I am determined to abstain from pornography

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Mawkish1983
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I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Mawkish1983 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:16 pm

I've been thinking for a while that the kamma generated from watching/viewing pornography must be unskillful. The pornography industry can be terribly damaging to the vulnerable women and men involved, to say nothing of the effect of the mental conditioning on the viewer. I decided to make a determined effort to abstain from pornography, acknowledging that pornography had become another attachment. I am sure many people would be in the same situation, whether they would admit to that or not, so I thought it might be a good idea to start a thread in which people can also make public their decision to abstain and, maybe, to share their experiences. If anyone has any advice on the matter from the pali canon you are very welcome to post it on this thread too!!!

So, to get the ball rolling:

I, Mawkish, hereby vow to abstain from viewing pornography where-ever possible.

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bodom
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by bodom » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:22 pm

Good for you! I know it is hard to quit and being so readily available just makes it all the harder. I think this is a good idea because i know that i have and still do struggle with lust and am sure that many many people do, this thread would be a good way to come up with solutions.

: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 no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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bodom
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by bodom » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:48 pm

Its hard for me to abstain because my girlfriend enjoys watching it as much as any guy does. Even if i dont wanna watch it she does. That makes it even harder.

: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 no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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clw_uk
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by clw_uk » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:55 pm

Ive had some trouble with this I must admit, one thing I find helpful that i read from Ajahn chah is to just watch as the lust rises and contemplate it as no-self and just lust, impermanent.

If this doesnt work then I will bring to mind an image of a badly decomposed corpse and think of it in great detail. This sometimes does the trick, still slip up now and again but it happens less and less now.

:namaste:
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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bodom
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by bodom » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:18 pm

clw_uk wrote:Ive had some trouble with this I must admit, one thing I find helpful that i read from Ajahn chah is to just watch as the lust rises and contemplate it as no-self and just lust, impermanent.

If this doesnt work then I will bring to mind an image of a badly decomposed corpse and think of it in great detail. This sometimes does the trick, still slip up now and again but it happens less and less now.

:namaste:
Yes i have used this technique when i am out at the mall and there are literally a hundred super hott mexican girls all around me and its hard! Lust is the hardest for me to overcome. I should stop going to the mall! :rofl:

: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 no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Cittasanto
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:14 pm

The first step in a direction can be the hardest, aswell as the final giving up, :group:
well done for taking the first step, my only advice is be mindful.

there is a Sutta about Mindfulness in regard to overeating which may be of help.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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PeterB
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by PeterB » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:45 am

Its actually easy.
The alarm goes , you can either turn over and go back to sleep or put your legs over the edge of the bed and stand up.
Likewise when you feel the need to watch porn....dont. Simple. Everytime, just dont. No analysis, no reflection, just dont.
If that isnt possible because of others in your household then make other living arrangememts.

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Ravana
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Ravana » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:43 am

clw_uk wrote:Ive had some trouble with this I must admit, one thing I find helpful that i read from Ajahn chah is to just watch as the lust rises and contemplate it as no-self and just lust, impermanent.

If this doesnt work then I will bring to mind an image of a badly decomposed corpse and think of it in great detail. This sometimes does the trick, still slip up now and again but it happens less and less now.

:namaste:
I think Asubhanussati is particularly recommended as suitable for overcoming lust.
“The incomparable Wheel of Dhamma has been set in motion by the Blessed One in the deer sanctuary at Isipatana, and no seeker, brahmin, celestial being, demon, god, or any other being in the world can stop it.”

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phil
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by phil » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:31 am

Hi Mawkish

I'm with you man. I go several months without and feeling utterly confident that I've given it up for good, and then comes a backslide for a couple of days, misery, and new vows. But I'm pretty confident that the abstaining gets more and more deeply rooted and the need for the porn less and less.

I find a good passage for recollection is the sutta that says a single hole in the roof and the hole house gets soggy. We really have to be heedful not to indulge at all, not to think, "well, maybe I'll just run a google image search on so and so" thinking we'll enjoy a little eye candy and stop there. It doesn't stop there!" :tongue: The mind is deeply inclined to :pig: out on candy through the six senses, and that form of eye candy is the most powerful of all, as the Buddha said in Anguttara Nikaya, there is nothing like the form of a woman to set the mind off, nothing like the scent of a woman, the touch of a woman, the sound of a woman and so on. (Flip for women and men)

Some will say that reflection on the anattaness of it is valuable and I guess it is but that's no excuse for indulging.

Ravana mentionned asubbhanussati but I have read a commentarial note that it is only a powerful de-luster at the level of the first jhanas. I personally find reflecting on the harm that is being done to ourselves and to others through the industry is better. But everyone will have a different take on it.

May the Dhamma guide us all out of harmful patterns of behaviour! :smile:


Metta,

Phil

p.s as an interesting experiment the next time you...uh, relieve the pressure ducts, try doing it without an accompanying fantasy. It is possible, and it really gives a new perspective on that intense physical experience that there is such a lot of clinging to.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Ben
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Ben » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:53 am

I've been meaning to ask you guys how it is all going with your adhitthana.
So, how is it going?
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

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Mawkish1983
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Mawkish1983 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:46 pm

Ben wrote:I've been meaning to ask you guys how it is all going with your adhitthana.
So, how is it going?
Well, honesty is the best policy and I've not been able to stick to it 100% yet. One thing I will note is that when I have 'endulged' I have felt completely and wholly unsatisfied... and I try to reflect on that when the urge arises.

I am guessing you're not interested in times/places etc when my determination has lapsed (and, to be honest, I'd probably be too embarrassed to tell you anyway)... needless to say I'm glad you've posted here Ben because you've reminded me of my promise :) Thank you.

:anjali:

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Ben
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Ben » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:14 pm

Hi Mawkish

You are right, I am not interested in the gritty details. What I am interested in is to support you and the others here who have made the same great aspiration. Remember to take one day at a time and don't be too hard on yourself if you should stumble. Just resolve to keep persevering.
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

Mawkish1983
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by Mawkish1983 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:05 am

Hi Ben,

Yes, I really appreciate that :) thank you. I've just recently felt a boost in my own determination (and I can't honestly say how or why) not just on this issue, but on many aspects of the path to enlightenment. Could it be that the more the path is walked the more it is understood/realised? I don't know, but I think small deliberate changes of behaviour (such as abstainance from pornography and others) add up to a BIG shift in motivation, which helps make more deliberate changes etc. It feels to me like unravelling the bandages applied by old thinking and discarding them... so that the wound can be more clearly seen. I don't want to push the simile too far.

Anyway, thanks for your support (and the support of others, you know who you are)! I'll try to remember to post back on this thread in the future to update on progress.

Incidentally, I read something somewhere that said we have the potential to glipse at unbinding every moment --- it's sustaining it throughout life's trials that is the key. I am, of course, in no way enlightened but the thought that these practices and choices are TRULY making Nibbana more sustainable and attainable is really encouraging.

I am so glad the Dhamma was discovered.

:anjali:

fijiNut
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by fijiNut » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:15 am

Abstaining from pornography is easy.
Abstaining completely is hard (brahmacariya).

Here are is a good compilation photos for your asubha contemplation which I find helpful at times.

http://www.cyberforums.us/showthread.php?p=229924" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
(graphic but sobering images)

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phil
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Re: I am determined to abstain from pornography

Post by phil » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:04 am

fijiNut wrote:Abstaining from pornography is easy.
Abstaining completely is hard (brahmacariya).

Here are is a good compilation photos for your asubha contemplation which I find helpful at times.

http://www.cyberforums.us/showthread.php?p=229924" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
(graphic but sobering images)
Hi fijinut and all

Certainly asubha contemplation is worth developing, but unlikely to be a safe protection if it is not developed to level of jhanas. (According to a commentarial note by B.Bodhi.) And in my case I would agree with that, because even if one develops an understanding that the sleek and silky flesh one lusts after in porn (including the mental porn we produce by ourselves, a huge industry) is going to shrivel up and rot away, as far as lust is concerned *it looks pretty damn good now so let's dig it while it lasts!* So while I certainly wouldn't say don't do asubha, I think consideration of other approaches is good too - consideration of the harm porn does to oneself (think of the way the mind is if you try to meditate after using porn) and to others (think of the many suicides of women who were in the industry), reflection on guarding the sense doors (training the mind not to go digging after details immediately following a general appraising of a woman, for example, and other considerations. But it's a full time job for some of us, especially in spring when the lovely little skirts start appearing. Let's fight hard against those degrading temptations guys! (and gals who are prone to this sort of thing, much rarer I think.)

And remember, porn isn't just what you see on the computer screen. It starts playing as soon as you allow the mind to go feeding on the details that it has developed the habit of feeding on!

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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