Should sex be demonized so much?

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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:21 am

One is just able to compair his own experianses (which requires to remember) while argue with what other told does not make sense as long as one does not prove it amoung him self. Only here there is the possibility to gain understanding. Using tellings of elders and wise as a frame of compairing is how ever useful, but no need to addopt it without a own prove.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby manas » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:40 am

I appreciate all the replies.

I wish to comment on something. (Sorry for my lack of intellectual or should I say scholarly vigour at present. I have no more Internet or even computer at home anymore, and so have to do this from my local library, where I feel surrounded not just by other people (not that they are looking over my shoulder, but still...) but also where being immersed in wi-fi EMF fields is making me feel a bit dizzy right now).

At the moment of orgasm, the 'animal' aspect of our nature wants to push that energy outwards, downwards. To resist this urge and retain the semen in the body, drawing the energy inwards & upwards instead is actually reversing this usual course of events. It requires much self control, a certain measure of detachment and a lot of awareness of mind and body.

I agree with the member who said is needs to be done with the right instruction. There are a few masters around but one needs to be careful to find a properly qualified one. As this is a forum for the Buddha-Dhamma, which represents truths higher and more sublime than merely learning how to recirculate energy and thus live a longer and much healthier life, I hesitated to mention where I am getting this information from, but so long as no one thinks I am advertising, it is from Mantak Chia, a Taoist Master. He teaches this art in a completely non-religious way, by the way - he is actually a Christian by faith. It's just about energy. Anyone can learn to do it, religion doesn't come into it.

One thing I read was that one must not misuse the sexual power one can gain from this practice. It is intended to save the vital forces and recirculate them so that this energy can be put to good use, ultimately making one not just healthier but also a more loving partner to one's wife and a more helpful member of society. If one goes about having insubstantial relationships based upon sex alone, using women and abandoning them like a commodity, that is a misuse of the art, according to Chia. Maybe that is why it was traditionally not taught widely, but only to a few selected persons.

The truths of impermance and self-less-ness of all phenomena (in the sense of the upanishadic 'atman') are still much more earth-shattering than this, but I wanted to share how freeing it is to be letting go of the guilt and shame regarding sexual pleasure. I know it is impermanent and not-self. It is just feeling, it comes and goes. But somehow I feel as though a huge burden has been lifted from me. I am no longer at war with myself. Sex is not sinful, it is just a force of Nature. But one should know how to engage in it for one's benefit, rather than for one's harm and depletion. That is what Taoist sexual practices are for.

And regarding that warning someone gave about 'danger', as I said the only danger is if one misuses the powers that one can gain over time, having one-night stands etc (a moral danger). But that is caused by the person, not by the practice. There is no physical danger from retaining the seed. There can be some discomfort if one does it incorrectly, but not danger.

metta.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:06 am

Thanks Manas.
Sorry to hear that you have no computer at home any more.
As for WiFi EMS - they are everywhere and you've been basking in the radiance of similar electro-magnetic radiation since you were conceived. Your lightheadedness, I would hazzard to guess, is probably due to something much more gross - food, fluid intake, air, any chronic conditions you have. Anyway, that is by the by.
As for the Taoist approach to reticulating the sexual energy...
Having had some involvement for a few years with the shinto/taoist influenced teacher of macrobiotics, shiatsu and aikido from my distant past, I can assure you that I have not looked back since taking Dhamma seriously. "Working" with sexual drive whether it be through Taoist practice, kundalini or Tantra, can just be an elaborate form of indulging/grasping/craving.
If you really want to learn how to deal with your craving as well as your aversion effectively, then I cannot recommend highly enough regular residential retreats of vipassana meditation supported by ongoing practice in daily life.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby manas » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:20 am

Hi Ben,

I did say at the outset that this topic was for laymen who are not (as yet) willing or able to renounce sex pleasure. Of course there will be a measure of 'grasping' as one experiences pleasure rise upward, rather than spurting it out wastefully into the abyss. But that grasping is going to be there in any case. It doesn't disappear until anagami, right? So until then, if one is a layman, and is not yet going to be celibate, then this is a useful *adjunct* to one's Buddhist practice. It is not Enlightenment, but it is on a much higher level than ordinary, animalistic ejaculatory sex. It is a step in the right direction, towards greater self-control and awareness. I never said it could replace the Dhamma though, did I?

kind regards. _/I\_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:25 am

manas wrote: ordinary, animalistic ejaculatory sex
?

Makes me glad I am not a Toaist if that is their point of view.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby manas » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:28 am

tiltbillings wrote:
manas wrote: ordinary, animalistic ejaculatory sex
?

Makes me glad I am not a Toaist if that is their point of view.


Sorry, the pejorative term 'animalistic' was mine alone. Ok, I admit it was a bit overdone.

kind regards.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:32 am

manas wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
manas wrote: ordinary, animalistic ejaculatory sex
?

Makes me glad I am not a Toaist if that is their point of view.


Sorry, the pejorative term 'animalistic' was mine alone. Ok, I admit it was a bit overdone.

kind regards.
We are, after all, animals.
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
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:38 am

manas wrote:Hi Ben,

I did say at the outset that this topic was for laymen who are not (as yet) willing or able to renounce sex pleasure.

I understood that. I am not advocating that everyone leave the lay life en masse and ordain.

manas wrote:Of course there will be a measure of 'grasping' as one experiences pleasure rise upward, rather than spurting it out wastefully into the abyss. But that grasping is going to be there in any case. It doesn't disappear until anagami, right? So until then, if one is a layman, and is not yet going to be celibate, then this is a useful *adjunct* to one's Buddhist practice.

Well, yes. There will be intensely pleasurable sensations regardless of one's status as a lay person or monastic, ariya or non-ariya. Whether one is celibate or not, one is going to be besieged from time to time with lust and the dhammas associated with it. So how best deal with it? I would instead encourage one to engage in their Buddhist practice.

...but it is on a much higher level than ordinary, animalistic ejaculatory sex.

Sorry, Manas, says who?

It is a step in the right direction, towards greater self-control and awareness.

I challenge this statement and I suggest you do the same. How do you know that its a step in the right direction??

I never said it could replace the Dhamma though, did I?

You need to truly engage with the practice Manas to discover that it lacks nothing, it requires no 'adjunct'.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby manas » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:...
We are, after all, animals.


Yes, basically. Really intelligent two-legged ones with opposable thumbs, who have an uncanny ability to construct increasingly sophisticated tools. But, yes we are the species homo sapiens although whether (taken as a whole) we deserve the 'sapiens' appellation is in question.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby manas » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:57 am

Ben wrote:You need to truly engage with the practice Manas to discover that it lacks nothing, it requires no 'adjunct'.
kind regards,

Ben


I am trying to engage with the practice, Ben, and one thing I've discovered lately is that there can be, in some practitioners, a kind of inner war with themselves due to trying to artificially be like the Buddha or his advanced disciples who were totally without sex desire, when one is not as yet there. This false idealism can do phychological harm. Do you see what I mean, Ben?

I was just trying to say, that there is a way to enjoy sex in the context of a loving relationship with one woman that happens to be more wholesome and healthier than the ordinary method. But I repeat, I never said it could replace the Dhamma. It is an adjunct in the same way that seeing a doctor is if you need medicine. If I'm sick I see a doctor (well, in my case a herbalist) and not a monk! But for Dhamma instruction, I see a monk. Does that clarify it better?

:anjali:
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:06 am

The practice starts with observing silas and no way around it (sure some might argue with Dana, and even argue that they make Dana in that way, which might be a possibility to start...) Everything else might be a nice hobby but does not lead anywhere else as one is. The dendency is the first one needs to ajust. If one tends to seach for excuses to walk on, he can nothing but increase his stress.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:12 am

Ben wrote:
manas wrote:Hi Ben,

I did say at the outset that this topic was for laymen who are not (as yet) willing or able to renounce sex pleasure.

I understood that. I am not advocating that everyone leave the lay life en masse and ordain.

It is not a matter or ordaning. There are people, even coples who lead a householder life without taking part on such pleasure. And I would wonder if their understanding about care for each other wouldn't be more clean as in ordinary relations.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby ground » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:49 am

manas wrote:I have noticed in myself and other Buddhists, a kind of underlying assumption that sex pleasure is inherently 'bad' or 'unwholesome'.

I would not express it that way. It is just that sex pleasure is becoming unattractive if one follows the teachings of the Buddha in a certain way. If one finds it unattractive and expresses this with speech those clinging to sex pleasure may perceive this to be aversion or morally judgemental. But that misperception is only the consequence of language perception being merged with feelings.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:02 am

manas wrote:being immersed in wi-fi EMF fields is making me feel a bit dizzy right now) ... drawing the energy inwards & upwards ... recirculate energy ... It's just about energy. ... save the vital forces and recirculate them so that this energy can be put to good use
Ben has already commented on the Wifi aversion. As for energy, it is not some mystical substance that can be moved around. It's a measure of a system's capacity to do work, where work done is calculated as the product of a force and the distance over which that force acts. All this talk of 'vital forces' just seems to me to reflect a view in a spirit/soul vs body dichotomy... almost like a Cartesian duality. My understanding is that the Buddha taught a system without this spiritual magical woo woo; the aggregates. No separate 'energy' or 'life force' that could be mistaken for atta, just the aggregates where no atta is found. When the Buddha talked of 'directing energy', I read 'applying a force in the direction of the force', or voluntarily effecting a change in my current momentum in a wholesome direction. Nothing to do with woo woo.

My opinion and understanding, of course.

EDIT: bringing it back on topic, the Buddha taught how to reduce and eliminate dukkha. Craving makes dukkha, and sex creates craving (how can it not?). Monks are celebate not because sex is 'bad for you', but because it doesn't reduce dukkha. Lay followers are instructed to engage in sex only when it doesn't cause pain. Sex itself isn't evil, isn't the expulsion of magic woo woo sauce, but infidelity DOES cause suffering. Hence, the precept.
Last edited by Mawkish1983 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:07 am

It is an adjunct in the same way that seeing a doctor is if you need medicine. If I'm sick I see a doctor (well, in my case a herbalist) and not a monk! But for Dhamma instruction, I see a monk. Does that clarify it better?

No, not really. I don't think its an appropriate analogy.
Practice that includes sila, the development of samadhi and panna eradicates all mental defilements. In the words of Rachael Hunter, 'It doesn't happen overnight but it does happen'. Even before those defilements are permanently eradicated, they are gradually attenuated. Also, engaging with the practice one develops some wholesome skills and wisdom one can employ to help deal with intense craving or aversion when it arises.

manas wrote:I am trying to engage with the practice, Ben, and one thing I've discovered lately is that there can be, in some practitioners, a kind of inner war with themselves due to trying to artificially be like the Buddha or his advanced disciples who were totally without sex desire, when one is not as yet there. This false idealism can do phychological harm. Do you see what I mean, Ben?

And this touches on something that I have been thinking about quite a bit lately. Thank you for raising it. However, in many instances I believe that it is a manifestation of an unhealthy attitude characterised by aversion.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:21 am

Ben wrote:Practice that includes sila, the development of samadhi and panna eradicates all mental defilements. In the words of Rachael Hunter, 'It doesn't happen overnight but it does happen'.

For those who don't get the reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EweM_ILVt4

:anjali:
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:23 am

a manifestation of an unhealthy attitude characterised by aversion

When it comes from a aspiration to imitate something (the desire to become) yes , when it comes form right view (understanding) surly not. Practice needs to struggle with one/the self.
Ground made a very good statement in regard of this above.
All comes with practice step by step and the first before the secound.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:37 am

Hi Hanzze,
Hanzze wrote:
a manifestation of an unhealthy attitude characterised by aversion

When it comes from a aspiration to imitate something (the desire to become) yes , when it comes form right view (understanding) surly not.

I am merely reporting what I have witnessed. I have seen quite a few people respond to their craving for sensuality with an aversive response.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:02 am

Ben wrote:Hi Hanzze,
Hanzze wrote:
a manifestation of an unhealthy attitude characterised by aversion

When it comes from a aspiration to imitate something (the desire to become) yes , when it comes form right view (understanding) surly not.

I am merely reporting what I have witnessed. I have seen quite a few people respond to their craving for sensuality with an aversive response.
kind regards,

Ben


Dear Ben,

The most radical antismokers are former smokers, but I guess that is just a kind of protection (if they are kind of protester) as long as it has not really penetrated. How ever, somebody who knows the danger of smoke would not join smokers and seek for places where are less or no smokers even he totaly tolerates them. The danger is known well.

If one was already successful in abstaining from smoking, one has an idea that it is possible. One who never tried to go throught that hardship, and it is really just a matter of mindfulness - keeping in mind, remembering - and nothing else, will seek million other ways and compensations.

If we look at serval suttas, there are also advices to have some kind of aversion against unwholesome mindstates appearences in one self. If not getting it fixed would lead to search for people who have mastered it and seek an advice. Meditation of corps would be one possibility.
I guess there is nowhere such a hint as "You are doing good so, it is natural..."

Aversion, desire... there is no different. From the raw to the fine till both is gone. Just give it a try and another. Just after having seen that is really posible one would have no doubt. It does not make sence to approch drug addicted if one likes to get free from its problems, he just would socialice and maybe search for exuses to maintain it.

It might be a good idea to start with the aspects lying behind Dana (letting go at the raw) if one is more from a "compassionated" weight. Maybe to involve in such pleasure just if the partner likes to, desires to. It would be a great first step and honest observed many things will come up.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Should sex be demonized so much?

Postby Dan74 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:26 am

I think sometimes a sidestep can be useful, but sometimes it could be the first step in the wrong direction.

For instance, some energy work like yoga and qi gong can help bring about mental states which are much more receptive to the Dhamma and practice especially when people have deeply ingrained energetic patterns than interfere with practice, like very intense excitation, anxious, obsessive disposition, etc.

I've heard in Vajrayana they spend a lot of time of energy work, "channels", "winds" etc. Which in itself is no more or less Buddhadhamma that the various preparatory practices we do in all traditions, like scanning before anapanasati, I think.

I don't know if reading books on Taoism is a useful sidestep or a step in the wrong direction, but I certainly think that Ben's advice to do a solid retreat, is a bloody good idea. If a 10-day is too long, or Vipassana is not your thing, there are other options around. Just yesterday I met Christine Thompson, who is a very experienced teacher and a long-term practitioner in IMS style, who has a centre down your way, I believe. They have evening sits and day retreats and she would be a very good person to talk to, I think.

http://www.bodhgayanews.net/heartwoodinsightvictoria.htm
_/|\_
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