gabrielbranbury wrote: I intend to promote a precise and attentive engagement with abstinence. It is my opinion that if an individual undertakes this practice not out of a fear of sex but out of sincere inquiry, there is a great deal of potential benefit.
may we all be free of negativity regarding our natural tendency's
may we strive to see them clearly and objectively
Spot on, Gabe!
I am pleased to report that my "investigations" with greater abstinence from sexual activity
and (just as importantly) thought
over the last 3 weeks or so have opened a lot of windows previously nailed shut. Listening to Goldstein, reading Nyanaponika (as mentioned elsewhere
, thank you Tilt), its clear that the Buddha presented a very straightforward and brilliant "recipe" of sorts for liberation from suffering.
Carrying our favorite "pleasures" along is indeed like running with an extra 50 pounds. Also like trying to get a hot air ballon into the sky while its still tied down. Like trying to cook oatmeal without heat, etc...
Experiences of pleasure (in moderation) may not be harmful of themselves, but if one is attached
to the habit pattern in any way, lift off on the dhamma pad is extremely difficult, imo.
In my own case, this seems to be just one pattern tied in with loads of other binding fetters and hindrances that have developed over the last 30 plus years. So its a joy to discover that with a bit of investigation and a turning away from old patterns one may begin to open doors to a most wonderful freedom.
We just have to be willing to follow the Buddha's recipe, without cutting corners, without making excuses...
As the fletcher whittles
And makes straight his arrows,
So the master directs
His straying thoughts.
Like a fish out of water,
Stranded on the shore,
Thoughts thrash and quiver,
For how can they shake off desire?
They tremble, they are unsteady,
They wander at their own will.
It is good to control them,
And to master them brings happiness.
But how subtle they are,
The task is to quieten them,
And by ruling them to find happiness.
The master quells his thoughts.
He ends their wandering.
Seated in the cave of the heart,
He finds freedom.
How can a troubled mind
Understand the way?
If a man is disturbed
He will never be filled with knowledge.
An untroubled mind,
No longer seeking to consider
What is right and what is wrong,
A mind beyond judgements,
Watches and understands.
Your worst enemy cannot harm you
As much as your own thoughts, unguarded.
But once mastered,
No one can help you as much,
Not even your father or your mother.