Masturbation...

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Bardo, modified 4 Years ago at 10/28/19 2:55 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/28/19 2:55 PM

Masturbation...

Posts: 263 Join Date: 9/14/19 Recent Posts
Hi.

Am I supposed to stop wanting to masturbate at some point? I just don't see this coming to fruition. When I choose to masturbate it does not seem to come from craving, it is more of a light preference like choosing an apple over an orange or something. When I orgasm it takes place only in the body but the mind is unaffected. The mind is still. The mind doesn't scribble all over the experience with mental proliferation. What is your experience of this seemingly intruiging area of things?
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Mista Tibbs, modified 4 Years ago at 10/28/19 3:49 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/28/19 3:49 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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Practise helps me to squash urges, sure, and as long as it doesn't drive you it's fine. I don't give it any importance honestly but theres nothing wrong with it
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Bardo, modified 4 Years ago at 10/28/19 4:21 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/28/19 4:21 PM

RE: Masturbation...

Posts: 263 Join Date: 9/14/19 Recent Posts
Mista Tibbs:
Practise helps me to squash urges, sure, and as long as it doesn't drive you it's fine. I don't give it any importance honestly but theres nothing wrong with it


Yes, I agree. There's nothing wrong there. I often think there's too much emphasis on complete eradication of bodily senses but I cannot strictly speak from a place of complete release in that respect. Whichever is fine for me - senses or no senses.
Z , modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 8:52 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/28/19 7:17 PM

RE: Masturbation...

Posts: 201 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
I've found it useful to experiment with abstaining for longer and longer periods of time in a non-neurotic/moralistic way. I've found that the increased vitality and energy brought about by abstaining can often dredge up and release deeper sankharas and offer a richer and more challenging emotional palette for practice. In working with this sort of thing, I realized that I had often used masturbation as a means of emotional management and suppression in ways that weren't always skillful. 

I think ultimately I am motivated by the desire to have less of my behavior and actions be driven unconsciously by lust, I want my intentions to be "upstream" from lust- to have some self-control over whether or not to participate in the narratives and feelings of lust that arise in the body and mind. I see this as a form of skillful renunciation and generosity towards others. 

Definitely fruitful stuff to explore.
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Bardo, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 2:10 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 2:10 AM

RE: Masturbation...

Posts: 263 Join Date: 9/14/19 Recent Posts
Zachary:
I've found it useful to experiment with abstaining for longer and longer periods of time in a non-neurotic/moralistic way. I've found that the increased vitality and energy brought about by abstaining can often dredge up and release deeper sankharas and offer a richer and more challenging emotional palette for practice. In working with this sort of thing, I realized that I had often used masturbation as a means of emotional management and suppression in ways that weren't always skillful. 

I think ultimately I am motivated by the desire to have less of my behavior and actions be driven unconsciously by lust, I want my intentions to be "upstream" from lust- to have some self-control over whether or not to participate in the narratives and feelings of lust that arise in the body and mind. I see this as a form of skillful renunciation and generosity towards others. 

Definitely fruitful stuff to explore.

This is a great perspective. You use one of the aggregates- sankharas - to bring a deeper understanding to these things. This is interesting because sankharas are the prior movements of karmas and karmas amount to the aimless wondering of humans through not seeing. I wonder now if there are sankharic energies behind these actions of mine. Perhaps they are so subtle that they are not visible to me. Some actions are karmically neutral though meaning they leave no impressions in the stream of consciousness, but still, I'm left curious about my motivations after reading your reply. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 7:21 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 7:21 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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Are you presenting this as a problem? Really just curious because it typically comes up on DhO as something someone wants to stop.
Tom C, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 10:19 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 10:19 AM

RE: Masturbation...

Posts: 37 Join Date: 8/13/19 Recent Posts
I havn't masturbated (or had sex) for over 8 months - it doesn't even cross my mind at this point.

I'd suggest a litmus test to your relationship to masturbation;

Try stopping for say 90 days and see how easy it is. If no problem then you probably have a healthy relationship in terms of craving. If it's hard then you obviously have a lot of craving (compulsion/addiction) which isn't a good thing

BTW giving up masturbating was one of the hardest but most liberating things I've ever done. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:02 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:02 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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I'm not sure I see the point. What were you liberated from? 
Tom C, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:18 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:18 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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Yeah I used to the say the same thing - I think everyone stuck with compulsive behaviours (and addictions) backward rationalizes it, it's much easier then facing the issue. I've been in the same boat.

The question is - is it compulsive? If not I don't see the issue.

But in my experience as soon as it isn't compulsive - the very idea of mastubating seems crazy. I would have to consciously chose to go do it - and under what circumstances would I ever chose to do this? I honestly can't think of a situation where I see any benefit for doing it

For most people if you are truly honest with yourself it's compulsive, and this answer you're question; what are we libareted from? The compulsive urge & action to masturbate.

There are a lot more subtle aversions, and perceptions interwined around lust and masturbation that only really will become clear if you ever give up the habit. The states, moods, and intentions around it, and the compounded lust and craving it causes.

All I can say is I'm 31 years old - I used to masturbate 1-2x a day since teens, had between 3-500 sexual partners and giving up masturbation (and not identifying with lust) is one of the most liberating things I've done - take from that what you want.

If I can do it anyone can. And just to be clear I'm not saying that one should or needs to completely give up sex forever.
Tom C, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:30 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:29 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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Also just want to share;

If you don't want or feel the need to stop - then please don't. My posts are intended for those who feel like they want to explore this relationship.

Conquering our relationship to lust and mastubration doesn't happen independently; it completely changes your relationsip to so many sensations, emotions, mind states, urges and cravings. You really see things in a new light.

Example; you realise that you had aversions to feelings of boredom, stress, anxiety, tension, despair etc etc - your relatiosnhip to all these if like my case will change completely.

In fact I can't recommend it strongly enough for anyone who feels like it could be something they want to explore.
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:31 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:31 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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This strikes me as a biological urge that's pretty harmless in the scheme of things to strive to be liberated from. I might also decide to be liberated from hunger, or from sleep, or from urinating, but why? You don't have to answer. It's just that this has always struck me as an odd thing to bring up on a meditation-oriented message board and focus a practicing on. This not the first time.



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Bardo, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:42 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:42 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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Chris Marti:
Are you presenting this as a problem? Really just curious because it typically comes up on DhO as something someone wants to stop.


I wouldn't say it needs to be stopped just that I think I may need give it a different sort of attention. Maybe become more curious about why it occurs in me. 
Tom C, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:43 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:42 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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Yeah I'm sorry but from your reply I can tell you either purposefully or unintentionally don't seem to grasp what I'm describing or why it could be beneficial - or maybe our experiences of lust and life are completely different and it doesn't apply to you, which is possible. It's also not exactly the same to the other urges you've listed.

I listed my experience above - which actually is in line with what the Buddha taught, so thats all I can really say. I feel it's intrisnically linked to the Buddhadhamma obviously we disagree. Maybe it helps other posters

But I'll give you another example in case this helps. You mentioned hunger;

I used to be hungry all the time, and I'd eat alot - the more often I'd react to hunger - the hungrier I always seemed to be.

I started intermittent fasting (not for meditaiton reasons) in my early 20s as I was into sport and health. Now I'm never hungry - I can even go 24-36 hours fasting pretty easily and like mastubration I couldn't dream of going back to eating all the time. I very rarely crave food.
Tom C, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:55 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 11:55 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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Bardo Cruiser:
Chris Marti:
Are you presenting this as a problem? Really just curious because it typically comes up on DhO as something someone wants to stop.


I wouldn't say it needs to be stopped just that I think I may need give it a different sort of attention. Maybe become more curious about why it occurs in me. 

It occurs becuase your brain wants a hit of dopamine. You crave the sensations and feelings associated with dopamine and oxytocin, although in my experience it was mostly the dopamine related cravings.

If you look closely usually it will occur around a slight aversion to unpleasant sensation or feelings.

At least explore and be honest does it ever occur when you have feelings of acceptence, peace, joy or contentment?
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 12:33 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 12:33 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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This has never risen to the point of being an issue. I always focused on other cravings and aversions, which have more of an effect on me and those around me.
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 12:35 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 12:35 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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I'm never hungry...

I'll take your word for it. It seems a bit extreme, however.


Tom C, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 1:03 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 1:03 PM

RE: Masturbation...

Posts: 37 Join Date: 8/13/19 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
This has never risen to the point of being an issue. I always focused on other cravings and aversions, which have more of an effect on me and those around me.

Understood - in my experience I'd suggest not giving certain cravings/aversion special priviledge or exclusion.. explore them all, and be liberated from them. Like said I don't think until you fully give up and let go of lust etc will you truly see it's effect on you and those around you, but I'm only sharing my experience, perhaps your experiene of craving is different than mine

I'll take your word for it. It seems a bit extreme, however.

Sorry this isn't meant to be read literally as I am incapable of experience hunger - if I don't eat in sufficient time hunger will arise.

What I was trying to say is that on a day to day basis with my current diet fasting every 20 hours I don't ever feel hungry. I eat every 20 hrs then 4 hours later whether hungry or not.
Whereas before eating/snacking all the time paradoxically made me feel hungrier more often. Make of this what you want emoticon

Again I can only advise doing a 2-3 day fast, I think it could change your perception to cravings in general and how they operate.
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 1:12 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 1:12 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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I'll just say this, after many years of practice: it's probably not a good idea to take this kind of practice to the extreme. Ultimately, we're looking to uncover how the mind operates, not to deprive ourselves of sustenance in its various forms. And speaking of the historical Buddha, it's pretty clear from that story that he went down the path of deprivation and didn't get anywhere and thus abandoned it, right? So pushing one's self to the limit of endurance isn't at all a Buddhist practice. Recall the phrase "Middle Road." Maybe deprivation is helpful for a very few, and maybe not, but there are easier and less painful ways to get to the end game as Buddhism would define it.
Tom C, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 1:44 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 1:43 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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Your post confuses me, from my view it seems you completely misunderstand what craving is, how it works, and what I'm talking about. The fact you mention Buddhism when the Buddha both ate one meal a day and was celibate is extremely perplexing - it completely goes against the view you are positing.

I'll leave it as this; letting go of masturbation or cravings have nothing to do with what you mentioned in your last post. I can only say if you gain liberating insights as taught by the Buddha, giving up things like masturbation isn't; never ending hardship, ascetic, miserable etc etc it's liberating.

For someone who isn't addicted to drugs, how hard or depriving is it not to take drugs? It's beyond easy. It isn't hard, depriving or ascetic, it simply doesn't even cross your consciousness

Once you completely let go of masturbating (dopamine) and reacting to lust how hard is it to not masturbate? It's beyond easy. It isn't hard, depriving or ascetic, it simply doesn't even cross your consciousness

I can only say it's clearly taught by the Buddha,  and verified by myself and thousands more (check nofap on reddit, guys who don't even meditate are doing it) - when we let go of cravings above it's completely liberating in more ways then most people can imagine - highly recommend it. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 1:55 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 1:53 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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I was just referring to taking deprivation practices of any sort to the extreme. The story has it that the Buddha tried many of those and stopped. We know why he stopped. They didn't work. He didn't get to his ultimate goal using them, so he moved on to less extreme and more useful practices, what he called "The Middle way" and that did the trick.

You mentioned what I would call a rather extreme practice - depriving yourself of food for extended periods of time. In doing that kind of thing you're treating the symptoms of craving and not the cause, as the Buddha himself would have said. You do know what the cause of craving and aversion is, right?

I'm honestly surprised my post confused you but that (the paragraphs just above) is all I'm saying. You can do what you want, of course.


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Tom C, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 2:05 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 2:05 PM

RE: Masturbation...

Posts: 37 Join Date: 8/13/19 Recent Posts
What Im speaking about has nothing to do with the ascetic practises the Buddha tried and discarded, and everything to do with the things he taught following his realisations. I think its clear you have no interest in pursuing any of this, but honestly whenever our views contradict what the Buddha taught and practised himself I'd be mindful of being deluded and I'd explore it. As said the Buddha ate once day and was celibate this is pretty clear to most people who read the Suttas - you can find them at accesstoinsight.org

I'm not sure your age or location but your views are quite outdated; intermittent fasting isn't seen as an extreme practice in  thehealth or science world; it has tons of benefits, alot of everyday people do it. Coincidentally it's also certainly practised within Buddhism - most monks definately do intermittent fasting. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 2:54 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 2:54 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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I fear we're talking past each other. I haven't once mentioned the Buddha's celibacy or his eating habits - I get that part and have no issue with those things. I did mention, specifically, deprivation practices and only to make sure we could all be clear that they're not part of what I'd call the practice of Buddhism.

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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 3:00 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 3:00 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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BTW - I've managed to lose about 30 pounds over the last five or six months. I do get that fasting, when done properly, carefully and in an informed way, can be healthy and helpful. That said, I didn't fast. I ate slower and stopped when I felt full. I also didn't eat until I was feeling hungry, but not so hungry as to be starving.
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Siavash ', modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 3:34 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 3:13 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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Chris Marti:
BTW - I've managed to lose about 30 pounds over the last five or six months. I do get that fasting, when done properly, carefully and in an informed way, can be healthy and helpful. That said, I didn't fast. I ate slower and stopped when I felt full. I also didn't eat until I was feeling hungry, but not so hungry as to be starving.

That's an instruction that one of the prophets gave: Don't eat unless you are hungry, and stop eating before you are full. Always works well.
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 5:14 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 5:14 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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It's supported by the science, too.
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Siavash ', modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 5:48 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 5:27 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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Chris Marti:
It's supported by the science, too.


Right. I've also noticed that this approach/instruction is a very good way to handle addictions/compulsive behaviors, since it doesn't say don't do it at all, but by applying it, one who has some compulsive behavior, starts to have less and less craving for the act of doing that behavior, and with time, it tends to decrease and eventually stop, since the main thing in these behaviors is the fear, fear of not being okay without that behavior, and this way, that fear gets cured. Although it's not easy and requires patience, but it's easier than some other solutions. I have cured some compulsive behaviors in the past with this approach, however had not enough patience to apply it to some other behaviors.
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Mista Tibbs, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 8:41 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 8:36 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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  • 200,000 years ago, humans anatomically identical to us were walking the planet.
  • 40,000 years ago dates the oldest depiction of paleolithic art by our genus.
  • 32,000 - 12,000 years ago the Pyramids were being built.
  • ≈16,000 years ago humans were crossing the Bearing Land Bridge to the Americas.
  • 10,000 years ago society, as we know it, was being Re-established  
The convenience of living in a Modern society didn't come to fruition until at least a few thousand years ago.
Do you think that for most of that time we've been having 3 square meals a day, or even having a single guaranteed meal every day?

"Any correction that needs to happen in the body, your stomach needs to be empty, otherwise the purification at the cellular level won't happen. We always make sure to eat in such a way that our stomach must be empty within two to two-and-a-half hours... I've seen hundreds of people become healthy and well simply because they are not refueling when the tank is already spilling. People are eating all kinds of rubbish which just pile up, then go to the doctor and say "fix me"."
-Jaggi Vasudev 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnRQJzK6yvI&t=3s
The best candidate to teach us about humanity is our own physiology. Listening to our body chemistry and understanding how and why we evolved to reach our particular niche. Anyway, sciences have begun to provide a backbone to remaining in a fasted state. Our body and brain perform at their best when the stomach is empty. Fasting increases the rate of neurogenesis emoticon Ghrelin is a hormone produced in the stomach when it is empty, This hormone stimulates brain cells to proliferate. Normally, this wouldn't culminate to anything as most brain cells die off before they can specialize, but studies with mice supplemented with ghrelin also triggered the synthesis of the BDNF protein which accelerates the maturity of nerve cells allowing them to mature, specialize, and perform maintenance.

"We proved the Triage Theory that during our evolution we went through periods of starvation, and it is during these periods that our body has very strategic mechanisms that it can ration micronutrients to the proteins and enzymes in our body that are essential for survival and reproduction. Proteins that require micronutrients for short term survival get their pick first." 
-Dr. Rhonda Patrick  
https://tim.blog/2014/06/10/the-tim-ferriss-show-rhonda-patrick-life-extension/

"What we think is going on is there are these micronutrient inadequacies  that are causing insidious harm, that is a little bit of damage every day, and by the time you are 50/60 years old, you start to come down with these """""age-related diseases""""" We think that educating people on their micronutrient intake is a very important role in preventative medicine. Instead of trying to patch someone up when they're already falling apart, we're trying to extend their healthspan."
-Dr. Rhonda Patrick  
https://tim.blog/2014/06/10/the-tim-ferriss-show-rhonda-patrick-life-extension/

Genes have to be activated in order be expressed or else they just lie dormant forever. Gene expression is modulated by your diet, how often u do or don't eat, what is eaten. How often you expose yourself to environmental conditions, your mental diet, how stressed you are, the time of day and the time of night, everything you do or don't do has an affect ultimately on what genes are active and which are turned off. Another reason to "fast" is that every time a cell must exert itself or divide, it is losing precious telomere length. Telomeres are structures that tip the end of chromosomes. When telomeres reach their last endeavor and finally run out, that my friends, is the count to cell death. There is a reason why telomere length is a biomarker for aging.

I've lived a limited food intake lifestyle from birth but have gladly explored out of it only to come back. I definitely feel much better with only 1 meal day, 2 every now and then. I pay less attention to how much I eat and put more focus on the actual nutritional value. The body enters ketosis which also allows for more profound meditative practice 
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Ben V, modified 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 8:37 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/29/19 8:37 PM

RE: Masturbation...

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"I've managed to lose about 30 pounds over the last five or six months. I do get that fasting, when done properly, carefully and in an informed way, can be healthy and helpful. That said, I didn't fast. I ate slower and stopped when I felt full. I also didn't eat until I was feeling hungry, but not so hungry as to be starving."

Sorry for jumping in on an issue secondary to the main issue of this thread, but the fasting (and the above) got my attention.

Concerning fasting: In my yearly solo retreat I always skip dinner as a habit from past retreats in monasteries (no solid foods after noon until next morning). IN daily life I've also often ate at irregular times. Colleagues of mine have told me that could lead to hypoglycemia. At my last retreat last June, the last night I had a massive attack of hypoglycemia, and the first one (which I could not recognize at the time). Since then I get the symptoms whenever I wait too long between meals, or eat meals that are not nutritious enough. Fasting is out of the question for me from now on.

But I do want to lose belly fat (precisely I've got close to 30 pounds to lose).

Chris, did you lose 30 pounds by doing just of the above (eat slow, stop when full, eat only when hungry)? Wow, if that's all it takes that's great and it doesn`t put me at risk of hypoglycemic crisis.

Sorry this has nothing to do with Dhamma or the original issue. I may have something to contribute later about the original issue in the light of the Pali canon..
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/30/19 7:01 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/30/19 6:45 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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Chris, did you lose 30 pounds by doing just of the above (eat slow, stop when full, eat only when hungry)? Wow, if that's all it takes that's great and it doesn`t put me at risk of hypoglycemic crisis.

Yes, that's all I did. I was, and remain, very disciplined about this. I eat slowly for about ten minutes then stop for five minutes. I then eat again but I stop after another ten minutes of eating slowly, or before if I start to feel full. And it's also the case that I never eat unless I'm hungry. 

Edit: forgot an important part - NEVER eat snacks between meals, especially sugar-related stuff.
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 10/30/19 6:48 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/30/19 6:48 AM

RE: Masturbation...

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The convenience of living in a Modern society didn't come to fruition until at least a few thousand years ago.
Do you think that for most of that time we've been having 3 square meals a day, or even having a single guaranteed meal every day?

Thanks for all the research. I'm sure it's true that back in our dim past human beings didn't get to have the same schedules and eating patterns that those of us in developed nations have today.