Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

IAMTHAT That Ami, modified 7 Years ago.

Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

Posts: 47 Join Date: 12/7/13 Recent Posts
What is the consensus on Lust/Release during retreats for males?

Having done a number of 30 and 40 day retreats via a number of different methods/techniques/paths (none of which have been Noting per se), I usually get to a point of having to release "excess fluids"on average every 5-7 days.

Now I have a variety of methods to do so, including imagination as well as via no-thought/emptiness sort of deal, just to sort of empty whats full, as in urination or excretion.

But if I go too long and forget to drain whats full, then the mind is inundated with lustful thoughts via the subconscious, for the sake of releasing the excess. At least that's how I see that it works.

So are there any tips from the Monks or Mahasi Noters when it comes to Lust/Release? When this needs to be done, is this also noted?
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Sweet Nothing, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

Posts: 164 Join Date: 4/21/13 Recent Posts
Those lustful thoughts/desires stirring in the mind are to be ignored and not acted upon on retreat. Generally conforming to the 8 Shila/ Code of conduct are a pre requisite for any Buddhist meditation retreat, and one of those 8 is Avoiding Sexual Misconduct.

The way I see things, Lust/Sensual desires are one of the 5 Hindrances that stop one from progressing on the path and constantly try to bind the mind.

I would term acting upon them in the way you suggest as heedlessness. You may have noticed that succumbing also strengthens other Hindrances and reinforces the older patterns.

I also suggest reading through the Dhammapada.

The Buddha himself taught Asubha Bhavana, or contemplation of the 32 parts of the body/ Corpse to counter strong attachments to sensuality.
IAMTHAT That Ami, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

Posts: 47 Join Date: 12/7/13 Recent Posts
Sweet Nothing:
Those lustful thoughts/desires stirring in the mind are to be ignored and not acted upon on retreat. Generally conforming to the 8 Shila/ Code of conduct are a pre requisite for any Buddhist meditation retreat, and one of those 8 is Avoiding Sexual Misconduct.

The way I see things, Lust/Sensual desires are one of the 5 Hindrances that stop one from progressing on the path and constantly try to bind the mind.

I would term acting upon them in the way you suggest as heedlessness. You may have noticed that succumbing also strengthens other Hindrances and reinforces the older patterns.

I also suggest reading through the Dhammapada.

The Buddha himself taught Asubha Bhavana, or contemplation of the 32 parts of the body/ Corpse to counter strong attachments to sensuality.

thanks for the insight....

will look into all those things as mentioned.

Really I see what arises when it comes to lust, nothing more than the subconscious triggering thoughts to get one to release excess fluids.

If the mind arises with the thoughts, "need to take a crap, need to take a leak".....they are just signals to release excess. So the same thing occurs with the seminal fluids..... along with emptying them out via no-thought seems to take care of any further constructs being created from some actions.

Taking all into consideration of course
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Sweet Nothing, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

Posts: 164 Join Date: 4/21/13 Recent Posts
You're doing this retreat to make progress, right ? emoticon

If you are somehow stopped from crapping or stop leaking, you will eventually die. They are essential to your survival.
On the other hand, nobody has ever died from celibacy. My own experience has been that it makes the mind a lot calmer and stable. There is less guilt, shame, sloth, anger, and so on.

So the same thing occurs with the seminal fluids..... along with emptying them out via no-thought seems to take care of any further constructs being created from some actions.


So why do you need to repeat the process every week ?

I encourage that you observe the sensations that you're attached to with equanimity, and decide for yourself whether they are worth being addicted to.

I dont discourage masturbation in normal life, but I strongly discourage it on retreats.

I have been frustrated by my addiction to having to "let it out", and gradually through practice and contemplation of the negative effects, the influence of lust has come down to the point that I very rarely succumb to it.

I suppose we live in very different cultures and there is a huge difference in the level of sexual suggestiveness/freedom in the society. If I was living somewhere in the west or where the culture is more westernized, I'd find it more difficult to subdue my tendencies. Still, it's worth doing with strong determination. As I said, you'll not die ;)

Avi Craimer:
Rather than seeing it in terms of "excess fluid" I experience it as a build up of libidinal energy (maybe this amounts to the same thing).


Isn't that the very purpose of watching erotica ?

If you can overcome attachment to sexual sensations, then engaging in sexual activity is no more of a hindrance to enlightenment than any other empty sense experience.


Now, I am a straight man. That would imply I have absolutely no attachments to sexual sensations derived from a session of homosexual sex. Given thus, why would I will/intend to engage in such activity casually or otherwise? What purpose will it serve me ?

Overcoming sexual attachment and then having sex is just like that. A man cannot have an erection unless he is overcome with lust. Engaging in other empty sense experiences does not require getting subdued by lust.
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Avi Craimer, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

Posts: 114 Join Date: 10/29/13 Recent Posts
Sweet Nothing:


If you can overcome attachment to sexual sensations, then engaging in sexual activity is no more of a hindrance to enlightenment than any other empty sense experience.


Now, I am a straight man. That would imply I have absolutely no attachments to sexual sensations derived from a session of homosexual sex. Given thus, why would I will/intend to engage in such activity casually or otherwise? What purpose will it serve me ?

Overcoming sexual attachment and then having sex is just like that. A man cannot have an erection unless he is overcome with lust.


Let me see if I understand you correctly. You're saying that sexual desire and arousal amounts to nothing more than attachment to sexual sensations. In other words, that there is no cause and effect reality to sexual desire. I find that very hard to believe. In the example you gave of a straight man having sex with another man, there would be no casual basis for desire so sexual sensations would not arise. Being unattached wouldn't change the basic causal wiring of the man's sexuality. On the other hand if a man is with a partner who he is attracted to then sexual sensations (including the mental sensations that make up desire) will arise, and unless the man has an aversion to these sensations, they will naturally, causally, lead him to pursue sexual activity. Having an aversion to the experiences involved in sex is just as much of an attachment as would be craving them. To really clear sex we have to work to clear both craving (lust) and aversion. Doing the latter might involve engaging mindfully in a lot of sexual activity.

Let's make a comparison with jhana. You might think that being unattached to the jhanic factors would prevent jhana from ever arising in the first place. However, this is not the case. Jhana continues to arise in those who are unattached to the jhanic factors. Developing aversion to jhana is not the same as being unattached to jhana. Similarly, sexual desire and arousal can continue to arise in those who are not attached to sexual sensations. The difference in both cases between being attached or not attached is that you don't cling to the sensations or push them away. They arise and pass away without any stickiness.

Now, I did say that sexual sensations are particularly seductive and difficult to clear of attachments. I think that's why most historical religions have had a negative attitude toward sex. It's not easy to engage in sexual activity while remaining completely clear and connected to God/awareness. However, it is possible as the various sexual practices in some tantric traditions demonstrate. Working directly with sexual activity to clear sexual attachments can be a powerful basis for insight.

All that said, I don't think that taking a vow of celibacy on retreat is a bad idea, it might be a great way to really bring the craving/lust into focus for investigation.

Sweet Nothing:
A man cannot have an erection unless he is overcome with lust.


The word lust in this sentence could have two possible meanings. It could mean simply sexual desire or it could specifically mean craving for sexual sensation. If it`s just sexual desire, then it's true to say that most erections are caused lust, however, since lust here is just causal, there is no reason to think this implies attachment. Of course, if lust is taken in the second sense of being craving/attachment then it merely begs the question to say that an erection cannot causally arise without it.
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

Posts: 1335 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
IAMTHAT That Ami:
What is the consensus on Lust/Release during retreats for males?

Consensus? ha ha ha good luck with that one.

Have you ever just stayed with the lust and totally gone with it without doing anything? It may seem counter intuitive but that's what I did on retreat....boy did it suck. Every possible combination of lustful thoughts and fantasies arose and passed away. It was maddening. I felt like the retreat was turning into a total waste of time by the second continuous day of this. Eventually something amazing happened.....pop.....the lust popped like a balloon and all the air went out. No more fantasies, thoughts, nothing more about lust. I was then able to meditate. It seems like a waste of time, but that was what was coming up for me and I just ran with it to the end. I didn't fight it very much with any skillfulness or anything. The process seemed to happen on it's own. It didn't negatively effect my life in any way after the retreat so it seems.
Anyway, something to try.
IAMTHAT That Ami, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

Posts: 47 Join Date: 12/7/13 Recent Posts
Dream Walker:
IAMTHAT That Ami:
What is the consensus on Lust/Release during retreats for males?

Consensus? ha ha ha good luck with that one.

Have you ever just stayed with the lust and totally gone with it without doing anything? It may seem counter intuitive but that's what I did on retreat....boy did it suck. Every possible combination of lustful thoughts and fantasies arose and passed away. It was maddening. I felt like the retreat was turning into a total waste of time by the second continuous day of this. Eventually something amazing happened.....pop.....the lust popped like a balloon and all the air went out. No more fantasies, thoughts, nothing more about lust. I was then able to meditate. It seems like a waste of time, but that was what was coming up for me and I just ran with it to the end. I didn't fight it very much with any skillfulness or anything. The process seemed to happen on it's own. It didn't negatively effect my life in any way after the retreat so it seems.
Anyway, something to try.

dream walker.....

REALLY INSPIRATIONAL!!!!!

I've sat with it for a day and reached maddening levels as well, and then just "let off" for peace of minds sake.

You've given hope though!!!!!
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Avi Craimer, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

Posts: 114 Join Date: 10/29/13 Recent Posts
I've not done too much retreat work, most of my progress has come from home practice. However, I have found that insight meditation directly on a erotic image can lead to very profound insight. Rather than seeing it in terms of "excess fluid" I experience it as a build up of libidinal energy (maybe this amounts to the same thing). As well, I'd recommend metta practice directed toward your sexual desires to ensure that this part of your emotional being does not feel hated or rejected. Because of the pervasive sex-negative attitudes in almost all the traditional religious institutions, it is very difficult to separate the overcoming of perceptual attachment to sexual sensations from a content-level shame or hatred toward your sexual desires. It's also very important to examine all thoughts and feelings of guilt, shame, and negativity about sex, as well as beliefs that sex is a kind of salvation from suffering. If you can overcome attachment to sexual sensations, then engaging in sexual activity is no more of a hindrance to enlightenment than any other empty sense experience.

The challenge with sexual sensations is that they are so seductive that it's hard not to cling to them. Also, if acted upon with sexual activity, then they tend to end too quickly so that we don't have enough time to do vipassana on them, unless one learns ejaculation control to extend the process. Jhana's are similarly seductive and pleasurable, but they can be sustained for long periods. Investigating and clearing attachments to the jhanaic factors of piti and sukka may help make it easier to clear attachment to sexual sensations.

If the issue is that the build up of prostate pressure is to painful, then investigate the pain like you would any other painful sensation. The tension of prostate pressure is likely no more painful than the pain of a sore back from sitting all day in meditation. Arranging your meditation pillow to avoid direct pressure on the perineum would help diminish this discomfort. It also might help to convince yourself on a content level that your prostate and testicles won't explode or become unhealthy from the built-up fluid. The body simply absorbs the excess fluid back into itself and metabolises them.
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tom moylan, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Any tips on Lust/Release during a 30 Day Noting retreat

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
..tissues and aloe vera have always been helpful to have around. i'm not a smoker but have heard there is something particularly satisfying about that afterwards.

sorry for the irreverence but i really couldn't help myself. just in that stage i guess.

tom

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