Disclaimer: A Sexual topic follows. Please don’t read further if you are likely to be offended or think the topic is inappropriate. I debated the appropriateness of the topic, and came to the conclusion that others are probably wondering the same thing. So here goes:
What would you suggest to prevent my thoughts from becoming lustful and for kicking my undesirable habit altogether.
I am going to start off by asking you why is it undesirable? Believe it or not, Buddhism doesn’t condemn masturbation, unless you’re a monk, which I doubt is the case.
The physical aspect of masturbation is harmless. That being said, that may not be the case where karma is concerned. Desire (more specifically in this case, lust), as the Four Noble Truths tell us, leads to suffering. A Buddhist’s main desire is to eliminate suffering.
This is a very debatable topic, and I hope someone will address it in the comment section below, but in my opinion, the real question is what goes on in your mind while you’re doing it. If you can do it without lust, then my Buddhist answer would be to go ahead with it.
Actually, the way you word your question, I wonder if it might not fall into line with some of the “addiction” treatments out there. Addictions are a very harmful form of attachment, which Buddhists are very much against. Perhaps a look at the 12-Step Buddhist site covered last week would help. http://www.the12stepbuddhist.com There are undoubtedly many sexual addiction websites out there as well.
As far as breaking the habit is concerned (if you still want to break the habit), I don’t really have any advice that can’t be found elsewhere, and if I tried to make something up, it would just sound silly.
I guess the most important advice I can give is that as long as you can control the lust or try to eliminate it while masturbating, there really isn’t anything terribly wrong with doing it.
I’m not sure if this answer is adequate, so let me know if there is any more I can clarify or add. I absolutely invite comments on this post, as I am sure this is a much-debated topic.