I have been using this technique for a few months and it has been working well (to quit masturbation). I'm using a Go board, but you can use anything really, to keep track of each day I am celibate. Each day I keep this precept I put a white stone on the board, however if I fail then I remove all the stones and am back to square one. At first I was able to build it up to a week, then I failed. After that two weeks, then failure, then three weeks, then a month, etc. Looking at a perfect month of white stones is something that feels very good, and further hinders me from throwing it all away just to watch pornography. Ultimately what helped me the most was failing. I once made it a month and then gave in and afterwards felt so awful, so shameful, that even recollecting that moment brings an end to my lust. Each failure feels worse and worse until the (false) pleasure of masturbation simply does not logically compare to the suffering that results as a consequence.
The key to success is stopping lustful thoughts at their root. All sexual acts are rooted in the mind and its fairly easy to witness how they arise. Think of it like this: Perhaps you see some external form that triggers the beginning of a lustful state, or perhaps you are daydreaming and your thoughts begin to lead towards sexual fantasy. At this stage the lust is like a seed sprouting, it is easy to walk away from. The moment you recognize this stage, the moment you recognize lust, you must walk away from it otherwise it will continue to grow. Say you entertain the thought, let it develop thinking it won't lead to anything. Now it has grown into a plant, an enticing, intoxicating plant that draws in your attention. Still, though it is more difficult, you can walk away. If, however, you continue to nurture it, it will quickly grow into a tree, then a forest of trees, and before you know it you're trapped, there's no way out--except through orgasm. Thus, it is crucial not to entertain lustful thoughts, and not to dwell, even for a moment, in states of arousal.
Eventually, once you are away from it for awhile, you become peaceful, serene, much like it felt to be a kid, and the joy of celibacy becomes far more valuable than the sensual pleasure of lust. The idea is not to restrain your actions, this solves nothing. The idea is to restrain your mind. You must work with your thoughts, discarding all lustful ones, recognizing "this will lead to my suffering, the suffering of others, and the suffering of both. This will lead me away from Nibbana." Do not identify with your thoughts, watch them arise and cease remembering always, "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not myself."
So ultimately these are the four things that helped me: 1) Pride in my accomplishment, 2) The shame of failure, 3) Restraint in my thought, 4) The joy of celibacy. I hope this helps.
Last edited by Moth
on Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.