Sexual Practices?

Jesse Cooper Levy, modified 9 Years ago at 12/20/12 7:09 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/20/12 7:09 PM

Sexual Practices?

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/4/12 Recent Posts
I don't have much to say on the subject. I'm wondering if people have found any techniques useful for cultivating insight and concentration, by ones self or with others. I'm curious to learn of any recommended techniques, but am also curious if this would be a helpful conversation for this community.

I'm an advocate of verbal & enthusiastic consent, and I understand that these things would require a great deal of trust and willingness between partners.

Thank you all,
j
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Florian, modified 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 1:50 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 12/21/12 1:50 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Maybe this article by Duncan will interest you? Deconstructing the Male Orgasm

(I don't much care for "precious bodily fluids" sentiments, but that blog post is a good read regardless).

Cheers,
Florian
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Dan Cooney, modified 9 Years ago at 1/25/13 9:04 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/25/13 9:04 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 60 Join Date: 10/22/12 Recent Posts
BK's Taoist sexual meditation book is out, its pretty interesting and addresses some of these questions. emoticon
Jesse Cooper Levy, modified 9 Years ago at 1/25/13 12:46 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/25/13 12:46 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/4/12 Recent Posts
Thanks for the help you both!

Who's BK again?

thanks!
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Dan Cooney, modified 9 Years ago at 2/1/13 6:51 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 2/1/13 6:51 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 60 Join Date: 10/22/12 Recent Posts
Bruce Frantzis, sorry emoticon
Jesse Cooper Levy, modified 9 Years ago at 2/7/13 8:07 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 2/7/13 8:07 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

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No, Thank you!
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The Xzanth, modified 9 Years ago at 2/8/13 8:28 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 2/7/13 11:55 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 71 Join Date: 12/28/12 Recent Posts
I thought that the goal of sexual practices was to have awesome sex?

I've had 'tantric' orgasms. Male multiple, ejaculate-free, orgasms. Not many times but I wasn't practicing anything in particular. Just keeping fit, attentive, and with a suitable mate. Since then celibacy has taken me on a different route.

Come to think of it I was practicing something. I was practicing sensing 'energy fields', sending and receiving 'energy' of different types.
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Dannon F, modified 9 Years ago at 2/8/13 2:12 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 2/8/13 2:12 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

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I think the goal of sexual practices is enlightenment. The neo-tantra movement in the west made it about awesome sex. But nothing is as awesome as enlightened sex. It is the best way to see the union of emptiness and bliss, but need to keep desire in check. There is a huge instinctual urge to lose mindfulness and be overcome with desire and hump away.
When orgasmic sensations start building I pull them up into my higher chakras by doing the mahabandha. Paying attention to the emptiness of all sensations and keeping my breathing relaxed and my body relaxed, entering the flow. Not having a goal. Every time I do the mahabandha I get way more spaced out until it is as if I disappear. The thing is to go at the same pace as your partner. If you and your partner are in tune, which you should be and you will be if you are successful, you both will disappear at the same time. Then start playing with energy once you enter that non-dual space. Build the arousal up and put attention at the third eye and pull the energy up to there. It will melt. Keep exploring further.
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The Xzanth, modified 9 Years ago at 2/8/13 8:38 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 2/8/13 8:37 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 71 Join Date: 12/28/12 Recent Posts
Certainly if and when I may again I will.

:-D

Sounds very much like what I am doing when I'm not having sex.

'Disregarding the urge to be overcome and lapse into mindlessness. Paying attention to the emptiness of all sensations and keeping relaxed untill...' Certainly no reason why I shouldn't also do this while having sex.
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Joshua, the solitary, modified 9 Years ago at 2/15/13 7:53 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 2/15/13 7:53 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

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The only time when it is valid to use this and/or intoxicants as a part of meditation is when, through insight, one has deep aversion to such gross things. So it is basically not worth talking about until one has some decent attainment, and this is why the practices are esoteric.
Jesse Cooper Levy, modified 9 Years ago at 2/15/13 9:23 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 2/15/13 9:23 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/4/12 Recent Posts
Joshua ..:
The only time when it is valid to use this and/or intoxicants as a part of meditation is when, through insight, one has deep aversion to such gross things. So it is basically not worth talking about until one has some decent attainment, and this is why the practices are esoteric.


@Joshua. I tend to think that any practice has it's risks, and that doing practices without being instructed carries a unique set of risks (although so does following a teacher). Still, I disagree with your statement and the sentiment of it. It doesn't seem that your statement in itself addresses your concerns about this practices. Would you care to elaborate?

Thank you everyone for posting on this and allowing this discussion into the DhO!
Brother Pussycat, modified 9 Years ago at 2/16/13 3:48 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 2/16/13 3:48 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 77 Join Date: 12/21/11 Recent Posts
Tummo is a sexual practice (kind of)

linky
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SeTyR ZeN, modified 7 Years ago at 9/30/14 9:24 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 9/30/14 9:24 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 113 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
here you go :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvkzMhVTsmE
Gunnar Johansson, modified 7 Years ago at 10/4/14 9:04 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/4/14 9:04 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 12 Join Date: 10/4/14 Recent Posts
Hi!

Has any one tried the meditations in this book?

http://www.holybooks.com/great-bliss-tantric-sex-and-the-path-to-inner-awakening/

Keep it up
Gunnar
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Jason Snyder, modified 7 Years ago at 10/4/14 11:53 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/4/14 11:27 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 186 Join Date: 10/25/13 Recent Posts
My friend recently got into OM (orgasmic meditation). The central practice involves the male masterbating the female for 15 minutes under very controlled conditions, but more generally it involes a lot of practices "harnessing orgasm" (and wearing shirts that say "powered by orgasm"). He is always describing his multiple sexual partners and how he is breaking down emotional barriers through intimacy. He is pretty zealous about it and insists it is quickest and most direct path to enlightenment. 
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Piers M, modified 7 Years ago at 10/5/14 5:05 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/5/14 5:05 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 116 Join Date: 12/7/10 Recent Posts
Why do you think the Buddha (or rather the Buddha to be) fled the marital home, spent six years practicing hard as a celibate ascetic before achieving enlightenment and then setting up a celibate monastic order?
Sex is obviously a form of lust which is in turn a form of greed?
So, your friend, whilst sounding like he's having a "good" time, is I would suggest, deluded.
What do you think?
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Jason Snyder, modified 7 Years ago at 10/5/14 7:35 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/5/14 5:58 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 186 Join Date: 10/25/13 Recent Posts
Piers M:
Why do you think the Buddha (or rather the Buddha to be) fled the marital home, spent six years practicing hard as a celibate ascetic before achieving enlightenment and then setting up a celibate monastic order?
Sex is obviously a form of lust which is in turn a form of greed?
So, your friend, whilst sounding like he's having a "good" time, is I would suggest, deluded.
What do you think?

Sidarta did as Sidarta does. He wasn't God, its not like he had the monopoly on enlightenment. I think celibacy is overrated - fine for people who are into it. How can the very drive that brings forth life be delusion? Sure, it can become a problem if one does it just to fill an endless void, but that is true with everything in life, everything comes down to whether you are present or not, mindful or not. Mindful sex is one of the most amazing things on this earth - completely losing yourself with another person.  Sex, relationships, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with others, IMO, can be a very effective way of breaking down barriers that contribute to the false sense of self.  Now I think that he is kind of over-zealous, like when he tries to convince me that a commitment to monogomy just creates limiting boundaries or that the path of "orgasm" is superior (or even fundamentally different) than Vipassana meditation, but I think he is also on to something that is seriously lacking in much spiritual practice.  
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Piers M, modified 7 Years ago at 10/6/14 10:48 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/6/14 10:48 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 116 Join Date: 12/7/10 Recent Posts
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

I have not tried Asubha practices much (relfecting on the loathsomeness of the body and its constituent parts). However, I can see the value of it, particularly for a mind consumed with lust (which is most of the world). [NB This has got nothing at all to do with self loathing or the loathing of others because of a characteristic in their form you don't happen to like]

The body is inherently a gross structure. It is made up of many elements. Blood, pus, faeces, urine, sweat, bones, organs etc Anything attractive about that? It's not that different from food in many respects. See a nice plate of food. Take a mouthful and chew it well but don't swallow. Instead spit it back out on your spoon. Now look at it. Doesn't look so appetising now does it? Why? It's the same food only chewed up.

Think of your current or most recent sexual partner. Now imagine them aged 80 or 90. Would you still want to engage with them sexually? If not why not? If so, why so?

Supposing you admire your partners hair or nails or teeth. A tooth falls out. He/She gives it to you? Are you going to wear it as a pendant or throw it away?

Can you see the impermanence of the entire human body? So, what's to lust after?

The bench mark as always.....if any practice leads you all the way to the end of suffering, without remainder. Then, good, continue with it...
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Jason Snyder, modified 7 Years ago at 10/6/14 1:49 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/6/14 12:13 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 186 Join Date: 10/25/13 Recent Posts
Piers M:
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

I have not tried Asubha practices much (relfecting on the loathsomeness of the body and its constituent parts). However, I can see the value of it, particularly for a mind consumed with lust (which is most of the world). [NB This has got nothing at all to do with self loathing or the loathing of others because of a characteristic in their form you don't happen to like]

The body is inherently a gross structure. It is made up of many elements. Blood, pus, faeces, urine, sweat, bones, organs etc Anything attractive about that? It's not that different from food in many respects. See a nice plate of food. Take a mouthful and chew it well but don't swallow. Instead spit it back out on your spoon. Now look at it. Doesn't look so appetising now does it? Why? It's the same food only chewed up.

Think of your current or most recent sexual partner. Now imagine them aged 80 or 90. Would you still want to engage with them sexually? If not why not? If so, why so?

Supposing you admire your partners hair or nails or teeth. A tooth falls out. He/She gives it to you? Are you going to wear it as a pendant or throw it away?

Can you see the impermanence of the entire human body? So, what's to lust after?

The bench mark as always.....if any practice leads you all the way to the end of suffering, without remainder. Then, good, continue with it...

IMO, understanding impermanence is not about denying life and the world, i.e. not about nihilism (although asubha practices can be useful for understanding impermanence and attachment). It is instead about ones relationship to life. It is about being fully engaged and alive in the present moment, but without being attached - i.e., craving for things in the future, wishing for things in the past, or clinging to what is passing right now. For example, if I see a beautiful flower, I am not going to avoid enjoying it because it is impermanent. 

Do you ever enjoy food? Put sugar or salt in anything? Do you enjoy Jhanas? Sports? How about sunsets, oceans, mountains, leaves in autumn? Do you enjoy spending time with anybody? How about hanging out on this forum? It's all impermanent. how is any of that different from enjoying sex? 

Again, IMO, the surest way to end suffering is not to disegage with the impermanent world, but instead to engage and integrate that with a practice (any practice that helps one see the 3C's in their relationship with arising phenomenon - sexual practices not excluded). It seems like people spending years in caves or monestaries would have less of a sense of whether they are attached to anything, because that detachment is never really tested in the rough and tumble of the modern everyday life. 
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Piers M, modified 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 5:22 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 5:22 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 116 Join Date: 12/7/10 Recent Posts
Hi Jason,
I do not for a minute expect you to change your cherished views/beliefs from reading the following (likewise, I am unlikely to change my cherished views/beliefs in any great hurry from reading a paragraph or two posted on DhO).

However, I offer this up for your wise reflection:

[This is an excerpt from a book about the life of Acariya Mun (if you haven't heard of him, he is considered one of the greatest Thai monks of the last century (coming from the forest traditions - I hope that doesn't put you off that he did meditate in caves and secluded places. He did also mix with ordinary worldings and teach the Dhamma to simple villagers, city dwellers and monks/nuns and others (deities). It is a fascinating read and the author who only died recently (couple of years ago aged in his late 90s), was a disciple of his an also considered to be an arahant.]

I actually start with a note from the main text which follows.

If you are interested the book can be read online here
P. 477-478 Note 19 (Ragatanha):

the belief that the body is oneself and that happiness can be achieved for oneself 
through bodily sensations, rãgatanhã is the desire, even craving, to seek pleasure and 
self-gratification by means of the physical body. With this mental defilement as the 
driving force, most people attempt to overcome discontent and find fulfillment using 
physical stimulation as the primary means. If such craving is allowed a free rein, it 
easily becomes a preoccupation which gives rise to even more craving, leaving the heart forever hungry and disatisfied. For lust is a hunger that no amount of gluttony can satiate. The harder one tries to find satisfaction in this way, the more one suffers the consequences. This deep rooted sexual drive is the main fetter binding living beings to the Sensuous World (Kama-loka).
But as Acariya Mun points out here, Ragatanha has a more sinister side, for passionate intentions can easily become aggresive and violent. Thus, united in a passion for physical stimulation the kilesas of greed and aversion join forces in the guise of ragatanha, which strives to assuage its insatiable hunger by dominating and exploiting others. In this way, passion for sex and lust for power are two aspects of the same fundamental craving. The thirst for war and murder, the thirst for torture and all forms of abuse, all have their roots in ragatanha. As such ragatanha is a primary factor governing birth in sub-human realms (demons, ghosts, animals and hells).

P.81-84 (notes 17, 18, 19 in bold although I have only inserted note 19 (above which I feel relevent to this thread).

To the question “Where do human beings come from?” Ãcariya Mun’s 
reply was:

“All human beings have a mother and father who gave birth to them. 
Even you yourself were not born miraculously from a hollow tree. We 
all obviously have parents who gave birth to us and raised us, so this 
question is hardly an appropriate one. Were I to say that human beings 
are born of ignorance and craving, this would cause more confusion 
and misunderstanding than if I gave no answer at all. People have no 
knowledge whatsoever of what ignorance and craving are, although they 
are present there in everyone – except, of course, in the Arahants. The 
trouble is people are not interested enough to make the necessary effort 
for understanding these things, so that leaves the obvious answer: we 
are born of our parents. This then opens me up to the criticism that 
I’ve answered too briefly. But it is hard to give a reply which goes to the 
truth of the matter, when the one asking the question is not really much 
interested in the truth to begin with. The Lord Buddha taught that both 
people and animals are born of avijjã paccaya sankhãra… samudayo hoti.17
The ceasing of birth, which is the cessation of all dukkha, stems from 
avijjãya tveva asesavirãga nirodhã sankhãrã nirodho … nirodho hoti.18 This 
condition is inherent within the heart of each and every person who has 
kilesas. Once the truth has been accepted, it becomes clear that it’s just 
this which leads to birth as a human being or an animal until the world 
becomes so crowded one can hardly find a place to live. The primary 
cause is just this ignorance and insatiable craving. Though we haven’t 
even died yet, we are already searching for a place to be born into where 
we can carry on living – an attitude of mind that leads human beings 
and animals all over the world to birth and constant suffering. Anyone 
wishing to know the truth should take a look at the citta that’s full of 
the kind of kilesas which are frantically looking to affirm birth and life 
at all times. That person will undoubtedly find what he’s looking for 
without having to ask anyone else. Such questions merely display a level 
of ignorance that indicates the inquirer is still spiritually inadequate. 
The citta tends to be the most unruly, conceited thing in the world. If 
no interest is taken in reigning it in, we will never become aware of 
how really stubborn it is, and all our noble hopes and aspirations will 
come to nothing.”
What is it that causes the sexual attraction between men and women and 
animals of the same species, since they’ve never been taught this?
Ãcariya 
Mun replied:
Rãgatanhã19 is not to be found in any book, nor is it learned in school 
from a teacher. Rather, rãgataõhã is a stubbornly shameless condition 
that arises and exists in the hearts of men and women, causing those who 
have this vulgar condition to come under its spell and become vulgar 
themselves without ever realizing what’s happening. Rãgataõhã makes 
no distinction between man, woman, or animal, nationality, social status 
or age group. If it is strong it can easily cause disaster in the world. If 
there is insufficient presence of mind to restrain it and keep it within 
acceptable limits, sexual craving will become like runaway floodwater, 
overflowing the banks of the heart and spreading out to flood towns and 
cities, leaving ruin everywhere in its wake. Such a condition has always
been able to thrive within the hearts of all living beings precisely because 
it receives constant nourishment and support – things which give it 
the strength to assert its suffocating influence continuously, sowing 
havoc and causing misery around the world.
We hear only about
floods occurring in towns and cities, and how they cause destruction to 
people and their belongings. No one is interested in noticing the flood 
of rãgatanhã engulfing the hearts of people who are quite content to let 
themselves and their belongings be ravaged by those surging floodwaters 
all year round. Consequently, no one understands the real reason for the 
on-going deterioration of world affairs because each and every person 
is contributing to and encouraging this situation by failing to recognize 
that rãgataõhã is directly responsible for the worsening situation. If we 
do not focus our attention on the real cause, it will be impossible for us 
to find any genuine sense of contentment.”
The original question asked only about that aspect of rãgataõhã
concerning the attraction between people, completely ignoring the 
destruction instigated by rãgataõhã through hatred and anger. But in 
his explanation Ãcariya Mun touched on the full range of detrimental 
results stemming from rãgataõhã. 
cont.... in next post
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Piers M, modified 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 5:36 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 5:36 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 116 Join Date: 12/7/10 Recent Posts
cont.. P.83 second paragraph half way down:

He said that it is rãgatanhã which 
dictates the passionate urges of men, women, and all the animals, 
facilitating the pleasure they find in each others company – this is a 
principle of nature. 

Unfortunately, having problems copying and pasting rest of the quote (you can continue reading in the link I posted above on P.83 of the book  (or 107/108 on the side scroll bar).

~Piers
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Jason Snyder, modified 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 9:09 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 9:09 AM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 186 Join Date: 10/25/13 Recent Posts
Yeah...I'm not a Buddhist so appeals to scripture or traditional beliefs don't do much for me. You seem to be categorizing all sex as lust and therefore bad. I am arguing that it all depends on ones relationship to the act. That seems to be the end of the discussion. 
Plne, modified 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 3:12 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 3:09 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 17 Join Date: 4/7/14 Recent Posts
Agreed. I feel Giordano Bruno had it right - the obstructions and challenges of life are erotic frictions. They impel creation. And he means this literally not metaphorically. The world is, indeed, one huge fuck-fest. I myself, have had insights whereby the entire world, both writ large and in all it's moving becoming details, is nothing other than sexual congress. Felt right to me. The devil, naturally, is in the details, and with just how much attachement and aversion we enact in this unceasing congress. (and wisdom)


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CJMacie, modified 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 8:10 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 8:10 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 856 Join Date: 8/17/14 Recent Posts
re Dan Cooney (1/25/13 9:04 AM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.)

"BK's [Bruce Frantzis] Taoist sexual meditation book is out, its pretty interesting and addresses some of these questions."

Frantzi, ManTak Chia, Dr. Stephen Chang, etc. -- many different flavors of interpretation and teaching are, have been out there English for at least half a century. One form is known as something like 'iron pants' and relates to martial arts (I learned a version of this once from one Wu, BaoLin, of Santa Monica, originally BeiJing, White Cloud Monastery.)

In general, the Taoist approach has to do with preserving and optimally utilizing the 'jing' or the constitutional 'essence' that governs human life, particularly life-span. 'Jing' bears some relation to, but is not reducable to notions like DNA, as it can be affected by environment and individual development (c.f. EVO-DEVO scientific theory). As to 'enlightenment', Taoist internal alchemy has related notions, depending on how one understands 'enlightenment'. (The external alchemy related more to the life-span issue, i.e. the quest for immortality.) 

It also relates to Confucian emphasis on family life – having lots of healthy children, especially boys, who will take care of you when you're old. Note, the Chinese people have virtually always been the most populous on the planet, so this stuff works in that regard. 

If one is interested, all modern texts on this go back to Volume 25 of the 'I Shim Po' – a huge compendium of Chinese medical texts preserved in Japanese copy, from some time in the middle ages, many of which, including Vol 25, are preseved only there. The sexual positions (which are perhaps the most popular feature nowadays) are portrayed as quasi-medical healing or preventative techniques (similar to early DaoYin aka 'qigong'). Actually, come to think of it, the MaWangDui collection of texts (buried 286BCE, discovered 1972CE) also included material on sexual practices, but no where near as extensive. 

There was an excellent English translation of IshimPo Vol 25 in print (a copy of which I have somewhere in a boxed library) – a straightforward scholarly translation, with historical and textual background, footnotes, etc. I.e. NOT an interpretative or teaching oriented one as in the books of modern popularizers. The MaWangDui collection is also available in English translation – a thick, expensive book; it cost ca. $260 when it first came out (when I bought it), but later was reduced to ca $100.
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CJMacie, modified 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 8:15 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/7/14 8:14 PM

RE: Sexual Practices?

Posts: 856 Join Date: 8/17/14 Recent Posts
re Piers M (10/6/14 10:48 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.)
"Think of your current or most recent sexual partner. Now imagine them aged 80 or 90. Would you still want to engage with them sexually?…"

Check out the oft reported, s/t 'scandalous' goings-on in retirement communities. You (in your relative youth) might not want to engage with them (when they're older) sexually, but that may not apply to 80-90 y/o's among themselves.

I had a patient once, ca. 90 y/o, resident of one such modern 'old-folks home'. He was quite a 'lady's man.' Died a year or so later -- heart attack -- but what the hell, he lived longer than most of us will.

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