Listen to the Vlog: Chapter Five on Brahmacharya

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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

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193 responses »

  1. 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!!!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    Source:
    (1) http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Effect-of-Too-Much-Sex.html
    (2) http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/publications-a-z/409-the-truth-about-abstinence-only-programs

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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”.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. I get the point of what the message is trying to get across but, I don’t necessarily agree with it. I think this is very subjective and something as intimate as sex is taken differently from person to person. You can be perfectly happy and okay doing whatever you want but, you can also be miserable. I think for some people this listening can be wonderful it’s probably exactly what they needed to hear right now, but for me, I just really don’t think this applies to me in any kind of way. I think it’s a very touchy but, subjective topic that’s probably different for everyone that listens to it.

    • Your viewpoint is always valid here, never asking anyone to agree with the material, but to fully review, add contrasting or supportive resources and include your experiences for a full essay for credit.

  18. This recording reminded me of this past New Years Day, when my Step Mother took my sisters and I to meditate and have dinner with a Guru. She had previously done a week long course with him through our local Hindu temple on yoga and meditation the week before Diwali and really enjoyed and learned a lot from him and his teachings. After the event, he advised my sisters and I to abstain from meat, alcohol and drugs, to abstain from sex until marriage and stay on the path that we are currently on. That night really put a lot of things into perspective for me and I gave up meat and am still a vegetarian to this day.

    He was not condemning eating meat, drinking, doing drugs, having sex, etc. he was saying to not get caught up in these indulgences so much so your life revolves around them. And that everything happens in time. I am a virgin and have never been in a relationship, but I know that in time when I have grown more spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc. and I am ready to be with someone, the Universe will bring him and I together.

    I think that people value sex and other externally indulgent things because all of our lives in mainstream media, it starts getting pushed at us at a very young age. And people who don’t practice yoga or look after their spiritual health don’t think to look beyond these surface level desires and indulgences and focus our energy where it really is needed and matters in the grand scheme of the Universe. I have tried to keep that focus all through this year and it actually have really made a difference in my education, emotional health, social life, etc.

  19. In my opinion, being sensual is one of the most important aspects in our daily lives. Not necessarily in a sexual way, but in a way that uses our natural senses to discover more of the world around us. I agree the term sex is misused and misdirected however I do think it is important in ones life to experience pleasure. Spontaneous feelings of joy and happiness are tedious sometimes because that release of dopamine can be highly addicting.

    Sensuality brings on a sense of desire and intimacy that, when repeated, can stay in ones mind for longer than expected. I liked when the audio stated that desire come in forms of images. Images that turn to memories from the past; where we spend a great deal of time. Its hard to conceptualize the future because it is unknown. In the past, we are familiar with our past, we know the desires, and we know the outcomes. What we focus our energy on in the present is how we can control the past. All in all, I believe sensuality is a daily part of our lives we should embrace however, control for desire needs to be learned in order to live a happy life.

  20. I agree that sex’s importance has been grossly inflated. The idea that beauty and joy cannot be experienced when it is anticipated is quite a powerful one. A problem inherent in the human experience is the constant need to replicate a pleasurable moment, whether it be with food, drugs or a person. This is where the bastardization of satisfaction comes from. It can drive one to feel nothing, the pursuit of pleasure becoming null. The possibility of this happening is worse than abstinence. It’s a hard decision, but can be a necessary one, to take the desire of body and move it to the mind.

    By doing this, the primal desire for a carnal experience is not necessarily diminished, but distilled, concentrated into a more pure and understanding form. The process of taking the “need” for sex away from the body makes one really reflect upon not just what they want, but whether they want it to begin with. So, it’s not shutting down the body from all desire, but taking the time to think about one’s actions, what are the foundations behind them, and what one truly wants.

  21. I feel that I can only take part of what this chapter says. It is in my opinion very extreme. I completely agree that we need to be more in the present. I have one specific memory of a day when I was extremely hungry walking to Chinatown and I stumbled across a bakery that sells steamed pork buns for 2 dollars. I had no money and my boyfriend bought them for me and they tasted amazing. Nothing seemed to ever have tasted as good. I now keep buying them and they aren’t always as good. In fact sometimes they are disappointing. However every now and then everything aligns and i get my hands on some and they taste amazing again. I think we very easily try to recreate things especially when it comes to sex however I really don’t think the solution is chastity. I simply think we have to be more in the present during it and then allow it to happen naturally and don’t schedule or force it in an attempt to magically create pleasure. If it works it works it can’t be forced.

  22. This was incredibly interesting to listen to. We live in a time period where the concept of sex is argued about frequently, especially considering we are surrounded in a highly sex-obsessed culture. I agree that sex is expected to become a much bigger importance in our life than it should be. People often focus too much about pursuing the next sexual conquest or reliving one they’ve felt in the past. People have lost the true pleasures that exist within the moment they occur. To live in the past is to prevent yourself from moving forward. People have manifested sex into an unattractive thing, using it to fill holes that should be filled with positive and better energy. Pleasure cannot be repeated which is what McAfee is attempting to explain but what many still unfortunately do not understand. I understand why sex is abused but I do believe it is something to be appreciated at the moment. One does not need to indulge in celibacy but it would be better to put your energy elsewhere at times.
    – Samantha Diaz

  23. Hello,

    I feel as if this important especially with the current scandal that was discovered with Harvey Weinstein and his current sexual harassment case. The ability to have control should be a topic of conversation from a very young age. The expectation of this act is also another issue that relates to this current crisis. It is important to that this is a large flaw when thinking of sex. Expecting sex is one root to this problem.

    This might be seen as straying from the topic at hand but I see a strong connection. Desire and searching for the cause of these needs are huge. Non-consensual sex is an issue and I believe that when as a society understanding where the root of the problem comes from, we can find a solution. Instead of making women protect themselves, we focus on the man and their issues to understand their root issue. Have control over that would be ideal rather than focusing on the victim.

    • I’m glad you see a connection to the Weinstein situation, and more sadly…we all have work to do, choosing safe working conditions and sticking to our values even if it means finding work elsewhere….advocating for compassionate law enforcement for crime victims to be safe coming forward….culture that develops healthy practices for male, female and others sexually with respect for all….we are still very immature about sexuality, OM

  24. This was a reading that has become extremely relevant today. I find it extremely true that people use sex as a way to find a quick release or instant gratification. Our world today today revolves around people expecting instant gratification because of the advances we have made as a society (things that come to mind are fast food, ordering online,etc.) I find myself no less guilty of indulging as the next person and hope to build up a resistance to giving into temptation whether it be because I got an email from my favorite store about a great sale or other means

    As for one of the topics discussed in the reading. I definitely think that abstaining from sex has become more difficult now that it ever has been. Anymore, it is portrayed so freely in the media like it is something we must do to feel good. All freshman year, I had friends that struggled with making the choice of becoming sexually active or not.

    I don’t believe one could ever abstain completely from sex as carnal desire is deeply rooted within us as living beings. However, I also believe that there is an opportunity to focus on the spiritual side and that is what people should build up to. Rather, than just focus on the pleasure you feel for a fleeting moment, maybe reflect more deeply on the very intimate connection you have made with another person. However, with my thoughts being said, I don’t believe any one person has the right answer as it’s such a personal experience that is so different for every person.

  25. Brahmacharya is basically the act of celibacy or chastity. But of course just like all other things in yoga the concept is deeper than it would appear. The surface level understanding of Brahmacharya is that it just relates to the act of sex and sexual pleasure in general. “We have inflated it’s importance beyond any rational reason.” A deeper issue is not being sensual, as it is the root of all desires.

    We divide our experiences into painful and pleasurable, while trying to avoid the pain and chase the pleasure. We must live for spontaneity rather than chasing the memories of moments we can never fully achieve. We must practice control our thoughts, and strive to have pleasure of ideals rather than pleasure of the flesh. McAffee is not describing suppressing sexuality or the act of sex, but rather the things we will do and sacrifice to find sexual pleasure. We should live for the moment and enjoy things as they come, that is the way of finding true lasting happiness. Rather than trying to relive past moments and project them into the future. Namaste

  26. Everyone has their own ideas and views on sex. Many of which are influenced by religion.I think that in todays time, young girls especially, are always being pressured by sex. Whether they are doing it or they aren’t young girls are always put down in some way for their sexual actions or no sexual actions. One reason young girls are so susceptible to this is because they are still not sure what it means and what this action is connected so closely to — love. I think as one gets older it becomes easier to determine what and who you love and as time goes on becoming more in tune with your sexuality and your own body.

  27. This weeks Yama was Brahmacharya or better know as celibacy in the western world. Just like a common thread in all the Yama’s, we see yet again a similar moral pattern that makes most Yamas parallel with other major religions. Almost all spiritual moments seem to have their form of abstinence one way or another, but i never really took time to think of the deeper meanings of the practice. Even growing up in catholic schools where all the priest have taken there vows to remain celibate, they never would dive into the various psychological reasons for the actions as Mcafee does.

    Its always refreshing to hear a more practical, functional, and general idea of abstinence appose to the quick and easy “sin” styled language. Mcafees approach to the general explanations is that Brahmacharya is really a abstinence of all desires. Desires, pleasure, and expectations off all kinds not just sex, distracts us all from truly being in the moment. When the body experiences pleasure, that pleasure will ultimatum reside in ones memory driving them to live in that memory and chase out the high. Its seems the only way to curb any pressure of these worldly pleasures is to resist impulses and to remember these yamas to stay present. After awhile in this state time will always be your uphill battle as for the fact the the longer you live the past gets bigger and more enticing to live in instead of being present.

  28. This reading of Brahmacharya addresses the need for sexual desire and how energy can be transferred into a more spiritually beneficial practices. The problem of sex is a larger problem that stems from sensuality. Memories of experiences activate desire and the body craves to have those same experiences again. The reading explains the importance of spontaneous joy and how powerful it is when it is not planned. In order for us to live life a new, we must navigate the world more naturally and seek our desires inward. Seeking the source of that desire and what is the root of the need of fulfillment.

    Controlling the thought process can manipulate the source of pleasure and help us translate those desires across our lives through different forms. Meditation and yoga allows us to channel our energy inwards to find peace instead of looking for temporary external fillers. In acknowledging we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, we can transcend beyond the flesh to strengthen our spirituality. Living and meditating within present moments allows us to nurture our spirit to become the highest form of ourselves.
    If we begin to nurture and focus on the now, we can free ourselves from psychological time. Living in the present moment allows us to be our best selves to think more rationally and make the best choices for our body and mind. Instead of searching for desires from images in past memories, self-discovery will only happen within the current moment.

  29. While learning about this Yama of Brahmacharya, it discussed the ways in which we treat sex, pleasure and intimacy. our society puts a large emphasis on sex; who’s having it, who do we want to have it with and when. It is some thing that is anticipated rather than it just being a part of life and happening when it occurs, having it be less of something that is strived for. I like the comparison of the pleasure from a sunset and the pleasure from sex, no one sunset will look or feel the same and no sexual encounter will feel the same. Something that is so based in pleasure, one has to be critical of where it stems from and I feel that is what the Brahmacharya is doing. Questioning what is coming from inside that makes us desire sex is very important to look at to check in what is happening within our bodies and minds.

  30. It’s so difficult sometimes to navigate through our desires, especially when they can be so vulnerable to fluctuating. And it constantly has so many contributing factors, whether its temporary or permanent, the environment. This Yama of Brahmacharya is so relevant we must be very sensitive and less selfish in our desires but also conscious that desire and pleasure especially in terms of sex and intimacy can be temporary and thus can be destructive and damaging. We may want things in the moment but it may be very harmful and have adverse effects in the long term. I also think however that society puts an emphasis on the importance of always wanting to be desirable or always being satisfied in some way. However we must remember that we cant rush intimacy and that sex and pleasure is temporary. Being intimate and sustaining healthy relationships not only with others but also with ourselves in regards to self love, takes work. It is not a process that can be rushed and it in my opinion is something that you must be sensitive to and know that even if you want something does not mean you NEED it. I believe that everything happens in it’s own time and that regardless of our status, single etc we must really check in with ourselves and have patience and always love ourselves first before anything else and that pleasure in its best and most beneficial form will be far more satisfying when it is healthy and genuine and not temporary. I hope that makes sense… I think even with the IK this is true. You can approach it half-heartedly but if you do the results will be temporary, unsatisfying and unrewarding and that is to be expected.

  31. I personally think some of this is condescending however I do agree with parts of this and have struggled with living in the moment and trying not to overthink and force things in order to fully enjoy myself. Yoga and the IK along with self-confidence has played a big role in helping with that especially regarding sex. I think it is a big important part of life and is something that should be celebrated and not condemned. I don’t think celibacy is the answer and completely goes against the part of the quote “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.” I feel in order to be with a person any sexual feelings or reactions are natural senses in which we are trying to relate to another on a deeper and more intimate, spiritual level. Therefore the right thing would be to encourage these emotions and senses to truly be with the one we love on a deeper level and it isn’t something that is beautiful and goes against our nature to suppress such a thing.

  32. While I don’t completely agree with this vlog and its stance on practicing wholesome abstinence, I do think that our society has become massively over-sexualized and that we all live lives that are more or less based around sex regardless of the frequency of our interactions. We as human beings have an innate desire for intimacy, regardless of what form that intimacy comes in. Unfortunately society, especially the younger members of society, have lost the desire to have sex in order to achieve and accentuate the intimate bond between partners. Instead people are being pressured to act certain ways, dress certain ways, and expect certain things from others physically without expressing any real desire to be intimate with each other and truly experience the realization of your sexual desires. This manipulation of sexual desire, and this fake “sexual, hook-up culture” has led more and more people to be frustrated and confused after many of their sexual encounters. They seek out people who desire sex, but do not understand intimacy, or what their real sexual desires are. This causes failed relationships, and encounters that leave both partners feeling used and unappreciated.

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