Listen to the Vlog: Chapter Five on Brahmacharya


Do click on the link above to continue listening to my readings from ” The Secret of the Yamas: A Spiritual Guide to Yoga” by John McAfee.  Just want to place a written quote here from this chapter that offers us some great advise: “…We have reduced spontaneity of joy to the sensuality of pleasure.  Beauty and joy occur when we are in the moment, when we are not anticipating, hoping, expecting.  When we willfully attempt to create a feeling through excitation of the senses, we are no longer in the moment…The challenge then is to return to a spontaneous way of living that allows us to meet every moment of life anew.  Attempting to shut down our senses is an obvious absurdity and cannot help us.  We see, hear, smell, touch and taste in order to exist and relate to the world around us.  Our senses are our doors to perception…” Lots to contemplate here, thanks for joining in on the Vlog…got that from my fav blogger Amitabhji.  Namaste


161 responses »

  1. Aside from this audio reading, I also read some information about Brahmacharya from another yoga blog. From what I’ve come to understand from both is that Brahmacharya is the act of celibacy, but it has far more depth than just relating to sex and sexual pleasure. The fourth of the Yamas, Brahmacharya is often translated as ‘celibacy’. However, ‘Brahmacharya’ was meant to encourage those involved in the practice of yoga to conserve their sexual energy and instead use that energy to further progress.The common misconception that Brahmacharya is all about celibacy means it is often overlooked or considered irrelevant in our modern culture. But the practice of Brahmacharya or ‘right use of energy’ as it is widely translated, is more prevalent now than ever.

    McAffee isnt trying to suppress sexuality or sex, but instead he is talking about pleasure and the ends we will go to, to try and find it. True pleasure or sensuality in this case, is all about living in the current moment and enjoying it, and finding happiness in it. However, we are constantly trying to fill ourselves with these happy moments, focusing too much on the past and future to recreate these sensations instead of enjoying the moments that occur every day on their own. We are always looking for the biggest, most beautiful rewards to please ourselves with, and in the end we often times will feel sad or nostalgic rather than satisfied because what we’ve chased after is no longer authentic. Only through new experiences, and taking the time to truly submerge yourself in the present can we find true, uninterrupted happiness even with the most mundane of things.

    Brahmacharya is about moderation and self control. Its about maintaining a balance in order to authentically enjoy life. It is hard to think about enjoying life in moderation, living in the present. We live in a society that’s always encouraging us to press forward and think about the future and plan out every step. While I think it is important to have goals and plans for yourself, we must be open to change and struggle. We should never set ourselves in stone, because we are limiting ourselves. I would like to work on finding a balance in my life, as it is hard for me and a lot of people not to seek out extra pleasures and obtain sensuality. But the way it feels to truly live in the moment, throw nostalgia aside and be happy with where you are, with what you are is a blessing and something I want to be more open to.

    • Whew! I think this is your best essay yet. You’ve explored the audio file information along with other sources and most importantly your own beliefs, well done, Namaste

  2. The Secret of the Yamas: A Spiritual Guide to Yoga” by John McAfee
    This chapter is about importance of sexuality, sex absences and root sources of sex.
    Sex shape our lives through a negative and positive aspect. It can be long-term problem depending where, whom, and when. Sexuality and desire is abused, misused, and misguided. Pleasure is only temporary. Many people understand that orgasms, relationships, and pleasure are short-term most of the time. We want to repeat the pleasure, along same with all of our senses of pleasure because it is a distraction. Pleasure is misused when escaping from reality and not facing problems. It becomes a problem these emotions are built up inside us and emotions are not released causing pain and suffering. Pleasure comes to mind because it is simple to draw attention to something else. Flee from the pain but lured to pleasure.
    There’s many perspective of what things pleasurable. For example, a married couple are having fights, leaving only both parties upset. It used to be great, wonderful and exciting from the beginning of the relationships but things goes downhill as they get older. They both know each other very way, and they are tired of each other. I think of pleasure in terms of excitement and a spark to people’s relationships. The example used in the audio was about the expectation and spontaneous moment in life that we gain most of. Holding onto those past experiences won’t change anything, it would cause difficult to let go and move on; the past holds people down.

    In religion beliefs, people were told not to think impurely or de sexual things. You have to wait until marriage. I find that extremely hard to manage and to wait. There is a lot of restrain, discipline and control within the mind and body. Shutting down pleasure and thinking impurely does not remove the problem. Our thoughts would overflow and our expectations of people would not meet. And restrain is the root of pleasure as much as our senses. I don’t believe sexuality is bad or good. It is part of life. There’s nothing wrong to feel happy and pleasured.

  3. We are constantly bombarded with many ideas about sex. Honestly, it is exhausting. Sex is a natural part of life, and that isn’t something that should be suppressed. At the same time, it is difficult to develop a personal relationship with sensuality and sex, because we have all been conditioned to expect something specific from it. This is a major part of our problem. Socially, many of us are acting on impulses that have been ingrained in us, rather than discovering our own path. There are very few people in my life that explore their sensuality in a healthy and balanced way. People are either running away from feeling alone, so it distracts them, or they are motivated mostly by societal pressure (whether it is engaging in a lot of sex, or holding back.)

    I enjoyed the paragraph that discussed how we base our interest in sensuality and sex on memory. We project that this memory will repeat itself, therefore, we only truly live in the past. Spending all this time and energy on memories that are constantly shifting can only hold us back from being present. It brings me back to the question, “why are we wasting so much of our time thinking about this?” There is so much more to life.

    I have practiced the Isha Kriya four times this week, so far. I have been practicing without the video. I actually prefer it. I find that I can discover my own rhythm and take the time I need to transition between the three parts. I have been doing it in the mornings, and it has been beneficial enough for me to continue with that pattern.

  4. This excerpt from a book about the Brahmacharya, focuses on the limb of chastity. It is discussed that we emphasize sex in over-consumptive and misguided ways. I think an excellent example of this would be the porn industry. Access to pornography at a young can be potentially harmful to the manner in which one thinks about sex. As this young age fetishized, performative, hetero-normative and misogynistic images are absorbed by the young brain and such a brain grows to believe that sex is truly what they see it should be. This can have destructive results on how men perceive women and are sensual because as explained in the excerpt the real issue is sensuality.
    Our insecurity of sensuality derives from our tendency to live by dualities and artificial binaries, some of those binaries including pleasurable or painful, beautiful or ugly. This allows us to fabricate this inseparable experience of pleasure and joy and follows an attempt to fill a gap of happiness with things that don’t always mean or are experienced as happy. It is said in this video that sex is something that can be used like a tool in this way but doesn’t actually provide the results it is often utilized to give. Rather, we must abstain from these dualities that separate our experiences and our perceptions of time, place and presence. We ourselves are only capable of growing through our experience of the present and of being present.
    I have seen and experienced dramatic growth physically, mentally and emotionally since I began taking the class and practicing the Isha Kriya. I have had aggressive anxiety for a majority of my existence and creative expression acted as an outlet to express myself and externalize and rid of negative emotions. Come college, the less time I had to write music and with this heavy workload came an influx of anxiety. My anxiety would get to the point where I couldn’t manage to do any homework without feeling a gut-wrenching weight in my stomach and constantly being on the verge of tears, wanting desperately to give up—an excess of stress. Junior year was really when this destructive and unproductive phenomenon really started taking place and I felt as if I was slowly losing grip on my studies and therefor, growing as an intellectual and a person. Now, practicing the Isha Kriya for several weeks, I have noticed tremendous improvement in how I handle stress as well as my anxiety levels. I feel as if I have more conscious control over my daily acts and don’t get overwhelmed nearly as much as I used to. I do believe that a certain amount of stress is healthy and can be motivating so to balance these levels of stress and anxiety have been a the forefront of my attention, the Isha Kriya assisting very much in this. I would like to continue to practice the Isha Kriya three times a week and try my best to find time to add additional sessions throughout the week.

  5. This vlog about the Brahmacharya concentrates on the limb of chastity. It speaks on how our view of sex has become warped, as it is emphasized in this almost consumerist way, which can be very dangerous to a younger generation growing up in a society where sex is a commodity. A good example of this is pornography, as well as the almost pornographic nature of our society. Capitalism thrives on exploiting every possible aspect of our being for economic gain, and sadly, sex is not free from this exploitation.
    Pornography is the perfect embodiment of this as it is the commodification of sexual acts for someone to view at a cost. Now while I have no moral reservations or qualms with somebody deciding to use their sexuality as a career, there’s no denying the potential it has to harm someone’s view on what sex is. With the advent of internet pornography, people at any age can view these videos, just as their hitting puberty and are questioning sex and their sexuality. Pornography however is very male-centric, and usually portrays sex in a way that is favorable to the male, while the woman is no more than a tool for his sexual pleasure. If somebody sees this at a young age, as well as the more violent forms of pornography, and builds their idea of sex from this, their view on the beautiful act of sex will warp from a spiritual act of vulnerability and pleasure, into a near mechanical outlet for one to assert dominance over another in order to achieve pleasure.
    This also leaks into our society, and has seemingly consumed it. The concept of “sex sells” has invaded every aspect of our society, to the extent that we can’t even see a commercial for a fast food restaurant without a near-naked woman lustfully eating a hamburger, in the hopes of increasing foot traffic in their establishment. This is an odd topic, as countless studies show that food and sex are strangely linked in our brains as near-carnal necessities, but advertisers have taken this knowledge and exploited it into a bastardization of what sex and sensuality truly is. Pop stars, young attractive people, essentially children, are paraded about in provocative clothing, singing songs about sex and gyrating in their music videos with the sole intention of using this perversion of sex to sell more records and increase revenue for their studio, all at the sake of this young adults innocence. Ariana Grande is a prime example. She started off on Nickelodeon, playing the role of a highschool student in a children’s television show, and now parades around in skin-tight latex dresses, performing songs in a breathy, lustful voice. Now this is a bit of a weird topic for me, as I do feel deep down that a woman has every right to own her sexuality, and be proud of how she looks. In a society that thrives on breaking people down, and harboring insecurities inside of us, only to exploit them in order to convince us to buy a product that will make us “happy” and “beautiful”, I feel a woman should be able to look at herself and her body and say “Hey, I’m proud of who I am and how I look, and I don’t need society to validate me. I can validate myself”. This self-validation and seuxual pride – in my opinion – is not the problem. The society and culture surrounding it, that objectifies women, that hypocritically exploits women’s sexuality for profit, only to then label them a “slut” or “whore” when they take back this sexuality and want to display their beauty and pride on their own terms, that is the problem. We need to take back our sensuality; show the beauty and purity of sex. Regain it’s beauty and vulnerability, and teach sex as an experience where two people, at their most vulnerable, come together in an act of love and passion.
    Within the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a dramatic change in my mental well being. I’ve only been doing the Isha Kriya 3 times a week due to a busy schedule and heavy workload, but I am going to try my best to fit two more into my schedule throughout the week. After hearing students in class speak about doing the exercise without the video, I have done so myself, setting an alarm on my phone with a soft and relaxing tone to alert me when the first part of the meditation is over. I had never had anxiety until last semester, when it bordered on crippling at times when I was trying to do my work, but since my practice of the Isha Kriya this has almost vanished entirely. I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned and experienced this meditation, and look forward to how it’s continued practice will help me as we go forward.

    • I am so happy and proud of you for using the yogic tools to bring balance back into your life…thanks for sharing so openly and honestly….best wishes…Namaste

  6. This vlog states how our society has a warped view on sexuality and its needs. Today our society and student life is full of self-enjoyment and sexual needs without much check on the senses and norms. The state of mind is in the wrong place leading to impatience and distraction. One needs to be able to control self- discipline and self- control. For many, sexual tendencies and imageries is a huge distraction from reality. It is a mind game. As the vlog stated, it draws the energy down and keeps it low. The flip side is some people totally suppress the sexual urge which leads to an unnatural state and block.

    Just like food, sexuality can provide great pleasure, but unlike eating it generally involves others – an aspect of our sexuality that as we know can be more or less healthy depending on our mindset. Without thoughtfulness, our sexual desires can lead us to unhealthy ways of treating others or allowing ourselves to be treated. Brahmacharya is a way to stay mindful of the very real biological and psychological power of our sexuality, including the ways it can at times distort our behavior or skew our actions.

    Needs for pleasure usually link to memories or images from the past. These illusions have an impact on our psychological time, actions and thoughts. We need to be living in the present moment- indulging in self- discovery, and staying in line with our needs and wants. Furthermore, staying in check with our values and beliefs!!!!

  7. I think we are, in this day and age, constantly pressured by sex, tempted by sex, led by sex, and controlled by sex. Be it my unpopular opinion, but this desire gets the best of us as humans and is only a blockade to something more. I mean this as in sex becomes a desire, as this chapter says, for the physical, for memory, for the past and the potential future. We then forget about the present which gives us the opportunity to create the future and move along from the past.

    Now, sex and the need for it is a basic human desire; that cannot be denied nor do I believe it should be denied. But, when that desire takes over, or rather, guides our choices, I think it becomes toxic to our being. I think the idealization of another being, as harmless as it might seem, is no good either. They are then becoming more of an object and less of a being in the mind of another. They have become a vehicle for self satisfaction and that, in my mind, is disrespectful to the human soul.

    I think that when we find ourselves forcing any sort of desire to come true it is a sign that it has overtaken a piece of our lives more than it should have. Letting our world flow naturally and as it is meant to is what will aid us in our journey to whatever is beyond this life and planet.

  8. Desire is intrinsic to human existence. We are objects of our own desire as well. Our brains associate pain and pleasure with different sensory experiences that are stored in our brain over the course of our lives. Our world is observed through our bodies in the form of taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound. There are other senses at work, but we are less honed in on them or aware of them. Yoga helps bring awareness to the sense of gravitational pull, as we fight the forced that keep us bound to the Earths surface.

    Desire can often block our view of real beauty or real pleasure, as we seek only sensations that are familiar to us or emulate past experiences we have found pleasurable. Our difficulties are created through the illusion of the passage of time. Memories are all we have of the past, so attempting to recreate past experiences is a way for some to find happiness. Instead of trying to find joy in the present moment, we are often roped into trying to relive our pasts. Sensuality is an example of this desire to repeat the past, and is connected to our distaste for the present, and our expectations for the future. Freeing ourselves from living in the past is away of improving the present for ourselves now, and in turn, our future selves. Only when our relationship with the present moment can help us to properly examine ourselves in the present.

  9. Sensuality is something we indulge in so casually in our lives that we do not stop to think about why we want to experience what we experience. It is another sense of ours much like sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell that we deem it a normal part of our subconscious. However, it is important to be able to recognize the root of our sensual desires because they will lead us to a higher existence through this newfound awareness. As it was mentioned in the audio, restrictions on the senses is not the answer nor the appropriate way to interact with these senses. We in fact do need to experience our senses “in order to relate to the world around us”. “Desire, which is grounded in the senses will not cease by simply limiting the objects of our perception”, was another quote I very much enjoyed hearing. McAfee also discusses how we compartmentalize time into three distinct pieces: the past, present, and future. He also says that most of our living is done in the past. In order to discover the root of our desires, we must live in the present because all self-discovery happens in the present. This reminds me of meditation because in order to create a focus, you must let go of the past and the future and focus on what is happening in your practice in that moment. This audio helped me understand that the present is imperative to our appreciation and understanding of the world around us as well as ourselves.

  10. So much of human culture is based around sex because of its connection to our deepest emotion: love. However, obviously these two things are not always mutually exclusive. At its most basic level, sexual desire is a human instinct that works in many ways, serving both as a way of initiating intimacy with others and fostering reproduction. Its relation to intimacy and empathy are important, as they are the building blocks of human connection. Sex is not just physical, but also mental in nature, which is why we must pay attention to the person we experience it with and when we do so; the psychological effects can dictate our emotional health in serious ways.
    While listening to the discussion of memory and satisfaction in relation to how much pleasure we allow ourselves to experience, I thought of the Lars Von Trier film “Nymphomaniac”. The film chronicles the sexual exploits of a girl named Joe, who is unashamed of her sexuality and seemingly expresses herself without regret. This is one of the main focuses of the film, as Joe’s exploits do sometimes lead to trouble, such as when she gets involved with a married man and is caught in between him and his wife. The first half also closes in apparent tragedy: during a typical sexual encounter with her on-again, off-again partner, Joe realizes she is suddenly unable to climax, and begins whipping herself in despair, unable to understand why she can’t feel anything. However, in the second half of the film, this numbness drives her to see a professional masochist who enacts questionable, violent sexual acts upon her, and this culminates in a scene where he whips her until she is magically able to climax again. (Director Lars Von Trier tends to have some…interesting depictions and metaphors concerning sex in his films, and this film is basically all of those ideas on steroids).
    In conjunction with this post, the events of the film demonstrate some of the discussed points. Obviously we cannot reprimand Joe for wanting to be free to express her sexuality and explore her desires: certainly not. But her desire reaches the point where it is robbed from her completely, signifying that a constant want for pleasure leads to damaging consequences. It is never fully explained in the film, but my guess (based on some other reading I did) is that she experienced injured nerves (1). This is the ultimate consequence she pays, and in a strange turn of events, only aggression brings the feeling back, displaying her desperation and how overstimulation can take control of us. In fact, going too far in either direction can lead to physical and emotional harm.
    I was also interested in how the topic of sexual repression was discussed. Many religions (if not most) preach virtues of chastity or complete abstinence, which may arguably serve for a sound mind for a short time, but as stated before, sex is a basic human need and can be emotionally damaging if not attended to. Obviously, the film “Nymphomaniac” represents one extreme, but total abstinence is not healthy, either. While many would argue that it prevents the likelihood of emotional turmoil or unwanted physical consequences (i.e, STD’s, pregnancy) at a young age, it is actually more effective to discuss the boundaries of a healthy sexual relationship at a younger age (2) if these consequences are to be prevented. People are going to seek out sexual pleasure no matter what, so an abstinence-only philosophy will do little to repress or delay these desires. Therefore, it is important that the motivation be “we need to discuss safe sex” rather than “we need to pretend sex doesn’t exist”. There is nothing wrong with recognizing and attending to our desires, so as long as we do not operate from either extreme. On the one hand, too much sex will lead to emotional and physical burnout. But on the other, emotional repression may lead to desperation, and a sudden explosion of destructive behavior if not attended to properly. It is possible to live in a balanced realm of sex and desire, so as long as we stop treating sex as either a fantastical or sinful act, and simply as an ordinary aspect of human life. But, an ordinary aspect that needs to be nurtured and treated with as much respect as the other physical and emotional tenants of our existence.


  11. This was a very interesting audio clip to listen to. This is first, very relatable in many ways. Sex is very hard to abstain from for many, but for me I see it as something to cherish. Chastity is important and vital for a life of self control and self discipline. There was a question that was posed in the middle of the audio clip that said, “Why has sex taken a stronger role in our lives?” This is a question I have been asking myself for a very long time. Listening to this audio clip, gave me another perspective on this topic. It is true, sexual desires do come from an old image of sexual experience. That is why everything good that happens to us, is something we continue to dwell on. We want to keep reliving the past so we make the same actions in the present to get that euphoric feeling we had in the past. That is why so many of us have no self control. We are ruled by desires because we want the same feeling we had before. Then we project these memories into our present and future.

    Another quote that was said was that, “Our living takes place mostly in our past which removes us from the fulfillment of moving.” This is why so many of us are stuck in the past. We live off of memories we already made and try to redo those pleasurable experiences. That is why we have to observe ourselves to find the root cause to the actions we redo over and over again. There was also an idea in the audio clip that stated that self discovery can only occur in relationship to the present moment. This relationship is composed of actions and feelings in this moment. I never realized how what we think and feel is mainly composed of the past. We as humans are so stuck in the past that we never make new decisions. We live in the past and project it into the future without even realizing it. That is another reason why so many of us follow routines. We want a constant redo for every pleasurable moment we have. We want to keep on imaging it even if its not that perfect image we had before. We continue to do it until it’s the same as that pleasurable moment.

    Even now that I write this, I am still trying to analyze the meaning of all of this. It is a lot to take it and a lot to analyze because it is so dense. I am now even trying to figure out the cause of my sexual desires. I now see that is is the past I keep trying to mimic. That is why I am constantly in a state of unhappiness. I live in the past too much. My question is how do I successfully live in the moment, when the past is what we have to keep us going?

  12. I found it interesting in this vlog about when it said that we find pleasure when it is unexpected. Spontaneity is what makes things joyful and amazing to us. If everything were the same all the time, and there was no spontaneity, then everything would feel mundane and boring.

    The vlog talks about replacing sex with happiness in other places. It talks about how thinking about sex keeps us in the past or the future and being unable to live in the now. I agree that living in the now is important and without being able to live in the now, we are only living in memories or what will be in the future. We cannot live a truly happy life if we are not living in the now.

    The sense that I got from this reading was that sex keeps us from doing important things, and learning but I disagree. Sex is as important to learn as anything else. I do not understand celibacy, nor do I practice it. I find that it causes us to have more unnecessary desires, in order to fill a sexual desire. Holding back from sex only makes people want to have sex more.

  13. Brahmacharya is the act of celibacy, but it has far more depth than just relating to sex and sexual pleasure. The fourth of the Yamas, Brahmacharya is often translated as ‘celibacy’. However, ‘Brahmacharya’ was meant to encourage those involved in the practice of yoga to conserve their sexual energy and instead use that energy to further progress.The word celibacy brings to mind supression, which is not the intended meaning of Brahmacharya.

    McAffee is not discribing suppressing sexuality or sex, but instead he is talking about pleasure and the ends we will go to, to try and find it. True pleasure or sensuality in this case, is all about living in the current moment and enjoying it, and finding happiness in it. However, we are constantly trying to fill ourselves with these happy moments, focusing too much on the past and future to recreate these sensations instead of enjoying the moments that occur every day on their own. We are always looking for the biggest, most beautiful rewards to please ourselves with, and in the end we often times will feel sad or nostalgic rather than satisfied because what we’ve chased after is no longer authentic. Only through new experiences, and taking the time to truly submerge yourself in the present can we find true, uninterrupted happiness even with the most mundane of things.

    Brahmacharya is about living in the present moment, with awareness to past and future without dwelling on it. Living in the realm of memory or the realm of intention constrict the space we allow ourselves for true joy to exist. In fact I have noticed in our current society that many people do not evn know how to allow themselves the experience of true joy, even in a genuine moment such as the beautiful sunset described by McAfee, people are quick to document the experience in their phones or relate to it be telling a story of a past experience. Perhaps this is because having a genuine experience has become too potent for us to internalize, or as Mcafee pointed out, these tools are used to distance us from ourselves.

  14. This audio hit the nail on the head for me. I’ve been thinking about desires and discussing it with my friends, I’ve asked why they do what they do and only one of us was able to answer clearly with full understanding of themselves. I’m honestly unsure of why I do certain things but, as for my senses I enjoy the spontaneous things nature have to offer through sight. While I rather not have to deal with bad spontaneous smells that happen often during my daily activities.Sound, taste and touch are so important to my happiness and inner peace. I overthink almost every interaction with other people, so that leds to the suppressing of my desires. I feel that this is because of the way I was raise. However, I wasn’t able to answer truly why I stop myself from doing the things I like that cause pleasure. I am pretty aware of myself but my desires is something I haven’t completely got a grasp of. This audio game me a good idea on how to find the answer on why I do what I do, when it comes to desire. It’s important to me to fully understand. What it is that I’m looking for when nit come to my desires.

  15. I found it interested that you said we create schemes to achieve sex and pleasure. This can be scary as a woman, to live in a world where men will go to extreme measures to fulfill their sexual drive. However, I do not believe that sex and desire is a source of evil. I am a hardcore hedonist, and I think that if something brings you pleasure and doesn’t hurt others then it is not a problem. We should learn to control our desire for pleasure, so that we do not hurt others that don’t share our desires. However, sex is a taboo in our society. I feel that if we were free to discuss sex more openly, we could aid in cases of rape and sexual assault. Boys should be taught not to rape girls, and to control themselves. It shouldn’t be so “hush-hush”.

  16. Beauty and joy occur when we are in the moment, and as we rely on trying to hold onto sensual beauty, indulging in order to instantly receive pleasure, we lose the spontaneity, and thus the joy involved. Those who overindulge in anything- whether it be sex, food, or start slipping into the boundaries of any of the seven deadly sins, will lose the content and joy involved in the process; thus, it’s important to let sensuality live and breathe, without trying to hold onto it, without forcing it to be a part of our lives.

    Also, thinking about desire itself- do we all have the same root cause for our desires for pleasure? This is a bigger question outside of sexuality. We all find particular pleasure in different aspects of our lives, many of us in sex, but many of us in work, in art, in money, in teaching or learning. Do all of these needs for pleasure of different branches come from the same root? I suppose the Brahmacharya touches on this speaking of sex, but it can be applied elsewhere- explaining that we start from an image of something we’ve been rewarded with in the past, or what it may be like getting rewarded with whatever that may be in the future. This can be applied to any basic desire we have, especially the root desire each one of us may have, tying into our individual wishes to succeed in any aspect of living.

  17. Throughout out these given readings, I keep strongly relating each listening to humans, and our natural traits. Much like the other discussed topics, such as greed love, and i.e. – within this section, McAfee brings up the influence of sex. Sex and sexal characteristics are a natural human trait, something that is deeply rooted within humans since the earliest of times. In our modern society, the term “sex” is a word that has become desensitized in my personal opinion, especially with its fingerprint on all forms of media. The culture of sex is something that all humans seem to understand, but in reality we don’t. We are in fact blindfolded of the true identity of sex, and are instead commonly aware of the physical aspects of pleasure.

    Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this given passage – mainly because of its illumination on the true aspects of sex and pleasure, and how we as individuals commonly correlate it. Most commonly, as expressed in the reading, Our common perecpetion sex relies on missused and misdirected expectations on pleasure. Humans, have a tendency to correlate sex with memories, connecting the two together to inform an illusionary aspect on pleasure. As expressed in the listening, “Desire comes with image, sometimes of sexual experience memory of person.” We find pleasure outside of ourselves, and heavily depend on the personal connection of other people. Through the teachings of religion, most often they preach abstinence, and abstinence being one of the true forms of spiritual pleasure. Although, this form still pertaining to some individuals receiving pleasure through a spiritual perspective, the reading agrees otherwise.

    It is through these traditional forms of societal expectation and tradition that we stray for the path of spiritual pleasure and the realization of unexpected pleasure. We become so set in our ways that we miss that we derail from experience and wonderment. For the element of surprise in relationships is the true awakening of pleasure. The art of being sensual is key to understanding sex, and appreciating one’s own physicalmind. For understanding sensual beliefs, is what aid in peeling back the layers of sex and flowering of the open mind and body.

  18. It was extremely difficult to sit through this reading and this passage. I have found several people in our generation delving into the conversation of sexuality and to be quiet frank, it just upsets me. I believe the reason these conversations irritate me is mainly because people have decided to complicate things with the use of words; making a natural behavior in life into philosophy. It appears that sexuality, sensuality, and sex revolves around most conversations. Why that is? I do not know why, I do not think anyone has the right answer. There are several different ideas as to why this is. Maybe due to their repressed actions or maybe because it was engraved in their brain that it is not okay to have sex. It is like the use of alcohol in this country. You will find people who were restrained from alcohol, to indulge and behave irresponsibly. While in other countries where alcohol is introduced at a young age, people drink responsibly. I believe that sex is a normal action, a normal behavior, just how we eat, sleep, and drink water. Humans are not the only beings that practice sex. It does not have to be such a complicated topic, in my opinion. Perhaps this is due to some form of ignorance.

  19. Name: Tyler L.

    This audio clip from the secret life of the yamas was very interesting. All desire comes from a past image according to the clip. Even desires of the future are imagined from past visuals. After a pleasant event occurs the mind wants to repeat it but it won’t be as good the second time. The pleasure didn’t come from the event itself but the spontaneity of the unforeseen joy. When we return to the same experience a second time it is never the same again because our predetermined expectations get in the way. According to the clip we must not look toward sensual experiences but rather stimulate our minds from within.

    • Remember to continue to qualify for a grade within the A range your journals should be essays that review the information, include references that contrast or serve as a comparison and include your experiences.

  20. I really enjoyed this chapter because i felt that it highlighted an important thing that we see a lot in society and with our peers- sensuality. I think that people feel entitled to sensuality and those “good feelings” that they may have experienced in the past, and so many times we chase that tirelessly, even though we will never experience the same feeling that we have previously had. Being “in the moment” is extremely important and can bring rewarding, joyous feelings to anyone; the issues begin when our desire to experience this clouds our ability to create new experiences, because we are so caught up with the old ones. The separation between past and present is indeed very real, and everyone is a little guilty of having spent too much time in the past focused on experiences we want to recreate. We may spend too much time idealizing or daydreaming about someone we met and liked in the past, for example, instead of meeting new people and allowing new connections to be made organically in the moment. We plan our lives around maximizing pleasure and minimizing painful or uncomfortable feelings, and for many people the newness and uncertainty of the present can keep them stuck in the past.
    Brahmacharya translates directly into “celibacy”, but it has nothing to do with abstaining from sex at all. For people who practice yoga, brahmacharya suggests that they focus less of their energy on sex and more into the practice- sound advice, because sex is one of the easiest ways to get pleasure nowadays and people can often find themselves consumed by desire. I took brahmacharya as it as meaning a kind of celibacy for the mind. We cannot suppress our desires or not have sex completely, which the audio mentions; what I got from the audio was that we need to be conscious and aware of what exactly it is that we want and the reasons why we want it. This audio made me feel more mindful of the distinctions I make when it comes to what I want, how I will get it, and what I actually need. What I took away from this clip was that brahmacharya encourages us to be able to differentiate between mindless desire and what you truly need to fulfill yourself.

  21. Now we are talking about sex and how it can be distracting in our lives. I have to ask, what is considered acceptable in life that will not distract us. This all makes it sound like we can’t do anything that we like. I think that all this talk about living in the present is very important because this will make us better people and help us live better lives. I do hope to use this to help make my life better and help forge a better future for myself.

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