Right intention... Wrong habits.

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Paul Howard
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Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by Paul Howard » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:10 pm

Hi all...

As you've guessed, I'm new to the forum. However, I've long held the belief that the Buddha had such a profound view on life and rebirth, it's almost as if he knew it would be as relevant 2,500 years into the future than it was when he first sat under the Bohdi tree. I have researched this belief system extensively and I know deep inside that I have found the truth.

What has held me back in progressing in my personal practice is my modern day habits. Some are unavoidable, some are not. My days are full, I obsess over being successful, i gamble, I make bad judgements but my biggest drawback is that I drink. No matter how much I believe that what I've found is true, I drink. No matter how much I'd love to practice what Buddha taught, I drink. Whilst not possible in my current situation, one day I would even ordain. However, drinking is the one daily habit I can't seem to let go.

So whilst I introduce myself formally, I ask my more learned counterparts what they found hard to let go. How did you get further away from what makes you unhappy?

Any shared experiences shall be read with great interest.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:27 pm

Drinking is fine, just as long as it's non-alcoholic. :toast:

One who imbibes the Dhamma dwells in bliss.
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DNS
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by DNS » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:46 pm

Welcome to DW!

:buddha2:

R1111
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by R1111 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:20 pm

Welcome,
Behavior is the last thing to change. Also drinking is not an evil and sinful thing that you should feel guilty about, it is not a wise thing to do and is very blameworthy because it causes heedlessness and disregard for right and wrong but it is not more than that. It is like making a very unfavorable deal, like selling your house for peanuts, or playing russian roulett to win 3.50$. However it is not a sinful thing that you should feel guilty about, the guilt is an attachment and one drinks because one does not see it for what it is and is enchanted by the feelings and states. To overcome it one has to learn about drinking to become disenchanted with it. Preferably indirectly, by becoming disenchanted with feeling in general and abstaining from drinking, however it is practically impossible at times for one who is enchanted by the allure of it, so if one is drinking one should be establishing mindfulness and learning about the feeling, the allure and the drawbacks by being mindful as in actually establishing Sati on Satipatthanas while drunk or wanting to get drunk, thinking and craving, the moment by moment experience of the whole process. That is the path out of addiction. Also drinking is not an addiction that is going to be difficult to break, it can be powerful but it is not as strong as sexuality for most people id think.
There is a Sutta Sarakaani Sutta: Sarakaani (Who Took to Drink)
I guess same goes for gambling, however i think it can be overcome by learning about odds, variance and theory of having a proper bankroll management as per Kelly Criterion, knowing the Risk of Ruin and realistically estimating one's edge in the games or the lack of it. Perhaps running some simulations of a given winrate will be disenchanting as well. I guess it varies for people, i guess people gamble for different reasons and this approach wont fit everyone. However if it is the rush of the gambling that one is attached to then Sati will be the answer.

What will happen is that you will probably be less and less enticed to drink, probably take breaks on and off and more frequently until you get completely over it and will have no trace desire for it at all. Gone beyond abstaining, beyond suppressing, beyond wanting, liberated by right understanding:) All it takes is looking at it objectively, seeing it exactly for what it is, one will see that is not a worth wanting not even because of it being bad or unprofitable, one will eventually transcend even that.

That being said one should cultivate the ability to actually establish the Sati while drunk for all it's worth, while not being drunk as in developing a formal meditation practice as if one's life depended on it. One should be developing that skill and habit most of all, without it one has no chance. I recommend doing intensive periods of meditation where one tries to meditate as much as possible formally and in daily activities for some time and also developing a daily steady formal routine to see what works best, but trying to do as much of it as possible and as often as one can.

Destroy the habit of drinking before it destroys you, i just want to stress that it is absolutely something that will cause a lot of misery if not dealt with asap. The good news is that Satipatthana meditation is a lot more powerful than the old habits so one who does his work will succeed in no long time.

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bodom
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by bodom » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:00 pm

Welcome!

Before you can give anything up you have to see the drawbacks of what it is you wish to let go of. Keep looking and you will see.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


"Dont send the mind outside. Watch the mind right at the mind."

- Ajahn Dune Atulo

SarathW
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by SarathW » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:53 pm

Wellcome to Dhamma Wheel.
How did you get further away from what makes you unhappy?
Seen the drawbacks how it affects you and others.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

binocular
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by binocular » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:29 am

Paul Howard wrote:However, drinking is the one daily habit I can't seem to let go.
/.../
What can we conclude from all this? We conclude that, unlike a 'normal' person who may take a drug once in a way for the novelty or pleasure of the effect, and who at that time becomes 'abnormal', the confirmed addict is 'normal' only when he has taken the drug, and becomes 'abnormal' when he is deprived of it. The addict reverses the usual situation and is dependent upon the drug to keep him in his normal integrated state. (This does not mean, of course, that the addict derives pleasure from occasional deprivation as the abstainer does from occasional intoxication; quite the contrary: in both cases the drugged state is more pleasant, but for the one it is normal and for the other it is abnormal.) The addict can only do his work efficiently and perform his normal functions if he takes the drug, and it is in this condition that he will make plans for the future. (If he cannot take the drug the only plan he makes is to obtain another dose as quickly as possible.) If he decides that he must give up his addiction to the drug (it is too expensive; it is ruining his reputation or his career; it is undermining his health; and so on) he will make the decision only when he is in a fit state to consider the matter, that is to say when he is drugged; and it is from this (for him, normal) point of view that he will envisage the future. (Thus, it was as a smoker that I decided to give up smoking.) But as soon as the addict puts his decisions into effect and stops taking the drug he ceases to be normal, and decisions taken when he was normal now appear in quite a different light—and this will include his decision to stop taking the drug. Either, then, he abandons the decision as invalid ('How could I possibly have decided to do such a thing? I must have been off my head') and returns to his drug-taking, or (though he approves the decision) he feels it urgently necessary to return to the state in which he originally took the decision (which was when he was drugged) in order to make the decision seem valid again. (And so it was that I felt the urgent need of a cigarette to confirm my decision to give them up.) In both cases the result is the same—a return to the drug. And so long as the addict takes his 'normal' drugged state for granted at its face value—i.e. as normal—, the same thing will happen whenever he tries to give up his addiction.
/.../

What has the Buddha to offer the drug-addict?

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BasementBuddhist
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by BasementBuddhist » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:47 am

Welcome to the forum and good luck on your spiritual path!

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retrofuturist
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:37 am

Greetings Paul,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

:buddha2:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Paul Howard
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by Paul Howard » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:00 pm

Thank you for such insightful comments. Living so far from any Therevada temple means that I'm greatly guided by online materials and very glad I stumbled upon this forum. At the moment, I'm also living with my partners parents which can be hectic, particularly with a young child, busy job and other commitments. I'm finding it difficult to find any time or space to meditate. Tomorrows aim is to get up at 4.30 and lock myself in the bathroom!

indianromeo
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by indianromeo » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:49 pm

Paul Howard wrote:Thank you for such insightful comments. Living so far from any Therevada temple means that I'm greatly guided by online materials and very glad I stumbled upon this forum. At the moment, I'm also living with my partners parents which can be hectic, particularly with a young child, busy job and other commitments. I'm finding it difficult to find any time or space to meditate. Tomorrows aim is to get up at 4.30 and lock myself in the bathroom!
Good luck, man.

dharmacorps
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:58 pm

Hi Paul,

Welcome. I have been where you are at. I am glad you are so aware of the two things, drinking and mindfulness/dhamma as relatively incompatible. I saw that for a while before I hit a wall, got some help with AA, and decided the precepts and my true happiness were more important than the sense pleasure of drinking. Dhamma leads to your long term welfare and happiness, and drinking leads to suffering, confusion and slavery. Much metta.

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CedarTree
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by CedarTree » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:54 pm

Welcome! Hope you benefit from the forum :)


Practice, Practice, Practice


Swatantra
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by Swatantra » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:42 am

Welcome and kudos to you for having the guts to spill out your weaknesses. It is a hard thing to do and shows humility. Things happen step by step and further on down the path you go, you may find that you lose interest in the things that have such a hold over you.
I think it is most important that you are a good person to those around you first and foremost and that you are morally virtuous. Any flaws in your personal habits can be worked on gradually but without attaching any stigma. The more attention and thought you give it, the stronger the hold it will have on you.
Are you a good person? If so, give yourself a break man!
:heart:
"One is not noble who has injures living beings.
One is called 'noble' because they are harmless to all living beings."

:heart: :yingyang:

"Silent in body, silent in speech,
Silent in the mind, without defilement,
Blessed is silence is the sage.
One is truely washed of evil."

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ganegaar
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by ganegaar » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:40 pm

Welcome to DW.
keep the drinking (do not worry or try to stop it!!!), start to meditate! and watch the drinking habbit die..!!!
First of all, to meditate, you need a sound mind, so you cannot be drunk atleast while you meditate, and when you progress, you will be catching the first thought of "wanting" the first thought of "thirst" to drink, and would probably realize, you do not really need to drink!
you break the habbit that way, by meditative understanding, by observation of your own mind, so not by force!
But it is not an easy thing to watch the mind, and even harder to have the courage to stop, and even harder to practice meditation to this level. However, if you do, you yourself will benefit!
wish you good luck!
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

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DC2R
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by DC2R » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:49 pm

Welcome!

To stop drinking, you must know why you want to stop drinking. The Abhisanda Sutta is one of the many places where the benefits are explained:
Furthermore, abandoning the use of intoxicants, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans.
May the blessings of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha always be firmly established in your hearts.

http://txti.es/theravada

Garrib
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Re: Right intention... Wrong habits.

Post by Garrib » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:47 am

Welcome!

I think you are quite fortunate to have encountered the Dhamma at all - many (most) people never get a real shot at it. When I first became seriously interested in meditation, I started reading books by a certain modern teacher/Guru who did not abstain from alcohol and other vices - I found certain benefits in just meditating and contemplating impermanence...and I really just blissed out thinking of the Buddha - WOW, a fully enlightened, totally compassionate being- but it wasn't for several years that I realized something was really wrong. Not only was I a drinker, but I was a bartender (and musician) too. Eventually I encountered "early Buddhism", what I consider to be the actual teachings of the Buddha, which had been somehow out of reach and obscured for the better part of my 20's. I took refuge and precepts.. I was able to overcome drinking, change my livelihood, and I am so grateful to have found this path.

You can do it - you can give up the bad habits and cultivate the path. Put in the effort, and stick with it. I am sure you won't regret it.

Best.

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