Pornography

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Re: Pornography

Postby manas » Thu May 03, 2012 1:50 am

I just realized that the original question was 'can one use it non-harmfully?' Strictly speaking, the answer is 'no', because it is harmful to one's own mind. In that last post, I just wanted to point out that one can still use it and not be breaking the five basic lay precepts. But yeah, it is always harmful, there's no getting away from that...we have to try to let go of it completely, the sooner the better. But in the meantime, you do the best you can (to abstain), while not flaying yourself alive over hot coals if you sometimes mess up, that's all...I mean, excessive guilt can actually increase it's allure (sad but true), and is unhelpful in breaking free of it.

_/I\_
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Re: Pornography

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 03, 2012 2:05 am

dhammapal wrote:When I said that porn was a root cause of depression, social withdrawal and social anxiety, of course the dots of color on the screen aren't the problem, but the world of porn, which broadcasts the message that if women liked you they would take their clothes off for you, becomes alienated from the real world, leading to social withdrawal and social anxiety because when women aren't enthusiastic about flirting etc. it is interpreted as meaning that you are unattractive and inadequate and that the only way to see women in the nude is to watch porn where the women can't reject you. And it is embarrassing to be joining a social tennis club with the sole purpose of meeting a woman who would undress for you.
Again, you are blaming pornography for one's social inadequacies.
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.

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Re: Pornography

Postby rowboat » Thu May 03, 2012 2:47 am

Chris Hedges on the porn industry, also:

Here's a lengthy excerpt on pornography from Hedges's book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/it ... rnography/

Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5
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Re: Pornography

Postby mlinds10 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:58 am

I came here because I struggle with porn. It is currently the biggest hindrance on the path for me. It is really depressing to read peoples justification of porn. Of course it is the sex trade and the Buddha strongly denounced that but do we really need the Buddha to tell us that. I've read alot on the porn industry at least in America. Even though they get tested for STD's its poorly carried out. STD's are common through out the porn industry. Drugs are rampant on and off the set. Men and women are treated as objects and the produces don't care cause they stand to capitalize on the movies they make. For me it creates strong delusion in my mind. Im so corrupt from watching porn it s not even funny. I think women are whores and that girls want to be treated like one. The said reality is that for many young people they believe this to. Young adults grow up watching porn and then feel this is normal and girls who watch it to think they have to be face F**ked or F89ked in the arse in order for boys to like them. I know not everyone feels this way but pornography definatley creates much delusion. The Buddha said that we all suffer from ignorance and delusion. I assume most people on this sight are trying to practice the Dharma but it seems even for practitioners delusion is strong so its even more so for non practitioners. Somebody tried to make a point that if a girl likes doing porn then its ok. No not really. Buddha said we respond to suffering with bewilderment and so if she is enjoying it chances are she is bewildered. Even if she is ok with it many performers aren't and again these movies lead to people forming the wrong conception of sex. Sure some may see it for what it is, transient phenomena and not develop attachment to it but I seriously doubt it. People are so whacked its not even funny. Why even practice Buddhism if your just going to justify something that it is obviously causing more harm then good.Im sure somebody will object to this. Oh if any one else struggles with porn or has struggled please let me know what strategies you employed to combat this.
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Re: Pornography

Postby manas » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:13 am

mlinds10 wrote:I came here because I struggle with porn. It is currently the biggest hindrance on the path for me. It is really depressing to read peoples justification of porn. Of course it is the sex trade and the Buddha strongly denounced that but do we really need the Buddha to tell us that. I've read alot on the porn industry at least in America. Even though they get tested for STD's its poorly carried out. STD's are common through out the porn industry. Drugs are rampant on and off the set. Men and women are treated as objects and the produces don't care cause they stand to capitalize on the movies they make. For me it creates strong delusion in my mind. Im so corrupt from watching porn it s not even funny. I think women are whores and that girls want to be treated like one. The said reality is that for many young people they believe this to. Young adults grow up watching porn and then feel this is normal and girls who watch it to think they have to be face F**ked or F89ked in the arse in order for boys to like them. I know not everyone feels this way but pornography definatley creates much delusion. The Buddha said that we all suffer from ignorance and delusion. I assume most people on this sight are trying to practice the Dharma but it seems even for practitioners delusion is strong so its even more so for non practitioners. Somebody tried to make a point that if a girl likes doing porn then its ok. No not really. Buddha said we respond to suffering with bewilderment and so if she is enjoying it chances are she is bewildered. Even if she is ok with it many performers aren't and again these movies lead to people forming the wrong conception of sex. Sure some may see it for what it is, transient phenomena and not develop attachment to it but I seriously doubt it. People are so whacked its not even funny. Why even practice Buddhism if your just going to justify something that it is obviously causing more harm then good.Im sure somebody will object to this. Oh if any one else struggles with porn or has struggled please let me know what strategies you employed to combat this.


Hi mlinds

don't feel too guilty about it. The porn industry know exactly what makes men tick. Porn sites tap into the 'primitive brain', and this is why men can sometimes go back time and again, then regret it and feel terrible ("why did I do that?"), when their 'better self' kicks in again. These sites are designed to addict you. Why they work so well, is because in the scheme of things, Nature values the survival of the species above your spiritual and ethical development. So this battle to reclaim sovereignty, to be the master in your own home (your mind), is going to take some time.

So the first thing is, don't punish yourself. Take this one day at a time. You're not alone, and there is help available, both from Buddhist practices, and psychological / therapeutic ones.

I'm not an expert on this subject, but this link might be a good start: http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/

also:



kind regards,

manas :anjali:
The greatest warrior of all time turned out to be the most peaceful one.
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Re: Pornography

Postby Alobha » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:57 am

mlinds10 wrote:Oh if any one else struggles with porn or has struggled please let me know what strategies you employed to combat this.


Just know from the moment you wake up till you fall asleep at night. When there is tension in the body, be aware of the tension.
If there is a positive feeling resulting from this tension, note that this tension is followed by a positive feeling.
If there is a negative feeling resulting from this tension, note that this tension is followed by a negative feeling.
Don't act on these feelings, but wait and watch what is and what happens. Watch the thoughts that come up, watch the bodily sensations, watch what feelings following from it and whether there is a will or a craving to pursuit it.

Adopt this watching-procedure to all objects that feed your lust. Adopt it to forms, tones, smells, tastes, bodily sensations and mental objects. All unguarded senses contribute to this matter.

A more general strategy that has been helpful for me, too: Don't see the things you struggle with as problems. They're wonderful opportunities to raise your game, to learn more about the Dhamma and to practice the path. Be curious and investigate what these things are all about! :)
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Re: Pornography

Postby Dan74 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:23 am

I think these things can be tackled on three levels.

The highest level is what I call "reorientation". So instead of being oriented to pleasure and gratification, we (gradually) reorient towards truth, liberation and service to others. This gradual reorientation can be helped by the taking of Refuges, Vows, etc. And not just once but daily or even more often. But most of all, it is helped by meditation and practice in daily life, I feel.

The most immediate level is the level of mindfulness where we pay attention to what is happening. Breath can be a wonderful aid in this I've discovered. So we cultivate a spacious awareness around our actions and don't get sucked in by old habits so easily. The other part of mindfulness is recalling the teachings and commitments when the temptation arises.

The third level, which is sort of between the other two, is all sorts of practical steps to avoid situations where we tend to fall. Like developing a routine around computer use, early warning system - "oops, I am in this frame of mind, lets go for a walk, run, have a cold shower, etc." Various contemplations, like the repulsiveness of the body, on death, etc belong here. Reading about the lives of the porn stars to give substance to these people can help, as well as reflecting on how consuming this material actually affects us.

Best of luck with it, everyone!
_/|\_
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Re: Pornography

Postby SDC » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:20 pm

Cross post from the "porn free" thread

I have been quite honest about my struggles with this in the past. I have had some real good results as of late and I’d like to share them. For the record, I am not trying to be celibate or even quit masturbating (at least not at this time), I just do not want to use porn, especially on the internet; its endless which is why it is so dangerous and I feel it is a waste of my energy.

I have reduced my usage a lot in the past 2 years with minimal backlash. It has be slow but steady. I’ve been analyzing the entire process in order to understand it, and the most important thing I have begun to discover is the deeper meaning of the shame that I experience after I use. Initially I only understood it as guilt for not being to resist and succumbing to the urges, but I soon realized there was much more to it than that. It is a stern reminder of how ordinary I am and that I am not as developed as I want to be. One day I feel like a solid practitioner who is at a certain level and then the next I fall into a trap that humbles me. Worse off, it is a trap that I have fallen into thousands of times. Perhaps this was so blatantly obvious that I failed to pay much attention to it in the past. I have begun recalling this when I start to get the urges. I focus on my goal which is the reorientation that Dan brought up. I say to myself, “Hey! If you really want to progress in the dhamma then this (porn usage) has to stop. You can give in, but you know how you will feel afterwards. Is the pleasure worth it?”

This may not be the case for everyone, but I am saving no space for a porn habit. Maybe some people can do it and still have a strong practice. Not me. It is a full on surrendering of control and attentiveness that goes against everything I am trying to accomplish. Once again, I am not looking to be rid of sex and masturbation, but porn has to go.

Good post, Dan.
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Re: Pornography

Postby kirk5a » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:26 pm

We can't expect to put aside intoxicating pleasures and replace them with stale bread. So I think it's interesting to consider just how much pleasure is actually emphasized in the Buddha's teachings. But he replaces sensual pleasure with meditative pleasure. Jhana - but I don't think it has to be jhana or bust :lol: Ahem. What I mean is, we can learn to tap into meditative pleasure that is deeply satisfying and wholesome. Even outside of formal meditation sessions. Virtue (ethical conduct) is supportive of the development of pleasure! That's certainly a non-puritanical thing to see.

Check this out:

"For a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue, there is no need for an act of will, 'May freedom from remorse arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that freedom from remorse arises in a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue.

"For a person free from remorse, there is no need for an act of will, 'May joy arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.

"For a joyful person, there is no need for an act of will, 'May rapture arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that rapture arises in a joyful person.

"For a rapturous person, there is no need for an act of will, 'May my body be serene.' It is in the nature of things that a rapturous person grows serene in body.

"For a person serene in body, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I experience pleasure.' It is in the nature of things that a person serene in body experiences pleasure.

"For a person experiencing pleasure, there is no need for an act of will, 'May my mind grow concentrated.' It is in the nature of things that the mind of a person experiencing pleasure grows concentrated.

"For a person whose mind is concentrated, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I know & see things as they actually are.' It is in the nature of things that a person whose mind is concentrated knows & sees things as they actually are.

"For a person who knows & sees things as they actually are, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I feel disenchantment.' It is in the nature of things that a person who knows & sees things as they actually are feels disenchantment.

"For a person who feels disenchantment, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I grow dispassionate.' It is in the nature of things that a person who feels disenchantment grows dispassionate.

"For a dispassionate person, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I realize the knowledge & vision of release.' It is in the nature of things that a dispassionate person realizes the knowledge & vision of release.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Pornography

Postby SDC » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:42 pm

kirk5a wrote:We can't expect to put aside intoxicating pleasures and replace them with stale bread. So I think it's interesting to consider just how much pleasure is actually emphasized in the Buddha's teachings. But he replaces sensual pleasure with meditative pleasure. Jhana - but I don't think it has to be jhana or bust :lol: Ahem. What I mean is, we can learn to tap into meditative pleasure that is deeply satisfying and wholesome. Even outside of formal meditation sessions. Virtue (ethical conduct) is supportive of the development of pleasure! That's certainly a non-puritanical thing to see.


On the money.
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Re: Pornography

Postby cityoftrees » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:45 pm

Lots of great replies on this thread. I just wanted to add a link to this talk by the monk Yuttadhammo. It's his response to the question: 'Through meditation, could I learn to control my mind in a way that would enable me to destroy an addiction, or addictive tendencies? I'm addicted to pornography and masturbation. It's ruining my life, can you help?' I found it interesting; I hope it might be helpful for others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5Lg9P-VekA

It's 40 minutes long.
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