Author Topic: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana  (Read 15050 times)

Morning Dew

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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2010, 08:55:32 AM »
Quote
And so, is sex bad for meditation and should it be avoided or should a person enforce more discipline but enjoy its pleasures once in a while?

If you ask me celibacy in the after life (if such exists) is OK, but in this life I feel it being just another escape from our nature :-)
How can sex be bad for meditation? How can anything be bad for meditation? Meditation de-fragment "bad" thoughts and emotions/sensations. Meditation is the Mind-Mechanic :-)

You mentioned pleasure - there is a diference between experiancing Pleasure and experiencing Joy. I feel a couple can experiacne Joy via sexual intercourse.

We are not to become slaves of our meditation practice, it is just a practice, like yoga, like jogging, like sleeping if you like. We are not to build a new (religious) life around our practice but rather let our practice into the actual living the actual life within and without.
Rejecting sex is the same as Desiering sex. Rather observe your rejection and desire, observe without taking sides. Side taking is a matter of thoughts. Do not ride your thoughts (ideas, concepts, rules) but observe them without clinging to them.
The truth I feel is much more subtle, to not resist it. Remain relaxed and just be with your self, as you are in this very moment, and see those walls of ignorance fall apart.

Is sex bad or is it good, is all from the mind, and is taking sides = separating :-) do you understand :-) do not go there but wach it instead and the issue will disapear on its own. Always observe your self as you are, never change escape rutes buy taking new ideas, new religion, or any other new aproach  :) Be who you Is and watch it to death.

Remain relaxed

Matthew

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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2010, 04:17:31 PM »
Since three weeks  I have been refraining from all sexual activity in order to transform sexual energy into spiritual energy and ironically this spiritual practice have had the effect that I have started to look at women as sexual objects again - and it has only been three weeks  :D
Now, what to do ? Willpower is very close to suppression which will lead do disaster in some way or the other.
Any tips on how to transform this strong urge to jump on any woman, other than some advanced yoga practice that will take years to master ?
Maybe loving-kindness meditation ?

You have merely uncovered an underlying conditioning. Keep practicing.

Warmly,

In the Dhamma,

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

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2010, 04:19:24 PM »
P.S. Not many feminists in here, are there?  ;)


There are fewer women on the forum than men by a long shot.

Warmly,

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

Crystal Palace

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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2010, 05:44:56 PM »
P.S. Not many feminists in here, are there?  ;)


There are fewer women on the forum than men by a long shot.

Warmly,

Matthew

 :(
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Crystal Palace

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    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2010, 05:47:16 PM »

Rejecting sex is the same as Desiering sex.


Which is why the enlightened one named the path - 'The Middle Way'

Warmly,
Crystal Palace
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2010, 07:54:33 AM »
P.S. Not many feminists in here, are there?  ;)


There are fewer women on the forum than men by a long shot.

Warmly,

Matthew

 :(


Desire taking a hold Crystal? ;)
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Crystal Palace

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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2010, 08:22:49 AM »
P.S. Not many feminists in here, are there?  ;)


There are fewer women on the forum than men by a long shot.

Warmly,

Matthew

 :(


Desire taking a hold Crystal? ;)

hahahahaha!!! Maybe...Maybe not...
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

kidnovice

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    • Theravada: with nuts and bolts from Goenka-ji, and fine tuning from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2010, 12:33:34 AM »
Hey all,

I gotta say that I find this topic, (and this thread) totally fascinating. Its got me contemplating the role of will-power/suppression in the practice. We all have habits that we "know" are counterproductive to our progress on the path.  What I'm trying to figure out is when it is skillful to use "determination" or will-power" and when it is wise to simply "observe" my natural tendencies and see how they unfold. 

For myself, I've decided that what matters most is "seeing" the harm caused by certain behaviors/thought patterns, and then acting from that understanding. Or to put it positively, I try to see how much happier and more open my heart feels when I disengage from certain habits. As much as possible, I think it is important to make my decisions from that understanding about what is good for me, and NOT from an intellectual belief about what it "right" or "admirable." 

So, to apply that principle to sex, here is what I've been deciding for myself. First off, I think cultivating  loving-kindness and compassion is absolutely essential to my spiritual development-- and thus it is imperative to avoid causing harm through sex, by any and all means necessary. Ideally, that means acting from a place of compassion and "insight, but if lust becomes extremely powerful, I think it is wise to use all the will-power, determination, and yes, even suppression that I can muster.  And to be speak candidly, as a single-guy this renders me nearly celibate.  Outside of a serious relationship, sexual activity (with all the attachment and identification it engenders) is fraught with the risk of causing harm.

However, I've also decided that for myself, romantic love and sex is a good thing, and I am looking out for it (via dating). Granted, all the wisest teachers have pointed out that celibacy is the way to go... and I believe them.  But I have yet to truly "see" this for myself. In fact, in my experience, sex in a loving and healthy relationship has always felt for supportive of my practice. My heart doesn't feel more closed (often the opposite) and I certainly don't feel less compassion or loving-kindness. So, until I see that for myself, I am wary of suppressing my desire for romantic love. I'm guessing that as my practice continues to deepen, a time may come when the joys of the path naturally eclipse the joys of sex and romance, and I will naturally relinquish them (this has happened with other "bad" habits of mine).  But until that time come,  it seems pretty wholesome to me.

Hope you find some of these personal ramblings helpful. With metta,
KN 
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2010, 02:31:30 PM »
Romantic love is a lie. It is based on chemicals in the brain. This is why three years is standard procedure for a divorce. The effect of the chemicals wears off by then.

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

kidnovice

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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2010, 10:29:49 PM »
But following your reasoning, TIB, all emotions, including the brhama viharas,  are essentially "lies" by virtue of the fact that they have neuro-chemical correlates. At the ultimate sense, this may be true. But this observation is not helpful for someone trying to live in the world and determine which emotional states and experiences are skillful toward progress on the path.

I've been in enough relationships and observed enough healthy ones to know they can fruitfully exceed the three year mark (past the "intoxicating butterflies in the stomach" phase), and can certainly be conducive to one's flourishing even if they must expire.

Celibacy may be MOST conducive toward reaching liberation, but some of us may candidly admit that we have other "short-term" goals that are arguably quite consistent with the path. (like being a happy and well-adjusted person of service to the world). Each person must decide this for themselves, and determine which "lies" (as you call them) are most skillful for their own flourishing.

with metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Morning Dew

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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2010, 08:32:27 AM »
What is a lie what is not a lie (dilema, good vs. evil)  :) is from the mind, from the thoughts  :) and therefor to be observed as such and let go of  :)  A cluttered mind can not tell it self to be a celibate can it  ;D  the truth is rather subtle I feel, and can not be forced by the mind (intellect).

I will soon turn into a spamer by recomanding this book but it sure did help me to become more critical of my Mind Games not to get side tracked into ideas, rituals, religions, systems, etc. but obsreve all as it Is, the mind games;

http://www.messagefrommasters.com/Ebooks/Jiddu-Krishnamurti-Books/Freedom_from_the_Known.pdf

Remain relaxed  :)

Renze

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dhruv

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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2010, 11:29:09 AM »
For myself, I've decided that what matters most is "seeing" the harm caused by certain behaviors/thought patterns, and then acting from that understanding. Or to put it positively, I try to see how much happier and more open my heart feels when I disengage from certain habits. As much as possible, I think it is important to make my decisions from that understanding about what is good for me, and NOT from an intellectual belief about what it "right" or "admirable." 

This approach makes sense for me too.

Metta

Matthew

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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2010, 10:27:49 PM »
But following your reasoning, TIB, all emotions, including the brhama viharas,  are essentially "lies" by virtue of the fact that they have neuro-chemical correlates. At the ultimate sense, this may be true. But this observation is not helpful for someone trying to live in the world and determine which emotional states and experiences are skillful toward progress on the path.

Let me clarify a little. When we start a romantic attraction with someone we tell ourselves a story in our head that this person is "the one", "the answer" to our suffering, in effect. Just by telling ourselves this story we induce the production of high Seratonin levels in the brain. This makes us feel good. We associate that good feeling with the person and reinforce the chemical stimulus.

Now we only have to see a picture of that person or think about them - and WHAM - the Seratonin production kicks in and we feel all lovey-dovey.

This effect loses it's power after three years or so, and then we are left looking across the bed at someone thinking "how the hell did I get here?"

So this is can be a very negative way to think/behave in reaction to the chemical stimulus in our brain.

You are right that with the Brahmavihara's we are triggering the same mechanisms, however, this is not attached to any object in particular - it's quite global by the nature of the practice - we even extend it to those we consider "other" or "enemy" if we are practicing truly.

It certainly changes our brain chemistry - for the better - for the long term, because the object it is attached to is an internal object of meditation, the sense of joy, bliss or whatever one is working with. It isn't dependent on an external object/person.

This ties in well with the best definition of "love" I have encountered to date, that of M.Scott Peck in "The Road Less Travelled":

"Love is the work we do in going beyond ourselves for the other".

The Brahmavihara encompass this perfectly, whereas getting tripped up on neurotransmitters over a fantasy we tell ourselves about one individual .. well .. that's about the opposite. That's about meeting our own sense-desires, fuelling them and feeding them.

I hope that clarifies a little what I meant and makes it more "real world".

Warmly,

In the Dhamma,

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

kidnovice

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Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2010, 03:40:31 AM »
Thanks for your clarification, Matthew. Your response is awesome, and points to great wisdom. Seriously.  :) I especially loved this:

Quote
You are right that with the Brahmavihara's we are triggering the same mechanisms, however, this is not attached to any object in particular - it's quite global by the nature of the practice - we even extend it to those we consider "other" or "enemy" if we are practicing truly.

It certainly changes our brain chemistry - for the better - for the long term, because the object it is attached to is an internal object of meditation, the sense of joy, bliss or whatever one is working with. It isn't dependent on an external object/person.

This ties in well with the best definition of "love" I have encountered to date, that of M.Scott Peck in "The Road Less Travelled":

"Love is the work we do in going beyond ourselves for the other".

Personally, I can't help but think that part of what it means to live in the world as a sincere lay practitioner is to find ways to relate to external objects in a manner that allows us to cultivate the brahmavihara's in our everyday life. Perhaps I am just quibbling over the meaning of "Romantic" love, but I think that in its most mature and wise manifestation, romantic love can be expressed as being "the work we do in going beyond ourselves for the other."  In this case, it is often easiest to do that "work" in the context of an intimate partnership. That can then be a spring-board for extending our loving-kindness into more challenging spheres. I also think that in order for a lay-practitioner to be well-balanced and emotionally healthy, he or she has to know which inclinations of the "heart" should be denied or transmuted... and when it is most skillful to do so.

Thanks again. With metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Crystal Palace

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  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2010, 07:43:11 AM »
I am inclined to agree with Matthew that romantic love is indeed a lie. The conclusion is very easy to draw if one just does some simple analysis. It is the 'feel good' factor, produced by the heady mix of chemicals in the brain, that decieves the rational mind. There is no security in such relationships, so it is advisable not to subject one's happiness to these.

Almost all of this is based on the 'romantic love' that we see in films, which is far from the reality.  Ajahn brahm gives a good piece of advice in this regard on choosing and gauging a relationship - judging it on how 'simple' it is. The more extravagant the relationship, the more the chances of it crashing down once the chemicals wear off. Contentment and restraint also play a part, because no matter who we are with, there will always be a person who seems more attractive and a better 'package' than our partner.

On the whole, looking for happiness in relationships is an excercise fraught with risk because you never know how the other person may change. Which is why the Buddha chose to be alone, making an island of happiness for himself within himself. Nonetheless the lowest common factor for those who still want to experience the joys of a relationship can be a partner who is established in the Dhamma. That way there is a greater probability of a more secure, grounded and simple relationship.

Warmly,
Crystal Palace
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Crystal Palace

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  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll and Vipassana
« Reply #41 on: June 04, 2010, 02:17:17 PM »
An interesting test courtesey Ajahn Brahm to be applied when you're in doubt whether you truly love your partner or not:

If your partner runs away with your best friend, and a joyous thought arises, "Wow! I am so happy that she ran away! Now she can be even more happy!" then it is indeed true love. Otherwise, you're being a selfish prick.

Surprisingly, without them realizing, a majority of people in a majority of relationships are selfish pricks.

Warmly,
Crystal Palace
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha