David N. Snyder wrote:You do not need to permanently abstain from sex, but certainly for the meditation session. One cannot enter jhana unless the five hindrances are put at bay, at least temporarily and for the duration of the meditation session.
I'm glad this topic came up. I've been listening to some talks by Ayya Khema, who puts a lot of emphasis on the jhanas, and she urges her (lay) followers to practice at least twice a day -- a morning session and an evening one. Which made me wonder about the logistics of integrating this into ordinary married life. Dinner...followed by jhana...and then maybe a movie on HBO and later a romp in the sack?
Is this really feasible?
Depends. Attaining jhana is not in and of itself a sign of holiness or spiritual advancement or whatever expression one wishes. It may be a sign of discipline or good merit from past lives. With the lower level jhanas, sex is not out of question, and here we are not talking about compulsive or obsessive sexual behavior. Going up the ladder, however, sex does come across as crude in comparison and one can get stuck in the senuality
of jhanas. Again, jhana still does not mean insight nor advancement on the path. Jhana is a tool that needs to be used properly.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.
There is freedom from birth, freedom from becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning. If there were not this freedom from birth, freedom from becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning, then escape from that which is birth, becoming, making, conditioning, would not be known here. -- Ud 80
Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
dheamhan a fhios agam
Damned if I know.