masturbation what's wrong?

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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:39 am

rb3 wrote:Hi there,

I'm a Buddhist who have been out of practice for a couple of years. I'm currently single, 25, and facing huge difficulties in controlling my lust. I used to visit erotic massage parlors to get a quick relief of which I've felt tremendous guilt after the act of done. I've made a vow to the Lord Buddha that I'll never visit these unwholesome outlets again and I've managed to stay true to my vows for 5 months. However, my urges are acting up on me again and the temptation to visit these places are overwhelming. I really need help on this. Is there a more skillful way to overcome these urges? I've tried practicing meditation and I hope it would really help.

Would really appreciate advice from serious practicing Buddhists.

PS: Please don't advice me to get a Girlfriend. I don't want to rush in a relationship, and prefer to wait for the right person to enter into my life. Nor do I feel its moral to get into a relationship in order to satisfy my lustful needs.

Thank you so much.


Why you don't make use of your lust to burn your lust?

Human beings are born in desire realm. They are full of desire 24/7. If you can make use of it, you can imagine the impact of this transformation.

SOme people see anger as a hindrance and try to eliminate it. THey look at it as a source of suffering and slowly get rid of anger.

However, some people see anger not as a hindrance, but as a diamond. They make use of this anger and transform that anger into the mindfulness and finally see their illusory nature.

Similarly, we can also use our lust as a diamond to finally burn the lust and see their illusory.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby manas » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:50 am

Ben wrote:Masturbation as meditation.
Now I think I have seen it all...
Um I did not quite mean it like that...lol

I just think that between doing it with no awareness, and doing it with awareness, that with a measure of awareness is the better way to go...would you believe that a monk once advised me to investigate, 'who is it that has the orgasm?', so I do have some saintly back-up here...of course abstinence is always the best of options...

Anyway, I can report that remaining aware can, on occassion, lead to one actually stopping the whole process before, um, things have gone too far... ( :broke: ) if one can have the insight in time, "what am I doing? do I really want to dull tomorrow morning's meditation session for the sake of ten seconds of pleasure? It's not too late to stop, reflect on what is really inside the body of the woman you are fantasizing about, and draw the energy back up into the body..." Cos I've found that it is losing the semen that is the worst aspect of this thing. Takes the edge off the sword of sati-sampajanna (the next morning), I've found.

:namaste:
Last edited by manas on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:56 am

I think religions ( and the people on this board......no offense meant ) make too much of this issue. The original poster wanted to stop exploiting women by going to massage parlors and wanted to wait to have sex until he met someone he would like to be in a relationship with. Masturbating would free him from that problem without harming anyone. Nobody is worried for his spirituality by earning money or doing 100 things each of us probably do everyday that is outside of the circle described from monks in writings from 2600 years ago.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby rb3 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:02 am

Hi everyone!

Thank you so much for your advice and motivation. I went for a little jog this morning, and feel so much refreshed and clear headed now. I was penning this post out of frustration, because the lustful desire suddenly goes into high power mode, and suddenly my heart starts thumping rapidly and the burning urge to go visit these erotic parlors relapses. I'm glad that I've managed to keep these desires in check and I've managed to stay true to my promise. @manasikara, I really want to thank you specially for this post. It was very comforting to hear that you understand how I feel. I'm not too sure if you've ever encountered a problem as similar to mine, but I remembered the hellish days where I was ridden with guilt from visiting these parlors. I never imagined myself to do this, and yes, sexual addiction can be hell. Thank you for giving me the motivation, and not being judgmental on me. I guess the only solution out is to keep practicing, and cleansing my mind of defilements. And of course, I hope to meet a nice girl in the near future. :)
Last edited by rb3 on Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:05 am

Hi manasikara,
On a Buddhist forum I personally don't think its a good idea to encourage, or be seen to encourage, an unwholesome activity. When one masturbates, its a choice one makes in dealing with chronic or acute lust. As a choice, its also an opportunity to develop equanimity and awareness as to what is going on. As I mentioned earlier, sexual stimulation and craving are so closely linked that they go together that any attempt of "mindful masturbation" is just a fantasy. In such a situation I would recommend one maintains one's sila and depending on the intensity of the lust, engage in vipassana (attendig to the usual object of meditation), samatha (observing the breath or some other usual object of meditation), or recollecting the qualities of triple gem. Mike also suggested an asubha practice of contemplating the parts of the body which I think would be very effective as well.
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.

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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby rb3 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:12 am

Hi Ben,

thank you for your reply. I understand it might not be appropriate to encourage masturbation on a Buddhist forum. But if I may speak a little for manasikara, I think I understand where he's coming from. I once asked a reputable Buddhist monk, on a meditation retreat, on my troubles in trying to quit masturbation. Yes, I was that serious in practice at that time and thought masturbation was a hindrance to my practice. His advice to me was there was no need, nor did he encouraged me to quit masturbation, unless I was ordained in the Sangha. He said lust by itself was a fire that was very hard to curb, especially for a layperson. He told me that to keep practicing and if the lust becomes unbearable, that masturbation would be an appropriate relief. I understand the benefits from practicing on meditating on the unwholesome aspects of the body, but I don't think thats very suitable for a typical layperson. Especially if the person has not made celibacy a goal. In fact, to really practice on that, I've read it was necessary to go into one of those open burial spots to witness the actual decomposition process. That is something that is not easy to accomplish and I think one needs to have a good mentor/meditation teacher for guidance.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:16 am

rb3 wrote:His advice to me was there was no need, nor did he encouraged me to quit masturbation, unless I was ordained in the Sangha. He said lust by itself was a fire that was very hard to curb, especially for a layperson. He told me that to keep practicing and if the lust becomes unbearable, that masturbation would be an appropriate relief.


REALLY? He said that?
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


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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:42 am

I agree that anything that increases craving cannot be publicly endorsed, but...

4. Corassuttaü Ý Highwaymen

009.04. Bhikkhus, the highwaymen endowed with eight things does not do it long, ends up quickly. What eight?

Attacks those who should not be attacked, takes away without leaving anything, kills women, defiles maidens, plunders the gone forth, plunders the royal treasury, steals in the vicinity and does not have a saving Bhikkhus, the highwaymen endowed with these eight things does not do it long, ends up quickly.

Bhikkhus, the highwaymen endowed with eight things does it long, does not end up quickly. What eight?

Does not attack those who should not be attacked, does not take away without leaving anything, does not kill women, does not defile maidens, does not plunder the gone forth, does not plunder the royal treasury, does not steal in the vicinity and has a saving Bhikkhus, the highwaymen endowed with these eight things does it long, does not end up quickly.
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/4Anguttara-Nikaya/Anguttara5/8-atthakanipata/009-sativaggo-e.html

We all know the path is a gradual one. The highwayman may not be able to give up killing right away and any such instruction telling him to do that is likely to be of no benefit to him. Better for him to take the next step down, rather than the next 8th step down. It is a form of kusala IMHO.

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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:48 am

rowyourboat wrote:We all know the path is a gradual one. The highwayman may not be able to give up killing right away and any such instruction telling him to do that is likely to be of no benefit to him.


This is just bizarre, Matheesha.
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


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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby kirk5a » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:52 pm

rowyourboat wrote:We all know the path is a gradual one. The highwayman may not be able to give up killing right away and any such instruction telling him to do that is likely to be of no benefit to him. Better for him to take the next step down, rather than the next 8th step down. It is a form of kusala IMHO.

There is no way that is what that sutta means. You're getting that interpretation from "does not do it long, ends up quickly." ?? The translation is unclear, for starters, but it sounds more to me like it is suggesting the highwayman will simply be unable to perpetuate such behavior. Probably because he'll end up dead or in prison.
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby manas » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:23 pm

I can't write much as I'm having a difficult day today. Also I might sound like I'm countering Ben here, who has often been very helpful to me, and I don't want to do that, either. (Ben - hope you realize that).

I thought I was pretty clear that we should choose the best option that is possible. Ok...1. ordain as a monk. if we can't do that: 2. practice asubha meditation and celibacy as a layperson. if we can't do that: 3. get a girlfriend, and at least have a loving relationship, with sex in the context of affection. if we can't do that...4. masturbate to let off some of the steam... and so on. I know what the ideals are, and I have tried them. But I also know what can happen when we overreach, and push too hard.

I really meant well...I had better get out of this topic, but I just hope that everyone can see that I do agree with what is in the suttas, I'm just trying to be practical in the issue of trying to help someone stay balanced, and on the raft of the Buddha Dhamma. If I had of been a bit less idealistic, and a bit less hard on myself, when I was his age, I would not have come and gone (from the Dhamma) as often as I did, practicing hard, then having a break, then coming back...etc etc. Steadiness and long-term daily practice beats short intense bursts of effort, IME.

:namaste:
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:57 pm

manasikara wrote:I really meant well...


I know you do, manasikara. You have nothing to worry about nor apologise for.
And I apologise if I appeared to be admonishign you in any way.
with Metta,

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


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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:10 pm

Hi Ben, kirk

The Buddha in the sutta is not endorsing stealing, just saying that stealing minus the other bits is somewhat better for the robber. I wonder if there was a highwayman in the audience or whether he was just using this as a simile. Either way, this is just my opinion; which might not be correct in all situations. I guess there might be some highwaymen who stop killing when you tell them to do that.

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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby manas » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:55 pm

Ben wrote:
manasikara wrote:I really meant well...


I know you do, manasikara. You have nothing to worry about nor apologise for.
And I apologise if I appeared to be admonishign you in any way.
with Metta,

Ben
I appreciate that clarification, Ben. Actually I am working on being able to better take admonishment, anyway...if you see me heading in the wrong direction, let me know. Dhamma friends are supposed to do that, anyway! But I must admit that in this particular instance (and how I wish I had known this myself years back), sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils, so that we are at least heading in the right direction, ie away from the most harmful, and towards the less harmful. I hope that makes Dhammic sense!

:namaste:
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Naughty posts (topic number = 489)

Postby Pondera » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:21 am

Before I give you my two cents on the troubles of masturbation, here's a question. Did the Buddha ever have anything to say specifically on masturbation? The answer is yes. Well. I've looked for it everywhere for the sutta, but I can't find the one I'm looking for. Anyhow. You'll have to trust me on this one.

A monk came to the Buddha and asked, though it was forbidden, if he could be allowed to do this dirty deed in his own time, because his skin turned a disgusting tone of yellow if he didn't masturbate frequently, and somehow it was established that the skin discoloration was definitely due to not masturbating. So, he wasn't just making the story up in order to knock one off on his own spare time. He really had a medical reaction to the build up of semen in his system. It's actually a myth that men should regularly empty their bodies of semen. It's an excuse that justifies the act, and I don't have anything to say about the thing as if it were some morally objective evil, though it may sound like I'm marking it that way. The fact is masturbating is like spending your money at the race track. Gambling is stupid. Save your money for a rainy day. By money I mean testosterone. Build it up. Back to the Buddha.

The Buddha allowed this monk, in this extreme case where the monk's skin was turning horrible colors of yellow that just weren't healthy, to go ahead and masturbate on his own free time. So, what ended up happening was that all of the other monks basically made a laugh out of him because whenever this other monk would eat from his bowl, they would ask him what other "various" things he did with that hand.

The point I wish I could make is that there isn't an excuse for masturbation. Yes, people get "addicted" to it and now there's a three letter acronym for compulsive incurable masturbation disorder. I'm sure the pharmaceutical companies have medications that help the poor suffering teenagers of this world deal with what is an becoming a very large and varied amount of free pornography; the growth and affect of which is "out of their hands", so to speak.

Okay. Fair enough. Never in the history of the world has there ever been a time like now when it is incredibly easy to find pictures of naked women.

But for all the excuses why you can't help your self, there is a very good reason why you should not masturbate and it has nothing to do with the fact that God might always be watching you.

The number one reason why a man of age 25 shouldn't masturbate (much less pay for sexual gratification) is the loss of testosterone.

Here's what happens if you manage a whole year without spilling a drop. Testosterone levels increase. Those levels will literally attract the mate you are meant to be with (assuming you're a heterosexual male). A years worth of testosterone built up in your body is the proportional equivalent of a pheromone release that will cover half the globe.

And this won't attract all the women you could dream of. This will attract the woman who was meant for you. You're pheromones encode, like the urine of a dog, all the information that the opposite sex needs and wants in order to decide if you are right for them. And since your pheromones are now mixing all over the globe, if there is a girl out there for you she will be "attracted" to you, like gravity, every time. But if you masturbate, forget about it. You will never meet her. You're life at 28 will be useless and unfulfilled.

At 25 you will thank your self at 28 that for that whole year that you took cold showers or roughly slapped your self in the face on a regular basis just to keep the thought of masturbation out, because when you have met the girl in your life which will make the rest of your life worth living, you have essentially accomplished a very good thing. Then get married and do what the villagers do, in the villagers way, so they call it.

So slap your self silly -in the face. It's called "chastising". It's funny, but the mental desire for pleasure can vanish very quickly from ones mind when it is welcomed with swift physical discomfort. I suppose that is the basis for the whole philosophy of extreme asceticism.
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Re: Naughty posts (topic number = 489)

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:13 am

Pondera wrote:Well. I've looked for it everywhere for the sutta, but I can't find the one I'm looking for.

Given what you've provided above, I'd say it doesn't exist. Its best not to put words in the mouth of the Buddha, Pondera, as you misrepresent the Dhamma.

EDIT:
Intentionally causing oneself to emit semen, or getting someone else to cause one to emit semen — except during a dream — is a saṅghādisesa offense. (Sg 1)
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


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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby manas » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:29 am

Hi pondera,
masturbation is a problem, yes. But even more of a problem is worry, and perfectionism, IMHO. And in the Dhamma, a calm mind capable of insight is more important than a perfectly healthy body, good testosterone levels, or even a dream partner. (Unless you can find me one that will never, ever deteriorate and age...)

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Re: Naughty posts (topic number = 489)

Postby daverupa » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:23 pm

Pondera wrote:You'll have to trust me on this one... A years worth of testosterone built up in your body is the proportional equivalent of a pheromone release that will cover half the globe... This will attract the woman who was meant for you. You're pheromones encode... And since your pheromones are now mixing all over the globe, if there is a girl out there for you she will be "attracted" to you, like gravity, every time...


What a ridiculous pile of pseudo-factual trash. I can think of no other way to sum up what has been presented, above.
    "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]
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby Zom » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:19 pm

Manasikara's adivce is worth listening to (in my opinion). So I agree totally.

I've been practising quite seriously for 5 years (actually from the very first day I discovered Dhamma). And I'm still married (since 2002), I have a wife and daughter. And "as I know and see it", up till now, even living in a family, I managed to decrease lust a lot through constant practice of the Noble Eightfold Path. I had numerous sensual attachments, including sexual, and I weakened them much. So I can even make a small lion roar like "Yea, it really works!!". :tongue:

But one thing I would add about getting rid of addiction to sexual things... Once lust will occupy your mind - observe it carefully, and do this in such a way, so you see extreme suffering in it (and indeed, it is really painful, this sexual lust). Then do whatever you want to have a relief (of course, in the frames of 5 precepts). Time will come, and your mind will incline to sexual things less and less and less - because it will instinctly know that this is suffering-suffering-suffering. These are not just words or some bare ideas - this is my actual experience. And that's why, for example, right now at the present moment, I feel it easy to keep 8 precepts for, lets say, 2-3 months continuously. Five years ago I would be 100% sure that this is just an impossibility. But as it turned out - The Blessed One was right - once again.. :tongue:

Ow, and one more thing - if you are going to find a girlfriend, then there might be a problem for you to practise "fading away of lust" simply because your girl won't understand it ,) So the only options here are: 1) find a Dhamma-practising girl, or at least a wise one (hard to find, indeed) 2) drop this idea to find a girl 8-)
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby unspoken » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:55 pm

Hmmm. I do have the same problem. But I found out actually every time when I am feeling tired and sleepy, all these urges coming to attack me. Is it the hindrance that actually come together? Whenever I feel like sloppy and drowsy, immediately the sexual thoughts arises.
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