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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Porn Free for 90 Days

Porn Free for 90 Days

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby rowboat » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:43 pm

tiltbilllings: One is going to see a lot of sex-negative/body-negative unhealthy stuff. Actually, there is no simple answer to the question, and like anything as we move through life we need to be kind to ourselves and to question our answers.


I believe that renunciation is about as simple and direct an answer that one could ask for.

In the words of Ven. Bhikkhu Pesala:

Blameless sex may well be conducive to physical and emotional well-being. It is not immoral to have sex with one’s own wife or husband. However, it is not wholesome kamma either. Renunciation of sexual pleasures is wholesome kamma, and chastity is essential for those intent on gaining realisation of the Dhamma. “For as long as the slightest brushwood (of the passions) of man towards women is not cut down, so long is his mind in bondage, like the milch calf to its mother-cow.” (Dhp v.284) A lay person can enjoy sex from time to time, but it will inevitably lead to attachment, grief, and despair in the long term. It is therefore wise to treat it with respect, as one treats a fire in one’s own home.


Verily:
Just as from the coming together and rubbing of two sticks of wood heat results and fire is produced, and by the separation and disconnection of the sticks, the heat produced by them ceases and disappears, so it is also with these three feelings which are born of sense-impression, rooted in sense-impression, caused by sense-impression, dependent on sense-impression: dependent on a sense-impression of a certain kind there arises a corresponding feeling; by the cessation of that sense-impression the corresponding feeling ceases. SN 36.10
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: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:31 am

perkele wrote:Don't you think you are overreacting here a little bit, tilt? I mean, it's true, he used that word. But I did not perceive it to come off as overly judgemental. . . . .
Maybe not overly judgmental, but judgmental in that comment and several that followed, nonetheless.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:45 am

rowboat wrote:
tiltbilllings: One is going to see a lot of sex-negative/body-negative unhealthy stuff. Actually, there is no simple answer to the question, and like anything as we move through life we need to be kind to ourselves and to question our answers.


I believe that renunciation is about as simple and direct an answer that one could ask for.
Except renunciation may not be at all a healthy response to sex.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby reflection » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:
rowboat wrote:
tiltbilllings: One is going to see a lot of sex-negative/body-negative unhealthy stuff. Actually, there is no simple answer to the question, and like anything as we move through life we need to be kind to ourselves and to question our answers.


I believe that renunciation is about as simple and direct an answer that one could ask for.
Except renunciation may not be at all a healthy response to sex.

That's for each individual to determine for him/herself. People participating in these 90 days may think their 'old' attitude towards sex was the "unhealthy" (I prefer to name it unskillful) one. And I don't think renunciation is unskillful/unhealthy at all; especially if you take in mind that renunciation is not the same as suppresion.
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:22 am

reflection wrote:especially if you take in mind that renunciation is not the same as suppresion.

And that is key, I think.
The line between suppression and renunciation is a very subtle and blurry one. We can very easily talk ourselves into believing that developing aversion towards sense desires (whatever it may be) is renunciation.
Certainly, it is for each individual to determine for him or herself. But I would encourage anyone engaged in the "90-day challenge" to deeply, honestly and continuously investigate one's mental state and motivation.
And I wish everyone engaged in the challenge all the very best and every success.
with metta,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:47 am

reflection wrote:That's for each individual to determine for him/herself.
Well, I am not the arbiter of what is a healthy response to sex, but I seen have a far bit of unhealthy responses to sex.

And I don't think renunciation is unskillful/unhealthy at all; especially if you take in mind that renunciation is not the same as suppresion.
The issue is not suppression, it is repression. Repressed sexuality can give rise to very negative views of sex, of women (if one is male) and so forth. And it is easy enough to run through a list of "renunciates" who have acted badly sexually because they have not really come to grips with their own sexuality. One thing that would constitute, in part, a healthy response to sex is being comfortable with one's sexual feelings, even if they are uncomfortable.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby reflection » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:19 pm

Hi guys,

Indeed, there is a danger in inproper suppression of lust. Thanks for the warnings and support. I also want to send my support to everybody who wants to try this.

But there is also danger in lust, and there is a skillful way to deal with it, following the dhamma. Whatever this skillful way is, is best found through both referring to suttas and teachers, but also by just trying, I think. It is probably different for everybody, with different minds with different attachments, at different stages of the practice, so we have to determine the best way for ourselves. We're all different.

Some may be at comfort with their current sexual activity/feelings, and others are not. For those who are not, I think it is not about becoming at comfort with it, but about changing it. To overcome an attachment, one shouldn't be comfortable with it; one should recognize it, see how it is uncomfortable (dukkha) to oneself and try to abandon it skillfully.
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:04 pm

reflection wrote:Hi guys, . . . .
Just out of curiosity, how old are you? Married or in a long term relationship?
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby reflection » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:27 pm

Hi,

I'm in my mid 20's and I am not in a relationship.
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby ground » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:32 pm

Maybe a bit provocative but maybe worthwhile pondering ...

Actually there may be persons who do not have an issue with porn. So what is it that makes this an issue? The awareness of the immorality of the business and feeling as if supporting this through consumption of it? But in this case one should look at everything one consumes as a consumer and one will find inevitably products one consumes which are supported by immoral business.
Or is it being addicted and being driven to waste the time for it which one actually would prefer to spend for something else?
Or is it that one gets obsessed through it which then modifies one's perception and leads to social problems?
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby reflection » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:02 pm

I would say those all factors can contribute for certain people. However I think those factors are not the core problem . The real problem is lust - at least for me, I can't speak for everybody. And so it is not just porn, but an addiction to sexuality in general.
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:01 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
reflection wrote:That's for each individual to determine for him/herself.
Well, I am not the arbiter of what is a healthy response to sex, but I seen have a far bit of unhealthy responses to sex.

And I don't think renunciation is unskillful/unhealthy at all; especially if you take in mind that renunciation is not the same as suppresion.
The issue is not suppression, it is repression. Repressed sexuality can give rise to very negative views of sex, of women (if one is male) and so forth. And it is easy enough to run through a list of "renunciates" who have acted badly sexually because they have not really come to grips with their own sexuality. One thing that would constitute, in part, a healthy response to sex is being comfortable with one's sexual feelings, even if they are uncomfortable.



What do you suggest that one should do? Indulge in pornography?
"dust to dust...."
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby ground » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:19 pm

Wow ... that's an inference :lol:
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:36 pm

Buddha has often talked about benefits of sense restraint (it is one of requirements for better progress), and I am a bit puzzled why some Buddhists would criticize it.
"dust to dust...."
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby ground » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:44 pm

Alex123 wrote:Buddha has often talked about benefits of sense restraint (it is one of requirements for better progress), and I am a bit puzzled why some Buddhists would criticize it.

Lack of faith due to lack of suffering?

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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby ground » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:46 pm

... And what is the supporting condition for faith? 'Suffering' should be the reply.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:17 pm

ground wrote:
... And what is the supporting condition for faith? 'Suffering' should be the reply.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html


And it also requires wisdom. All of is suffer to greater or lesser degree.

When it comes to suffering I see three types of responses:
1) Deny it. But this doesn't fix it.
2) Idealize it, "suffering makes us better!", which doesn't actually fix it either.
Or, the best:
3) Extinguish it. Here is the value of Dhamma.

Lust can be terrible. Some people can become so desperate that they can cut their wrists, hang themselves or do something much worse. Trying to extinguish it is safer for the person and others.
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby Justsit » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:10 pm

Do you think lust is worse than any other type of suffering? Desperate people kill themselves and perform horrible deeds due to depression, anger, and other emotions - should all powerful emotions be extinguished, then?

There is a fourth option, which requires, as you say, wisdom, and great discipline - just observe the emotion, and it will self-liberate.
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:17 pm

Justsit wrote:Do you think lust is worse than any other type of suffering?


Often other emotions are based on lust. In any case I was using lust as an example.

Justsit wrote: Desperate people kill themselves and perform horrible deeds due to depression, anger, and other emotions - should all powerful emotions be extinguished, then?


It is your call. Do you want to experience depression, anger, anxiety, fear, etc?

Justsit wrote:There is a fourth option, which requires, as you say, wisdom, and great discipline - just observe the emotion, and it will self-liberate.


This is included in 3rd option.
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Postby ground » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:57 am

ground wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Buddha has often talked about benefits of sense restraint (it is one of requirements for better progress), and I am a bit puzzled why some Buddhists would criticize it.

Lack of faith due to lack of suffering?

Kind regards


Also sense restraint should be accompanied by joy. If it isn't then it is of no use in the context of liberation. The Buddha did take into account how human khandhas function.

"And what are the six kinds of renunciation joy? The joy that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their change, fading, & cessation — one sees with right discernment as it actually is that all forms, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change: That is called renunciation joy. (Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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