Theravada Process of Brahmacariya

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Theravada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby convivium » Wed May 19, 2010 3:32 am

What are the Therevada means to sexual sublimation and substitution? As a monk, what techniques are we limited to? For example: http://www.dlshq.org/download/brahmacharya.htm contains many non-sectarian, or not necessarily sectarian techniques that seem very helpful. To what extent can the divine abidings serve as a means to overcome and sublimate the orgasm? Do these sufficiently replace the mention of atman, kundalini etc. as per sivananda ^ and remain in line with the following:
Anguttara Nikaya's 7 methuna-sa.myogas ("sexual bonds" -- defects of the brahmacariya that are not as grave as sexual intercourse, though impediments all the same). The seventh bond is living the brahmacariya in the hope of obtaining rebirth as a deva in one of the sensual heavens. http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 7-piya.pdf

In the yogic understanding, preserving the seed gives rise to spiritual power/ viriya. To what extent is this notion of ascension of consciousness in chastity paralleled in the Suttas? How does the Pali Canon touch on this? Are any instructions given for sublimation or substitution?
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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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby Goofaholix » Wed May 19, 2010 4:50 am

convivium wrote:What are the Therevada means to sexual sublimation and substitution? As a monk, what techniques are we limited to? For example: http://www.dlshq.org/download/brahmacharya.htm contains many non-sectarian, or not necessarily sectarian techniques that seem very helpful. To what extent can the divine abidings serve as a means to overcome and sublimate the orgasm? Do these sufficiently replace the mention of atman, kundalini etc. as per sivananda ^ and remain in line with the following:
Anguttara Nikaya's 7 methuna-sa.myogas ("sexual bonds" -- defects of the brahmacariya that are not as grave as sexual intercourse, though impediments all the same). The seventh bond is living the brahmacariya in the hope of obtaining rebirth as a deva in one of the sensual heavens. http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 7-piya.pdf

In the yogic understanding, preserving the seed gives rise to spiritual power/ viriya. To what extent is this notion of ascension of consciousness in chastity paralleled in the Suttas? How does the Pali Canon touch on this? Are any instructions given for sublimation or substitution?


Monks, also Buddhist lay people, can use Asubha practice if lust becomes a problem for them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patikulamanasikara

The Buddhist approach to practice is to see that what we crave will not satisfy us and to let go of that craving, therefore there is no need for sublimation and substitution as the craving should be fully experienced in order that it can be seen as futile and let go of.

Divine abidings have nothing to do with the sublimation of the orgasm.

I don't believe there is anything in the Pali Canon to indicate that preserving the seed gives rise to spiritual power, but some of our more scholarly members may be able to confirm this or correct me.
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed May 19, 2010 4:55 am

never come across it
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby Virgo » Wed May 19, 2010 4:56 am

convivium wrote:What are the Therevada means to sexual sublimation and substitution? As a monk, what techniques are we limited to? For example: http://www.dlshq.org/download/brahmacharya.htm contains many non-sectarian, or not necessarily sectarian techniques that seem very helpful. To what extent can the divine abidings serve as a means to overcome and sublimate the orgasm? Do these sufficiently replace the mention of atman, kundalini etc. as per sivananda ^ and remain in line with the following:
Anguttara Nikaya's 7 methuna-sa.myogas ("sexual bonds" -- defects of the brahmacariya that are not as grave as sexual intercourse, though impediments all the same). The seventh bond is living the brahmacariya in the hope of obtaining rebirth as a deva in one of the sensual heavens. http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 7-piya.pdf

In the yogic understanding, preserving the seed gives rise to spiritual power/ viriya. To what extent is this notion of ascension of consciousness in chastity paralleled in the Suttas? How does the Pali Canon touch on this? Are any instructions given for sublimation or substitution?


Lust is not-self, like all dhammas.

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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby convivium » Wed May 19, 2010 5:25 am

Divine abidings have nothing to do with the sublimation of the orgasm.
In craving release in orgasm, misusing the sexual energy, do we not fetter higher absorption in Brahmaviharas? Is it not a necessary sacrifice for the transformation of energy in right concentration? As in most religions, an emphasis is placed on prayer, devotion, and these divine abidings, etc. as coupled with sexual purity in esoteric or exoteric relationship to the divine. In looking to the divine abidings for support in brahmacariya, absent of unverified superstition, does the the sexual energy then elevate the factor of viraya, right concentration, altruism, etc.
Perhaps slightly :offtopic: but perhaps it is Vm that states higher Jhanas (post first Jhana) must be obtained through or in relation to the Brahmaviharas. Perhaps we can hypothesize, that as we ascend in the order of consciousness, (toward Brahma) we in effect distance ourselves from the reactionary, and capricious aspects on the path; in effect strengthening Sila, Samadhi, and allow for progressively subtle discernment?
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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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby Goofaholix » Wed May 19, 2010 5:37 am

convivium wrote:
Divine abidings have nothing to do with the sublimation of the orgasm.
In craving release in orgasm, misusing the sexual energy, do we not fetter higher absorption in Brahmaviharas? Is it not a necessary sacrifice for the transformation of energy in right concentration? As in most religions, an emphasis is placed on prayer, devotion, and these divine abidings, etc. as coupled with sexual purity in esoteric or exoteric relationship to the divine. In looking to the divine abidings for support in brahmacariya, absent of unverified superstition, does the the sexual energy then elevate the factor of viraya, right concentration, altruism, etc.
Perhaps slightly :offtopic: but perhaps it is Vm that states higher Jhanas (post first Jhana) must be obtained through or in relation to the Brahmaviharas. Perhaps we can hypothesize, that as we ascend in the order of consciousness, (toward Brahma) we in effect distance ourselves from the reactionary, and capricious aspects on the path; in effect strengthening Sila, Samadhi, and allow for progressively subtle discernment?


The cultivation of Brahmaviharas as a meditation practice has nothing to do with absorption nor the sublimation of sex, though if one used one of the themes as a concentration practice then the concentration practice can lead to jhana. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmavihara

Are you sure you are on the right board? perhaps you want to be discussing tantra.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby Ben » Wed May 19, 2010 6:01 am

convivium wrote: but perhaps it is Vm that states higher Jhanas (post first Jhana) must be obtained through or in relation to the Brahmaviharas.


No, not as far as I am aware. Please feel free quote and provide a citation from the Vism if you have firm evidencve that supports your view. Many of us have copies.
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed May 19, 2010 6:29 am

Looks like some confusion between "brahmacariya" and "brahmavihara" to me.
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby Ben » Wed May 19, 2010 6:31 am

Indeed!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby convivium » Wed May 19, 2010 6:35 am

What object exists in higher jhanas, beyond some form of love (metta) and space (equanimity)? Does Jhana draw one closer and closer to Brahma (or highest reality within mind and matter)? If so then what can that be outside Brahmavihara? I'll try to find that Vm passage. Also, thank you for the comment on tantra. I am speaking to the common statement that Jhana, and therefore absorption in brahmaviharas depends to an extent on a chaste, clear, and creative (as opposed to consumptive) mind. Sexual desire is obviously a meditative fetter. To indulge in the orgasm therefore seems anathema to right concentration. The essentiality of never dropping a seed is almost another point; but empirically this makes sense as a waste of energy. In order to remain chaste, does it make sense to use that energy in meditation? ...
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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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby PeterB » Wed May 19, 2010 7:49 am

With respect convivium I think you have confused the Theravada with other paths. We in the Theravada do need feel the need to deal in such concepts. Our path is not a yogic or tantric path. You might get answers to your questions if you pose them on a Vajrayana ( " Tibetan Buddhism " ) website. For example " Brahma" in the Theravada is purely symbolic.
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby Ben » Wed May 19, 2010 7:53 am

To experience jhana requires the suspension of the five hindrances and the development of the jhana factors. Sexual desire is only one hindrance. All hindrances are barriers to jhana. Furthermore, jhana is not dependent on the brahmaviharas. You can experience jhana from cultivating the brahmaviharas but its not the only way. There is not tantric-like instruction or practice that involves the recylcing of sexual energy within Theravada.
I just think you are trying to look at the Theravada through the prism of hinduism and/or Mahayana. It'll end in tears.
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby PeterB » Wed May 19, 2010 8:04 am

Ben wrote:To experience jhana requires the suspension of the five hindrances and the development of the jhana factors. Sexual desire is only one hindrance. All hindrances are barriers to jhana. Furthermore, jhana is not dependent on the brahmaviharas. You can experience jhana from cultivating the brahmaviharas but its not the only way. There is not tantric-like instruction or practice that involves the recylcing of sexual energy within Theravada.
I just think you are trying to look at the Theravada through the prism of hinduism and/or Mahayana. It'll end in tears.


I agree entirely Ben..it always does.
The regulation of the sex drive for Theravadin monks does not lie in some kind of psycho-physical realignment of real or imagined chakras etc.
Instead it is a direct bringing Awareness to the complex of psychological and physical impulses that underline the sex and drive and indeed all other factors of human existance. In other words the meditator watches those impulses arise, notes their nature and watches them ( eventually ) pass.
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby convivium » Wed May 19, 2010 9:06 am

Couple quick questions...
Brahma" in the Theravada is purely symbolic.

To experience jhana requires the suspension of the five hindrances and the development of the jhana factors. Sexual desire is only one hindrance.

Can we hear about these two statements in the suttas?
---
the following is not relevant then:
of all the different manifestations of desire, ego, selfishness or whatever we wish to call this illness, are underpinned by one form of desire in particular and that is the ego of lust. The sexual energy is the very basis of our vital energy, it is the energy of creation of life itself and the interaction between the passive and active elements of the universe, that are creative on all levels from the macro-cosmos (meaning great order) to the micro-cosmos (small order). It is thus, that on a deeper level, if we wish to accumulate enough vital energy in order to reach the deepest possible comprehension, we need to address the fundamental issue of the use of our sexual energy.

Can we form a consensus from the literal suttas on what composes the naga king in this story:
When the floods were coming toward the Buddha he never stopped his meditation. He didn't even know or care that they were coming. And then the Naga King coiled underneath him and lifted him above the waters.

(Water=sex. Naga=what lifts the Buddha above it.)
Maybe then the "naga" arises from discernment of these knots of ego, and in dealing with physiological conditions, in a nutritious way. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el105.html
He "stirs himself," etc. or jhana just substitutes for sexual desire till the stage of non-returner without any particular relation?
Last edited by convivium on Wed May 19, 2010 9:25 am, edited 5 times in total.
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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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby PeterB » Wed May 19, 2010 9:13 am

I am not sure what you are asking.
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed May 19, 2010 9:43 am

PeterB wrote:For example " Brahma" in the Theravada is purely symbolic.


Really? I don't think so. Sometimes symbolic, sometimes not.
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby PeterB » Wed May 19, 2010 9:51 am

I will try again.." brahma" in the reading of the Theravada with which I most resonate is purely symbolic.
There are Theravadin Buddhists who see Brahma as having an objective existence, but even they see him as being subject to the Three Signs Of Being..Dukkha, Anatta and Anicca. Therefore there is no sense of merging with him..even if he exists.
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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 19, 2010 9:55 am

Greetings,

SN 35.127: Bhaaradvaajo Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

"How can it come about, Bhaaradvaaja, depending on what is it that these young monks, youthful, black-haired, with the bloom of youth, in the prime of life, never having enjoyed the pleasure of the senses, can practice the holy life fully and perfectly to the end of their days?"

"It has been said, sire, by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Self-enlightened One: 'Come, monks, whatever woman is a mother, think of her just as a mother; whatever woman is a sister, think of her just as a sister; whatever woman is a daughter, think of her just as a daughter. That is how these young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days.'"

"But, Bhaaradvaaja, the heart is fickle. It may well be that at times thoughts of desire arise towards those they think of just as mothers, just as sisters, just as daughters. Is there any other cause, any other reason whereby these young monks, youthful and black-haired... can practice the holy life to the end of their days?"

"It has been said, sire, by the Blessed One...: 'Come, monks, contemplate this body, upwards from the soles of the feet, downwards from the top of the head, bounded by the skin, full of manifold impurities. There are in this body: hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, bowels, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, tallow, saliva, synovic fluid, urine. That is how these young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days.'"

"Well, Bhaaradvaaja, for those monks who train the body, morals, mind and insight, that is easy, but for those who do not, it is difficult. Sometimes when a man thinks, 'I will regard this as repulsive,' he comes to think of it as attractive. Is there any other cause, any other reason whereby those young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days?"

"It has been said, sire, by the Exalted One...: 'Come, monks, guard the doors of your sense-faculties. Seeing an object with the eye, do not seize hold of either its general appearance or its details. Because anyone dwelling with the eye-faculty uncontrolled could be overwhelmed by cupidity and dejection, evil and unwholesome states of mind, therefore practice to control the eye-faculty, guard it and gain control over it. [Similarly with ear, nose, tongue, body (touch), mind.] That is how these young monks... can practice the holy life... to the end of their days.'"

"Wonderful, good Bhaaradvaaja, it is marvelous how well spoken are the words of the Blessed One... I myself, good Bhaaradvaaja, whenever I enter the inner parts of my palace with body, speech and mind unguarded, with mindfulness unestablished, with sense-faculties uncontrolled, am at such times overcome with lustful thoughts. But when I do so with body, speech and mind guarded, with mindfulness established, with faculties controlled, then lustful thoughts do not overcome me."


Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Therevada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed May 19, 2010 10:01 am

PeterB wrote:I will try again.." brahma" in the reading of the Theravada with which I most resonate is purely symbolic.
There are Theravadin Buddhists who see Brahma as having an objective existence, but even they see him as being subject to the Three Signs Of Being..Dukkha, Anatta and Anicca. Therefore there is no sense of merging with him..even if he exists.


Thanks for the clarification, PeterB. :smile:
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Re: Theravada Process of Brahmacariya

Postby PeterB » Wed May 19, 2010 10:06 am

It would probably save a lot of time Ven. Huifeng if I just replied to most posts with..".Buddhadasa says ".. :lol:

:anjali:
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