Porn Free for 90 Days

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby reflection » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:10 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhammapal wrote: . . . Looking at porn starts with curiosity . . . .
It is worth mentioning one last time: it is not the pornography that is the problem.

I agree that pornography doesn't have to be the source of all problems. It's a bit over simplified to think so. But it may also be over simplified to say it is not an indirect cause of other problems at all. I personally have zero guilt feelings, no distorted way of seeing women, no depression-like moods, no social axiety or anything. But I can imagine how these things might arise as a result of over indulging in such things as pornography.
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:20 pm

reflection wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhammapal wrote: . . . Looking at porn starts with curiosity . . . .
It is worth mentioning one last time: it is not the pornography that is the problem.

I agree that pornography doesn't have to be the source of all problems. It's a bit over simplified to think so. But it may also be over simplified to say it is not an indirect cause of other problems at all. I personally have zero guilt feelings, no distorted way of seeing women, no depression-like moods, no social axiety or anything. But I can imagine how these things might arise as a result of over indulging in such things as pornography.
No one here has yet to say that porn held a gun to their head, demanding that they look at porn. Porn may be a contributing factor, but it is not a cause. The cause resides in the choices we make; often small choices driven by feelings. It is a matter of learning to pay attention to these feeling and to these small choices that we make in response them that can rise to the big, difficult choices where we have to struggle with what t do, where we blame ourselves for our perceived failures. It is a matter of learning how step back from a situation, be it small or big, to put some space -- awareness -- around it, and it a matter of learning to be kind to ourselves when we fail, not beat ourselves up because we did not live up to an overly rigid ideal of how we should act. An honest, pleasurable self-pleasuring is far less a problem than is the negative round of self-condemnation that follows an unrealistic goal.

Quite honestly we need to learn to be comfortable with our sexuasl feelings even though they may be extremely uncomfortable at times.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18354
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby manas » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:12 pm

dhamma_newb wrote:Hi all,

I came across this website called http://yourbrainonporn.com/ and realized I wanted to cut out all fantasy, porn, masturbation, and orgasm for 90 days and see what would happen in my life. I know this will be quite a challenge so hopefully posting this here will help me to succeed. Thank you.

With Metta,
Don


Hi Don (I must have missed this topic earlier, just saw it)
I recalled this when I read your post:

"And what is right resolve? Aspiring to renunciation, to freedom from ill will, to harmlessness: This is called right resolve.


I think there are plenty of men who live alone, have no girlfriend, but do have an Internet connection at home, who will appreciate what a wholesome aspiration that is - sādhu!

I would advise not to get disheartened if it takes a while to make it to 90 days straight, though. There might be a few slip-ups on the royal road to abstinence. I think we need to be able to 'pick ourselves up, shake off the dust and get back into the saddle' if we do fall off the wagon sometimes. It's important not to get too much into judgement, as this can actually make matters worse.

:anjali:
Primum non nocere: "first, do no harm."
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 1943
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby SDC » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:26 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Quite honestly we need to learn to be comfortable with our sexual feelings even though they may be extremely uncomfortable at times.


I am not sure what you mean, tilt. Learn to be comfortable by giving in to those feelings in some way? Through action or thought?

I am not sure if you are suggesting a "learn-to-deal-with-it-because-it-isn't-ever-going-to-go-away" mentality.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
User avatar
SDC
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm
Location: North Jersey

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby manas » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:33 pm

I just recalled my longest ever stint at brahmacariya - about 6 (or was it 9?) months straight without (knowingly) passing a drop of seed, not even in dreams. It was before I had come to the (Buddha) Dhamma, when I was still investigating other paths, so I had to do it without asubha contemplation, so i'm kind of amazed now, looking back. I was living in a Hindu-styled ashram, with other brahmacaris. And therein lies the answer - I was living in a community with other men who were all doing the same practice (ie, involving complete abstinence). That was the 'secret'. So I just thought, one easy way to get one's brain off the dopamine would be to just take a few months off, and live in a monastery willing to let one stay for a period of time. You could offer to help out, clean etc. Just an idea, obviously not available if you have kids, responsibilites etc.

:anjali:
Primum non nocere: "first, do no harm."
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 1943
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:38 pm

SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Quite honestly we need to learn to be comfortable with our sexual feelings even though they may be extremely uncomfortable at times.


I am not sure what you mean, tilt. Learn to be comfortable by giving in to those feelings in some way? Through action or thought?
Did I say give into those feeling? Nope. You can have "uncomfortable" feelings without giving into them; you can have "uncomfortable" feeling without being distressed by them.

I am not sure if you are suggesting a "learn-to-deal-with-it-because-it-isn't-ever-going-to-go-away" mentality.
For the most part, while you are alive, there are going to be sexual feelings. What are you going to do with them?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18354
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby SDC » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:46 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Quite honestly we need to learn to be comfortable with our sexual feelings even though they may be extremely uncomfortable at times.


I am not sure what you mean, tilt. Learn to be comfortable by giving in to those feelings in some way? Through action or thought?
Did I say give into those feeling? Nope. You can have "uncomfortable" feelings without giving into them; you can have "uncomfortable" feeling without being distressed by them.


Thanks for the clarification.

tiltbillings wrote:
I am not sure if you are suggesting a "learn-to-deal-with-it-because-it-isn't-ever-going-to-go-away" mentality.
For the most part, while you are alive, there are going to be sexual feelings. What are you going to do with them?


In regards to the feelings that lead to looking at porn - pay attention to them, learn about how it happens, reduce the feelings and then eventually be rid of them.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
User avatar
SDC
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm
Location: North Jersey

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby SDC » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:05 pm

SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
I am not sure if you are suggesting a "learn-to-deal-with-it-because-it-isn't-ever-going-to-go-away" mentality.
For the most part, while you are alive, there are going to be sexual feelings. What are you going to do with them?


In regards to the feelings that lead to looking at porn - pay attention to them, learn about how it happens, reduce the feelings and then eventually be rid of them.


And the same goes for sexual feelings in general.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
User avatar
SDC
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm
Location: North Jersey

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:08 pm

SDC wrote:And the same goes for sexual feelings in general.
"eventually be rid of them." I would not count on it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18354
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby SDC » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
SDC wrote:And the same goes for sexual feelings in general.
"eventually be rid of them." I would not count on it.


:D Why not?
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
User avatar
SDC
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm
Location: North Jersey

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:35 pm

SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
SDC wrote:And the same goes for sexual feelings in general.
"eventually be rid of them." I would not count on it.


:D Why not?
Eventually, may be with the attainment of higher ariya status, but in the meantime, we are biological, sexual beings and reproduction is what the body wants. The issue is not not having sexual feelings, but how we relate to them.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18354
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby SDC » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:59 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Eventually, may be with the attainment of higher ariya status, but in the meantime, we are biological, sexual beings and reproduction is what the body wants. The issue is not not having sexual feelings, but how we relate to them.


Hmm...

So you still are not saying to give into the urges? Your saying the urges will be there at an nonadjustable intensity which will not reduce until we reach ariya, so we have to learn to relate to that intensity somehow?

For the record, I am not trying to be rid the feelings right now either, but I am trying to reduce the urges.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
User avatar
SDC
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm
Location: North Jersey

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:58 pm

I am thinking about this radical method. Repeated exposure leads to desensitization, right?

What if a person forces oneself to watch porn mindfully for entire day (or entire weekend) until one is blue in the face. Wouldn't that lead to extreme desensitization and boredom with porn? And then try to abstain forever. When one is "sick and tired" and desensitized, it may be easier to keep the resolve. Not to mention one could say "I've seen it all, I am sick and tired of it, and there is nothing new"

Any ideas, comments, suggestions?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby reflection » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:10 pm

Ok, I think it is time for a bit of constructive replies now. Maybe replies stating freedom from sexual desire to be impossible, or very unlikely can go in threads like this one or this one, so we can keep this as a supportive environment. I would very much appreciate that, personally. Not that I am not convinced it is possible, but still.

Anyway, here is something for those who are willing to give their craving up!

All these Dhammapada verses are very inspiring:
This I say to you:
Good luck to all assembled here!
Dig up the root of craving,
like one in search
of the fragrant root of the birana grass.
Let not Mara crush you again and again,
as a flood crushes a reed.

Whoever overcomes
this wretched craving,
so difficult to overcome,
from him sorrows fall away
like water from a lotus leaf.
http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/dhammapada-24.html


Some inspiration and tactics to apply:
The Blessed One said: "Monks, sensuality is inconstant, hollow, vain, deceptive. It is illusory, the babble of fools. Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come: both are Mara's realm, Mara's domain, Mara's bait, Mara's range. They lead to these evil, unskillful mental states: greed, ill will, & contentiousness. They arise for the obstruction of a disciple of the noble ones here in training.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:namaste:
Last edited by reflection on Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby reflection » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:24 pm

Alex123 wrote:I am thinking about this radical method. Repeated exposure leads to desensitization, right?

What if a person forces oneself to watch porn mindfully for entire day (or entire weekend) until one is blue in the face. Wouldn't that lead to extreme desensitization and boredom with porn? And then try to abstain forever. When one is "sick and tired" and desensitized, it may be easier to keep the resolve. Not to mention one could say "I've seen it all, I am sick and tired of it, and there is nothing new"

Any ideas, comments, suggestions?

You could try it, the video of the Ask-A-Monk-monk said something similar. You can see porn just as a bunch of bodies or as "just seeing" as this monk suggested (I'd also say you can see it as "just pixels") but I think that may not the trick. Just like one doesn't overcome ill will with just mindfulness, I don't think one can overcome craving with just mindfulness. There are many quotes in the suttas where it is said that to overcome sensual desire, one needs to practice renunciation; which is giving the particular sensual activity up. That does -in my eyes- not really go hand in hand with watching porn, either mindful or unmindful. And to practice the body as the body and seeing as seeing can also happen without pornography.

However, the monk is not stupid, and neither are you, so I suggest you watch the video for yourself to make a conclusion. It's somewhere in this topic. It did not speak about the "sick and tired" approach though. And I think sensual craving doesn't work like that. It'll just be a temporary fix at best. Just like when you overeat at Christmass and think "I'll never have to eat again"... yeah, until you're hungry, then you'll totally forget what you thought before. :tongue:

I wish you all the best! I can tell you it won't be easy (and so could the Buddha) but hope it will be worth it.

Myself I've started off a new try at 90 days, this time recognizing that my personal issue is keeping enough conviction that it'll indeed be a happier life without it. Which most of the time I did already, but I lost it sometimes.

With metta,
Reflection
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby dhammapal » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:07 am

Porn-free for 10 ½ days!

I read a Depression booklet with a photo of an attractive woman who reminded me of my unrequited love from 15 years ago (supposedly after recovering from depression but probably a model). She had clothes on so it didn't count as pornography but after masturbation I immediately tossed it into my recycled paper box (it won't go into the garbage for a while but it is out of reach).

I agree that one needs to work on mental attitudes (I can't recommend donating to the Rape Crisis Centre enough) but removing my access to the 17 photos I had collected last July by deleting them from my computer and throwing out the backup CD-ROMs has helped. My computer paralysis operating the mouse and keyboard is greatly reduced. Overcoming my pornography addiction is helping other aspects of my life beyond what I could have imagined.

With metta / dhammapal.
dhammapal
 
Posts: 551
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:33 am

SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Eventually, may be with the attainment of higher ariya status, but in the meantime, we are biological, sexual beings and reproduction is what the body wants. The issue is not not having sexual feelings, but how we relate to them.


Hmm...

So you still are not saying to give into the urges?
And you keep asking that question. Since the Buddha did not proscribe sex for the laity, if one wants to "give into the urges," one should do so with due consideration. But that is not what I am talking about in this context.

Your saying the urges will be there at an nonadjustable intensity which will not reduce until we reach ariya, so we have to learn to relate to that intensity somehow?
Ah, we need to turn down the sexual urge dial. The point here is to not get into conflict with one's own urges. If you do, the likelihood is that you'll lose one way or another. I would simply suggest, rather, that via mindful practice one learns to see the urges as passing phenomena, whatever their intensity.

A person could tough it out for 90 days, but more importantly than just not looking at porn and not whacking-off for 90 days is using that time to get a real sense of the rise and fall of the urges, of one’s reaction to them -- that is, how one reacts to them, how one judges one’s self --, and how one’s choices in response to the urges play a part in all of this. Maybe one might then learn one can have these urges without having to act upon them, knowing their nature, and all that, which undercuts their power.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18354
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby reflection » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:22 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Eventually, may be with the attainment of higher ariya status, but in the meantime, we are biological, sexual beings and reproduction is what the body wants. The issue is not not having sexual feelings, but how we relate to them.


Hmm...

So you still are not saying to give into the urges?
And you keep asking that question. Since the Buddha did not proscribe sex for the laity, if one wants to "give into the urges," one should do so with due consideration. But that is not what I am talking about in this context.

Your saying the urges will be there at an nonadjustable intensity which will not reduce until we reach ariya, so we have to learn to relate to that intensity somehow?
Ah, we need to turn down the sexual urge dial. The point here is to not get into conflict with one's own urges. If you do, the likelihood is that you'll lose one way or another. I would simply suggest, rather, that via mindful practice one learns to see the urges as passing phenomena, whatever their intensity.

A person could tough it out for 90 days, but more importantly than just not looking at porn and not whacking-off for 90 days is using that time to get a real sense of the rise and fall of the urges, of one’s reaction to them -- that is, how one reacts to them, how one judges one’s self --, and how one’s choices in response to the urges play a part in all of this. Maybe one might then learn one can have these urges without having to act upon them, knowing their nature, and all that, which undercuts their power.

Mindfulness is certainly a big part of it, but not the end solution to all problems. And I'm not saying you do say this, but I just want to clarify this. Because craving itself is a hindrance, it interferes with mindfulness. So "mindful practice .. to see the urges as passing phenomena, whatever their intensity" is something that doesn't work for whatever intensity. You can't always arouse the right amount of mindfulness when craving arises.

And so, to remove sensual craving, the Buddha also gave teachings on renunciation, on contemplation of the body parts, to see women as sisters, have trust and probably other things I've missed. The Buddha compared craving to a disease, something one should expell, get rid off, not just something to see as it is. Of course, the mindful approach he did also teach, and at times I found it to be a suitable approach, but not always; especially not when the mind is a bit dull or exited by other things already and mindfulness doesn't have as much power as after meditation.

So there are more trainings that we can combine. Because each person is different, we all need to find our own balance of these - of course without falling into other hindrances like anger. Some people stop smoking by gradually decreasing the amounts of sigarettes per day, while for others it is more effective to just stop and never smoke again, because they know one sigarette will trigger them to smoke more. This is the same here, so your advice may be very applicable to some people, but not so much to others.

For me, sometimes it may be better to use a bit of willpower to renunciate and think "I am craving and I'll not go into it" instead of "There is craving and I'll just see it as it is". But whatever our personal approach is on this subject, I think it is worth sharing (thank you for that), but we should be careful not to imply this is the one best road that others should also follow.

With metta,
Reflection
Last edited by reflection on Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby dhammapal » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:41 am

tiltbillings wrote:the Buddha did not proscribe sex for the laity

Tomorrow the 29th is Uposatha Day and the Eight Precepts for laypeople include no masturbation and no porn for 4 days in every month. Not too difficult.

With metta / dhammapal.
dhammapal
 
Posts: 551
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:44 am

reflection wrote:Mindfulness is certainly a big part of it, but not the end solution to all problems.
It is the basis for insight into the problem at hand

Because craving itself is a hindrance, it interferes with mindfulness.
And mindfulness can defuse craving. Because something is a hindrance that does not mean one cannot be mindful of it. It takes work and it is not easy, but it is the fundamental practice that that gives rise to insight.

So you can't always arouse the right amount of mindfulness when craving arises.
No, you cannot, but every practice that you mention in your next sentence relies upon some degree of mindfulness.

And so, to remove sensual craving, the Buddha also gave teachings on renunciation, on contemplation of the body parts, to see women as sisters, have trust and probably other things I've missed. The Buddha compared craving to a disease, something one should expell, get rid off, not just something to see as it is. Which again, at times I found the best approach, but not always.
These particular practices are expedients means, which can be useful, but ultimately it is insight into the rise and fall, the impermanent nature, of one’s urges that is going to be far more liberating.

Sometimes it may be better to see things as "I am craving and I'll do something about it" instead of "There is craving and I'll just see it as it is".
But if you are going to do something about it, what will it be? The problem with the former is that without balance it will end up as a teeth gritting exercise that will either fail, sinking the poor person into a pool of self-loathing, or it reinforces one’s sense of self. I am simply pointing out what the balance is from a standpoint of the Buddha’s teachings.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18354
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests