You're right, I left out listening to music. But that doesn't make your point. Look, a person can do any one of these things, including masturbating, and there's probably no need for hiri to be involved, granted. Yet my view is that activities with no redeeming values -- including masturbation -- are incompatable with sampajanna.
So, your view is that sampajañña requires there be a redeeming value, but what redeeming value might there be in a mind with lust? The Satipatthana Sutta sees value as long as we see what we see mindfully.
And to the extent that listening to music has no redeeming value, I'd include that as well, (although I'd add that different minds work differently, and I can understand how in theory listening to music might have a redeeming value for someone). But masturbation, at least as it's been discussed here most of the time, is a raw pursuit of sense pleasure, nothing else.
Again, with the redeeming value. Where in the texts is it written that of what we are to be mindful must have some sort of redeeming value, and who decides what is redeeming value? You? You for you, no doubt, but that is hardly objective.
So, if we are sitting in meditation and the mind produces crap that has no redeeming value, we get up and do something redeeming such as going, coming, looking forward and backward, bending, stretching the body, eating drinking, chewing, tasting, pooping, peeing, standing, sitting walking, falling asleep?
As for self-pleasuring, there are many motivations of self-pleasuring, as has been pointed out. A raw pursuit of sense pleasure might be one, but since, according to you, that has no redeeming value, we should not do it, and if we do it there is no possibility whatsoever of actually paying attention to what we are doing.
But I would say that if we engage in the pursuit of sense pleasure as a habit to make ourselves feel better, then we lack insight, and sampajanna is ruled out, in my view.
Habit? You are continually freighting this with value judgments; however, it we apply mindfulness/ sampajañña to our habitual actions, we might gain insight, we might see enough to break free of them.
Granted, probably all of us engage in the pursuit of sense pleasures of one kind or another. Do I think that makes us all bad? No. But I think that at those moments, we fool ourselves if we believe that during the pursuit of sense pleasures we are simultaneously engaging sampajanna.
Human beings have a great capacity for self-deception. First of all, in the scheme of things self-pleasuring is fairly innocuous, hardly the naughty thing so many make it out to be. That is not say that it cannot be abused, misused.
But where are the limits of where we can and cannot look at the things we do?
The "no distractions of another person's needs and reactions" is what makes masturbation more rawly selfish.
“Rawly selfish?” Again, with the value judgments. So, if I have no sexual partner and I would like to have an orgasm for whatever reason, I am being “rawly selfish,” but if I have a partner and I want an orgasm, my engaging her for that goal is devoid of any selfishness?
The presence of another human being with needs is not a distraction, but a reminder of why this sexual union may be the skillful thing to do in this moment.
Why would it be any more skilful in the moment than any other action, such as abstaining from giving into the pressures of the body to couple?
The best lovers are selfless lovers; they climax selflessly.
One gives to get.
Generally speaking, I think we also can consider whether it's possible for sampajanna to compatible with every activity. To the extent that the activity is motivated by greed, hate and/or delusion, I would say no.
Then you will never be free of greed, hatred, and delusion.
For example, the act of beating someone up is not compatible with sampajanna, although certainly it is possible to beat someone up mindfully and with awareness. But you can't do it with clear comprehension, because as soon as you comprehend, you stop.
Clear comprehension is not an intellectual activity. If one is genuinely mindful, one is not going to beat up another.
For example, having sex with our spouse. In those moments, how do we engage with our world? Ideally, with sampajanna, recognizing the subtle arising of greed, hate and delusion from moment to moment, and not pursuing those impulses, not feeding them. That's the problem with masturbation, in my view.
“Not tonight, dear, I have sampajañña.” Maybe you are assuming that masturbation requires pornography and some sort of debased, drooling mind set.
I am not advocating whacking-off as a Dhamma practice, or saying that it is even possible, though it might be possible to pay attention to what one is doing, to the mind states, the physical reactions and such as things progress. It certainly is possible to do all that as one poops, from the initial inkling to the flush of the toilet.
Now, here is a line-by-line response to your msg. Damdifino what you are saying that I supposedly did not understand. Let me know.