I am determined to abstain from pornography

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

Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby manas » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:33 pm

Thanks Bhante. :anjali: (I just read your name more carefully!). Btw I could never broach this subject to the Bhikkhus I know 'in the physical world', but I really appreciate that members of the Bhikkhu Sangha are here in this Forum to offer advice even about such difficult subjects as this one!

Regarding the mind finding satisfaction in the good rather than the bad, this is a gradual process for me, perhaps a lifelong one. Just as the Buddha says in the Dhammapada, my mind, due to the force of acquired habit (since time immemorial?) quite naturally and effortlessly glides towards sense pleasures (NO effort needed here!), but to experience the pleasure of meditation, effort IS needed! Waking up is hard to do, but now that the Buddha has shown me this much, just rolling over and going back to sleep seems a ghastly option...yet what the Buddha invites me to do (renunciation by seeing things as they really are) is difficult also. I'm sorry to sound like I'm complaining, it's just how I feel these days. (Btw I humbly bow to the Sakyan Sage, who holds up a Light for any who wish to see, and offers a Path to deliverance!)

Sincerely, 'manasikara'.
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Monkey Mind » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:09 pm

manasikara wrote:Btw I could never broach this subject to the Bhikkhus I know 'in the physical world'

Why not? That is not meant as a criticism, but only to convey that I did broach this topic with monks. The guidance I received was very inspirational.
:anjali:
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:12 am

Yes, if you need advice on overcoming lust, monks are clearly one of the most useful sources for practical advice... :sage:

Though one of my teachers who ordained as a novice at about age 12 sometimes joked:
"There's no point in asking my advice about sex...". :tongue:

:anjali:
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Pacific » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:55 am

as I heard the other night in a discussion about this subject -- "it just doesn't lead to enlightenment" which is as good enough reason as one needs I reckon
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby nyanasuci » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:02 pm

Hello,

manasikara wrote:Btw I could never broach this subject to the Bhikkhus I know 'in the physical world', but I really appreciate that members of the Bhikkhu Sangha are here in this Forum to offer advice even about such difficult subjects as this one!

In the Sangha of the Lord Buddha we do not have tabu topics (like in the Catholic monasteries). We are celibate and not born as saints, and therefore the theme about greed, hate and delusion is present here. The problem of our kilesas should be acknowledged and then one should seek for help from people who are skilled in the matter (which would be the Buddha, and other knowledgeable bhikkhus or bhikkhunis). So, do not feel intimidated when you approach a bhikkhu regarding problem of pornography or other tabu topics.

See also this video:

Bhikkhu Hiriko - Ñāṇasuci

The experts do not say that one is a sage in this world because of view, or learning, or knowledge, Nanda.
I call them sages who wander without association, without affliction, without desire.

The Buddha, Sn.V.8.2 (1078)


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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Aloka » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:14 pm

manasikara wrote:
PS, someone said that if it's a problem, 'just don't do it!' Respectfully, that's like telling an alcoholic or a smoker 'well just stop' and expecting that it's just that simple. You have to have been addicted to something on a chemical level to know how tough the process of freeing yourself is. At the moment of orgasm, dopamine and other neurochemicals get released in the brain, and an orgasm junkie is actually hooked on those chemicals, more than the physical sensation of about ten seconds duration. It's chemical, that's why its as tough as alcohol or smokes to give up.



I think that was me. I said ''Just don't watch it.''

With respect, one can give all manner of things up if one wants too strongly enough. I gave up smoking since I was 14, immediately, at the point I decided 'OK,thats it now. " I also gave up recreational drugs years ago in the same way.

I gave up having another boyfriend and sex (which I enjoyed) - just like that too - because I wanted to focus exclusively on Dhamma study and meditation in non-working hours.

You have to be determined ...and then just let the "addiction" go, with ease and relaxed optimism. :)

So, no, it doesn't have to be tough, it can be easy. It's dependent on one's mental attitude. No need to get mentally obsessed and attached...just meditate.

You have to make up your mind to stop watching the porn and replace that time with something non-sexual , instead of finding excuses to keep watching it.

The porn industry is known to be rife with crime and drugs and the sex they film is completely loveless and staged.

If its become a medical problem for you, then why not seek help from the medical profession ?

Anyway, hope you can find a solution and sending good wishes.
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby nyanasuci » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:57 am

Even Pope Benedict XVI did give a recent comment on pornography:

Drugs, money, sex, pornography, alcohol ... these things are destructive and divisive.
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11333448)

Image

;)
Bhikkhu Hiriko - Ñāṇasuci

The experts do not say that one is a sage in this world because of view, or learning, or knowledge, Nanda.
I call them sages who wander without association, without affliction, without desire.

The Buddha, Sn.V.8.2 (1078)


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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Dmytro » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:45 am

Hello,

These problems can be overcome with the help of proper tools.

The key resource needed to deal with any addiction is the time and space to reflect. In the case of porn, time and space between the thought and porn website.

Such a distance is provided by parental control services. I've found very useful the service http://www.opendns.com/. It can block a range of websites, according to selected settings, including also those websites which can compromise computer security.

Another viable option is http://www1.k9webprotection.com/
(see the comparison at: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-fr ... Filter.htm )

These services give you some time, and the rest is up to you.

Good luck!
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Moth » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:13 am

The moment of lust--a sudden shift of consciousness where we suddenly feel overwhelmed and out of our own control. In this state of mind it is quite easy to make illogical mistakes, which I have often done. The real skill is experiencing this state of arousal and simply not acting upon it, watching it arise and watching it fade. However if we identify with it, if we make it a condition of "our self" then we are likely to fall victim to it. Do not despise it, do not venerate it, simple be impassive towards it.
Last edited by Moth on Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby manas » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:03 pm

Monkey Mind wrote:
manasikara wrote:Btw I could never broach this subject to the Bhikkhus I know 'in the physical world'

Why not? That is not meant as a criticism, but only to convey that I did broach this topic with monks. The guidance I received was very inspirational.
:anjali:


About that, I just meant that 'I would feel either 1.too embarrassed to mention it, or 2.would be concerned that I was 'stressing them out' with problems of lay life that they probably don't wish to have to recall or deal with (such as when married people ask for marital advice, which I would definitely not do - I would ask a skilled layperson instead, and leave the monks in peace!) For my part, I also meant absolutely no criticism of you at all, I was just referring to my own reticence in approaching monks these days.

I might add one thing though: When I first encountered Buddhism 20 years ago, completely and utterly green, I had several monks, some quite learned, show much compassion to me, allowing me to ask all kinds of questions (some of them quite silly) and patiently trying to guide me in the right direction. The irony is that now, those monks being now gone elsewhere (that's life), I am quite isolated in terms of Buddhist association (other than online forums such as this). I am not a very easy person to like or get to know, it seems. So my not visiting monks is so as to not disturb them.

metta. :anjali:
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:49 am

I was afraid that if I asked the monks questions about drinking alcohol, masturbation, and pornography, my questions would trigger a relapse in sensual desire. What if I show a monk my new iphone, and he suddenly disrobes in pursuit of the latest gadgets! I discovered that their resolve was amazing! Who better to learn from when trying to control my desires. Besides, it seems that Buddha wanted the monks to be available to the laity.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:49 am

Dmytro wrote:Hello,

These problems can be overcome with the help of proper tools.

The key resource needed to deal with any addiction is the time and space to reflect. In the case of porn, time and space between the thought and porn website.

Such a distance is provided by parental control services. I've found very useful the service http://www.opendns.com/. It can block a range of websites, according to selected settings, including also those websites which can compromise computer security.

Another viable option is http://www1.k9webprotection.com/
(see the comparison at: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-fr ... Filter.htm )

These services give you some time, and the rest is up to you.

Good luck!


Sadhu! Thanks Dmytro, I'm going to give opendns a try. I've used k9 in the past and although it's somewhat effective it did block some sites that I needed to use for work. Metta.
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:24 am

I wrote this reply to a msg was deleted by the time I got around to posting it. Of course, the name has been withheld:

XXX wrote:. . .

"meditation beats masturbation"
"don't knock masturbation. It's sex with someone I love"

But rather than get into contest with your lust, maybe try simply watching it, being with it, simply attending to the feeing of it without comment, without wanting it to stay or to go away. And it is at the moment when it stops that meditation "beats" masturbation. (There are way too many opportunities here for puns; I must behave myself.)
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: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby manas » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:...it is at the moment when it stops that meditation "beats" masturbation. (There are way too many opportunities here for puns; I must behave myself.)


*chuckle* Yes, we need to stop; give our mind a good 'whack'; then get up, and put our hands to good use instead (performing wholesome kammas). ;)
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Vepacitta » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:00 pm

You could always set up a 'contest' like they did on Seinfeld ...
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby manas » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:41 am

Vepacitta wrote:You could always set up a 'contest' like they did on Seinfeld ...

LOL I just searched and found it on youtube...yep we could have a special forum where people can register the number of days they have totally abstained from p#rn and/or m#sturbation, with all the participants donating $10 via paypal into a prize pool. Whoever makes it to six months of total abstinence gets to keep the lot.
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Dhammakid » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:07 am

Oh wow, I am so glad to have come across this thread. It's exactly what I needed right now. Funny, enlightening and helpful.

I struggle with watching porn on a consistent basis. I'm not totally sure I'm "addicted" to it, although many times I believed I was. But regardless, I've tried SO many times to quit, which just goes to show the sheer stranglehold lust and sex can have on the mind.

So, using the recommendations posted here, I will try my best to abstain from porn and masturbation.

That being said, I will say I'm among the lot who doesn't necessarily have a problem with porn and masturbation in and of itself. I do believe porn has good uses such as being helpful for couples and providing an avenue for people to express themselves if they so choose to in that way.

But knowing what I know of the harm the sex industry can have on the women involved, I would also say I would rather not continue indulging. Being Buddhist gives me even more reason not to.

Plus, I'm being totally dishonest when I watch it. I live with my parents and they have a no-porn policy on their computers. So I have to be sneaky when I watch it. I'm done with being dishonest. And I just feel bad when I do it.

I don't want to be a slave to porn, and I feel I will be if I run away from it, so to speak. Instead of setting my computer so that I can't watch porn, I would like to train my mind to effectively deal with arousal and the urge to masturbate so that I can overcome the urge without necessarily having to run away from it. That way, when I'm home alone and have the computer to myself, and I get the urge, I can be confident that I can overcome it without having to do anything to the computer. This will be helpful for when I get my personal laptop working again...

:anjali:
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby Guy » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:51 am

Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:43 pm

I wonder if the persons having trouble quitting are truly addicted -- as drug addicts and alcoholics are addicted -- or just having problems avoiding the allure? True sex addiction is very rare. We tend to use this term "addiction" quite freely when what we really mean is "i like it very much." I have a friend who says he's "addicted" to Oreo cookies. C'mon, I like them too but last time I checked the ingredients, heroin wasn't listed. :P

My point being if true addiction issues are involved--seek professional counseling. That's what it's there for. If it's just a bad habit: man up and stop doing it. When you see you're about to give in, go for a walk and think about something else. Take down the Sutta Pitaka, go to the park and read for a while. Get out of the house and away from the computer. Nobody else can force you to do the right thing once you get past a certain age; we have to take responsibility for our own actions. Habits take time to reinforce, both good and bad. Porn is just ridiculous. Who cares about looking at nekkid people anyway? :toilet: :lol: Good luck.

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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Postby bodom » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:29 pm

I wonder if the persons having trouble quitting are truly addicted -- as drug addicts and alcoholics are addicted -- or just having problems avoiding the allure? True sex addiction is very rare. We tend to use this term "addiction" quite freely when what we really mean is "i like it very much."


Hard to tell as addiction is a self diagnosed disease.

Porn is just ridiculous. Who cares about looking at nekkid people anyway?


Apparently lots of people care as porn is a multi billion dollar industry.

There is no one sight, sound, smell, taste and touch other than that of a woman which can captivate and distract the mind of a man; conversely there is no one sight, sound, smell, taste ,and touch other then that of a man which can captivate and distract the mind of a woman. - AN 1.10


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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