Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

A D R, modified 9 Years ago.

Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 696 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
Something strange has been conspiring for the last few weeks that I do not understand. For basically all of my life I have been a very nervous person by nature. I have always had an abundance of energy and this has led me to look to ways I could ground myself.

For most of my life one of the ways I have attempted to ground myself was in frequent, several time a day masturbation. I have been doing it for as long as I can remember like this (at least since I was three) and for the most part the act in the past led to a calm, rather apathetic state which would help me relax and chill out for the several hours following. I have, however, always had an uneasy relationship with this act and have at several times attempting to "come clean" of the practice with only little long-term success.

Well, now that I have been practicing meditation and have "released the kundilini" since last november, my relationship with this practice has changed even more. There have been several times in the last 8 months where I have gone weeks to a month without engaging in said activity. This usually is accompanied by a huge energy buildup (I have never in my life had a wet-dream) to the point that it becomes a hindrance to my daily life and practice.

The most extreme of such cases occurred a month ago (see my previous post in the dark night section) where I had gone six weeks without release while on retreat and kind of lost it for a bit, "escaping" and walking 25 miles before collapsing on the side of the road and getting picked up by an ambulance (a severe case of re-observation). Following this event I came home to my parents' home and have done nothing but eat, lie down (just simply following breaths usually), sit occasionally, and take walks.

In the past week and a half I have finally felt ready to start more intense practice again (10-18 hours a day). Before this period I slept more and masturbated with no ill effects. However, as I noticed myself going through the A&P for the first time in awhile I started being aware of energy stuff happening around the 2nd chakra area. One night I decided to masturbate only to find that when I finished I felt like there had been a huge hole ripped into my energy body down there. I felt agitated, some kind of "energy pain" feeling like I was bleeding. Not what I wanted! I eventually calmed down, but after this point I felt that things had changed permanently down there and I would never be able to get off to relax again.

I have tried to masturbate several times since then and the effect has been the same every time. I feel like I am bleeding energy. Being a nervous person, this seems unfortunate for me, because I don't know how to ground myself through this process.

(I have trying hard at stream entry for 6 months now, practicing on average around 10 hours a day. I am very tired of not getting past equanimity. I will hit it multiple times a week and keep falling back down. I have tried practicing Samatha, but it hasn't felt particularly pleasant. Up to this point I have practiced a mixture of Zen/noting). When I do sits lately if usually feels like I am just floating around in bodies of water of different characteristics, and noting usually happens fairly automatically (I will feel something manifest and I will concentrate into it kind of and watch it dissolve)
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
RE: Help! Feel like I am completely losing it!
5/17/12 6:20 AM BRUNO LOFF as a reply to A D R. Reply Reply with Quote
Here is my educated guess:

You've had A&P in the past, and your despair about "the state of the world" was just the ensuing dark night.

Unfortunately, you reacted strongly, and made changes to your life hoping that would do the trick (quitting university), but the symptoms got worst. You reacted again by taking various drugs, hoping this would help you. This didn't go well, and then you reacted even further, by making even more radical changes in your life hoping that would do the trick instead.

I think that you need to stop reacting and calm down. I guess that you are furiously grasping and/or pushing away your own internal stuff, and that this is the cause of your turmoil.

I think that you need to realize that none of this grasping and pushing away will ever bring any satisfaction: you have plenty of evidence of this from the previous events in your life. So give it up. Relax. Stop the stupid pointless state of anxious struggle you got yourself into.

Start with the most important things: have a good diet, do exercise, and take long walks in nature. This is NOT going to satisfy your angst, but it should calm you down. Learn not to do stupid things just because you feel bad (and don't do them when you feel good either). 20-30m of relaxed running every day, followed by some stretching, is very powerful; get nice relaxing hobbies, like doing stuff with your hands... etc


Thinking and reasoning are only possible if you are calm and balanced. If you have the levels of stress which your post suggests you have, then it is natural and normal and expected that you have a hard time thinking properly. Don't worry: it is normal.

It is also normal to feel that one is loosing one's mind, I've personally had that a few times, and it was ALWAYS caused by a very high level of anxiety and stress.


forget about grand spiritual goals and other lofty escapisms (if you are prone to that kind of thing): you just need to relax. For this it helps to become disenchanted: no radical reaction, internal or external, is going to help, no amount of pleasure will bring any satisfaction, and no amount of scratching will cure the itch. So just chill.

As for taking medication, this is between you and a psychiatrist. Inform yourself about the effects (and side effects), make calm, pondered, wise choices over the span of days or weeks. Although you might feel like rushing into a solution, this feeling is really a big part of the problem (and from the episodes you describe, you already have enough information to realize this).

Take good care of yourself.



RE: Help! Feel like I am completely losing it!
5/17/12 12:27 PM IAN AND as a reply to A D R. Reply Reply with Quote
I second everything that Bruno said!!!

However, sometimes one cannot do for himself what another might assist him to accomplish with help. You may want to consider, in addition to the suggestions that Bruno has provided, finding someone who can help you begin to put the pieces back together. Someone whom you trust, so not just anyone.

Given all the variables in such a situation, there's no sure-fire answer as to who to look for, either. For example, when I was undergoing my own descent into depression over three decades ago, I never trusted academic type psychotherapists or psychoanalysts. Much less any of the meds they might have been peddling. I ended up staying away from both. Eventually, after many false starts and dead ends, I found a man who was genuinely happy who also happened to be an old Catholic priest (albeit with a background in psychotherapy in addition to claiming psychic abilities, which I was able to confirm). He helped to get my mind out of its negative swirl and to begin seeing the positives in my life. It took several more years after that for me to finally kill off those negatives altogether; but they have never returned since then, and I know they never will. But this is another story altogether.

In addition, you may want to consider that the reaction of your mind has only exacerbated this pointless descension into darkness. Gotama talks about a concept he described as papanca-sanna-sankha or a "proliferation of thought." According to Bhikkhu Nanananda in his book Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought, "papanca ... is a more comprehensive term hinting at the tendency of the worldling's imagination to break loose and run riot." Being aware of this phenomenon isn't, in itself, going to help you overcome it; however, it can provide you with some kind of corroborating evidence about the process itself, enough to see that it takes place and to want to do something to counteract its occurrence.

This is especially important to realize from Bruno's advice: "Thinking and reasoning are only possible if you are calm and balanced. If you have the levels of stress which your post suggests you have, then it is natural and normal and expected that you have a hard time thinking properly. Don't worry: it is normal. It is also normal to feel that one is loosing one's mind, I've personally had that a few times, and it was ALWAYS caused by a very high level of anxiety and stress."

His admonition to "Take good care of yourself," in one way of viewing it, means no more psychotropic drug use. What you need is a calm mind in order to begin seeing reality for what it is and to regain mental balance. Drugs only distract and pour gasoline on the fire that's already in the mind; so stop doing that. You already have ample evidence that it's not working for you.

Start with the little things that you know you have control over, like having a good diet and getting exercise (like taking long walks to enjoy nature). Myself, I went out and ran every day. It gives you something positive that you can point toward that you did for yourself every day. It's a small step, to be sure, but long journey's are begun and finished by taking those first steps and continuing to forge ahead.

I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing you well.



RE: Help! Feel like I am completely losing it!
5/17/12 2:44 PM ADAM L as a reply to A D R. Reply Reply with Quote
Though I'm far from any authority in any of these topics, I can say from reflective hindsight that had I been able to apply even some of the wisdom given by Bruno and Ian, my personal experiences with many of the emotions you describe would likely have been far less daunting and dramatic. Again, upon reflection, it seems that much/most/(all?) of the suffering in my own dark night experiences was the result of an almost stubborn and willful insistence on trying to control my experience, particularly the aspects of my experience that scared me the most. Though I understood at an intellectual level that my suffering was self-induced (this became abundantly clear after many years of trying different "things" to solve my "problems"), I had the hardest time simply relinquishing the illusion of control that I had been cultivating so carefully over a period of almost over a decade at the expense of a significant amount of anxiety and misery. I'm still not entirely clear on the mechanics involved, but when I finally submitted to the fear, misery, self-loathing/judgment/etc ... when I finally just "caved" to it... it was as if I just broke through the clouds to a place of neither pain, nor pleasure...a place that was peaceful. None of my circumstances changed, none of the things that "caused" so much doubt/fear/misery/etc were (and are) gone; simply (and unhelpfully put), it was only my relationship to these that changed. Looking back, if not so tragic and painful, it would almost be funny how so much pain could be remedied by an act of such raw simplicity, by some type of pseudo-non-action. Now, like all things, this state/stage of peacefulness and equanimity was dynamic and changing, but an experience of something utterly different that the suffering I had gone through was enough to "show me" how to no longer remain attached to it. So it goes...

Do not underestimate the effectiveness of using exercise, diet, and communing with nature as a tool/technique for letting go. All three of these elements were *strong* variables that were present at the time when I gained insight into the nature of my problems. Likewise, it may be circumstantial (though I strongly doubt it), but I was out very much out of balance in these areas during the darkest of times.

Do not underestimate the effectiveness of using professional cognitive therapy as a tool/technique for letting go (if you haven't already, check out Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction literature for interesting information; perhaps a therapist specializing in this type of technique would be a helpful flag as to whether or not their techniques would be useful to you).

It may not help much, but perhaps there's some solace in knowing that you are not unique with regards to "losing it". There are many of us out there that have gone through similar experiences.

I, too, hope for and wish you well!


RE: Help! Feel like I am completely losing it!
5/17/12 4:24 PM A D R as a reply to Adam L. Reply Reply with Quote
Thank you all for your helpful suggestions.

I have been trying to walk more often and it does help. Still, as Bruno said it is good to have grounded expectations. Sometimes it really gets me into a good mind frame and sometimes I will just get tired and want to go sit/lie down. My experience is that there are no cure all techniques as I have excitedly led myself to believe a few times now. Being flexible and attentive seems to be the name of the game.

My parents have found me a psychologist that I suppose I will see once a week until I calm down a bit. I don't think I am going to rush into getting on medication or anything like that but at the same time I am not excluding that option if it ever seems prudent down the line. I have found that avoiding spicy/stimulating foods/drinks and drinking calming teas helps a good deal.

Once again thank you for your help.


Hi A D R,

Above are imported advice from Bruno, Ian and Adam L that you found useful from your thread of about three weeks ago. I made some of their/your words bold for emphasis.

Have you tried more than walking?

Bruno and Ian and Adam have given you excellent pointers to promoting calm in the body. I know you are walking and you've mentioned wide-angle vision of a wilderness school type and that your GPA points to a former ability to be calm and concentrated. These are somewhat stationary/slower activities.

Now you are getting "a huge energy buildup (...) to the point that it becomes a hindrance to my daily life and practice." and
I don't know how to ground myself through this process.


Can you take their advice for seven consecutive days: try exercise and diet?
Here's what I would do/have done:
[indent]- jog-sprint on ball of the foot (the pad below the toes of each foot) or elliptical machine for 20-40 minutes at a pace/ ona setting that makes steady speaking hard/not possible. Do not go too hard, (not to the point you feel sick), just hard enough that you could give an "uh-huh" and a short answer to a fellow jogger, but you wouldn't want to converse.
- gentle stretches of your choice after the run that you sustain for two minutes with long, slow, deep breathing (5 second inhale, 5 second exhale) - be gentle, not overachieving about your stretches: hamstrings are easy to pull without any obvious pain until a few seconds to minutes after the pull.

- green vegetable carbs only: brocolli, collards, kale, bok choy (avoid nightshades plants and potatoes and starchy things like corn and popper corn and quinoa and breads, for the week) - get a nice huge variety and enjoy (add pecans, cashews, etc, if you're not allergic obviously)
- dairy and meats, if you eat them, otherwise: eggs (fried, boiled, poached...however)
- a Gluten-free protein supplement in almond milk (have a little before the run, and had the rest after the run)

This diet and plan is not fixed forever, but is a one-week effort to help create some balance.

How does this sound to you as a plan to try one week?

It sounds like the latest change in your life is that masturbation is no longer pleasurable to you, that:
One night I decided to masturbate only to find that when I finished I felt like there had been a huge hole ripped into my energy body down there. I felt agitated, some kind of "energy pain" feeling like I was bleeding. Not what I wanted! I eventually calmed down, but after this point I felt that things had changed permanently down there and I would never be able to get off to relax again.

I have tried to masturbate several times since then and the effect has been the same every time. I feel like I am bleeding energy. Being a nervous person, this is very unfortunate for me.


Here again is Bhikku Yuttadhammo's video on masturbation and addiction in general.

It is normal in meditation to come to find dissatisfaction in every craving, in every desire. Even without meditation, people tend to keep amping up their desires as a result of trying to get more pleasure out of them (see obesity, greed, other-hating, self-hating, sex abuse (of self and/or other) and deceit) - meditation teachers are not even free from the despair of these fetters of craving. One can look with their own eyes and see easily the effects of desperate craving in oneself and teachers and others. Dukkha.

Your experience of "energy pain" in masturbation is showing you how masturbation is not a permanent tool of calming and pleasure. Without this placating device, it is your mind that is facing itself. It is possible for your mind to become calm and stable of itself. It sounds like you've already gotten a lot more stability out of your practice from starting last September on retreat.

Best wishes.
J B, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 343 Join Date: 8/9/11 Recent Posts
Here's one approach: Eat when hungry, sleep when tired.

As for getting stuck in equanimity, it might be helpful to have a thread specific to that, or a practice journal, with more details as to what goes on in your sits.

It does sound like you're feeling better since your last post. I'm glad.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Gosh Katy I just saw the first few minutes of "Bhikku Yuttadhammo's video on masturbation and addiction in general," and I found it absolutely hilarious. For one thing, the B.Y. is making a super-human effort at holding is laughter, but doesn't quite succeed; for another thing, it seems that B.Y. will explain how, from the point of view of ultimate reality, you wouldn't wank it. Ha ha ha ha, hilarious emoticon

I then found another youtube video: Masturbation will distort the energy body of a human being, where it is possible to learn about the dangers of right-hand masturbation (no kidding!), and with the aid of 3d rendered side-by-side comparisons between the energy body and the physical body, before and after said right-hand masturbation. Hilarious in the extreme!

I am also a big fan of Ven. Sitonmaylapana's book: If the Buddha touched himself: a concise guide for modern youth, and my aunt always recommended the book What else to do with your hands: one thousand treasures of embroidery by Sister Wuanascroo.
A D R, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 696 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
Thanks for the comments guys.

I just went out and did some barefoot running, focusing on the sensation of my feet hitting the ground (on the right side of all things!) and the sensation of my body motion in general when in periods of greater concentration. I am going to try to do this every day, as it had a noticeable impact on my level of anxiety and gave me a nice boost of concentration for some reclining meditation I did just now.

I am going to start a Stream Entry journal.
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
A D R: Way to get started, A D R. Action is one thing, addiction is another. Good luck with this.
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Bruno: Oh...you.
I am also a big fan of Ven. Sitonmaylapana's book: If the Buddha touched himself: a concise guide for modern youth, and my aunt always recommended the book What else to do with your hands: one thousand treasures of embroidery by Sister Wuanascroo.
Surely, you know then the ground-breaking Hawaiian ethical doctrine by Komoniwannalayoo?

A D R: Way to get started, A D R. Action is one thing, addiction is another. Good luck with this.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
On a more practical note: during a phase I needed severe grounding I have used the three amigos of rooting.
Jean-François L., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 4 Join Date: 4/23/12 Recent Posts
This Ted talk might be of interest to you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSF82AwSDiU&feature=relmfu
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Energy, Grounding, and Masturbation

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Jean-François L. - That is an awesome presentation (link copied here again) for any addiction whatsoever.

This video - like the aggregate model in buddhism - clearly shows any addiction follows the same extreme reward pathway of craving, and repeatedly drilling in that reward pathway.

It was incredible to see the diagnoses made (depression, erectile dysfunction, ADHD...) without caregivers noticing addiction, and how those maladies cleared when addiction pathway was cleared.

[edit: simplified]

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