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Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:31 pm
by purple1
Hello! My question is: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas? My teacher's opinion is that celibacy is not nessecary to attain the higher jhanas, celibacy makes faster the meditation progress. If you answer something then please tell me: From where do you know what you say. Do you know it from a sutta or from your own experience or from where do you know what you say? Thank you for your answers!

Re: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:18 am
by santa100
Obviously the only sure-fire way to tell is that one has to actually attained the higher jhanas to know. And since there's no way to verify whether your teacher has attained these states or not, it'll remain, as you said, a teacher's opinion. Anyway, one thing we do know is that the celibacy-higher jhanas is not a uni-directional relationship (one causes the other), but it's a bi-directional relationship. So even if celibcy is not the condition for the higher jhanas, the reverse relationship still hold true: that due to the far more superior kind of pleasure (piti/sukha) attained thru advanced jhanas, the meditator will naturally abandon all sexual pleasures, which is a much coarser kind that is fleeting and unsatisfactory.

Re: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:30 am
by SarathW
the reverse relationship still hold true
:goodpost:
Jhana is called the pleasure of not of flesh.
Perhaps we should ask the question whether a person who experience higher Jhana will have a sexual relationship after that.

My take is it is possible for a person to have a sexual relation ship before and after the Jhana however you can't have it while you are in Jhana.

The standard Jhana formula is:
- Seclusion (only you.No any other person)
- Wholesome thoughts. (Sexual relationship considered unwholesome)
- Cross legs body erect (this is self explanatory)
- keep attention to the breath.

Re: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:00 am
by paul
Thanks for the question.
One cannot change from one mode of thinking to another at will, just as to dismantle a bridge takes a lot of effort and building one again would involve considerable trouble, and one wouldn't want to rebuilt having experienced a higher pleasure. The aim of mindfulness of feeling is to distinguish between the happiness of the senses and the happiness of renunciation. These two go in opposite directions. The happiness of renunciation is present up to the third absorption and is an indispensable condition for obtaining right concentration. Happiness based on sense desires would result in wrong concentration. Although the fourth jhana doesn't have the factor of happiness, it requires a developed right concentration. This view is taken from the suttas.

"And what is pleasure of the flesh? There are these five strings of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. Sounds cognizable via the ear... Aromas cognizable via the nose... Flavors cognizable via the tongue... Tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. Now whatever pleasure arises in dependence on these five strands of sensuality, that is called pleasure of the flesh.

"And what is pleasure not of the flesh? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' This is called pleasure not of the flesh. SN 36.31

"This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge.” AN 4.159

Not only that, but the view of what is painful as pleasant (or happiness-yielding) is one of the four perversions and must be eliminated to reach stream-entry.

Re: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:33 pm
by manas
Being sexually active in any way, while at the same time attempting to train the mind in even the first jhana, sounds like trying to walk to the West, and to the East, at the same time.

EDIT: To moderate my somewhat righteous sounding pronouncement: we are layfolk. Surrounded by others who are not practicing brahmacariya, it's actually pretty challenging to maintain it purely. You can try and try, but damn it really would be easier in a monastic setting. Yes avoiding sexual activity is good for meditation practice, but if sometimes one takes a step backwards, well that can happen and one ought not to beat oneself up about it too much. It can be easy to fall into that trap of judging oneself too harshly, even when the motivation is good. But if one can maintain it purely, great. I admire any layperson who can do so long-term, maybe they can provide some tips on how to do it while living with, or in close proximity to, folks who are not.
:anjali:

Re: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:09 am
by R1111 = rightviewftw
What do u mean by celibacy, 1 hour abstinence, 1 day, 1 week, a year or ten years of abstinence..

I havent reached Arupa Jhana in my practice but im guessing that it depends more on the mind being free from hindrances and inclined towards it rather than some arbitary period of celibacy.

That being said, getting to that mindstate will probably require wholehearted training with 8 precepts, the Arupa Jhanas are associated with all kind of magical powers afaik there is a story of monks who get tempted by sensuality and lose their powers there and then.

Sources: sutta, dhammapada commentary and personal experience.

Re: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:57 am
by manas
R1111 wrote:What do u mean by celibacy, 1 hour abstinence, 1 day, 1 week, a year or ten years of abstinence?
I havent reached Arupa Jhana in my practise but im guessing that it depends more on the mind being free from hindrances and inclined towards mental pleasures rather than some arbitary period of celibacy.
I agree with u, I think it would be the latter, ie not being resolved on sensuality, but rather on renunciation (as in samma-sankappa). However, indulgence in sexual pleasure seems to stir up the mind, and as we know, contact -> feeling -> craving -> clinging, so I suspect that one's resolve to (even temporarily) renounce sensuality (a requirement to enter into jhana) would itself be at least weakened by immersing oneself in sensuality via sex pleasure, would it not? Due to conditionality. Thus, if one could renounce sensuality in a day, great, but I think the longer one works at this, the more it becomes a mental habit, rather than just an aspiration.

Re: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:19 am
by R1111 = rightviewftw
manas wrote: ....
Well put friend,
I think it is really the case that mind is incredibly fast to change so one should not dwell in thoughts of defeat but rather quickly reflect on the drawbacks, pleasure and profitability and pick the precept back up with intention of keeping it for breaking the fetter. I think in general ur definitely right about it not being conducive, stirring up things and leading to negligence.

Re: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:18 am
by LuminousBliss
You can attain jhana without celibacy.

However if you really take your practice very seriously I would practice celibacy, when you are in jhana the sexual energy spreads to chakras and ultimately into your head which energizes it even more and brings more blissful experiences to you.

Re: Is celibacy nessecary to attain the higher jhanas?

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:04 pm
by Masht
In my opinion as well as experience, if a meditator maintains celibacy, his or her progress will be far quicker than those who do not maintain celibacy.