I hope that this message finds you at peace and in touch with your deeper stillness. I have decided to write down some realizations and also activities which are helping me on the path to overcoming sexual gratification. Perhaps this is not what you are seeking, but for me I am seeking a way out of suffering that has had me in its grips for most of my earthly life.
"If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the Now. You won't lose yourself in the external world, and you won't lose yourself in your mind. Thoughts and emotions, fears and desires may still be there to some extent, but they won't take you over."
These are the words of Eckhart Tolle: author of the Power of Now, a book which explores the opening to awareness of something that is ever present in our lives: our concious being.
The philosophy which Tolle outlines in his book has helped me become more observant of the underlying thoughts and emotions of the subconcious which when unobserved often turn into negative actions or behaviours such as sexual addiction.
It has also helped me to realize that there are root causes to much of our behaviour which cannot be solved by merely attempting to stop one element or aspect of the behaviour which we find troubling, for example from abstaining from PMO, whilst at the same time allowing the mind to go on unobserved feeding the desires which are at the root of those habits (for example through fantasy or mental imagery).
I have realised that when we become aware of our minds and observe the thoughts that arise, we bring in a very powerful tool: our conciousness, which is capable of transmuting these thoughts and emotions into more conciousness before they have an oppurtunity to overwhelm us a wave knocks down someone unprepared.
"Most people's lives are run by desire and fear. Desire is the need to add something to yourself in order to be yourself more fully. All fear is the fear of losing something and thereby becoming diminished and being less. These two movements obscure the fact that Being cannot be given or taken away. Being in its fullness is already within you, Now."
For me the most powerful aspect of Tolle's teachings is perhaps the realisation that our lives when lived in the present moment fully and no longer controlled by desire and fear are not devoid of happiness, empty and meaningless, but instead transform and become whole, substainable and full of peace and meaning beyond anything we can concieve when we are controlled by our minds. I cannot describe the experience of being in words. It defies words.
There is a video of Tolle talking about the flowering of human conciousness here:
Activities which help me to be more aware of previously unobserved thoughts and emotions.
Have you ever sat still in a room and asked yourself what your next thought will be? Try it! Its a little hard at first, but if you sit down somewhere quiet, close your eyes and watch, you will start to notice that your mind will begin to produce thoughts. As the thoughts come, try not to attach yourself to them or they will carry you down stream. Just watch the thought and note that you are observing it. Wait... see what happens. Another one will come along, but the difference is that you are now observing your thoughts and no longer identifying with them. You are present. You are here. You are now.
This exercise can take sometime but an amazing thing happens if you persist. You begin to notice a stillness around yourself which comes from being fully present and aware. This stillness is the essence of your being.
"You are cut off from Being as long as your mind takes up all your attention. When this happens – and it happens continuously for most people – you are not in your body. The mind absorbs all your conscious- ness and transforms it into mind stuff. You cannot stop thinking.. Compulsive thinking has become a collective disease. Your whole sense of who you are is then derived from mind activity. Your identity, as it is no longer rooted in Being, becomes a vulnerable and ever-needy mental construct, which creates fear as the predominant underlying emotion. The one thing that truly matters is then missing from your life: awareness of your deeper self—your invisible and indestructible reality."
Connecting with the Inner Body
Here is an exercise which will help you to draw your attention away from the mental and emotional state and ground you in present state awareness:
You may find it helpful to close your eyes for this practice. Later on, when “being in the body” has become natural and easy, this will no longer be necessary. Direct your attention into the body. Feel it from within. Is it alive? Is there life in your hands, arms, legs, and feet – in your abdomen, your chest? Can you feel the subtle energy field that pervades the entire body and gives vibrant life to every organ and every cell? Can you feel it simultaneously in all parts of the body as a single field of energy? Keep focusing on the feeling of your inner body for a few moments. Do not start to think about it. Feel it. The more attention you give it, the clearer and stronger this feeling will become.. It will feel as if every cell is becoming more alive, and if you have a strong visual sense, you may get an image of your body becoming luminous. Although such an image can help you temporarily, pay more attention to the feeling than to any image that may arise. An image, no matter how beautiful or powerful, is already defined in form, so there is less scope for penetrating more deeply.
Fasting and abstinence.
I have really noticed of recent that by giving up foods which excite our senses such as wheat and sugar, that it has become much easier to abstain from sexual gratification. The motivation to rid myself of these substances and my addiction to them came about through a period of 3 days water fasting. Such was the resolve that it created in me to change my diet that I now aim to fast for one day a week (on fridays) which helps to sharpen your discipline and make you stronger in all ways. But this can only really be achieved by observing the unconcious mind which gives you a choice as to whether to follow the thought or emotion or not. So when you feel a craving to binge eat coming or for sexual gratification, come into awareness. Try and bring all your attention onto the feeling and observe it with all your power. What you will notice is that the craving is no longer powerful as you are present and concious and this is the true source of your power. You can gradually transmute thoughts and emotions until they no longer have any power of you. You can become the master of your mind.
The mind is very cunning and if one of its path to pleasure is removed (through example through sexual gratification) it can quite easily use something such as sugary food, highly processed carbohydrates such as bread or white rice, pasta etc... to act as a counterbalance. Scientifically as Marnia publicises this is the brain achieving its Dopamine reward in other ways.
I thoroughly recommend that if you truely which to free your mind from sexual gratification that you bring your desire to eat under control so that you are no longer addicted to food. This is challenging, but as I said it makes the whole process of overcoming all desire much easier.
There may be other attachments that your mind is using to feed subconcious desires such as internet use, or obsessive/compulsive patterns of behaviour. Start to observe these patterns and bring them into the light of conciousness. This is the most powerful way to transmute the energy of the low vibration into light and peace.
I hope that this helps in some way. I too am in a daily, almost minute by minute struggle to remain aware of the unconcious drives going on in my mind, however I can tell you from experience that this process is becoming much easier and I know that anyone can do it.
You are very powerful. Infinitely powerful. But as long as you remained enslaved by your mind: identified with thoughts about the past or the future (either based in dread or in some future hope) you will not really be able to access your power. The only way to access your power is right here and right now. Give it a shot. What have you got to lose?
In the spirit of peace and oneness and infinite compassion to all beings.