Brahmacariya Breach

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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DooDoot
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by DooDoot »

Garrib wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:58 pm How do I bounce back from this? Should I do penance? Or should I just try to forget about it, double down on my intention, and try to practice better moving forward? Something else?
Forget it and move forward. A breach of celibacy merely stirs up sankharas. If celibacy is reestablished, those sankharas will settle down on their own accord.

If celibacy is practiced for a future imagined "rebirth/reincarnation" rather than for here-&-now benefits, such as real jhana, this will cause worry. But if celibacy is maintained to develop the Noble Path (rather than for reincarnation in Brahma's heaven) then an infrequent breach won't cause too much worry, apart from it being a backward step that must be recovered via samadhi/samatha re-development.

Its like digging a hole in the ground, then refilling the hole, then having to dig it out again. Its extra and wasted energy & effort.

I imagine a bhikkhu confesses masturbation, for example, merely to keep the rule clear in their mind and to develop hiri-ottappa in front of the Sangha of spiritual companions.
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:13 pm I ... sometimes break the third precept through masturbation.
Not here. Do I recall you one claimed publicly to be a Non-Returner? :shrug: :roll:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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mjaviem
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by mjaviem »

Garrib wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:58 pm ... recently had a breach of the vow...
I would say we are seeing here impermanence at play. And I bet it's going to happen again in this very life or with a future one until you reach nibbana, if I'm not getting the concept wrong.
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
Garrib
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Garrib »

DooDoot wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:04 am
Forget it and move forward. A breach of celibacy merely stirs up sankharas. If celibacy is reestablished, those sankharas will settle down on their own accord.

If celibacy is practiced for a future imagined "rebirth/reincarnation" rather than for here-&-now benefits, such as real jhana, this will cause worry. But if celibacy is maintained to develop the Noble Path (rather than for reincarnation in Brahma's heaven) then an infrequent breach won't cause too much worry, apart from it being a backward step that must be recovered via samadhi/samatha re-development.

Its like digging a hole in the ground, then refilling the hole, then having to dig it out again. Its extra and wasted energy & effort.

I imagine a bhikkhu confesses masturbation, for example, merely to keep the rule clear in their mind and to develop hiri-ottappa in front of the Sangha of spiritual companions.
Thanks DooDoot,

I'm working on re-establishing the intention of celibacy - but yes, many sankharas are stirring, indeed.
Garrib
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Garrib »

mjaviem wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:20 am
Garrib wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:58 pm ... recently had a breach of the vow...
I would say we are seeing here impermanence at play. And I bet it's going to happen again in this very life or with a future one until you reach nibbana, if I'm not getting the concept wrong.
I suppose that yes, this is related to the impermanence of my strong determination that I had made previously. I need to find a way to muster a bit more.
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bodom
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by bodom »

Reflect on this sutta and then move on:
But consider when a Realized One arises in the world, perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed. In many ways he criticizes and denounces killing living creatures, saying: ‘Stop killing living creatures!’ He criticizes and denounces stealing … sexual misconduct … lying, saying: ‘Stop lying!’ And there’s a disciple who is devoted to that teacher. Then they reflect: ‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces killing living creatures, saying: “Stop killing living creatures!” But I have killed living creatures to a certain extent. That’s not right, it’s not good, and I feel remorseful because of it. But I can’t undo what I have done.’ Reflecting like this, they give up killing living creatures, and in future they don’t kill living creatures. That’s how to give up this bad deed and get past it.

‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces stealing …

‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces sexual misconduct …

‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces lying, saying: “Stop lying!” But I have lied to a certain extent. That’s not right, it’s not good, and I feel remorseful because of it. But I can’t undo what I have done.’ Reflecting like this, they give up lying, and in future they refrain from lying. That’s how to give up this bad deed and get past it.
https://suttacentral.net/sn42.8/en/sujato

:anjali:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

- Ajahn Chah
Inedible
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Inedible »

If you want celibacy it helps to open the microcosmic orbit circuit in the body first. Mantak Chia is best known for teaching this. It is easier to open if you get Reiki attunements first. The energy has to have somewhere to go. The orbit stores and refines the energy. The three treasures are chi, jing, and shen. They are categories of energy. Shen is mental and spiritual. You can also use herbs both to create shen and to stimulate the shen you already have. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen like ginseng, but ginseng increases jing and ashwagandha increases shen. Reishi is a type of mushroom available as a supplement and it also is a good shen tonic.
Garrib
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Garrib »

Thanks, everyone. I feel shame but also encouragement. This doesn't need to be a major crisis. Just a let down, and a humbling experience. I have a long way to go, but I am so grateful to be on this path at all. It is frightening to think about how things might turn out in the absence of Dhamma, and good spiritual friends. So Thank you!!
Alino
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Alino »

Everybody make mistakes ;)

What is good is that you confessed it, it's important to see our defilements and expose them to the light. Defilements are as vampires, they proliferate in the dark. So if we hide them, and identify with them - they will proliferate and make you do faults again. So it's good to expose defilements to the light. As it's good to expose our wounds to the air, and not hide them under the bondage, it may not heal at all if it big enought.

As lay celibate that made mistakes like you, I suggest you to delete all that can affect your mind from the field of your experience, protect your senses. In other words I suggest you to delete all Instagram girls, all youtube channels that exposing sights of body beauty, all Facebook channels and friends that exposes their naked body etc.

Also you can imagine some asubha tips. Like:
- imagine a moustache on the face
- imagine a big hairs on the legs
- imagine a big scare on the face skin
- imagine rotten teeth
- imagine all the dangerous bacteries under the nails
Or
- imagine that them as your sister, mother, daughter
- imagine how much their minds are in suffering to make all these efforts to make this body looks beautiful. If the body was beautiful there would not be need to beautify it... The very same artificial beauty show us that it's not realy beautiful under the paint...

Etc. It depends on situation and your mind affinity
We don't live Samsara, Samsara is living us...

"Form, feelings, perceptions, formations, consciousness - don't care about us, we don't exist for them"
auto
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by auto »

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.159.than.html wrote: "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.
I think these bodily activities(copulation etc) are related to speech/vaci. What kaya means here is developing the imagination real enough to be considered as an existing thing which then can be said(vaci) to be existing. Physical body doesn't really exist to us unless we have developed mindfulness of it, of course we can acquire the sign(nimitta) quickly in this case and doesn't even notice the nimitta apart from the physical body.
https://suttacentral.net/sn35.136/en/sujato wrote: “Sights, sounds, tastes, smells,“Rūpā saddā rasā gandhā,
touches and thoughts, the lot of them—phassā dhammā ca kevalā;
they’re likable, desirable, and pleasurableIṭṭhā kantā manāpā ca,
as long as you can say that they exist.yāvatatthīti vuccati.
So if you don't use kaya(kaya/nimitta what is derived from these activities) then its like cutting of the bridge.
https://suttacentral.net/sn1.34/en/sujato wrote:“The world’s pretty things aren’t sensual pleasures.“Na te kāmā yāni citrāni loke,
Greedy intention is a person’s sensual pleasure.Saṅkapparāgo purisassa kāmo;
The world’s pretty things stay just as they are,Tiṭṭhanti citrāni tatheva loke,
but a wise one removes desire for them.Athettha dhīrā vinayanti chandaṃ.
I think that above explains how the beautiful objects are just what they are, it is greed what arises due these objects what are pleasure for the person, greed is the producer of nimitta.
https://suttacentral.net/mn43/en/sujato wrote:Greed, hate, and delusion are makers of signs.Rāgo kho, āvuso, nimittakaraṇo, doso nimittakaraṇo, moho nimittakaraṇo.
i think through copulation amongst other possibilities there is nimitta produced. Which is passed on to the offspring what then knows at default about these things and can simply acquire this kind of sign by seeing objects and know what they are for.
Alino
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Alino »

We don't live Samsara, Samsara is living us...

"Form, feelings, perceptions, formations, consciousness - don't care about us, we don't exist for them"
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Antaradhana
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Antaradhana »

Garrib wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:58 pm Hi All,

I am a lay person but intend to live out the remainder of my life in celibacy - whether I ordain or not. I am not soliciting opinions about whether or not a lay person should live a celibate life etc...

My dilemma is this: I recently had a breach of the vow. I'll spare you the details, but I feel compelled to "confess" to someone. I am experiencing shame and confusion - how did I let this happen? I had been doing well for a good long while, but I succumbed to unwholesomeness during a time of personal and familial distress.

How do I bounce back from this? Should I do penance? Or should I just try to forget about it, double down on my intention, and try to practice better moving forward? Something else?

Thanks,

Brad
For lay followers, there is no parajika or sanghadisesa procedure. Just accept the rule again and keep practic.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".
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Dharmasherab
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Dharmasherab »

Forgive yourself and keep going forward. As Ajahn Brahm says "the AFL code - Acknowledge, Forgive and Learn". Acknowledge that you did break the precept (even though its not the end of the world). Forgive yourself and then learn from this. You dont need to confess or take penance. That will just encourage the feeling of more guilt in you. Dont encourage the guilt response - that tends to be more of a Judeo-Christian attitude. In Buddhism things are different. We accept our mistakes and short comings. Its a gradual path which requires training of the mind - slowly and steadily.

First of all what is Brahmacharya in Buddhism? At its most basic level, Brahmacharya is to be voluntarily celibate which means not to engage in any kind of intentional sexual activity. On a relatively more deeper level, Brahmacharya means to let go of the pursuit of pleasure on the sense faculties (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind*). Going a bit more further from here, it is about living the middle path in each every moment where the middle path is to avoid the two extreme of seeking pleasure or what one desires (Lobha) as well as avoiding the opposite extreme of aversion (Dosha) and to make effort to show equanimity towards anything that arises from the 6 sense faculties, where this equanimity is based on momentary insight as opposed to views. To add more to this, Brahmacharya means to live like a Brahma. A brahma in its most oversimplified meaning, is a type of celestial being that has no interest in sense pleasures, where there minds do not sway away from the Brahmaviharas (the sublime abidings) and emptiness (Sunyata). So to give an all encompassing meaning that is relevant to a Buddhist who is on the N8FP, Brahmacharya is to be celibate, to live a life not being in pursuit of pleasure or avoiding pain at the 6 sense bases, as well as making effort to be grounded in the middle way in every moment free from desire and aversion, but to make effort to show equanimity to all things based on insight.

Its important to ask ourselves why we would choose to live a Brahmachari life whether that is indefinitely or for a limited time period. Its the 'why', this reason that matters.

Sometimes there is the tendency to feel that one is giving up on something. The feeling that one is missing out on the fun that the rest of the world is having. But if our true interest and priority is to transcend all from of Dukkha, then from this point if we look at sensual pleasures (including sexual pleasure) then what is the end result of sexual activity - it is Dukkha. The pleasure arising from sexual activity is not going to last forever - it changes. This itself shows that unsatisfactory nature of sex. This is not to say that sex is a bad thing. There are plenty of lay Buddhists who are in relationships who use sex in a wholesome manner. But if one's intention is to free oneself from suffering itself, then it is can be important to let go of sexual desire. Because of the end result of sexual desire is suffering. So when one starts to look at sex in this way, then it helps to get rid of the wrong view that we are giving up on something that is important or valuable. Instead we have stopped engaging in something which will only give us suffering. Its like if I am banging my head on the wall and I am complaining of pain, then the thing that would stop me from getting further pain in my head is to stop banging my head. Its about trying to see these things which are pleasurable like sex as no different from banging our own head on the wall and then complaining that it is painful.

However it is important to not let go of sexual desire based on views. Soon as we push what we desire away based on views then it can rebound because we didnt take enough time to closely investigate the true nature of it. When sexual desires arise its best not to always push it aside immediately and feel it in the body. Feel the sensation and appreciate its impermanent and its unsatisfactory nature. Try to prioritize this insight-based approach as a pre-requisite before letting go of something. It can be helpful to ask ourselves questions such as "will this desire last forever?", "will this give me ever lasting satisfaction?" - you cant make your own set of question where you honestly question yourself about the true nature of experiences.

One can recollect the disadvantages of sexual activity and desire. Disadvantages such as sexual desire is part of Kamacchanda. It is part of sensual desire which obscures our minds from getting into Samadhi. The 'pleasure' of being enlightened is supposed to feel far better than any kind of sex. Beings in the Deva realms find the type of sexual activity that we humans enjoy as repulsive and filthy. Beings in the Brahma realms have no interest in any kind of sensual pleasure. As Buddhists what we are aiming for is Enlightenment which transcends any type of conditioned existence in Samsara which is free from all kinds of suffering. Recollecting in this manner can help to dampen the desire.

Please be aware that sexual desire/lust has a body component in addition to a mind component. To deal with the mind aspect of lust it can be helpful to do practices such as Asubha meditation (it is advised to do Metta meditation alongside this type of meditation). Ajahn Chah recommends walking meditation for those who have desire-type personality. To deal with the body aspect you may consider doing cold showers or a simple yogi movement like the 6th Tibetan Rite as it helps to get rid of that lustful bodily sensation in a matter of seconds.

You may consider spending some time in a monastery under 8 Precepts. Because when living with other Buddhists under 8 Precepts it can positively motivate you where you may not even feel you are putting any excess energy trying to maintain the precepts.

For example I am an Anagarika in a Thai Forest Tradition monastery. I thought it would be impossible for me to be under the 8 Precepts for more than 10 days. But I signed up for a 3 month retreat and by the second month I wanted to stay longer and asked to become an Anagarika. So once you get going it doesnt feel much effort. I highly recommend you to stay as a long term resident in a Buddhist monastery.
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frank k
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by frank k »

Garrib wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:58 pm ...
How do I bounce back from this? Should I do penance? Or should I just try to forget about it, double down on my intention, and try to practice better moving forward? Something else?
...
Fortify both offense and defense, starting with what the suttas and vinaya say. Summary and sutta refs here:
http://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/2sankappo/kama/index.html


Hiri and ottappa is good, but beating yourself up is not.
Studying the relevant vinaya passages is good. When you vicariously experience all the ways people fail, it helps convince you that you don't want to go there.
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
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Garrib
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Garrib »

Dharmasherab wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:36 am I highly recommend you to stay as a long term resident in a Buddhist monastery.
I would like this. Very difficult to practice properly in normal household life.

Thank you for your very insightful response. There is no question in my mind that celibacy is the preferable condition.

I'm happy for you. Are you planning to ordain?
Garrib
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Re: Brahmacariya Breach

Post by Garrib »

frank k wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:09 pm Fortify both offense and defense, starting with what the suttas and vinaya say. Summary and sutta refs here:
http://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/2sankappo/kama/index.html


Hiri and ottappa is good, but beating yourself up is not.
Studying the relevant vinaya passages is good. When you vicariously experience all the ways people fail, it helps convince you that you don't want to go there.
Thanks, frank. I bookmarked your site. Jhana would help!
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