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Practice of Celibacy

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  • Practice of Celibacy

    Dear Bhante,

    Can you give me some advice on the practice of celibacy? How to practice celibacy in a world which delights in sexual misconduct? Previously when I was working for a lay life, my ego was satisfied through material gains and social status, I would perceive people who would engage in such activities as low-minded and wouldn't even bother since society would reward me handsomely for the work that I was putting in. Now that I've decided to become a monk and have given up all that protection that the thick ego of mine was providing and decided to practice celibacy all I can think of are the people who engage in such pursuits and am filled with rage about this issue. Can you please give me some advice to someone who has just started, I can say on the practice of celibacy?

    With Metta,
    Abhishek V

  • #2
    Can you please give me some advice to someone who has just started, I can say on the practice of celibacy?
    Dear Abhishek,

    Your question gave me something to think about. As monks we must give up all sexual activity. I have been celibate for nearly 6 years now and I think the principle of "use it or lose it" applies. The longer you go without sex the less interesting it is. As you start to delight in unworldly pursuits you see sex as a lower practice. In a monastery it is a lot easier. Out in lay life there are all sorts of things that give rise to lust including billboards promoting lingerie or members of the opposite sex going out for the evening all dressed up. I visit my parents a couple of times a year and often something will turn up on the telly that can arouse passions. So, once you are in a monastery you are likely to have an easier time being a celibate.

    With metta,

    J.R.

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    • #3
      Thank You, Ven. Bhikkhu Jhanarato for sharing your insights.

      With Metta,
      Abhishek V

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      • #4
        I think it gets easier in time indeed. I live a celebate life for 19 years now. I don't find it a difficult precept to keep.

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        • #5
          Dear Jo,

          Thank You for your comment. I think the problem with me was the concept of Celibacy(Brahmacariya) was not something which I identified myself with, somehow it was always the last thing on my mind. You can't really blame the world for such things, this spiritual practice is something that you need to undertake yourself for your own benefit.

          With Metta,
          Abhishek V

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          • #6
            Abhishek,

            Maybe the problem is rooted in the drive to identify or not identify with either celibacy or non-celibacy. This dichotomous perception, and the dual-natured drive of doing that underlies it, perhaps doesn't see the whole truth of the matter -- doesn't see anatta. Maybe look into this and you'll find that the "problem" gradually fades away... :-)

            By the way, when did you decide to ordain? I remember us talking about this before and you mentioned wanting to do it on a trial basis. Is that still the case? Which monastery do you intend to go to?

            I wish you the best!

            With metta,

            Adam

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