masturbation what's wrong?

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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby Ben » Sun May 19, 2013 12:11 pm

knighter wrote:ps

any tips on when passion arises?
thanks
knighter


Be attentive and observe the anicca characteristic of all dhammas with equanimity.
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby knighter » Sun May 19, 2013 12:12 pm

Thanks all
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby Sam Vara » Sun May 19, 2013 6:51 pm

Aloka wrote:
There's already a long masturbation thread with lots of posts from the male members of the group
.


This made me laugh. Thanks Aloka!
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun May 19, 2013 8:38 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Aloka wrote:
There's already a long masturbation thread with lots of posts from the male members of the group
.


This made me laugh. Thanks Aloka!


Moderator note: I have merged a few of the previous threads and the long one together. One topic for this subject is enough.
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby ground » Mon May 20, 2013 5:07 am

knighter wrote:. Masturbation should be avoided.
why should masterbation be avoided ?

Should it? Well maybe, at least during meditation ... that means ... as far as I now masturbation does not belong to the conventional meditation methods although there may be quite a deal of concentration involved .... and pleasure ... in jhanas there is also concentration and pleasure ... but it is said that the latter is conducive concentration and pleasure while masturbation is not ... anyway what can be learned is that humans are seeking pleasure and that there are different means to attain pleasure and that pleasure is only temporary. :sage:
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby ground » Mon May 20, 2013 5:17 am

knighter wrote:ps

any tips on when passion arises?
thanks
knighter

You mean sexual lust? (since you have been asking about masturbation)

If it already arises then it is too late. You should avoid thinking thoughts that cause lust, and avoid seeing sights that cause lust if you find it difficult to deal with lust when it arises. But you can train to think spontaneously about disgusting things as an antidot when mindfulness lapses and lust arises. But you should at least be mindful of the fact that it arises. As an alternative you may simply have a sexual relationship with a partner that works well. :sage:
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby binocular » Mon May 20, 2013 7:30 am

Why are prisons, hospitals and crisis situations such places of suffering? For one, because in them, people typically cannot pursue happiness or relief the way they're used to, and they don't know any other way.
So it would stand to reason to develop ways of finding happiness regardless of the situation one is in.

Sooner or later, one will find oneself in a situation where one won't be able to masturbate, or drink alcohol, etc. even though one might feel intense desire to do so. Especially in such cases, it is useful to have an alternative.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon May 20, 2013 12:27 pm

Two questions that I see from this thread: 1) is masturbation a violation of the third precept, and 2) from a Dhamma point of view, is there any difference between masturbation and non-procreative sex?

Generally it would seem that if it's ok for a couple to have sex for reasons other than producing children, then it should be ok to masturbate. And conversely, if it's not ok to masturbate, then a couple should only have sex if they are seeking to produce children. If this is not the case, wherein lies the difference?

Actually, given the current state of the planet, it occurs to me that recreational sex could be seen as less harmful than sex for propagating the species. Choosing to have children is a rather selfish act, when you think about it. Whereas sex between partners can be an expression of love and intimacy.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby manas » Mon May 20, 2013 1:51 pm

I think there's a big difference for married or partnered lay men, as opposed to single lay men, regarding this issue. In my own experience, when I had a partner or girlfriend, the need to masturbate did not arise very much at all, if ever. It's a very different story for single guys living alone though (as I have been for a few years now).

We all know that sexual pleasure leads to more attachment to the body and to the pleasurable sensations bound up with it, and so should ideally be regulated, gradually reduced, and eventually given up. But feeling guilty about it is unnecessary for laymen and women, because so long as we are following the five lay precepts, we have not actually done anything 'wrong' by having sex with our legitimate partner, or if single for eg, letting off some steam via masturbation. Unskilful, yes; wrong, no. But I've seen a lot of anguish about this issue from folks. imho, getting angry is worse. If we are going to get anguished about something, it ought to be that rather than the occasional toss now and then. But we don't see many anguished topics about 'I yell at people sometimes, how can I stop?'

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Mojo » Mon May 20, 2013 3:14 pm

The need to have sex is in our DNA as a means of species continuity. I don't think it is healthy to fight our biology. So at the very least, if practicing religious celibacy, masturbation should be allowed. Though, I really believe marriage and therefore sexual intercourse with the spouse should be allowed for monastics (of all faiths).
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby daverupa » Mon May 20, 2013 3:16 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:2) from a Dhamma point of view, is there any difference between masturbation and non-procreative sex?


For monastics, yes. The second is a parajika while the first is a sanghadisesa.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby frank k » Mon May 20, 2013 5:17 pm

If your goal is nibbana as soon as possible, brahmacariya (pure celibacy both physically and mentally) is essential. One of the things the suttas doesn't talk about is the sublimation of energy that happens through a life style of celibacy and lots of meditation. Taoism and some of the more refined version of Hinduism does explain this in quite a bit of detail. But theory aside, you can try the difference for yourself. For example, try 6 or 12 months pure, and then compare it to the period where you're having sexual activity whether with a partner or masturbating . It's a huge difference. The amount of wakefulness, internal energy, sharpness and clarity of mind, strength of the jhana factors, there is no comparison. The older you get the difference will be even more pronounced. Adjusting diet goes a really long way in making a celibate lifestyle easier. For example eating a simpler vegan or vegetarian diet with low salt, low in pungent roots (onion, garlic, leeks, etc) is much less of a nutriment supporting sexual desire than a rich diet of red meat, high sodium, rich sauce, etc. And adjusting the amount you eat makes a big difference as well. Not eating after noon is a helpful practice. Or just fruit and nuts for a very light dinner.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Coyote » Mon May 20, 2013 6:29 pm

frank k wrote: Adjusting diet goes a really long way in making a celibate lifestyle easier. For example eating a simpler vegan or vegetarian diet with low salt, low in pungent roots (onion, garlic, leeks, etc) is much less of a nutriment supporting sexual desire than a rich diet of red meat, high sodium, rich sauce, etc.


Have you tried this yourself? Sounds like Ayurveda to me.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Coyote » Mon May 20, 2013 6:38 pm

Mojo wrote:The need to have sex is in our DNA as a means of species continuity. I don't think it is healthy to fight our biology. So at the very least, if practicing religious celibacy, masturbation should be allowed. Though, I really believe marriage and therefore sexual intercourse with the spouse should be allowed for monastics (of all faiths).


This same logic could be used to justify many things the Buddha taught were unwholesome - adultery (it's natural for men to have as many partners as possible), anger (perfectly natural response in certain situations) - same with fear, grief, attachment, aversion , and especially the "self" idea ect. I find that the Dhamma is about "fighting" our past habits and tendencies, some of which are represented in our biology. As to whether celibacy is harmful for some, i.e those not ready for it, that is different subject entirely.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby binocular » Mon May 20, 2013 7:27 pm

Nothing Higher to Live For
A Buddhist View of Romantic Love
:


/.../The love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man is often the floor to which people fall after the collapse of other dreams. It is held to be solid when nothing else is, and though it frequently gives way and dumps them into a basement of despair, it still enjoys a reputation of dependability. No matter that this reputation is illogical — it still flourishes and will continue to flourish regardless of what is said in any book. Love, or possibly the myth of love, is the first, last, and sometimes the only refuge of uncomprehending humanity. What else makes our hearts beat so fast? What else makes us swoon with feeling? What else renders us so intensely alive and aching? The search for love — the sublime, the nebulous, the consuming — remains sacred in a world that increasingly despises the sacred. When the heroic and the transcendental are but memories, when religious institutions fill up with bureaucrats and social scientists, when nobody believes there is a sky beyond the ceiling, then there seems no other escape from the prison of self than the abandon of love. With a gray age of spiritual deadness upon us, we love, or beg for love, or grieve for love. We have nothing higher to live for.

Indeed, many take it on faith that romantic love is the highest thing to live for. Popular literature, movies, art, and music tirelessly celebrate it as the one truth accessible to all. /.../
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Re: celibacy/self pleasure

Postby Sekha » Tue May 21, 2013 5:33 am

knighter wrote:any tips on when passion arises?

Pay attention to repulsive aspects of the object of your lust. One way of doing that is to look for what is visually repulsive in the form you feel attracted to, and also how it may well become more repulsive in a not so far future, due to old age. Another way is to reflect on the drawbacks of being attracted to that form.

This is one of my favorite quotes from the suttas. It works very well, provided one has genuine intentions to progress:
Upādānīyesu bhikkhave, dhammesu assādānupassino viharato taṇhā pavaḍḍhati (...) Upādānīyesu bhikkhave, dhammesu ādīnavānupassino viharato taṇhā nirujjhati.

In one who keeps focusing on the allure of clingable phenomena, craving develops (...) In one who keeps focusing on the drawbacks of clingable phenomena, craving ceases.
SN 12.52
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Sekha » Tue May 21, 2013 5:35 am

binocular wrote:The search for love — the sublime, the nebulous, the consuming — remains sacred in a world that increasingly despises the sacred.
...
Indeed, many take it on faith that romantic love is the highest thing to live for. Popular literature, movies, art, and music tirelessly celebrate it as the one truth accessible to all.

:goodpost:
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby convivium » Tue May 21, 2013 5:51 am

addiction
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: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Helyron » Tue May 21, 2013 5:01 pm

Ben wrote:I'd even go so far Mike to say its probably better to not have any fantasy at all, and try and maintain awareness of the physical sensation while trying to develop equanimity towards it. Try and see it as it actually is.

:goodpost:
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby duckfiasco » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:22 pm

Interesting thread for me to make my first post on here :) But lust has a special prominence in my practice, so I'm chiming in :thumbsup: I'm sorry for the lack of sutta quotations. I'm relatively new to Theravada after years of Zen, still getting acquainted with all the writings.

None of the intellectual sort of approaches have helped me with what is a very visceral drive, like contemplating the parts of the body, repulsiveness, unsatisfactoriness... In my opinion, masturbation may be this or that argument, but it's primarily like practicing something we already know inside and out when we could be learning something new. Should we be using this rare day we're still alive to further refine our mastery of satisfying sensual desires?

Two things have helped me. One is practicing sila in general, cultivating loving-kindness, noticing other sources of suffering like my temper, greed and working with them, being milder and more easily content. Cooling the mind down in daily life makes lust less tricky to handle.

And second, simply viewing it as not a very useful way to spend time. There's a big difference compared to other "useless" activities, like playing an instrument, reading fiction, or relaxing in the sun. I find during those kinds of things, I can remain mindful and see the aspects of dhamma in everyday things, even as the body or mind are satisfied. The mind is calmed. For me, to be able to masturbate requires doing the opposite: forgetting everything and zeroing in on a physical sensation, or a mental image. And the mind is stirred up.

Lust is samsara in a nutshell. You can almost feel on fire from needing to do this thing that by definition cannot be satisfied. And we willingly cloak ourselves in distortions and misperceptions to have a little drop of good feelings. Maybe it isn't this grandiose for others.

I've heard it said that celebate monks give up sex for something far better: a calm and joyous mind :tongue: We already know what masturbating feels like. But do we really have an intimate idea of the luminosity of a mind at ease? It may be more appealing in the heat of the moment to think "Let's try something new" than "I shouldn't X or Y".
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