Meditation 4. Refrain from sexual misconduct  

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4. Refrain from sexual misconduct

Q: I saw in Your leaflet that there are five precepts. Once you are initiated, you have to live according to these five precepts?

M: Yes, yes, yes. These are the laws of the universe.

Q: I don’t understand “sexual misconduct”.

M: It means if you have a husband already, please don’t consider the second. [Laughter] Very simple. Keep your life more simple, no complications and quarreling over emotions. Yes. It causes hurtful feelings for other people. We don’t harm other people, even emotionally. That’s what it is. We try to avoid conflicts, try to avoid suffering emotionally, physically, mentally for everyone, especially our loved ones, that’s all.

If you already have one, don’t tell him. It hurts more when you tell. Just solve it slowly and quietly, and don’t confess to him. Because sometimes people think if they have an affair, and then they go home and confess to his wife or her husband, that’s very wise and very honest. It’s nonsense. It’s no good. You already made mistake, why you bring garbage home and to let other people enjoy it? If he doesn’t know about it, he doesn’t feel that bad. The fact of knowing hurts. So we try to solve that problem and not to have it again, and that’s it. Better not to talk to the partner about this, because it will hurt them, hurt the partners.

From “The Mystery of the World Beyond”
The Key of Immediate Enlightenment - Sample Booklet,
page 40-41
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
United Nations, New York
June 26, 1992
(originally in English) Videotape No. 260

Q: You said You denounce immorality. What is meant by sexual misconduct? Is that wrong?

M: I do not denounce anything. I just propagate correct way of life. And you are free to follow it, okay?! I do not denounce anything. If you feel that is a denouncement, it’s not true. Just that you go into the wrong direction. Now you should go back to the right one, if you want to arrive at your destination which is the Kingdom of God.

Too much sexual abuse and indulgence tires your body, exhausts your mental power which should be conserved for the greatest enlightenment, and to help yourself and to help mankind. It’s more noble that way. That’s all, yeah. Sexual misconduct means you have too many girl friends, too many boy friends, too many husbands and wives. It exhausts your storehouse of energy, okay?!

From “Appreciate Life, Start With Enlightenment”
News 37, Master Says
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Denver, Colorado, USA
April 10, 1993
(originally in English) Videotape No. 350

When you come to a retreat or group meditation, it’s better not to look around too much. I know I told you if you don’t look at women, you are not normal, (laughter) but that is for that guy only, just to let him know that he is normal. He is single, a bachelor, and, of course when he sees beautiful women he looks. But the less you look, the better for you. Especially when you are already married or have a girlfriend, or have a husband or boyfriend. The less turbulence, the more you can concentrate to work on your relationship, and you will derive much more benefit and happiness from that relationship. It will boost your confidence and your enthusiasm to go on with everything in life, including the practice of spiritual meditation. Just don’t indulge in all these physical pleasures too much and then you’ll be too tired to sit in meditation, too little time to devote yourself in spiritual practice. That is why everything in moderation is fine.

If you need to go find a boyfriend or girlfriend, if you feel lonely and want someone to talk to, to accompany you everywhere you go, then it’s all right. But don’t look around anymore. Once you find one, stick with it and work for it because that is how you’ll be happy. The more partners you have, the less happy you are, believe me! That is why all the Masters advise you to take only one spouse. It’s not because they’re jealous of you or tell you anything else. It’s not about being moral, even; it is for your own sake that you should be married or only have one partner. Apart from being immoral, of course, it causes harm, hurt and injury emotionally to other people if you’re flying around too much, hitting everyone in the heart. It creates unhappiness when you do that — very, very unhappy. You will feel empty.

There is a difference between making love and having sex. I am sorry to have to tell you straight. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there? Making love is that you are involved — emotionally, spiritually, bodily, mentally — together, to be one, to be united with your partner, sharing all this love and affection you have. All of your being is involved in it.

Having sex is just satisfying this temporary lust for a while, and then you will feel very empty. Sometimes you will feel very guilty and get sick from it, and get terrible diseases also. Because you do it as a habit, any partner will do, you’ll forget to be cautious. And your body resistance is not there to even combat the disease, should it be there, because you’re low in moral standards, in emotional fulfillment, low in spiritual guard, and low in mental preparation. Everything is low at the time when you just have casual sex. Your body’s weak, your mind is weak, your spirit is weak, and so when you catch a disease, you’re finished.

Making love to your partner is different. You feel blissful; you feel loved; you feel affectionate; you feel togetherness; you feel trust. Everything is high: Your emotions are high; your mind is high; your spirit is high; your passion is high. Your love is full. That’s why you are a different level being. Nothing can touch you. You’re equipped with all resistance. Should any little disease come to you, your body repairs it. It doesn’t even come to you, because the whole being is prepared for this supreme act of love, dedication, and unification between two persons. You become like one, so everything is all right. Everything is pure. You don’t feel filthy; you don’t feel guilty; you don’t feel empty afterward. You don’t feel exhausted. You might be a little tired but just from happiness. This is not like the exhaustion and the emptiness, the sucked-out feeling, when you abuse the act of sexuality just for your own satisfaction physically. That’s entirely different. That’s why we have to be faithful, to work at our relationship, because it will bring us happiness. For us, it is number one, and everything else is number two.

Any precepts that the Masters in the old time gave to us are the ocean of wisdom. They are not restrictions; they are not a controlling method; they are not a dictating kind of statement. They are for our own sake and happiness, and it would be very, very wise to follow. So, if you don’t want any trouble, stop looking around too long. You can be polite and friendly, but don’t deliberately look for trouble — especially someone else’s. If you know it, don’t look. Of course, sometimes you don’t know and you look, then you have trouble. But that is something else. If you already know, don’t start. It is bad enough that you don’t know and you start. Then later you have to take care of it. But if you already know that they belong to someone else, you had better never, ever start because you will get into deep trouble.

Once you have someone else already, the past one, you should just put behind you. It doesn’t serve you. Normally when we look at the past, it is always better. We forget the bad parts; we only remember the good parts. But the present is the best. When you look after your present situation, your present relationship, it always brings you immediate benefit. If you always look at the past, or the future, it brings you nothing but worry, sorrow, regret, and illusion. So, always look to the present, whether it is in business, in spiritual practice, in retreat, or in personal relationships, because that is the only thing that brings you benefit right now. The past cannot do anything. We always have illusions about the past — that it is good. It is not good.

From “The Method of Improving Our Practice”
News 101, Master Says
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
International Four-day Retreat, Washington D.C., USA
December 26, 1997
(originally in English)

My Battle with Passionate Thought
By a brother initiate in UK


The Five Precepts

1. Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings

2. Refrain from speaking what is not true

3. Refrain from taking what is not offered

4. Refrain from sexual misconduct
*My Battle with Passionate Thought

5. Refrain from the use of intoxicants

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