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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sublimating the Sex Drive..

As we grow up, we face lot of growing up issues. Some of them we would share with parents. Some of them we would share with friends. Some of them we won’t share with anyone.
I have faced such issues in my life.
One such issue that I had faced during my growing up times was sex drive. It is a common issue that I know all growing up males (probably females too) face.
I would call it the agony of coming to terms with adulthood. It is an agony that comes out of sexual feelings, fantasies and some cases sex drive. The issues of sexual feelings, fantasies and sex drive cannot be discussed with parents and teachers. Some may discuss them with friends, but that would only add more agony.
Very often people in the adolescent age are left without help on coming to terms with these sexual feelings, fantasies and sex drives. This blog is to help such people.
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I have read, learnt, used and experienced different methods to regulate my sex drive in such a way that it aided my personality development. I had used it to cultivate balanced thinking.
This blog is about the methods I used to regulate myself to control sex drive.

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Devils wake up when we are alone

At the start of my adolescent age, when these sexual feelings and drives took over, I was a tormented lot. I could not share it with anyone, as I could either be condemned or ridiculed. I understood that they gain on me mostly when I am alone. So I would try not to remain alone at home, even if I have a lot of work to do alone.
If possible I would take out a bi-cycle ride. Or visit a friend’s house (who is not alone). Or schedule a visit to temple (or a playground/gym) if possible. This habit encouraged me to interact and spend more time with a group of people.
I learnt how to be happy not only for myself, but for my group also. I learnt to be happy for achievements of my group, instead of feeling jealous. I learnt to compete with friends in my group and at the same time appreciate if they turn out winners.
More important in later years, I understood, peace of mind is possible in a competitive world, only when you are able to be happy for yours and others achievements as well. We need to compete vigorously, but accept defeats and share the happiness of the victor. It is a vital part of team working.
I have also seen loners. I have seen them seeking pleasures for themselves and in themselves. They would find it difficult to compete in a friendly way. And they don’t have peace of mind.
Ofcourse it is impossible to escape loneliness always. Hence the next section.

Give work to the devils of your mind

Art – our permanent companion

It is very important that parents ensure their kids learn some art during the growing up days, if they can afford it. It could be vocal or instrumental music, drawing, painting etc.
If you know some music, either it is vocal or instrumental, I would suggest you immediately start practicing it, when you are alone. You need not have to think of what to draw or recite. Just start it with what you know, repeat what you already did, with the aim of doing it better this time than anytime ever.
A musical or artistic exercise of 30 minutes, when we are alone and our mind wanders,  is enough to calm us down and bring us back to our work. Though it is a case of individualistic pleasure, when we become both the performer and audience, our mind gets enough work to do.
At times my mind will start wandering and develop sexual feelings. It will enjoy that pain of the pleasure when my nerves get excited and remain in that state for long time. The moment it starts, I used to move to my garden and engage in clay pottery. I did not learn clay pottery professionally. But I used to make dolls, burn them myself and paint them. Over a period I improved and won a lot of appreciation for my work. I used to set imaginary objectives for myself and create an imaginary drive on my own.

Religion – our soul companion

There are many not-so-fortunate of us, who for some reason will find it difficult to engage in artistic pursuits while alone. I always advise them to learn and recite a sloka for 15-20 minutes.
Forget about if Slokas are powerful or divine. Something like Vishnu Sahasranama that can take a hour to recite is very ideal in such cases. In fact some of my friends used to hear Vishnu Sahasranama cassette and learn from the cassette, when they are alone. Or it could be recitation of Bible, Koran, Lalitha Sahasranama, Bhagavat Gita or just about anything that has some need to be recited and some value is seen in learning it.
Even if you don’t believe in the sanctity of above mentioned scriptures, there are enough people in the world who believe in them and hence what we learn has a definite market value. So do not worry about doing something stupid. Even an atheist or nihilist can do it.

Meditation with open eyes – Mantra Japa

If a person finds it difficult to learn and recite such long slokas and verses (let’s say the person finds it boring), then I suggest that he/she recites the following short mantra 108 times. This is a form of what is called Mantra Japa.
Aum
Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Uruvaa ruka miva Bandhanan-
Mrtyor Mokshiya Mamritat
[ This mantra simply means “We  seek to be liberated from death and mortality like the fruit of a cucumber (liberating itself) from the Trinity that nourishes and grows us”]
For that matter anything one recites for 108 times focussedly like above, mind will relax down. I wrote the above mantra, as I have done it and have relaxed my mind using it. There is a scientific logic to any Japa. I will explain it somewhere else. The mantra could be even “Om Nama Shivaya” or simply a phrase like “From here to There”
  1. Sit ordinarily in any posture you want.
  2. Recite this sloka 108 times.
  3. Really count 108 times, with lines in your right hand fingers.
  4. Using the thumb finger as the pointer and lines in other fingers as the actual counts, we can count 12 in a hand, starting from little finger and moving up and down to the index finger.
  5. Try to repeat it 9 times.
  6. Take it as a challenge if you are able to repeat this sloka 108 times this way, not one more, not one less, but counting of perfect 108 just in one hand, without actually counting.
That is important. Your mind will definitely relax.  In fact the above can be done anywhere, anytime, even with open eyes.
When you have finished counting 108 times, reciting this mantra, all your loneliness, sexual feelings would have gone. Your mind would have got leveled and balanced. You can immediately go back to work at hand.

Listening to Music

One can also hear music as a diversionary mechanism. But after sometime we will get bored of music, as we are not focusing our mind to learn it. But if you are a musician, even learning music is fine to divert the mind.
The key is to give work to our mind in learning something and not allow it to run free.

Desires  – Our Servants and not Masters

In general, in life, it is important that we learn to deploy our desires as our servants. This is the most important part of my suggestion to all youngsters who are growing up.
Most of us don’t know that desires are our servants and we need to use them to get our work done. Instead we become servants to our desires. We think desires are our cruel masters and look for ways of getting rid of our masters.
This is how the whole spirituality business is born. We seek to liberate ourselves from our painful desires and approach spiritual gurus.
But let me put it clearly. Nobody in this world can liberate anybody else from bondage.No spiritual guru can liberate you from desires of your mind.
Because there is no need of liberation from our desires. Actually desires are our servants.  We need to know how to use them.  We are foolishly treating them as our masters and then trying for an imaginary freedom from them.
The best way to employ desires as our servants is to establish the control of our mind over these desires. To establish control we need to keep our mind balanced. To keep mind balanced, we need to suppress its ego level.
There are various techniques that have been used to keep ourselves balanced as propagated by our ancestors.  Since we lost all the reasons behind them, we think of them lowly.

Techniques to feel surrendered

I list them here. But all of them require we spend 30 minutes a day on them. Any one of the following technique could be used. The objective of these techniques is to feel surrendered completely for 30 minutes in a day.
  1. Spending 30 minutes in procedures such as Sandya Vandan, Gayatri, Pranayama but not in a ritualistic mode. One needs to understand it and do it, which is very difficult currently.
  2. Daily Pooja for 30 minutes a day on our favorite diety or God, wholeheartedly, sincerely. Or it could be a focused prayer for 30 minutes in any faith. In a pooja the actions performed are simple and one can easily concentrate and follow the work.
  3. Reciting some sloka for 30 minutes a day on a diety that you have faith. One can read Bible, Koran, Gita, Granth for 30 minutes depending on the faith of that person. Or perform a mantra japa for 25-20 minutes as described in the previous section.
  4. 30 minutes of Transcendental meditation or Sahaja Yoga etc
  5. 30 minutes of Yoga Asanas. But these Yoga Asanas should be done in synchronization with mind and not as explained in TV as a mere physical exercise. Probably Yoga Asanas need to be learnt from a person who teaches it completely as functions of both body and mind.
  6. 30 minutes of daily walk or Gym work-out, but keeping the mind focused on some particular issue (combined with some sloka recitation or focused hearing of soothing, calming music).
Any one of the above can be practiced for 30 minutes a day atleast. The idea is to concentrate our mind on some specific work for 30 minutes, that gives us psychological comfort, where we feel like kids, safe under the protection of our parents.
Where we feel completely surrendered, taken care, protected, safe, healthy and hence feel happy. Spend time like this atleast for 30 minutes in a day.
Anyone who spends 30 minutes a day surrendering himself totally will feel balanced and negative ego moderated to some extent.

Logic for surrender

As Sivananda used to say, our body is like a tree with two birds. One bird eats, drinks, makes merry, cries, fears etc. The other bird is detached from all this and simply keeps watching the first bird going through all these emotions. In most of us, the other bird is hidden from our consciousness.
The other bird is present in every tree of us. It directs us from deep inside and helps us to evolve further and further, with higher and higher intelligence. But the pain and pleasure of our evolution is not taken by it. It is taken by the first bird, which Sivananda calls Jiva, while the other bird simply directs it.
When we are surrendering ourselves everyday for 30 minutes, we are bringing the other hidden bird up in our consciousness level. That is all.  Once this other bird comes up in our mental plane, it knows how to control our desires, as we will pass on the control to this other hidden bird.
As we surrender more and more, our one side ego gets lower and lower. Our acceptance to the events around us becomes more and more. We learn to accept and then rebel, instead of just rebelling against.  Once we accept, we will not burn ourselves. We will stop giving instantaneous knee-jerk reactions.
We become more and more mature and balanced. Once this maturity sets in, we will have peace of mind. We can direct our desires according to our situation. We know when to set them off and when to stop them.
The desire could be desires of body or mind including anger, jealousy, fear, sorrow, sex and even orgasm. We can run them up to the edge, stop at the edge, play there for sometime and roll back at our wish.

Conclusion

Frankly I used my sex drive to further my creativity. I didn’t become a great artist in pottery, but then it led me to greater creative passions. It opened up lot of other creative channels in me.
I use the mantra Japa technique at any place to calm myself down and find my balance. It helps me to soothen out my highs and lows of emotions. It is actually a form of meditation that can be practiced anywhere, even without closing the eyes.
I spend some 30 minutes in Japa and Pooja almost daily. I am not a great ritual exponent. Still I consider this time that I spend, where I feel surrendered, as an investment to control my desires and get the work I need out of them.
There are a lot of people who won’t need all this. These things would come naturally to them. They may be spending their 30 minutes of surrender without them knowing about it explicitly. It could be in their job, in the family, in social service or in other relationships.
To those who say sublimating sex drive is not required and this whole blog is a waste of time,  I have this point to offer.
I think a couple have to explore and understand sex between them in a manner unique to themselves. For sex is not about stimulations, ejaculations and orgasm of one side. It is about communication of love between two bodies in such a way they satisfy each and other make each other to be content.  Towards that end, control of our desires is extremely important.