Caoimhín's Way

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Caoimhín, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Zed.

    Zed. Steady as she goes...

    Hey Caoimhin, congrats on your run of 45 days so far, it's no mean feat. Seeing that you're amping up your meditation efforts I thought I'd pass on the name of a teacher who I find has very clear teachings that I'm listening to a lot at the moment. I'm not so sure where you are in terms of meditation, but this is a great starting point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zAQU8MEHnM and her other talks on the concentration jhanas on both youtube and dharmaseed.org are fascinating and full of useful information for getting deep with it.

    Good luck with your current stresses and strains, I hope you can find a peaceful way through them.
     
  2. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Two thoughts: the "answer" is not porn, it's a symptom. Of what, I think we all are trying to figure out for ourselves. But banishing porn will not solve any problems. It may help to put you in a place to see solutions more clearly however. But do not think you will be "cured" by stopping porn use.

    As far as meditation, if you've not had a regular twice-daily schedule before, might I suggest you try short, once-daily sits? Something to establish the habit, give yourself small successes? I see too many (myself included) make big plans that I don't keep up with after a week or two, and then I feel like I failed, and the desire wanes. If you set a plan that you can absolutely do, then you build up the success, the reward of completion, the habit is established, and from there you can extend things.

    I've done this with great success in exercise and meditation. Anyways, just a thought.
     
  3. Apuleius

    Apuleius Guest

    Hi there Cao.

    It looks like the fog is truly clearing for you. I suggest a two part strategy:

    1. Gain control / awareness of your interior world through meditation.
    2. Identify bothersome deficiencies in your life and plot a course toward objective improvements (e.g., quality friendships, balanced diet, enjoyable exercise, significant accomplishments, etc.)

    We are all here for the most part in the same boat.
     
  4. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Thanks for the meditation tips and other advice. I think it would be beneficial to learn more about meditating even though the breathing exercises and the focused though (as opposed to the chatter brain) is helping.

    After a busy and good day at work, followed by some exercise, I was driving home and the thought about what I would do tonight crossed my mind. I would have 3 hours or so before bed to "fill". Fleeting though it was, I thought about MO and then I though, I don't have anything to drink in the house.

    Then I wondered if something like meditation can fill this mental void that I am feeling. Because, frankly, there are many many things that I could do with those couple of hours tonight. This was my old habit of looking for any and all opportunities to PMO. Now, I am coming to grips with this and easily identify the habit and avoid it. But when I cut out other forms of dimming my awareness, suddenly everything looms before me as an emptiness.

    Drink is an elephant in the room with me. Not only is he in the room but I take him for walks, buy him treats, and scratch him behind the ears. It has only been the past little while that I am even able to look at this honestly. Ironically, I was staring at booze even before I understood about PMO. But it is my understanding of PMO addiction that is leading me to accept that my booze crutch is part of the exact same issue as PMO.

    As I type these words, these are the first moments that I look honestly into that mirror.

    I honestly don't know how I'll fare through December. Christmas is a deeply painful time for me. Both my parents are gone. I haven't heard from my brother in years. I have no wife or children. Spent the last several Christmas' locked up in a binge of PMO and drink. Also, there are the question of seasonal parties. I know that it will be different than last year.
     
  5. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    I've never done this myself, but perhaps you can look into volunteering during the holiday?
     
  6. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    I quietly snuck past 50% of my no PMO objective. But this is not a big thing for me because almost as soon as I set the counter, I knew that my brain will need more than 90 days. It might be the meditation that I've been doing lately that is making me think this, but I think that the reason I'll need more time is because my brain is fried. I've been self-medicating with PMO, booze, and other things that let me turn off from real life for so long. My brain was frazzled.

    What came first? The frazzled brain or the attempts to avoid the frazzled brain?

    There is a quiet sense that I sometimes begin to feel emanating from the PMO void. This void is still a huge hole but today, as I sat in a dark room and meditated for 10 minutes, I saw a similarity. Porn has been like many screaming voices. Image after image after image, after click, click, click. But all of my life has been in a similar turmoil. The PMO is just one part of me malfunctionning.

    Recently posted by others, from Marcus Apulius:

    Stop being jerked like a pupper. Limit yourself to the present.

    Boy, if there ever were a more timely message. Writing this journal has been so helpful for me. It feels like a voice crawling out of the muck of my half anaesthetised mind of repressed memories, fears, and dreams. Just one voice talking to me.

    The advice of others on the forum about meditation is helping me fine tune things. Today, after work, instead of before bed. After work, it would have been a typical thing for me to whip one off and I realise that I am often mentally exhausted after work. As in introvert, I spend the day using my personal energy interacting with people. I may be enjoying myself and be productive, but I only feel that I am re-energising when I get home to my environment. Meditating afterwork was restful and more effective because I really needed the time to tune into myself more than at the end of the day. I feel quite clever at putting the two elements together and effecting this change in my meditation experiment. I always fell asleep when meditating before bed.
     
  7. bright_eyes

    bright_eyes Master of My Own Mind?

    I like the idea of meditating when you get home after work, Kevin. Kind of like a cleansing of the mind/spirit. Onward to more discoveries.
     
  8. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    You said it BE. And not only if you've had a tough day at work. But especially if you have had a tough day.

    Today, I have had several interactions with people, some good and some weird. It is these weird and negative interactions that I sometimes have a hard time to deal with. For better or worse, I heap a lot of expectations on people and when it falls through, I often feel disappointed and out of sorts. I am in this no-man's-land right now. Feeling a bit frustrated and frenzied.

    I think that I need quiet.
     
  9. Apuleius

    Apuleius Guest

    The middle-way is to balance natural drives with transcendence. Many mistakenly look to TM as the solution to their fundamental matters of discontentment. TM can help temper or modulate the mind through difficult times. It can help one see more accurately into the dynamics of their interior world. TM can give a person powerful mental and emotional self-control. Ultimately, however, TM should never be abused as an another avoidance mechanism regarding one's basic instinctive needs. As with religion, drugs, and porn, TM has been misused in an escapist, negligent fashion as a substitute for effective self-care. If you are not successfully meeting your personal human social, instinctive needs (for intimacy, faithful friendships, significance, etc.), then no amount of meditation can (or should) be used to address the resultant inner sense of dissatisfaction or malaise. Contemplative meditation can, however, be quite helpful in identifying the roots of those needs and in engineering an effective path toward their true fulfillment.
     
  10. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Sounds great on the meditation man. We focus so much on the health of the body, but so little on the health of the mind. Cultivating the ability to step aside from the incessant chatter, and to learn to not identify with it, can be very powerful.

    You may want to look into the book "The Mindful Way Through Depression", I found it had some great insights and was actually what prompted me a couple years ago to give meditation my first serious attempt. Sounds like you may benefit from it as well.
     
  11. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Once again, reading through other journals has helped me bring somethings into clarity.

    I have an internal battle over being a "nice guy" and being attracted to "nice girls" versus what I think sex is. On some level, sex is dirty and doing these things with the women I meet is a conflict. My definition of sex though is the one I got on porn. It is all of the crazy things, that got more and more crazy as I delved into more and more extreme porn. It is things that I would be ashamed of to talk about with real people. When I think of a relationship, it seems that the sex part is almost a separate, different thing. The girl and myself need to change into different people in order to do it. Disconnect the mind and engage the genetalia. The sexual side does not involve intimacy. In fact, I am not intimate or close with anyone. My family was not openly affectionate either. Most of the times that I have hooked up with someone involved an initial drink-induced state to push me through the barrier of fear.

    Feeling alone and without real connection led me to PMO. I used to feel that I was a real man when getting off. I used to feel that I was channeling my male right for sexual release. I was designed to be like this. Now I realise that I need real people in real life. I've learnt alot about introversion lately and see the apparent difficulty in reconsiling these two things. There's the challenge for today (and the rest of my life, no doubt.)

    I haven't mentioned the journals that have been inspiring me, but there are many, so thanks guys. There are some very intelligent, well-spoken thinkers on this forum. I have mostly found interest in the 40 + age-range and I guess many of us have lived similar experiences and are similar stages in our lives.
     
  12. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    This is the lie we've all been fed. It comes from porn, music, movies, TV, you name it. It's a carrot on a stick that tried to convince us that there's something more out there that we are missing out on. The reality is that our sex life is but one aspect of life, best shared with a loving partner.

    I envy the sex lives of my grandparents. They were married for over 60 years and loved each other. It wasn't idyllic necessarily, but they had one another for a long, long time. They had six children, fourteen grandchildren and all sorts of great-grandchildren. They were together through the prosperity of the '20s and the poverty of the '30s. They went through the war years as a couple and were together until the first of them died in the '80s. I doubt that their sex life would have made for good porn but it obviously made for a good life. I never heard either of them complain about the other. I doubt that either of them ever felt that they had been shortchanged sexually. They had a life together and sex was part of that life, but not the dominant force.

    It's terribly sad, but most people today feel that they are shortchanged sexually because they have been misled by the propaganda we are fed. I recently read the biography of a famous swindler. During his crime spree he bedded women right and left. He went to prison for his crimes and after being released became a law-abiding man and raised a family. He made a point of telling his readers that the casual sex he practiced in his younger years had left him unfulfilled. His crime spree was basically a way to finance his exploits trying to live as a single swinger in the sixties. He came away from it badly burned. These events occurred nearly fifty years ago; had they happened today he would have undoubtedly had some viral souvenirs too.

    PORN IS A LIE! Porn tries to tell us that we are something different than what we really are. We are a pair-bonding species and trying to go against these instincts cannot be successful. We have an instinct to mate and to reproduce. There's nothing dirty about that. It involves a gentle pleasure shared by two loving partners and can build a family, something from which many people take great satisfaction. Even beyond child-bearing years sex can be a wonderful source of closeness, intimacy and warmth. It's something special that two people can share and enjoy. There's nothing dirty about that.
     
  13. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Hi Caoimhín,
    I read your posts on Secret Johns journal and here in yours and just wanted to say thank you.
    I can relate to a lot and it made my own feelings and behavior clearer to me.
    You are really making steps in the right direction. Well done.
    Libertad
     
  14. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Thanks for the comments LTR and Libertad. I feel that I am peeling away the layers of an onion, shining light on lies, revealing what I thought to be THE problems as more symptomes, uncovering deeper truths. Now, I realise that my road is still going to be difficult, as I am honoured and humbled to witness when other forum members have set backs (honoured that they are sharing such things and humbled to think that it could be me one day). And even today, I happen to find myself alone all day with the "perfect opportunity" to PMO. It was in the back of my mind. Or maybe it was that cute woman at the grocery store today who looked right at me. I defintely started to get aroused.

    I don't want to say that I am attracted to "wholesome" women, but it sort of is a good description. I am very nervous around the "sexy bitch/goddess". The women that catch my eye are not classic beauties but something different about them. But I would love to be in a relationship with someone to share my life with, make a home with, be able to tell her anything. It's funny, because I think that this actually underlines the dichotomy that I have between the woman I want to be with and the women-images I was stimulating myself with: in my ideal partner, I don't automatically think of a sex partner. My thoughts go to someone who will share my time, interests, with whom I can work together, build something, who can help me not feel lonely.

    All I know is that my life up to now has consisted of a very few relationships with beautiful, good, intelligent women and for some stupid reason I freak out, pull back, disappear, shut down, shut them out. There is a marriage that needs to take place in my mind between real women and me. I need to be able to open up freely to women and not have some sex slave robot acting like a computer virus and destroying the "programme".
     
  15. xstar

    xstar New Member

    This post is a bit old...but I'm still getting caught up after being gone for a bit. In any event, I thought what you said here is right on the money (for me, at least).

    Also, congrats on reaching 50. You're on a great path. I've really enjoyed your journal and what you've written elsewhere. Thanks for being here.
     
  16. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Thanks Xstar. I can begin to express how much reading on this forum and writing down my thoughts has helped me. I hope it is of use to other guys too. The startling thing, and the thing that gives me most hope, is when I read something that either resonates with me or describes things I've done and thought (no matter how bad), it goes a long way to relieving the guilt that I (still) feel about PMO.
     
  17. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    The Christmas party at work today, plus several reminders of some bad days. I've been avoiding Christmas parties for a few years but as part of my new me, I want to regain my strength for dealing with what should be relatively minor occasions. I dealt ok with the party. There were instances which reminded me of how my former manager screwed me from a promotion in order to put his girlfriend in the job. Now another friend has the job and she is getting all kinds of great opportunities for advancement. It is a long, complexe story, but suffice it to say, last year was amongst the lowest of my life. But from the low point, I did start to rebuild and who would have known that I would discover how much PMO has fucked up my life. It is all part of the same journey.

    So, I am exhausted from work. I has been an emotionally stressful day but I used a few techniques to get myself out of the worse of the situations so that my negative feelings did not pirate the rest of the day and the interactions I had with people. Don't get me wrong, I still feel like shit. Like a loser. Like my career is a joke. And I am physically exhausted.

    I am going to meditate and then work out.

    No temptations for MO.
     
  18. bright_eyes

    bright_eyes Master of My Own Mind?

    We just keep working out strenuously, Kevin, building our strength for the long-term fixes.
     
  19. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Played soccer tonight. Feel pleasantly tired and slightly buzzed because of a few drinks.

    Feel relatively good.

    I guess it is normal for this process to bring up the past. I've been thinking about some of the dilusional things that PMO has lead me to. For about 1 year, I was really into this whole idea of techniques that could make your dick longer. Natural exercises and all basically translated to lots of "manual stimulation" often finishing in MO. Reflecting back, it was all a penis obsession. Glorified edging. MO mascarading as something else. Why in the world, as a guy with infrequent lovers, was I seriously concerned about the length of my dick? It was all part of the lies that porn makes you believe. I am not a porn star. I don't need 10 inches. Real women don't need it either. Seriously, it is penis obsession.

    Another thought, and forgive me: I can't read the general forum. It seems it is message after message about guys wanting to M and figure out ways to justify it. I check the new messages to the forum from time to time but generally wind up in the 40+ folder. Sorry, I guess the younger guys need to do things in a way that works for them. It doesn't work for me though.

    I finally watched all of the meditation video posted by (Omega Man or Apuleius: sorry I forget which) and learnt a few good things about incorporating meditation into a more regular practice. It was my first intro into a systematic reason to meditate. I would appreciate other youtube meditating videos as it works well with my learning style.
     
  20. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Just doing some reading on meditation and the above quote is given as one of the social benefits of the practice. This is the benefit towards other people as well as ourselves. It is an interesting concept that I've seen expressed in different ways on the forum. PMO and other obsessive behaviours stem in part from an obsession about one's own needs for "good strokes" or fixes to make you feel no pain. When we focus on giving to others, we don't have time for PMO. I see this selfishness in my own behaviour. I live so much in my own mind as opposed to the world of real people and real interaction. I have been focusing on my own need for pleasure, especially sexual, that I have forgotten the world and people around me.

    But why am I doing this? It is because I am afraid, confused, overwhelmed by the world. When I get this way, I shut down and medicate it all away.

    So, regular meditation may offer a way out. A time of internal quiet where I can resource myself for what I find to be a difficult battle: daily interactions with people and the world. Meditation can help me be stronger and more resilient. To have that moment of tranquility when my mind has the time to think of how I really want to respond to the tests that I encounter.

    I'm not achieving my twice a day meditation commitment. But I am generally doing it at least once a day for around 5-10 min. I tried this on youtube: http://youtu.be/2EQR0hMFbsk

    This is the information that went along with it (think of it what you will!):
    This is a blissful amazing meditation it activates the pineal gland and boost some dopamine in the brain you might feel some headache at the beginning from the frequencies but it will subside if you continuously meditate with this blisscoded sound .
    "Please share your experience with this meditation video"
    And Thanx for Watching .

    Dopamine is produced in several areas of the brain, including the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area. It is a neurohormone that is released by the hypothalamus. Its action is as a hormone that is an inhibitor or prolactin release from the anterior lobe of the pituitary.
    Dopamine signals pleasure, arousal, concentration and is at the base of the "reward" system, by which our brain determines if an action has had good results and should be repeated as an habit. This function is responsible for addiction, as drugs who increase the effect of dopamine send false reward signals. ADD is caused by a lack of dopamine, resulting in a lack of concentration.
    It also has a role in motricity, sending out orders to the muscles. It's most noticeable when that function fails, as in Parkingson's disease.

    Did you know that when you're in love, dopamine gives you the same feeling as when you would use cocaine? Every time you see your love, you get a shot of dopamine and it's addictive. Everyone who has been in love knows they wanted to see the one they were in love with again and again and again.

    But when you're in a relationship for a longer period, let's say about two years; your body doesn't produce that much dopamine anymore. The feeling of being in love slowly changed in loving him or her.

    When you eat healthy, you'll probably get enough vitamin B6 and magnesium.Those two together make your body produce dopamine. So make sure you get enough.
     

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