Eradicating sex drive

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
santa100
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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby santa100 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:13 pm

There're different levels of happiness. The higher the level, the more subtle, long-lasting, and peaceful. Good entertaintment, fine living, hobbies, companionship, etc. sure brings happiness. But obviously this level of happiness stops when these things are gone or worse, turning against one! Cultivating virtues, practicing meditation, contemplating the Buddha's teachings might be difficult at the beginning but they bring one to higher, more blissful and long-lasting levels of happiness. Eventually it will culminate in the highest kind of happiness which is Nibbana.

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby Sanjay PS » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:24 pm

santa100 wrote:There're different levels of happiness. The higher the level, the more subtle, long-lasting, and peaceful. Good entertaintment, fine living, hobbies, companionship, etc. sure brings happiness. But obviously this level of happiness stops when these things are gone or worse, turning against one! Cultivating virtues, practicing meditation, contemplating the Buddha's teachings might be difficult at the beginning but they bring one to higher, more blissful and long-lasting levels of happiness. Eventually it will culminate in the highest kind of happiness which is Nibbana.



Words of Wisdom , always gladdens the heart .

Thank you.

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby NotQuiteSure » Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:37 pm

Hi again,

it seems I'm writing this message the second time today. The first time it didn't get posted.

You are of course right that fighting my sex drive, trying to eradicate it is extreme and would only make the suffering worse. Thank you for reminding me to just be mindful of my feelings. I wrote my first post shortly after I got overwhelmed by them.

I don't think, however, that remaining celibate till the end of year is extreme. It is a period short enough to withstand it and long enough to see if it brings any effects. And having a set time period, then evaluating the outcome is much easier for me than doing it one day at a time. I guess that's because I'm a very goal-oriented person.

I have restored my daily sittings, thank you for advising that. This time, however, I'm going to focus more on samadhi and metta. I feel that metta meditation might be crucial for me since I've been somewhat neglecting it in the past and I've developed a lot of anger due to my involuntary celibacy. I've bought Bhante G.'s 'Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English' and I'm going to do jhana-oriented meditation. And off the cushion I will focus on mindfulness and metta. I don't think asubha would be the right way for me at this moment - while it might lower my sex drive, I clearly need to get my mindfulness stronger and this is a great opportunityto to train. Thank you for mentioning it, though. I will keep it in my mind in case I decide to try it in the future.

Unfortunately, loving relationship is not an option for me, at least in foreseeable future.

Bubba, good for you! To me, Buddhism is all about happines, and if you are happy that's great! Too bad not all of us can say that ;)

Of course sex is not half of what it's cracked up to be but between the hormones raging and the pop culture brainwashing, you are not going to really believe me.


Oh, I do believe you. That's what I've been suspecting for a long time. My body, though, has a totally different opinion on the subject matter ;)

Thank you once again to everyone who contributed in this topic and thank you for your metta.

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:36 pm

:namaste:
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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby reflection » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:47 pm

Body follows mind on this matter.

I wish you much luck abstaining for as long as you see fit. Please know that you are not the only one finding a way. I'm also trying not to engage in any sexual activities till I go on a year long retreat soonish. Of course, over there (and after) I plan to keep with it, but the environment there is more fit to it so I know it'll be easier.

I hope it'll work out for you. From quite some years of on and off struggling I can say it is not so easy, and there is no single trick for it. But if you keep with it, you will make progress and it will become easier and easier. It is worth it, I already notice so much peace. I don't know if I'll ever totally eradicate the sex drive in this life -to me this seems unlikely- but I'm happy with every little bit of decrease. That's why I previously said to take it day by day.

I suggest reading the sutta MN20. The five tactics mentioned there are very good to work with desires when they come up.

One more piece of advice, if you don't make it till the end of the year, don't be mad but just start over again. If you learn from your mistakes then each time it'll be harder to fall. Be prepared to find and fight some inner demons. Maybe especially because you are young like me (I'm 26).

Hope this helps in any way.

With metta,
Reflection

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby Mindstar » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:34 am

I´m also in a process to eradicate the sex drive simply because its a type of pleasure that really can corrupt the mind a lot. The more you indulge in it the stronger grows the craving for it. In addition it seems to be so primitive and so short lasting, not really worth it. Because of these perceptions i think i will be successful in the end.

What is however much more troubling to me is the emotional lacks and cravings in regard to women. I must have really delighted in women in my past lives to have such a strong underlying tendency to that type of craving. Maybe you could call it the craving for the delight in the exchange of metta energy (or "falling in love").

It is however not that much different to sexual craving as it has also arisen on pleasurable sense contact that creates a strong inner feeling of happiness and because of that is able to corrupt the mind and leads to attachment. That craving is also supported by states of mental sufferings that strengthen the underlying tendencies of the mind towards pleasurable objects (women).

The strongest weapon against that corruption is mindfulness in the moment. Because there are cute women at my working place i have daily practice what will surely prove to be very helpful to me in the future. Oh and i`m young too -> 28 ;)
Last edited by Mindstar on Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:52 am

Mindstar wrote:eradicate the sex drive
That will not happen.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby Mindstar » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:That will not happen.


Oh no.. please don`t disturb my enthusiasm :lol:

I would disagree however.
On a level of mind made realms (First Jhana and upwards) all beings are androgynous that is why no sexual craving exists.
Deep meditations are therefore a temporary relief of that craving.
On a bodily level it might be true for now but who knows what the future brings.. genetic modifications maybe?
Wherever he goes, there he is unafraid.. Wherever he sleeps, there he is unalarmed!
The nights and days does neither touch nor burn him. He sees nothing in this world
that is to be kept or lost.. Therefore his mind dwells in goodwill and gentle kindness
towards all beings until he falls asleep.
SN I 110

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby zerotime » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:59 pm

there is a commentary from Mahasi Sayadaw on Culavedalla Sutta. Visakha the layman was attached to sex when he was a sotapanna until he reached anagami. Then, after two days without going to bed, his wife force him to give some explanation:

"Listen, Dhammadeinna. I have attained Lokottaa Dhamma (spiritual attainment transcending the world) that would shape my future, after I have heard the Buddha’s sermon. On the first and second occasions when I achieved the Dhamma, I was not yet completely free from the feelings connected with sensual pleasures, and, therefore, at that time our marital relationship had not yet changed. Now on this third occasion, the Dhamma which I have gained is immensely peculiar and surprising."

M.Sayadaw - (p.6,7) http://www.yellowrobe.com/images/librar ... 0SUTTA.pdf

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:11 pm

Hi Zerotime,

That's an interesting commentary. The version here: http://aimwell.org/culavedalla.html is a little more readable.

:anjali:
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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby Samma » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:31 am

Ah a controversial topic, and interesting one.
Biological sex drive eradicated...of course not. Texts clearly say arahants had wet dreams right? But the psychologically stressful side...why not?

There was a story with ajahn chah and sumedho maybe? Chah asked when a group of women came if he liked the look of them. The other monk said something like: I like, but I don't want. And Chah seemd to like that answer a lot.

BubbaBuddhist wrote:I love my life with my operas and my sweet woman, and my Oreos and my morning coffee (not necessarily in that order). Funny how people try to convince me that I'm not really happy,I'm just deluded into thinking I'm happy.BB


I sincerely hope by this point you have come to some understanding of the difference between worldly joy and unworldly joy. Its easily enough stated that what you are talking about is worldly happiness.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html

More light hearted, did you miss all that stuff about oreos being as addictive as cocaine? :tongue:
http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/10/16/ore ... s-cocaine/

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby manas » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:54 am

Whenever I see the title of this topic, I think of this

Image

Seriously, this idea that we can somehow just 'eradicate' sex desire, something so ingrained in our nature that it doesn't totally disappear until the anagami stage - which most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, will probably not reach in this lifetime - misses the mark, imho. I think the focus should be less on 'eradication' and more on 'applying mindfulness and wisdom in dealing with it' - cos it's going to be around for a while.

metta

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby manas » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:13 am

BubbaBuddhist wrote:I love my life with my operas and my sweet woman, and my Oreos and my morning coffee (not necessarily in that order). Funny how people try to convince me that I'm not really happy,I'm just deluded into thinking I'm happy.BB


Bubba, that sounds kind of appealing, except I would trade the oreos for tim-tams...

:anjali:

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:23 am

Samma wrote:Texts clearly say arahants had wet dreams right?


No. The texts state that it isn't a Vinaya offence when a bhikkhu has a nocturnal emission, but whether or not an arahant can have one was a disputed point in early Buddhism. The Theravadins sided with the anti-snoregasm camp.
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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:32 am

Dhammanando wrote: anti-snoregasm
Brilliant. You are my hero.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:46 pm

A new study from Connecticut College shows that Oreos are as addictive as cocaine, at least for lab rats. According to the new study, eating the iconic black and white cookies activated more neurons in the rat brain’s “pleasure center” than drugs such as cocaine.

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/10/16/ore ... z2jD0IZ1mi


I've always been happy I'm not a lab rat. :tongue: I can have three of the cursed things with coffee and be done with them. Lab rats aren't famous for their impulse control, I suppose.

I sincerely hope by this point you have come to some understanding of the difference between worldly joy and unworldly joy. Its easily enough stated that what you are talking about is worldly happiness.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html


And yet, I live in the world, therefore my experiences are of the worldly sort. I find my spiritual experiences a complement of the worldly. There is a theme in these threads that the sexual act is physical pleasure only. I wonder if many people have experienced a deep spiritual and emotional bond wherein sexual expression is a means of loving communication? I get the feeling this may be rare. It took me a long time for all the pieces to fall into place, come to think of it.
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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby daverupa » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:09 pm

BubbaBuddhist wrote:I've always been happy I'm not a lab rat.


Image

BubbaBuddhist wrote:There is a theme in these threads that the sexual act is physical pleasure only. I wonder if many people have experienced a deep spiritual and emotional bond wherein sexual expression is a means of loving communication?


Loving communication can happen in many ways, so the question is: Why would someone choose sex except due to the physical pleasure component? In other words, what does it offer in terms of loving communication that is unique to the sex act, that is neither fueled by greed for the sense pleasure it is nor by aversion for the urge itself?

To put things crassly: where is there a case of someone tongue-tied, unable to lovingly communicate except by dropping trouser? Where is there a case of the sex act not being seen as completed by those engaged in it due to orgasm, but instead being seen as completed pre-orgasm because "the communication is done"?

To say that sexual pleasure isn't important but that sexual acts are, is either delusion or tantra... but I repeat myself.

Sex isn't a pleasure that's worse or better than others - I'm not puritanical here - but it is a sensual pleasure no matter how that cake is eaten, and it simply ought to be clearly seen as such.

:shrug:
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    "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: Eradicating sex drive

Postby Samma » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:17 pm

Not being an offense, I assumed they had them, and it was not a big deal.
But sure, in the end I guess the facts are unclear...
Any sources?
brian ruhe talks about how this was part of what cased the split.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj7aOCB_oaA
Others believed they had not eradicated all the demons so arahants were still doing it or somesuch.

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby manas » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:21 pm

BubbaBuddhist wrote:There is a theme in these threads that the sexual act is physical pleasure only. I wonder if many people have experienced a deep spiritual and emotional bond wherein sexual expression is a means of loving communication?


Having recently had a glimpse of what the fullest expression of this might be like, I feel a changed man, and it has changed my attitude towards romantic love, and towards women also (I'm seeing more the human being first, the attractive body second - or at least, this is the direction in which my heart has shifted). Sure there's pain when it comes to an end - as all things in this life do - but sexual expression that flows from mutual respect and affection - metta - is in a different league, and should not be classed alongside sex for the sake of physical satisfaction alone, imo. They are not the same.

I used to look at women either with the desire to possess and enjoy, or with the irritation that one who is trying hard to be completely celibate can feel sometimes (I do empathize). But now, I look into their eyes more; I look for kindness, truthfulness, and other good qualities. Sure I still notice their physical attractiveness, but that is far from being all that matters.

:anjali:

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Re: Eradicating sex drive

Postby kmath » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:22 pm

manas wrote:
BubbaBuddhist wrote:There is a theme in these threads that the sexual act is physical pleasure only. I wonder if many people have experienced a deep spiritual and emotional bond wherein sexual expression is a means of loving communication?


Having recently had a glimpse of what the fullest expression of this might be like, I feel a changed man, and it has changed my attitude towards romantic love, and towards women also (I'm seeing more the human being first, the attractive body second - or at least, this is the direction in which my heart has shifted). Sure there's pain when it comes to an end - as all things in this life do - but sexual expression that flows from mutual respect and affection - metta - is in a different league, and should not be classed alongside sex for the sake of physical satisfaction alone, imo. They are not the same.

I used to look at women either with the desire to possess and enjoy, or with the irritation that one who is trying hard to be completely celibate can feel sometimes (I do empathize). But now, I look into their eyes more; I look for kindness, truthfulness, and other good qualities. Sure I still notice their physical attractiveness, but that is far from being all that matters.

:anjali:


I'm with manas and BB. My experience with sex is that it is an extremely positive and uplifting experience.


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