Dealing with Lust

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Brian K, modified 9 Years ago at 7/31/12 6:47 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/31/12 6:47 PM

Dealing with Lust

Posts: 142 Join Date: 4/18/12 Recent Posts
Was wondering how many people at this forum deal with lust when it becomes problematic. I'm not doing any insight practices right now, and plan on sticking with concentration for the time being, so i dont really investigate it if it comes up in meditation, which isnt really the problem anyway. The problem is in my daily life. I will forsake things i know i shouldn't to pursue women and sexual gratification in some way. It is also an addiction to the intimacy of the relationships, not just lust itself. Its a whole web of bullshit that is my attachment to women, and i was wondering how some people might suggest to deal with this in what ways i am capable of now. For the time being my practices include: Pranayama in the beginning of each sitting, followed by shamatha - breath practice. I am also practicing actual freedom and enjoying the moment of being alive outside (and inside) of meditation. Maybe that will help. Thanks.
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 7/31/12 7:21 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/31/12 7:21 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
The classic sutta method is contemplation of the repulsiveness of the body. I use this in particularly difficult mindstates as a last resort. I will basically imagine a body splitting apart and visualize the organs spilling out. I just keep visualizing repulsive things relating to the body till the lust disappears. This can be made a full time practice, a good account of it can be found in ajahn maha boowa's autobiographical talks.

http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Arahattamagga-The-Path-to-Arahantship.pdf

Start around 34
This Good Self, modified 9 Years ago at 7/31/12 9:17 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/31/12 8:07 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Brian K.:
Was wondering how many people at this forum deal with lust when it becomes problematic. I'm not doing any insight practices right now, and plan on sticking with concentration for the time being, so i dont really investigate it if it comes up in meditation, which isnt really the problem anyway. The problem is in my daily life. I will forsake things i know i shouldn't to pursue women and sexual gratification in some way. It is also an addiction to the intimacy of the relationships, not just lust itself. Its a whole web of bullshit that is my attachment to women, and i was wondering how some people might suggest to deal with this in what ways i am capable of now. For the time being my practices include: Pranayama in the beginning of each sitting, followed by shamatha - breath practice. I am also practicing actual freedom and enjoying the moment of being alive outside (and inside) of meditation. Maybe that will help. Thanks.


Amongst the desperados and egomaniacs who promote themselves as "pick up artists", there is one guy who sort of seems to have a glimmer of insight into how it's all working. His name is Owen (Tyler), of RSD. Do a Youtube search on him. I think you will enjoy his work. There will be some videos somewhere on the problems of attachment, outcome-orientation and so on.

Maybe this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghyUmNt5Yd0
or www.youtube.com/watch?v=opUT4lSM2dc&feature=related
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Andrew , modified 9 Years ago at 7/31/12 10:28 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/31/12 10:28 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
age; wait it out...

I'm half serious there as i cannot claim to have not 'dealt' with it in that manner- although i know many men my age who haven't, so here are some other useful things along the way that may have helped;

self-love/masturbation, being with yourself and enjoying being a body, is generally frowned apon, which leads to a looking outside of oneself. It is taught to us that we are to be with others when we enjoy ourselves, so even when alone we use imagery to 'make it alright'; try cutting down on imagery and just be with yourself. Alot of the feeling incomplete, not accepting oneself as a body comes from social conditioning. the imaginative faculty is simply trying to complete a circuit- trying to gain control of ones feeling of being incomplete that one was tuaght one is; only half a human whole. Complete the circuit within yourself by being with yourself as a sensual being. It is completely the point of enjoying oneself, that one enjoys oneself as one is, i.e. a body. you do not magically grow additional nerve endings when with someone else, you simply have conditioned yourself not to enjoy the ones you have without them (including the billions in your brain, or because of them more like it).

I view 'it' (both 'lust' and the resultant 'dealing with') as a behaviour, a well rehearsed way of using the body and mind. It has only the smallest amount of natural compulsion (despite the popular world view- imo of course, i have no science to back that up) and the most part a role we are taught in life.

contemplation of the intellect. allowing what you know to be true, to be true, without it having to feel true. We spend our lives often throwing out what we know to be true because we feel it to be otherwise. feeling is showing us that something is wrong, but it is not generally what we know to be true, but what we have not comprehended yet. comprehension of the dissonance itself leads to insight and releases the mind first, then behaviour is free to follow. changing behaviour without having contemplated it's cause to begin with is doomed to frustration, in my experience.

Start with what you know to be true, and work from that point as with everything. For example, at many times porn posed a problem to me, I was far from addicted (thanks to circumstance rather than discipline) but it would resurface over a span of many years. I generally just accepted it, but knew I was not happy with that acceptance. The increased freedom I have gained was won through the contemplation of the people involved, the manipulation, the abuse, the otherwise stark reality of what porn is; for the most part it is a very sad world of exploitation. and even if it isn't- that small fraction that is somewhat respectful porn- it still remains that it is not my world, but theirs. it armed me with what is true, to otherwise see the truth of the situation, to get a perspective, allowing myself the space to contemplate the entire situation. not too long after, it was of no real attraction, my feelings belonged to me and so did their dissolution (over a period of time that is).

Regarding relationships and seeking others, I can't help with that as i was married at 21, so it hasn't been much of a viable option thanks to my conservative conditioning. i think though the principle applies equally to all 'dealing with this' issues, that one has to rely on more than the accepted standards of behaviour to guide your thoughts, as these things are generally pendulums and until we have a good look at 1) what keeps it in motion 2) what it is swinging from, (the fulcrum of the matter), we remain 'dealing with' instead of outgrowing these behaviours.


good luck, if there is such a thing!
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fivebells , modified 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 1:25 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 11:38 AM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Personally, when I experience lust I try to seduce my wife and when I want intimacy I talk to her. emoticon

I'm a lot further along than I was when I met her, but I suspect that if I were alone again, seeking another partner would still be a super-high priority. And I was 35 when we met, and had been practicing (perhaps not very effectively) for seven years at that point.

This conditioning runs very deep. some of it biological/evolutionary and eons old, much of it probably laid down before your first episodic memory if you believe psychology's theories in the matter (but those are highly speculative.) If you want to use the practice in ethical training, start with something easier like addiction to TV or procrastinating on your taxes. But this work often requires insight and power, and can't happen effectively without a good foundation in the stable attention you are now developing.

Anyone interested in using Buddhist practice to control lust should read the Vatamiga Jataka and think about why, in that story, the Buddha identifies himself (search forward for "[159]") in the story as the King who engages his gardener to ensnare an antelope, and identifies with the ensnared antelope a monk recently disrobed for sexual misconduct with the ensnared deer.

Incidentally, I first heard that story from a Tibetan Buddhist monk leading a group in Canberra. I asked him why the Buddha identified himself as the King in the story. He said he didn't know. A few years later, he was at the center of a scandal which made the city paper, for seducing his female students. emoticon (I don't know why the Buddha said that either.)

At least in the West, Buddhism is rife with stories like this, so extensive training doesn't seem to have a very good success rate in reducing foolish decisions motivated by lust.

Edit: Bwahaha.
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Yadid dee, modified 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 12:39 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 12:28 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 258 Join Date: 9/11/09 Recent Posts
fivebells .:

At least in the West, Buddhism is rife with stories like this, so extensive training doesn't seem to have a very good success rate in reducing foolish decisions motivated by lust.


I think that in order to determine the actual success rate (as opposed to the speculated one), you would have to divide the number of times that foolish decisions motivated by lust could've happened but did not, by the total amount of times that foolish decisions motivated by lust could have happened (did happen or did not happen).

Since you only have part of the data (the ones that happened), and not the rest (the ones that could've, but did not happen due to extensive training), I don't think we can accurately determine the success rate.
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 12:49 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 12:49 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
fivebells .:
Incidentally, I first heard that story from a Tibetan Buddhist monk leading a group in Canberra. I asked him why the Buddha identified himself as the King in the story. He said he didn't know. A few years later, he was at the center of a scandal which made the city paper, for seducing his female students. emoticon


I might have posted about using deity visualization to take care of the lust but apparently, that doesn't always help emoticon
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fivebells , modified 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 1:59 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 1:59 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Yes, it's a terrible measure. Don't forget the extremely high false-negative rate (those who aren't caught, those in traditions where sexual activity is not forbidden, those who are driven by lust to foolish but not scandalous decisions...)
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Simon Ekstrand, modified 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 3:13 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 3:13 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 245 Join Date: 9/23/11 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
The classic sutta method is contemplation of the repulsiveness of the body. I use this in particularly difficult mindstates as a last resort. I will basically imagine a body splitting apart and visualize the organs spilling out. I just keep visualizing repulsive things relating to the body till the lust disappears. This can be made a full time practice, a good account of it can be found in ajahn maha boowa's autobiographical talks.

http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Arahattamagga-The-Path-to-Arahantship.pdf

Start around 34


As a point of interest I seem to remember Bhante V. over at Dhamma Sukha speaking about having used this method extensively when he was younger. I also seem to remember him recommend it be practiced with a teacher, as he had encountered cases where it had been taken to such extremes as to have lead to the suicide of the practitioner.

Simon
Brother Pussycat, modified 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 3:28 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 3:28 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 77 Join Date: 12/21/11 Recent Posts
Why not simply investigate the sensations of lust as they occur? Simply observe them gently, without judgement, but with as much precision as you can muster.

If you find the version of mediation on repulsiveness suggested by Adam too extreme, simply think of how the women you desire also have their less sexy moments every day.

You can also try considering how they are real human beings, with their everyday own problems, hopes, fears etc. This can lead to metta, which should also be of help here.
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 3:46 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 3:46 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Simon E:
Adam . .:
The classic sutta method is contemplation of the repulsiveness of the body. I use this in particularly difficult mindstates as a last resort. I will basically imagine a body splitting apart and visualize the organs spilling out. I just keep visualizing repulsive things relating to the body till the lust disappears. This can be made a full time practice, a good account of it can be found in ajahn maha boowa's autobiographical talks.

http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Arahattamagga-The-Path-to-Arahantship.pdf

Start around 34


As a point of interest I seem to remember Bhante V. over at Dhamma Sukha speaking about having used this method extensively when he was younger. I also seem to remember him recommend it be practiced with a teacher, as he had encountered cases where it had been taken to such extremes as to have lead to the suicide of the practitioner.

Simon


Good point, there is sutta evidence for this sort of thing even happening in the buddha's time, he mentions people who had become so overcome with revulsion towards the body that they had hired assassins to kill themselves.

perhaps it would also be useful to keep in mind one of the insights maha boowa had in concluding this practice - that all ideas of repulsiveness and attractiveness are mind-made.
Tom Tom, modified 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 9:47 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/1/12 9:47 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago at 8/2/12 6:08 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/2/12 6:08 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Brian K.:
Was wondering how many people at this forum deal with lust when it becomes problematic. I'm not doing any insight practices right now, and plan on sticking with concentration for the time being, so i dont really investigate it if it comes up in meditation, which isnt really the problem anyway. The problem is in my daily life. I will forsake things i know i shouldn't to pursue women and sexual gratification in some way. It is also an addiction to the intimacy of the relationships, not just lust itself. Its a whole web of bullshit that is my attachment to women, and i was wondering how some people might suggest to deal with this in what ways i am capable of now.


Minds do things because they find some kind of pleasure or enjoyment or goodness in doing those things. What are you getting out of the whole web of bullshit? I would guess that, to the extent that you perceive any of it to be pleasurable or enjoyable or good, you're just relishing some affective, unpleasant experience or other, believing that it's pleasant. Your mind will likely lose interest in the web of bullshit to the extent that you can see that the experiences (and not just the medium- or long-term consequences) connected with that web are unpleasant. So, you could try taking a cold, hard look at it.

Caveat: I used to have a lot of lust; now I have comparatively little (though not zero). For the most part, I didn't do anything special to reduce it besides basic practice. So, while I stand by the advice I gave in general, I haven't tested it much in this specific case.
Felipe C, modified 9 Years ago at 8/6/12 6:55 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/6/12 6:54 PM

RE: Dealing with Lust

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Hi, I've noted that I'm getting better in this issue in particular, so I will share the process that I think that has caused this:

1. In order to reduce lust, I've had to be fully aware of it.
2. In order to be fully aware of the feelings/passions, I've had to clear them up and see them directly without contamination/obstructions.
2. In order to clear them up, I've had to investigate/challenge my beliefs/ethics/morals around sex and women.
3. In order to investigate/challenge them, I've had to be fully and existentially sincere in my intent to do so.
4. In order to be sincere, I've had to want (experientially) unconditional happiness and harmlessness even more than to be sexually driven/satisfied.

Once you got to number 2 is a matter to fully feel your feelings, to be them, recognize lust as lust and localizing its triggers. Then I catch myself whenever this feeling of lust arises: I'm pretty attentive while watching porn (this is a great exercise!); while walking on the street around pretty women; while having sex; etc. The light of this awareness is a powerful one, I can really tell.

In relation to number 3, these are some example points that had been relevant to me in my investigation:

a. Those corresponding to social identity.
a1. Religious. Why do I think that sex is a dirty activity? Why do I have the impression that is a serious thing? (that's in my case, for example, coming from a catholic family/background)
a2. Social validation. How the values of my friends/media is pressuring me to have sex?
a2.1.Why do I see so much value in sex quantitatively (women count as if it were a collection)?
a2.2.Why do I see so much value in sex qualitatively (why am I more successful when I reach home with a girl and less with I only reach first base?)?

b. Those corresponding to instinctive identity.
b1. If my perception field is so huge and I can detect a lot of elements, why some of them have a value of 100 (attractive women), and some of them 1 (a light pole)?
b2. Even in this element of value of 100 (a woman), why some elements of this element have a value of 80 (butt) and others of just 1 (wrist).
b3. Are these elements that spectacular/different really? Why?
b4. There is obviously a factor responsible for this assignation of values, what is it? It's obviously the software of the instinctual passions, which is blind and only cares about the survival of the species (this elements of desire that lead to sex that leads to reproduction) and not the individual member of this species (your individual suffering caused by unfulfilled/unrealistic sexual desires).

Obviously the elements of instinctive and social identity are pretty interrelated. But, anyway, deconstructing social ones (by seeing the silliness and arbitrariness of them) usually grant you an easier access to the instinctive ones (which are pretty conditional and silly too), and then to the raw feelings/passions themselves. The clearer and more direct you experience those raw materials, the quicker they dilute.

Hope that helps in some way.

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