Thread: Thoughts on Celibacy

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Celibacy

    Curious as to others thoughts and experiences regarding celibacy as a means of truly focusing on practice without the distraction and aversion inducing behavior that sexual relationships may contribute to. I am fully aware that this is not a precept that applies to householders within Buddhism, and am only addressing those 'singles', not those obviously in a current relationship, where this would be significantly more complicated!

    I have personally found that since making a priority of focusing on practice and dedicating all thoughts and actions towards mindfulness, kindness, compassion, non-duality, etc., I am much more at peace and the happiest that I have ever been. (vs. my prior life choices before becoming a practicing buddhist where this was not the case) I have been celibate (no sexual relations with others) for a year and a half now and not 'wanting' or desiring for the complications that this may bring along. I had a lot of enjoyment previously in this area of life, however, also feel that it was a distraction similar to drinking or other behavior that would contribute to not truly living with pure consciousness.

    In addition, finding someone that shares this unique lifestyle and priority of focus (practicing Buddhism, even outside of celibacy) is difficult, as I don't currently have a Sangha and I am mostly doing self retreats outside of attending kirtan and other small yoga and meditation events in the area. (I am an expat in Europe and most Buddhist organizations hold events in the local language.). Therefore, finding someone that would be what I am looking for in order to have a conscious and intimate (true pure connection) in order to have a sexual relationship that lifts both of us up vs. being a distraction, is a needle in a haystack!

    Thoughts and similar reflections by others?

  2. #2
    Hello and welcome, Laralea,

    If you write "celibacy' in the search box facility under the website banner, you should be able to find other topics on this subject, in addition to any replies you might get here.

    With metta,

    Aloka

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    There is a long history of celibacy in religion as a way of building up emotional energy which would otherwise be expended elsewhere. On the other hand there is also a long history of using sex to do something similar, so I guess there is no simple solution to the question. Should meditation be approached by 'clearing the decks' as it were, or in the midst of life with all of its distractions? My experience is that a meditation practice develops best in a period of calm, and just keeping it ticking over during the frantic bits when necessary.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Laralea

    Curious as to others thoughts and experiences regarding celibacy as a means of truly focusing on practice without the distraction and aversion inducing behavior that sexual relationships may contribute to. I am fully aware that this is not a precept that applies to householders within Buddhism, and am only addressing those 'singles', not those obviously in a current relationship, where this would be significantly more complicated!
    I'm not in a sexual relationship with anyone and plan to stay that way.

    Oddly enough, I think I did a lot more formal practice and visited Buddhist centres more often when was in a marriage with a non-Buddhist, and then later on in a relationship with another non- Buddhist, than I actually do now!

    .

  5. #5
    Forums Member Traveller's Avatar
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    For me if one can be celibate one should, if one can't that's ok too, one shouldn't beat oneself up if one can't live up to the standards of a monk, I'd love to be a monk but couldn't cut it! The way of meditation, compassion and wisdom unfolds differently for each individual sentient being and Shakyamuni taught all individuals celibate or not, moral or not without predjudice, meditate for long enough and morality will begin to arise. I used to beat myself up a lot out of fear of Karmic wrong doing by not being to live up to the standards of the teachers I really respected but eventually the realisation dawned on me that the Buddha didn't beat the animal forces of his own mind by fear and aggression towards them, that just compounded the desire, but through compassion towards them and accceptance of them and through that true that peace and the beginnings of mastery of them began to arise. But as Ajahn Chah once said - sometimes the layman sees wisdom before the monk as he truly lives in the world of Dukkha. True morality comes from within and if one waits until one is a completely moral being before beginning to walk the path one will be waiting for a very, very long time.

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    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    I think that when it comes to sex issues are getting conflated. I think it boils down to clinging! do you cling and covet it or just go with the flow as naturally as you can and accept that for a while it is a part of your life especially if you want to procreate and eventually even if you desperately want it, its not going to happen (even with pills) - you have to let it go! If you can do that I am pretty sure its fine. A lot of the injunctions are based on anticipating our addictive and clingy behavior. If it is going to be a problem, avoid it all together.

  7. #7
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laralea View Post
    I have been celibate (no sexual relations with others) for a year and a half now and not 'wanting' or desiring for the complications that this may bring along.
    Hello. For me, when i dropped the previous beguiling expectations around sex, it felt like a huge weight fall off my back. I think we are conditioned by the media & world to have too many unrealistic expectations around sex. Eventually, I found for myself, sex & relationship is merely about (boring) commitment & responsibility (rather than about excitement & thrills). This made celibacy natural & easy. I have been celibate for 30+ years. Its freedom if it suits you. Best wishes

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    Having split after 25years of marriage but now find myself living with my ex due to financial reasons I find myself celibate. In many ways it's lovely as sleeping with someone is kinda giving your power away and controlling as well.

    Our relationship now is very honest and candid and we do argue quite a bit but apart from harmony in my environment I want nothing from my ex. and stand by my views which in the past I might have given in on a bit.

    I think being celibate you are more honest with your views.
    Last edited by JohnC; 24 Mar 20 at 06:43.

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