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Many times when we strive for celibacy, we encounter temptation and other obstacles that hinders us. In my case, I have went through periods of depression where I thought things weren't going to change, especially since we live in a sexually oriented society, and you can't turn a corner or bat an eye without seeing some form of this. Many times I asked myself why? I considered it karma from the past.... When one desires, the desire is completely formulated and inseparable from ones emotion and opinion. If you aren't in a good mood, certain comedy will not make you laugh. As well visa-versa, when someone is happy, certain unfortunate things will not bring them down. Desire and emotion all are both dependent. If a situation happens, these two things are easy changed without much thought. One can consider these two as a thought themselves. Without intention, they are simply motionless in a sense. But the moment one acts out out of these desires and emotions, they gain meaning in a more physical aspect. To 'combat' these things, you must pay attention to the root. Asking yourself meta-cognitive questions like: What significance does this thought have? What does it mean to me? Do I consider this negative or positive? If negative, why would I think about it in the first place? If positive, how would this affect my life? Positively or negatively? How is my heart rate affected? What about my breathing? If it is emotion your feeling, does it sprout desire? If it is desire, does it sprout emotion? Are they positive or negative? Where does this thought root from? Does it come from incidences in the past? Where in the past? Who was I compared to who I am now? If I was different, why does it still affect me now? etc.. etc.. If emotion does arise from thinking these things, don't consider it. What i mean it to allow it to go. Don't consider it's coming. Let it be distant from you if you want it to be. Lastly, when you do let go, ensure that you let go of letting go. This is a good technique because once you let go and there is nothing left, but yet you are still trying to let go, this intention will create something more. That is why many times abstinence can be disrupted. When one is too concerned on the cause, it concerns the mind, and makes it a bigger situation. Thinking about it, before I intentionally went abstinent, I could have just wen abstinent... if that makes sense. Please comment on what you think. Add more meta-cognitive questions, give advice, etc... Thank you to all those who have read this, and good luck! :-)
Background: 20 year old male, turning 21 in the spring. Former great loss of jing, ojas, meaning of being "man", etc. due to pornography and masturbation. Of course I have long since quit these behaviors in favor of spiritual practice. But I want to take it a step further - I'd like to remain celibate for approximately 10 years in order to give myself opportunity to deepen spiritually and use my creative energies for other purposes. Some call this "Brahmacharya". and traditionally it lasts 12 years in disciplined practice, but I'm shooting for the decade between ages 20 and 30. This is the time of my life when I feel I will have the most potentially to do and achieve anything I want. While celibate I've noticed that the creative CHI life energies naturally flow elsewhere; art, music, literature, film, theater, even raw emotion seem to come alive for me at a whole new level. I am an artist and would like to seriously devote my energy to creation because I believe I have something to contribute to this realm in the world. I am currently seeing a girlfriend, and we are dating, but I haven't yet mentioned to her my plan. That said I feel that she is a soulmate, and perhaps she would understand (cliche, but true love waits). I believe dating should occur for years before marriage. Am I deluding myself by believing that such a period of self-realization would change me as a person, and perhaps take me some distance toward the realm of enlightenment?