Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Overcoming Sexual Misconduct

There's a great thread about this on the E-Sangha message boards. The first poster in his confession covered a lot of good ground, including using the four powers of confession to cleanse his misconduct, abandoning porn, and meditating on the empty nature of the self and the transient nature of existence (i.e., you're just renting your body).

Something else that helps me is to reflect on the principle of equality. If a woman I consider attractive passes me and I pay extra attention to her body, I'm doing several disservices to others. First, I'm reducing that woman to her body. If she sees herself as more than her body, then I'm alienating her and making her feel like an object. If she gains satisfaction from seeing others who think she's attractive, I'm perpetuating her identification with her body - which is a major obstacle to enlightenment. Creating obstacles to enlightenment for others runs contrary to the way of the Bodhisattva.

Second, I'm doing a disservice to all other women by saying they're not good enough to deserve such extra attention. In other words, I'm violating the Fourth Immeasurable of equanimity.

We are all in the same ship. None of us deserves to be treated better or worse than any other. All desire happiness; all deserve to receive compassion, and to drink of enlightenment.

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