Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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Mkoll
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Mkoll » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:43 am

Wri wrote:Thank you for your advice lotus flower.

In terms of an update on this thread, I don't feel a need for relationships or sex anymore (although I think I stopped that "need" before this thread) and have seen myself become a much happier and humorous person when I am free from sexual craving. When the craving returns, I can notice exactly what it does to me and how it makes meditation more difficult, as well as making me a more closed off, serious, and tense person. I don't wish to rid myself of sexuality, and it seems like I've done what I need to do: stop thinking I need it to be happy or satisfied. In time, the connections in my brain will accept this and cravings will subside. I think it is only a matter of time. For now, I simply watch as the periods of craving arise and fall and try to enjoy a good laugh at the whole thing.

Thank you for your support everyone :heart: :)
I imagine that desires for intimacy and sex will return in the future. Think of the not-just-a-few monks who disrobe for that very reason, even after many years of dedicated practice. Don't be too overconfident!

[I don't say that to be snarky but just to give a friendly word of warning that you may already acknowledge without my saying it. But just in case, there it is! :smile: ]
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Wri
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Wri » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:12 am

Mkoll wrote:
Wri wrote:Thank you for your advice lotus flower.

In terms of an update on this thread, I don't feel a need for relationships or sex anymore (although I think I stopped that "need" before this thread) and have seen myself become a much happier and humorous person when I am free from sexual craving. When the craving returns, I can notice exactly what it does to me and how it makes meditation more difficult, as well as making me a more closed off, serious, and tense person. I don't wish to rid myself of sexuality, and it seems like I've done what I need to do: stop thinking I need it to be happy or satisfied. In time, the connections in my brain will accept this and cravings will subside. I think it is only a matter of time. For now, I simply watch as the periods of craving arise and fall and try to enjoy a good laugh at the whole thing.

Thank you for your support everyone :heart: :)
I imagine that desires for intimacy and sex will return in the future. Think of the not-just-a-few monks who disrobe for that very reason, even after many years of dedicated practice. Don't be too overconfident!

[I don't say that to be snarky but just to give a friendly word of warning that you may already acknowledge without my saying it. But just in case, there it is! :smile: ]
Oh yes! I am well aware of that. To clarify, I did say that I don't wish to rid myself of sexuality, as I do expect feelings of intimacy or passion to arise again and again. We are human--our emotions will arise! But there is that difference between natural arising and craving. The feeling that I must have it in order to be happy is nonsense, and at the conceptual level I have that realized due to the ability to generate internal happiness/peace of mind. However, I notice the subtle level of the brain fighting for it still. That is what I was referring to. The feelings of need will fully subside, but of course, the emotion of it will arise. How we relate to that is the real task. For example, if I see a body I find particularly attractive, I will naturally feel pleasant, but I will not seek it because I know I don't need it. In some cases, I feel a very strong desire for the person implying I must have it to be satisfied. At this point I recognize it to be unwholesome as soon as I can and stop feeding into it. I try my best, and have long since known that patience is one of the highest virtues :) If a relationship will begin, I will let it happen naturally (as opposed to the "make me happy" relationships I've had plenty of experience with) while keeping up my mindfulness for unwholesome kamma.

I hope that makes sense. I may have made it more complicated but I don't know how else to explain it :shrug: haha!
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

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Opanayiko
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Opanayiko » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:34 am

Hello friend,

I understand your situation well. I too am still very much 'in the world' but training the mind to not be 'of the world'.
As you say the 'woods' of romance and intimacy are precisely the focal point of our society. And it is extremely against the stream to voluntarily be celibate. If your choice is to remain a non-celibate layman, and the causes and conditions arise for you to enter into a relationship again, I send my sincere wishes that you may find true happiness of unconditional love. Be ever watchful for lust. This is mankind's downfall.

Remember what unconditional love is: no matter what your partner may do or say, you can patiently accept them. There is no attachment in this kind of love. There is no craving to be with them. If you are together, great. If you are apart, great aswell. The purpose to be in such a relationship is spiritual reciprocity. You help each other advance in insight and wisdom. Both of you understand Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta and are interested in developing Right View. This truly is the only kind of intimate relationship that doesn't involve sorrow, grief, worry, or pain. With absolute faith in BuddhaDhamma I have reflected on this deeply and implore you to read the Dhammapada Ch.16 on Affection. ("...From endearment grief is born...").

In your first post you mentioned "In Vipassana meditations, I have pinpointed it to a need for excitement. However, when I tone down this need, I feel a high amount of aversion as if my life were being taken away from me." From experience, when such a mental formation arose as 'aversion to negating a desire for something I "should be" or "could be" and felt as if "my life" was disappearing as a concept', instead of reacting, I just witnessed the process of mind. There was a deep feeling of release. No more grasping for a comparison of myself and others. I strive on to let go of believing in who I think I am.

I hope my input helps you. Just as The Rightly Self-Awakened one, we too must work out our own liberation from ignorance. No one can do it for us.
The answers you seek lie within you. True happiness and freedom are dependent on our thoughts, speech and action. I send my aspirations that you may one day cross the flood to the other shore.

With Metta

:meditate:
:anjali: Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Saṁbuddhassa :anjali:

By oneself is evil done,
by oneself defiled,
by oneself it’s left undone,
by self alone one purified.
Purity, impurity on oneself depend,
no one can purify another.
-Dp 165

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Wri
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Wri » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:26 pm

Thank you Opanayiko, that was very encouraging and helpful. I have progressed quite a deal since my first post ;) I have experienced unconditional love a number of times in the last two years, but only with people I have met online while providing them reassurance through difficult times and mental states. That spirit of pure helping and acceptance and companionship is far better than anything lust can give for sure. We just have to deal with the little monkey in our minds throwing a fit because he wants his stuff :tantrum: hahaha :rofl:

Thanks again for your time and effort in providing reassurance. May you be at peace as well!
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

lotus flower
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by lotus flower » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:49 pm

Worthless man, it is unseemly, out of line,
unsuitable, and unworthy of a contemplative;
improper and not to be done... Haven't I
taught the Dhamma in many ways for the sake
of dispassion and not for passion; for
unfettering and not for fettering; for freedom
from clinging and not for clinging? Yet here,
while I have taught the Dhamma for
dispassion, you set your heart on passion;
while I have taught the Dhamma for
unfettering, you set your heart on being
fettered; while I have taught the Dhamma for
freedom from clinging, you set your heart on
clinging.
"'Worthless man, haven't I taught the Dhamma
in many ways for the fading of passion, the
sobering of intoxication, the subduing of
thirst, the destruction of attachment, the
severing of the round, the ending of craving,
dispassion, cessation, unbinding? Haven't I in
many ways advocated abandoning sensual
pleasures, comprehending sensual perceptions,
subduing sensual thirst, destroying sensual
thoughts, calming sensual fevers? Worthless
man, it would be better that your penis be
stuck into the mouth of a poisonous snake
than into a woman's vagina. It would be better
that your penis be stuck into the mouth of a
black viper than into a woman's vagina. It
would be better that your penis be stuck into a
pit of burning embers, blazing and glowing,
than into a woman's vagina. Why is that? For
that reason you would undergo death or death-
like suffering, but you would not on that
account, at the break-up of the body, after
death, fall into deprivation, the bad
destination, the abyss, hell. But for this reason
you would, at the break-up of the body, after
death, fall into deprivation, the bad
destination, the abyss, hell...
"'Worthless man, this neither inspires faith in
the faithless nor increases the faithful. Rather,
it inspires lack of faith in the faithless and
wavering in some of the faithful.'"

FROM pratyeka.org/a2i/lib/authors/thanissaro/bmc1/bmc1.intro.html

The Buddhist Monastic Code I
The Patimokkha Training Rules
Translated and Explained
by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2007–2010
We found the teaching of the Buddha. Be grateful for it... We can meditate... Be grateful for it... We know that this universe is the samsara. Be grateful for it... We have THE CHANCE TO ATTAIN NIBBANA. Be grateful for it... :buddha1: :buddha2:

lotus flower
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by lotus flower » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:55 pm

Dear Wri may you keep up your celibated life. the best luck to you... Anyway , may you attain your Noble aspirations :) metta, asubha and focus on the Four Noble Truth can help as well as i wrote before..... it is my own experience. may the Triple Gem bless you.

by the way my own experience is progress in meditation is easier and faster on a celibated way. and a celibated life is always more noble than any love relationship.
We found the teaching of the Buddha. Be grateful for it... We can meditate... Be grateful for it... We know that this universe is the samsara. Be grateful for it... We have THE CHANCE TO ATTAIN NIBBANA. Be grateful for it... :buddha1: :buddha2:

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Wri
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Wri » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:57 am

lotus flower,

I am not really aiming for a celibate life. It is merely my present situation and I wish not to suffer. I think I will allow myself to engage in sex once again should one offer it to me with wisdom, but I would engage without the sense of craving/depending on sex itself for happiness. Thank you for your efforts in helping me :)
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

lonewolf
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by lonewolf » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:46 pm

Hapiness is overrated, equanimity is far superior. Romantic "love" is just lust, and ignorance, and so are romantic relationships. Look at sex with a neutral mind, it's one of the silliest activities one can engage in. Craving intimacy is ignorance no matter how you cut it. Idealizing the whole thing, looking for loopholes ain't gonna change nothing. It is what it is.

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Wri
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Wri » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:31 am

lonewolf,

Thank you for your input. I am not quite sure how to respond, but I will say that I am not looking for romantic relationships on the logical level. On an emotional level the desire still appears from time to time. Seeing sex as silly, or happiness as overrated, or analyzing the futility of it has not seemed to be effective. I am trying to use mindfulness to appreciate the contentment that I feel naturally at all times when I let go of any clinging (needing certain outcomes to be happy). This is a more relational approach than a thinking approach, and seems to be the most effective for me right now.

Thank you again for your input. It does help.
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

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Wri
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Wri » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:28 am

I would like to share an update on this situation.

Recently I have made a tremendous connection with my sense of unconditional compassion towards others and life itself and the craving for certain outcomes has become significantly reduced. Perhaps before I was lacking this connection with my innate contentment. With my purpose firmly established and seemingly confirmed by recent events, I feel as if relationships are not a primary concern at all. It will only be a nice surprise along my journey of spreading unconditional love in the world. My devotion to this purpose and to Dhamma, along with keeping a contented mind through any experience, has given me a much greater sense of ease. Thanks to everyone who contributed here. You have helped me tremendously and I'm sure many others.

:group:
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

unspoken
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by unspoken » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:57 pm

Hi Wri,

For me, I actually am in a relationship now. However a relationship does not stop you from your practice (in my opinion) but rather when the time is right and with enough practice I believe that one day my partner may feel the same and walk the path with me.

Not giving any opinion or advice because I am bad with it, but just sharing the POV perspective.

-Unspoken

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Wri
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Wri » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:46 pm

unspoken wrote:Hi Wri,

For me, I actually am in a relationship now. However a relationship does not stop you from your practice (in my opinion) but rather when the time is right and with enough practice I believe that one day my partner may feel the same and walk the path with me.

Not giving any opinion or advice because I am bad with it, but just sharing the POV perspective.

-Unspoken

Thank you for offering your perspective :)
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

Atman1
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Atman1 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:11 pm

If you have even a thought of becoming a monk or nun I would suggest doing it. My husband recently told me that he is divorcing me so that he can become a monk. Some other people at the monastery offered support by reminding me that "letting go of attachments is difficult". It is really hurtful and painful. If you are confused in general it is best not to bring other people into that mix unless you know that you can actually commit and that you are completely in love with the other person. Otherwise you will just end up hurting another human - one with real hopes, dreams and emotions - and that is not the right way to live.

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daverupa
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by daverupa » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:27 pm

Atman1 wrote:If you have even a thought of becoming a monk or nun I would suggest doing it. My husband recently told me that he is divorcing me so that he can become a monk. Some other people at the monastery offered support by reminding me that "letting go of attachments is difficult". It is really hurtful and painful. If you are confused in general it is best not to bring other people into that mix unless you know that you can actually commit and that you are completely in love with the other person. Otherwise you will just end up hurting another human - one with real hopes, dreams and emotions - and that is not the right way to live.
:heart:

:goodpost:

It's complex to negotiate these things when so many people can be affected; it's a useful reminder that relationships in general require ongoing, clear communication to be the least harmful.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Wri
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Re: Desire for Relationship and for Lack of Relationship

Post by Wri » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:51 am

daverupa wrote:
Atman1 wrote:If you have even a thought of becoming a monk or nun I would suggest doing it. My husband recently told me that he is divorcing me so that he can become a monk. Some other people at the monastery offered support by reminding me that "letting go of attachments is difficult". It is really hurtful and painful. If you are confused in general it is best not to bring other people into that mix unless you know that you can actually commit and that you are completely in love with the other person. Otherwise you will just end up hurting another human - one with real hopes, dreams and emotions - and that is not the right way to live.
:heart:

:goodpost:

It's complex to negotiate these things when so many people can be affected; it's a useful reminder that relationships in general require ongoing, clear communication to be the least harmful.
Thank you both for your thoughtful replies :smile:

I don't believe I have enough devotion to 8 precepts just yet or enough experience in lengthy retreats to consider actually ordaining. I also need to build up a financial fallback system before ordaining as is advised. If I enter into a relationship, I will not ordain.
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

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