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Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed - Dhamma Wheel

Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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clw_uk
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Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:12 pm

Hey

So I have decided to practice restraint from all sexual activities, that is from masturbation to sex etc


Was wondering if any other members here practice celibacy and if they have any advice on how to restrain oneself, from wanking, watching porn :coffee: or to having sex 8-)


For example, If I see an attractive male I cant help but be overcome by lust, despite my Sati, I still grasp at "his signs and features", any advice for when this happens?

:namaste:
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

Martin Po
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby Martin Po » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:33 pm

Like all drugs, stop all sexual activity is difficult only in the begining, this period can take 2-4 weeks, depend on your past sexual stemulations. Less you do, less you want. It's a rule.
More dificult is "dream time", it's difficult to avoid "sex" in dreams, and it's very impotant, because sex in dream can break all your effort in daily practice.

To avoid this, you have to develop good habits in your daily life.
Avoid and cut off, at the very begining, all potential stimulations, all vidios/images/tv/mental formations abandon them without waiting. By developping this habits/good reactions you will also avoid all attacks of Mara's daughters/sons in yours dreams.
Also, you have to maditate on 32 parts of body.
Develop concentration, establish your mindfulness, and purify your mind by equanimity.

After some time, even if you "break" at some moment your avoidance of sexual activity, perception of orgasm will be neutral, like urinating, at this moment your practice of celibacy will become easyer, because you will see at your own that there is no pleasure in orgasm.

Also, when envy will arose in your body, if you establish your mindfulness rightly, you will see this "envy" as-it-is, and you will see that "senxual envy" have exactly the same characteristics as "hate", so you will abandon it naturaly without interpretation or following or suffering.

It's a very good and difficult practice.
If you want you can add to this sexual avoidance practice, a practice of one meal a day and/or practice of getingup at 3-4-5-6am every day, it would be better, because IMO these three "ascetic" practices are depend on each other, and you will see your concentration / mindfulness / equanimity / stillness / peace improove.

Of course, all this practices have virtue and morality at the begining, without virtue/morality it will not works because your mind will not be in moral peace.

There is also MN 13 and 14 Great and Small Discourse on Mass of Suffering.

I'am sorry for my english, i hope you understand.
Metta and good luck!
Last edited by Martin Po on Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Martin Po
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby Martin Po » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:39 pm

Also a pracitioner have to remember that birth is suffering, and this sexual desire is, may be, most dangerous weapon in Mara's arsenal.

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Anders
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby Anders » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:50 pm


Martin Po
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby Martin Po » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:16 pm

Also, i think you can try to establish your own practice based on your direct experiance. This practice will be more effective.

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manas
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby manas » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:04 pm

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

santa100
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby santa100 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:15 pm


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nyanasuci
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby nyanasuci » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:34 am

Bhikkhu Hiriko - Ñāṇasuci

The experts do not say that one is a sage in this world because of view, or learning, or knowledge, Nanda.
I call them sages who wander without association, without affliction, without desire.

The Buddha, Sn.V.8.2 (1078)


| |

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Mr Man
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:55 am

I think it may be helpful to really reflect on why you want to practice celibacy and really get to know the reasons. Keep the reasons in the forefront of your mind.

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clw_uk
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:25 pm

Thank you everyone for the advice

First day of it and already found it hard (no pun intended ;) )
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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manas
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby manas » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:45 pm

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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reflection
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby reflection » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:08 pm

I found it unexpectedly easy on retreat, but very difficult in lay life, where all kinds of distractions and attractions are around every corner and mindfulness & clear understanding are hard to keep. I did it for quite some times but a tension always arose. Not after a few days, but after a few weeks a second more harder wave always came.

It was because I was holding sexual activity back instead of just being happy without it. The opposite happened on retreat, because it is easier to recognize the benefits of abstaining and therefore it becomes easier also. So the one thing I can say is try to recognize the peace that arises after a while, but my advise may not be really useful in that I find it difficult also in lay life. But I do think it is a good and beautiful practice and I want to practice it again (with future ordination in mind), so I might as well use this topic to give it another go. And I will. So you are not alone in this. (feel free to PM me if you want)

:anjali:

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Anagarika
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby Anagarika » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:31 pm

It seems to me that part of the practice of celibacy is just one more practice to free oneself from the fetters of samsara. In other words, we practice to calm the mind and raise insight. Why do we want sex? It's a major desire fueled by our brains. Research shows that during ejaculation, men release a cocktail of brain chemicals, including norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, nitric oxide (NO), and the hormone prolactin. These chemicals tantalize the brain, and we have learned through our anthropological development that we seek sex in order to achieve these brain chemical releases again and again. I will also add that Einstein had it right when he spoke of relativity as the hour spent with a beautiful woman feeling like a minute, and a minute with your hand in a fire feeling like an hour. Einstein loved the ladies....

Monks in Thailand would spent nights in the charnel grounds meditating on the nature of the human body. Decaying, the body is a disgusting thing. So, sex becomes just another aspect of samsara, and impermanence and craving. If one can reduce one's craving for sex to a mindful understanding of brain function, sex becomes just another grubby samsaric activity. We can work to free ourselves of the desire for sex, eating after noon, buying stuff we don't need, with practice, practice, practice. The words are easy....the practice very difficult.

I was going to write more on the subject, but there's a Heidi Klum in Hawaii bikini special on the TV now, and I need to investigate...you know, charnel ground stuff. :clap:

pegembara
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby pegembara » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:33 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Ben
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:26 am

Hi Craig,

My main meditation object is vedana:sensation, so for me, during retreat when I do practice celibacy is to maintain awareness of and equanimity with regards to the anicca characteristic of sensation. So for me, after some decades of experience, it is relatively straight forward. Having said that, pleasurable, craving inducing sensations are orders of magnitude more difficult to apprehend and regard with equanimity than sensations that are aversion-inducing. It is a difficult task maintaining complete celibacy in the day-to-day of lay life. My only advice to you is to keep walking the path and to maintain your sila, samadhi and panna through the prism of your current practice (pariyatti and patipati). If you can, also practice dana.
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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LG2V
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby LG2V » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:22 pm

clw_uk,

It's great that you've decided to practice celibacy! I've been celibate for a little over a year now, and it's great. Some of the advantages include:

1.) A complete or near complete loss of insecurity about your physical appearance. You can save yourself so much stress by not having to agonize over your potential attractiveness any longer.

2.) An enormous reduction in the amount of personal drama in your life. I was amazed at how much of my personal conflicts in life were somehow sexuality/lust related.

3.) Stronger Sila (morality) and personal determination. This partially comes from developing the willpower to resist sexual urges, which will become very easy to subdue later on when you develop proficiency with the lifestyle. A large part of it also comes from no longer giving into herd mentalities in hopes of coitus. I no longer had to act according to sociocultural expectations (drinking in order to fit in, exaggerating parts of my personality to fit in with gender/ethnic norms, and other such silly things).

4.) Safety. You learn to just say no to bad ideas and bad people, since you've removed, in my experience, the main glue that binds oneself to unhealthy relationships. I became able to just say no to people who seemed as if they were going to cause me suffering down the line, regardless of their physical appearances.

5.) You save money. I eventually didn't need to go out that place with my friends or acquaintances. I eventually didn't need to buy that new thing because it's cool or whatever.

There are other great benefits as well.

There are definitely ways to make a celibate lifestyle a lot easier to maintain.

a.) My first line of advice would be to watch your diet. Avoid the five pungent spices (onions, garlic, etc) at all costs; doing so will reduce anger as well. Avoid coffee if you can. Don't overindulge in chocolate. This being said, I still eat a pizza, drink a frappuccino, or eat too many Hershey Bars from time to time, so fortunately there are other methods to be used in conjunction with dietary changes.

b.) Do body contemplation. A lot of it. It helps immensely; it also improves your meditation as well. The Vishuddhimagga has instructions on how to perform it, and it can be found online as a pdf fairly easily. The asubha meditations in general should help as well.

c.) Sense restraint. Avoiding unnecessary media like TV, Music, Books, & Movies for entertainment helps a great deal. Documentaries and educational programs are, for the most part, fine. I still read the news from time to time (although I'd mostly be better off without it).

d.) Supportive Companions. Even if it's just monks on youtube or mp3s giving Dhamma talks, it's nice to have constant reinforcement of your beliefs and values.


These should help you immensely. I started out with about three months of quasi-celibacy, and it was a very pleasant and positive experience. Had I been fully celibate, I would have avoided the vast majority of suffering that I endured during that period. About three months later, I decided to really go for it and made a vow to be celibate for a year. It was an excellent decision, and I'm glad that I did it. It's been a month since that year has passed, and I've "renewed my contract," and have decided to turn one year into two. Celibacy is a great experience; you feel so free. I would recommend it to everyone. I hope you have a great time living the Brahmacariya!


Metta,
LG2V
Here are some excellent sites for giving free Dana (Click-Based Donation):
http://freerice.comhttp://greatergood.com/www.ripple.orgwww.thenonprofits.com

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Anagarika
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby Anagarika » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:28 pm

Excellent post, LG2V. Another reason why I enjoy being a part of Dhamma Wheel...every so often, a really great post is made on a subject of interest or importance. You hit that one out of the park.

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LG2V
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby LG2V » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:02 pm

Here are some excellent sites for giving free Dana (Click-Based Donation):
http://freerice.comhttp://greatergood.com/www.ripple.orgwww.thenonprofits.com

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mettafuture
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby mettafuture » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:29 am


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convivium
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Re: Practicing Celibacy - Advice needed

Postby convivium » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:43 pm

ordain
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php


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