Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 07/15/2014

Petionary Prayers

Let me begin by saying that I realize just how strange the title of this post may seem on a Buddhist blog (especially one with an overtly Theravadin bent). Yet, that is the least of my concerns today. For a variety of reasons I feel the need to speak about a subject that I have shied away away from explicitly discussing due to my own sense of shame and the idea that a good Buddhist or spiritual practicioner should have already dealt with these particular demons. Oh, and the fact that my mother reads this blog. Sorry mom but you now have fair warning.

Dithering aside, the topic of today’s post is lust. This is an epecially thorny topic for a married, precept observing Buddhist male but I imagine it is pretty much the same foe anyone of any gender attempting to live a life of purity and restraint. When I was young and first began to dabble with sex I developed some very bad habits. Promiscuity, infidelity and all manner of unskillful sexual escapades that, even if they didn’t violate the third prece t (kamesu micchacara) left indelible, unwholesome kammic imprints on this personality.

Suffice it to say that I have come a long way (I will leave out the especially sordid and depraved details of college debauchery simply because I am so ashamed and I see no reason to include them here) and have been a faithful husband for almost a decade. And yet there is the pull of the feminine form, present in vivo and in every conceivable form of media that seems constantly to call to my animal nature. I have tried var up us techniques such as asubha contemplation and the recollection of death with so e success but at times I almost feel as if I will lose my gril and slip under. Obviously with my family away for so long I am in an especially vulnerable position. So we come tot the title of today’s post.

This morning as I meditated all manner of horrifying sexual imagery kept arising and, even though I was resolute and kept at it, the thoughts still didn’t abate as I showered and got ready. As I left the building, mind ztill aflame, my hand caught hold of my wrist mala and I began to internally repeat “May I be delivered from lust” with each bead. Now, I won’t claim to have been so sophisticated that I was doing so with any esoteric interpretation of my activity. At first this was not a case of skillful means but was truly a call for help. And yet as I continued I began to feel that repeating the words helped to formulate and reaffirm my intention to wok to be free of lust even if no one else could deliver me.

I would love to hear from companions on the path how you deal with this aspect of your life or if it is an issue at all. Feel free to email me if you don’t feel ckmfortable replying to the post (I mean, it has taken me forever to even write this). Thank you all for your kindness and support over the years and may we all put an end to suffering.


Responses

  1. I don’t necessarily have any answers for you at the moment, but I assure you, you are not alone. Very rarely does a day go by in which I don’t have some sort of heavy lustful drag on the mind. I have resigned myself to the likelyhood that abandoning this tendency may require abandoning the home life altogether — something I’ll admit I’m not ready to do.

    I may contact you later at the email I found on your about page. If you feel so inclined, you may always feel free to contact me also: hickersonia#at#gmail

    May you be well, friend.


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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.