Celibacy

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.

Re: Celibacy

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:30 pm

The way I see it, if one is going to masturbate, then might as well go out and have some casual sex. Masturbation without porn might not be as unhealthy as masturbation with porn, but it's unhealthy nonetheless and could also lead to erectile dysfunction. Whereas actual sex can be healthy, and even casual sex is generally relatively more healthy than masturbation.

And like I keep saying, trying to be chastely celibate in this day and age without a daily 'Khrul-'Khor or Trulkhor practice is unrealistic. These aren't like the days when one could go meditate in the forest all alone & only have to have contact with non-practitioners for a few minutes a day to ask for alms.

Wisdom, it's interesting you recommend The Practice of Brahmacharya by Swami Sivananda. I actually saw it online the other day while looking up an Asana. And I have this book but it's missing a couple pages of photos of Asanas (thought I bought it in new condition, but I guess not).

Practicing the Hatha Yoga of Swami Sivananda with a basic Pranayama is perhaps a good substitute if one does not have transmission for any Trulkhor cycle. If one finds the Asanas too difficult to learn from a book, then could always take a Hatha Yoga class for couple weeks or so just for long enough to get the basics down; because with the way some women dress in contemporary "yoga" classes, you'll not want to spend much time there if what you're trying to do is keep celibate Brahmacharya!

The Dzogchen Community of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu has two public books and two or three public DVD's available on Yantra Yoga (Bairo 'Khrul 'Khor); and one doesn't need Transmission in order to practice Yantra Yoga and have some excellent relative benefits. :thumbsup:

Discussion on Yantra Yoga moved here
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:40 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:The way I see it, if one is going to masturbate, then might as well go out and have some casual sex. Masturbation without porn might not be as unhealthy as masturbation with porn, but it's unhealthy nonetheless and could also lead to erectile dysfunction.
Yeah, sure, and it causes hair to grow on the palms of your hands and blindness too. :alien:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:52 pm

I'm not saying that masturbation will make one incapable of achieving an erection. I'm saying that masturbation is likely to make it much more difficult to achieve an erection in an intimate encounter with an actual sexual partner. Why? Well first of all masturbation is based on fantasy. And there might exist some Vajrolimudra or Jnanamudra types of practices that resemble masturbation, but these are not masturbation as such and are not engaging in ordinary fantasy.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:55 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:I'm not saying that masturbation will make one incapable of achieving an erection. I'm saying that masturbation is likely to make it much more difficult to achieve an erection in an intimate encounter with a partner of the opposite sex.
Hogwash.
Why? Well first of all masturbation is based on fantasy. And there might exist some Vajroli Mudra or Jnanamudra types of practices that resemble masturbation, but these are not masturbation as such and are not engaging in ordinary fantasy.
All "reality" is based on fantasy.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:12 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:All "reality" is based on fantasy.


Well most who have this idea are probably aware of it mainly at the level of intellect; and having a mostly intellectual 'understanding' of the fact doesn't help much.

All I'm saying is that if one wants to keep specific vows and/or not deplete Ojas or mDangs, then it would be worthwhile to ask one's Lama to teach 'Khrul 'Khor; or at least learn a basic Pranayama (such as the one taught in the second volume of the public Yantra Yoga DVD's) and/or pick up Swami Sivananda's The Practice of Brahmacharya for its Hatha Yoga; and/or at least see what Tibetan Medicine has to say related to the topic.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:42 pm

wisdom wrote:
Indrajala wrote:Where does consuming pornography fit in? That's up in the air.


Someone get me an umbrella then!

In all seriousness though porn sucks. Its a huge problem. In excess it reconditions your mind to not respond to physical intimacy, resulting in ED. Its relatively easy to recondition yourself, but it takes some will power to pull off. The same is true of quitting porn. Some things you could try:

I. Read "The Practice of Brahmacharya" by Sri Swami Sivananda. Available Here: http://www.dlshq.org/download/brahma_nopic.htm
II. Put a porn filter on your computer, use a password you will never remember, throw away the password.
III. Downgrade your phone, smart phones can stream porn too easily to keep around if you are addicted.
IV. Throw away all magazines, movies, any media that is porn related.
V. Start working out.

The first seven days are the most intense. Once you get past a week you will experience alternative periods of intense libido increase and decrease. Whatever you do, don't "test" yourself to make sure you still work. You do. Whatever control you have now, you won't have in a week or two, you will ejaculate 20x easier, even fantasizing about porn might cause you to get too aroused at this point so its best to leave it all alone and avoid anything that triggers desire, including things like intoxication or going out to places where lots of young women dress up and go out like bars, clubs and so forth. It sounds boring as hell but this is just based on my personal experience.

Lots of things may or may not happen due to becoming celibate. Most of them are good. Try to have as few expectations for better or worse as possible, since everyone is different.

If severely neurotic sexual fantasies arise that disturb you and you feel like you can't handle it- masturbate. Recognize that sexual energy is one of the most powerful energies in the human. It can heal but it can also destroy. All the child abuse that happens in the church is the result of sexual energies becoming twisted. They are suppressed and they develop deluded ideas about sex and sexuality and then it comes out as this rampant abuse. The reason is because as Osho said "Sexual energy only movies in two directions, up or down". He means that it moves pretty much regardless of what you are doing, if its not moving "up" and being used in various activities or redirected in other ways, then it needs to move down and out. This is again just my personal opinion, I have no idea what a Buddhist lama would say about any of this.

Good luck!
Ted Bundy (the serial killer/rapist) said something interesting in his last interview (which is on youtube). While he took full responsibility for his crimes, he said part of the cause was porn. He became addicted to porn as a young boy. First he liked pictures of naked women and then harsher material and then harsher and then pictures weren't enough. He also claimed to have done a poll at prison and found that most serious criminals regular enjoyed porn and all sex criminals did.

Porn does serious damage to the mind. And masturbation is porn lite.

"For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself…After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison." -C.S. Lewis

This quote applies to porn even more so.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:20 pm

Konchog1 wrote:Porn does serious damage to the mind. And masturbation is porn lite.
Masturbation is not (and does not require) pornography. Some people watch porn to have sex.
"For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself…After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison." -C.S. Lewis
Ooooohhhh! Sounds to me that anybody wanting to lay that much Christian guilt on themselves should invest in one of these:
opus dei cilice.jpg
Lash-lash-scourge-scourge!
opus dei cilice.jpg (17.43 KiB) Viewed 593 times
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:30 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Some people watch porn to have sex.
Exactly right. They watch porn to have sex. They would be in for a horrible surprise if they tried to have sex without porn.

gregkavarnos wrote:Ooooohhhh! Sounds to me that anybody wanting to lay that much Christian guilt on themselves should invest in one of these
Sorry, I'm not into BDSM.

Odd, the site keeps adding two /qoute to my post, I can't delete them.

EDIT Fixed
Last edited by Konchog1 on Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:45 pm

Hi Konchog,

When looking closely, you can see where the quote-tags are messed up.

In editing the quote-tags carefully, it should read like this, yes?:


gregkavarnos wrote:Some people watch porn to have sex.

Konchog1 wrote:Exactly right. They watch porn to have sex. They would be in for a horrible surprise if they tried to have sex without porn.

gregkavarnos wrote:Ooooohhhh! Sounds to me that anybody wanting to lay that much Christian guilt on themselves should invest in one of these

Konchog1 wrote:Sorry, I'm not into BDSM.


Anyway, whether someone is racked with Christianist guilt or not, they can still see the truth in C.S. Lewis' above-posted words.

The difference between exoteric Christianity (and exoteric Buddhism for that matter) and Vajrayana, is that Vajrayana actually has effective methods (such as 'Khrul 'Khor) for sublimating the sexual impulse. How did C.S. Lewis apparently deal with it? Well maybe he had a wife/girlfriend and/or secretly knew an esoteric Christianity that has Pranayama or something, I don't know.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby wisdom » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:19 pm

greentara wrote:wisdom, Thanks for your very interesting contribution but I'm not sure I entirely agree with the following statement 'All the child abuse that happens in the church is the result of sexual energies becoming twisted'
I don't believe celibacy has caused the priests to become twisted rather they gravitate to young boys, pastoral work and a teaching vocation that leads to them having lots of contact with children. We all know it as paedophilia. Criminologists note that married men also gravitate towards professions where they have lots of contact with the young and then can exploit with ease.
Osho certainly had lots of fascinating things to say about sex, he seemed to be able to talk the talk but was unable to live the teaching.
True celibacy happens when one is ripe and all desires just drop off. In the meantime most of us have to struggle for the teaching to blossom.


Yeah, its just my opinion. I do believe that in many cases, if not most, sexual deviance is the result of misused or unbalanced sexual energy. Although you make a good point that people who are pedophiles would naturally gravitate towards environments where they were working with children.

Also your point about celibacy happening when a person is ripe is beautiful, but at the same time I believe some effort has to be made because otherwise its too easy to remain content with giving into desires whenever they call.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:40 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:The way I see it, if one is going to masturbate, then might as well go out and have some casual sex. Masturbation without porn might not be as unhealthy as masturbation with porn, but it's unhealthy nonetheless and could also lead to erectile dysfunction. Whereas actual sex can be healthy, and even casual sex is generally relatively more healthy than masturbation.

It is probably more admirable that men can stay away from women, even if it means if they happen to eventually have sex, it will be a disappointment. I really cannot see your point on this one. Sex is sex, and sex is almost always a distraction from the path - as are women in general (for men, vice versa for women).

Let's just be clear that when the Buddha discusses disadvantages of a sexual nature, up to and including sexual misconduct and excluding monastic discipline, it is always in the form of actual sex with women.
AN 8:54; IV 281-85 wrote:The wealth thus amassed has four sources of dissipation: woman-
izing,
drunkenness, gambling, and evil friendship. Just as in the case
of a tank with four inlets and outlets, if one should close the inlets and
open the outlets, and there would not be adequate rainfall, a decrease
rather than an increase of the water could be expected in the tank, so
these four things bring about the dissipation of amassed wealth.
"Similarly, there are four sources for the increase of amassed wealth:
abstinence from womanizing,
from drunkenness, from gambling, and
from evil friendship. Just as in the case of a tank with four inlets and
outlets, if one should open the inlets and close the outlets, and there
would be adequate rainfall, an increase rather than a decrease of the
water could be expected in the tank, so these four things bring about
the increase of amassed wealth.

MN 41: Saleyyaka Sutta; 1286-90 wrote:"And how, householders, are there three kinds of unrighteous
bodily conduct, conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma?
Here
someone kills living beings; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given
to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. He takes what is not
given; he takes by way of theft the wealth and property of others in the
village or forest. He commits sexual misconduct; he has intercourse
with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and
father, brother, sister, or relatives, who have a husband, who are pro-
tected by law, and even with those already engaged. That is how there
are three kinds of unrighteous bodily conduct, conduct not in accor-
dance with the Dhamma.

AN 3:129; 1282-83 wrote:"These three things, monks, are conducted in secret, not openly.
What three? Affairs with women, the mantras of the brahmins, and
wrong view.

:rules: As for wanton self-abuse in the Sanghadisesa, the reasons why it is disallowed would be obvious to anyone who thought about it:
1. That one would eat alms with the same hand used for the wanton self-abuse is conducive to anger in modest monks.
I. 1, 1-2; III.111 wrote:But do you, reverend Seyyasaka, eat alms with the very same hand as that which you use to emit semen?"
"Yes your reverences," he said.
Those who were modest monks became annoyed, vexed and angry, saying:
"How can the venerable Seyyasaka emit semen in this way?"

2. That it is not worthy of a recluse because it is an act of passion.
I. 1, 2-2, 1; III. 112 wrote:It is not fit, foolish man, it is not becoming, it is not suitable, it is not worthy of a recluse, it is not right, it is not to be done. How can you, foolish man, emit semen using your hand? Foolish man, have I not uttered dhamma in many ways for the stilling of passion, and not for the sake of passion, taught dhamma for the sake of being without grasping, and not for the sake of grasping?

3. That it is to the detriment of propagation:
I. 1, 2-2, 1; III. 112 wrote:Foolish man, it is not for the benefit of unbelievers, nor for the increase in the number of believers, but it is, foolish man, to the detriment of unbelievers as well as of believers, and it causes wavering in some.

Obviously, Lhug-Pa, I hope you see that there is no advantage here which is derived from using women rather than a hand - the former has more disadvantages than the latter, as you surely know. Caring more about sexual performance, than being celibate, is stupid. If men can't get aroused in actual sexual intercourse, it is better than if they can! Perhaps it will convince them to renounce and become dispassionate! So I feel your priorities are in the wrong place.

As for murder - I am hard pressed to believe that wanton self abuse is a greater cause of murder than sexual relationships with women. Women ensnare and deceive (and vice versa for men if you're a woman, etc.), it's just the nature of passion, it makes us blind to the faults of someone else. This is why we should imagine women as rotting corpses whenever we are attracted to them, to emphasise their negative aspects.

In the hierarchy of morality in Buddhism, sexual intercourse with a woman is worse than wanton self abuse - which is not disallowed for lay people. In fact, the very fact that it causes so many people to stay away from women is probably a good thing.

In the end, however, you have two choices: nirvana or samsara. If you engage in any act of passion, you're perpetuating the latter, whereas if you renounce you are moving closer to the former. Every Buddhist knows this, it is simple and obvious. It's not that hard to understand. Whether you observe the vinaya or not is a matter of choice, and lay people would have better practice if they observed it - but at the very least, to be a lay person, it is most important to avoid sexual misconduct first and foremost, and demanding lay people to observe the Sanghadisesa does not have priority over asking them to observe the five precepts.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:39 am

Zhen Li wrote:
AN 8:54; IV 281-85 wrote:The wealth thus amassed has four sources of dissipation: woman-
izing,
drunkenness, gambling, and evil friendship. Just as in the case
of a tank with four inlets and outlets, if one should close the inlets and
open the outlets, and there would not be adequate rainfall, a decrease
rather than an increase of the water could be expected in the tank, so
these four things bring about the dissipation of amassed wealth.
"Similarly, there are four sources for the increase of amassed wealth:
abstinence from womanizing,
from drunkenness, from gambling, and
from evil friendship. Just as in the case of a tank with four inlets and
outlets, if one should open the inlets and close the outlets, and there
would be adequate rainfall, an increase rather than a decrease of the
water could be expected in the tank, so these four things bring about
the increase of amassed wealth.
I understand womanizing to mean regular casual sex, not sex with women.

Zhen Li wrote:
MN 41: Saleyyaka Sutta; 1286-90 wrote:"And how, householders, are there three kinds of unrighteous
bodily conduct, conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma?
Here
someone kills living beings; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given
to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. He takes what is not
given; he takes by way of theft the wealth and property of others in the
village or forest. He commits sexual misconduct; he has intercourse
with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and
father, brother, sister, or relatives, who have a husband, who are pro-
tected by law, and even with those already engaged. That is how there
are three kinds of unrighteous bodily conduct, conduct not in accor-
dance with the Dhamma.
Sex with women is not listed here as sexual misconduct. Nor is it implied.

Zhen Li wrote:
AN 3:129; 1282-83 wrote:"These three things, monks, are conducted in secret, not openly.
What three? Affairs with women, the mantras of the brahmins, and
wrong view.
I understand affairs with women to mean cheating.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:13 am

Incorrect in that you deny what is actually written.

Correct in that you could interpret what is written variously. As with anything, but I think that this part of the conversation is a bit irrelevant to the point - which is that actual sex is worse than other courses of release for various reasons. I don't see how what you wrote is relevant to this argument, though while it is not what is written, I do agree that what you say is generally equivalent to what is written.

I do disagree with your second reply however. But it seems as if you are replying to my written comments and not to the quote - I was letting the quote speak for itself.

The whole point, which I feel you did not address, was that Lhug-pa was suggesting that promiscuity with actual women is superior to self gratification. The problem with this is that the argument stems from an admiration of success in a particular kind of passion, rather than an avoidance of passion and sexual misconduct in general.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:57 am

Zhen Li wrote:It is probably more admirable that men can stay away from women, even if it means if they happen to eventually have sex, it will be a disappointment. I really cannot see your point on this one. Sex is sex, and sex is almost always a distraction from the path - as are women in general (for men, vice versa for women).


And lustful thoughts in conjuction with the act of masturbation are just as distracting.


Zhen Li wrote:Let's just be clear that when the Buddha discusses disadvantages of a sexual nature, up to and including sexual misconduct and excluding monastic discipline, it is always in the form of actual sex with women.


Just because the Buddha said that sexual misconduct with women is to be avoided, doesn't mean that he would have seen masturbation as not worse.


AN 8:54; IV 281-85 wrote:The wealth thus amassed has four sources of dissipation: woman-
izing,
drunkenness, gambling, and evil friendship. Just as in the case
of a tank with four inlets and outlets, if one should close the inlets and
open the outlets, and there would not be adequate rainfall, a decrease
rather than an increase of the water could be expected in the tank, so
these four things bring about the dissipation of amassed wealth.
"Similarly, there are four sources for the increase of amassed wealth:
abstinence from womanizing,
from drunkenness, from gambling, and
from evil friendship. Just as in the case of a tank with four inlets and
outlets, if one should open the inlets and close the outlets, and there
would be adequate rainfall, an increase rather than a decrease of the
water could be expected in the tank, so these four things bring about
the increase of amassed wealth.

MN 41: Saleyyaka Sutta; 1286-90 wrote:"And how, householders, are there three kinds of unrighteous
bodily conduct, conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma?
Here
someone kills living beings; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given
to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. He takes what is not
given; he takes by way of theft the wealth and property of others in the
village or forest. He commits sexual misconduct; he has intercourse
with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and
father, brother, sister, or relatives, who have a husband, who are pro-
tected by law, and even with those already engaged. That is how there
are three kinds of unrighteous bodily conduct, conduct not in accor-
dance with the Dhamma.

AN 3:129; 1282-83 wrote:"These three things, monks, are conducted in secret, not openly.
What three? Affairs with women, the mantras of the brahmins, and
wrong view.


In the Tantrayana view, it is possible to have sexual contact with women without incurring negative karma (and this doesn't necessarily mean that it's okay to be promiscuous). And Tantrayana is considered to be a teaching of the Buddha Shakyamuni (because He manifested as Guhyasamaja to teach Tantra, and He is also one of the Twelve Dzogchen Teachers).


Zhen Li wrote: :rules:


Rigid rules may be indispensable for followers of the Hinayana Path (I say Hinayana because Theraveda isn't the only non-Mahayana Buddhist school), but they are not indispensable for the Mahasandhiyana, Tantrayana, or even the common Mahayana Paths. Within the latter three, awareness of circumstances is considered more important than rigid rules and vows.


Zhen Li wrote:As for wanton self-abuse in the Sanghadisesa, the reasons why it is disallowed would be obvious to anyone who thought about it:

1. That one would eat alms with the same hand used for the wanton self-abuse is conducive to anger in modest monks.
I. 1, 1-2; III.111 wrote:But do you, reverend Seyyasaka, eat alms with the very same hand as that which you use to emit semen?"
"Yes your reverences," he said.
Those who were modest monks became annoyed, vexed and angry, saying:
"How can the venerable Seyyasaka emit semen in this way?"

2. That it is not worthy of a recluse because it is an act of passion.
I. 1, 2-2, 1; III. 112 wrote:It is not fit, foolish man, it is not becoming, it is not suitable, it is not worthy of a recluse, it is not right, it is not to be done. How can you, foolish man, emit semen using your hand? Foolish man, have I not uttered dhamma in many ways for the stilling of passion, and not for the sake of passion, taught dhamma for the sake of being without grasping, and not for the sake of grasping?

3. That it is to the detriment of propagation:
I. 1, 2-2, 1; III. 112 wrote:Foolish man, it is not for the benefit of unbelievers, nor for the increase in the number of believers, but it is, foolish man, to the detriment of unbelievers as well as of believers, and it causes wavering in some.


Masturbation is negative. That I agree with, as has already been said. Thanks for the reference that further proves my point.


Zhen Li wrote:Obviously, Lhug-Pa, I hope you see that there is no advantage here which is derived from using women rather than a hand - the former has more disadvantages than the latter, as you surely know.


By using the term "using" here, you seem to be framing it either as if the woman is merely an object of pleasure who does not enjoy any pleasure herself from a sexual exchange with a man; or as if women do not like and enjoy sex just as much as men and are the dainty innocent creatures that they're often made out to be.

In any case, since there is an exchange of pleasure between the male and the female (and the exchange of Solar and Lunar energies) that the woman and man both enjoy, there is at least something mutual going on there as opposed to the depleting sterile application of using one's hand for lone self-abuse (see again the C.S. Lewis quote posted by Konchog).


Zhen Li wrote:Caring more about sexual performance, than being celibate, is stupid. If men can't get aroused in actual sexual intercourse, it is better than if they can! Perhaps it will convince them to renounce and become dispassionate! So I feel your priorities are in the wrong place.


Discipline comes from taming the mind, and the mind is more easily tamed when one attains control of the Winds, Drops and Channels; not when one depletes themselves of Ojas (vital energy and virility) by disturbing their Winds, Drops and Channels through repression or the act of masturbation. From the Vajrayana perspective, with sexual contact between the male and female there is at least the exchange of Solar and Lunar energies between the woman and man. With masturbation their can only be depletion. I know this from past direct experience as well. Masturbation leaves one's energy much more disturbed and disordered than even casual sex (leading to more nervousness, etc.).


Zhen Li wrote:As for murder - I am hard pressed to believe that wanton self abuse is a greater cause of murder than sexual relationships with women.


See above.


Zhen Li wrote:Women ensnare and deceive (and vice versa for men if you're a woman, etc.), it's just the nature of passion, it makes us blind to the faults of someone else. This is why we should imagine women as rotting corpses whenever we are attracted to them, to emphasise their negative aspects.


Well since casual sex and especially masturbation are both harmful to one's practice, better to avoid them both; hence my recommendation of practices such as 'Khrul 'Khor, Hatha Yoga, Pranayama, etc., all of which are much more conducive to actually controlling the flow of the sexual impulse, as opposed to merely repressing the sexual impulse (or depleting it through masturbation).

Also, in Tantrayana, deriding women is a downfall; so even though viewing the opposite sex as rotting corpses can be a good practice for not giving into temptation, it is limited, and if the said practice starts to become a morbid preoccupation then there are always other methods for not getting defeated by the passions, methods that come with less risk of developing a negative view of women the latter of which is a Tantric downfall. In other words, viewing the opposite sex as rotting corpses is useful at times, however if it's the only technique that one has for dealing with lust, then it could possibly become the cause of a downfall, that is from the perspective of Tantrayana.


Zhen Li wrote:In the hierarchy of morality in Buddhism, sexual intercourse with a woman is worse than wanton self abuse - which is not disallowed for lay people. In fact, the very fact that it causes so many people to stay away from women is probably a good thing.


You have yet to prove this.


Zhen Li wrote:In the end, however, you have two choices: nirvana or samsara. If you engage in any act of passion, you're perpetuating the latter, whereas if you renounce you are moving closer to the former. Every Buddhist knows this, it is simple and obvious. It's not that hard to understand. Whether you observe the vinaya or not is a matter of choice, and lay people would have better practice if they observed it - but at the very least, to be a lay person, it is most important to avoid sexual misconduct first and foremost, and demanding lay people to observe the Sanghadisesa does not have priority over asking them to observe the five precepts.
:anjali:


Masturbation is just as samsaric if not more-so than casual sex.

And again, better to learn powerful methods for sexual sublimation, considering that almost no one nowadays can go abandon contemprary life to meditate in the forests all day. Maybe back when the Buddha turned the First and Second Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma meditation alone was sufficient for controlling the sexual energy. But not anymore. There are now too many distractions, temptations, provocations of energy, harmful chemicals & forms of radiation that cause harm to the physical body's channels, etc. We need more powerful methods for controlling the Winds, Drops, and Channels besides simply watching the breath, or ordinary mindfulness, or even Zazen, etc. If this were not the case, there wouldn't be so many contemporary Buddhists justifying harmful acts like masturbation.

And since you came here to a thread that is filed under the Upaya sub-forum (which implies that we can include discussion of all Yanas here) to debate this, I don't see any fault in my mentioning of Mahayana and Tantrayana views.

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Re: Celibacy

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:20 am

And lustful thoughts in conjuction with the act of masturbation are just as distracting.

That's true. But there is an added social dimension with real people which takes up people's entire lives. Yes, I know there are people who's lives are taken up entirely with masturbation, but it's probably rare and not as socially acceptable as spending every night in a pick up lounge - which makes it far more likely to be unable to break out of the cycle of being sexually active.
Just because the Buddha said that sexual misconduct with women is to be avoided, doesn't mean that he would have seen masturbation as not worse.

Actually, sex is in the Pratimoksa, whereas masturbation is in the Sanghadisesa, which means sex is more grave an offence than masturbation. One entails defeat, the other a subsequent meeting. Big difference.
In the Tantrayana view, it is possible to have sexual contact with women without incurring negative karma (and this doesn't necessarily mean that it's okay to be promiscuous). And Tantrayana is considered to be a teaching of the Buddha Shakyamuni (because He manifested as Guhyasamaja to teach Tantra, and He is also one of the Twelve Dzogchen Teachers).

Yes, I accept this. And with a qualified Tantric Guru as one's guide, I think this is fine.
Rigid rules may be indispensable for followers of the Hinayana Path (I say Hinayana because Theraveda isn't the only non-Mahayana Buddhist school), but they are not indispensable for the Mahasandhiyana, Tantrayana, or even the common Mahayana Paths. Within the latter three, awareness of circumstances is considered more important than rigid rules and vows.

I agree, and the Bodhisattva vows require one to break precepts when the circumstances require it. I laugh trying to come up with examples for this topic though. :D
Masturbation is negative. That I agree with, as has already been said. Thanks for the reference that further proves my point.

Yes it is, but my point is that sex is worse.
You seem to be framing it either as if the woman is merely an object of pleasure who does not enjoy any pleasure herself from a sexual exchange with a man; or as if women do not like and enjoy sex just as much as men and are the dainty innocent creatures that they're often made out to be.

In any case, since there is an exchange of pleasure between the male and the female (and the exchange of Solar and Lunar energies) that the woman and man both enjoy, there is at least something mutual going on there as opposed to the depleting sterile application of using one's hand for lone self-abuse (see again the C.S. Lewis quote posted by Konchog).

This is true, but I think that Lewis is referring to proper sexual conduct, rather than sexual misconduct.

I can't disrespect any lay person simply for having a committed relationship and having sex out of love. That's fine. The issue is that sexual misconduct can occur with real women, but not with masturbation, making it worse. I.e. You can actually cause harm to other people with sex, plus your own mind, whereas masturbation only causes harm to your own mind. Plus, there is the issue of greater social consequences and attachments to other people.

I apologise if I made it sound as if women are an object. I am more or less talking from the hypothetical approach of someone who may possibly be engaging in either masturbation or sexual misconduct, in which case that person would likely view women as an object. This is what I understand as the one of the issues behind sexual misconduct, i.e., when we talking about women under the protection of parents (i.e. minors), they are not mentally or socially developed enough to make an adult consensual decision; this is more or less equivalent to rape or bestiality. :pig:
Discipline comes from taming the mind, and the mind is more easily tamed when one attains control of the Winds, Drops and Channels; not when one depletes themselves of Ojas (vital energy and virility) by disturbing their Winds, Drops and Channels through repression or the act of masturbation. From the Vajrayana perspective, with sexual contact between the male and female there is at least the exchange of Solar and Lunar energies between the woman and man. With masturbation their can only be depletion. I know this from past direct experience as well. Masturbation leaves one's energy much more disturbed and disordered than even casual sex (leading to more nervousness, etc.).

I agree, from the Vajrayana perspective you are correct. Once again, we are presupposing it is proper sexual conduct, rather than misconduct. But even when one is philandering and indulging in debauchery, one's energies are hardly in balance, and more problems would arise than were that person to just release themselves in private.
Well since casual sex and especially masturbation are both harmful to one's practice, better to avoid them both; hence my recommendation of practices such as 'Khrul 'Khor, Hatha Yoga, Pranayama, etc., all of which are much more conducive to actually controlling the flow of the sexual impulse, as opposed to merely repressing the sexual impulse (or depleting it through masturbation).

Also, in Tantrayana, deriding women is a downfall; so even though viewing the opposite sex as rotting corpses can be a good practice for not giving into temptation, if the said practice starts to become a morbid preoccupation then there are always other methods for not getting defeated by the passions, methods that are less conducive to risking having a negative view of women the latter of which is a Tantric downfall.

It's all upaya.
Masturbation is just as samsaric if not more-so than casual sex.

And again, better to learn powerful methods for sexual sublimation, considering that almost no one nowadays can go abandon contemprary life to meditate in the forests all day. Maybe back when the Buddha turned the First and Second Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma meditation alone was sufficient for controlling the sexual energy. But not anymore. There are now too many distractions, temptations, provocations of energy, harmful chemicals & forms of radiation that cause harm to the physical body's channels, etc. We need more powerful methods for controlling the Winds, Drops, and Channels besides simply watching the breath, or ordinary mindfulness, or even Zazen, etc. If this were not the case, there wouldn't be so many justifying harmful acts like masturbation.

And since you came here to a thread that is filed under the Upaya sub-forum (which implies that we can include discussion of all Yanas here) to debate this, I don't see any fault in my mentioning of Mahayana and Tantrayana views.

The issue is simply this: "The way I see it, if one is going to masturbate, then might as well go out and have some casual sex."

But I think that you may come to agree with me?
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:11 am

Zhen Li wrote:The whole point, which I feel you did not address, was that Lhug-pa was suggesting that promiscuity with actual women is superior to self gratification. The problem with this is that the argument stems from an admiration of success in a particular kind of passion, rather than an avoidance of passion and sexual misconduct in general.
I think he was saying that it's superior in the sense that losing a finger is superior to losing a hand. They're both bad, but when you compare them...
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:40 am

I think you are overlooking the fact that the rules were formulatd in regards to monks and not to lay people.

I also like the homophilic bent to the rules. Since it does not mention homosexual acts, I guess they are okay then? Right?

And let us not foget that the OP stated that they have a problem with pornography and was asking for help in how to overcome the problem. Hellfire and brimstone regarding the act masturbation is hardly a healthy and relevant method to deal with the problem. Actually it has proven many times to cause more harm than good. I thought that by becoming Buddhists we would be willing to overcome some of our grasping to the Christian approach of guilt and fear, seems that most just replaced it with "Buddhist" moralising and judgement.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:13 am

I think you are overlooking the fact that the rules were formulatd in regards to monks and not to lay people.

This is true, but in measuring gravity, is this approach entirely invalid?
I also like the homophilic bent to the rules. Since it does not mention homosexual acts, I guess they are okay then? Right?

I assume you're referring to the 3rd upasaka precept. They also are only addressed to men, which makes one wonder whether women are supposed to be capable of sexual misconduct. :?

It appears to be logical to replace the "woman under the protection . . ." with whatever gender you're attracted to.

But then there's also the fact that the sex which is considered the worst in the present day, rape, isn't even mentioned. So I can see why some Sanghas just change the 3rd precept to "illicit sex."
And let us not foget that the OP stated that they have a problem with pornography and was asking for help in how to overcome the problem. Hellfire and brimstone regarding the act masturbation is hardly a healthy and relevant method to deal with the problem. Actually it has proven many times to cause more harm than good. I thought that by becoming Buddhists we would be willing to overcome some of our grasping to the Christian approach of guilt and fear, seems that most just replaced it with "Buddhist" moralising and judgement.

I also agree that it is probably a cultural-Christian phenomena whereby people care so much about having any kind of lust in their mind, that they grieve themselves about it. It's something which eastern cultures don't seem to have a problem with. If someone builds up guilt about this kind of thing, it's definitely causing more harm to them than if they never gave it a second thought. Not that I don't advocate not giving it a second thought, but also keeping in mind that although porn isn't the best thing to feed your brain, you probably should not push yourself too hard.

Follow the middle way, it's probably most important to at least uphold the five precepts well, study the Sutras, and meditate frequently, than to push yourself as an upasaka to uphold the Sanghadisesa. You can't learn calculus before addition.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:17 am

That cuts both ways, though. I think if your motivation is anti-Christian, then you are still being conditioned and influenced by Christian attitudes, only by way of aversion rather than imitation. (And in fact the descriptions of the various hell realms in older Buddhist traditions would give any medieval churchman a run for his money.)

Besides, I think that modern technological society really is facing a moral crisis due to the free availability of massive amounts of explicitly sexual content. It is totally unprecedented - nothing like this was ever envisioned by the founders of the liberal democracies, as I don't see how they could possibly have imagined it. Children are being exposed to graphic sexual content before they even reach puberty. There are obvious domain names that have terrabytes of free, completely explicit sexual content on them, that anyone can access with no age checks, no credit card or anthing other than a mouse-click. 'Oh that's OK, we're Buddhists, we're cool about that kind of thing. Stop being so old-fashioned'.

I hope, as I said before, Buddhists would provide some moral clarity around this topic, not rationalize it.
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Re: Celibacy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:30 am

I think that if you bothered reading any of my posts you will not find me condoning pornography anywhere. It's the "masturabation leads to eternal damnation" bit that I am criticising (plus the homophobic idea that sex = man + woman), so why don't you pull your straw man off the parapets and pull out your arrows, you may need them for something a little more important.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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