Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
NuanceOfSuchness
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Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by NuanceOfSuchness » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:10 pm

To what degree does disinterest in sensual objects occur? For example, I glance at a beautiful lady; there's a pleasant feeling in me. I notice with the eye thus: Here is my eye, there is the object, this is the interpretation of my seeing the object and here is the feeling derived from that interpretation. Insight occurs: the seeing, interpretation and feeling are impermanent, this is unpleasant (because it cannot be sustained) therefore they are not me. This seems quite mechanistic but it occurs with an organic fluidity in my observations. Sometimes the four noble truths and the 12 nidanas drop in too.

Note: If you're astute enough you'll probably notice above that I'm contemplating the aggregates of rupa, vedanā, sañña and saṅkhāra.

What's missing here is the intent to want to look at the lady but one can look at a lady without sensual intent only to develop sensual feeling.

I'm using a lady here as it's the most gross form of sensual pleasure and thus very easy to observe in oneself.

So, as one goes along the imaginary stream, navigating through the four levels of awakening, is it accurate to say that at later stages in the unfolding, the feelings that occur from sensual desire are completely gone or is it more that the feelings still occur but choice occurs as to whether we want to identify with those feelings or not?

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Zom
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by Zom » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:22 pm

Yes, they still occur, of course. But it's not about identification with them in this situation. It is about strength of craving which arises. So, in a stream-winner craving will be more strong than in once-returner. And in non-returner and arahant such kind of craving is eliminated completely.

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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by NuanceOfSuchness » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:41 pm

Thanks but if the feeling has been eliminated could one still choose to indulge in sensual pleasures but without the conditioned momentum that drives one towards sensual pleasures? Surely the action of sex is still a possibility?

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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:20 pm

The teaching indicates that sense desire only ends when one severs that fetter, along with ill will, at non-returner status.

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Zom
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by Zom » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:47 pm

Thanks but if the feeling has been eliminated could one still choose to indulge in sensual pleasures but without the conditioned momentum that drives one towards sensual pleasures?
You mean "craving" (not feeling, because all feelings are there). Well, when there is no craving for sensual pleasures, one still can have pleasurable (accidental) feelings born of eye-contact, ear-contact, etc., but he doesn't attach to them and doesn't crave for more. And, of course, doesn't seek sensual objects to experience such feeling. And when this is so, sex is impossible for such persons (like non-returners and those of higher level), because it is based entirely on craving.

SarathW
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by SarathW » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:34 pm

NuanceOfSuchness wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:41 pm
Thanks but if the feeling has been eliminated could one still choose to indulge in sensual pleasures but without the conditioned momentum that drives one towards sensual pleasures? Surely the action of sex is still a possibility?
Even if you are a Sotapanna you still can enjoy the sensual pleasures.
However, you will never be a hedonist.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

paul
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by paul » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:22 pm

The current of sensual desire runs counter to that of developing skillful qualities:
Through exercising wise attention (yoniso manasikara) the practitioner makes a choice to avoid unwholesome feelings of the flesh, and turns to feelings not of the flesh that they have already cultivated through exertion on their meditation subject. In the case of a practitioner who is inclined towards sensual desire (as opposed to anger), this would be the subjects of impermanence of the body listed under the first foundation of mindfulness. This process naturally involves the second foundation, where feelings not of the flesh are identified (and these in turn lead to the arising of jhana). Just as with physical exercise, they eventually develop strength to overcome that particular level:

“And further, a monk notices this: ‘When I live according to my pleasure, unskillful qualities increase in me & skillful qualities decline. When I exert myself with stress & pain, though, unskillful qualities decline in me & skillful qualities increase. Why don’t I exert myself with stress & pain?‘ So he exerts himself with stress & pain, and while he is exerting himself with stress & pain, unskillful qualities decline in him, & skillful qualities increase. Then at a later time he would no longer exert himself with stress & pain. Why is that? Because he has attained the goal for which he was exerting himself with stress & pain. That is why, at a later time, he would no longer exert himself with stress & pain.
This is how striving is fruitful, how exertion is fruitful."
[...]
"Having abandoned these five hindrances — imperfections of awareness that weaken discernment — then, quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. This, too, is how striving is fruitful, how exertion is fruitful."

MN 101

NuanceOfSuchness
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by NuanceOfSuchness » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:07 am

Zom wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Yes, they still occur, of course. But it's not about identification with them in this situation. It is about strength of craving which arises. So, in a stream-winner craving will be more strong than in once-returner. And in non-returner and arahant such kind of craving is eliminated completely.
And can this gradual negation of this type of sense desire be [partially] measured by a declining need in wanting to masturbate?

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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by budo » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:45 am

NuanceOfSuchness wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:41 pm
Thanks but if the feeling has been eliminated could one still choose to indulge in sensual pleasures but without the conditioned momentum that drives one towards sensual pleasures? Surely the action of sex is still a possibility?
There is no reason to indulge in anything if it doesn't give pleasure. Even with eating, one does it only to survive, so just one meal a day, and it would be viewed as a mundane task needed for the body/flesh, and not for the mind.

Also, sensual desires are only a craving because people are looking to escape suffering, but are using the wrong method because they don't know better (they're ignorant). Using sensual desires to quench suffering is a short term solution that only makes things worse in the long run. If you have partially quenched that dissatisfaction permanently (stream entry) then you have less need to resort to a poor dukkha quenching strategy (sensual desires).

Basically the Buddha is telling you that your way of stopping dissatisfaction sucks because you're dumb (ignorant) and he has a far superior method (N8FP).

NuanceOfSuchness
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by NuanceOfSuchness » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:06 am

budo wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:45 am
NuanceOfSuchness wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:41 pm
Thanks but if the feeling has been eliminated could one still choose to indulge in sensual pleasures but without the conditioned momentum that drives one towards sensual pleasures? Surely the action of sex is still a possibility?
There is no reason to indulge in anything if it doesn't give pleasure. Even with eating, one does it only to survive, so just one meal a day, and it would be viewed as a mundane task needed for the body/flesh, and not for the mind.

Also, sensual desires are only a craving because people are looking to escape suffering, but are using the wrong method because they don't know better (they're ignorant). Using sensual desires to quench suffering is a short term solution that only makes things worse in the long run. If you have partially quenched that dissatisfaction permanently (stream entry) then you have less need to resort to a poor dukkha quenching strategy (sensual desires).

Basically the Buddha is telling you that your way of stopping dissatisfaction sucks because you're dumb (ignorant) and he has a far superior method (N8FP).
This is what I needed to hear. Thanks.

NuanceOfSuchness
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by NuanceOfSuchness » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:09 am

NuanceOfSuchness wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:06 am
budo wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:45 am
NuanceOfSuchness wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:41 pm
Thanks but if the feeling has been eliminated could one still choose to indulge in sensual pleasures but without the conditioned momentum that drives one towards sensual pleasures? Surely the action of sex is still a possibility?
There is no reason to indulge in anything if it doesn't give pleasure. Even with eating, one does it only to survive, so just one meal a day, and it would be viewed as a mundane task needed for the body/flesh, and not for the mind.

Also, sensual desires are only a craving because people are looking to escape suffering, but are using the wrong method because they don't know better (they're ignorant). Using sensual desires to quench suffering is a short term solution that only makes things worse in the long run. If you have partially quenched that dissatisfaction permanently (stream entry) then you have less need to resort to a poor dukkha quenching strategy (sensual desires).

Basically the Buddha is telling you that your way of stopping dissatisfaction sucks because you're dumb (ignorant) and he has a far superior method (N8FP).
This is what I needed to hear. Thanks.
What is N8FP?

It's ok. Noble Eightfold Path.
Last edited by NuanceOfSuchness on Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

budo
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by budo » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:10 am

NuanceOfSuchness wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:09 am
NuanceOfSuchness wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:06 am
budo wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:45 am


There is no reason to indulge in anything if it doesn't give pleasure. Even with eating, one does it only to survive, so just one meal a day, and it would be viewed as a mundane task needed for the body/flesh, and not for the mind.

Also, sensual desires are only a craving because people are looking to escape suffering, but are using the wrong method because they don't know better (they're ignorant). Using sensual desires to quench suffering is a short term solution that only makes things worse in the long run. If you have partially quenched that dissatisfaction permanently (stream entry) then you have less need to resort to a poor dukkha quenching strategy (sensual desires).

Basically the Buddha is telling you that your way of stopping dissatisfaction sucks because you're dumb (ignorant) and he has a far superior method (N8FP).
This is what I needed to hear. Thanks.
What is N8FP?
The noble eightfold path

Read the Buddha's first sermon, this is when he discovered and applies the N8FP and tells his followers, some who have been with him since he was born, what he discovered

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

NuanceOfSuchness
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by NuanceOfSuchness » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:14 am

budo wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:10 am
NuanceOfSuchness wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:09 am
NuanceOfSuchness wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:06 am


This is what I needed to hear. Thanks.
What is N8FP?
The noble eightfold path

Read the Buddha's first sermon, this is when he discovered and applies the N8FP and tells his followers, some who have been with him since he was born, what he discovered

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Yes, that's a beautiful Sutta. I've been listening to the chanting of this Sutta for awhile.

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Alīno
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by Alīno » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:12 am

Zom wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:47 pm
Thanks but if the feeling has been eliminated could one still choose to indulge in sensual pleasures but without the conditioned momentum that drives one towards sensual pleasures?
You mean "craving" (not feeling, because all feelings are there). Well, when there is no craving for sensual pleasures, one still can have pleasurable (accidental) feelings born of eye-contact, ear-contact, etc., but he doesn't attach to them and doesn't crave for more. And, of course, doesn't seek sensual objects to experience such feeling. And when this is so, sex is impossible for such persons (like non-returners and those of higher level), because it is based entirely on craving.
Dear Zom,

Can we say that :
- A Stream Enterer can seeking for pleasure and hatred
- A Once Returner not seeking for pleasure and hatred but can feel them
- A Non-Returner can not feel them
?
Ajahn Nanadassano (before ordaining) : Venerable Ajahn, what is the bigest error that buddhist do in their practice?
Ajahn Jayasaro : They stop practicing ...

Spaciousness
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Re: Into The Stream with Sensual Desires...

Post by Spaciousness » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:48 pm

If one is very advanced into the path (truly experience samadhi), one truly has no interest in sex. There is a lot of thoughts when engaging in sex and its pretty heavy to the mind (for someone who can maintain deep concentration). It is not as pleasurable anymore and since they can maintain a mind free from constant thinking, there is no desire. People who live like that in their daily life, has no desire to do shopping, fine dining, buy this and that, even sex etc.. they become more and more simple. At this state, there is very little anger, dissatisfaction, and simply has no desire to look for more worldly pleasure. Instead, they just walk the garden, do the dishes, fold the clothes and enjoy every single moment as it unfolds. The stillness from sitting quietly on the chair can be more "intense" than sex and maintain longer. It just a natural progression in my own opinion.

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