bodom wrote:Ok, so then what is exactly the issue we can help you with? Would you like us to give you reasons to not be celibate? Are you looking for encouragement? If it is something you choose for yourself fine. Not everyone is ready or even able to make that kind of commitment.
A lot of people are asking for advice on overcoming lust on this thread. Someone claimed it was healthier to just have sex, and that an effort towards celibacy was an unproductive endeavor. I statement my disagreement. I never said all lay people should be celibate, just that sense desire leads to suffering, regardless of who or what one is. Therefore it is certainly not an effort that should be discouraged.
It is not a question of whether sex and sexual desire is healthy and good for practice. It is clear that they are to be abandoned in due course.
And it is this "due course" that is the issue. We all start exactly where we are, whether we like it or not. And if we try for what we are not yet ready, we are not only setting ourselves up for failure but wasting a lot of energy in the process and even perhaps losing faith in the path.
Before desire is abandoned it has to be recognized as unwholesome, not just thought so. Then it is not a struggle but a natural act of leaving behind what is not useful.
Until then of course, solid ethics and restraint is conducive to practice, but this doesn't preclude having sensual pleasures which the Buddha also praised for householder:
‘Good, Gotama, wait! Other than bhikkhus, bhikkhunis and lay disciples of Gotama, who wear white clothes and lead the holy life. Is there a single lay disciple, who wears white clothes, leads the holy life, while partaking sensual pleasures, and doing the work in the dispensation has dispelled doubts. Has become confident of what should and should not be done, and does not need a teacher any more in the dispensation of the Teacher. "Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred. There are many more lay disciples of mine, wearing white clothes leading the holy life, while partaking sensual pleasuresand doing the work in the dispensation have dispelled doubts have become confident of what should and should not be done and do not need a teacher any more.’ -- MN 73
[Edited in consideration of the comments below.]