The Buddha-Dharma Reboot [OPEN GROUP]

Discussion in 'Accountability Partners' started by LOGOS, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. VirtualBartek

    VirtualBartek New Member

    Thank you. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu I'm not anybody special though. I'm no different to you all. Many of you probably have been practicing for longer than I have. It's been about 15 years for me, but only the last 5 have been any kind of serious. Anyway, I'm finding that serious isn't really 'the way' anyway. At least not for me. The more light-hearted my practice becomes, the more I seem to get from it. My practice strengthened after disrobing, strangely enough. But that is just the way for these two feet here and would be different for others. There's lots of feet and lots of 'ways'. At least, there are lots of ways to 'The Way'....which would be to live without generating any new Karma, or to please Allah, or to follow in Jesus' footsteps (or Siddhartha's).

    Anyway, I don't know that I am any closer than anyone else. I have always felt, however, that my addiction to porn/fap/O (I need to learn the terminology) is holding me back from going deeper in my practice. Before I realized it was an addiction, I at least knew that it was linked to Ego. I thought I deserved the pleasure, but always felt guilty afterwards. Many years ago, I would sit to meditate but within a few minutes would be masturbating instead. It took me some years to change that. I suppose when I became 'serious', it was less of an issue. I would masturbate later, or not at all if it was just before bed. The meditation itself became much more important. This didn't really happen until I had the first peaceful/blissful moments in meditation, which took years for me.

    Zazaka, the message you shared with us is beautiful. I am not sure that I can describe it, but I feel like I understand the message. My practice for the past year is a Kriya from a Yogic tradition. The entire process is 'physical' and creates a great amount of upward directed energy. I must be willing to let go of it, however, for it to have any benefit. This is the 'Puja'.

    As mediators, I'm confident that we already have the tools to beat these addictions that we are all here discussing. Mindfulness and right view are our tools....as Bodhisattva worriers we must stay guarding our thoughts...we must not allow the cyclic thoughts in our minds to control us. They are not us. We are not the body, we are not even the mind. Those cyclic thoughts are just conditioned flares that torment us. These are the nāgas that take human forms. Right view and mindfulness will destroy the nāgas on the spot.

    That's enough. Thank you the space here with you all.
    Mettā
    Virtually Me
     
  2. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Hi everyone. I recently had a relapse after 101 days of going strong. Strangely enough I predicted it a bit in my meditation. I could fell all my defenses coming down. But the most important lesson that I learnt in my last 10 day retreat was not to create further suffering for myself. In the past I would have beaten myself up for 'failing', but this time I tried to take care of myself. I went and got a nice massage (non-sexual) from a Thai place around the corner. Just to reconnect with another being. I also got myself food that I liked. It didn't stop me binging later, but being kind to myself is kinda new to me.

    When I was on the retreat I had a day where I really pushed myself and had some incredible blissful sits. I really felt some amazing stuff and was so pleased with myself. The next day I couldn't sit still for five minutes. I fidgeted around on my cushion and got very angry. Then I realized I had developed all this attachment to the previous day. I'd created this identity of this great student, progressing so well, so far on the path. Once I saw this, I let go. Today is today, not yesterday, not tomorrow. All I can work with is today. Be present, be humble. Once I accepted that, I could once again sit an open myself up to the world.

    Having counter is great, but most important is what we do today. Today I have not PMO'd. I'm not going to. Today I will keep myself busy and stay off the computer. Today I taught a group of students as part of my new job as a lecture. Today I helped share my love of my craft with the world. Today is good.

    I hope you are all well. With Metta.

    PC.
     
  3. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    Dear PC -

    I am happy to read you here. I am sorry for your slip up, but it sounds like you have rebounded.
    Being clear of addiction for 101 days is amazing in itself, and that surely means that you are strong enough to be fully free of P/MO if you desire to be.

    I think we each need to work towards what is ok for us in terms of M and O - I think there's nothing wrong with some M from time to time, we've been doing that for release since the dawn of time... And certainly O is great on those special occasions when you feel it's appropriate, maybe nicest with a partner...

    I think it's the compulsive, addictive, and self-harm that comes from these behaviors that we are avoiding.
    It comes down to what is healthy sexuality, doesn't it?

    It's much easier when we're talking about something like smoking. Smoking is bad. So you don't smoke. I smoked for 20 years. I eventually got over it by going cold turkey. At some point I really started to convince myself deep down that I just wasn't a smoker anymore. I am not a person who does that stuff - that doesn't belong to me - it's out of my life. Now when I see smoking it generally doesn't trigger me. I think sex addiction will be kind of the same.

    Namaste my friend.
     
  4. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    The Buddha-Dharma Reboot

    Dear VM -

    It is amazing to have an ex-monk here! I for one am very happy, as someone just putting a toe onto the spiritual path.
    I started by doing lots of yoga, and that led me to meditation, which led me to Buddhism. I am also interested in Tantra because it's an active fusion of spirituality and sexuality.

    I am attaching here an example of the kriya that's known to redirect sexual energy away from the root chakra (genital area) and up into the heart / head where it is transformed into your life energy.
    It's hard to get into at first, but if you have been doing yoga for awhile and are interested in developing a sensitivity to energy in your body, it's worth a try.
    http://youtu.be/47O1fQs6f_0

    Sat Nam Kriya is an inner art, related to other internal things that we are doing here when we sit, when we go inside, when we try to get closer to being, when we are present. Opening up to these processes is liberation.

    best to you all, and welcome again,

    zz
     
  5. VirtualBartek

    VirtualBartek New Member

    Re: The Buddha-Dharma Reboot

    Hi Zazaka,

    Thanks again for the nice words. I watched the video and it and looks very potent. Kundalini is very powerful and can have many benefits, but can also be very harmful. Some of these kriyas can be damaging physically while others mentally. They can bring you to states that we might not know how to handle. It's best to have a teacher with this kind of thing. I learned my kriya from a teacher and I was asked not to teach it just for these reasons. Done correctly, however, there is a lot to gain. Especially for us if we can take sexual energy and transform it to something useful. Yoga has become very commercial and one must take care. I am no judge of what kriyas can be done by anyone vs which ones can't. I just thought it useful to highlight some dangers in case others read our conversation and decide to take up such practices out of the blue. I think most important for us is to develop mindfulness so we realize when our brains are taking us for a ride. We can develop this with very simple and safe yet also powerful mindfulness of breathing meditation. I've heard of another kriya similar to the Sat Nam that is apparently also great for weight loss because of the powerful stomach muscle contractions one must use.

    Here is a video from Sadhguru about Kundalini, but sorry, no methods here: http://youtu.be/9kL5mS7MD4I

    And here is something more appropriate to this forum and for everyone. It is Sadhguru speaking about sexuality: http://youtu.be/MnRRIw2gi6k
     
  6. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    Re: The Buddha-Dharma Reboot

    Dear VM - Sadhguru is awesome, I really like him! There is so much wisdom there. I always shied away from men in robes speaking about chakras, but now I say, BRING IT ON. Since I haven't O'd in 21 days and started working in a tantra goup, I can really say that sexual energy in your body is a powerful force, and it doesn't have to stay in your genitals. You don't have to objectify people sexually, and O is not the only goal of sex. There is so much more. I think that what I love about the philosophy of tantra is that our sexuality is divine, it can be liberating, it should be a source of joy, and the more joy it brings us (and pleasure) the more we have to share with others.

    I know I'm on a kind of 'kick' these days, but the efforts of the last months have brought me a lot of clarity, and things are really starting to click.
     
  7. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    How are people doing?
    Come on, this is the single most enlightening / scintillating thread in here :p !

    I came across this today, which sounds wonderful if anyone is looking for an easy to approach, one minute exercise - from the people at heart math.

    http://www.heartmath.com/personal-use/quick-coherence-technique.html

    The idea of breathing into and out of your heart area, and bringing attention to the heart and down and away from the head, aligns nicely with meditation.
     
  8. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    brahmacharya

    I am thinking a lot today about the concept of brahmacharya in yoga.
    It is usually interpreted as celibacy, but really it is about 'continence' - not giving in to urges, controlling desire.
    I think it's very relevant to what we are doing here. I am finding that my own version of it - no O for the last 23 days - has really changed me for the better.

    I have more energy for my practices, for work, and for other people. My anxiety is seriously half of what it was before. I am pretty afraid to have an orgasm now, actually. So I am walking ahead with one foot in front of the other, hoping to keep on receiving the benefits of my work. If it's good now, how good could it be in 60 or 90 days?
     
  9. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    I love this:

    There is no hope for you to have Self-realisation or knowledge of the Self if you are not well established in Brahmacharya. Brahmacharya is the master-key to open the realms of eternal bliss. Brahmacharya is the very foundation of Yoga. Just as a house that is built on a rotten foundation will surely fall down, so also you will fall down from your meditation if you have laid no proper foundation, viz., the attainment of perfect Brahmacharya. You may meditate for a period of twelve years and yet you will have no success in Samadhi if you have not destroyed the subtle lust or the craving-seed that lingers in the innermost recess of your heart. You will have to search out carefully this dire enemy—lust, that lies hidden in the various corners of your heart. Just as the fox hides itself in the bush, so also this lust hides itself in the substratum and corners of the mind. You can detect its presence only if you are vigilant. Intense self-examination is very necessary. Just as powerful enemies can be conquered only if you attack them from all sides, so also you can keep the powerful senses under control if you attack them from all sides, from within and without, from above and from beneath.
     
  10. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    Hello Zazaka and everyone.

    I had a few tough weeks ... slipping back into old patterns and old behaviors. Still keeping up with the visible parts of my practice, i.e., sitting at the zendo and participating in the rituals and a study group, but at home it was another story.

    When I finally got a hold of myself a few days ago, I was assisted hugely by a part of practice that I don't often celebrate as much as, say, meditation or great dharma books. This time it was a precept that grabbed me: A Disciple of the Buddha does not Misuse Sexuality.

    Sometimes, when things are falling apart, the simple and clear structure that precepts provide can be immensely useful --- this was such an instance for me.
     
  11. Another one that goes along with it is "Don't cloud the mind"
     
  12. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Trying to understand what constituted 'Sexual Misconduct' is what brought me here. :)

    PC.
     
  13. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    I am struggling with this as well.
    As a gay man, you can kind of just have as much sex with as many people as you want.
    I've not acted out in quite a while, but I have to say that the cravings are really pretty intense right about now.
    I've been a really, really good boy, and I have to say that now I want to be 'bad' - this in itself probably reveals my addiction.
    But I'm not sure how to get out of my conundrum, as soon as the hormones take over.
    If everybody's happy at the end of the day, who cares?
    Or by the idea of avoiding sexual misuse - do we improve our karmic / spiritual situation?
    What's misuse? Is gay sex misuse? Is sex outside of a loving relationship misuse?
     
  14. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    This is a great question, probably worthy of lots of discussion here.

    I pretty much refuse to believe that gay sex itself is abusing sexuality. I think there is room also for sexuality expressed outside of long-term loving relationships. I have had some "friends with benefits" who I have cared for a lot, respected a lot, truly enjoyed a friendship with that person, and sexuality was a part of that --- along with communication, mutual concern for health, and so forth.

    Hookups are another matter -- they are "context free" sexuality, more about getting my pleasure than sharing pleasure with another person, in a context such that that sharing expresses respect, friendship, and the rest.

    It can be very difficult to figure out where "FWB" ends and Hookup begins --- partly it's the nature of delusion to blur these boundaries. Many cultures clarify this with institutionalized committed relationships (e.g., marriage), and I think it does place a great responsibility on those who are not married to be clear for themselves and with others where that line is drawn.
     
  15. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    Hello hello -

    Well, I think this is pretty much the critical question: the context, use, and consequences of sexual behavior.
    Certainly sex is positive, it's a basic energy of life. And sharing pleasure with others is a basic joy of life.
    I think as living beings we know when we have something beautiful in our hands - be it connection to another, high energy juiciness and exchange, love, spirit, whatever... There are so many things.

    I always come back to the food metaphor. You know when you're eating junkfood, and you know when you're eating the most delicious, gourmet, made with love cuisine. I guess the question is what you choose for your diet. PLus the fact that junk food is addictive. Whether you're a glutton, or a gourmet.

    I know that I tend to occasionally pig out, but I'm also a really good cook.
     
  16. Hermes Hiccups

    Hermes Hiccups New Member

    Wow great group/thread love to be a part of this, I have been a long time dabbler in Zen and have always had a feeling to become more involved. I think regarding more casual sex (and a lot of other actions really) should come down to being able to listen to our true self. Logically casual sex should be okay no one gets hurt, both sides enjoy it, no calories, etc what is wrong with this. Why then is the little voice warning us? Is it just societies idea that it is bad? for me it's not. I think easy sex takes me away from true self and not being in the moment, just like junk food or other areas where we reach. One of my old Zen teachers who I talked to would tell me when these urges or thoughts came up be still and try and trace where these feelings are coming from in your body. I did this and made the urges calm down or go away after better practice he started to ask me where I thought these feelings are coming from. I was usually able to find some uneasiness, or sadness or anger all leading back to fear being the cause. So when these urges come up when I feel the warrior in my I try to just be with it knowing the more I can the more my body will get use to not doing anything other than try and relax. Its a good practice much harder than it sounds
     
  17. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    Amen to that HH! Great post. Casual sex is not zero calories, it's empty calories, there's a difference I think! I'm thinking about this a lot right now.
     
  18. Hermes Hiccups

    Hermes Hiccups New Member

    Zazaka, Funny was reading book Marianne Williams a return to love and saw this thought of you, I believe might be quote from "A course in miracles"

    One of the ways a body can manufacture depression is through loveless sex. Our sexual impulses become a canvases onto which we extend our love or project our fear. When sex is of the Holy Spirit, it is a deepening of communication. When it is of the ego, it is a substitute for communication. The Holy Spirit uses sex to heal us; the ego uses it to wound us. Sometimes we have thought that sex with another person would cement the bond between us. and instead it turned out to manufacture more illusion an anxiety than there was before. It is only when sex is a vehicle for spiritual communion that it is truly loving, that it joins us to another person. Then it is a sacred act.
     
  19. Wanderoo

    Wanderoo New Member

     
  20. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    Namaste my friend. Sexuality is the most powerful energy we have; it's the one with which we create other human beings, and sexual ecstasy is a way of touching the divine. That's why getting over PMO and sex addiction is so important - it's a crucial gateway to going further in your own human development.
     

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