masturbation what's wrong?

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:59 am

Well said, Chris.

tiltbillings wrote:The last word is yours.
Then I better choose carefully. How about:

It has to be medical experiments for the lot of you.


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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:51 am

Jechbi wrote:Well said, Chris.

tiltbillings wrote:The last word is yours.
Then I better choose carefully. How about:

It has to be medical experiments for the lot of you.


When it comes to sperm, I am a heathen.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:07 am

Chris wrote: But within our societies, past or present, I don't know of any culture or religion where the Viññū (The Wise) state that masturbation is a good and wholesome thing to be practised, pursued or encouraged.


The nice thing about the wise, well, the Buddha, anyway, is that he did not for the laity, proscribe masturbation. It is not even mentioned. What he did specifically proscribe for the laity was sex with a certain groups of people who are not appropriate. Interestingly, he did not say that sex must be between a married man and woman.

It would seem as an activity, self-pleasuring in terms of the precepts is of rather minor consideration. And there are and were cultures where self-pleasuring was not looked upon with Victorian disdain.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby chownah » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Are we to assume that masturbation is a solo activity or does this discussion also include activity between consenting adults and does this include masturbation as foreplay (between consenting adults) which is then followed up by other sexual acts?

Are those giving warnings about the downside of masturbation willing to extend their comments to ALL sexual activity of EVERY kind...and to go one step further are some willing to suggest that all procreation should be by artificial insemination with the sperm being collected from nocturnal emissions?

Are those giving warnings about the downside of masturbation willing to extend their comments to ALL pleasurable activity like eating ripe fruit or regularly exercising?...and are they of the mind that anything which is pleasurable should be held as suspect and the more pleasurable it is the more suspect it should become?

What about the "middle path" between indulgence and denial..? Where does masturbation fit into on this continuum?

Although it may seem that these questions are rhetorical...they are not....replies will be apprecitated.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:39 pm

chownah wrote:Are those giving warnings about the downside of masturbation willing to extend their comments to ALL sexual activity of EVERY kind ...
Of course not. We don't live in a black-and-white world. There are nuances, and it's always going to depend on the situation. But I think we can agree that sexual activity is kamma, right? And kamma has to do with volitional action, flavored with underlying intent. So in general, what intent does one bring to solo masturbation? What intent does one bring to the act of sexual union in the context of a loving relationship? Is it the same kamma?

The assertion has been made here that the kamma of solo masturbation is equivalent to enjoying a cup of tea or reading a book. I don't think your word "warning" is quite correct in this context, but the counter-argument has been that the kamma of solo masturbation is not equivalent to these things, and is generally in fact less wholesome, at least in the context of masturbation as it commonly is discussed (and not, for example, as a medical procedure).

chownah wrote:What about the "middle path" between indulgence and denial..?
What middle path are you talking about? How would you apply that middle path to unwholesome activities such as killing and stealing? Would the middle path entail a little bit of each?
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Fede » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:04 pm

If I may say so, those questions bring a 'smoke and mirrors' aspect to the discussion.
Both killing and stealing involve 'damaging' other people, whereas masturbation is in essence, a self-abusing pastime. (I use the term abuse, tongue in cheek folks..... :tongue: )

Killing with the benefit of many when faced with a life-or-death situation may be a distasteful decision to make, but if it means killing altruistically, for the benefit of protecting others, the karma is not as bad as wantonly killing out of malice.
Remember the intention.

Intention is all.

I stole something from a friend, because I knew that they were going to put it to a detrimental use, and get other people into trouble.
I do not feel guilty for having stolen this item. On the contrary. I know it saved an awful lot of potential trouble.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:08 pm

Jechbi wrote:
The assertion has been made here that the kamma of solo masturbation is equivalent to enjoying a cup of tea or reading a book.


No one has made such an assertion.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:10 am

tiltbillings wrote:Don't we self gratify all the time? Drinking a favorite tea while reading our favorite author? Listening to a beautiful piece of music? Company of good friends? The high that come from exercise? Wearing one's favorite shirt? Playing with one's grandkids? Petting one's dog?

...

I am simply exploring possibilities, but what is interesting is the particular opprobrium laid upon masturbation as if it were in a particularly bad class -- worse than others - of things we might choose to do to do that is pleasurable.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:53 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Jechbi wrote:
The assertion has been made here that the kamma of solo masturbation is equivalent to enjoying a cup of tea or reading a book.


No one has made such an assertion.


Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Don't we self gratify all the time? Drinking a favorite tea while reading our favorite author? Listening to a beautiful piece of music? Company of good friends? The high that come from exercise? Wearing one's favorite shirt? Playing with one's grandkids? Petting one's dog?

...

I am simply exploring possibilities, but what is interesting is the particular opprobrium laid upon masturbation as if it were in a particularly bad class -- worse than others - of things we might choose to do to do that is pleasurable.


And equivalent kamma was mentioned where in that msg? The point is that we do, repeatedly, all sorts of pleasurable things, and we do them repeatedly because they give us pleasure. The question being raised here is why do we distinguish between various forms of pleasure, casting sexual self-pleasuring in a bad light and other habitual self-pleasuring in an okay light, if not good, light.

The point in my No one has made such an assertion comment is to accurately reflect what is being said. I made no assertion that these things are equivalent other than being forms of self-pleasuring, and I certainly made no comment of equivalency of the kammic consequences of these actions.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:51 am

So you agree that the kamma of solo masturbation is generally less wholesome than activities such as enjoying a cup of tea or reading a book?
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:09 am

Jechbi wrote:So you agree that the kamma of solo masturbation is generally less wholesome than activities such as enjoying a cup of tea or reading a book?


Interesting phrasing of the question which suggests, then, that drinking tea as an act of enjoyment is unwholesome. On what basis does one quantify unwholesomeness?

Is self-pleasuring more or less unwholesome than the ins-and-outs with an individual who is not traditionally proscribed? Or with one's spouse? One what basis does one make such value judgments?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:17 pm

You're avoiding the question. Or, to rephrase:
tiltbillings wrote:... how about answering the question, maybe?
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:40 pm

170 posts later and the OP has never come back to clarify his question. In the meantime it seems you guys are having fun talking past each other. Whatever.

sundara wrote:What's wrong to masturbate once in a while, what has buddhism got to say about that?

What's wrong with it? It is indulging in sensual pleasure. I have learned that indulging in any sensual pleasure further binds one to samsara.

Here's a link to some suttas on the subject.

And here's some excerpts:

-----

"Now, what is the taking on of a practice that is pleasant in the present but yields pain in the future? There are some priests & contemplatives who hold to a doctrine, a view like this: 'There is no harm in sensual pleasures.' Thus they meet with their downfall through sensual pleasures." - MN 45

"Clinging to sensuality, to sensual ties, seeing no blame in the fetter, never will those tied up in the fetter cross over the flood so great & wide." - Ud 7.3

"Whoever avoids sensual desires — as he would, with his foot, the head of a snake — goes beyond, mindful, this attachment in the world." - Snp 4.1

-----

This I understand to include masturbation, ordering desert, putting on some music, or any of a thousand ways we seek sensual pleasure. Does this mean we need to abstain from all pursuits of sensual pleasure in order to realize the ending of suffering? It would seem to depend on the person. Some will, some won't. It also seems to me the Buddha regularly recommended abstaining as helpful.

On the other hand, I think a person has to be ready for such a practice. I recall the Nanda Sutta (Ud 3.2) in which the monk Nanda was ready to give up monkhood because he desired a woman. The Buddha, rather than exhort him on the drawbacks of sensual pleasure, showed him 500 nymphs and said if Nanda practiced diligenty he could have these nymphs as his own. Nanda agreed to stay a monk. When word of this spread, some of Nanda's fellow monks started poking fun at him. Then...

"... Ven. Nanda — humiliated, ashamed, and disgusted that the monks who were his friends were addressing him as they would a hired hand and a dealer — went to dwell alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, and resolute. He in no long time entered and remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing and realizing it for himself in the here and now. He knew: 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.' And thus Ven. Nanda became another one of the arahants."

I hope this is helpful.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:41 pm

Jechbi wrote:You're avoiding the question. Or, to rephrase:
tiltbillings wrote:... how about answering the question, maybe?



Not at all. I am asking for clarification of your question, which is perfectly reasonable. This kamma business is yours, not mine.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:48 pm

Peter wrote:170 posts later and the OP has never come back to clarify his question. In the meantime it seems you guys are having fun talking past each other. Whatever.


If we are having fun, there is a problem with that? It might be a sensual pleasure. Gasp.


This I understand to include masturbation, ordering desert, putting on some music, or any of a thousand ways we seek sensual pleasure. Does this mean we need to abstain from all pursuits of sensual pleasure in order to realize the ending of suffering? It would seem to depend on the person. Some will, some won't. It also seems to me the Buddha regularly recommended abstaining as helpful.


So, you must eat rather bland boring food, never do anything that that brings any sort of enjoyment to yourself.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:14 pm

tiltbillings wrote:If we are having fun, there is a problem with that? It might be a sensual pleasure. Gasp.

Good point, Tilt.

tiltbillings wrote:I am asking for clarification of your question, which is perfectly reasonable.

Well, you have said that your comments are not an assertion that the kamma of solo masturbation is equivalent to enjoying a cup of tea or reading a book. But it looks to me like you're saying that all these forms of self-pleasuring are all more or less the same with regard to whether they are hinderances. And it looks to me like you're saying that there's no practical way to draw a distinction among them in terms of the quality of the kamma involved. Thus my question. Will that enable you to answer it?
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:50 pm

j wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I am asking for clarification of your question, which is perfectly reasonable.

Well, you have said that your comments are not an assertion that the kamma of solo masturbation is equivalent to enjoying a cup of tea or reading a book. But it looks to me like you're saying that all these forms of self-pleasuring are all more or less the same with regard to whether they are hinderances. And it looks to me like you're saying that there's no practical way to draw a distinction among them in terms of the quality of the kamma involved. Thus my question. Will that enable you to answer it?


If you look at the original msg, I am asking a rather narrowly focused question, not asserting anything. And I have certainly not said, or suggested, they are is the same as regarding being or not being hindrances. To restate, of the things we do that could be considered self-pleasuring, why is sexual self pleasure considered worse - or in some sort of different category - than any number of other common things people opt to do? That is the question. Don't read more into 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.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby christopher::: » Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:08 pm

Peter wrote:170 posts later and the OP has never come back to clarify his question. In the meantime it seems you guys are having fun talking past each other. Whatever.

sundara wrote:What's wrong to masturbate once in a while, what has buddhism got to say about that?

What's wrong with it? It is indulging in sensual pleasure. I have learned that indulging in any sensual pleasure further binds one to samsara.

Here's a link to some suttas on the subject.

And here's some excerpts:

-----

"Now, what is the taking on of a practice that is pleasant in the present but yields pain in the future? There are some priests & contemplatives who hold to a doctrine, a view like this: 'There is no harm in sensual pleasures.' Thus they meet with their downfall through sensual pleasures." - MN 45

"Clinging to sensuality, to sensual ties, seeing no blame in the fetter, never will those tied up in the fetter cross over the flood so great & wide." - Ud 7.3

"Whoever avoids sensual desires — as he would, with his foot, the head of a snake — goes beyond, mindful, this attachment in the world." - Snp 4.1

-----

This I understand to include masturbation, ordering desert, putting on some music, or any of a thousand ways we seek sensual pleasure. Does this mean we need to abstain from all pursuits of sensual pleasure in order to realize the ending of suffering? It would seem to depend on the person. Some will, some won't. It also seems to me the Buddha regularly recommended abstaining as helpful.

On the other hand, I think a person has to be ready for such a practice. I recall the Nanda Sutta (Ud 3.2) in which the monk Nanda was ready to give up monkhood because he desired a woman. The Buddha, rather than exhort him on the drawbacks of sensual pleasure, showed him 500 nymphs and said if Nanda practiced diligenty he could have these nymphs as his own. Nanda agreed to stay a monk. When word of this spread, some of Nanda's fellow monks started poking fun at him. Then...

"... Ven. Nanda — humiliated, ashamed, and disgusted that the monks who were his friends were addressing him as they would a hired hand and a dealer — went to dwell alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, and resolute. He in no long time entered and remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing and realizing it for himself in the here and now. He knew: 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.' And thus Ven. Nanda became another one of the arahants."

I hope this is helpful.


Good post, Peter. Thank you.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:06 pm

tiltbillings wrote:So, you must eat rather bland boring food, never do anything that that brings any sort of enjoyment to yourself.

Why do you say that?

You cannot possibly infer what I personally do or don't do based on what I have said in this thread.
Last edited by kc2dpt on Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:08 pm

tiltbillings wrote:of the things we do that could be considered self-pleasuring, why is sexual self pleasure considered worse - or in some sort of different category - than any number of other common things people opt to do?

Who said it is worse or different?
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