health and celibacy

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
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Bundokji
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Re: health and celibacy

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:04 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Bundokji wrote: I think the terms "stupidity" and "intelligence" can be used in many different ways
Indeed, it's all relative, isn't it? If one is averse to the idea of sex for some reason, then it is easy to portray it as both unintelligent, and harmful. But by the same token, the majority of people I know would consider that getting sex with desirable people takes intelligence and hard work - even if others culturally despise the manifestations of that intelligence. They would also point to the huge decline in deaths related to childbirth, and give thanks for the medical technology that made this happen. In my country, women live on average well into their ninth decade, and obstetric and contraception-related terms appear on only a tiny proportion of death certificates. They might well consider that a life of voluntary celibacy and childlessness is a life of pointless self-denial. Often, when we don't much care for what people do, we tend to call it unintelligent, or harmful in ways that they don't understand. But who gets to decide what intelligence is in this case, or what is harmful?
One of the main difficulties when having this kind of conversations is that we always have to make some sort of generalizations. When we speak of sex and health, each term can imply countless acts and meanings.

One way to decide what intelligence is or what is harmful is to look at the underlying intentions of the act. It is not necessarily the act itself, but why we do it and how we do it determine to a large extent the consequences of the action.

Generally speaking, the main motive behind seeking sex is sensual pleasure. If the well being of man depends on achieving sensual pleasure, then the likelihood of it becoming a cause of future pain is considerable.

There is also the question of opportunity cost. As you mentioned, "getting sex with desirable people takes intelligence and hard work" and every choice we make in our short life span comes at the expense of something else, so voluntary celibacy and childlessness are not necessarily pointless self-denial, but can be the wisdom of dedicating time and energy to a more worthy cause. Kamma is not only what we do, but what we don't do.

Also different stages in life imply different types of appropriate behavior as we mature and continue to learn. It can be argued that it is more natural and healthy for young people to explore sexual relationships that older ones. If my memory serves me correctly, in the hindu tradition, to seek sex and family life till the end of your twenties is considered appropriate. The Buddha himself lived this type of life until he was twenty nine years old.

When it comes to health, longevity can be misleading. What constitutes a healthy life is a very complicated topic, and yet, we are definitely not here to survive. Why do we want to live longer? having more sex does not seem to answer the question.

So, the question is not whether sex is healthy or harmful, but how to take its right place in the human life. As sex has the potential to be misused and harmful, also celibacy can be harmful if it becomes a form of suppression or done for the wrong reasons.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Sam Vara
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Re: health and celibacy

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:13 pm

Bundokji wrote: So, the question is not whether sex is healthy or harmful, but how to take its right place in the human life. As sex has the potential to be misused and harmful, also celibacy can be harmful if it becomes a form of suppression or done for the wrong reasons.
Yes, I agree, but there are of course all sorts of difficulties surrounding the term "right place". As followers of the Buddha, I think a useful course is to accommodate and ponder the rather negative view that he expressed about sex, without disparaging those who want those kinds of enjoyments.

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mario92
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Re: health and celibacy

Post by mario92 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:47 am

Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Where of an evening they gathered and carried away for supper, there next morning the rice stood ripe and grown again. Where in the morning they gathered and carried away for breakfast, there in the evening it stood ripe and grown again. No break was to be seen [where the husks had been broken off].

Then those beings feasting on this rice in the clearings, feeding on it, nourished by it, so continued for a long long while. And in measure as they, thus feeding, went on existing, so did the bodies of those beings become even more solid, and the divergence in their comeliness more pronounced. In the female appeared the distinctive features of the female, in the male those of the male. Then truly did woman contemplate man too closely, and man, woman. In them contemplating over much the one the other, passion arose and burning entered their body. They in consequence thereof followed their lusts. And beings seeing them so doing threw, some, sand, some, ashes, some, cowdung, crying: Perish, foul one! Perish, foul one! How can a being treat a being so? Even so now when men, in certain districts, when a bride is led away, throw either sand, or ashes, or cowdung, they do but follow an ancient enduring primordial form, not recognizing the significance thereof.

That which was reckoned immoral at that time, Vāseṭṭha, is now reckoned to be moral. Those beings who at that time followed their lusts, were not allowed to enter village or town either for a whole month or even for two months. And inasmuch as those beings at that time quickly incurred blame for immorality, they set to work to make huts, to conceal just that immorality.

Agañña Sutta (DN 27) - A Book of Genesis
https://suttacentral.net/en/dn27

:anjali:
Thank you :)
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Santi253
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Re: health and celibacy

Post by Santi253 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:57 pm

When it comes to health and celibacy, don't men who get more sex have more testosterone, which is good for men's health? In Japan, monks and priests are allowed to be married, so they don't have to choose a sexless life.
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khemindas
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Re: health and celibacy

Post by khemindas » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:14 am

Santi253 wrote:When it comes to health and celibacy, don't men who get more sex have more testosterone, which is good for men's health? In Japan, monks and priests are allowed to be married, so they don't have to choose a sexless life.
Japan is destroying Buddhism through these kind of allowances.

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manas
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Re: health and celibacy

Post by manas » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:25 pm

mario92 wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:17 am
paul wrote:Any lay practitioner who understands the work of right effort in countering the defilements and wants to do all in their power to progress, will renounce all sexual activity beyond the letter of the precepts:
“From the spiritual standpoint it (Right Action) helps curb the expansive tendency of sexual desire and thus is a step in the direction of renunciation, which reaches its consummation in the observance of celibacy (brahmacariya) binding on monks and nuns. ”—“The Noble Eightfold Path”, Bikkhu Bodhi.
This is difficult i had practising it, but even a hello from the opposite sex, can lead to much lust when waking up in the morning, is the first time since years that now i take this practice, so sometimes i dont feel happy, i feel confused most of the time, but even if it hurts some times it is better, but as i began to practice i felt like goodness or nobility in my character, and then temptation arises again, and i lose control. I had done also some sexual misconduct like seeing improper images in the internet, only understanding can save me, i feel confused and like going astray, i have a problem with being handsome :| , i attract many sights so that is not so good after all.
Hi mario,
while I don't have your additional problem of good looks, I can relate to your other struggles. There are so many things we can do to reduce lust, but the most powerful I've ever encountered, is to find pleasure in meditation; when this happens, it's much easier to convince myself to remain abstinent for another day. I too fall down, by the way; usually because I've become lazy, and have not been controlling my mind, or have begun looking at attractive women again (and as for looking at ladies on the Internet...what a self-destructive trap, even to the point of addiction, that can become! beware). I used to 'beat myself up' for 'slipping' from a stint of celibacy, but not anymore. I feel a bit foolish, and disappointed, but not angry. I now realize, trying to be celibate in a society which, in my experience, generally disrespects abstinence, is very challenging. Instead of getting angry at myself, now, I just reflect on all the trouble sex has given me, endless amounts of trouble; and I ask, do I want that? Is the pleasure worth all the trouble?
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Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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LG2V
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Re: health and celibacy

Post by LG2V » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:20 pm

I was celibate for 2 years a while ago. It's perfectly fine, from a health perspective. If anything, it makes you more productive. It's the mental part that's difficult.

Avoiding the wrong food and images make it easier. And, of course, the opposite sex in general. lol.
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Nwad
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Re: health and celibacy

Post by Nwad » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:39 pm

Yes, absence of lust is very good for mental health and samadhi and vipassana ! And also for bodily health, because if there is no more birth there is no more illness agging and death , so Yes, celibacy is 100% good for your mental and bodily health, its also good for the health of the woman and the health of the non-born being. :thumbsup:

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