I am determined to abstain from pornography

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
fijiNut
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by fijiNut » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:18 am

Good posting phil,
I have not received any asubha meditation instructions from any teacher, and neither do I practice this regularly.
I find the pictures help in dispelling lust in the 'heat' of the moment, and contemplating the loathsome works well to pour 'cold water' on the moods/feelings spontaneously, I do hope this repeated contemplation loosens a little bit of the sankhara/conditionings, but a long term strategy would probably be better.

For example, avoiding 'exciting foods' like excessive meat, eggs, garlic and ginger, keeping good company and noble friends, avoiding exposure to suggestive material where possible, keeping downcast eyes when pretty women are in full view, learning to use up the extra energy in constructive ways - yoga, light physical exercise etc.
You are correct in that knowing 'why' is more powerful than 'how' on the longer term in maintaining brahmacariya.
One needs to contemplate that to keep brahmacariya is like being Brahma - as divine beings in this realm are sexless, devas and humans otherwise are not immune.
Also, Jhana's will always be out of one's reach. If sensual desire is strong , on retreats and during daily meditation the mind wanders off thinking about the opposite sex, indulging in this fantasy, that fantasy; what a complete waste of time!
One also needs to contemplate the real nature of the body, how the body is like a toilet, we need to keep it nice and clean on the surface, but there is lying as to the stink and filth underneath.

On an funny note - I was reading somewhere that one Thai meditation master mentioned that's what causes males to be reborn as women - excessive lust for the female form!

And your last point is the most valid of all, as ultimately, the biggest sex organ of the human is the mind - this is where the pleasure seeking resides.

According to Ajahn Brahm, developing strong piti sukha and samadhi to Jhana levels gives the mind pleasure and bliss that so much better than sex! The mind at this point doesn't need to 'feed' on anything anymore.
And the bliss of seclusion is something that doesn't depend on anything else, it is something that is blameless, and is something that is close to Nibanna, the unconditioned.
One then naturally drops the desire for sex and adopts brahamacariya for something far superior.

In daily life, catching the defilement with mindfulness/sati sampajanna before it manifests into physical action/ speech is the utmost importance. The question then turns to developing a strong kammatthana or meditation object, whether noting, equanimity in awareness of sensation or mantra in observing the contents of the mind.
There is a good simile I once read , about how a camel poked its head into the owners tent wanting rest from the heat. The owner protested but the camel smooth talked the owner saying "Oh I won't stay long. I want to keep my head out of the sun". But it took a few more steps inside, extending to its neck. Once again the owner protested, but the smooth talking camel again said "Listen I won't stay long, you want me to get a good rest right?". But very soon, the camel had his whole body in the tent and the owner was cramped in the corner, not able to move, or stretch his legs to kick the camel out! The defilements of the mind are like that, so smooth talking, and coming under many disguises, and once it grips the mind, its hard to let it loosen its grip.

So remember, give the camel a good whack on the nose once it peaks its head to say hello! Show him/her who is the boss!

My deep respect for everybody who is making the effort of keeping purity of body and mind. :anjali:

May we all reach our aspirations this very lifetime.

metta,
fijiNut

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Joseph
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Joseph » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:00 am

Hi Mawkish,
I was searching about coping with a porn addiction on the forum and found your post. It's been over one year since the last member commented on it so I was wondering how you made out since then.

I too, am struggling with porn and starting right this second, I'm making a commitment to stop it from happening in my life.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks...

Metta

G

Mawkish1983
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Mawkish1983 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:56 am

I rather hope you're not looking for a role model in me! :). Long story short, failed innumerate times and recommitted innumerate times. I found that making a bold and absolute statement about my intention often made things worse: my mind would rebel against the change. I found just relaxing and, rather than praticing abstainance from porn, practicing respect for myself, my wife and those who are forced to work in the porn industry was much more beneficial and dramatically reduced my porno-intake.

Different strokes for different folks, eh?

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Annapurna
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Annapurna » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:04 am

Good luck with your efforts, everybody.

I was never interested on porn, so I don't need to abstain, but I keep thinking about this, perhaps it helps.

Watching porn is a phenomenon of our modern times. It didn't exist a 100 years ago.

I don't know which medium you are using, but if is the computer, install a children filter and delete all your bookmarks or whatever it is that takes you there with just a click of the mouse.

Make it hard for yourself to get there.

If you indulge, make a donation of any amount that hurts, to a Buddhist monastery.

You should be able to quite very soon, because you'll be so embarrassed.

And I agree with Peter.

Just don't do it. Do something else. Tell your partner you don't want to watch any. "Bad company" ;) is no excuse.

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tiltbillings
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:05 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:I rather hope you're not looking for a role model in me! :). Long story short, failed innumerate times and recommitted innumerate times. I found that making a bold and absolute statement about my intention often made things worse: my mind would rebel against the change. I found just relaxing and, rather than praticing abstainance from porn, practicing respect for myself, my wife and those who are forced to work in the porn industry was much more beneficial and dramatically reduced my porno-intake.

Different strokes for different folks, eh?
Pun intended?
>> 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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tiltbillings
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:06 am

Annapurna wrote:Good luck with your efforts, everybody.

I was never interested on porn, so I don't need to abstain, but I keep thinking about this, perhaps it helps.

Watching porn is a phenomenon of our modern times. It didn't exist a 100 years ago.
There has been porn for a very long time, back to the Greeks, and likely before.
>> 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

Mawkish1983
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Mawkish1983 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:30 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:Different strokes for different folks, eh?
Pun intended?
Kind of obvious huh :). I think it's nice that we're able to get advice about this topic even from people with no first hand experience of the problem :).

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tiltbillings
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:37 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:Different strokes for different folks, eh?
Pun intended?
Kind of obvious huh :). I think it's nice that we're able to get advice about this topic even from people with no first hand experience of the problem :).
Advice is nice, but you just have to do what works.

The best - probably - unintended pun is in this thread is in this msg: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=562#p6418" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
>> 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

Mawkish1983
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Mawkish1983 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:39 am

'Hard' not to giggle :)

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Annapurna
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Annapurna » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:59 am

Oh, it's not that I don't have any first hand experience, Makwish, assuming you have me in mind, :tongue: I've tried a lot of things, with the exception of hard drugs such as heroine, crack and bla.

I hung out with a colorful lot of people so far, so needless to say their lifestyles are no books with 7 seals to me. I think I might have more first hand experience in more things than you would imagine from the way I post here and perhaps more than you.

Only thing is- some stuff just doesn't do it for me.

Doesn't mean I haven't seen m/any.

But, to speak with Paul Newman:

"Why should I waste my time and appetite on a hamburger on the way home, when I can have a T-bone steak at home?"

I happen to have had only T bone steaks at home and am very thankful for them...

Plus, I think if I were interested in porn, I would not post my concerns here.... :thinking:

I would probably indulge and waste no second thoughts on what is done and what is to come, that's all speculative, and as you see, you went about another method too....

hope my reply is not offesnive...


Metta,

Anna :namaste:
Last edited by Annapurna on Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Aloka
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Aloka » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:02 am

.

I watched a few porn films with a boyfriend when I was a student, but have never had the desire to watch staged, mechanical sex taking place in a film studio since then.

I can't see why there's a problem...its quite simple, just don't watch it !



.

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Annapurna
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Annapurna » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:04 am

tiltbillings wrote: The best - probably - unintended pun is in this thread is in this msg: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=562#p6418" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
:rofl:

I had missed it...

Mawkish1983
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Mawkish1983 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:33 am

Annapurna wrote:I've tried a lot of things
Congratulations.
Annapurna wrote:hope my reply is not offensive
Whether it is or not, I'm not offended :)

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Joseph
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Joseph » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:13 pm

Thanks for the feedback everybody!
it's good to know that I'm not alone who's struggling with this.

It seems that lust is the last remaining "addiction" I'm wrestling with.

In the past, I've struggled with alcohol and drugs, which cost me a marriage, relationships, jobs, friends, etc. I've been clean and free from "mood altering" chemicals, except for coffee, for over 18 years now. I used to smoke between 40 and 50 cigarettes per day and I quit that too 4 years ago. Gambling has also been a problem on and off in the past but not anymore.

I would say that lust is a better word than porn in my situation. Porn conveys images of pornographic movies and magazines, etc. Lust is much wider and more subtle. I'll start using some of the tools which worked on the other addictions. Also, I will use the advice I've got from some members of this forum.

I'm fairly new on this path, having started to meditate just a little over 1 year ago. Last April, I attended a 10 days vipassana course. I cannot pinpoint what it was but something I'd never experienced before, something so profound it changed my life but how, I cannot pinpoint it yet.

I'm very new to this and in my limited experience I see that I didn't come to be on this path as a result of things going great in my life but quite the opposite. I didn't wake up one morning and upon seeing the beautiful blue sky and hearing the birds singing thinking, "oh, I feel so great, I think I'll start to meditate today", but rather, I started asking myself some serious questions about my life in general and the fact that I'm still hurting people and myself, even after a life of recovery from addictions. Something inside told me to start meditation. It was the only thing I hadn't tried before.

Anyway, I hope you have a meaningful journey!

G

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OcTavO
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by OcTavO » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:27 pm

I fully salute the efforts and resolve of those wishing to abstain from porn, but I'll throw in the other side of the coin (this is not an argument against or devil's-advocate position by any stretch of the imagination... so please don't take it that way.)

I'm a married, non-celibate lay practitioner (I mean "lay" as in Lay-Buddhist, not lay... well you know what I mean... :tongue: ). My wife and I have used porn on occasion to enrich our physical relationship, which I think is perhaps the norm in western society rather than the exception. While I fully understand the addictive power of it, and the harm which certain sectors of the pornography industry can bring, I think there are perhaps many more powerful (and harmful) practices on which the lay practitioner should focus abstinence upon. In my practice right now, for example, I'm spending a good deal of my time focusing on right speech. In the past, I've caused far more suffering to myself and others with words than I could have dreamed of with pornography.

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