Harmful to abstain from media/games/any forms of pleasures?

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Ryan95227
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Harmful to abstain from media/games/any forms of pleasures?

Post by Ryan95227 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:58 am

So i've been recently cutting down my internet browsing. Forums like where useless discussions occur about their lives,sports,games,and etc. I have been currently abstaining from these activities.The reason for this is that I've noticed how these discussions often appear in my mind and I identify with them. It makes meditation lot harder. Instead I have been enjoying reading some introductions to buddhism. However I have been feeling rather empty and depressed lately. Is it safe to abstain from these activities? I'm getting by on only pleasures from food and some tv shows. Would i get used to lack of pleasures as time goes by?

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retrofuturist
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Re: Harmful to abstain from media/games/any forms of pleasures?

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:12 am

Greetings Ryan,

This recent topic has some useful insights that pertain to your question...

Feeling like a neutered dog while following Buddhism
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=22942" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Maybe check it out and see if you have any questions remaining.

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Goofaholix
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Re: Harmful to abstain from media/games/any forms of pleasures?

Post by Goofaholix » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:48 am

Ryan95227 wrote: Is it safe to abstain from these activities? ?
People have been getting by without these things for centuries, they are only recent developments, the question I'd ask is whether it's safe to indulge in these beyond moderate use.
Ryan95227 wrote: I'm getting by on only pleasures from food and some tv shows. Would i get used to lack of pleasures as time goes by?
Of course you would. Abandoning coarse pleasure leads to better appreciation of subtle pleasure, abandoning subtle pleasures leads to better understanding of the mind.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Wri
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Re: Harmful to abstain from media/games/any forms of pleasures?

Post by Wri » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:05 am

In my experience it has been very harmful as a layperson to abandon pleasure outright. It leads to feelings of dying and extreme low energy. It took a lot of mental work to get out of that state, and it was something I needed to do as I was losing energy to do anything. When living a lay life, it is fine to listen to music and chat with others about life. However, don't depend on these things for your happiness. You know better. You can very much so practice the Dhamma to an extent that brings you great ease in the midst of all these potential distractions. View them with equanimity and you can enjoy them without a sense of rigid attachment. If you find yourself needing some music to be happy, or having to gossip about sports to be happy, then you know your mentality is faulty. You don't need to cut them off until you're preparing for ordination, but you should definitely stop seeing them as a source of real happiness.
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
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Re: Harmful to abstain from media/games/any forms of pleasures?

Post by SarathW » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:36 am

Boredom is the result of six sense media looking for old habits.
In meditation this is a good new as this shows that your meditation start to work.
So just be mindful of the boredom.
Just do some out door walking and watch some Dhamma related video or listen to some songs.

:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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robertk
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Re: Harmful to abstain from media/games/any forms of pleasures?

Post by robertk » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:58 am

Laypeople are "equipped with the 5 strands of sense pleasure": they are not required to abstain from these unless it is voluntary. Forcing is going the wrong way

dhammarelax
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Re: Harmful to abstain from media/games/any forms of pleasures?

Post by dhammarelax » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:34 am

Ryan95227 wrote:So i've been recently cutting down my internet browsing. Forums like where useless discussions occur about their lives,sports,games,and etc. I have been currently abstaining from these activities.The reason for this is that I've noticed how these discussions often appear in my mind and I identify with them. It makes meditation lot harder. Instead I have been enjoying reading some introductions to buddhism. However I have been feeling rather empty and depressed lately. Is it safe to abstain from these activities? I'm getting by on only pleasures from food and some tv shows. Would i get used to lack of pleasures as time goes by?
The abstention of coarse sensual pleasures is to be combined with indulgence in the pleasures from Jhana, if not we are looking for a life without any kind of pleasure which would be boring and empty.

smile all the time
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Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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Re: Harmful to abstain from media/games/any forms of pleasures?

Post by Kumara » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:21 am

Ryan95227 wrote:So i've been recently cutting down my internet browsing. Forums like where useless discussions occur about their lives,sports,games,and etc. I have been currently abstaining from these activities.The reason for this is that I've noticed how these discussions often appear in my mind and I identify with them. It makes meditation lot harder. Instead I have been enjoying reading some introductions to buddhism. However I have been feeling rather empty and depressed lately. Is it safe to abstain from these activities? I'm getting by on only pleasures from food and some tv shows. Would i get used to lack of pleasures as time goes by?
I wonder: How much of the following is true?

The feelings of emptiness and being depressed has been around. Engaging in discussions about all sorts of things brings about sensual happiness, veiling the unpleasant feelings. Noticing (consciously or subconsciously) that it works, you continue with that. But later you realise all those stuff is occupying much of your mind. You begin to not like them, and turn away from them. Now that the veil is removed, the unpleasant feelings are apparent again.
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