Buddhist-oriented template for NoFap journal

A group for Buddhist Fapstronauts to connect.

  1. It is well known that maintaining a journal in a NoFap streak improves chances of success. Usually fapstronauts can take it one day at a time, just writing down their thoughts and actions according to how they think and feel. However, there is also the additional option of using a template. The template can include objectives or aspects to avoid during the day and see if we have achieved/renounced them.

    I will share what I did within these 120 days in terms of using a template, so that others may choose to incorporate aspects of that to their NoFap streak.

    During these days I am living as a lay resident in a Buddhist monastery where it is compulsory to live under the 8 Precepts (Atta Sila) which also includes the modified and upgraded version of the 3rd Precept for lay people.

    Abrahmacariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from any intentional sexual activity.

    We as Buddhists are aware that Brahmacharya is the term used for living a spiritually-oriented celibate life. Whiles it does include celibacy as a vital component, it also encompasses sensual restraint on all 6 sense domains (eyes -vision, ear-sound, nose-smell, tongue-taste, body-tangibles and mind-mind objects). In addition to this, the Buddhist Brahmacharya also includes the Brahmavihara/Apramana (Sublime abodes/Immeasurables).

    So overall I came up with 3 aspects to maintain and develop Buddhist Brahmacharya which are the following -
    1. Celibacy - C
    2. Sensual restraint - S
    3. Sublime abodes/Immeasurables - I

    For each aspect I would give myself a score at the end of the day. This is not with the intention of attaching myself to scores but instead it would help me to look more deeper into which areas I need to work on and sort out.

    CELIBACY
    This is about maintaining celibacy in body, speech and mind. Even though I am a Buddhist, I did find the Hindu teachings on the 8 breaks of Brahmacharya helpful and I decided to have these as part of my template given that there is nothing in there that was inherently contradictory with Buddhist teachings. The 8 breaks of Brahmacharya is common knowledge among Hindus who follow Brahmacharya, but as for me, being a Buddhist I first came across these 8 breaks of Brahmacharya in the book 'Practice of Brahmacharya' by Swami Sivananda. Once again I want to stress that before incorporating these as guidelines for my celibacy as being part of my template, I made sure that they did not contradict Buddhist teachings.

    Here are the 8 breaks of Brahmacharya (according to what is accepted by Hindus)
    1. Sankalpa - carnal thoughts - Sa
    2. Dharshan - looking at the opposite sex with carnal desire - Dh
    3. Guhya Bhaashan - engaging in conversation with the opposite sex in private - Gu
    4. Adhyavasaaya - searching for sexual knowledge (whether educational or aesthetic purposes) - Ad
    5. Keertan/Kirtan - praising the opposite sex (like saying "you're hot" or "you're sexy" etc.) - Ki
    6. Keli - amorous sport (such as playfulness, flirting, flirtatious behavior) - Ke
    7. Sparsha - coming into physical contact with the opposite sex (any type of physical contact) - Sp
    8. Kriya Nivritti - the sexual enjoyment (including MO) - Kr

    For each aspect I would give a score of 1 or 0. If I maintained an aspect without violating then at the end of the day I will give a score of 1 for that aspect. If I failed then I give 0. For example, on most days I was not in situations where I was talking with the opposite sex in a private secluded environment and therefore on most days I scored 1 with respect to the Guhya Bhaashan aspect. Every single day I had at least one thought about sex which meant that everyday I scored 0 for Sankalpa. Each and every day I set the intention to give myself an overall score out of 8 (given that there are 8 aspects where Brahmacharya can be broken).

    I used the first two letters of each aspect and next to that I wrote down the score (0 or 1). And then under 'C' (for Celibacy) I give the overall score. Here is how they appear on my template showing my scores from a typical day.

    Sa - 0 Ad - 0 Ki - 1 Sp - 1 C = 5/8
    Dh - 0 Gu - 1 Ke - 1 Kr - 1

    As sex and masturbation is out of the question given that I am on NoFap Monk Mode plus on 8 Precepts, avoidance of MO was intact. However, when I had wet dreams I gave Kriya Nivritti, 0 marks with an asterisk (as in 0*) because it meant that I did take sexual enjoyment in dreams. Also this was also to give myself a bigger safety margin, so that I am also not being too lenient on myself for wet dreams thinking that it is unintentional and considering that it is okay because of that.

    SENSUAL RESTRAINT
    1. Eye-vision (Chakku-Rupa) - C/R
    2. Ear-sound (Sota-Sadda) - S/S
    3. Nose-smell (Ghana-Ghanda) - G/G
    4. Tongue-taste (Jiva-Rasa) - J/R
    5. Body-tangibles (Kaya-Potabbha) - K/P
    6. Mind-mind objects (Mano-Dhamma) - M/D

    The idea here is to observe whatever that arises from the 6 sense bases with mindfulness (Sati) with clear comprehension (Sampajañña) and equanimity (Upeksa/Upekkha) letting go of the views of desire and aversion. This means that throughout the day I would make effort to let go of showing desire or aversion to any object that arises through these sense bases. If desire or aversion is shown to any sense object then a score of 0 is given for that sense base at the end of the day. During the day if there is no aversion or desire generated with respect to a sense domain then a score of 1 can be given for that. An overall score is given out of 6. Overall score is given under 'S' (for Sensual restraint). Here is this aspect of the template with scores from a typical day -

    C/R - 0 G/G - 1 K/P - 0 S = 1/6
    S/S - 0 J/R - 0 M/D - 0

    NB - the idea here is to be mindful and be more attentive towards objects which arises through the 6 sense doors. It is to be more aware that I should be reflecting on these objects in the present moment with clear comprehension. This is not about artificially trying to shut away opportunities for insight to develop at the level of the sense bases during the meditation break. This is not about trying to score higher numbers or else this defeats the purpose of using this template.

    IMMEASURABLES/SUBLIME ABODES
    For Buddhist Brahmacharya, the Brahmavihara are an important aspect of this. As Buddhists we are aware of the 4 aspects of Brahmavihara/Apramana (Sublime Abodes/Immeasurables) which are:

    1. Loving-Kindness/Loving-Friendliness (Metta/Maitri) - Me
    2. Compassion (Karuna/Daya/Anukampa) - Ka
    3. Altruistic Joy/Gladness (Mudita) - Mu
    4. Equanimity (Upekkha/Upeksa) - Up

    When it comes to this aspect of Brahmacharya, it is two-fold. Firstly it is about taking time to contemplate these four qualities in the form of meditations (I have my own way of doing this which I can share with you). Secondly it is about avoiding the development of unwholesome states of mind which are the opposite of the Immeasureables such as -

    1. hatred/anger/hostility as the opposite of Loving-Kindness (Metta)
    2. cruelty/malice as the opposite of Compassion (Karuna)
    3. envy/covetousness/jealousy as the opposite of Altruistic Joy (Mudita)
    4. prejudice/preference/bias as the opposite of Equanimity (Upekkha)

    To score, I have to have spent the day doing the Brahmavihara meditation (5 minutes for each Immeasurable) as well as to avoid thoughts of hatred, cruelty, jealousy and prejudice within the day. Also if loving-kindness is lost during the day at any point then not only Metta scores 0 but the rest of the other Sublime Abodes also get a score of 0 because Loving-Kindness is the foundation Immeasurable quality where the rest of the other Immeasurables build upon (I could share how this is so in a different post).

    The overall score comes under 'I' (to mean Immeasurables). Here is the template and score from a typical day -

    Me - 0 Ka - 0 Mu - 0 Up - 0 I = 0/4

    Note - this aspect is by far the most difficult given that it is very easy to lose loving-kindness during the day. There can be times during the day when there is impatience or irritation which means for that instance the loving-kindness is gone which also means that feelings of compassion, altruistic joy and equanimity are also gone in that moment.

    BRAHMACHARYA
    At the bottom I include the overall score in the form of 'B' which is the sum of C, S and I. B is for Brahmacharya which is out of a score of 18.
    C(8) + S(6) + I(4) = B(18)

    Template from a day from my journal -
    Sa - 0 Ad - 1 Ki - 1 Sp - 1 C = 6/8
    Dh - 0 Gu - 1 Ke - 1 Kr - 1

    C/R - 0 G/G - 1 K/P - 0 S = 1/6
    S/S - 0 J/R - 0 M/D - 0

    Me - 0 Ka - 0 Mu - 0 Up - 0 I = 0/4

    B = 7/18

    For each page of my journal this just took up 6 lines where the rest of the lines I used to write down my thoughts, feelings, my strengths and weaknesses throughout the day. The template helped me to focus on which aspects I needed to write about. I tried to make it an honest reflection the same way as I would score myself honestly but also being careful not to miss the true purpose of giving myself a score - to see areas which can be further developed as well as weaknesses that need addressing without getting attached to marks.

    Those who are outside of Buddhist as well as outside of spiritual/religious circles who do NoFap for secular benefits, even such individuals do try to do dopamine fasts. One could include items such as cold showers, urge surfing, fasting or power nap as self-improvement tools which are not inherently spiritual but which would facilitate the rebooting process. As Buddhists we can always add a Buddhist twist to our NoFap streak regardless of whether we are doing Hard Mode or Monk Mode. Apart from including the non-spiritual aspects in our streak (such as abstaining from PMO) the avoidance of the 8 breaks of Brahmacharya can be seen as a Buddhist spin to upgrade the avoidance of PMO to stretch that into a spiritual domain as well as make our NoFap streak more relevant to our Buddhist lifestyle. The full sensual restraint at the level of the 6 sense bases as well as the 8 Precepts can be seen as a Buddhist-oriented upgraded extension of a dopamine fast. The transformation aspect can include the development of the Immeasurables. So whiles we take up the benefits on non-spiritual levels, we are also adding an additional layer of spirituality where we do NoFap with a Buddhist orientation.

    Feel free to incorporate this template to your written/electronic journal. Feel free to adjust and tailor it according to your requirements and needs. I named my journal as Brahmacharya/NoFap Monk Mode Journal so I am that equally mindful about this streak from a Buddhist as well as a from secular point of viewpoint where the Buddhist standards builds on top of the secular NoFap Monk Mode.

    And finally I would love to know your thoughts, suggestions, feedback, possible improvements that can be made to this template.

    May the Triple Gem bless you all on the Righteous Path!
     
    pancabalani, Buddhabro and AmeVirupa like this.
  2. AmeVirupa

    AmeVirupa Fapstronaut

    Wow man, I rejoice in your efforts!

    Not sure if this is the right place but I do have two questions.

    1. What is urge surfing?

    2. I've been wanting to be completely celibate for a long time, also because I'm serious about Dharma practice, but I've been struggling. During the periods where I have been able to be celibate for a while, I've always had a lot of wet dreams. Does this get better after longer periods of time? Does the mind settle down after a while?
    I've been asking this question for a while but never got a good answer. Since you're a Dharma practitioner with a lot of experience, I was hoping you could share a little bit about your experience and insights regarding wet dreams.
     
    Paranimmita likes this.
  3. Hi AmeVirupa,

    Urges are the result of a restless mind that tries to hold onto something pleasurable given the lack of content with what is happening in the present moment. The inner speech feeds us thoughts to add fuel to the urge. So if we are too stuck up in our minds then the urge becomes stronger. However trying to shove it away does not help either because later the urges come back a lot stronger. Therefore the urge has to be ridden as if it is like wave like in surfing (I am not a surfer). This means that instead of going in loops of conceptual proliferation (papanca) we are trying to focus on how we actually feel this urge. When I mean feel, I am trying to say how do we experience the urge? Our thoughts are actually empty and have no power other than the power we give them. Therefore the urges arises as sensations in the body, and urge surfing is about focusing on that. In urge surfing what is usually done is that one focuses on the breath because this helps to reduce the noise in the mind and help it quieten it if done long enough. Then with the volume inside the mind is turned down we can look into the body sensations to see how the urge manifests in terms of body sensations. So urge surfing is basically switching between breath and body where focus on the breath helps to take us out of being in our minds and then apply this mindfulness to the body. Given that we are trying to overcome sexual urges the most likely area to feel strong sensations is the genital region, and it is best to focus on the area of the body where sensations are best felt other than the genitals. If I was to speak about myself, apart from the genital region I feel urges the strongest in the area of the body between the hip and the loin. Sometimes it is not easy to identify the part of the body given that the attention tends to be directed at the most obvious source. But with mindfulness when you closely observe the body sensations, you will able to distinguish the uneven distribution of sensations on the body when as urge arises. The main underlying principle behind urge surfing is to accept that just because we get an urge it doesn't mean that we have to act upon it. As unenlightened beings, having urges is completely natural. All we have to see is that gap between the arising of the urge and the action we choose to take. Instead of going for the automatic response of MO, we can see that it doesn't have to be that way and there are other paths. For me after a time having urges became enjoyable and I welcomed them with open arms instead of trying to actively shut them away or punish them. So far what I do as urge surfing is to listen to one of several audio tracks on guided urge surfing. I still feel the need to listen to the audio tracks because then I feel it helps me to concentrate better on the exercise but I wont be settling for this. I do hope to learn this practice till it becomes second nature and can be a valuable utility when the situation arises. Also I dont wait for an urge to arise and I try to use urge surfing as a mindfulness exercise so that when I actually get an urge I am better prepared to handle it. If I get really good at it then I might consider adding a Buddhist spin on it by incorporating qualities of Loving-Kindness (Metta) as well as Insight (Vipassana) and if I do, then the Buddhist group on NoFap will be the first place I will be sharing that in before anywhere else.

    It is good that you already know what you want from NoFap. The main problem we have is fear. Fear is the main reason why we relapse. But what is this fear? Fear of what? This is the fear of being reluctant to face the life ahead of us without PMO. We just dont want to face the boredom and dullness unlike the time when we PMO flooding our brains with dopamine. I can see in your NoFap tracker that you are currently in a dopamine detox. If you want your reboot to be fast and effective then this is the best way. As the desire to PMO is fundamentally to do with our brain wiring the detoxes will help the brain to reset. However, you may face a flatline period. This is where there is intense boredom and low mood. But this is a sign that the brain is resetting itself, a bit like a computer restarting where it has to switch off its older self before arising in its new self.

    As for wet dreams, after how many days of abstaining from PMO do you typically get wet dreams? In this streak I had my first wet dream after going for more than 100 days. Up to now I have had 7 wet dreams. Therefore this is also a problem like you which I have not overcome yet. I am learning lucid dreaming, because with this skill it is possible to take different avenues and trajectories which otherwise could possibly end as wet dreams. I am reading Soaring Eagle's Rebooting as the Best Remedy where he explains about wet dreams and the importance of overcoming them. Even though I havnt finished this book I will not hesitate to recommend it because I feel you are likely to find your answer in there. It is much better that it comes from this book rather than me saying it given that I need to go back to this text and read it from the beginning to remind myself (I have a bad habit of reading books halfway through and forgetting where I started).

    As for the mind settling, don't expect this to happen on its own. Doing mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditation can help. If you have done a Vipassana retreat then doing that can help. Even in the post-meditative state try to be mindful of what you are doing in the present moment. As you may be aware as a fellow Buddhist, that mindfulness in Buddhism is about having that open awareness which captures everything in the present moment in a non-discriminatory manner. This means that we are having bare awareness of what is happening, unless we require to engage in a task which requires us to eliminate background distractions and focus on the task at hand. As we all know this is a lot easier said than done and the more you do sitting meditation the more this will get better in the post-meditative state.

    If you want to develop that strong will to develop celibacy then I would encourage you to read Practice of Brahmacharya by Swami Sivananda. This gave me the momentum which helped me to get through my first 90 days. You need to have a strong thrust to begin this journey. Next I read Gnani Purush's Brahmacharya along with other articles on Brahmacharya. It is true that these are all Hindu sources. I did copy paste important points from them as well as filter out content which was contradictory to Buddhism. Overall it had a positive influence because for me this is all about either celibacy or failing which I will go for sexual transmutation. We all need a good initial thrust to keep us going for months. You may try this and see if it yours. If not then you just have to keep trying till you figure out what it right for you. And believe me I had to hit a lot of doughnuts before I finally cracked the secret to keeping myself from PMO for weeks and months - it because I became convinced more than I did before, that spiritually-oriented celibacy is vital for development towards enlightenment as well as the spiritual benefits that come before that (such as Dhyanas). This needs to be hammered into our heads from time to time and it helps to have a template because even looking at the template itself can set the narrative you need on this streak.

    PS - I am also reading Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking - Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking Way. So far it is good and gives a different approach to what we are used to.
     
  4. AmeVirupa

    AmeVirupa Fapstronaut

    Thanks man, that's really helpful. I appreciate it.

    A Buddhist spin on the urge surfing I thought of right away could be doing Tonglen at the same time, for all beings who are slaves to desire. That could be powerful.

    The urge surfing is a good reminder that I just need to sit down with my urges. I generally just try to deal with them in post-meditation but I need to learn to just do spontaneous formal sessions, sitting with discomfort. I can't really deal with urges properly, otherwise.

    I usually feel them in the area of my prostate. Navel chakra, I guess. It almost hurts sometimes.

    I haven't had a decent streak in months but I get wet dreams within maybe a week or so, and then they happen every few days or so. It depends. If I was watching a lot of P before my streak, I get a lot of wet dreams, but if I was just doing MO for a while, then I don't get as many but I still get them. I'm not a fan. Especially when I get them on meditation retreats.

    Yeah, learning lucid dreaming is one of the ways advanced Vajrayana practitioners deal with wet dreams. It's on my to-do list. So far I've only had one lucid dream and that was years ago, but I hope to start training in them again soon. I have the book "Dream Yoga" by Andrew Holecek next to my bed. It looks promising.

    My meditation practice is decent, I just need to work on sitting with discomfort more, I think. Instead of trying to deal with things "on the go".

    I'll try looking into the Hindu techniques. My only decent monk mode streaks that I had were when I was working with some of Mantak Chia's techniques, so that kind of information is definitely good inspiration for me as well.

    I guess I just need to do more urge surfing as a purposeful practice and try to not let my mind wander into desire fantasies when I'm doing meditation retreats and maybe then I can keep the wet dreams to a minimum. Thanks a lot for the help man. Good food for thought.
     
  5. As for the Buddhist spin on urge surfing that I talked about earlier, I am sorry I couldn't elaborate further. The entire idea of urge surfing is to be with the urge and observe instead of our direct innate responses of acting upon the urge to MO (desire to become - bhava thanha) or the other extreme of eliminating (desire to get rid of what we show aversion towards - vibhava thana). To let go of these two extremes we have to accept what is there with bare awareness. I have never done surfing in the sea, but when I look at videos even I can appreciate that the surfer is not trying to change the wave but let the wave be as it is but to ride it. Likewise rather than attempting to modify the urge, we have to accept that we are feeling an urge. When I was mentioning about Loving-Kindness (Metta) and Insight (Vipassana) I was referring to an application of such qualities in situations of urge. Here the loving-kindness is directed towards the urge where it is accepted without judgement, whiles the insight aspect is directed to wards the actual sensations which arise in the body and to observe. So what I was hoping to develop as a Buddhist spin on this was to consider applied forms of Metta and Vipassana, instead of making urge surfing diverge into dedicated Metta and Vipassana practice. Now this may not be undesirable, however given that the purpose of urge surfing is to overcome urges such an overemphasis on dedicated Buddhist practice within the context of a strategy used to overcome such urges may not be necessary and would be too cumbersome to use as a utility when an urge arises. As for Tonglen this is also a dedicated practice which has its specific purpose. Of course, Buddhist are free to use and apply these methods as they with according to how they see fit. But we also need to be assess which way is the best way we can use normal secular strategies to transcend urges and later if necessary to apply a Buddhist spin on them to enhance their effectiveness as well as making our experience of overcoming such desires as being relevant to our Buddhist lifestyle. Just to give an analogy, a car has an engine which is suitable for it to function so that it can run on the road. A jet engine is much more powerful than a car engine, but an engineer would not consider fixing a jet engine into a car to improve its performance. Likewise in practices in both Sutrayana and Tantrayana can be done as dedicated practices in meditative/contemplative states. But when they are applied in the post-meditative state when encountering problems where they can be applied the focus is on their application and less to do with their development. Ultimately one could suggest that there is nothing called meditative state and meditation break and that everything we do is practice. This is fair enough as long as one does not use that as an excuse not to miss out of dedicated sitting practice whiles maintaining one's state of mind that is compliant with Buddhist ethics and doctrine even to domains which are outside of dedicated sessions.

    In my experience cold showers are the best way to deal with urges. For almost half of my NoFap streak I took cold showers every morning combined with Wim Hof breathing. In addition to this when I got urges during the day I just took the cold shower (either with or without Wim Hof breathing) but when I do I make sure I stay under the cold shower for at least 5 minutes. It just gets rid of the urges like they meant nothing. So cold showers done regularly as well as when you get an urge has a preventative as well a 'therapeutic' effect respectively with respect to urges.

    Now one may argue about the Buddhist spin on cold shower, and whether we are trying to get rid of the urge. Yes it is true that the urge goes away. However all what we are doing is just standing under a shower stream of cold water and facing the changes afterwards. It just happens among instant changes that occur with that, the urges also happen to go away as well. One may argue that cold shower can make one agitated in their minds and affect Samadhi. Still we can use this as a way of trying to maintain our calmness despite entering a cold shower. This is one example where it shows the importance of sensibility, that having a little bit of agitation of the mind when facing the cold shower for the disappearance of an urge is a fair trade off, not to mention the numerous benefits of regular cold showers.

    You may be knowing about the 5 Tibetan Rites which are meant to be done as a daily practice. From a NoFap point of view, the benefit of the 5 Tibetan Rites comes because when we do that as a daily practice it means we are prepared in our bodies to do the 6th Tibetan Rite which is meant to be done by those who are celibates when they get urges. There are plenty of videos on YouTube on the 5 Tibetan Rites as well as some videos on how to do the 6th Rite. Never do a cold shower after doing the 5 Tibetan Rites or the 6th Rite because the body should not cool down rapidly after doing them. Usually if done correctly, a single attempt of the 6th Rite should suffice in terms of getting rid of the urge (as in transforming that energy from the lower chakra to other areas of the subtle body). This can be done in a situation where one wont be able to take cold showers, such as when one is ill from flu or cold, or when in the community where there is no access to showers.

    It is good to have these tools stand by so that they can be deployed when under attack from an urge.

    As for Dream Yoga, usually it is best to read materials after receiving an empowerment. For example I have received an empowerment for Dream Yoga. However at present I wish to learn lucid dreaming properly as this is an essential pre-requisite for Dream Yoga. So I have kept the Dream Yoga books at bay for now till I become proficient in lucid dreaming. Only then I will take the next step. But ofcourse which way you want to develop in this aspect is upto you. I take it you are a Vajrayana Buddhist (like me) and understand that the importance of taking initiations/empowerments prior to doing Tantric practices.

    Please do let me know of Hindu techniques if you you re happy to do so. As for Mantak Chia I have heard great things about him, even though I havnt read any of his works. There were streaks where I did try to look into sexual transformation whiles being celibate under NoFap and they all ended up in relapse. One of the reasons why I became successful this time was because I gave the sexual transformation a rest till I completely rebooted. I still haven't looked into sexual transformation, but I hope to do so in the future when I am certain that I will not relapse.
     
    AmeVirupa likes this.
  6. AmeVirupa

    AmeVirupa Fapstronaut

    The main idea I get from your first part is that you think the most direct way to deal with Kleshas is the best and I definitely agree with that, if one is able to do so. The less technique the better, if one is able to do it that way.

    Yeah, I need to get back into cold showers. I used to be a huge fan and then I stopped and I've had a hard time getting started again. Cold showers are great.

    Mantak Chia has some interesting stuff. I've always thought it would be cool to do some training under him or one of his students.

    Yeah, since you're a Vajrayana practitioner, you can also always just wait until you do more completion stage practices and then you don't have to worry about learning any extra forms of sexual transformation. That's pretty much my approach these days. I'll just wait until I get there, if I get there.

    I had assumed you were a Theravada practitioner, from reading your posts. I'm guessing you have a background in that as well. I have a nun friend who practiced Vajrayana, then went through the whole Theravada training, and then back to Vajrayana. She explained the process to me one time. It sounded really valuable.

    If you need some help with lucid dreaming, this website is how I got my first (and only real) one: https://ld4all.com/

    I've had some semi-lucid dreams too but only one real one. I never really practiced enough though. I need to get on that.

    The book I mentioned is great too. I have some other good ones if you're interested. The book I mentioned was written by someone who did (at least one) 3-year retreat under Thrangu Rinpoche and he goes into all the different levels of dream practice. From regular lucid dreaming into dream yoga and clear light practice according to the Naro Chodrug system. That one is fine for anyone to read and use.
     
  7. Cold showers have been great, and I am hoping to get back into it. I think the biggest part about cold showers is about pushing oneself to do it. I was also hoping to do the 10 week or foundations course by Wim Hof maybe sometime after I leave this monastery.

    Interesting you noticed that. I am an Eastern Buddhist born to Theravada Buddhist parents so most of the Buddhism that I know and familiar with is Theravada Buddhism. However since 3 years ago I entered Vajrayana Buddhism and now I am a Vajrayana Buddhist. As per my teachers recommendations I do continue to learn Theravada Buddhism alongside Vajrayana Buddhism. As you maybe aware, Theravada Buddhism has its own version of the Bodhisattva path which consists of the 10 Paramitas and I try to incorporate these aspects to my Bodhisattva conduct. Ofcourse priority goes to Vajrayana as this is my main commitment, but underneath that I also continue to develop my Theravada aspect as well like I have doing for many years before I entered Vajrayana.

    Ah, I am still dealing with my Ngondro. I am primarily grounded in Sakya and was hoping to get Lamdre initiation, empowerment and pointing-out instructions. But unfortunately I couldn’t. So to keep myself occupied I do the Karma Kagyu Ngondro instead of just waiting. I hope to complete at least one cycle and when the opportunity arises want to receive Lamdre. Which school are you most affiliated with? I equally respect all schools of Vajrayana including Bon and Jonang. It seems like you know what you are doing and a well seasoned Vajrayana Buddhist. As for me some aspects I am still learning.

    Yes as for lucid dreaming and dream yoga I think its good if we can make a reading list. As for Andrew Holecek I did look up his website to see when he is doing Dream Yoga retreats. I take it he doesn’t do retreats in Europe. Alan Wallace comes to UK to retreats and I hope to join one day.
     
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  8. AmeVirupa

    AmeVirupa Fapstronaut

    I have learned about the 10 Paramitas but I didn't realize that those were part of Theravada. I didn't know that Theravada had a Bodhisattva path, that's very interesting.

    The longer I'm involved with Vajrayana, the more I'm recognizing the value of Individual Liberation Vehicle style teachings and practices. Multiple good Vajrayana practitioners have recommended the Goenka 10-day retreats to me and I'm hoping to do one or a few in the future. Just to get a taste.

    I know it's not really the same thing as committed Theravada practice, step by step, but they seem really valuable and I think you recommended them before too, if I remember correctly.

    Trungpa Rinpoche said that studying/practicing Dharma should be like combing your hair, you keep starting at the basis and working your way down, over and over again, so I think it's great you're keeping up with your Theravada practice.

    That's great, many great teachers put a lot of emphasis on doing many cycles of Ngondro.

    I'm primarily affiliated with the Kagyu and Nyingma schools. Mostly Karma Kagyu; Drikung Kagyu; Shangpa Kagyu and different Nyingma lineages. I mainly feel drawn to the Nyingma lineage. Most of my teachers are Nyingma and Kagyu both. But I also respect all schools and like to have a Rimay approach. I've received teachings from all four of the main schools of Tibetan Buddhism and a little bit of Jonang as well. I haven't had too much contact with Bon yet. Only through friends who are into it.

    Yeah, I'm not sure if he goes to Europe. There's also Charlie Morley/Shaw in the UK. I think he comes in more from the Lucid Dreaming perspective but he is a Vajrayana practitioner. I think under Lama Yeshe Rinpoche (?) from Samye Ling in Scotland. Something like that. I never met him but I found out about him through researching Lucid Dreaming. He seemed like a good resource.

    There are quite a few Lamas teaching Dream Yoga openly in North America but I'm not too familiar with what's going on in Europe.
     
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  9. Yes Theravada has 10 Paramitas. Bon also has 10 Paramitas but the list of Paramitas in Bon is not identical to Theravada. Also in all Mahayana schools there are another 4 additional Paramitas which is mentioned in the Dasabhumika Sutra so technically in all Mahayana schools (including Tibetan Buddhism/Vajrayana) the actual Paramis are 10 in number.

    Yeah trying a Goenka retreat would be great. They can be quite strict when it comes to letting go of other practices whiles people are in their retreat. What really matters is knowing the technique which can be used over and over again.

    Talking about Chogyam Trungpa, he is one teacher which has sparked my interest and made me take interest in Vajrayana even back when I was a Theravada Buddhist. I havnt read any of his works yet. I like to start from Cutting through Spiritual Materialism.

    Yes, Kagyu and Nyingma seem to go very well together. I also have Lamas from Nyingma. So far I havnt made a connection with Gelug yet. Desi Rinpoche was about to come to Ireland where I was hoping to see him, but it got cancelled. Yes I also like this Rime approach and I am glad that the HH Dalai Lama is a supporter of this.

    Yes Charlie Morley was a student of Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche. I have been to Kagyu Samye Ling which is the largest monastery here in the UK. Unfortunately this morning I had a wet dream but the same night I had a lucid dream too. Had I been lucid when I was in the same sleep cycle as my wet dream I could have easily prevented that. It made me think that the sooner I get skilled in this aspect the better.
     
  10. AmeVirupa

    AmeVirupa Fapstronaut

    Oh, yes, that's how I learned about the 10 Paramitas, through the 4 additional ones in Mahayana. I didn't know there were different versions.

    Yeah, even just sitting for that long is extremely valuable, I think. A good thing to experience. I saw this documentary called The Dhamma Brothers about prisoners doing Goenka retreats and they were transformed by it, really amazing. That definitely made me want to try it.

    Yes, I don't think I would even be Buddhist without Trungpa Rinpoche. In the early years, he was my light in the darkness. Whenever I would have some trouble with my practice, some doubts, or some discouragement, I would go and read Trungpa Rinpoche and he would make me see what a fool I was and snap me back into my practice. :D

    I see Trungpa Rinpoche as the Guru Rinpoche for the West. That's how highly I think of him. Any of his teachings are great.

    Yes, the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages have the same perspective on the path. They view everything from the perspective of Buddhahood. That's what I like about them. They're very direct. Straight to the point.

    Yes, Sakya and Nyingma together has produced some amazing masters as well.

    Have you ever seen this documentary on Chogye Trichen Rinpoche? That's just part 1. If you have time, it's really inspiring. Especially if you're interested in Sakya.

    Next time I'm in Europe and I have some time, I'd like to visit Samye Ling as well. I almost did by accident when I was 16 but my traveling companions didn't want to go. I wasn't Buddhist yet at the time but I was drawn to it.

    Yeah, I've been able to prevent wet dreams before by becoming semi-lucid. It's definitely a thing. I find that there's an enormous amount of clarity when a wet dream is about to occur and that can cause you to recognize it as a dream and prevent it. Maybe it works the other way around too, becoming lucid can maybe trigger a wet dream. Not sure, my lucid dreaming practice is not good enough for that yet. :D

    Btw, definitely keep that up. I had a Drubpon who did 9-10 years of retreat tell me that even just learning lucid dreaming will really help you in the Bardo, so it's vital, even if you don't learn it in the context of completion stage practices.
     
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  11. Here are a list of Paramis across the board in both Theravada, Mahayana (as well as the Bon religion). As you may be familiar with already, what is contained in Theravada can be implied or inclusive within Mahayana as well.
    (T - Theravada, M- Mahayana, B - Bon)

    1. Dana - Generosity (TMB)
    2. Sila - Ethical conduct - (TMB)
    3. Nekkhamma - Renunciation (T)
    4. Panna/Prajna - Wisdom (TMB)
    5. Viriya/Virya - Perseverance (TMB)
    6. Khanti/Kshanthi - Patience (TMB)
    7. Sacca - Truthfulness (T)
    8. Adhitthana - Resolution (T)
    9. Metta/Maitri - Loving-Kindness (T)
    10. Upekkha/Upeksha - Equanimity (T)
    11. Dhyana - Meditation/Mental stability (MB)
    12. Upaya - Skillful means (MB)
    13. Pranidhana - Aspirational prayer (MB)
    14. Bala - Strengthening (MB)
    15. Jnana - Deep awareness (MB)
    16. Karuna - Compassion (B)

    Source - The Ten Perfections in Theravada, Mahayana and Bon from Study Buddhism

    Ah I havnt seen the Dharma Brothers yet but I hope to put in my bucket list so that when I come out of the monastery I can have a look. I will also check out the documentary on Chogye Trichen Rinpoche. You may have seen this already but Brilliant Moon was a great documentary on Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's life. I found it very inspiring.

    As for lucid dreaming, it is important to keep a dream diary. What I do in the night is that when I wake up I try to quickly jot down important points in the dream, and then later when I wake up in the morning and write down the dream because the points I made in the night is a quick trigger for the memory of the dream. Memories about dreams tend to decay very quickly so sooner we write down the better. I remember I had a long lucid dream when I was about 4 or 5 nights into writing my dream journal.

    And yes it is a vital prerequisite for having some degree of control over our rebirth if we hope to keep coming back as Bodhisattvas and helping these sentient beings. If Bodhicitta is developed to the extent where it becomes like second nature then in Bardo we are more inclined to make our rebirth on the basis of our Bodhicitta given that in our dream states we are more likely to act upon our instinct. So it is about making the Bodhicitta our primary instinct and to bring it the number 1 in our list above all other preferences.
     
  12. AmeVirupa

    AmeVirupa Fapstronaut

    Cool, yeah the Theravada version seems like a more expanded and detailed version but each version includes all the other versions it seems.

    Yes, I loved Brilliant Moon!

    Yeah, my dream diary is sitting right next to my bed (at least I put it back there) and every morning I wake up and don't write in it. :D

    I'll get there again.

    Your last paragraph is so very true! I completely agree. Beautifully said.
     
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  13. Thank you brother!
    I hope to go through resources and videos on urge surfing and create a pathway for this and then add a Buddhist layer onto this and share in this group so stay tuned. :emoji_pray:
     
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