The hindrance of lust

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

The hindrance of lust

Postby Bunks » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:15 am

Hi all - I am sure this will have been covered off before in this forum but I am new here so please forgive me.

I struggle with getting caught in lust when meditating. Often to the point of having to stop. Just feeling like I am so caught I can't carry on.

Can anyone give me any suggestions of methods they may use that may help me with this hindrance?

Thanks!
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Re: The hindrance of lust

Postby santa100 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:27 am

You might want to try the contemplation on the foulness of the body as in MN 10 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ):

Also check out MN 20 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ) on the five methods to counter unskillful thoughts..
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Re: The hindrance of lust

Postby manas » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:59 am

Hi Bunks, and welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

I wish I could say otherwise, but there is no quick fix here. In my experience, it is going to take time to overcome lust as a hindrance. So right away I advise you to avoid self-recrimination and guilt-tripping yourself over it. If lust arises in the mind, don't blame the mind - it's simply repeating it's conditioning, the conditioning it's had over not only this lifetime, but (if the suttas are to be believed) countless previous lifetimes also. Every time in daily life that we look lustfully at a pretty woman, indulge fantasies, pleasure ourselves, or engage in sex, right there we are conditioning our minds in that direction. No wonder it springs up in meditation - we are the ones who put it there in the first place!

So we need to look at what we do in our day to day life. If we cultivate lust, it will spring up in meditation. If we work on alleviating it, trying to gradually cool our tendency to indulge lust in daily life, it will, over time, spring up less and less in meditation. Sitting around feeling guilty and ashamed won't help us. Doing something about it, in whatever way we can, will.

But in the short term, there are two things I've found useful. One is to immediately 'knock out' the lustful thought with a more skillful one (for example, bringing to mind the inner body parts of that object of lust. Be as graphic as you need to be, they are just images conjured in the mind so they can't hurt you). Once the lust has subsided, go back to the breath. The other is, to cultivate the ability to breathe in, and out, aware of the entire body at the same time. If your mind is on (or in, or permeating) your body as it breathes in, and as it breathes out, you can begin to cultivate a calm, soothing pleasure that, while more gentle and refined, gives your mind something non-sensual to enjoy. You can gradually begin to take pleasure in meditation, which will lessen the hold that lust has on the mind. But once again, progress is gradual and patience is needed.

Here is a Dhamma talk that I have found very helpful:



kind regards,
manas.
:anjali:
Primum non nocere: "first, do no harm."
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Re: The hindrance of lust

Postby Bunks » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:21 am

Thank you both! Some great advice there.....I notice you are in Melbourne manas. Do you sit with a group here? I am on the look out for some like minded people.
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Re: The hindrance of lust

Postby binocular » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:54 pm

Bunks wrote:Hi all - I am sure this will have been covered off before in this forum but I am new here so please forgive me.
I struggle with getting caught in lust when meditating. Often to the point of having to stop. Just feeling like I am so caught I can't carry on.
Can anyone give me any suggestions of methods they may use that may help me with this hindrance?

Maybe it's not lust, at least not primarily. Maybe you're bored during meditation, and your usual tendency for dealing with boredom is to think lusty thoughts.
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Re: The hindrance of lust

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:00 pm

Hi Bunks,

You might find the body parts meditation useful in such circumstances. E.g. as in the Satipatthana Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
'In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine.'

Going through the whole list is complicated, but I have found that just doing the first pentad:
head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin.

focussing on each part in turn, can be very effective. In fact, it's possible to use this as an alternative to objects such as the breath, and build up quite a lot of concentration.

:anjali:
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Re: The hindrance of lust

Postby reflection » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:13 am

Hi,

I'm not going to deny I have problems with this also from time to time, so I could try to be wise about it but in the end I don't really have the answer. But the best advise I found was attributed to Ajahn Chah saying there is no single answer as there is no single trick to overcome lust. Yes, certain contemplations may help, but often you have to be creative. Or in the end just have to sit with it, accept it, and let it die out.

Meditation and renunciation at times can make feelings as these much stronger. But in a way I think that's also a sign of progress. The mind is trying harder to 'escape' having to let it go. But if we allow it to stop our meditation, that way we will never be able to let it go. "face your inner demons", isn't that like a catch phrase? I think it's a good one.

:namaste:
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Re: The hindrance of lust

Postby Kamran » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:52 pm

I think when all else fails you have to jam the circuits. One way to do this is breath in slowly for 4 seconds(counting to 4), hold your breath for 4 seconds, breath out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, then breath in for 4 seconds....I found doing this for a few minutes is a good way to jam the circuits and reset yourself.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: The hindrance of lust

Postby hallgee » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:14 am

I suffer from the same issues, even during meditation. I am practicing Goenkan Vipassana, and as such do body scans which allow my body sensations to manifest themselves more and more with repeated practice. These are contemplated with equanimity, so that all body sensations are treated the same way--not reacted to.

Now, as I observe body sensations in my pleasure centers as well, once I feel the sensations flowing from both pleasure centers and neutral areas, my subconscious (I think) begins to understand that these sensations are the same no matter where they come from, which lessens the impact of the pleasurable sensations, as they mingle with/become the same as all other sensations.

Want to add that I have done one 10-day Goenkan Vipassana course, and am going to another soon. This is something that such a course really helps develop.
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