What got you into semen retention?
What is your end goal here? It might look different for everyone, but one thing is for certain - we do it for self improvement
We abstain and we retain, so that we one day may gain, blessed be thy retention.
Most likely you realized that all the porn, masturbation, maybe even all the sex wasn't really that fulfilling. In fact, it may have been noticeably contributing to your depression. So you picked up semen retention and lo and behold, it was just what you were looking for. A boost in energy, charisma, confidence and more. But we don't stop there. We want to transmute this energy we build up. Cold showers, working out, projects, breathing exercises, meditation. Time to dig deep into your most valuable asset to the semen retention game, and also your biggest enemy - the mind.
It is my belief that our key to success in this world is the mind
- it is the Alpha and the Omega
, it is the beginning and the end. Every single thing in this world, be it internal, such as thoughts, feelings, memories, desires and fears; or external, like your friends, your family, your enemies, the environment - you interact with EVERYTHING through the mind. And everything in turn affects the quality of your mind, your energy levels, your emotional state.
Why, then, are we not spending as much time as possible to strengthen and cultivate our minds?
We think we have control over our minds, but we don't, not fully at least. Try to sit calmly for just ten minutes, no phone, no distractions.. It's maddening. Why? Your mind is weak, my friend.
Someone says something that you don't like and suddenly your world plummets into darkness, rage, despair.. Or the converse happens. Something good happens and suddenly you're elated and thrilled. This is a poorly developed mind, this is a mind that is at the mercy of the external world. A weak mind.
How about the internal world? When something upsets you, are you able to transform that anger into compassion, or to at least to neutralize it? Are you able to enjoy something pleasant, be it a relationship or even simply the high of an orgasm, and not be attached to it, knowing that it won't last forever? No? Your weak mind is to blame.
We think we're in control of our minds, but as anyone who has ever meditated will quickly tell you, those thoughts just keep on coming, and distraction abounds within your own mind, even when you ask it kindly focus on just the object of your meditation.
Your mind is weak, my friend. It's time you start strengthening it.
You have some goal in mind, something you want to accomplish, but you're afraid. Guess what? Emotions are part of the mind, and if your mind is weak, you're at the mercy of your emotions.
You have some goal in mind, something you want to accomplish, but it will take a lot of work, an overwhelming amount of work. Guess what? Motivation comes from within, from the mind.
You have some goal in mind, something you want to accomplish, but you don't know how, you don't know where to start. Guess what? A powerful mind is able to sit with and chew on problems until they begin to break down, and the mind eventually wins. The mind is the Alpha and the Omega.
It all starts and it all ends in the mind. It's the most powerful tool you have and yet, it can be your worst enemy, if you don't train it. https://preview.redd.it/8t16fy02tpq51.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=74f9914e04dc5f57b0fedd2189943b9dced1d6ea
The Body/Breath/Mind Connection
If the mind is so goddamn important, why didn't I start all these posts with it? Well, quite simply, while it is
the most important facet here, it's also, for most people, the most difficult to train. That's why we start with the body and the breath. If I tell you to raise your right hand, you can do that easily. You can change your breathing patterns easily as well. If I tell you to not
think of a green dragon, well, you just failed. If I tell you to sit and focus on the sensations of the breath to the exclusion of all other thoughts, you'll fail. If you're pissed off and I tell you to just be happy, good luck.
Here is a little secret - the body and the mind are not separate, the mind is just a more subtle aspect of the body.
I actually prefer to think of the body as a more gross, physical extension of the mind. But the point is, they are different aspects of the same thing and they influence each other.
When an emotion such as anger affects your mind, what happens to the body? You clench up, blood pressure raises, you get hot and bothered, your face may even get red. The reverse is true as well - you can change your mental state and emotions via changing your posture.
A bit more subtle than the effects of emotions on the body is their effect on the breath. If you're afraid, your respiration increases. If you're relaxed, it is slow and deep. Wim Hof style breathing amps you up - box breathing calms you down. The breath is the bridge between the conscious and the unconscious mind
- you breathe roughly 20,000 times a day without consciously trying to, but it is always there for you to consciously take control over. Through the breath, we can access deeper layers of the mind. This is part of why pranayama is such a crucial tool for us.
This is also why in yoga they start with the physical postures, then the breathing exercises, and then finally they move on to meditation. The goal of yoga is just to master the mind. We start with the most easily controlled aspect of this triune, the body. Then the breath. Then the mind.
So yes, the physical postures and breathing exercises of yoga or of Qi Gong help to cultivate our sexual energy, our Jing, but they also help us start to control our mind. That's what we all really want, right?
All of your success in life comes from having this powerful mind that helps you to accomplish your goals, and if you train your mind well, you'll have access to positive emotions all along the way. This is the natural next step of semen retention.
Facets of Mind Training
When we start mind training, we want to focus on two areas in particular -
- Concentrative power
- Taming and transforming emotions
We want a mind that is pliable, strong, and most importantly under our control. We want it to do what we say when we say it, and we want it to be strong and not easily swayed by our emotions. This is where concentration meditation come in.
How is David Goggins able to put himself through tortuous 100+ mile runs, again and again and again? How was Einstein able to sit with a particular problem and just mull it over for days, weeks, years on end, until the universe relented and gave up its secrets? They built up strong minds
, minds that had great endurance, did what they wanted them to do, and weren't easily distracted.
Along with developing a strong mind, a mind that is obedient, we want to reel in our emotions, our cravings, our urges. We don't want them to overpower us, and we want less of the negative emotions, more of the positive ones.
By starting our retention journey, we've already begun to shift the dynamic towards more positive emotions and experiences, and less negative ones. Now we're going to add on to that and speed up that process.
And remember, because you've built up this energy and you're starting to increase the power and magnetism of your aura, your emotional state is constantly being projected, and loudly. Make sure it's a state of positivity.
The goal here is to build a powerful mind that does what you want it to, when you want it to. One of the best ways to do this is through concentration meditation practices.
In concentration meditation we narrow the field of awareness down to a very limited area, usually with the goal to exclude other thoughts and sensations. It makes no difference what we pay attention to - a candle flame, a cross, a mantra repeated mentally, a visualization, a sensation of the breath or within the body - it can literally be anything.
We focus on that one thing, say the sensation of the breath at the tip of the nose. Then a thought or sensation pops up - the goal is to recognize this and bring the mind back to the sensation of the breath. Then a thought pops up again, but this one was juicier, and it takes us off into a daydream. Eventually we realize this and bring the mind back to the sensations of the breath at the tip of the nose. We bring the mind back again, and again, and again.
A lot of people think they can't meditate because they keep getting distracted, thoughts just keep popping up. Well, that's half the point. You thought you were in control of the mind, but those damn thoughts just keep coming at ya. As long as you bring your awareness back to the object of meditation, over and over again, you are succeeding in meditation!
Each time you notice that your concentration has lapsed and you bring it back to the object of meditation, that's like a rep. Each millisecond you stay with the object, boom, that's a ton more reps. This is how you make the mind strong, give it the ability to focus on what you want for as long as you want it to.
Another thing that this meditation does it creates calmness. This calmness is a respite from the constant planning, thinking, daydreaming, worrying, craving modalities of the mind. If you stick with this process, you'll not only create a very strong and obedient mind, but you'll generate contentedness within. This is why in Buddhist traditions it is called śamatha
meditation - it means "calm-abiding".
Emotions and the Nature of the Mind
When we begin learning about how to tame our emotional mind, it helps to understand a little bit of how our minds work in the first place. We're going to focus on two aspects of the mind, that of unsatisfactoriness,
as well as craving/attachment and aversion.
We also need to realize a fundamental truth about all mental phenomena, be it emotions, thoughts, images, feelings, bodily sensations, any and everything - they are impermanent.
Later in the series we will discover how to straight up transform our emotions
, turning things like lust for women into fuel for our own personal evolution. Unsatisfactoriness
The mind is naturally inclined to seek out pleasant emotions and sensations, and run from negative ones. This is the basis of what drives human behavior. But why does the mind do this? Why does just sitting still cause us such torment and misery? It's the most natural thing possible, to just be... Yet it's excruciating for us. Why is this? The untrained mind is always unsatisfied.
Why do we turn to porn and masturbation every time we're bored or need a hit of dopamine? Evolutionarily speaking, this is good news - if we were content from the get-go, we never would have made it past just another species of great ape. Taking this to the extreme, if we never felt displeasure and were always perfectly content, there'd be no drive to reproduce, even to forage for food. Our discontent with the present and drive to have things be even better are what allowed us to progress so much as a species. Problem is,
now we can't turn it off. Discontent has become our default mode. The goal in all spiritual sciences is to learn how to flip the switch, so that no matter our external circumstances, on the inside, it's alllll good, baby. This doesn't mean we get so high on our own supply that we give up on life, but that we've trained the mind to be content with what it has.
It is not the man who has too little, but the man that craves more, who is poor. - Seneca
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. - Epictetus
Take a page out of Stoics' books and start developing contentedness. Sublimate that sexual energy up to the mind and develop concentrative calm-abiding. Impermanence
All mental phenomena is, by its very nature, fleeting and intangible. Purely mental aspects, such as thought, memory, visualizations, these all arise in the mind for a brief time and then fade away.
Emotional phenomena are the same - how many cycles of emotions do you go through in a day? Frustration while stuck in traffic, joy while playing with your dog, anger, sadness, lust - these all arise from a given circumstance, abide for a bit and then fade away.
Even physical sensations are the same - you may have chronic back pain but if you really pay attention, you'll notice certain times when it isn't present, until you move at least. The high of an orgasm, we know that one is over real quick.
The point is, every single aspect as perceived by your awareness
is impermanent - it arises due to certain conditions, abides for a short time, and fades away. If you get your mind very strong from concentration practices, you'll notice that even very persistent sensations flicker in and out of existence. But we don't need that strong of minds to realize that the good feelings, these are fleeting. The bad feelings as well. Craving/Attachment and Aversion
Now because we haven't cultivated contentedness, because we start out with a mind that is never satisfied, our mind has these two modes of being - craving/attachment and aversion.
We naturally crave "good" experiences, be it good thoughts, good emotions, good bodily sensations, whatever. When these arise, we naturally become attached to them. We get a girlfriend and she makes us sooooo happy - until she dumps us. Because we were attached to her, or more specifically the good feelings she gave us
, we suffer because we no longer get those feelings.
We also naturally have aversion towards "bad" experiences, be it emotions, thoughts, bodily sensations, whatever. We're on the way to work and encounter traffic - it might not even make us late but it's frustrating. Or we ask a girl out and she says no - we experience a sense of suffering because it wasn't what we wanted.
Contrast this with a mind that knows everything is temporary. Your mind will still enjoy your relationship with that girl, but if she decides to end it, it isn't so bad anymore. You knew the relationship would end one day, today is that day. You might still be bummed but it isn't a crushing loss.
And why do we go out and seek whatever is pleasurable, and run from what isn't pleasant? Because we're starting out from a mind that is untrained and, by default, discontent.
Freedom from the Cycle
How do we break free from this cycle of discontent -> craving/attachment -> aversion? First off,
we learn to still and focus the mind through concentration-type meditations. As the turbulent mind calms down, it finally experiences some peace. That peace builds and builds, and carries over into our daily life. Next
we keep in mind that all mental phenomena are impermanent.
Experiencing something good right now? Great, enjoy it, but realize thoroughly that it won't last -
that will help lessen your attachment to it, so that when it does end, you don't suffer so much.
When you encounter something displeasing, remember that it won't last!
Think of every bad event that has ever happened to you. 90% of them likely have zero effect on you right now, in this current instant. Whatever the nightmare, it ended, and here you are, still standing.
Think back to every Christmas you've ever had as a kid - how badly you wanted that Playstation 2, lego set, whatever. You wrote letters to an imaginary fat man, hoping you'd get it. Maybe you even prayed to your creator for it, thinking how happy it would make you. And then, the big day came.. and you got it! Your prayers were answered! And now it's probably in the trash somewhere, or stored away in the attic. You slowly lost interest in every Christmas gift you've ever wanted because your mind constantly needs more, it's never satisfied. Much easier to just build contentment from within.
Every girl you've ever crushed on and wanted so desperately to date, and then when you finally did, it eventually ended.. Now you've broken up, and she no longer is a source of happiness, she's probably even a source of unhappiness. Or maybe you're still together, maybe you've even managed to keep up a happy-ish relationship - but there are still occasional fights, she still occasionally annoys you, and you'd damn well be lying if you claimed you never thought of another girl, even if briefly. No matter how great the relationship, it is never 100% pure joy. Remember this - happiness, pleasure, pain, sadness, they don't exist "out there", they exist within the mind.
You run from girl to girl, experience to experience, drug to drug, toy to toy, job to job, video game to video game, and you can never quench the thirst of the mind, it never is satisfied. Celebs who "have it all", the money, the women, the parties, the status - many are depressed, commit suicide, become addicted to drugs, because their minds are the same as ours. The untrained mind is never satisfied.
Whenever it gets what it wants, the joy it experiences peaks and then slowly, surely begins to fade. This is the nature of an untrained mind.
Putting it all into Practice Calm-abiding meditation
In some traditions, concentration meditations are called "calm-abiding" meditation. This is because as the mind slowly calms down and distractions start dropping to the side, as it becomes one-pointed and starts generating energy, joy naturally arises.
Imagine the relief a kindergarten teacher feels when they finally get home after a long day of teaching. All those annoying brats no longer bugging them, they can just sit back and relax. That's how the mind feels when it's no longer bombarded by thoughts, cravings, fears, emotions, worrying about the future or dredging up the past.
The untrained mind is unsatisfied - but the trained mind.. Ahh, the trained mind is naturally satisfied.
The joy and calmness you build in meditation seeps over into daily life as well. So while you build a strong, powerful and obedient mind, you also make your aura that much more attractive, you've increased your Shen
that much more, you're that much more magnetic
The instructions are very simple - pick something as your meditation object, set the intention to focus on just that object, and if the mind gets distracted, gently bring it back to said object. Repeat this formula again and again and again.
Your stretches of concentration on the object will slowly increase, and the day dreams will become less and less. You'll start to wonder why just paying attention to your breath can create such pleasant feelings. You'll also notice a sense of calm and contentedness in your day to day life if you keep up with this practice, as well as a mind that is focused and obedient.
Simple instructions for meditation on the breath can be found here. Mindfulness of thoughts
This simply involves remaining detachedly aware of thoughts as they pop up into your head. You can be seated for this, eyes open, eyes closed, walking, hiking, whatever. Just be aware how a thought will arise on its own, stay for a short while, and then fade on its own. It may have a feeling attached to it, it might not. It might have an image or usually a vocalization along with it, though possibly not.
Your goal is to identify as the passive witness to all these thoughts/images/feelings as they arise. They are like clouds, coming about on their own, evolving and changing on their own, and fading away.
Try not to get attached to any thought without retaining a sense of being a detached observer. Mindfulness of emotions
In your day to day life, notice how any given external event elicits a feeling and/or emotional response internally. Stub your toe, anger and pain arise. See pretty girl, lust arises. Pretty girl smiles at you, giddiness arises. You realize she was actually smiling at the guy behind you, giddiness fades and disappointment arises. So step one is being mindful and noticing how any given event elicits an emotion or feeling within you. The second step
is really paying attention to how that feeling or emotion feels. What's its flavor? Does it have a color? Does it arise somewhere in the body specifically? You want to recognize this feeling and then take a big, deep dive into it and reeeallly get to know it. Label it, experience it fully, completely, let it saturate your whole mental bandwidth. Finally,
pay attention to how long it lasts. It might hit you like a ton of bricks, and then slowly fade away. It might start as just a tiny note, and then get louder and louder. It might come in waves, intense for a bit, fading away, becoming intense again. Most of the time, no matter the feeling or sensation, it sticks around for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and then starts fading away.
This is how we can take meditation off of the cushion and into the real world. We no longer confine meditation to just sitting at home in our dark room - if we maintain mindfulness, our whole day becomes a meditation.
I've found it helpful to reframe emotions as just flavors of energy that come into my field of consciousness, stick around for a quick sec, and then start fading away. They're impermanent and only hold as much weight as you give them.
Acceptations vs Expectations
One last bit - it is much easier to go through life accepting reality as it is, rather than to have expectations of reality.
The world doesn't owe you anything. More importantly, people don't owe you a damn thing either.
If you set your expectations high, you're bound to be let down most days. Just accept reality plainly, as it is. Your day went well? Great. Your day was shit? Well, that's life.
You do all you can to improve your life, to improve yourself - that much is in your control. The weather, the news, current events, traffic, your boss being a dick, a girl not texting back - none of that is in your control, so don't place your expectations on any of it. Accept more, expect less.
Obviously, hold some
expectations for people. If you're in a relationship, you should
expect that she is faithful. Obviously don't just let her go out on dates with other men. You should expect to be respected by your boss, but first you've got to have earned that respect, and sometimes your boss may be a bit of a prick.
Finally, when negative feelings arise, don't resist them. When a negative feeling arises, we tend to shirk from it, to try to escape it. This resistance makes it that much worse, because we can't just make it go away, not yet at least.
Negative emotions and sensations are kind of like a Chinese finger trap - the more you try to pull away and resist, the stronger they latch on.
The next time you feel bummed, don't try to run from it, dive deep
into that feeling. Pull it in close and get to know it intimately. Analyze it and break it down as much as possible, noticing exactly
where you feel it, how it feels, how long it lasts. You'll notice that, by and large, it is just another sensation, just like hunger is a sensation, pain a sensation, heat a sensation.
We make things a thousand times worse when we resist
whatever we are experiencing.
Suffering = Pain x Resistance - Shinzen Young
Pain is inevitable. Shit will happen. Suffering
is largely optional.
Don't chase after and become attached to what is "good" or pleasurable - it won't last.
Don't resist what is "bad" or uncomfortable - it won't last.
Develop inner contentment - this is your secret. People will wonder why you're so cool, calm, collected, content, and happy. That
is true magnetism.