It is worth saying a few words about masturbation. In the last vow, we were advised to not lose our drops. In many religious traditions, it is considered a “sin.” After reading this vow, one could think the same is true in Buddhism and then we wind up imputing all sorts of Western guilt onto the act. We construct it as this awful thing we must not do, but eventually the strength of our attachment gets the better of us, we do it, then afterwards we proceed to beat ourselves up about what an idiot we are, etc. We become, in effect, sexual bulimics. We repress our sexual desires until we can repress them no more, then we binge on them. Afterwards, we feel guilty, beat ourselves up and feel like we are worthless and spiritually incapable. All of this is unnecessary.
Does this mean we should have free reign to masturbate all of the time? Of course not, that would be going to the other extreme. We should proceed naturally and gradually over a long period of time. If we push beyond our capacity with this, we will quickly become discouraged with one failure after another. Instead, we should focus our attention on identifying within our own mind the trade-off between losing our drops and our spiritual vitality, especially in meditation. We should focus our attention on increasing the power of our spiritual wishes and aspirations through our practice of Lamrim. Then we can proceed from wanting to do it all of the time to wanting to do it less and less. We are not repressing our desire to do it, we are changing our desires to not wanting to do it. If we want to do it, but through force of will stop ourselves, we will most likely just repress the desire. If we change our desires to not wanting to do it, then we are not repressing at all. Eventually we start to willingly make promises to increase the number of days between doing so more and more. We keep training in this way until we are only losing our drops with our partner and in our dreams. When we lose our drops in our dreams, the build up of tension is less and it becomes easier to not masturbate at all in between dreams. Later, once we gain control over our behavior even in our dreams, we can repeat the process and gradually abandon losing our drops even in our dreams.
Yes, this is a long training. Work naturally and gradually over a long period of time to change what you desire and you will eventually get there. Don’t repress the urge, outgrow it.