Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Jack » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:18 pm

Kenshou wrote:There is nothing special about sex, it's just another physical pleasure. And like all sensual pleasures, they've got to be out of mind during meditation. It isn't that there is some metaphysical mystical connection with sex and the stability of concentration. If you're craving chocolate cake in the middle of your session, that's as much of a hindrance as a sexual desire would be.

====
I don't think sensual pleasure or anything else have to be out of mind during meditation. They have to not be clung to. Just let them be.

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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby PeterB » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:51 pm

Jack wrote:
Kenshou wrote:There is nothing special about sex, it's just another physical pleasure. And like all sensual pleasures, they've got to be out of mind during meditation. It isn't that there is some metaphysical mystical connection with sex and the stability of concentration. If you're craving chocolate cake in the middle of your session, that's as much of a hindrance as a sexual desire would be.

====
I don't think sensual pleasure or anything else have to be out of mind during meditation. They have to not be clung to. Just let them be.

jack

That sounds right to me. It is just another phenomenon. Just another cloud that floats through and leaves if it is neither clung to nor denied.
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Sekha » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:12 pm

Freawaru wrote:Complete absence of sex in adolescent and adult humans can lead to illnesses (both physical as well a mental). And it's lack can lead to serious social problems such as divorce, too.



I don't see any support for this statement. What kind of physical illness exactly? I would be very surprised to learn about such a thing. If the Buddha prescribed so, it is because it leads to longer and healthier life, not otherwise.

Any mental illness is caused by craving, aversion and delusion, and nothing else.


Freawaru wrote:So, if the lack of sex leads to more stress than it's normal presence it is counterproductive for jhana. If - on the other hand - it's regular presence leads to an inability to concentrate on the meditation object during the session an abstinence for a limited time can be beneficial (and not only for jhana).


You have to overcome the 5 hindrances to reach jhana. You can't overcome anything without being confronted to it. You have to deal with what the Buddha refers to as "The pain & distress dependent on what is skillful".
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:38 pm

Dukkhanirodha wrote:
You have to overcome the 5 hindrances to reach jhana. You can't overcome anything without being confronted to it. You have to deal with what the Buddha refers to as "The pain & distress dependent on what is skillful".
The hindrances are quited down, suppressed, in abeyance. Overcome suggests something a bit more final.
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.

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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby pt1 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:31 am

I remember this topic coming up on e-sangha once and someone explained in terms of ayurveda that the sex-jhana relation is that in winter the body spends a lot more energy, nutrition, etc than in the summer on maintaining the heat and other vital functions, so sexual activity and production of sperm take a lot bigger toll comparatively on the body in winter than in summer. Hence, meditation practice might be adversely affected in winter due to resulting lack of energy and the other related physical problems. I think even the figures were given for how many sexual intercourses you can have in summer/winter without it affecting the body (and meditation) adversely, though I'd guess it would also have to do with age, local climate, health, etc.

Anyway, that's only related to the physical aspect, while for the psychological aspect, I guess it's like with any other sensual pleasure - the more one spends time on it - indulges in it or fights it (mentally, verbally or physically), the more likely it is to pop up during the meditation and disturb the calm.

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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Freawaru » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:52 am

Dukkhanirodha wrote:
Freawaru wrote:Complete absence of sex in adolescent and adult humans can lead to illnesses (both physical as well a mental). And it's lack can lead to serious social problems such as divorce, too.

I don't see any support for this statement. What kind of physical illness exactly?


Sex is a matter of biology. Hormones and so on. To meddle with them can lead to depression and such. Just google for it on some medicinal sites.

I would be very surprised to learn about such a thing. If the Buddha prescribed so, it is because it leads to longer and healthier life, not otherwise.


Of course the Buddha didn't say it but that is because the term translated today as "sex" was not meant in a biological way by him in the first place.

Any mental illness is caused by craving, aversion and delusion, and nothing else.


You talk about tanha here. Tanha arises from vedana (feeling) and vedana means a positive, negative or neutral reaction to any sense contact. ANY contact. The mind is a sense, too. Look for your reaction to any sense contact, a thought like "sex is good" or "sex is bad" is the object of the contact, desire for sex is as much an object of the contact as aversion to it. These things are not the reaction tanha but the object of the contact. Delight in the thought " sex is bad" is still a sensual pleasure. Don't confuse them.

Here is a good sutta describing the difference between an uninstructed ordinary person and an instructed Noble Disciple reaction to ANY sense contact.

When feeling a pleasant
feeling, he feels it as if detached, remote & alien. it. When feeling a painful feeling,
he also feels this as if detached, remote & alien. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-
pleasant feeling, he feels even that neutrality as if something detached, remote & alien....
This, bhikkhus, is called a Noble Disciple,...
http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/II/Bo ... eeling.htm


Tanha as positive, negative and neutral is translated in several ways into English. "Craving, aversion and delusion" is one, another I found so far is "greed, hate and ignorance". And anyone but aryans experience them, because they can't stop the clinging. The "mental illness" the Buddha refers to in your quote is not what we today mean by mental illness in the psychological sense but any non-Liberated state. Taken from the same sutta:

When feeling a pleasant feeling, he (the uninstructed ordinary person) feels it as if attached to it and as the owner being involved in it.


Both, uninstructed ordinary person and instructed Noble Disciple, can experience sex or desire for sex and the pleasure of sex because these are the objects of the contact. The difference is whether the contact leads to clinging or to Liberation.

Look, it is okay if you don't want sex. It is up to you. But, please, don't claim the Buddha said what He didn't say.
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Annapurna » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:13 am

Kenshou wrote:
It is not compatible with attainment of jhanas


The desire for sex is not compatible with the jhanas in the same way that the desire for a new tv or a bowl of ice cream isn't. What makes sex more special than any other physical pleasure or desire?


The possible results of sex, obviously.

Women who don't use regular birth control feel this result is a very potent desire killer, unless your goal is to procreate.

So much depends on how directly you're affected by the results, doesn't it.
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Chula » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:20 am

Dukkhanirodha wrote:I guess you're assuming that since there is a matter of sexual sensations during the meditation, this technique should be used. As far as I understand this section of mhstp sutta, it is a starting point only, involving specific thoughts making (quite gross way of practicing), and is meant for people who could not start with another section, for example anapanasati. Such people who can't stop thinking about sexual affairs or matters of beauty of the body, and for whom the breath is too subtle as an object of concentration. They need to get their mind settled.

The idea that focusing on the perception of the unattractive (asubha saññā) is inferior to something like ānāpānasati is prevalent because not many people teach it as a theme since it's not the best introduction to meditation. But if you look at the suttas, they are more clear about its benefits. Please don't knock on a particular theme just because you prefer one over the other.
AN 7.46: Saññāsutta
"'The perception of the unattractive, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Kenshou wrote:I don't find sexual activity any more of a hindrance than any other pleasure. Personally I find no correlation between that and the frequency of good meditations, provided that is promptly dropped and does not show up during meditation.

Although sexual desire is part of kāmataṇhā it's unlike other pursuits of sensuality in that the Buddha explicitly says that it should be given up:
AN 4.159: Bhikkhunisutta
"This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Dukkhanirodha wrote:I should probably rather say that in order to remain in first jhana, it is necessary to give it up. My experience (which may not be everyone's) is that the rapture very quickly makes sankharas of craving come up. Very soon the effect of these sankharas overpower the rapture and the jhana is lost (and there is a very wholesome and very unpleasant experience on account of that). So it may be that you can reach it, but you can't really dwell in it if you're not detached enough from sexuality.

If you find yourself tempted by sensual thoughts while you are in jhāna, then you might want to reconsider whether you are actually in right jhāna:
MN 108: Gopakamoggallānasutta
"It wasn't the case, brahman, that the Blessed One praised mental absorption of every sort, nor did he criticize mental absorption of every sort. And what sort of mental absorption did he not praise? There is the case where a certain person dwells with his awareness overcome by sensual passion, seized with sensual passion. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from sensual passion once it has arisen. Making that sensual passion the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, & supersorbs himself with it.
"And what sort of mental absorption did he praise? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. ... This is the sort of mental absorption that the Blessed One praised."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Jhāna (of the sort without the hindrances) is used as the pleasure that enables one to overcome temptation to sensuality:
MN 14: Cūḷadukkhakkhandhasutta
"But when he has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, and he has attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, he cannot be tempted by sensuality."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Freawaru wrote:Sex is a matter of biology. Hormones and so on. To meddle with them can lead to depression and such. Just google for it on some medicinal sites. Of course the Buddha didn't say it but that is because the term translated today as "sex" was not meant in a biological way by him in the first place. Both, uninstructed ordinary person and instructed Noble Disciple, can experience sex or desire for sex and the pleasure of sex because these are the objects of the contact. The difference is whether the contact leads to clinging or to Liberation. Look, it is okay if you don't want sex. It is up to you. But, please, don't claim the Buddha said what He didn't say.

I'm sorry but this is clearly adhamma (not dhamma). I would suggest actually reading what the Buddha said about sex.
Last edited by Chula on Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:36 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:28 am

Chula wrote:I would suggest actually reading what the Buddha said about sex.
To whom did he say it?
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.

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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Chula » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:33 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Chula wrote:I would suggest actually reading what the Buddha said about sex.
To whom did he say it?


To any serious practitioner. If you look at the link to Cūḷadukkhakkhandhasutta above, he talks of pursuing jhāna to abandon temptation to sensuality with Mahānāma the Sakyan, who is a lay disciple. Of course, it's important always to remember that this is a gradual training.
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Sekha » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:03 pm

Chula wrote:The idea that focusing on the perception of the unattractive (asubha saññā) is inferior to something like ānāpānasati is prevalent because not many people teach it as a theme since it's not the best introduction to meditation. But if you look at the suttas, they are more clear about its benefits. Please don't knock on a particular theme just because you prefer one over the other.
AN 7.46: Saññāsutta
"'The perception of the unattractive, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


well ānāpānasati takes you all the way to 4th jhāna whereas asubha saññā cannot go beyond the first, since it is using analytical thought and does not go beyond thinking. It is said only "It gains a footing in the Deathless", not 'it gains all the way to the Deathless'. As I said, it is a starting point, as such very valuable and praised by the Buddha, but it also has to be given up after some time to move towards finer techniques, such as ānāpānasati and vedanānupassanā.


Chula wrote:If you find yourself tempted by sensual thoughts while you are in jhāna, then you might want to reconsider whether you are actually in right jhāna:
MN 108: Gopakamoggallānasutta
"It wasn't the case, brahman, that the Blessed One praised mental absorption of every sort, nor did he criticize mental absorption of every sort. And what sort of mental absorption did he not praise? There is the case where a certain person dwells with his awareness overcome by sensual passion, seized with sensual passion. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from sensual passion once it has arisen. Making that sensual passion the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, & supersorbs himself with it.
"And what sort of mental absorption did he praise? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. ... This is the sort of mental absorption that the Blessed One praised."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Well, I'll repeat what I wrote earlier :
Such people who can't stop thinking about sexual affairs or matters of beauty of the body, and for whom the breath is too subtle as an object of concentration. They need to get their mind settled.

But there are much finer sankharas linked to sexual clinging, which have to be worked out by finer practices. This is what I mean here. I meditate on average 7 hours a day, so I do have moderately deep rooted sankharas coming up. These sensations usually come up in my morning session only after about 1 hour and a half of continuous practice. It is not as if I would sit for half an hour and feel bothered by sexual sensations, which is appearingly the context in which my statements are understood.


So I'm not talking about sensual thoughts. I'm talking about deep rooted sankharas of clinging to the body which manifest themselves among others as sexual sensations, but also various kind of sensations in different chakras, in the chest, on the hara point, perineum etc.



Chula wrote:Jhāna (of the sort without the hindrances) is used as the pleasure that enables one to overcome temptation to sensuality:
MN 14: Cūḷadukkhakkhandhasutta
"But when he has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, and he has attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, he cannot be tempted by sensuality."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


This is exactly what I'm saying. I am doing this work with my deep mind, with deep and subtle but mighty sensations and bodily recorded impressions (already done with the surface level of thoughts and desires for external objects) So, we finally agree on that ground : )
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Freawaru » Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:54 pm

Hi Chula,

Chula wrote:Although sexual desire is part of kāmataṇhā it's unlike other pursuits of sensuality in that the Buddha explicitly says that it should be given up:
AN 4.159: Bhikkhunisutta
"This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


You do not understand what a Bhikkhu is or a Bhikkhuni. There are "social" Bhikkhus and that is good. But a real Dhamma Bhikkhu as defined by the Budhdha is something very different. Here are some collections of what a Bhikkhu is - and a Bhikkhuni is much more develloped even.

http://what-buddha-said.net/Canon/Sutta ... tm#Chapter VII The Arahat - Arahanta
Scroll down to Chapter XIX: The Right Truth - Dhammatha

Whoever drops both good and bad action,
lives celibate, walks through the world aware,
untouched and clever, such one is indeed a Bhikkhu.


You do not interprete the term "celibate" in the context of Dhamma but in the context of biology and society. So lets first talk about "awareness" (sampajanna), how to walk through the world aware.

Jhana is a sensual experience, the first even a tactile one (tactile ecstasy). The others are mental sensual experiences, inducing contact (phassa) then feeling (vedana). One can experience it in different ways, clinging to the pleasant feeling or not. But not clinging to the pleasant feeling indicates the state of vipassana, detached, remote and alien. Another way the Buddha described vipassana during jhana was "the pleasant feeling did not enter and not remain" (namely into the state of vipassana).


jhāna:
MN 108: Gopakamoggallānasutta
"It wasn't the case, brahman, that the Blessed One praised mental absorption of every sort, nor did he criticize mental absorption of every sort. And what sort of mental absorption did he not praise? There is the case where a certain person dwells with his awareness overcome by sensual passion,


Here is it - the problem: awareness (sampajanna) - or rather it having been overcome by something. Sampajanna is an ingredient of samadhi, aka it is present in jhana. But it can be made stable in ALL other states, too. That is why in the suttas such as satipatthana sutta the Bhikkhus are told to practice it, to make it stable - not only during jhana. So not the sensual passion is the problem but one's inability to be aware, to have sampajanna. This is why we practice sati. To stabilize sampajanna.

seized with sensual passion. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from sensual passion once it has arisen. Making that sensual passion the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, & supersorbs himself with it.


This does not happen when awareness (sampajanna) is stable. There is sensual passion but not the blind absorption.

"And what sort of mental absorption did he praise? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. ... This is the sort of mental absorption that the Blessed One praised."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Yes, because sampajanna is there in samadhi. So the usual way to stabilize it is to first experience it during samadhi and then to regain it during every-day situations, including sex.

Jhāna (of the sort without the hindrances) is used as the pleasure that enables one to overcome temptation to sensuality:
MN 14: Cūḷadukkhakkhandhasutta
"But when he has clearly seen as it actually is with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, and he has attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, he cannot be tempted by sensuality."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


That is vipassana during jhana, not the normal jhana.

It is not easy to describe awareness (sampajanna) to someone who has never experienced it. An analogy is a lucid dream. In normal dreams we do not know that we dream but in a lucid dream we are *aware* that it is dream. Sampajanna is a bit like that lucid awareness but more subtle and much more powerful. When one is in jhana it is a twofold experience: one is the absorbtion with the object (such as space) but there is another component that knows exactly that this is happening while it happens. Not just afterwards but right then, when it happens. Now. This is sampajanna and it can also be there during all other situations including sex. When it is there a certain person dwells with his awareness not overcome by sensual passion any more. Whatever those passions are he is not overcome by them even though they are present. With his mindfullness he is aware and discerns them and knows them.
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:02 am

Chula wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Chula wrote:I would suggest actually reading what the Buddha said about sex.
To whom did he say it?


To any serious practitioner. If you look at the link to Cūḷadukkhakkhandhasutta above, he talks of pursuing jhāna to abandon temptation to sensuality with Mahānāma the Sakyan, who is a lay disciple. Of course, it's important always to remember that this is a gradual training.
Though by far most of the stuff was directed at monks. While being celibate may help one attain jhana "easier," having sex does not preclude jhana.
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: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Freawaru » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:20 am

Hi tilt,

tiltbillings wrote: While being celibate may help one attain jhana "easier," having sex does not preclude jhana.


One can even attain jhana while doing sex. A master is defined as one who can attain jhana in any situation, right? I guess first jhana is even rather easy because one can take the physical pleasure during sex as the object. And of course when one uses the Iddhi that enables one to attain several simultaneous samadhis it is not a problem in any case ... :juggling:
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:23 am

Freawaru wrote:Hi tilt,

tiltbillings wrote: While being celibate may help one attain jhana "easier," having sex does not preclude jhana.


One can even attain jhana while doing sex.
That might be so, but that would be a conversation we really would not want to have here.
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: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Sekha » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:46 am

Freawaru wrote:One can even attain jhana while doing sex. A master is defined as one who can attain jhana in any situation, right? I guess first jhana is even rather easy because one can take the physical pleasure during sex as the object. And of course when one uses the Iddhi that enables one to attain several simultaneous samadhis it is not a problem in any case ... :juggling:


:shock: :cookoo: :rolleye:

where did you get that from?
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:02 am

Dukkhanirodha wrote:
:shock: :cookoo: :rolleye:
Ah, the eloquence, the sublte expression off deep thought, which is why I would not have such a discussion here.

where did you get that from?
While I would not agree with Freawaru's last sentence, there is enough stuff within the tantric traditions to suggest that sex can be, in very disciplined contexts, used for goals other than just getting one's rocks off, but all that is way outside the purview of this forum, and beyond this comment, there is not way I'd get into a discussion of that here.
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: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:09 am

Just to add a note from a moderator stand point in response to a couple of the above msgs. The subject of this forum is Theravadin Meditation. Excursuses of other traditions do not really belong here.
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: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby Chula » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:38 am

Dukkhanirodha wrote:well ānāpānasati takes you all the way to 4th jhāna whereas asubha saññā cannot go beyond the first, since it is using analytical thought and does not go beyond thinking. It is said only "It gains a footing in the Deathless", not 'it gains all the way to the Deathless'. As I said, it is a starting point, as such very valuable and praised by the Buddha, but it also has to be given up after some time to move towards finer techniques, such as ānāpānasati and vedanānupassanā.


The quote I gave had "has the Deathless as its final end" - I think it's quite explicit. While the suttas don't explicitly mention that asubha saññā can only take you to the first jhāna, even if that was the case, since the first jhāna is enough to attain liberation, it still doesn't make it inferior in terms of getting the job done. There are a lot of instances in the Canon where monks and nuns realize the goal while reflecting on asubha (Theragāthā and Therīgāthā come to mind).

Dukkhanirodha wrote:So I'm not talking about sensual thoughts. I'm talking about deep rooted sankharas of clinging to the body which manifest themselves among others as sexual sensations, but also various kind of sensations in different chakras, in the chest, on the hara point, perineum etc.

Since withdrawing from sensuality is a factor of jhāna, I find it implausible that you can experience feelings of the five sense bases while in jhāna..

tiltbillings wrote:Though by far most of the stuff was directed at monks. While being celibate may help one attain jhana "easier," having sex does not preclude jhana.

I agree, and in that sense the answer to the OP is a no. I was bringing up the whole reason someone focused on the goal pursues jhāna in the first place. If your goal is to do jhāna and pursue sex and not attempt to wean yourself out of sex, further progress in the path would be hard to come by.

Freawaru wrote:One can even attain jhana while doing sex. A master is defined as one who can attain jhana in any situation, right? I guess first jhana is even rather easy because one can take the physical pleasure during sex as the object. And of course when one uses the Iddhi that enables one to attain several simultaneous samadhis it is not a problem in any case ...

It's quite clear that your source is not the Pāḷi Canon, so I don't see the point of furthering this conversation.
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Chula
 
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Re: Do you have to abstain from sex to achieve jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:43 am

Chula wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Though by far most of the stuff was directed at monks. While being celibate may help one attain jhana "easier," having sex does not preclude jhana.

I agree, and in that sense the answer to the OP is a no. I was bringing up the whole reason someone focused on the goal pursues jhāna in the first place. If your goal is to do jhāna and pursue sex and not attempt to wean yourself out of sex, further progress in the path would be hard to come by.
I am glad we agree. The only I would add that as a lay person, married and all, weaning oneself from sex presents an interesting set of issues.
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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