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Celibacy/Abstinence/Difficulties on the path


Dear Dhanajay,

My heart lies in the practice of the eight limbs of yoga.
There are other good things in the world, but I know that all of these are secondary to the highest practice of yoga.

When I practice yoga, I know I'm doing the highest good for myself and others.

This past year I've taken to the primary series of asana in the tradition of k pattabhi jois.  I also have a fairly consistent sitting meditation practice.  

However, I find the yamas and niyamas of yoga and the sila of buddhism to be of a much greater importance than the asana and the one that gives me greatest difficulty is brahmacharya.

Before finding yoga & buddhism, I had heard about this thing called "nofap" and had tried to give up pornography and masturbation.  With a full year of attempts, I could make it to 6 days only a few times before losing it.  I didn't realize how habituated to it I had become.

The past six months or so my records have increased.  Recently I made it just under three weeks, but I've fallen back into looking into pornography and masturbating the past few days.  I feel like such a total hypocrite.  My heart says yoga is what I should be doing, and here I am doing all these asanas, yet I'm so clearly addicted to masturbation and pornography.  & both yoga & buddhism say the bridge of sexuality is to be cut off.

Sometimes, because of my failings at total brahmacharya, I think I should strive to reduce sexuality only at first or switch to real sex at a later date, but I see that this would only create more problems for me and is not honest.

What I'm doing right now in faliing brahmacharya is unhealthy even for a worldly man and totally contrary to my spiritual aspirations.  I could feel the loss of stability in my meditation.  I'm more agitated now and filled with anxiety.
I want to abandon sexuality completely.
In my clearer moments I'm baffled as to why I'm attracted to it at all.

I sleep on the floor, have satsanga when I can and don't hang out with old vulgar friends and acquaintances, take vigorous asana 4-6 times a week, meditate most days at least one hour per day, and I watch my diet.  I keep a diary also.

I'm so frustrated by my lack of success here.  Before my lapse at day 20 I felt impervious to the attaction but since my fall, I've had many more lapses and have been unable to get going again.

Should I attempt a graded approach to cutting out sexuality or strive for full brahmacharya from the outset?
What should I expect to really have success in this?
I don't want to live the course of my life without being established in brahmacharya.  What a pity that would be.

Turn a blind eye to everything and get established in unbroken Sadhana to realize the self, asking nothing else in return. With time, the goal will be reached. There is no cause for anxiety.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)  


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Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.


The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."


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