masturbation what's wrong?

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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby manas » Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:43 am

I don't think drugs are the answer (except in criminal cases, and this isn't one). The OP isn't about to break any laws of the land here, he is just struggling with what most dhamma-farers struggle with (the reason it's not much of a 'struggle' for your average joe, is that they usually just 'go with the flow' and give in to it).

I can recall all my promises to self and extreme attempts using willpower etc earlier on in my dhammic life, and how they always either failed or fizzed out. Now I believe there is simply no easy way around it. Whatever you do is going to hurt, some ways are going to hurt more, and some less. But it's wishful thinking to think there's a pain-free, quick fix to sexual lust.

If we could just see the way things really are - that is, the true nature of the physical body - our sexual lust would be attenuated. The body is full of unpleasant looking and foul-smelling stuff. Muscles, bones, internal organs...I could go on, but I think we all know what's in there. So why, knowing that, do we still suffer from lust? It is because we don't really see. Our seeing is superficial. (ok this is my current understanding, and I welcome correction or clarification):

Upanisa Sutta wrote:"The knowledge and vision of things as they really are, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are? 'Concentration' should be the reply." (Yathābhūtañāṇadassanampahaṃ bhikkhave saupanisaṃ vadāmi, no anupanisaṃ. Kā ca bhikkhave, yathābhūtañāṇadassanassa upanisā? Samādhītissa vacanīyaṃ.)


My current understanding is that the reason we can look at the most gruesome human dissection on the net, and despite this still fall prey to lust (I recommend such videos as aids to accurate visualization later on in meditation, however) is because we need the right kind of seeing, seeing that is empowered by samma samadhi. Until then, there will be some days where we just have to grit our teeth and resist...
:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby manas » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:46 am

I realized that what I quoted above is incomplete, without mentioning that there is a kind of pattern that seems to be restated in various ways, regarding the journey towards samadhi, beginning with virtue...:

Samaññaphala Sutta wrote:"...A monk thus consummate in virtue sees no danger anywhere from his restraint through virtue. Just as a head-anointed noble warrior king who has defeated his enemies sees no danger anywhere from his enemies, in the same way the monk thus consummate in virtue sees no danger anywhere from his restraint through virtue. Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, he is inwardly sensitive to the pleasure of being blameless. This is how a monk is consummate in virtue.

Sense Restraint

"And how does a monk guard the doors of his senses? On seeing a form with the eye, he does not grasp at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. On hearing a sound with the ear... On smelling an odor with the nose... On tasting a flavor with the tongue... On touching a tactile sensation with the body... On cognizing an idea with the intellect, he does not grasp at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the intellect — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. Endowed with this noble restraint over the sense faculties, he is inwardly sensitive to the pleasure of being blameless. This is how a monk guards the doors of his senses.

Mindfulness & Alertness

"And how is a monk possessed of mindfulness and alertness? When going forward and returning, he acts with alertness. When looking toward and looking away... when bending and extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe, and his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting... when urinating and defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and remaining silent, he acts with alertness. This is how a monk is possessed of mindfulness and alertness.

Contentedness

"And how is a monk content? Just as a bird, wherever it goes, flies with its wings as its only burden; so too is he content with a set of robes to provide for his body and almsfood to provide for his hunger. Wherever he goes, he takes only his barest necessities along. This is how a monk is content.
Abandoning the Hindrances

"Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness and alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a forest, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

"Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will and anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Abandoning sloth and drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth and drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth and drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.

"Suppose that a man, taking a loan, invests it in his business affairs. His business affairs succeed. He repays his old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining his wife. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, taking a loan, I invested it in my business affairs. Now my business affairs have succeeded. I have repaid my old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining my wife.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man falls sick — in pain and seriously ill. He does not enjoy his meals, and there is no strength in his body. As time passes, he eventually recovers from that sickness. He enjoys his meals and there is strength in his body. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was sick... Now I am recovered from that sickness. I enjoy my meals and there is strength in my body.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man is bound in prison. As time passes, he eventually is released from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was bound in prison. Now I am released from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man is a slave, subject to others, not subject to himself, unable to go where he likes. As time passes, he eventually is released from that slavery, subject to himself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where he likes. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was a slave... Now I am released from that slavery, subject to myself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where I like.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man, carrying money and goods, is traveling by a road through desolate country. As time passes, he eventually emerges from that desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, carrying money and goods, I was traveling by a road through desolate country. Now I have emerged from that desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"In the same way, when these five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security. Seeing that they have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated'.

(The Four Jhanas)...


So, there is alot for us to work on...it would appear that, having established oneself in virtuous behaviour, one needs to begin 'guarding the sense-doors' as described, yes? And cultivate satisampajañña and so on...? Practically speaking, for most of us (householders) guarding the sense-doors would involve remaining alert through the day when we are out and about, especially guarding the sense of sight...does everyone know what I'm talking about here?

:anjali:
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Re: Need help to overcome lust

Postby Guinness » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:51 am

I've skipped some of the replies, so apologies if this has been covered..

Sex is for pro-creation exclusively. Thats it, dead simple.

With all due respect to the OP, but I really thought that is was an attempt at a wind up.

I think even the 'best' of us have sexual urges, but some real heavy duty thought needs to go into the suppression if we want to 'kill' those urges. Anyone can do it, I know that I can. I've been married for 20 years and live a few thousand miles away from my wife. I see her for a few weeks every few months, and in those few weeks, I get more out enjoying her as a person as opposed to thinking about the sex I haven't had since the last time I seen her - to the point, that if we want sex, we need to "pencil it in" and it may or may not happen. Is it unhealthy? No, not for us. We have a mutual bond: or true love you may say. Way beyond breaking the rules on pro-creation.

I have never had an urge to seek sexual 'fulfilment' away from my wife. Quite the opposite in fact, but I will not judge those that cannot.
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Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Stillsitting » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:45 am

I am responding to the original post, even though it is more than a year old, because it is something that i am dealing with.

Although I have been meditating for many years, it is only recently that I have rededicated and recommitted myself to a regular practice of Vipassana mediation - twice a day, one hour a day, plus a practice of metta.

At the same time, I recently began to attend a weekly 12-step program for sexual addiction.

However, at a deep level the two practices - vipassana and the 12-steps - seem to be in conflict for me.

While Vipassana practice is just to observe with equanimity whatever arises, the 12 steps - particularly at the meetings - seems to be more about consciously digging up and even dwelling on the past.

For me, Vipassana is wonderful reality check and I feel that with a regular twice a day practice there is very little chance that I will engage in sexual misconduct. I am attending the 12-step meetings as a further guarantee. But now I wonder whether the 12-step meetings in fact keep my energy unduly focused on sex, sexual misconduct, etc. - rather than just letting this, and any other energy, naturally arise and fall away.

Tiltbillings replied to the original poster that what is needed is compassion. Compassion is a strong basis of my practice. However, much of the language of the 12-step program, and also of many of the attendees, seems to be of a self-berating nature, which I find to be deflating.

I'm wondering if other Vipassana practitioners have experience with 12-step programs, particularly for sex addiction, and what are your thoughts.

With metta
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Re: Overcoming passion

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:39 pm

Stillsitting wrote:
Tiltbillings replied to the original poster that what is needed is compassion. Compassion is a strong basis of my practice. However, much of the language of the 12-step program, and also of many of the attendees, seems to be of a self-berating nature, which I find to be deflating.

I'm wondering if other Vipassana practitioners have experience with 12-step programs, particularly for sex addiction, and what are your thoughts.

With metta

I absolutely agree; although 12-Step programs might be a help to some, I think they are unduly negative and do not mesh well with a mindfulness-focused approach.

Although I may prickle some people with this suggestion, I would at least encourage you to look into samadhi meditation or Jhana as a powerful antidote to sensuality. The little experience I have with these states has already lessened the bonds of desire, sexual or otherwise, very intensely.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Overcoming passion

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:09 pm

All I can add to this is that Mahatma Ghandhi wrote that all his previous (failed) attempts at controlling lust eventually helped him in the long run to overcome it. Keep the faith! Keep exploring what this lust is all about, explore the nature of pleasant sensations- their transience, what it means at a mental level to be with a woman, the true nature of the body, the cost of an actual sexual encounter, materially, mentally, socially,and karmically, overcome low moods/boredom which leads to needing sex, developing metta all the time, seeing women as part of the family -other people's sister, daughter, mother etc. At the very least limit the damage and masturbate! Samatha can help. Vipassana can help! Precepts can help. Being busy can help. Exercise can help :broke:
With Metta

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Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Stillsitting » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:17 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:I absolutely agree; although 12-Step programs might be a help to some, I think they are unduly negative and do not mesh well with a mindfulness-focused approach.

Although I may prickle some people with this suggestion, I would at least encourage you to look into samadhi meditation or Jhana as a powerful antidote to sensuality. The little experience I have with these states has already lessened the bonds of desire, sexual or otherwise, very intensely.


Thanks for your reply. I didn't get an email notification - I'll check my account settings - so I only found your reply now when I visited this site again.

I think for now I'll stick to Vipassana meditation as taught by SN Goenka. (Of course samadhi is an integral part of Vipassana, and I'm not sure how it differs from the practices you mention.)

For too many years I've been random with my meditation practice - picking and choosing bits here and there from different teachers. There are so many wonderful teachers and teachings. But it's time for me to commit to one practice and stick with that. Doing so, I find, has already helped me immensely in demarcating the boundaries between sexual conduct and misconduct.
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Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Stillsitting » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:21 pm

rowyourboat wrote:All I can add to this is that Mahatma Ghandhi wrote that all his previous (failed) attempts at controlling lust eventually helped him in the long run to overcome it. Keep the faith! Keep exploring what this lust is all about, explore the nature of pleasant sensations- their transience, what it means at a mental level to be with a woman, the true nature of the body, the cost of an actual sexual encounter, materially, mentally, socially,and karmically, overcome low moods/boredom which leads to needing sex, developing metta all the time, seeing women as part of the family -other people's sister, daughter, mother etc. At the very least limit the damage and masturbate! Samatha can help. Vipassana can help! Precepts can help. Being busy can help. Exercise can help :broke:


Thank you for your positive energy. I'm determined!!
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Re: Overcoming passion

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:25 pm

Stillsitting, another thing which might help is exploring how we identify (relate) ourselves as 'men' to her 'woman'. This fabrication sets the scene for further thoughts of a sensual nature. The vitakkasantana sutta techniques also help one you can identify lust. I suspect one of the biggest obstacles is at some level not being firmly resolved on not wanting sexual contact. I haven't beaten it myself, but on the path!

Wishing us good luck! :toast: ('frothy apple juice')

Metta
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Re: Overcoming passion

Postby Stillsitting » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:08 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Stillsitting, another thing which might help is exploring how we identify (relate) ourselves as 'men' to her 'woman'. This fabrication sets the scene for further thoughts of a sensual nature. The vitakkasantana sutta techniques also help one you can identify lust. I suspect one of the biggest obstacles is at some level not being firmly resolved on not wanting sexual contact. I haven't beaten it myself, but on the path!

Wishing us good luck! :toast: ('frothy apple juice')

Metta


thanks rowyourboat

again, it's taken long to reply (i didn't get a notification of your reply)

i'm glad to say that i've been meditating regularly and when i do sexual misconduct becomes a non-issue

although you're right. i'm not resolved on not wanting sexual contact. for me, sexual energy is just one of the multifarious ways that energy expresses itself through us. i don't wish to suppress it.
i'm not currently in an intimate/sexual relationship. i'm also not actively seeking one, but i have resolved that if i ever am in such a relathionship again it will be with a committed vipassana practitioner!
and if that happens i'll do my best to be a loving, compassionate and responsible partner.

i'm not able to cite scriptures to back up what i'm saying.
this is just how i see things at the moment - maybe tomorrow that will have changed!
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Urges.

Postby K.Dhamma » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:37 am

Ok, so I am going to start working on a desire I feel needs to be addressed. We are human, but we still have urges of the sexual type. Abstaining from sex I don't have a problem with so much. However refraining from the "solo acts" has become extremely difficult. Sutta's? Practices I can use? My teacher is afs(away from sangha) for a bit and I just need something to get me started.

Things I have tried:

Restricting access to erotica.(tv, computer, magazines)
Meditation as substitute.
The 5 body part meditation.(hair, nails, skin, teeth)

Only insight I can come up with is complete renunciation.

Metta.
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Urges.

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:41 pm

Couple of things that cross my mind;
- Remember why you want it (is this a necessary working area at all? If yes, you should remember your motivation)
- Be kind to yourself. Do not punish or harm yourself. If there was no Buddhism, which would you rather want to be: The conservative Christian who says you go to hell for masturbation and you should feel guilty, or the scientist who says it is a proven way to release stress and get rid of anxiety? In my opinion it is better to indulge in both temptation A and in temptation B with moderation, than to abstain from A completely, fanatically, while still having B (and there always is a B in life). Seriously, ban it from your life and you will notice you'll find a substitute desire, like food or smoke or whatever. Maybe differentiate between: This time food/entertainment/sexual activity is reasonably 'necessary' and an act of kindness towards myself, and this time I'm grateful to have this learning opportunity to make some good karma by taking a new course of action by not doing it. Middle way is where it's at!
- Contemplate the notion of impermanence or simply watch the breath. For me personally that helps a great deal when I feel sad, maybe it would work for your problem as well.

(I'm obviously not a teacher or anything so I'm posting this both to help you and to recieve help from anyone who disagrees with anything I wrote)

Another point: According to Ajahn Brahm, when it comes to sexual desire, restricting your access to things (access as in: even being able to see girls) does not work. It will simply lower the threshold for the desire to arise.

And maybe the way is not to refrain but to progress to a state where the conditions for the desire to arise in the first place dissolve? I think I've heard Yuttadhammo about this, but I can't remember which video.

Best of luck in your development! :namaste:
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celibacy/self pleasure

Postby knighter » Thu May 16, 2013 12:38 pm

Hello there

Has anyone tried celibacy as part of there practice?, for how long? and how difficult was it?
And sorry to get personal, but what are your thoughts on masterbation.
thanks
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby Sekha » Thu May 16, 2013 12:53 pm

Yes, for several years. Difficult in the beginning, but it becomes ever easier if you keep practicing consistently without backsliding. Masturbation should be avoided.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby Coyote » Thu May 16, 2013 3:58 pm

Celibacy is part of the 8 precepts, which I have kept in the past, though my Uposatha day practice has fallen by the wayside recently. It wasn't a problem for the day/couple of days and gave me lots of work on in my meditation. Never tried it for longer periods, but it shouldn't be a problem if you are really dedicated and in a suitable setting. I think it is definitely a bonus if you are able, but remember there were many stream enterers in the canon who were not celibate.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby knighter » Sun May 19, 2013 11:00 am

Hello there

thanks for the reply
. Masturbation should be avoided.
why should masterbation be avoided ?
thanks
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby Sekha » Sun May 19, 2013 11:16 am

Any sexual activity strengthens the attachment of the mind to the body, which is a direct impediment to spiritual growth. The Buddha made this point very clear. There is no way to make it clearer than by experimenting oneself.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby knighter » Sun May 19, 2013 11:28 am

Thanks sekha

ive just been reading your post on what makes a religion, if my grammar and writing skills where up to scratch id have written everything you had written.
I dont say this often but i hold you in high regard as i dont seem to be able to find many backers of vipassana on this site.
much respect, fellow human
Thanks
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby Aloka » Sun May 19, 2013 11:33 am

what are your thoughts on masterbation


There's already a long masturbation thread with lots of posts from the male members of the group somewhere on the website, but I'm not sure where it is. Maybe you could ask a moderator ?

.
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby knighter » Sun May 19, 2013 11:35 am

ps

any tips on when passion arises?
thanks
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