The harms of Masturbation and Porn

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Zhen Li
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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:57 pm

Just do what you think is right. I no longer have an interest in talking about this topic with you.
:anjali:

theanarchist
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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:58 pm

Zhen Li wrote:, but 1.5 posts a day isn't too much..

Okay, i took a little time and did the math. Yesterday, on Wednesday, 8th you posted 35 times on this thread, starting at 4.27, three posts at 4o'clock, 5 at 5o'clock, 6 at 6o'clock, 6 at 7o'clock, 5 at 8o'clock, 4 at 9o'clock, and 5 at 10 o'clock, ending at 10.42. They are fairly evenly distributed over a period of 8 hours.

Means you must have been online and watching the acitivites on this therad for 8 hours. Sorry, but if you are so proud of your ascetic lifestyle that you blame people who masturbate to be "worldlings", to not be buddhists etc, you have to act differently to be believable.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:29 pm

Thanks for the info. :coffee:

MiphamFan
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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by MiphamFan » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:17 pm

Malcolm, what about the harms of masturbation and porn from a health perspective though?

Does Tibetan medicine say anything about it?

Surely, the widespread availability of porn is not a positive thing even psychologically? Do you not think it distorts how people relate to sex?

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:27 pm

MiphamFan wrote:Malcolm, what about the harms of masturbation and porn from a health perspective though?

Does Tibetan medicine say anything about it?

Surely, the widespread availability of porn is not a positive thing even psychologically? Do you not think it distorts how people relate to sex?

Tibetan medicine says nothing at all about masturbation.

Porn is a different issue altogether. The main danger with porn for the individual, is that might cause them to become a specific kind of paṇḍaka, only able to be aroused by watching others have sex.

Beyond that, there are many social issues to consider with porn. That being said, it is something that should be legal, since making it illegal marginalizes sex workers even more than they are now.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:12 pm

MiphamFan wrote: Does Tibetan medicine say anything about it?

I did a quick research on the internet and Chinese medicine seems to be against it.


I guess a lot of things are unhealthy if done excessively.

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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:21 pm

Since we're all enjoying playing a nice game of pile on the puritan I will enjoy playing the role of devil's advocate.

Whether "incredibly filthy" is in fact correct view or "emotional, full of aversion", etc depends entirely on the yana I am practising.

According to the hinayana precept, if there is intention, application and fruition to indulge in a sexual manner in order to release semen, the precept has been broken. Of course this may also give rise to aggression or passion, but that is a further consequence.

You do not have to be a shramanera to understand the precept in this way. If you are a upasaka who has undertaken to recite the precept, this is also the correct understanding.

To our culture this may seem quaint, but I really don't think it's that controversial to set forth the precept in that way.

It is also not controversial to say that as soon as you switch to mahayana view, intention moves to the forefront. In other words intending to change my environment is enough to break the precept as much as actually changing it.

If anything, however, it is arguable that that imposes a stricter requirement than even the hinayana view.

It is said that keeping the hinayana precepts is like dusting off your mirror: while you are dusting, more dust might be landing on it. But keeping the mahayana precepts is like keeping dust away from the mirror in the first place. In the mahayana, you reach the phase in which the slightest intention of breaking a precept destroys the purpose of your life and of living as a human being. But you could be without such an intention, and if an intention arises, you could label it “thinking.” When you notice a thought of breaking a precept arising, you could cut that thought.
Trungpa

The mahayana is not yet the view of secret mantra, and of course even there behavior is strictly regulated.

EDIT PS: In the discussion of "harm" it's odd to me that there is some kind of blind spot with respect to myself. I am also a person who can be "harmed", often by my own intentions.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:29 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote: According to the hinayana precept, if there is intention, application and fruition to indulge in a sexual manner in order to release semen, the precept has been broken. .

But we are not talking about someone who has taken a vow of celibacy. Neither in the form of a monks/nuns vow nor the so called lay vows with addition of celibacy.

Of course if you have taken the vow you break it when you masturbate (or have sex) and that's not a good thing.


That's not the problem here and I think it's something that all buddhists worldwide can agree on.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:34 pm

There are levels of upasaka, I don't believe all need to have taken a vow of celibacy in order to understand the precept in that way.

I could of course be quite wrong.

EDIT PS: In fact I think what I'm saying is I don't know how the precept could be recited by a hinayana upasaka in any other way, regardless of whether a separate vow of celibacy has been taken.

EDIT PS 2: ... and consequently I don't know how the mahayana emphasis on intention in itself could modify the precept in any way beyond that matter of emphasis.

EDIT PS 3: Where is it written in other words that the "misconduct" of panca-sila changes to "activity" of attha-sila only when you're hanging out in the temple for a while during the full moon?

EDIT PS 4: Even if we do just remain focused on "illicit":

... freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression ...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Is it possible to do this thing, always and everywhere and everyone, without abandoning those three freedoms?
Last edited by Karma Dondrup Tashi on Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:05 pm

When I took the lay precepts (with Choden Rinpoche) the vow regarding sexuality was "no sexual misconduct". There was an option to additionally take the vow of celibacy along with it but nobody among the group took that.

But as far as I understand it, anyone who takes a vajrayana initiation automatically takes the lay individual liberation and bodhisattva vows along with it.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:12 pm

Certainly.

So the question is to what extent clarifications with respect to this point of training, which apply to my activity with other persons, apply also to my activity with myself.

One thing that surely does not apply, for example, is the question of whether I am a person who is one of "those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man", etc.

In other words, just because that criterion is inapplicable to this activity, does not mean there are not other possible criteria.

EDIT 1: M-la has raised the issue of pornography, for example. It would be nice if we could all say that, regardless of the question of whether pleasure is lust, we are able to generate and receive pleasure without reviewing porn. But honestly, how many of us can say that? And if we can't say that, then we do need to consider whether that activity is "illicit", i.e. whether for everyone at all times, it preserves "... freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression ..."

I just think things sometimes are not so clear cut.

Sometimes our culture snickers at things, or takes things for granted, that turn out to be not quite so helpful. Pleasure becomes entertainment very quickly sometimes.

EDIT 2: Perhaps a good way to approach this kind of thing is not only to consider whether my mahanaya archarya would do such a thing, because he is my exemplar, but also to consider whether the maha sangha, whom I also greatly respect and take refuge in, would also do it, because they also should be my exemplars.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:18 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:, but 1.5 posts a day isn't too much..

Okay, i took a little time and did the math. Yesterday, on Wednesday, 8th you posted 35 times on this thread, starting at 4.27, three posts at 4o'clock, 5 at 5o'clock, 6 at 6o'clock, 6 at 7o'clock, 5 at 8o'clock, 4 at 9o'clock, and 5 at 10 o'clock, ending at 10.42. They are fairly evenly distributed over a period of 8 hours.

Means you must have been online and watching the acitivites on this therad for 8 hours. Sorry, but if you are so proud of your ascetic lifestyle that you blame people who masturbate to be "worldlings", to not be buddhists etc, you have to act differently to be believable.
Possibly of interest: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/824600
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Vasana » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:46 pm

Vasana wrote:I found this recent set of slides very useful in understanding the neurological basis for desire, craving and stress etc A lot of it applies to any experience of the senses we label as pleasurable and not just sexual pleasure.

The slide is about the effects of porn on developing brains...An issue that seems quite widespread and underlooked in western modern culture, especially with kids having access to the internet at younger and younger ages...

http://www.slideshare.net/ucap4utah/jen ... ains-10-14

" 4. THE STRESS COMPOUNDS •Neurotransmitters: •Dopamine •Norepinephrine •Hormones: • Cortisol •Norepinephrine •Testosterone
5. STRESS NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND HORMONES INHIBIT THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX AND STIMULATE THE BASAL GANGLIA
6. THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX Self-control Moral judgment Emotional regulation Ability to work toward a defined Planning goal Complex cognitive behavior Analysis s
7. LIMBIC SYSTEM The limbic system has been referred to as the emotional center of the brain. The amygdala is part of the limbic system. It is responsible for signaling to other brain areas in response to emotionally significant visual stimuli (Phan et al., 2002). The amygdala works more efficiently under stress
8. HIPPOCAMPUS The hippocampus is also part of the limbic system. The hippocampus is involved in learning and memory (McEwen, 2001; 2004). The hippocampus plays a critical role in explicit memory, which is concerned with facts and events (Sapolsky, 2003).
9. BASAL GANGLIA Compulsive Difficulty linking natural consequences with choices Increased violence and aggression Seek immediate gratification Loss of natural empathy and sympathy for others Loss of willpower Self-centered Much more likely to engage in addictive behaviors
10. More detail about chemical compounds released in response to SEM: •Amygdala is activated. •The amygdala released a wave of neurotransmitters (Arnsten, 2000; 2009). Neurotransmitters are how brain cells or neurons communicate with each other.
11. When the wave of neurotransmitters reach the prefrontal cortex it causes a definite reduction in functioning. The prefrontal cortex is very sensitive to the level of neurotransmitters. Too much or too little inhibits functioning.
12. The wave of neurotransmitters affects the basal ganglia differently than the prefrontal cortex. It works more efficiently. With the basal ganglia in charge, the individual becomes more compulsive and driven by immediate gratification. They essentially become more like animals driven by reward stimulation.

.... "

Repost for those who missed it first time round. As Smcj said, unfortunately in todays age, porn addiction is rising and now kids are online at much younger ages than in the past which will naturally have a mixed ratio of distraction & advantages.

Everyone's body and energy level is different.Everyone's compulsivity and intensity of craving is different.Everyone has different levels of will-power.Sometimes it's good to disengage from things if they're not beneficial. There's really no universal answer to all of this.
The highest practice for everyone isn't always the highest yana if recognition isn't stable. The highest practice is what is most beneficial and skillful in any given moment.Sometimes it's skillfull to work with the physical and mental intensity of desire, sometime's it's skillful to disengage for x amount of time.
Last edited by Vasana on Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:48 pm

smcj wrote: I am of the perspective that watching porn and then rubbing one out is specifically the exact opposite of "having revulsion for our own mental afflictions". It is, in fact, cultivating them, cherishing them, amplifying one specific mental affliction.


So is buying a delicious bar of chocolate or piece of cake and then digging in. So is buying and wearing a piece of clothing that you really like.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:39 pm

theanarchist wrote:
MiphamFan wrote: Does Tibetan medicine say anything about it?
I did a quick research on the internet and Chinese medicine seems to be against it.
Yes, the Chinese culture seems a bit superstitious regarding semen retention. According to Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda, semen is a waste product.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:01 am

Zhen Li wrote: but studies on addiction to it .

Studies about addiction to it say absolutely nothing.

Studies about alcoholism say absolutely nothing about drinking a glass of wine once every two weeks, studies about computer game addiction say absolutely nothing about occasionally doing an online sudoku, studies about eating disorders say absolutely nothing about occasionally eating a piece of cake, studies about compulsive shopping say absolutely nothing about occasionally shopping for a nice dress, studies about pathologic gambling say absolutely nothing about occasionally taking part in a lottery.


All normal activities that are in any way pleasurable CAN lead to addiction in extreme pathological cases. That doesn't mean that all activities that can develop into an addiction are in themselves unhealthy.

You are pleasure-phobic.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:09 am

They do when the occasional turns to the dependent. It could be boredom, or it could be emotional problems that come from another source, but every addiction starts with a simple pleasurable enjoyment.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:13 am

theanarchist wrote:You are pleasure-phobic.
Disagreement supported by reasons isn't a psychological phobia, it's rational.

You're not going to get lasting happiness through sensuality, it will always be fleeting.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:14 am

Zhen Li wrote:They do when the occasional turns to the dependent.

In most people it doesn't. Just like in the majority of people the occasional beer or glass of wine, or lottery ticket, or shopping spree doesn't.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:14 am

theanarchist wrote:All normal activities that are in any way pleasurable CAN lead to addiction in extreme pathological cases. That doesn't mean that all activities that can develop into an addiction are in themselves unhealthy.
Depends what you mean by healthy.

Some people care only for bodily healthy (including the brain). But that ends with death. The wise care for the health of their store of merit and karma, and cultivate the wholesome, avoid the unwholesome.

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