Vipassana Meditation After Sotapanna Stage

Viewing 33 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #37174
      Yash RS
      Participant

      Dear Lal, could you please tell me how to do Vipassana Meditation as mentioned in Tipitaka. Do we have to contemplate on a Dhamma concept in it? And if so, then what’s the difference between the techniques of Vipassana and Anapansati.
      And my one more question is that during any meditation session, say Ariya Metta Bhavana, do we have to contemplate on the same concept for hours? The mind becomes tired by contemplating on the same concept. Please help me solve this issue

    • #37179
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Vipassana meditation is badly interpreted these days.
      – The conventional idea is that one should sit in formal meditation and do “breath mediation” first and then vipassana. But the emphasis is on “breath mediation”. At least the practitioners get stuck in breath meditation since that does lead to some kind of samadhi and even anariya jhana.

      Furthermore, the type of vipassana being taught is incorrect too, most of the time.

      In order to REMOVE defilements, one MUST first understand the unfruitful and dangerous nature of this world.
      – That is the core teaching of the Buddha embedded in the Four Noble Truths, Tilakkhana, and Paticca Samuppada.
      – It is not possible to explain that in a forum post. I recommend reading the following section: “Paṭicca Samuppāda, Tilakkhana, Four Noble Truths

      This is also what I just tried to explain in the other thread that you started sometime back:
      Attaining Anariya Jhana as a Sotapanna

      • #37180
        Yash RS
        Participant

        Dear Lal,
        I have attained the Sotapanna stage of Nibbana. What I wanted to ask is to attain higher stages (Sakadagami and Anagami, Especially Anagami)
        I want to learn the correct vippasana technique. And in an attempt to attain higher stages I am doing Ariya Metta Bhavana and facing the problem as mentioned earlier. Please help me fade away this issue also please answer the question asked earlier.
        Regards,Yash

    • #37182
      Lal
      Keymaster

      OK. I forgot that.

      Since you are a Sotapanna, you have removed the wrong views about this world. The wrong views here are those to take this world to be of “nicca, sukha, atta” nature. But in reality, the world is of “anicca, dukkha, anatta” nature.
      – You know that, but I am stating that for the benefit of the others.

      So, a Sotapanna has removed diṭṭhi vipallāsa.
      – One gets to the next stage (Sakadagami, Anagami) by removing saññā vipallāsa

      That means even though one realizes that attaching to worldly things WILL lead to suffering, it is difficult to remove the saññā that automatically binds one’s mind to sensual pleasures.
      – The most effective bhavana for that is “asubha bhavana.”

      The “Rāga Sutta (AN 6.107)” succinctly explains that.
      – The English translation there is not that good. For example “You should develop the perception of ugliness to give up greed,.” could be better stated as, “You should contemplate on the unfruitful nature of “mind-pleasing things” to give up kama raga“.

      Thus, the suitable meditation is to contemplate the asubha nature of “mind-pleasing things” in this world..

      Also, see, “Vipallāsa (Diṭṭhi, Saññā, Citta) Affect Saṅkhāra

    • #37184
      Christian
      Participant

      I’m doing a practical guide on the basis of Lal posts (and overall my own understanding at this point) so I may post that step-by-step in the future (at the Anagami stage, if that will happen of course)

      Right now after Sotapanna you need to contemplate the aspect of “attachment” to holding things or “having” things via Tlakkhana, you can develop samadhi on any kind of object but chanting is the best and most easy because it does not need heavy concentration. Here are examples:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBf9dkqTBd8 (put subtitles on)

    • #37185
      Yash RS
      Participant

      Dear,Lal
      No,I don’t understand the Sinhala Language.
      Furthermore could you please tell me if there is any particular procedure/method to do Asubha Bhavana,like in a sitting meditation session? Also could you please elaborate “contemplate the asubha nature of “mind-pleasing things” in this world..” via some examples so that I can actually realise some “danger” of sense pleasures(or does it come into realisation on its own?)
      Regards, Yash

    • #37186
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hello Yash,

      You asked: “Also could you please elaborate ‘contemplate the asubha nature of “mind-pleasing things‘ in this world..”

      Asubha means “not fruitful” or “not beneficial.”

      That goes with the other three characteristics of nature: anicca, dukkha, and anatta.

      First, can you tell me what you understand by anicca, dukkha, and anatta?

    • #37191
      Yash RS
      Participant

      Dear Lal,
      This is what I have comprehended

      Anicca- we cannot maintain any happiness to our complete satisfaction
      Dukkha- due to this we experience dukkha in order to strive for that happiness in this samsara
      Anatta- therefore we are helpless in this rebirth process

      And also I have understood what you told, but the problem is that when I am contemplating on a Dhamma concept say as in Ariya Metta Bhavana “May myself and all living beings attain the Sōtapanna stage and be free from suffering in the apāyā forever”
      “May myself and all living beings attain the Sakadāgāmi stage and be healthy forever”.
      “May myself and all living beings attain the Anāgāmi stage and be content (attain peaceful happiness) forever”.
      “May myself and all living beings attain the Arahant stage and be free from all suffering and attain the full Nibbānic bliss”.
      , should I contemplate on this same thing for hours?

    • #37195
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hello Yash,

      OK. I see that you are likely to have a basic understanding of a Sotapanna/Sotapanna Anugami. You also seem to be quite motivated.
      – I think many of those who post on the forum and also write to me could be at the same stage. I use the words “likely/could be/seem to be” etc. only because no one can really know about the attainments of another (only a Buddha can know anyone’s attainment).

      I had been at your stage for several years. That is why I had not really written that much about getting to higher stages. Even today, I am not an Anagami. It is quite possible that I have gotten to the Sakadagami stage.
      – So, it could be beneficial to describe my experiences and how I have made progress. Also, what I am doing to get to the Anagami stage.

      Let us first take a simple example of an alcoholic trying to break that habit.

      1. The first thing to do is to abstain from drinking as much as possible. In the same way, one should abstain from obvious “problem activities” Indulging in sensual pleasures, not trying to control anger, etc. are obvious things. Some people attain meditation retreats and then go home and watch adult movies. That is not going to work if one really wants to attain the Anagami stage.
      2. One will NEVER break that habit without understanding the “bad outcomes of being an alcoholic”. An average human is like an alcoholic. He has NOT SEEN (with wisdom) that craving mind-pleasing things WILL lead to future suffering. So, at the Sotapanna stage one has removed “Ditthi vipallasa“. Make sure to read that post on vipallasa: “Vipallāsa (Diṭṭhi, Saññā, Citta) Affect Saṅkhāra
      3. Even after getting that understanding (or clear vision) it is not EASY to remove the feelings/perceptions TO BE attached. One KNOWS getting attached is bad, but one may not be able to overcome the desire. That is the critical “sanna vipallasa.” This is why it is not easy to get rid of kama raga and become an Anagami.
      4. However, even a Sotapanna Anugami‘s mind WILL NOT allow any “papa kamma” (worse types of immoral deeds that can bring rebirth in the apayas). Thus even though an alcoholic who had given up drinking MAY go back to being an alcoholic, a Sotapanna Anugami WILL NEVER go back to the level of an average human.
      5. How would one know that one has attained at least the Sotapanna Anugami stage? It is a critical decision that only a given person can make for themselves. But it is easy to determine whether one has attained the Anagami stage: Watch an adult movie and see whether one does not get any sexual thoughts, as I pointed out in the discussion on “Attaining Anariya Jhana as a Sotapanna

      Now we can discuss how to start making progress (on getting rid of kama raga), assuming that one is at least a Sotapanna Anugami.
      – I will think about how best to start on that. Others can comment and also ask questions about what I write. We can start by commenting on what I wrote above. Any faults with what I wrote? Anything to add?

      • #37199
        Yash RS
        Participant

        Thanku Lal, it’ll be a great journey 🙏!

        And could you tell me how would I come to know when you start on this, will you be making a new series of posts?

    • #37201
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I will first write here. As the discussion evolves, that material could be put in regular posts.

      The main issue that I have been focusing on recently is clarifying some key issues for beginners. English translations of many suttas is outright wrong or do not have sufficient explanations. Since that affects MANY people, I want to spend enough time on that too.

    • #37208
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Comment 1: Introduction

      First a reminder. These comments assume that one has SEEN (with wisdom) the anicca, dukkha, anatta nature of this world. That is the same as understanding the Four Noble Truths and Paticca Samuppada.

      1. It is a good idea to understand the meaning of “raga“. It means one gives preference to remaining in the rebirth process. If one has understood the dangers of remaining in the rebirth process, one would START LOSING that preference and turn the mind toward attaining Nibbana. It is a gradual process. Only at the Arahant stage is one totally separated from this world.

      2. One cannot even think about preferring Nibbana if one has the 10 types of miccha ditthi. One of those is not believing in the rebirth process. If that is the case, then no point in pursuing any stage of Nibbana, let alone the Anagami stage.

      3. Buddha’s main assertion is that one will be subjected to suffering (in the rebirth process) as long as one craves things in this world. We can just focus on the cravings for sensual pleasures because an Anagami would only lose such cravings, i.e., kama raga. Rupa raga and arupa raga are removed at the Arahant stage.

      4. When one has “kama raga” one gives preference to be reborn in kama loka (not in the apayas, of course, but in human or Deva realms.) One will be born in the apayas if one commits highly immoral deeds. One will be reborn in human or Deva realms if one has not accumulated apayagami kamma AND if one has not given up the desire for sensual pleasures, i.e., if one has kama ragaOne has “kama raga” if one places a high value in sensory pleasures.

      5. One can commit highly immoral deeds (apayagami deeds) ifkama raga is intense.  That apayagami level of kama raga PERMANENTLY goes away at the Sotapanna Anugami stage. Here is something CRITICAL to understand. A Sotapanna Anugami DOES NOT need to willfully refrain from such actions. Even under highly-tempting situations, a Sotapanna Anugami will not be CAPABLE of carrying out an apayagami action.

      6. That means a Sotapanna Anugami has removed “ditthi vipallasa.” That cleanses that mind in getting rid of the “worst level” of avijja anusaya, which is “ditthi anusaya.” Of course, that is fully realized at the Sotapanna stage, but that is guaranteed.

      7. Now we get to the Sakadagami/Anagami stages. Here the key factor is getting rid of the lower two levels of kama raga. At the Sakadagami stage, the tendency to “own stuff” that can bring sensual pleasures goes away, but the desire to enjoy such things will still be there. This is what we are going to be focused on. 

      – This is the same as saying that even though “ditthi vipallasa” about the value of “sense-pleasing things” goes away at the Sotapanna Anugami stage, one will still have the tendency to “enjoy sensual pleasures.” This means one’s mind will still have a “strong level of attraction” to sensual pleasures.
      – That WRONG PERCEPTION (sanna vipallasa) goes away in two stages. First, at the Sakadagami stage, the desire to “collect things that provide sensual pleasures” like houses, cars, etc goes away (vatthukāmā removed)
      – But that sanna vipallasa completely goes away only at the Anagami stage (kilesakāmā removed). That is when one would lose all desires for any sensual pleasure.
      – In either case, one does not need to willfully control one’s actions. The mind would not allow it, just like in #5 above.

      8. I need to explain that last part. Most of the “desires” that we have are mind-made. That is why the Buddha called vinnana a magician.

      – This “mind-made vedana” is “samphassa-ja-vedana.” It is critical to understand that. In Paticca Samuppada, “phassa paccaya vedana” is just the short form. It is really “samphassa paccaya samphassa-ja-vedana.”

      – The point is that all these “urges” we have are truly mind-made. When the mind “sees” the futility of any action/speech/thought, it just would not go through with it. The mind will AUTOMATICALLY stop generating “samphassa” or “contacts with greed, anger, or ignorance” at that level of understanding.

      9. In other words, the mind will stop attaching to sensual pleasures when it truly comprehends the anicca nature of such actions.

      – To put it another way, the mind has to realize that anything associated with sensual pleasures is of NO VALUE. Not only that, it will prevent one overcome rebirths in kama loka. As long as one is kama loka, the possibility of rebirth in the apayas is there. That is the danger.

      – The same is also stated as seeing the “asubha nature” of the world (in this case, the asubha nature of things that can bring sensual pleasures). Average humans perceive “luxuries” of nice houses, cars, as “subha” or auspicious nature. But an Ariya (Noble Person) needs to see their asubha nature. As long as one can see “value” in those things, one’s mind is not freed from kama loka.

      10. The above is the foundation for getting to the Anagami stage.

      – If there are questions, please refer to the bullet # unless it is a general question.

    • #37226
      cubibobi
      Participant

      Yash said:

      “And my one more question is that during any meditation session, say Ariya Metta Bhavana, do we have to contemplate on the same concept for hours? The mind becomes tired by contemplating on the same concept. Please help me solve this issue”.

      The Meditation section, if you haven’t gone through them, should give you guidance on this. I revisit this section time and time again.

      Bhāvanā (Meditation)

      Near the end of that series, Lal shared his own experience of his practice of Bojjhaṅga Bhāvanā and metta Bhāvanā:

      Bojjhaṅga Bhāvanā and metta Bhāvanā

      I look forward to any new experiences Lal will be sharing in this forum thread.

      Best,
      Lang

    • #37229
      Christian
      Participant

      Mettabhavana is feeling meditation tho, you can not just constantly focus on wish as it will turn into one-pointed concentration

    • #37232
      Lal
      Keymaster

      It is not clear what you are trying to say. Please explain what you mean.

      • #37236
        Christian
        Participant

        If you keep wishing happiness it will become “mantra practice” or “one pointed concentration”, if metta is felt it will be very pleasant feeling in the chest that will lead to 1st jhana if one will then focus on it

    • #37238
      Lal
      Keymaster

      This obsession with jhana is doing a lot of harm.
      – It is not that jhanas are bad. If one gets to jhanas easily, that is fine, but one still needs to be aware of the “anicca nature” of any jhana. It can become a distraction.
      – Not only us, but ANY living being (any animal, any “hell being”) has cultivated even the highest jhanas in the past. What is there to show for that now?

      One should TRY TO cultivate jhanas AFTER getting magga phala. It is even better to wait until one gets to the Anagami stage (but sometimes Ariya jhanas come with the Anagami stage, depending on the person). Otherwise, there is a risk of “getting stuck” in jhanas.
      – Many people who have attained jhanas believe they are Ariya jhana, but most of them don’t have Ariya jhana. As I have explained, even one with the FIRST Ariya jhana would be an Anagami. Most of the people that I know who believe they have Ariya jhanas still have kama raga. But they are under the illusion that they have Ariya jhana. That is a very bad outcome.

      P.S. What one needs to do is not to “keep wishing” to have something that belongs to “this world”. It is the opposite of what one needs to be doing (wishing and working towards Nibbana, to be free of this world). One needs to understand Buddha Dhamma (Paticca Samuppada) and realize the unfruitfulness AND dangers of wishing for things in this world (those are abhisankhara). That includes wishing for jhanas.
      – Of course, if one has anariya jhana and KNOWS THAT and ALSO KNOWS how not to get “stuck”, that is fine.

    • #37253
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Comment 2: Anagami Stage and Family Life

      First a reminder. These comments assume that one has SEEN (with wisdom) the anicca, dukkha, anatta nature of this world. That is the same as understanding the Four Noble Truths and Paticca Samuppada.

      1. We have all read about the fact that Anagami is someone who has removed “kama raga.”

      – As I explained in Comment 1 above, “When one has “kama raga” one gives preference to be reborn in kama loka.” One has “kama raga” if one places a high value on sensory pleasures.
      – That will happen as long as one cultivates abhisankhara of two types: apunnabhisankhara and punnabhisankhara.
      Apunnabhisankhara are immoral deeds. But how can punnabhisankhara lead to rebirths?

      2. Punnabhisankhara are associated with engaging in moral deeds AND also cultivation of the first four (rupavacara jhana) without comprehension of Tilakkhana/Noble Truths/Paticca Samuppada.

      – With the comprehension of Tilakkhana, punna kamma become the same as kusala kamma. Kusala kamma are those that will lead to Nibbana. See, “Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Puñña and Pāpa Kamma.” 
      – Also see, “Rebirths Take Place According to Abhisaṅkhāra.”

      3. That is why one has to transcend above and beyond “doing good deeds or even cultivating anariya jhana” to get to the Anagami stage.
      – One cannot be an Anagami as long as one continues doing abhisankhara that will lead to rebirths in either the 11 realms of kama loka (four apayas, human realm, 6 Deva realms) or even in the rupavacara Brahma realms (except those reserved for Anagamis).
      – To get there, one MUST cultivate/comprehend Tialkkhana (anicca, dukkha, anatta nature) of those realms.
      – when that becomes successful, the mind WILL NOT be attached to any sensual pleasures: tastes, smells, and body touches. Of course, that last one includes sex.

      4. That is why it is not easy to become an Anagami WHILE being a “householder.” One has to abstain from any sensual pleasures including sex.
      – Of course, that is not done only by willpower. It happens NATURALLY as one understands the deeper levels of Tilakkhana. Still, it is an impossible task while being an “average married person.”
      – Our children are independent now and my wife and I decided to live Anagārika lives. See the Wikipedia article “Anagārika” (Of course, we don’t wear “white clothes or robes” as mentioned in that article. It is all in the mind!)
      – However, this may not be an option for many.
      – That is why I had avoided discussing this issue in detail. But it keeps coming up and it is a good idea to understand the issues involved in getting to the Anagami stage.

      Please feel to ask questions or comment. It is important to understand the practical implications as well as underlying concepts.

    • #38141
      Yash RS
      Participant

      Dear Lal,
      The more I try to do Ariya Metta Bhavana, the more my mind becomes heated,the more angry I start to get. Moreover, whenever I try to divert my mind from sense pleasures the more strong the craving becomes after a few days, especially towards sexual activities. Whenever I try to control my sexual urges, they become strong mostly at the 6th or 7th day and then i indulge in masturbation. I am not able to control myself at these things especially the sexual ones. Please help.

    • #38146
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hello Yash,

      I just made a comment on a similar issue in the following thread: “Meditation Techniques

      My comments there are fully applicable to your situation as well.
      – Instead of angry thoughts discussed there, yours are lustful thoughts.
      – So, instead of metta Bhavana being suitable for that case, it is asubha Bhavana that would apply here. That means contemplating the bad (long-term) consequences of engaging in sensual activities.

      Of course, if one is married, one does not need to abstain from sex. There were many Sotapannas who lived moral family lives during the time of the Buddha. Vishaka and Anāthapiṇḍika were the two foremost lay disciples of the Buddha who lived family lives. Both were Sotapannas.
      – If one wants to avoid any sexual activities and work toward the Anagami stage, the issue of how to deal with the family situation must be addressed first.

      • #38164
        Yash RS
        Participant

        Thanks Lal🙏

    • #38154
      Tobias G
      Participant

      What means the word anagārika?

    • #38155
      Lal
      Keymaster

      See, “Anagārika

      P.S. As I explained in a recent comment, I started living an Anagarika life a couple of years ago. But I don’t wear white clothes, etc., It is all in mind.

    • #38159
      cubibobi
      Participant

      Hello Yash,

      Many posts on this site address the danger of kama raga, but I’d like to suggest one post in particular at the moment:

      What is “Kāma”? It is not Just Sex

      #4 of the post (last bullet) says:

      “In fact, most times sexual enjoyment comes from just thinking about a past experience or an anticipated one. The actual contact pleasure is relatively short-lived.”

      If you contemplate the above point you’ll see how true it is and gain many insights. Besides thinking about a past experience and an anticipated encounter, we also fantasize things on our own. Too much work (abhisankhara) for just a few seconds of sukha vedana.

      This is an example of kāmachanda, and many of us have it; after all most of us are not anagamis. Contemplate the above point, plus whatever else in the site that deals with kāmachanda / kama raga, at a time when the mind is free from it.

      Also, at the moment the mind is free from kāmachanda, notice how “cool” (niveema) it is; that is niramisa sukha, which is longer lasting, and can serve as a “convincer” that sex is not all it’s cracked up to be.

      Best of luck to you!
      Lang

      • #38162
        Yash RS
        Participant

        Thanks Lang🙏

    • #38160
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thanks, Lang. I forgot about that post.

    • #40506
      LayDhammaFollower
      Participant

      Lal, I did read this thread.

      I also read about your laylife as angarika.

      My question is other than from following eight or ten percepts, what other practices are to be done for creating suitable enviornment for progress further on path while living laylife?

      Also, Laylife is obviously not as pristine as monastic life.

      There is more chance of tanha to arise in laylife due to diverse sense inputs.

      So, I guess all one is supposed to do is to keep yoniso manasikara in mind, isn’t it?

      Also, what do you mean by “one has to sort out family situation first”?

    • #40507
      Lal
      Keymaster

      “So, I guess all one is supposed to do is to keep yoniso manasikara in mind, isn’t it?”

      Yes.

      “Also, what do you mean by “one has to sort out family situation first”?”

      I was addressing the issue of seeking the Anagami stage. As I explained, that cannot be done properly while being a “regular householder,” i.e., a married person living a regular married life.
      – Therefore, one needs to consider the related serious issues: commitments to the spouse, children, etc. No one else can advise on that.

    • #41126
      Yash RS
      Participant

      Dear lal,
      It gets harder whenever I try to control my sexual urges, and it makes the mind agitated whenever I try to meditate on its asubha nature, during the formal meditation i feel calm and relaxed but after that i become loose after few days It was that for 15 days straight i was doing asubha bhavana with etan Santan Etan Panitan as well, but on the 16th day i became loose(didn’t meditate) and then masturbated later. It keeps happening with me that for the first few days i am extremely mindful of my thoughts but after that i become loose, start thinking about such thoughts and then later indulge in pornography and then masturbation. It really hurts that i lose again and again. I do keep myself busy from Monday to Friday but it becomes stronger on the weekends. It is usually that when i bath the mind gets tempted to masturbate. I do go for hard physical workouts and study,but still these things affect me.
      I do believe that i have lost cravings for material possessions as well but still these things affect me. Please can you tell what should I do?
      Regards

    • #41139
      Lal
      Keymaster

      P.S. It may be better to read #5 first. That gives the main idea.

      1. I read through the discussion on this thread. I made two long comments on April 20, 2022, at 7:51 pm (Comment 1) and April 23, 2022, at 6:35 am (Comment 2). It is a good idea to read those again, Yash.

      2. Also, read “Craving for Pornography – How to Reduce the Tendency

      3. As we have discussed repeatedly on this website, the way to remove future suffering (Nibbāna) has three critical steps. It may be hard to believe, but the first two steps are about getting rid of the wrong views! 

      (i) Cultivate the mundane path and remove the ten types of micchā diṭṭhi. It would be impossible to cleanse a mind without getting rid of the first layer of wrong views. Any doubts about the rebirth process will be eliminated at this step.

      (ii) The second layer of wrong views is the mindset that future suffering can be eliminated by seeking births in Deva or Brahma realms. The uniqueness of Buddha’s teachings is the following. Suffering is present at various levels in all the realms of this world, and until escaping (or transcending) this world, it will not be possible to stop the worst suffering in the apāyās in the future. Those wrong views (mainly sakkāya diṭṭhi) are removed at the Sotapanna stage with lokuttara Sammā diṭṭhi (comprehension of Four Noble Truths/Paṭicca Samuppāda/Tilakkhana. This is only a change of mindset, but it requires a dedicated effort.

      (iii) Even though our wring views about this world are removed by the Sotapanna stage, our perceptions (sanna) about sensual pleasures available in this world will still be there. The third layer is to follow the vision (Noble Path) gained by cultivating the correct versions of Ānāpānasati (same as Satipaṭṭhāna) and to remove those wrong perceptions. That leads to Arahathood via the Sakadagami and Anagami stages. Read through the new post carefully: “Mahārāhulovāda Sutta and Ānāpānasati.”

      4. The point of all the above is that getting rid of cravings for sensual pleasures (especially sex) is not easy.
      Again, to emphasize, the Buddha taught Ānāpānasati/Satipaṭṭhāna to those at or above the Sotapanna stage.
      – If it was easy, why would the Buddha go to such lengths?

      5. Don’t think that kama raga (including cravings for sex-related activities) can be overcome by just reading posts or listening to discourses.
      – It requires a determined effort.
      – The key is to avoid engaging in activities that feed the craving! Let us consider the specific example of watching porn (pornography).
      – There is a specific “kamma vinnana” (an expectation) that keeps asking to be fed. What does that vinnana need? Its food is activities that would satisfy its need: “(abhi)sankhara paccaya (kamma)vinnana.” Those abhisankhara are watching more porn”! Any related activities like watching TV/movies/videos with similar visuals will also feed that vinnana.
      – Staying away from those activities is the ONLY way to reduce that tendency. Consider the following analogy: In the old days, people captured wild elephants and trained them for work. Before starting the training, they needed to be tamed. As long as that elephant was energetic, it would not obey any commands. It needed to be weakened by depriving its food intake. However, they had to be persistent in not giving food for days to make the elephant weak enough to obey them. If they did not feed it for two days in a row and let it eat all it wanted for even an hour, the elephant would regain its strength. The trick was not to feed until the elephant was so weak that it could not stand up.
      – The same principle applies here. One may abstain from watching porn for many days, but even one session of watching porn can get one back to square one.
      – What I described above holds for ANY habit. If you really want to break a habit, you HAVE TO abstain from related activities, not just intermittently but persistently. In the Ānāpānasati language, this is the “dīghaṁ vā passasanto ‘dīghaṁ passasāmī’ti pajānāti” step. Those “deeply embedded” gati require a lengthy and concerted effort! See “How Habits are Formed and Broken – A Scientific View

      6. Making a new GOOD habit works the same way, but the other around. You would engage in related activities as often as possible.
      – That is “Dīghaṁ vā assasanto ‘dīghaṁ assasāmī’ti pajānāti
      – If one wants to cultivate good habits that will last a long time, one needs to engage in activities for long durations!

      7. Of course, the process can be guaranteed to work only if one has comprehended the fruitlessness/dangers of remaining in the rebirth process. At the end of the “Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)” the Buddha promised that one would attain at least the Anagami stage in two weeks if one practiced it incessantly; at a slower pace, one would attain Anagami stage at least in seven years. But, of course, that holds only if one is at least a Sotapanna Anugami.
      – Otherwise, one would want to focus more on learning Dhamma and attaining the Sotapanna stage. Of course, even then, one MUST cut down on activities like watching porn or excessive sensual activities. Instead of porn, others may crave delicious foods, watch movies, play video games, etc. All these activities are not conducive to learning Dhamma and getting to the Sotapanna stage.

      • #41141
        Yash RS
        Participant

        Thanks lal 🙏

    • #41142
      LayDhammaFollower
      Participant

      Hi @Yash RS.

      Recently I had little breakthrough on the subject.

      We try to escape from dukkhā using sensuality of five senses, of different forms and shapes.

      BUT, because all this experiences are unsatisfactory, when we pursue them, it is like pursuing Mirage.

      (Trying to achieve something which is not there. This is hard to see, but, think about this matter yourself, if kama gave complete satisfaction, would you ever need to pursue them ever again?)

      Sensuality is very intricate trap.

      Beings are caught in it because of momentary pleasure. BUT, sensuality is like hamster wheel.

      The chase will never end.

      No doubt they provide very momentary escape from dukkhā of any type of existence.

      BUT, that is what is exactly wrong with it.

      They provide momentary relief from dukkhā.

      But, because they make you dissatisfied in immediate future, you again have to chase it.

      There is no end to it.

      No matter how much water you put into box, it won’t be fulfilled, box has permanent unfixable hole at bottom. (Box is insatiable senses.)

      ====

      Some deep conclusions:

      It is not just momentary dukha vēdanā, whole existence is filled with DUKKHĀ.

      All Dukkhā is symptom of jati.

      Thing about symptoms is that you have to keep taking medicine in order to keep them away, but, if you stop taking medicine for while, they will come back.

      On the other hand, if you cure disease, all symptoms will disappear on their own in some time.

      Jati is disease.

      Dukkhā of saṁsāra cannot be eliminated with anything of saṁsāra.

      About sensuality,

      All one has to do is make sure 100% that one is sottapana, everything else is bound to happen automatically. Not saying we stop putting forth any further efforts.

      But, what sottapana has seen is impossible to not see, he knows deep down all of above.

      Sensuality is bound to fall away like leaf, even though it might be hard.

      I have personally seen much reduction in sensual urges.

      It is possible to be free from them, because they are not completely satisfactory, if they were completely satisfactory, we could not escape it and there would be no reason to do so, but, because they are not completely satisfactory and Drawbacks are apparant, escape is possible.

      • #41146
        Yash RS
        Participant

        Thanks Laydhammafollower,
        I do understand deep down all of the above you mentioned but still it’s really hard. Initially I thought that it would be not that difficult for me but later as I tried I found out that it is not easy at all. But I will not stop and from now onwards I’ll try to be 100% mindful of my thoughts.
        Regards

    • #41147
      Yash RS
      Participant

      Also Lal mentioned “At the end of the “Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)” the Buddha promised that one would attain at least the Anagami stage in two weeks if one practiced it incessantly;”
      So what exactly should be done, Lal.
      I mean can you provide a structure from where should one start from to attain the stage within a fortnight

    • #41148
      LayDhammaFollower
      Participant

      @Yash RS.

      Another aspect involved here is,
      To completely give up kama, either of two things are highly useful.

      One is jhanas. Pleasure more refined then pleasures of five senses.

      If not, then high paññā is needed, so, that even if one does not have jhanas, one could be free from kama through contemplation of their drawbacks/adīnava.

      Another way here could be putting forth efforts to suppress it (this could be useful if one is ariya already.)

      Yash RS, said above,

      Also Lal mentioned “At the end of the “Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)” the Buddha promised that one would attain at least the Anagami stage in two weeks if one practiced it incessantly;”
      So what exactly should be done, Lal.
      I mean can you provide a structure from where should one start from to attain the stage within a fortnight

      I have also read such things few times on this forum,

      What kind of all out effort this is, Lal?

      Can you please explain in brief.

    • #41149
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yash and LDF asked: “Also Lal mentioned “At the end of the “Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)” the Buddha promised that one would attain at least the Anagami stage in two weeks if one practiced it incessantly;”
      So what exactly should be done, Lal. I mean can you provide a structure from where should one start from to attain the stage within a fortnight?”

      As always, statements need to be taken in context. Let me write down some bullet points. We can discuss any of them if you have questions.

      1. The time limits mentioned are specifically for bhikkhus. Attaining the Angami stage is practically impossible for a “householder” living a family life, as I have explained many times. By definition, anyone engaging in sex or related activities will not be able to attain the Anagami stage.

      2. Even for bhikkhus, those are guidelines. To get to the Anagami or Arahant stage in two weeks, one must have a high level of panna and completely immerse in the effort. A good example is Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Moggalana. Many bhikkhus in the time of the Buddha could get to those magga phala within seven years. But it can be even slower these days, primarily because the true teachings of the Buddha are not available to most people.

      3. Thus, the main goal of a householder should be to make sure to get to the Sotapanna stage. But confirmation of the Sotapanna stage is not as straightforward as that of the Anagami stage. If one attains the Anagami stage, there will be no doubt in their mind. That is because kama raga WILL NOT arise in an Anagami, even if the most beautiful woman in this world comes to him and invites him for sex. But watching an adult movie (porn) is enough to confirm it, too, in most cases.
      – On the other hand, there is no such reliable indicator for the Sotapanna stage.
      – Therefore, getting to at least the Anagami stage, if practical, is the best confirmation.

      4. But abstaining from sex may not be an option for many people.
      – Even in that case, reducing “extra activities” like watching porn will help one get to the Sakadagami stage. A Sakadagami still has kama raga but at a lower intensity. That is why they will not be born in the human world but only in a Deva realm.
      – Furthermore, as one progresses, one can experience the lessening of kama raga. We need to remember that kama raga means much more than sex. Any cravings for sensual pleasures (including tastes, smells, and other bodily comforts) are included in kama raga. The desire to own things is reduced and then goes away before one completely loses cravings for them. The progress is gradual, but there is definite progress that one can experience, as I have.
      – Another aspect is that some “bad habits” go away just by learning Dhamma. For example, I did not make a strong effort to quit drinking; of course, I was not a heavy drinker. But I used to take a drink or two almost every day while I worked. That habit gradually went away. These days, I get a headache if I have a strong drink like whiskey. I can tolerate a beer, but there is no urge to have one. That vinnana has died! My advice is to avoid all that can be avoided. Most “pleasures” are mind-made. It is our vinnana that fools us into believing that those experiences are pleasurable. I know that from experience.

    • #41150
      dosakkhayo
      Participant

      I got the impression that Yash RS and LayDhammaFollower were thinking of the problem too hard. (No offense, I once had the same concern too.)

      What one has to do is quite simple if one has enough comprehension of Anapanasati, Tilakkhana, Four noble truths, and Paticca Samuppada.

      (i) Stop thinking and acting on those things while contemplating the adinava of sensual pleasure. (apana, passasati)

      (ii) Do think and focus on a better feeling (such as niramisa sukha). (ana, assasati)

      (iii) Keep one and two steps until attaining anagami.

      Though, I would like to hear Lal’s comment. I think lal could explain better than I did.


      +) I didn’t see Lal’s comment above while posting it.

    • #41155
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Good comment by Dosakkhayo.

      Yes. I forgot to mention the sense of relief (niramisa sukha) separating from sensual pleasures. It is like reducing the load that one carries.

      See “Bhāra Sutta (SN 22.22)

    • #44722
      Jorg
      Participant

      I don’t know whether or not Yash still encounters the same challenges, but I think the following sermon (by Amadassana Thero) would be helpful for anyone who experiences these issues.

      He provides some mundane tips for when lustful and angry thoughts arise and one has problems reflecting on their anicca, dukkha, anatta (and asubha) nature due to their intensity.

      Regarding porn, he also mentions to think about/look into the lives that the actors actually go through. I remember some years ago I had managed to stay away from porn for quite a few years, thinking I had decreased my lust to a significant extent. I simply managed to suppress it long enough (with Goenka’s method) but it came back to the surface at some point. Then, one day I came across an interview with Joshua Broome, a former porn actor turned pastor. Check one of the longer interviews on YouTube if you’re interested.

      Although I hadn’t come across pure Dhamma yet that time, it really helped to see things in perspective. I actually looked up a few flicks he starred in and I felt quite sad and disgusted, in a way, due to what he shared.

       

       

    • #44746
      Tobias G
      Participant

      Yes, niramisa sukha is the better “pleasure”. But you can only realize this when you walk a good distance on the path or are at least Sotapanna Anugami. Also, the realization that immersion in rupa is suffering comes only then.

      Sexual conceptions are obviously a widespread problem. This can also only be seriously addressed from Sotapanna level. Then one contemplates more deeply about the functioning of paticca samuppada or the mind, citta, cetasika, … And only then the mind can slowly grasp the uselessness of sex (form/rupa, contact/phassa …), although the perception will still be distorted for a while (sanna vipallasa). All this has to be thought through to understand the nature.

    • #44747
      Yash RS
      Participant

      Thanks for asking Jorg!

      I experience much low cravings now.

      I also have reduced tendency of getting angry.

      I almost everytime think about some Dhamma concepts whenever I am Idle.

      My mind is not heavy that much now, definitely there has been significant progress.

      I have also started to Feel and realise the agitation that comes with sensual cravings and anger.

      Even if I get such thoughts I don’t Just try to suppress them forcefully as I used to do earlier, i try to Remove them with the realisation of agitation that comes with such thoughts. That has helped a lot!

      I believe that I have attained the Sakadagami stage but the aim is Anagami

      Thanks

       

       

       

       

       

Viewing 33 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.