masturbation what's wrong?

Some topics tend to get heated and go off track in unwholesome ways quite quickly. The "hot topics" sub-forum is a place where such topics may be moved so that each post must be manually approved by moderator before it will become visible to members.

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:32 pm

Don't forget national penis day in Japan.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby robertk » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:36 pm

User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby phil » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:55 pm

One of my fave topics, thanks Robert. Any felllows out there who are interested in celibacy but think masturbating is wrong try choking the vicar without an accompanying phantasm when he squawks. It gives a whole new perspective on the phenomenon and gives you a little glimpse into how the mind has come to fabricate a distorted perception of the whole orgasm business.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
User avatar
phil
 
Posts: 613
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:08 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Nibbida » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:50 pm

Ben,

Be careful when posting to a thread on masturbation when your signature line mentions the "compassionate hands foundation." I wasn't being cheeky. I was just reading down the thread and for some involuntary neurological reason the phrase "compassionate hands" kinda jumped out at me.

;-)
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana
User avatar
Nibbida
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:44 am

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:26 pm

Nibbida wrote:Ben,

Be careful when posting to a thread on masturbation when your signature line mentions the "compassionate hands foundation." I wasn't being cheeky. I was just reading down the thread and for some involuntary neurological reason the phrase "compassionate hands" kinda jumped out at me.

;-)


Absolutely!
I don't mind the embarrassment for a very worthy charity. When I was in Myanmar I met the founder of Compassionate Hands Foundation. "Snow" is a single person who is making a profound effect on the lives of hundreds if not thousands of Burmese people. Originally established to provide aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis in 2009, Compassionate Hands, when I was in Myanmar in late Nov-early Jan, was raising funds for a number of projects including wells to replace contaminated water supplies on the Cyclone affected west coast, raising money for schools in Yangon, and providing disinfectant to monasteries so that skin infections such as ring-worm are not passed on to monks and novices. Snow is also a co-practitioner within my tradition and served myself and a number of US and Canadian assistant teachers by showing us around and introducing us to people in Yangon.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16154
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Overcoming passion

Postby UrgeSurfer » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:14 am

Hi, this is my first post so apologies if it is in the wrong section or even the completely wrong forum.

I have been practicing Goenka based Vipassana for the better part of 16 years. I have even sat longer courses and am pretty good at maintaining my daily practice of 2 hours. During my practice of Vipassana I have become much calmer and more focussed, have stopped drinking and drug-taking altogether (used to be a heavy drinker and pot smoker) and generally feel much better about the direction my life is taking.

However, I still feel that I am way too easily overcome by passion. I am in a very happy marriage, my wife is also an old student of Vipassana, yet too often I find myself browsing inappropriate websites and engaging in self-sex. I spend way too much time fantasising about other women even though there is absolutely no way I would act out these fantasies in real life.

I am also a member of an online support group for these sorts of behaviours but pretty much all the other members are coming from a Christian /12 step perspective which doesn't resonate with me at all.

I was wondering if anyone here has encountered similar difficulties and what they have done about it.

Thanks for reading.
UrgeSurfer
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:54 am

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:38 am

Hi Urgesurfer and welcome to DW!
I'm also an 'old student' of SN Goenka. As a matter of interest, when you say you've done longer courses, specifically, what length courses have you done? And when did you do them?
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16154
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby pegembara » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:16 am

Check out this 32 parts body meditation. It reduces the attraction to our external self.
This meditation has a special place in the Dharma. It is one of very few subjects of meditation which contain both a tranquillity aspect and an insight aspect. As well, it is a very useful practical meditation, providing a powerful antidote to the hindrance of lust.

http://www.arrowriver.ca/dhamma/body.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
pegembara
 
Posts: 642
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:42 am

UrgeSurfer wrote:I find myself browsing inappropriate websites and engaging in self-sex. I spend way too much time fantasising about other women even
There is nothing here to beat yourself over. If anything, you might try extending some compassion towards yourself. And when you are having these urges, before get out of hand (or in hand), best when you just feel the initial inkling, just sit quietly and pay attention without comment to what you are feeling, the urge to resist the action, the urge to act on the desire. Even though the habits are deeply established, you can choose how to act here, to sit quietly, paying attention.

Of course, all of that easy to say and very difficult to do, but each time you choose to simply try to pay attention rather than allowing yourself to get lost in the feelings, acting on your desires, you are weakening the hold of the old pattern. And as I said, have compassion for yourself, be kind to yourself, just as you would towards another who might be coming to you with this problem, asking for advice. And be kind to yourself in your "failures." In paying attention you learn the nature of the habit that is driving you. You see the discomfort of wanting, the pain of wanting to not want, the burning of the sexual urge and humiliation of giving into it when you think you should not.

Basically, allow yourself to be uncomfortable. Learn to start putting some space around the urges, stepping back a bit just so you can pay attention - without comment. One of the more interesting experiences in meditation is catching that moment when the desire drops away.

All of this is going to be a struggle, an exploration, which is well worth doing. You have the meditation experience. It will be a bit different from what you are use to doing, but the basics are there to just pay attention to what arises and falls in your mind/body as the urge to act out starts to present itself. Like the habit you developed, it will need to be done over and over. There is really no other way.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19618
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby daverupa » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:25 am

Maybe fast for a day or two, and really get used to the hunger pangs. Then, later, when you feel the sort of lust arising as you mention, you might try equating it with the hunger feeling. Mere groin hunger, instead of gut hunger, if you will. Because of having suffered from relatively severe gastrointestinal issues, decoupling such urges and noting them as mere body input is of great help to me. Maybe such an approach can help here as well.

Another method from my experience: it is definitely the case that related thoughts increase the valence of the hunger (in either case) - at the root thereof I find a certain boredom, and the related thoughts which arise seem to be the minds way of finding me something to do, i.e. of solving the boredom. Well, boredom is dukkha, and in response to such thoughts I reiterate that I have gone for refuge to the Dhamma, and not to the minds native skills (because the Dhamma works against suffering while native skills only keep me alive to propagate DNA). In my experience, therefore, being mindful of such boredom as it arises can prevent lust from even developing.

The Buddha himself remarks in the Vinaya that sexual desire is a tenacious bugbear (I paraphrase), so take heart. We're all in this together.

:heart:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4193
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby UrgeSurfer » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:18 am

Thanks for all the compassion and wisdom in all your answers.

@Ben, I did a 20 day course last year. I have also sat two Satipatthana courses.

@pegembara, thanks for the link. Actually an Assistant Teacher I went and talked to a few years ago about this same issue recommended much the same thing. At the time it didn't really gel with me, but I'm willing to look at it again.

@tiltbillings, thanks a lot for your post. I've really been trying to get to the place you describe. It's good to hear it reflected back at me.

@daverupa, I agree with a lot in your post, boredom is definitely a 'trigger' for me.

tiltbillings wrote:… the basics are there to just pay attention to what arises and falls in your mind/body as the urge to act out starts to present itself. Like the habit you developed, it will need to be done over and over. There is really no other way.


I think this is the heart of the matter. Deep down I know what I need to do, it's just a matter of sticking to doing it.

Metta.
UrgeSurfer
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:54 am

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby unspoken » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:08 am

I know what you lack of,tranquility and concentration. Samatha meditation will help. Engage in tranquility meditation. If it's better if you can enter Jhana. Practice more.
Identify yourself, let's try this out. If you practice vipassana you feel really peaceful, try on samatha. If you practice samatha and feel very hard to keep it up, i suggest you train samatha. Now you lack tranquility in attacking your desires.

Few days ago, I did engaged myself on m@aturbation. But then I found out, even I know that I should not be doing it(having observant on my actions), but my mind is too weak to overcome the desire. So I trained myself in samatha meditation. And I can see now the effect of it, the desires are slowly losing. But I'm still thinking of it....shyt.... oh well, going back to samatha again. :anjali:
unspoken
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:41 pm

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:01 am

Samatha meditation is not enough — one should practice vipassanā meditation.

There are four foundations of mindfulness — the body, feelings, thoughts, and mental states. One should observe and be mindful of all four, not only the body (respiration) and feelings, but also consciousness (citta) and dhamma.

When seeing a visible object with the eye, be aware that you see it. So too, with sounds, odours, tastes, and touches. Be especially mindful when thinking thoughts. Fantasising must be known and noted whenever it arises as a mental process. Don't suppress it, know it for what it is — utter delusion and heedlessness.

So too with mental states: when lust or anger arise they should be observed as they occur. When sloth or restless arise they should be known too, and when doubt or confusion arises, it should also be known. All mental states should be observed in the same way — excited, elated, joyful, sorrowful, anxious, fearful, etc.

A Discourse on the Mālukyaputta Sutta
“Having thought of a mind object, one loses mindfulness. Getting involved in the attraction of it, one feels the onset of desire that tries to imbibe it.”

“A multitude of passions such as covetousness and rage, springing from ideas, torments one who takes a firm hold of it, with the result that his mind becomes burdened with vexation. Therefore, nibbāna remains remote from one who would rather carry the burden of suffering than practise meditation.”
AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)
User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
 
Posts: 2040
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:52 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Samatha meditation is not enough — one should practice vipassanā meditation.

Indeed!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16154
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Fede » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:08 am

UrgeSurfer, I also think that perhaps you need to harden up and consider that you are being ....'sensitive'....with your describing the problem.

It's not passion, it's Lust.
It's not self-sex - it's masturbation.
It's not 'inappropriate websites' - it's porn.

Call a spade a damned shovel.
Sometimes, the reality and no-nonsense approach to what we do, can be a better 'cold bucket of water' to our mind, than dressing it up in more flowery terms.

These things, for a lay Buddhist, need not necessarily be hindrances, providing you preceive them for what they are. Distractions to practice, to which one can form an unhealthy attachment.

Lust per se, is not negative, or evil.
Masturbation, per se, is not negative or evil.
Porn, per se, is not negative or evil.

These can be covered by the third precept:
I vow to refrain from indulging in inappropriate sexual behaviour.
The Buddha outlined what that was.

You and your wife are not ordained as a monk and nun.
And sex and Lust are not "sinful".

This Link may help.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el225.html

And on a final note, scroll down, all the way down, and read the very last line.

And exchange the word 'passion' for 'Lust'.

There, you have all you need to know.

From a very simple-minded member.
:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:18 am

Hi Fede

I don't think Urgesurfer is being particularly sensitive. He is merely using the terminology used in the tradition. Masturbation is known as 'self-sex', and lust is known as 'passion'. I suspect it comes from the english usage of the Burmese, perhaps its the ethnic indian burmese, from the 1950s and has been transmitted to the present day courtesy of Urgesurfer's and my teacher, SN Goenka.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16154
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Fede » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:27 am

Thank you.

I understand now, and apologise if I have inadvertently confused matters more.
I merely felt, from my position that actually being more forthright in terminology would both clarify, and give more clarity, to meditative attempts to cut through the illusion of attachment.

I regret adding to the muddle!
but I hope the link is still useful..... :meditate:

Incidentally, all advice and efforts here, to support and counsel, are extremely valuable, educational and commendable, if I may say so.

With Metta.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Bodha8 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:22 pm

Hello Fede,

I for one see no reason for your apology. You were merely offering an alternative view. I believe your post was very positive and quite possibly could have been the turning point in the solution to the problem.

Thank you for your compassionate effort.

Namaste

Bodha8
User avatar
Bodha8
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:37 am

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Fede » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:55 pm

You are most kind.

And welcome to the forum. :smile:

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Viscid » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:57 pm

Masturbation and looking at pornography is practically harmless, you shouldn't feel guilty about doing it. You're just creating a problem and unnecessary stress over something which causes no one any harm. You're a married, fully functioning man: you shouldn't want, and don't need, to overcome lust. If you were a monk, it'd be a different story.
Last edited by Viscid on Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
User avatar
Viscid
 
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:55 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma Hot Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests