Porn Free for 90 Days

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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reflection
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by reflection » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:58 pm

Ok, me myself I turn out to be pretty bad at this refraining from sexual activity right now, so I guess I need to revise my tactics a bit. A year ago or so I did not have this craving much, and so I think I know how to overcome it -at least for a big part- if there is the drive to, but my conviction (call it faith if you will) is not big enough at this time. I hereby want to say I'll try to establish a daily practice to establish more conviction and see where it will bring me.

I have some ideas on how to do this but if anyone can share their ideas, that would be great. Right now I want to reflect on past experiences of not craving, project on how the future would be if I manage to abstain and how it'll ultimately lead to the Buddha's freedom. Also I want to start reading more about this. If there is something somebody can add, or a specific sutta or book reference, it'll make me very happy.

Metta to all especially those in similar circumstances,
Reflection

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Alex123
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by Alex123 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:08 pm

dhammapal wrote: I reckon porn is a root cause of depression, social withdrawal and social anxiety. But videos of people with no clothes on are less harmful than those with violence says Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the Web when asked about creating a .xxx domain alternative to .com In the Brahmaviharas,
By violence do you mean violent porn, or violent action movies?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by dhamma_newb » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:06 pm

Thanks again Tilt. I always appreciate your ability to cut through the BS and point out another perspective that I haven't considered (or was in denial of) on the issues we discuss on this forum.
YouthThunder wrote:
dhamma_newb wrote:Thank you everyone for your feedback. I have learned much through this process, not just about addiction and craving for sensual pleasures but also about my relationship with meditation practice and with life. I started off on the Buddhist path with so many unrealistic expectations and the need for my practice to be perfect and have been greatly humbled by the mistakes I have made along the way. Meditation is so much more than I first believed,
Whta type of meditation?Vipassana?
Yes. Prior to learning Vipassana I practiced Transcendental Meditation and I thought meditation was all about blissing out. Vipassana has shown me otherwise.
The watched mind brings happiness.
Dhp 36

I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
Walt Whitman

dhammapal
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by dhammapal » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:43 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhammapal wrote: 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.
Why would you take the "world of porn's" view of women as being how you should act or what you should expect? The goal here is to see women nude? This has nothing to do with porn, but it has everything to do with an immature view of women and men and sex. Maybe the goal should be something else, such seeing women as individuals, as humans beings with thoughts and feelings. Growing up can be a painful, slow process. Rather than blaming porn, you might want to reassess how you view yourself and how you view women. Maybe some sort of therapy might help you get and handle on this, but if you keep blaming external things for your own actions, you are not going to get anywhere healthy.
Thanks for the reply. Good points.

I've used porn for less than 12 hours since donating to the Rape Crisis Centre in 2004. And I started using medical terminology for parts of the anatomy e.g. mammary glands. I stopped mentally undressing women I saw in daily life and understood that nudity is something very delicate, even for prostitutes.

Looking at porn starts with curiosity after searching National Geographic magazines for topless New Guinean tribeswomen as a child. And there was a feeling of being loved when a woman has given her consent to reveal her body. But looking at nude photos is indulging in sensual pleasures and is addictive. See nude photos doesn't just satisfy the desire to see women in the nude but increases that craving:
the Buddha transl. Thanissaro wrote:beings not free from passion for sensual pleasures — devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever — indulge in sensual pleasures. The more they indulge in sensual pleasures, the more their sensual craving increases and the more they burn with sensual fever, and yet they feel a modicum of enjoyment & satisfaction dependent on the five strings of sensuality.
From: Magandiya Sutta: To Magandiya (excerpt)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Also see this post of mine on sense-restraint to the Open Dhamma pornography thread.

I have avoided looking at photos of nude women for 9 1/2 days.

With metta / dhammapal.
Last edited by dhammapal on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:49 am

dhammapal wrote: . . . Looking at porn starts with curiosity . . . .
It is worth mentioning one last time: it is not the pornography that is the problem.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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reflection
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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manas
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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:
Drinking the nourishment,
the flavor,
of seclusion & calm,
one is freed from evil, devoid
of distress,
refreshed with the nourishment
of rapture in the Dhamma.

- Dhp 205

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SDC
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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.

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manas
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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:
Drinking the nourishment,
the flavor,
of seclusion & calm,
one is freed from evil, devoid
of distress,
refreshed with the nourishment
of rapture in the Dhamma.

- Dhp 205

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tiltbillings
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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SDC
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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.

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SDC
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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SDC
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Re: Porn Free for 90 Days

Post by 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?

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