The Buddha-Dharma Reboot [OPEN GROUP]

Discussion in 'Accountability Partners' started by LOGOS, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. VirtualBartek

    VirtualBartek New Member

    This is wonderful. I really missed this. It was on my mind as a monk but before and since I missed this. I figured I'm not hurting anyone but of course I am. I'm hurting myself and the cyclic behavior effects others too. I've been away a while. Hope everyone is well here. I need to reset my timer today and so felt the need for more support. I also saw a great video that I had missed before. Jimmy posted it here and it's a Bhikkhu talking about porn addiction. Thank you for that!
     
  2. Deleted

    Deleted Member

    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  3. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    I feel that for me the pursuit of sexual excitement is a denial of sadness, of boredom, of aging, of ugliness, a craving for unlimited juiciness and fun. It's escapism that lasts a little while, and then the sadness returns amplified. But sex in itself is ok, it's just my use of it sometimes. As I become more aware of what I am doing, and less locked in a compulsive moment, I see it for what it is.
    Sex is fine. Porn is an empty illusion. How you sit in your own heart and mind is the real story.
     
  4. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    In the last month I went through the spiral of desire and addiction again, as usual with no harm done to anyone but myself. I am aware of what I've done.

    I'm often uncomfortable, with anxiety, needs, desires, escapist tendencies. But the spiral of acting out only goes around and around and around - is there any way to step out?

    I believe now more fully and clearly in the path. That there is a path and a way open, to me and everyone else, that is a spiritual path to freedom from suffering.

    It's the here and now and not running away from anything anymore. Just being here and seeing what is for what it is. Becoming friends with discomfort and pain.

    I am starting to understand a little what ego is - the incessant stream of stories about myself and the world and others and success and failure and being good enough and handsome enough and rich enough or WHATEVER the story of that second is. And it's all just stories, empty stories, because the truth is we are all weak naked monkeys on this planet, and every day brings us closer to our inevitable deaths. And that's just fine, because there's no stopping it.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not really feeling so bleak at the moment, just facing my own sadness and enjoying the stillness that it brings. It actually feels ok, in this moment that I have the strength to just be and not hate myself for any particular reason, or feel so grand for any particular reason. And I do believe that we have much to share with each other, and there is also much happiness and bliss to be experienced in the world.

    I wanted to share this with you all, which has been very helpful to me in these days, from C. Trungpa "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" :

    We must surrender our hopes and expectations, as well as our fears, and march directly into disappointment, work with disappointment, go into it and make it our way of life, which is a very hard thing to do. Disappointment is a good sign of basic intelligence. It cannot be compared to anything else: it is so sharp, precise, obvious, and direct. If we can open, then we suddenly begin to see that our expectations are irrelevant compared with the reality of the situations that we are facing. This automatically brings a feeling of disappointment.
     
  5. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Zazaka - here is some brain food for you...

    borrowed from another journal and from Pema Chödron :

    “nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know
    …nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion. perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. but what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. if we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. it just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.”

    “Ordinarily we are swept away by habitual momentum. We don't interrupt our patterns even slightly. With practice, however, we learn to stay with a broken heart, with a nameless fear, with the desire for revenge. Sticking with uncertainty is how we learn to relax in the midst of chaos, how we learn to be cool when the ground beneath us suddenly disappears.”


    Our habitual patterns are, of course, well established, seductive, and comforting. Just wishing for them to be ventilated isn’t enough. Mindfulness and awareness are key. Do we see the stories that we’re telling ourselves and question their validity? When we are distracted by a strong emotion, do we remember that it is part of our path? Can we feel the emotion and breathe it into our hearts for ourselves and everyone else? If we can remember to experiment like this even occasionally, we are training as a warrior. And when we can’t practice when distracted but know that we can’t, we are still training well. Never underestimate the power of compassionately recognizing what’s going on.”

    “Acknowledging that we are all churned up is the first and most difficult step in any practice. Without compassionate recognition that we are stuck, it’s impossible to liberate ourselves from confusion. ‘Doing something different’ is anything that interrupts our ancient habit of indulging in our emotions. We do anything to cut the strong tendency to spin out… Anything that’s non-habitual will do—even sing and dance or run around the block. We do anything that doesn’t reinforce our crippling habits. The third most difficult practice is to then remember that this is not something we do just once or twice. Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.”
     
  6. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Funny this. Made me reflect on my experience with medication to help treat depression and anxiety. The pills levelled everything off. The lows did not hit me as hard. But all of the peaks were gone too. I did not realise it at the time (I'm off all medication since 1 year). Friends said I was a bit zombie-like.

    So I had emotional stability.

    Only once we get emotional stability we realise that it comes at the price of lost joy, the lost spectrum of all emotions. Fleeing life to avoid all negative emotions. But life is not just joy. It has its other side. And you can't have one without the other.

    I have a background in geology and one idea that struck me in my studies comes from (bear with me) the hydrological cycle. Water runs down hills and mountains, under the effect of gravity, carrying the eroded sediments down brooks, rivers, and to the sea. Then the sediments are dropped into the seas and slowly build up land. The water will then become evaporated by the sun, turned into vapour, form clouds, and fall as rain on the mountains. The cycle starts over again.

    If there were no mountains, the water would not flow.
     
  7. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    Thanks for the words again. I have printed them out as a reminder - and added to my 'break glass in case of emergency' list of quotes!
     
  8. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Just a short intro post to join this group. I've been meditating and doing yoga via the online lessons over at aypsite.org. Going on about 18 months now. I did a brief 4 month intermittent schedule before that. Now I am sitting twice daily. I'm not a Buddhist, but I like a lot of what is in the writings. I started in meditation and later with No PMO as a means to eliminate or manage increasing bouts of clinical depression. I've also had an interest in meditation and esoteric topics in general for many years, but was always self-conscious about doing so. I'm not religious or "New Age" and more of a science-based person. I was drawn in by the promise of direct experience.

    I feel as if meditation played a big part in my successes staying clear from porn for two basic reasons: the "macro-meditation" of "going back to the cushion" (establishing and maintaining a new habit/routine), and the "micro-meditation" — the actual process of meditation, "going back to the breath".

    Training the mind not to ruminate on porn or porn urges seems to be key in keeping clear. And establishing the meditation practice has restructured my daily life, which I think was needed in order to break the old patterns, both routine and mental.

    I'll catch up on the group posts soon. Looking forward to the discussions.
     
  9. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    In the last month I went through the spiral of desire and addiction again, as usual with no harm done to anyone but myself. I am aware of what I've done. I see how I use alcohol to enable the behavior. I see how alcohol also makes me incredible vulnerable. I see how I am a man with a big open heart for others, but a fragile sense of self and many strong emotions that i am not able to easily manage. I'm often uncomfortable, with anxiety, needs, desires, escapist tendencies. But the spiral of acting out only goes around and around and around - is there any way to step out?

    There is a path. There is a way. It's the spiritual path. It's the here and now and not running away from anything anymore. Just being here and seeing what is for what it is. Becoming friends with discomfort and pain.

    I am starting to understand a little what ego is - the incessant stream of stories about myself and the world and others and success and failure and being good enough and handsome enough and rich enough or WHATEVER the story of that second is. And it's all just stories, empty stories, because the truth is we are all weak naked monkeys on this planet, and every day brings us closer to our inevitable deaths. And that's just fine, because there's no stopping it.

    I wanted to share this with you all, which has been very helpful to me in these days, from C. Trungpa "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" :

    We must surrender our hopes and expectations, as well as our fears, and march directly into disappointment, work with disappointment, go into it and make it our way of life, which is a very hard thing to do. Disappointment is a good sign of basic intelligence. It cannot be compared to anything else: it is so sharp, precise, obvious, and direct. If we can open, then we suddenly begin to see that our expectations are irrelevant compared with the reality of the situations that we are facing. This automatically brings a feeling of disappointment.
     
  10. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Zazaka: It's quite interesting to begin to see the ego as just a momentum or habit of thought-patterns. When I started to dig into the science behind willpower and habit, it became clear that a lot of the behaviors I thought were "me" were more like side-effects of being a certain type of human. In one way it was freeing to not be chained to the less-desirable patterns, but for so long my inner story was based on these things and it was/is a bit disconcerting to realize they are not unique to me at all.
     
  11. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    I listened to this meditation talk the other day via the Dharmaseed.org podcast (seems the site has tons more audio available too): http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/115/talk/21954/

    I was struck at the time by how relevant the distractions of thoughts during meditation can parallel the temptations of porn, masturbation and PMO. At times the distracting thoughts during meditation are about porn anyways! Probably why I perceived the connection.

    Anyways, a great talk for both meditators and those on the No PMO path.
     
  12. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    The talks on dharmaseed are great!
    I am enjoying listening to them all day long. Mark Coleman is also really nice to listen to.

    Theraveda Buddhism is a really clear, focused approach based on insight. No wonder it's been around for 2500 years at least.

    It's also so different to me than Zen - I've just been to my first zen meditation session.

    I have to say that I get it - the approach of simplicity, of being, of allowing the mind to come to rest within itself. I believe that you could have quite a bit of insight that way, and freedom ultimately from a lot of mind-caused suffering. But honestly some of the ritual handled really clumsily by non-japanese people, and the stress on the perfect imitation of that ideal of a very japanese style ritual, just felt particularly affected and annoying.

    But hey, that's definitely my ego talking. Whatever works, works.
    I sit around and OM and chant in Sanskrit in my yoga class, and I love that, so I can't talk, I suppose.

    SO many things to choose from in the spiritual shopping mode, it's hard to feel absolutely authentic, or to know even what to choose. I suppose that we can only absorb all of this and come to the real knowledge of truth and freedom within ourselves, no matter what the flavor or the trappings.
     
  13. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    Hello Group!

    My work has been chewing up my days and taking me away from the forum. I'm happy to report that in terms of PMO and sex-addiction I am making steady progress. And my spiritual practice is steady as well. So in all those areas I feel good. 8)

    It's interesting to compare notes in this forum about various dharma practices --- part of what I love about Buddha-dharma is the immense variety. And particularly wanted to share how I perceive Zen practice, in light of Zazaka's reflections. Let me start by saying I don't mean this as a defense --- only that when I saw Zazaka's comments, I also saw my own practice in a new light.

    It's true that the Japanese forms (ritual movements, gestures, and postures) are practiced pretty badly by we Westerners. Even so, or for that very reason, I experience them as an opportunity for embodied mindfulness and compassion. Embodied mindfulness, because attempting to embody the infinitely perfectable forms bring my body/mind to the present moment. "This body/mind is doing this, now." And compassion, because just like I am botching the forms, so too are my fellow practitioners --- and this yields opportunities for us to teach and support each other, since we all wish to do our best with them. One really does learn how to correct and teach others with a spirit of grace and openness, and also how to receive teaching in a way that is open and non-defensive.

    With this in mind, I think that the Japanese forms provide a kind of teaching to Westerners that it may not be able to offer Japanese practitioners. It's also likely that Westerners, with our individualistic culture, need this teaching in ways that our Japanese brothers do not.
     
  14. fyo

    fyo New Member

    Hi guys!

    I unfortunately just relapsed and it looks like that I can really not make it on my own anymore.
    It has been a few years that I have been fighting to overcome this and my best time without acting out has been 2 weeks.
    Time to admit that I have to find a more fruitful way of working on this.
    I just registered on the forum because I heard and read that pairing with somebody else is a great way to help each other and to progress.
    I have been practicing buddhism that's why I thought about writting here to you guys.
    I would be looking for some 1 to 1 correspondance, to have somebody also willing to walk the path with me and to work together, to check ourselves regularly (each 1 or 2 days for me would be the best).
    So if any of you are interested, thank you to pm me.

    PS: I am living in Europe, my timezone is CEST.

    Cheers!
     
  15. beinghuman

    beinghuman New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I am on my 22nd day of my reboot journey. I have been practising meditation since 2004 mainly Vippassana in the Goenka tradition but recently I have joined a Soto Zen group . Meditation is right now my most powerful aid in order to overcome urges. I am not keen on writing in forums but I almost relapsed today and decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I found some Dharma brothers to share the journey with. It would encourage me to stay in touch and focus more often on writing here.
     
  16. beginnersmind

    beginnersmind New Member

    Hello Everyone,

    I am brand new to this site. I've been addicted to porn for over 30 years, and have tried many times to stop. I've always been a loner so I tried on my own. It's good to see others have struggled as I have.

    Anyway, I meditate daily and have recently y become interested in ACT - Acceptance Commitment Therapy. It uses many concepts that are essentially Bhuddist. I have also found exercise essential. What I believe has been missing for me is community and accountability. That is why I'm here.

    As you all know by now, addicts live secret lives. On the surface I am a loving husband and father who appears to have it all together, but in my secret identity I am fumbling through the darkness.

    Thank you to anyone who might read this.
     
  17. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    Hello, newcomers, to this group! As you can probably tell this is a slow-moving discussion forum, and its main utility in recent months has been, I think, to help members interested in meditation/buddhadharma to find one another, and continue interactions in each others' journals. There, many of us record our relation to practice. Most find, as you have, that meditation is a key practice --- and we branch out from there.
     
  18. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Off to a three day Vipassana retreat this weekend. Looking forward to some deep introspection. Hope everyone is doing well.

    PC.
     
  19. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    I am going to make more of a concerted effort to post here, as every day brings something new up from the depths.

    I have been in a real crisis in the last several days, acting out on uncontrollable urges.

    And every day I keep coming back to sit in the morning, every day a little longer. It's the only think helping me right now.

    Today I was doing metta meditation, which is a wonderful way of getting in touch with how you actually feel about yourself, and others. It's crucial practice if part of why you act out / seek refuge in P and MO is a lack of self love.

    I started thinking about my inner addict, and I have been focusing on feeling a lot of compassion for him. I look at what he is doing and feeling when he is acting out, and understanding why. I am sending him a lot of compassion. I am imagining him in those dark bars and silent dark places and hoping that he can find peace, and calm. He deserves rest. He needs peace in his heart.

    From there I am sending the same feelings and thoughts for peace to all my brothers trapped in the same cycles of lust and acting, caused by stress or lack of self love or need for contact or whatever... Let it all be filled with peace and compassion.

    If, when I am sitting, I can deeply visualize what I do and also generate a profound sense of love, and deeply wish peach and compassion for all my suffering and the sufferings of my brothers, then I feel I am entering another space, one in which there is more calm, and the urges become less.

    For those of you who are new to metta meditation, please look here if you want:
    http://www.wildmind.org/metta
     
  20. Zazaka

    Zazaka New Member

    Hello everyone, not to detract from this discussion, which I believe is very vital,
    but I started a page for resources and discussion about tantra,
    as some of you have been curious about this and I believe there are some helpful things in it.
    I am very curious to hear from those of you who know about this subject, or are interested, as I have only been a student for a year or two.

    http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=21697.msg367237#msg367237
     

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