Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

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phil
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Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by phil » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:44 pm

I found this article on awareness of sexuality by a nun quite good. For those of us who are in a situation where celibacy is necessary, or for those of us who have sex addiction issues improving our awareness of sexuality is so important.

I consider the process of renouncing sex to be a health issue because mishandled it can do harm in my opinion so I'd like to post some passages here, moderators please mpve it to a different forum if you see fit
And if anyone is interested in discussing of course...
In a monastic lifestyle dedicated to meditation, inquiry and investigation, where restraint is cultivated and where there are relatively few opportunities for distraction, one’s energetic system becomes more potent and the familiar becomes intensified. After entering the monastery I began to have an appreciation for what the monks and male dhamma teachers had been saying about the connection between sexuality and aggression. I could feel the power involved in captivating and holding a person’s attention. I could see clearly how fast mood swings and sexual desire were triggered by a myriad of things, not only by an expression of heartfelt openness and tenderness. I could see the desire impulse working and feel the movement of mind toward pleasure and gratification. I could see how the strategies that were employed to optimize pleasure—either for oneself or in a relationship with others—were often based on control, manipulation, competition, objectification and the desire to define one’s territory.

As these dynamics became clearer to me, the connection between sexuality and aggression became more apparent. A human being is made out of energy. Thoughts, moods and feelings are all manifestations of energy that change in color and tone depending on the characteristics it takes on. We are often absorbed by these characteristics in the same way that we are absorbed in the objects of our experience. What we think, feel and experience is of great interest. When there is intense energy in the system it can flow out in different ways. For example, sexual energy that manifests as desire, if unskillfully restrained or suppressed, can cause confusion, frustration and anger, and can easily be released as aggression.

Therefore, working with restraint requires that one become familiar with the experience of these feelings and the skillful means one can develop to work with them. Awareness is the key—you first need to allow your attention to rest with the experience. Feel the physical sensations directly in the body: the tightness, increased warmth, change in the texture of the breath. Let your attention rest there. Feel the unpleasantness, the mind contracting, and notice the desire not to experience these feelings. When you can see things as they arise and let your attention rest there, you need not be a slave to your aversions or your desire for fulfillment. You can be aware of the experience as it arises and watch as it changes and ends of its own accord, or is channeled through skillful sublimation. Once there is mindfulness and a clear comprehension of what is being experienced, options open up.

The energy doesn’t have to be blocked or forced. One can allow it to flow through awareness, with attention focused on the whole body or the breath. It is important to know the difference between repression, which doesn’t allow the energy to flow, and sublimation, which allows the energy to move through skillful channeling.

By bringing awareness and attention to the breath, release comes from exhalation and vitality from inhalation. When the whole body is kept in mind, energy can flow and become a source of vitality, creativity and radiance. Energy can be released or sublimated through the breath, physical work, long walks or devotional practice. It is important to recognize how much patience, skill and kindness toward oneself is needed to find one’s way through this predicament. Humor helps a lot, but sometimes tears are inevitable.
https://www.lionsroar.com/celibacy-and- ... sexuality/
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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DooDoot
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:29 pm

phil wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:44 pm
I found this article on awareness of sexuality by a nun quite good.
This nun recently disrobed, as shown by her videos on You Tube.

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phil
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by phil » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:45 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:29 pm
phil wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:44 pm
I found this article on awareness of sexuality by a nun quite good.
This nun recently disrobed, as shown by her videos on You Tube.

Well I hope she's happy. I*m interested in the ideas.

I like the notion of becoming aware of the aggression aspect that can creep into one's sexuality. I don't know if it is common for many men (or women) and I'm not looking for confessions but I am aware of habitual mental eroticizing of students I am talking to (they are adults) in a position of trust as their teacher. (That context is irrelevant, it is never acceptable, a kind of mental sexual assault.) There can be awareness of it and a quick dropping of it, or there can be a slack "well, at least I'm aware of it, anatta, isn't it?" kind of thing. Writing about it here might condition more of the former.


On the other hand, she writes about how seexual energies seen with awareness can be channeled into something supportive through breathing. That is more yoga than Dhamma but still interesting for health.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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samseva
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by samseva » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:45 am

phil wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:44 pm
When there is intense energy in the system it can flow out in different ways. For example, sexual energy that manifests as desire, if unskillfully restrained or suppressed, can cause confusion, frustration and anger, and can easily be released as aggression.

Therefore, working with restraint requires that one become familiar with the experience of these feelings and the skillful means one can develop to work with them. Awareness is the key—you first need to allow your attention to rest with the experience. Feel the physical sensations directly in the body: the tightness, increased warmth, change in the texture of the breath. Let your attention rest there. Feel the unpleasantness, the mind contracting, and notice the desire not to experience these feelings. When you can see things as they arise and let your attention rest there, you need not be a slave to your aversions or your desire for fulfillment. You can be aware of the experience as it arises and watch as it changes and ends of its own accord, or is channeled through skillful sublimation. Once there is mindfulness and a clear comprehension of what is being experienced, options open up.

The energy doesn’t have to be blocked or forced. One can allow it to flow through awareness, with attention focused on the whole body or the breath. It is important to know the difference between repression, which doesn’t allow the energy to flow, and sublimation, which allows the energy to move through skillful channeling.
She makes solid and crucial points regarding celibacy (bolded parts)—contrary and in contrast to most bad advice about abstinence.

Sexual urges are emotions like anger and hatred. You can't just bluntly suppress it. What happens when you suppress anger? It manifests in different forms. Same for sexual energy. When practicing celibacy, if you can watch and learn how to channel your sexual energy/urges in skillful and non-sexual ways, you will have much more chance of maintaining abstinence (and will have huge amounts of energy and motivation as a positive side effect). Obviously, you need to know what you have to do, and do it, but it's possible.

And this doesn't only aply to celibates, but to anyone who has high or even medium levels of sexual desires and who would like to reduce their sexual urges.

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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by samseva » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:46 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:29 pm
This nun recently disrobed, as shown by her videos on You Tube.
Do you know why she disrobed?

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DooDoot
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:06 am

samseva wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:46 am
Do you know why she disrobed?
I suppose given this is public, I am not being invasive posting it here:




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Crazy cloud
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by Crazy cloud » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:11 pm

Sadhu sadhu sadhu :namaste:

Thanks for sharing this!

:smile:
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

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DooDoot
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by DooDoot » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:06 am

phil wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:45 pm
I like the notion of becoming aware of the aggression aspect that can creep into one's sexuality. I don't know if it is common for many men (or women) and I'm not looking for confessions but I am aware of habitual mental eroticizing of students I am talking to (they are adults) in a position of trust as their teacher. (That context is irrelevant, it is never acceptable, a kind of mental sexual assault.) There can be awareness of it and a quick dropping of it, or there can be a slack "well, at least I'm aware of it, anatta, isn't it?" kind of thing. Writing about it here might condition more of the former.
I also like this emphasis upon aggression/self-centredness/objectification or not being considerate & thoughtful towards another. Essentially, this emphasis appears to be the practise of 'metta'. To me, what you wrote above about mental eroticizing is more a matter of morality (sila) & wisdom (panna) rather than yogic concentration (samadhi). Sila is the emphasis upon not harming oneself or another but bringing genuine well-being to oneself or another.
phil wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:45 pm
On the other hand, she writes about how seexual energies seen with awareness can be channeled into something supportive through breathing. That is more yoga than Dhamma but still interesting for health.
This doesn't resonate with me personally & I also have not read such techniques in the suttas (apart from very subtle satipatthana, which ,at least to me, is related to subtle defilements rather than to sexual fantasies & thoughts). These yogic techniques are common in Western Buddhism but, my view is, without clear sila or wisdom they will tend to be samsaric; in that the lust may keep arising.

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samseva
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by samseva » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:23 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:06 am
samseva wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:46 am
Do you know why she disrobed?
I suppose given this is public, I am not being invasive posting it here:
I listened to all of the second video, only to find out that she probably mentioned it in the first one. I was hoping you could tell me and I could find out in 3 seconds instead of 10 minutes. :smile:

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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by DooDoot » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:01 am

samseva wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:23 am
I listened to all of the second video, only to find out that she probably mentioned it in the first one. I was hoping you could tell me and I could find out in 3 seconds instead of 10 minutes. :smile:
Thanks but sorry, I can't help. I just noticed the videos and do not recall anything I remembered. You will have the listen to the video.

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by Crazy cloud » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:06 am

My guess is that first stage of enlightenment has not been reached, and thats the major reason for disrobing ...

best :smile:
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

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phil
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by phil » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:29 am

This from AN 7:48 is relevant I think:
"I will teach you a Dhamma discourse on bondage & lack of bondage. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "A woman attends inwardly to her feminine faculties, her feminine gestures, her feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voice, feminine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she attends outwardly to masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voices, masculine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she wants to be bonded to what is outside her, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in her femininity, a woman goes into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman does not transcend her femininity.

"A man attends inwardly to his masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voice, masculine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he attends outwardly to feminine faculties, feminine gestures, feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voices, feminine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he wants to be bonded to what is outside him, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in his masculinity, a man goes into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man does not transcend his masculinity.
Awareness of ways we identify with gender can help liberate us from harmful patterns, I guess. Possibly.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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phil
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by phil » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:34 am

Hi DooDoot

Essentially, this emphasis appears to be the practise of 'metta'. To me, what you wrote above about mental eroticizing is more a matter of morality (sila) & wisdom (panna) rather than yogic concentration (samadhi). Sila is the emphasis upon not harming oneself or another but bringing genuine well-being to oneself or another.
Yes, I also remember the aspect of dana that is said to be giving freedom from fear. People talk about "micro-aggressions" a lot these days and while my initial reaction is to gripe about political correctness there is indeed truth to it.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

binocular
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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by binocular » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:53 pm

Ajahn Thanasanti wrote:After I decided to come to the monastery to live as a nun, I remember there were a few people who said in their parting blessings to me, “Well, I hope that on your way to the monastery, you meet the man of your dreams and fall in love.”
https://www.lionsroar.com/celibacy-and- ... sexuality/
It seems she was quite pretty before she ordained. I think people wouldn't say such things to plain-looking women.
I think that the way people think about sexuality has quite a bit to do with the way they look and how those looks are evaluated by society.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu mentions in a Dhamma talk a study that showed that plain-looking people are hardest to seduce, because they are skeptical that attempts to seduce them are genuine.

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Re: Awareness of sexuality supporting celibacy

Post by binocular » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:57 pm

Nothing Higher to Live For. A Buddhist View of Romantic Love by Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano:
/.../
The love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man is often the floor to which people fall after the collapse of other dreams. It is held to be solid when nothing else is, and though it frequently gives way and dumps them into a basement of despair, it still enjoys a reputation of dependability. No matter that this reputation is illogical — it still flourishes and will continue to flourish regardless of what is said in any book. Love, or possibly the myth of love, is the first, last, and sometimes the only refuge of uncomprehending humanity. What else makes our hearts beat so fast? What else makes us swoon with feeling? What else renders us so intensely alive and aching? The search for love — the sublime, the nebulous, the consuming — remains sacred in a world that increasingly despises the sacred. When the heroic and the transcendental are but memories, when religious institutions fill up with bureaucrats and social scientists, when nobody believes there is a sky beyond the ceiling, then there seems no other escape from the prison of self than the abandon of love. With a gray age of spiritual deadness upon us, we love, or beg for love, or grieve for love. We have nothing higher to live for.

Indeed, many take it on faith that romantic love is the highest thing to live for. Popular literature, movies, art, and music tirelessly celebrate it as the one truth accessible to all. Such love obliterates reason, as poets have long sweetly lamented, and this is part of its charm and power, because we want to be swept up and spirited out of our calculating selves. "Want" is the key word, for in the spiritual void of modern life the wanting of love becomes increasingly indistinguishable from love itself. So powerful, so insistent is it that we seldom notice that the gratification is rare and the craving relentless. Love is mostly in anticipation; it is an agony of anticipation; it is an ache for a completion not found in the dreary round of mundane routine. That we never seem to possess it in its imagined fullness does not deter us. It hurts so bad that it must be good.

Practically nobody questions the supremacy of romantic love, which is good enough reason to do a little poking around the foundations of its pedestal.
/.../

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