masturbation what's wrong?

Some topics tend to get heated and go off track in unwholesome ways quite quickly. The "hot topics" sub-forum is a place where such topics may be moved so that each post must be manually approved by moderator before it will become visible to members.

masturbation what's wrong?

Postby sundara » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:34 am

What's wrong to masturbate once in a while, what has buddhism got to say about that?
sundara
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:55 pm

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:12 am

Nothing if your a layman



If your a monk its a no no


However it is engaging in lust, so we should work towards going beyond sexual desire, but nothing "evil" with the act itself (as a layman/woman)


metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:19 am

Well, If you're a layperson there's no rule against it. Plain and simple. The Buddha never made a rule prohibiting the lay person observing the 5 precepts from engaging in masturbation.

From a Dhamma perspective: The process of masturbation and sex relys upon desire, specficially sensual desire.
What is said about sensual pleasures?

From my understanding it is that partaking in sensuality, reinforces sensuality in the future.
To cut it short: It's habit forming, and that habit won't make you happy.

The drawbacks of sensuality are that it binds us to the sensual world, it causes attachment. Craving for sensuality is one of the things that binds one to the wheel of suffering. Furthermore, the pleasure gained from masturbation, or any sensuality for that matter - Is fleeting, inconstant, it is only for a brief time. Why partake in something that offers you only brief pleasure, when far greater happiness awaits, practising the Noble Eightfold Path.

Here is the index of Sutta's relating to this topic:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... sensuality

The sutta's would much better elucidate what I am attempting to convey to you. I also hope you can forgive me for being such a hypocrite. It's one thing to see the truth (however dusty my eyes are), it's another to practise it. I have to admit; I am just as bound to sensuality as the next man. From it, I can say one thing though - It's caused me much more grief than pleasure...

Be well
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
User avatar
BlackBird
 
Posts: 1861
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:16 am

sundara wrote:What's wrong to masturbate once in a while?

Who said it's wrong?
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:30 am

Perhaps 'wrong' is the wrong word.
At the very least, its unskilful and unwholesome as it creates powerful sankharas of lust that are difficult to eradicate.
My guess is that it is more wholesome to abstain and to develop perfect sila.
Kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16208
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Dhammakid » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:42 am

I can attest to the scourge that sensual desire - particularly sexual - is on the development of sila, panna and samadhi. Masturbation especially, it is so very habit forming and quite addictive. Not to mention how it leads one to watching pornography which could be interpreted as sexual misconduct, although I'm not totally sure on that one.

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:53 am

Hi,

Masterbation is an intoxicating activity. In my experience it reduces my energy for the good. I don't think it is appropriate to vilify it as an activity. There is much which is intoxicating and energy sapping in the unenlightened quest for temporary satisfaction. On the other hand without vilifying this simple mundane but pleasurable activity I think we can uphold the beauty and value of a person who uses restraint and the cultivation of contentment with the purpose of realizing Dhamma for the benefit of us all. In other words we can promote refraining from sexual activity in order to put time and energy into what has true value without having to make people feel bad about what is already a frustrating enough situation. I am referring to the situation of being human.

Kindly

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:31 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:Masterbation is an intoxicating activity. In my experience it reduces my energy for the good. I don't think it is appropriate to vilify it as an activity....

I agree. It's not "wrong" but it's a time-wasting and rather useless activity. As with many other activities, if it becomes obsessive then it really is a problem and can mess up the way you view the opposite sex. Not to mention messing up your meditation...

If you do masturbate then be careful what your fantasy objects are. It would be judicious to not have fantasies that would be misconduct in "real life".

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10526
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:10 am

Great advice

mikenz66 wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:Masterbation is an intoxicating activity. In my experience it reduces my energy for the good. I don't think it is appropriate to vilify it as an activity....

I agree. It's not "wrong" but it's a time-wasting and rather useless activity. As with many other activities, if it becomes obsessive then it really is a problem and can mess up the way you view the opposite sex. Not to mention messing up your meditation...

If you do masturbate then be careful what your fantasy objects are. It would be judicious to not have fantasies that would be misconduct in "real life".

Metta
Mike


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.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16208
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:36 am

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.

True, that would be the ideal (short of complete abstinence). However, that would be a rather "advanced practise" for most of us... :thinking:

In my experience, the development of concentration and mindfulness is very helpful in preventing the arising (or at least the continuation) of unwanted desires. And some basic body contemplation can be quite effective in an emergency, such as during a meditation session. I don't find any need to go beyond the "Skin Pentad": Head hair, body hair, nails, skin, teeth.

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10526
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Individual » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:56 pm

sundara wrote:What's wrong to masturbate once in a while, what has buddhism got to say about that?

Sexual activity encourages sensual desire. For laypeople, it is expected that they will engage in such behavior, but monks fully devote themselves to enlightenment and are therefore abstinent.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:21 pm

Individual wrote: For laypeople, it is expected that they will engage in such behavior...

Says who?
I know plenty of lay-people who are completely celebate!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16208
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:45 pm

While the answers given so far have been spot on Dhamma, I'm still waiting for a clarification of the question from the original poster (OP). I'm certain the question is based on some misunderstanding or something misheard or taken out of context.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:53 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
I agree. It's not "wrong" but it's a time-wasting and rather useless activity. As with many other activities, if it becomes obsessive then it really is a problem and can mess up the way you view the opposite sex. Not to mention messing up your meditation...
Mike


Has this been your experience Mike?
mikenz66 wrote:If you do masturbate then be careful what your fantasy objects are. It would be judicious to not have fantasies that would be misconduct in "real life".

Metta
Mike
[/quote]
Of course I readily agree with this. This is what I believe to be the more acutely problematic issue and it is closely related to masturbation but not one and the same.

Kindly

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:21 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:Has this been your experience Mike?

At times, and it's related to the issue of what your fantasy objects are...

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10526
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:04 pm

Peter wrote:While the answers given so far have been spot on Dhamma, I'm still waiting for a clarification of the question from the original poster (OP). I'm certain the question is based on some misunderstanding or something misheard or taken out of context.

Hello Peter,

Have a look at the last paragraph of page 73 and the first one of page 74:

An introduction to Buddhist ethics - By Brian Peter Harvey
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=URZ ... q=&f=false

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7695
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:27 am

Or I guess based on the opinion of a single monk quoted in one sentence in an academic book on Buddhism.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:55 am

Hi Peter
I thought what Harvey said was pretty reasonable.
I'm not suggesting that you should agree with him but he is a pretty reliable academic.
Cheers

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16208
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Pannapetar » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:20 am

Ben wrote:At the very least, its unskilful and unwholesome as it creates powerful sankharas of lust that are difficult to eradicate.


mikenz66 wrote:It's not "wrong" but it's a time-wasting and rather useless activity.


Dhammakid wrote:I can attest to the scourge that sensual desire - particularly sexual - is on the development of sila, panna and samadhi.


I would be very careful with such statements. There is a good reason why the Buddhadharma gives few explicit rules about sexual misconduct and masturbation. It is certainly not up to us to retrofit the dhamma by generalising our opinions. What skilful practice with regard to the 3rd precept is, depends on largely the psychophysical makeup of the individual. Celibacy can be the best path for some, but it can be disastrous for others. It is not required for lay people.

Cheers, Thomas
User avatar
Pannapetar
 
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:05 am
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Ben » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:47 am

Hi Thomas

Firstly:
I would be very careful with such statements.

Perhaps they were carefully formulated after many years of studying the suttas. One doesn't need to go very far to see the Buddha warn against the dangers of indulging in sensual desire.
There is a good reason why the Buddhadharma gives few explicit rules about sexual misconduct and masturbation.

Could you please elaborate?
It is certainly not up to us to retrofit the dhamma by generalising our opinions.

I haven't seen anyone retrofit anything.
What skilful practice with regard to the 3rd precept is, depends on largely the psychophysical makeup of the individual.

I disagree completely. Sila is a requisite for the the development of samadhi which becomes a requisite for the development of Panna. None of the silas are 'optional extras', none of the silas are open to reinterpretation or 'skilful means' based on one's psychophysical make-up or predelictions.
Celibacy can be the best path for some, but it can be disastrous for others.

Maybe it was a disaster precisely because they couldn't maintain their sila because they either did not want to, nor engaged in a practice that focused on the elimination of their defilements.
It is not required for lay people.

I didn't say that. But for those lay-people who I have encountered who have adopted celibacy, they've found their progress easier and faster. Some have even told me that after practicing the Dhamma for a while, they loose their interest for sexual activity and their celibacy is completely natural.
Kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16208
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Next

Return to Open Dhamma Hot Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests