The risks of abnormal lust arising as a result of meditation

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Mr. Seek
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Re: The risks of abnormal lust arising as a result of meditation

Post by Mr. Seek »

Anothet interesting perception to toy with is regarding a girl younger than you as you would regard your daughter; a girl your age as you would your sister; a girl older than you as you would your mother. It's sutta-based, though I don't know the name of the sutta. One of the many 'weapons' that you could use in this fight--may or may not work for you, but still worth noting. The point is finding the weapon that will 'click', and work best with your particular conditions. There is no universal fix or set of instructions. You have to concoct the 'medicine' yourself.
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Re: The risks of abnormal lust arising as a result of meditation

Post by ddeck »

I haven’t read all the responses here but it seems like you’re getting a lot of pushback to what seems to be a well thought out course of action rooted in right view.

A few answers seem to be missing the pragmatic nature of your approach regarding full castration, and may mistakenly think that you believe that doing such a thing will bring you happiness; in that regard they may see you as having wrong view. But what you would be doing is taking up a serious act of renunciation that will essentially aid in your practice. Those saying castration isn’t the answer here must then follow the logical conclusion that monks giving up possessions isn’t the answer as well! You have unique circumstances and you are motivated for the right reasons. While it is likely possible to overcome the lust you experience on the path, the path would be a hell of a lot easier with that hindrance out of the way. That being said, one should not make a habit out of finding “real world” solutions to meditation problems; it is possible that with the reduction or eradication of sexual lust, craving for pleasure in other spheres may take up just as much of your meditation as lust has thus far.

I wish you the best in your journey. Metta.
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Re: The risks of abnormal lust arising as a result of meditation

Post by LaughingBannermen »

I apologize for my lack of responses thus far; we are in the middle of moving apartments and there are some other issues with the building that I'm helping the superintendent with, on top of work. I should be more free to reply next week.
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Re: The risks of abnormal lust arising as a result of meditation

Post by bpallister »

Castration seems a little extreme. can you develop your sila and mindfulness of lust instead?
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Re: The risks of abnormal lust arising as a result of meditation

Post by DiamondNgXZ »

LaughingBannermen wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:19 pm Though, I have a problem with the Asubha meditation on principle, as it merely has us replace one cognitive distortion (lust) with another cognitive distortion (disgust). I would rather compromise my body through castration, than to compromise my mind in that way. In this way lust will be weakened to such an extent that I can use equanimity and disenchantment-with-pleasure without fear of being overwhelmed.
Consider the following facts:
1. Castrated men are not allowed to be ordained.
2. Buddha encouraged perception of the repulsiveness of body to monks, very very frequently.

Also, the traditional way of teaching Asubha is to do loving kindness afterwards, so that there's no aversion arising.

Since you're not used to Asubha, stop immediately when the lust is gone. Go to loving kindness after that. It takes discipline to be willing to employ asubha in this manner. After some (maybe long) time, disgust can turn into equanimity and lust wouldn't be there. And one can do asubha as vaccine against lust instead of antidote. The more you practise, the wider the middle ground between lust and disgust, and it's easier to abandon lust and not go into aversion.

Read Queer, a graphic guide, Sexuality, a graphic guide. Sexual preferences are impermanent as well. Since there's no self, there's no such thing as permanent identity, even sexual identity.

You've also identified the cause of this sexual preferences linking to what you're being exposed as a teenager. You can employ vipassana to deal with the cause as well, once you're proficient in asking: what's the cause of this? And then remove the perception of attractiveness from the cause. Use Asubha if needed. It requires a certain degree of stillness proficiency.

I once had self hate for wanting to chase girls, even when my aim is to become a monk. Then I realised that I am a young male, it's only natural for lust to arise from time to time, until non-returning has been attained. Things are just nature happening, causes and conditions, I don't have to take any of those personally. So I no longer add a second arrow of self hate to the primary arrow of lust arising. It's easier to deal with lust then, just use asubha, and loving kindness afterwards.

I think you've to deal with the self disgust and hate first, you're gone so far to be willing to castrate yourself. Morality is action and speech, not mind. So there's no need to have self hate for your good morality. And on how the mind changes, vipassana is the ultimate answer to change the perception. You'll have to be willing to see the unattractiveness in what is attractive, repeatedly.
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Re: The risks of abnormal lust arising as a result of meditation

Post by anagaarika »

I understand this is a really touchy and sensitive topic, but I will try to offer a more technical and phenomenologically oriented solution.

You seem to be deeply disturbed by the fact of being attracted to little girls, which shows a good (compassionate) mindset. It might sound a bit provoking, but there have been cultures where the age limit for marriage etc. is way below 18. The idea of child marriages seems dreadful to us Westerns, and maybe rightly so, but in certain countries it is considered quite normal. Please note that I am neither advocating nor contradicting these practices, I am only stating that there is a strong cultural component to this issue.

That being said, your sexual orientation seems only abnormal in Western cultural circles. Again, I am not writing this to legitimize it, I am only writing this to take the sense of guilt out of the equation. From the dhamma point of view, kamachanda (sense desire) is always just a kamachanda. Some forms might be more detrimental to your mental well-being than others, but technically they function on a very similar basis. The mechanism of getting rid of "standard" heterosexual attraction for mature women is the same as in your case.

What I would do is this: Reach perfection in asubha meditation + stick to the strictest sila regimen possible (sense restraint + generosity + paramis etc.). I would recommend doing at least 60-75 minutes of 32 body part meditation a day, plus corpse meditation (stages of decay) as needed. What I personally found most useful when uprooting sexual desire was understanding the operating mode of that desire. And I came to the conclusion it all boils down to "nimittas" (mind-made objects) we automatically and unconsciously create when seeing a human body we find "attractive". This is also called "unwise attention to the beautiful". When immersed in the 32 body part contemplation, we learn to "attend wisely" to the human body. How? We dissect it and see the individual parts one after another. It doesn´t really matter if you like mature women or little girls, the process is the same. Let´s say you are attracted to little girls´ faces. This is your subconscious "nimitta" (the basis for unwise attention). You see the face as a unity, and that is already something fabricated, something that is not really there. You actually fantasize yourself into the lust - in reality, there is nothing to lust for. Asubha meditation allows you to analyze this nimitta and dissect it. The list starts with hair. Take the hair off the face and see how just this takes away all the assumed "beauty". Then imagine the hair lying on the floor, separated from the skin. Is it attractive? Would you even touch it? Then imagine taking off the body hair, including eyebrows. Imagine the heap of body hair lying on the floor next to the hair. Where is the perceived beauty now? Visualize the face without both hair and body hair. Then the teeth. What would the face look like without the teeth? Visualize them removed, with their naked roots, piled up next to the hair and body hair. Then the skin. Take it away and see what remains of the previously percieved beauty. In this manner you proceed through all the body parts. If your concentration is good, you should reach a state of profound peace, utterly free of lust. This meditation is called "protective" for a reason, after all - it provides reliable protection from lust and is very powerful.

The corpse meditation aims at the same result. You should see the frailty of the human body, it´s imperfection, transitoriness, insubstantiality. How it is just a heap of flesh that can become food for wild animals in an instant and so forth (for the specific stages of decay refer to Vissudhimagga or other manual). In other words: That the body is anatta. Both yours and the girl´s. One anatta is trying to get satisfaction from another anatta. Absurd right?

I hope this helps at least to some extent. The 32 body part meditation is very analytical so you won´t delve into deep samadhi, but it is powerful enough to consolidate your mind and help you to get rid of lust. Ultimately, you can only uproot sensual desire by insight, but good concentration is a prerequisite to it. I really wish you the best luck, you may find that castration is not necessary after all.

BTW: Can anyone explain why castrated men are not allowed to ordain? Is castration considered a kind of "cheating"?
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