Author Topic: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course  (Read 907 times)

JAB2202

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Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« on: October 20, 2020, 07:15:07 PM »
Hello meditators,

I've just completed serving as a manager in a Vipassana course. It was the second time serving for me and I've noticed sexual vibrations within the group of people of servers. It led me to having sexual phantasies during meditation in the course. Normally I am not experiencing strong sexual desire and I am quite happily married, therefore I feel somehow guilty to have had this thoughts which are still continuing at home.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Any suggestions how to deal with this apart from observing it?

Thank you!
With Metta,
Jackie
If you can't do it with the mind, do it with the body.

milco

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2020, 08:03:49 PM »
Hello meditators,

I've just completed serving as a manager in a Vipassana course. It was the second time serving for me and I've noticed sexual vibrations within the group of people of servers. It led me to having sexual phantasies during meditation in the course. Normally I am not experiencing strong sexual desire and I am quite happily married, therefore I feel somehow guilty to have had this thoughts which are still continuing at home.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Any suggestions how to deal with this apart from observing it?

Thank you!
With Metta,
Jackie

I wouldn't worry about it. Sexual desire / fantasies is part of being human and being alive. You were in a tight-knit group of people all striving for something emotional, vibrational and wonderful. You didn't act upon your urges and didn't compromise anyone, so no harm was done.

Don't be hard on yourself and don't beat yourself up about it. Forget it and move on.

raushan

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2020, 09:19:15 PM »
Hi Jackie,

Our thoughts are conditioned from our past experiences. There is almost no way of knowing where these thoughts are coming from until you have reached a deep level in meditation. So, the best way is to acknowledge that it's there. If you keep feeling guilty about these thoughts, it will stay longer in your mind.


With Metta
Raushan

running

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2020, 11:48:42 PM »
Hello meditators,

I've just completed serving as a manager in a Vipassana course. It was the second time serving for me and I've noticed sexual vibrations within the group of people of servers. It led me to having sexual phantasies during meditation in the course. Normally I am not experiencing strong sexual desire and I am quite happily married, therefore I feel somehow guilty to have had this thoughts which are still continuing at home.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Any suggestions how to deal with this apart from observing it?

Thank you!
With Metta,
Jackie

I wouldn't worry about it. Sexual desire / fantasies is part of being human and being alive. You were in a tight-knit group of people all striving for something emotional, vibrational and wonderful. You didn't act upon your urges and didn't compromise anyone, so no harm was done.

Don't be hard on yourself and don't beat yourself up about it. Forget it and move on.

agree
American Trucker

Dhamma

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 12:45:10 AM »
You never feel guilty or ashamed of sexual thoughts. Humans are sexual by nature. The immorality can come when we act upon them, and even then, shame or guilt has no real place in Buddhism. Yes, certain sexual activities are immoral (varying degrees). That must be said. We know this from the precepts.

You cannot control your mind.  You simply let the thoughts be. We don't cling to feeling guilty. Shame has no purpose.

Sometimes I get very adverse feelings to people when they have certain personality traits (aggressive, arrogant, ill-refined, etc.). But they are just thoughts. They come and go with no inherent value.

Just be. Let be. All is fine.

You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

JAB2202

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2020, 03:20:17 PM »
Thank you all for your answers.
I find them really helpful.
Did I understand you well that by only having thoughts of this phantasies the 5 percepts are still maintained?
So if I follwed them verbally or physically they would be broken, right?
For example, if I had told another man in the course these phantasies.

How can we generally better control passion and attraction towards others?

With Metta,
Jackie
« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 03:22:29 PM by JAB2202 »
If you can't do it with the mind, do it with the body.

raushan

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2020, 11:32:15 AM »
Sexual thoughts are pleasurable to us. In the Buddhist term, we crave these thoughts. The more you feed the craving the more these thoughts will occur. In our generation, I have seen porn and masturbation has become a major cause of sexual cravings. It's true for men as well as for women. So, if you're doing any of that then maybe you should discontinue it.

Also, the tv shows, sitcoms, rom-com, movies all these sources portray hookup, sexual count, sexual adventure as normal behavior but it's not. There is the psychological implication of doing hook ups. People go into depression because of it. Every sexual partner leaves a karmic imprint on the body and mind.

We think that we moved on. We forgot. But our body and subconscious mind don't.

Sorry for the little rant. But I just wanted to say that these sources directly/indirectly affect our thought process but it's not right. Avoid these if possible.

You are being aware of your thoughts and asked on the forum about it that already shows that you are aware or conscious of it. So it's progress for you.

I would say each time you become aware of these fantasies and not act on it, it's intensity will become weaker and weaker. You can also forcefully interrupt these fantasies and think about something else (do some activity may be reading a book). It will be a gradual process.

Buddha's 5 precepts are not strict rules, it's for your own benefit. Also, Buddha didn't say that breaking precept is sin. It's just there is a consequence of every action. It's cause and effect.
Your meditation will become stronger if you follow it. I would say don't do anything for which you have to lie to your partner. Because lying is also breaking one of the precepts.

I m not sure about the verbal part but physically I would say yes.

But all the above are my personal analysis based on what I experienced or read. You can filter whatever doesn't seem right to you. I may be wrong also.



Metta
Raushan

Dhamma

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 06:18:23 PM »
Sexual thoughts are pleasurable to us. In the Buddhist term, we crave these thoughts. The more you feed the craving the more these thoughts will occur. In our generation, I have seen porn and masturbation has become a major cause of sexual cravings. It's true for men as well as for women. So, if you're doing any of that then maybe you should discontinue it.

Also, the tv shows, sitcoms, rom-com, movies all these sources portray hookup, sexual count, sexual adventure as normal behavior but it's not. There is the psychological implication of doing hook ups. People go into depression because of it. Every sexual partner leaves a karmic imprint on the body and mind.

We think that we moved on. We forgot. But our body and subconscious mind don't.

Sorry for the little rant. But I just wanted to say that these sources directly/indirectly affect our thought process but it's not right. Avoid these if possible.

You are being aware of your thoughts and asked on the forum about it that already shows that you are aware or conscious of it. So it's progress for you.

I would say each time you become aware of these fantasies and not act on it, it's intensity will become weaker and weaker. You can also forcefully interrupt these fantasies and think about something else (do some activity may be reading a book). It will be a gradual process.

Buddha's 5 precepts are not strict rules, it's for your own benefit. Also, Buddha didn't say that breaking precept is sin. It's just there is a consequence of every action. It's cause and effect.
Your meditation will become stronger if you follow it. I would say don't do anything for which you have to lie to your partner. Because lying is also breaking one of the precepts.

I m not sure about the verbal part but physically I would say yes.

But all the above are my personal analysis based on what I experienced or read. You can filter whatever doesn't seem right to you. I may be wrong also.



Metta
Raushan



Sexual desire is only a hindrance and a source of great suffering. The Buddha only wanted us to see sensual pleasures for what they really are: empty of all inherent existence.  There is nothing to be ashamed of for being sexual, or having sexual thoughts, however. No one is sinful or dirty. We cannot control our silly minds.

Sexual morality is very, very important. We live in a hypersexualized world with many sexual defilements (how tragic!). We're all only making things harder for ourselves as a society in the end.

Please see sexual desire for what it is. It comes and goes, and comes and goes....it's a vicious cycle.

If celibacy is not possible, I recommend:

No cheating if you're married
No multiple sexual partners
No viewing porn at all (very difficult for young single men, I know)

Limit your sexual activities to:

infrequent sexual contact with partner/spouse
infrequent masturbation (single men)

But do not feel dirty or ashamed if you fail. It's ok. You're just not seeing clearly. But please avoid cheating and having multiple partners, as well as pornography. It's only for your own good.

Peace and enlightenment.
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

milco

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2020, 09:10:16 AM »

Sexual desire is only a hindrance and a source of great suffering.


I can't agree with this. Apart from anything else sexual desire is essential for procreation and is bound up with the greatest human feelings of love, passion and attachment.

As with any urge or desire it can cause conflicted and unwanted outcomes; there is no doubt sexual desire can be used and abused. But to say that sexual desire is 'only a hindrance and a source of great suffering' seems very simplistic to me.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 10:24:46 AM by milco »

Dhamma

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2020, 06:18:57 PM »
Quote
I can't agree with this. Apart from anything else sexual desire is essential for procreation and is bound up with the greatest human feelings of love, passion and attachment.

As with any urge or desire it can cause conflicted and unwanted outcomes; there is no doubt sexual desire can be used and abused. But to say that sexual desire is 'only a hindrance and a source of great suffering' seems very simplistic to me.

Dear friend,

When you understand ultimate reality and the emptiness of all phenomena, it only makes sense. All sensual pleasures (food, status, money, sex, etc.) are empty of inherent existence.  It isn't wrong to enjoy a nice meal, but, ultimately, clinging for it/wanting a nice meal only creates greater suffering. It's not that sex with your lover is wrong, but the "need" for it only creates more and more yearning and need to to take part in the activity.

Clinging is why we suffer. We cling, simply-speaking.

Many Buddhists are not at a stage where they see clearly enough to see through all sensual pleasures,-  and that is fine.  It is important that if you engage in sexual activity, that it be at least more moral (no cheating, non-violent, etc.). No one is judging anyone.

I, for example, see that I have a strong attachment to certain types of food, etc. This is causing me suffering. I cling.

May we all see sensual pleasures for what they are in their rawest nature.

Peace and enlightenment.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 03:34:10 PM by raushan »
You are already Buddha

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raushan

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2020, 02:29:41 PM »
Quote
Sexual desire is only a hindrance and a source of great suffering.


Yes, I would say sex is not always bad. I mean like food, food is necessary to live the day-to-day life but it can also become the source of craving, causes overeating. There were many laypeople in Buddha's time(who weren't monk and were married) who practiced meditation got enlightened.

Sex is necessary for procreation and forming the bond. But I think doing sex out of pure lust may not be fruitful. People should decide whether they want to be celibate or not based on their mind/experience.  I am not trying to advocate anything here.

Whoami

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2020, 03:19:03 PM »
My two cents is this:

They are just thoughts, just like thinking of food can make you desire food, thoughts of sex can make you feel sexual desires. None of them are bad or good, they just are and happen. Dont get hung up on them, just like you would not get hung up on thoughts of food for example.

If i understand you correctly, this seems to be a moral issue.

The moral issue is a concept made from our culture and i paraphrase Terence McKenna ”culture is not your friend”.
As far as i’ve come, morality and thoughts does not belong in the same room.
Because, who started the thought? Where did the thought come from? ”you” did not spawn it (not gonna go in to the illusion of self here but..). Thoughts just happen, they dont get spawned out of willpower as a construction of a building is.

Your mind is your mind and it does its own thing. It has nothing to do with ”you”
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 03:20:41 PM by Whoami »

Dhamma

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2020, 01:27:42 AM »
All desire and clinging lead to suffering in some fashion.

I am not judging anyone - simply stating reality.

No one is bad for having sex. But when you break sexual desire down, it's just like every other desire. It doesn't satisfy, leading to a desire to repeat over and over again to obtain some fleeting happy feeling.

Again, I never said non-violent sex between consenting adults was immoral (unless there is cheating going on).  I am making the point that no sensual pleasure is going to help you in any way on your path to enlightenment

Married people can be enlightened, but the more enlightened a person becomes, the less desire he or she will have for sexual intimacy, only because they see the truth about sensual desires. Sames goes for materialism, money, fame, gluttony, etc.

Peace and enlightenment.
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

milco

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2020, 12:44:21 PM »
All desire and clinging lead to suffering in some fashion.

I am not judging anyone - simply stating reality.

No one is bad for having sex. But when you break sexual desire down, it's just like every other desire. It doesn't satisfy, leading to a desire to repeat over and over again to obtain some fleeting happy feeling.

Again, I never said non-violent sex between consenting adults was immoral (unless there is cheating going on).  I am making the point that no sensual pleasure is going to help you in any way on your path to enlightenment

Married people can be enlightened, but the more enlightened a person becomes, the less desire he or she will have for sexual intimacy, only because they see the truth about sensual desires. Sames goes for materialism, money, fame, gluttony, etc.

Peace and enlightenment.

I think there is room to enjoy both worlds: the material and the spiritual. I see no reason why they should conflict as you describe. It is purely a question of living life with personal integrity and achieving the right balance.

I can understand why a monk, or someone who has entirely opted out of 'earthly' pursuits might express views similar to yours, but I find them overly simplistic and doctrinaire.

milco

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2020, 09:44:26 AM »
All desire and clinging lead to suffering in some fashion.

I am not judging anyone - simply stating reality.

No one is bad for having sex. But when you break sexual desire down, it's just like every other desire. It doesn't satisfy, leading to a desire to repeat over and over again to obtain some fleeting happy feeling.

Again, I never said non-violent sex between consenting adults was immoral (unless there is cheating going on).  I am making the point that no sensual pleasure is going to help you in any way on your path to enlightenment

Married people can be enlightened, but the more enlightened a person becomes, the less desire he or she will have for sexual intimacy, only because they see the truth about sensual desires. Sames goes for materialism, money, fame, gluttony, etc.

Peace and enlightenment.

I think there is room to enjoy both worlds: the material and the spiritual. I see no reason why they should conflict as you describe. It is purely a question of living life with personal integrity and achieving the right balance.

I can understand why a monk, or someone who has entirely opted out of 'earthly' pursuits might express views similar to yours, but I find them overly simplistic and doctrinaire.

Listen, if I'm out of step here then let me know. If the prevailing philosophy of this forum is that we should move away from earthly pursuits in order to focus on 'enlightenment' then I will let everyone get on with it. If the consensus is that 'all desire...leads to suffering', I don't want to get in the way of that idea and make everyone feel uptight.

I still haven't quite worked out whether this board is secular or spiritual, or a bit of both. I tend to react (hopefully respectfully) to opinions I don't agree with, regardless of who is saying them, but if I am sailing against the wind in disagreeing with people who seem to be talking in 'absolutes' then I will maintain a tactful and dignified silence here.

I'm basically a nice person and I don't want to be a pain... :(

Matthew

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2020, 10:24:05 AM »
Listen, if I'm out of step here then let me know. If the prevailing philosophy of this forum is that we should move away from earthly pursuits in order to focus on 'enlightenment' then I will let everyone get on with it.


Hey milco,

You aren't out of step. The forum isn't about seeking enlightenment, it's about what helps in our daily practice. Some seek different goals through their practice and its all good.

We have members who are fully engaged in worldly pursuits and meditate, others who take a more purist view. It's all good.

The main point is this imho: it's OK to disagree, it's not OK to be disagreeable. You haven't been disagreeable in your posting.

Quote
If the consensus is that 'all desire...leads to suffering', I don't want to get in the way of that idea and make everyone feel uptight.


That is the way Buddhist teachings are translated, though personally I suspect its an error, more like "all desire creates stress". But what do i know? The Buddha taught his teachings would be lost, so really it's "every man/woman for themselves" in a way.

This is why discussion here is primarily personal, experiential and practice oriented - for even though we all walk our own paths, there are common landmarks, features, etc - and we can be of help to each other in gaining familiarity with practice experiences.

Quote
I still haven't quite worked out whether this board is secular or spiritual, or a bit of both. I tend to react (hopefully respectfully) to opinions I don't agree with, regardless of who is saying them, but if I am sailing against the wind in disagreeing with people who seem to be talking in 'absolutes' then I will maintain a tactful and dignified silence here.

The board focus is personal experience, not doctrine, nor dogma. Healthy discussion of differences is certainly encouraged. Different experiences of practice and meditation are encouraged. There is no need to maintain a dignified silence if you are posting agreeably (in the sense of good manners - as opposed to agreeing with the other).

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

milco

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2020, 11:17:16 AM »
Thanks, Matthew. That definitely clears things up.

...and greetings to our friend Dhamma, whose post I responded to. I appreciate the honesty and sincerity of your views. :)

Matthew

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2020, 11:25:37 AM »
All desire and clinging lead to suffering in some fashion.

I am not judging anyone - simply stating reality.

No one is bad for having sex. But when you break sexual desire down, it's just like every other desire. It doesn't satisfy, leading to a desire to repeat over and over again to obtain some fleeting happy feeling.

This is reality as you see it. We really only have signposts to what the Buddha taught - and he taught that his teachings were signposts.. So we have signposts to signposts to ??? some ... thing? where? way?

I haven't had sex for over twenty years now, but as I remember that fleeting satisfaction was indeed quite satisfying, on a physical, mental and emotional level.

Let's all remember this forum is primarily about practice. Dogma and doctrine are helpful ONLY to the extent they inform practice. Beyond that, they are baubles on a Christmas tree, distractions for all involved.

Much love,

Matthew
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 03:54:06 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

JAB2202

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2020, 03:54:24 PM »
Hello everyone,

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with me. I contemplated on them. I think you are right with the clinging. I also tend to cling on some foods in particular. I am happy that I was able to observe and contemplate my sexual desire. Years ago, I might have acted on them.
Following Dhamma and hoping to proceed on the path.

With Metta,
Jackie
If you can't do it with the mind, do it with the body.

Dhamma

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2020, 06:19:44 PM »
Thanks, Matthew. That definitely clears things up.

...and greetings to our friend Dhamma, whose post I responded to. I appreciate the honesty and sincerity of your views. :)

Dear Milco,

Your post is so sincere. That is so beautiful.

I was never judging you, or telling you to be monk-like.  Please never think that. I have plenty of delusions still, even if I am celibate (I still have sexual thoughts, which doesn't make anyone dirty or immoral).  You don't need to be living in a forest of India with monk garments to become more enlightened in your everyday life. But, monkhood is for some Buddhists, and that needs to be highly, highly respected and revered. Some people come to strong realizations about sensual pleasures, and come to see the emptiness of all phenomena in very clear and direct ways. This can lead to monkish behaviors and lifestyles (arahats, etc.).

I have to work daily on Right Speech. This is super challenging for me. I also tend to overeat.

People are in different stages on the Path. For you, non-violent sex is fine, as long as it's done in a more committed relationship, or it's consensual sex between unmarried persons.  But, again, no matter what you do, I am not your judge. I am here to help you on your Path, to see ultimate reality more clearly.  In the end, we cannot do the work for others, but only for ourselves with guidelines given to us from the Buddha and his subsequent teachers over the millenia.

I will often say things are immoral or delusional, but I will not judge the person who commits these actions. Buddhists don't judge others, even though we are not doormats, and must still call out wrong behavior and speech.

Much love to you, dear friend.

 ;)







You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

Matthew

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2020, 09:42:52 PM »
Your post is so sincere. That is so beautiful.

...

I have to work daily on Right Speech. This is super challenging for me. I also tend to overeat.

Hi Dhamma,

Your post too is beautiful. My comment above was not a particular criticism aimed at you, more a reminder to all to be courteous and non-judgemental. Text on a page misses so many of the clues of normal human communication - this is a forever issue on a forum such as this.

We all have things we need to work on. For me, equanimity is a struggle right now, in the face of much physical pain.

I enjoy your posts, your sincerity, and your honest contribution to the discussions here.

Kindest regards,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2020, 09:45:50 PM »
Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with me. I contemplated on them. I think you are right with the clinging. I also tend to cling on some foods in particular. I am happy that I was able to observe and contemplate my sexual desire. Years ago, I might have acted on them.
Following Dhamma and hoping to proceed on the path.

With Metta,
Jackie

Hello Jackie,

Well done for recognising where you cling, and for gaining insight that helped you not act as you may have before. This is like any "muscle" you can exercise and use to act in more wholesome ways going forward. "Practice makes perfect".

I am sorry your thread became derailed a little bit.

Kindest regards,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Siddharth

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2020, 01:25:01 AM »
Hello everyone,

My apologies for chiming in late in this threat, given a lot of discussion has addressed the original question.
I just felt like sharing where I stand on sexual desires, and other desires for that matter, and know your views.

Fundamental acceptance that I have is that, I do have sexual desires, desire to over-eat at times (gluttony), sometimes even for violence, etc. They are like sub-personalities which take over at times. Like when one is angry or overcome with sexual urge, maybe even to masturbate. I see it as beasts in us who have helped us survive over the evolutionary history, but who also harm us in more ways than we can understand if we allow them to. I see them as living things in me which cannot be killed at will like a pig butchered. Rather we can skillfully bound them in a stable, where they can roam around enough to not go mad due to repression but are also in "our" control.

The stable or boundary is created by awareness about them being present and how they affect our lives, but at times also hard rules which limit us getting addicted to these desires, or these desires getting out of control.

The rules/boundaries/ stable will vary for everyone, based on where they are. For example, someone would feel okay being part of a polygamous but committed relationship, while someone might choose total abstinence from sexual activity. The key is not the exact rule per say but, awareness and control on our desires, which takes time and patience to cultivate.

While everyone seems to agree that repressing thoughts of any kind is not in line with the path, and that there is not 1 fixed way to act on them, it seems plenty clear to me that it is essential to be mindful of those thoughts and better to have some strategy/ moral compass/ ethical guideline as to what the best course of action is.

Some of us refer to suttas to get guidance on how to act, some try to figure out in other ways, but some line on the ground seems to help.
Laws of the land also help us guide our actions in a broad way as a society, but we are definitely looking for a more nuanced and non-enforciable way to live so that we might get closer to liberation. Reflection on that path is wholesome, guilt, not so.

Regards,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

milco

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Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2020, 09:11:48 AM »
Hello everyone,

My apologies for chiming in late in this threat, given a lot of discussion has addressed the original question.
I just felt like sharing where I stand on sexual desires, and other desires for that matter, and know your views.

Fundamental acceptance that I have is that, I do have sexual desires, desire to over-eat at times (gluttony), sometimes even for violence, etc. They are like sub-personalities which take over at times. Like when one is angry or overcome with sexual urge, maybe even to masturbate. I see it as beasts in us who have helped us survive over the evolutionary history, but who also harm us in more ways than we can understand if we allow them to. I see them as living things in me which cannot be killed at will like a pig butchered. Rather we can skillfully bound them in a stable, where they can roam around enough to not go mad due to repression but are also in "our" control.

The stable or boundary is created by awareness about them being present and how they affect our lives, but at times also hard rules which limit us getting addicted to these desires, or these desires getting out of control.

The rules/boundaries/ stable will vary for everyone, based on where they are. For example, someone would feel okay being part of a polygamous but committed relationship, while someone might choose total abstinence from sexual activity. The key is not the exact rule per say but, awareness and control on our desires, which takes time and patience to cultivate.

While everyone seems to agree that repressing thoughts of any kind is not in line with the path, and that there is not 1 fixed way to act on them, it seems plenty clear to me that it is essential to be mindful of those thoughts and better to have some strategy/ moral compass/ ethical guideline as to what the best course of action is.

Some of us refer to suttas to get guidance on how to act, some try to figure out in other ways, but some line on the ground seems to help.
Laws of the land also help us guide our actions in a broad way as a society, but we are definitely looking for a more nuanced and non-enforciable way to live so that we might get closer to liberation. Reflection on that path is wholesome, guilt, not so.

Regards,
Siddharth

Hey, Siddharth - you had me almost looking for a 'like' button! ;)  Fortunately there isn't one, but I can relate to a lot of what you say.

milco


dharma bum

  • Member
  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: Passion and sexual thoughts while serving a Vipassana course
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2020, 12:41:17 PM »
I too must confess to several desires which can seem overwhelming sometimes but sometimes go away after some time but sometimes come back and so on. Sometimes what works for me is thinking about how they work. For example you get scared while watching a scary movie but if you think of the movie being filmed then you imagine the set and the camera and everybody on the set and suddenly it becomes less scary. For sexy thoughts we react to shapes. As a heterosexual man, I react to shapes. A curved female body, a smiling face etc. So when I realize that my desire is a response to all this visual information then it becomes less urgent. The other thing that helps in all sorts of desires is remembering the thousands of times everyday I feel desires for all sorts of things. Nothing much happens if they get fulfilled or if they don't get fulfilled. It's all the same. That helps me in not being troubled sometimes. Sometimes.
Mostly ignorant

 

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