A support system to help you deal with your sexual challenges
“…one who wishes to gain liberation from the material clutches must first learn to control the sex urge.” (Srila Prabhupada)
As you may know, since about the year 2000 I have been focusing on giving weekend seminars. Because of the success we had with the japa retreats, I became inspired to help devotees in other areas of Krsna consciousness. So I began developing a seminar on vows. Yet as I developed it I realized that for most men a seminar on vows really needed to be a seminar on one vow. As the joke goes, “Women want one man to fulfill their many desires and men want many women to fill their one desire.” So I put the vows seminar on hold for the time being and decided it would be better to first develop a sexual purity seminar, either as part of the vows course or as a discrete course.
A year went by and I had done nothing to develop the seminar. At that time I accidentally bumped into a Christian book on sexual purity. The book gave me good insights and ideas for the seminar. But more significantly, it reminded me of how urgently important it is for us to address this topic. So I was now enthused up than ever to do something.
It seems that whenever I decide to teach the right course Krsna sends me signs. I travel a lot and often stay with devotees. Around this time it seemed that practically every devotee I stayed with was confiding in me about their sexual struggles. I said, “OK Krsna, I get the message. But this is serious stuff and I need to be better prepared to deal with it.” I knew I would be tackling a difficult challenge, even addictive behaviors, so I looked around to others who could guide help me.
I have a friend and godbrother who went through sexual therapy for ten years and I thought he would be one of the best people to talk to. I discussed the topic of sexual purity with him at length, particularly how he has been able to deal with his own struggles, and incorporated his invaluable understandings and realizations. He also introduced me to Sexaholics Anonymous. I studied their literature and found it wonderful for us because it teaches how to deal with sexual issues through surrender to and dependence on God.
Another insight that added to my impetus to teach this course was a conversation a devotee had with a Buddhist practitioner and acupuncturist. When he learned that this devotee was attempting to practice sexual control he inquired who his mentor was and what kind of support group he was part of. When the devotee told him he had neither a mentor nor support group the acupuncturist was shocked and asked, “Then how is it possible for you to do this?”
This got me thinking that it’s almost unfair to ask devotees to practice sexual purity unless we provide some form of support system via a support group, mentors and/or workshops. So I thought, “Let me do my part and develop a seminar that will help make it easier to practice sexual purity.”
I have always used myself as the guinea pig for any seminar I develop. (My coach told me early on, “Don’t teach it if you don’t practice it.”) Over the years that I have been studying sexual purity more seriously, both in Prabhupada’s teachings and elsewhere, I have personally found that sexual purity is something much easier to master than I had thought. Yet without proper support, guidance and association, sexual desire can be one of the most difficult things to overcome.
In the seminar I isolate the most important principles and insights I have discovered. It’s interesting that the most effective principles are ones we are all quite familiar with; we just don’t always isolate, understand and practice them within the context of sexual purity.
Is this seminar a quick fix? Based on the feedback I have gotten from those who have taken the course, it is definitely a big boost. But sexual attraction is deeply rooted and isn’t going to miraculously disappear in a day. In fact, Prabupada said everyone who has a body, even sannyasis, have to deal with sexual desire. My intention is to inspire devotees to set in motion a plan for greater sexual purity and give them the tools and determination to carry out that plan.
They say in Sexaholics Anonymous, “You are only as sick as your secret.” I am convinced that opening up for even one day in a safe and supportive environment will go a long way in helping you achieve a greater level of sexual purity, both now and in the future.
This workshop provides a healthy environment for you to reveal your mind in confidence and discuss ways to deal with your sexual challenges. You will gain useful insights and practical tips that will make a difference in both your ability to practice sexual control and your determination to be pure.