hinder in discerning the subtler truths of our living .

As you have rightly said " forced celibacy" can also very much become a distraction . Gradual celibacy born of realization , that look we fall down like coconuts the moment we indulge , greatly helps :smile: Of course , it becomes all the more clearer should both the people in a relationship clean their minds daily . Letting go of many things in day to day living becomes that much more easier .

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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby Mr Man » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:04 am

It also very naturally reaches a peak at a certain time and then very naturally begins to wane.
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby Mkoll » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:29 am

If you're a layperson, just don't commit sexual misconduct and you won't be breaking the precept.

But if you're serious and want to attain stream-entry, you'll see that "attachment to rite and ritual" is a fetter and thus following a precept and hoping it will lead somewhere won't help. It's practice (action) that brings forth results, not attachment to views.

If you want to reduce your lust and begin to see the human body as it really is, reflect on the corpses in the various stages of decomposition and the parts of the body. See the satipatthana sutta for directions.
Peace,
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:39 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Does your wife want you to quit having sex with her, I would at least get her opinion!!!!



I donot have a wife or girlfriend---a concious decision in order to practice meditation..So I am free in that regard Sir!!
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby santa100 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:18 pm

MN 45, the Four Ways of Taking on Practices might be useful..

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:32 pm

Shaswata_Panja wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:Does your wife want you to quit having sex with her, I would at least get her opinion!!!!



I donot have a wife or girlfriend---a concious decision in order to practice meditation..So I am free in that regard Sir!!


If you're serious about this maybe what you need is to serve your hand divorce papers!!!
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: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby mahat » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:08 pm

The best way to stop sexual/sense urges is to watch/read the news. :o You would think that with all the sexual deviancy in this world more people would never want to have sex or think about sex ever again. The more I saw the news the more I wanted to end all lust in myself.

In the Magandiya Sutta, Buddha likened indulgence in sensual pleasures to a leper scratching at his sores for temporary relief -- this Sutta really hit it home for me:

http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 5-piya.pdf
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby Mkoll » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:15 pm

mahat wrote:The best way to stop sexual/sense urges is to watch/read the news. :o You would think that with all the sexual deviancy in this world more people would never want to have sex or think about sex ever again. The more I saw the news the more I wanted to end all lust in myself.

In the Magandiya Sutta, Buddha likened indulgence in sensual pleasures to a leper scratching at his sores for temporary relief -- this Sutta really hit it home for me:

http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 5-piya.pdf


Also, MN 54, the Potaliya Sutta contains 7 similes on the drawbacks of sensuality, summarized below.

1. "Suppose a dog, overcome with weakness & hunger, were to come across a slaughterhouse, and there a dexterous butcher or butcher's apprentice were to fling him a chain of bones — thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood. What do you think: Would the dog, gnawing on that chain of bones — thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood — appease its weakness & hunger?"

2. "Now suppose a vulture, a kite, or a hawk, seizing a lump of flesh, were to take off, and other vultures, kites, or hawks — following right after it — were to tear at it with their beaks & pull at it with their claws. What do you think: If that vulture, kite, or hawk were not quickly to drop that lump of flesh, would it meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?"

3. "Now suppose a man were to come against the wind, carrying a burning grass torch. What do you think: If he were not quickly to drop that grass torch, would he burn his hand or his arm or some other part of his body, so that he would meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?"

4. "Now suppose there were a pit of glowing embers, deeper than a man's height, full of embers that were neither flaming nor smoking, and a man were to come along — loving life, hating death, loving pleasure, abhorring pain — and two strong men, grabbing him with their arms, were to drag him to the pit of embers. What do you think: Wouldn't the man twist his body this way & that?"

5. "Now suppose a man, when dreaming, were to see delightful parks, delightful forests, delightful stretches of land, & delightful lakes, and on awakening were to see nothing."

6. "Now suppose a man having borrowed some goods — a manly carriage, fine jewels, & ear ornaments — were to go into the market preceded & surrounded by his borrowed goods, and people seeing him would say, 'How wealthy this man is, for this is how the wealthy enjoy their possessions,' but the actual owners, wherever they might see him, would strip him then & there of what is theirs. What do you think: Should the man rightly be upset?"

7. "Now suppose that, not far from a village or town, there were a dense forest grove, and there in the grove was a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, but with no fruit fallen to the ground. A man would come along, desiring fruit, looking for fruit, searching for fruit. Plunging into the forest grove, he would see the tree... and the thought would occur to him, 'This is a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, and there is no fruit fallen to the ground, but I know how to climb a tree. Why don't I climb the tree, eat what I like, and fill my clothes with the fruit?' So, having climbed the tree, he would eat what he liked and fill his clothes with the fruit. Then a second man would come along, desiring fruit, looking for fruit, searching for fruit and carrying a sharp ax. Plunging into the forest grove, he would see the tree... and the thought would occur to him, 'This is a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, and there is no fruit fallen to the ground, and I don't know how to climb a tree. Why don't I chop down this tree at the root, eat what I like, and fill my clothes with the fruit?' So he would chop the tree at the root. What do you think: If the first man who climbed the tree didn't quickly come down, wouldn't the falling tree crush his hand or foot or some other part of his body, so that he would meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?"

~

"In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point: 'The Blessed One has compared sensuality to [a chain of bones, a lump of flesh, a burning grass torch, a pit of glowing embers, a dream, borrowed goods, fruits on a tree], of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.' Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is present, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.
Peace,
James
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Re: How important is unbroken celibacy in practice of Buddhi

Postby mahat » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:13 pm

Mkoll wrote:
mahat wrote:The best way to stop sexual/sense urges is to watch/read the news. :o You would think that with all the sexual deviancy in this world more people would never want to have sex or think about sex ever again. The more I saw the news the more I wanted to end all lust in myself.

In the Magandiya Sutta, Buddha likened indulgence in sensual pleasures to a leper scratching at his sores for temporary relief -- this Sutta really hit it home for me:

http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 5-piya.pdf


Also, MN 54, the Potaliya Sutta contains 7 similes on the drawbacks of sensuality, summarized below.

1. "Suppose a dog, overcome with weakness & hunger, were to come across a slaughterhouse, and there a dexterous butcher or butcher's apprentice were to fling him a chain of bones — thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood. What do you think: Would the dog, gnawing on that chain of bones — thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood — appease its weakness & hunger?"

2. "Now suppose a vulture, a kite, or a hawk, seizing a lump of flesh, were to take off, and other vultures, kites, or hawks — following right after it — were to tear at it with their beaks & pull at it with their claws. What do you think: If that vulture, kite, or hawk were not quickly to drop that lump of flesh, would it meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?"

3. "Now suppose a man were to come against the wind, carrying a burning grass torch. What do you think: If he were not quickly to drop that grass torch, would he burn his hand or his arm or some other part of his body, so that he would meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?"

4. "Now suppose there were a pit of glowing embers, deeper than a man's height, full of embers that were neither flaming nor smoking, and a man were to come along — loving life, hating death, loving pleasure, abhorring pain — and two strong men, grabbing him with their arms, were to drag him to the pit of embers. What do you think: Wouldn't the man twist his body this way & that?"

5. "Now suppose a man, when dreaming, were to see delightful parks, delightful forests, delightful stretches of land, & delightful lakes, and on awakening were to see nothing."

6. "Now suppose a man having borrowed some goods — a manly carriage, fine jewels, & ear ornaments — were to go into the market preceded & surrounded by his borrowed goods, and people seeing him would say, 'How wealthy this man is, for this is how the wealthy enjoy their possessions,' but the actual owners, wherever they might see him, would strip him then & there of what is theirs. What do you think: Should the man rightly be upset?"

7. "Now suppose that, not far from a village or town, there were a dense forest grove, and there in the grove was a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, but with no fruit fallen to the ground. A man would come along, desiring fruit, looking for fruit, searching for fruit. Plunging into the forest grove, he would see the tree... and the thought would occur to him, 'This is a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, and there is no fruit fallen to the ground, but I know how to climb a tree. Why don't I climb the tree, eat what I like, and fill my clothes with the fruit?' So, having climbed the tree, he would eat what he liked and fill his clothes with the fruit. Then a second man would come along, desiring fruit, looking for fruit, searching for fruit and carrying a sharp ax. Plunging into the forest grove, he would see the tree... and the thought would occur to him, 'This is a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, and there is no fruit fallen to the ground, and I don't know how to climb a tree. Why don't I chop down this tree at the root, eat what I like, and fill my clothes with the fruit?' So he would chop the tree at the root. What do you think: If the first man who climbed the tree didn't quickly come down, wouldn't the falling tree crush his hand or foot or some other part of his body, so that he would meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?"

~

"In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point: 'The Blessed One has compared sensuality to [a chain of bones, a lump of flesh, a burning grass torch, a pit of glowing embers, a dream, borrowed goods, fruits on a tree], of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.' Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is present, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.


Another great sutta about the dangers of desires: Makkata Sutta

Makkata Sutta

The Monkey

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For free distribution only
http://buddhasutra.com/files/makkata_sutta.htm

"There are in the Himalayas, the king of mountains, difficult, uneven areas where neither monkeys nor human beings wander. There are difficult, uneven areas where monkeys wander, but not human beings. There are level stretches of land, delightful, where both monkeys and human beings wander. In such spots hunters set a tar trap in the monkeys' tracks, in order to catch some monkeys. Those monkeys, who are not foolish or careless by nature, when they see the tar trap, will keep their distance. But any monkey who is foolish and careless by nature comes up to the tar trap and grabs it with its paw, which then gets stuck there. Thinking, 'I'll free my paw,' he grabs it with his other paw. That too gets stuck. Thinking, 'I'll free both of my paws,' he grabs it with his foot. That too gets stuck. Thinking, 'I'll free both of my paws and my foot,' he grabs it with his other foot. That too gets stuck. Thinking, 'I'll free both of my paws and my feet as well,' he grabs it with his mouth. That too gets stuck. So the monkey, snared in five ways, lies there whimpering, having fallen on misfortune, fallen on ruin, a prey to whatever the hunter wants to do with him. Then the hunter, without releasing the monkey, skewers him right there, picks him up, and goes off as he likes.

"This is what happens to anyone who wanders into what is not his proper range and is the territory of others.
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