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Celibacy, Sexual Obsession and
June 17, 2010
It is recommended you read from the beginning of this tantra yoga archive,
as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "What
is tantra yoga?"
Q: I have been trying to live a celibate life for
some time, and am finding great frustration in it. Lust keeps returning, and
I am unable to resist. Even when I am able to abstain, I find perverse
desires creeping in, dragging me toward deviant behaviors. The abstention
seems to amplify the perverse tendencies. What is that about? If I sincerely
want to stop living a life of sexual obsession, why do I keep getting pulled
back into it?
A: Whenever we attempt to force conduct in a
direction opposed to our inner energy flow, there will be resistance, and
often times a redirection of the energy into a worse outcome than if we had
allowed it to express naturally in the first place. Nowhere is this more
apparent than in the perennial attempts of people and institutions to
forcibly regulate sexuality.
So it should come as no surprise that
attempting to enforce a self-imposed celibate lifestyle can lead to
frustration and distortions in conduct. It is the common outcome of an
uninformed approach to human sexuality. Even the priesthood, who are
supposed to be experts in this area, find themselves splashed across the
headlines in abuse after abuse and scandal after scandal. Will we ever
Sex is not like a wild horse that only has to be trained once.
The roots of sexuality run much deeper, to the core of our being. It takes
ongoing tantric methods and the integration of a range of spiritual
practices to bring that great power into the fold of spiritual life. Even
then, we may continue to be sexually active, and this is not necessarily a
drag on spiritual life. It may well enhance spiritual progress if the
relationship is healthy and productive. Sexual lifestyles and relationships
are a personal matter, as long as no one is being harmed. When sex is
forcibly restrained and overflows into abusive acts, then it is no longer a
The suggestion is to allow your nature to express
itself, without harm to others, and gently coax your sexual energy to a
higher manifestation through the tantric methods discussed in these lessons.
Rome was not built in a day, and neither was it built without
prudent doing. It is the same with cultivating the
expansion of sexuality to its destiny of
If our relationship with our sexuality is "No!" then we
will be in for some tough sledding. On the other hand, if our relationship
with our sexuality is "Lets favor it this way," via holdback, blocking and
other tantric techniques, then we will be on the road to transformation of
our relationship with sex, and, for that matter, our relationship with
True celibacy is a lifestyle that is arrived at
gradually, not by extreme measures. And it depends very much on the person.
We may be celibate for a time, and then not. It is a
function of our inner processes, not so much outer ones.
not go the celibate route at all, and reach very advanced spiritual
development. Is the pure celibate who cannot refrain from deviant conduct
Celibacy should never be a burden. When it is a burden,
look out, for there may be trouble around the corner. For those who
to a celibate lifestyle, "self-pacing" will be found to be a useful
approach. By this we mean a release of sexual tensions when necessary
through non-harming means, such as tantric masturbation. Then we can
continue without a major divergence from our spiritual path. The frustration
will be less and the spiritual progress will be more.
As we proceed
through life with a balanced daily routine of spiritual practices, we will
find increasing productive expressions for our sexuality. Maybe it will be
in service to others, or maybe in a loving relationship and family life.
Whatever works for us will be what we will do. If we know tantric methods,
we can relax and live, no matter what our sexual lifestyle may be. Spiritual
life isn't about bottling up sexuality, leaving
ourselves vulnerable to unhealthy distortions. It is about skillfully
channeling sexual energy into productive uses. It
takes time and practice to form habits that will lead us forward, until all
that we do becomes an expression of the divine flowing
through us. This is the role of sexual energy when gradually and
systematically expanded to its highest expression.
The guru is in you.
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instructions on the methods of tantra in relation to the broad scope of yoga
practices and the enlightenment process, see the
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