lhrjordan wrote:.and judging from this thread most of you seem like you have the view that you can become enlightened while still indulging in pleasures of the sense....I'm surprised honestly
I'm not sure if I am included in this "most of you", but if you read posts carefully, I don't think anyone is saying anything of the sort.
Specifically I said:
My point in this and other related threads is that there are too many demons around sexuality, too much 'extra stuff'. This is by far the biggest problem and one has little or no chance of renouncing sexuality in a wholesome way, if one doesn't come to terms with it first.
Dhamma practice as I far as I can make out, is about working with this very moment as it is. When sexual urges arise, we train to be aware of them arising. Not train to arouse aversion or revulsion, especially not as lay people. As we cultivate mindfulness and equanimity, the urges may subside and indeed go away, in the meantime we develop as much awareness and clarity about it as possible and act (or not act) appropriately. But you seem to be dealing in aversion and repression. This just leads to more suffering rather than liberation.
As for the story about the Thera, firstly the Buddha wisely set up different rules and precepts for monastics to lay people. Masturbation is only an offense for monks, not for the lay. Secondly this 'was in the habit of masturbating' could mean many things. Did the Thera find a quiet secluded place once or twice a month to relieve himself or did he merrily jerk off multiple times a day in front of others? I have no idea. I suspect it was more towards the latter, otherwise it would not have even come to the Buddha's attention.
People deal with their sensuality differently and with sustained practice one may come to naturally abstain from masturbation. But for lay people, 99% of the time, it is healthier to find an appropriate partner, learn to care for one another and support each other's practice, than force or foist this abstention upon oneself prematurely. This just fans the flames of aversion.