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 » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:22 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:Judging a habit doesn't mean labeling it as inherently evil. It means evaluating the state of mind or deed, as well as its causes and motivations, for whether or not it is wholesome or unwholesome - which means being conducive to welfare and happiness or not.


Again, your words about this only three days ago were very VERY different!


Zhen Li wrote:Dopamine is mind altering, and indulging in the causes of dysregulation in the brain's reward system is very damaging.

Alcohol is different not because of the result, which is the same for the reward system, but because we don't have a drive for alcohol prior to trying it. However, if you don't believe there is a way to overcome the sex drive, that's rejecting fairly basic aspects of the Dharma.

Sex is mentally and physically damaging, it's an incredibly filthy and disease prone activity, some of which can cause death. It also gives rise to birth, which is suffering. It also is a major source of desire and attachment and hence perpetuates dependent origination. This is not to say that there are not cleaner or safer ways of doing it.

I don't know if you are just uninformed, inexperienced in meditation and overcoming desires, or if you are trying to be as radically different from the Buddhist approach as possible.

Most nominal Buddhists don't actually practice. This is ashame. But if you give it a go you may find beneficial results.
No they're not, because that's a different topic. Also, please point out a contradiction in what I said. Don't just throw around quotes without explanations and expect a point to be made.

I'm not talking about the disadvantages of sexuality right now. That's a different topic. I am talking about judging your habits and training your mind.

If you would like to switch back topics, I am happy to do so.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by smcj » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:26 pm

theanarchist wrote:... if you become judgmental, you feed them. The same way, celibacy with an attitude of "sex is dirty and evil" will not work.
If you try to use self-will exclusively, yes. The best pithy saying on this comes from a non-Dharma source, the I-Ching, p167 Wilhelm/Baynes:
…we should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them, they continue victorious. Finally, the best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.
Struggling with our faults has been the failed way Christianity has tried to handle them, and is a huge cause for our PCSD (Post-Christian Stress Disorder). So I am agreeing here with theanarchist that we should not use self-will with problems like porn. We cannot win the battle of internal conflict. We need Refuge from that scenario.

Edit: putting "not" into the sentence where I agree with theanarchist.
Last edited by smcj on Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:30 pm

It's exaclty the same topic.


In one post you label an activity as having an inheritant property (incredibly filthy) in another only days later you deny doing so. Calling something incredibly filthy with some amount of revulsion is definitely more than a neutral evaluation.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:34 pm

theanarchist wrote:Yes, but the ethics have to be based on the right assumptions. For example murdering someone is not bad because it's evil. It's bad because it harms yourself and another being. Deeds don't have inbuilt attributes in themselves, they are causing happiness or suffering or are neutral, that's all.
That's the view of an accomplished person who already has established the stable foundation for working with emptiness.

Your emphasis is like trying to build a house from the roof down and foundation last.

Foundation first, then next realization. Realization then becomes base for further realization. Rinse, repeat. Until final realization.

You raised the issue of parenting.

IMHO western culture is full of nice, well-meaning, sensitive new-age parents trying to get their precious little flowers not to throw hairy shit fits by using adult reasoning. By patiently, nicely, gently trying to explain to sweet little Billy why throwing himself around and screaming in the middle of the floor of the living room is perhaps not quite so conducive to world peace or recycling, like the Dalai Lama says.

I guess we all have our favorite projections we fall back on to justify our view.

I just think that the point of view that the murderer would be a sweet nice person if only he understood that his actions are unskilful for stabilizing his shamatha is not going to be quite so effective. Telling him to cut it the f*ck out or sending him to his room for a while might work a little better.

Children, or adults who act like children, are unable to yet engage with genuine analysis.

Same reason if you see someone bleeding on the side of the road you're not going to go over to him and start lecturing about emptiness. You're going to get his empty injured body to the local empty hospital to an empty doctor who can give him empty medicine and then when he's back in his comfortable empty dharma space then you can begin to teach him about emptiness.

Lucidity works in ways that are opposite to how it works in dreams. If the nightmare gets extremely intense, likelihood is, you're going to wake up. But in samsara, the opposite. The more intense the energy gets, the less able I am to achieve stability through the practice of stability. There's a basic, behavior-level stability that has to give itself up as the base for that further stability practice.

And yes, the word for that is "discipline". And explaining its meaning is why we need good teachers. And yes, they exist, I know they do. They are out there. It really is happening.

And yes, absolutely, judgmentalism, because formations are one of the skandhas, can become its own equivalent of a little child having a hairy shit fit. Sold. I get it. It can be absolutely, totally harmful. As much as non-judgmentalism can be harmful - on the level of behavior.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Ayu » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:35 pm

Two pages of posts moved to this new topic:
http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 45#p291945
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For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:41 pm

smcj wrote:Struggling with our faults has been the failed way Christianity has tried to handle them, and is a huge cause for our PCSD (Post-Christian Stress Disorder). So I am agreeing here with theanarchist that we should use self-will with problems like porn. We cannot win the battle of internal conflict. We need Refuge from that scenario.
As far as I know, Christianity doesn't provide a way to handle bad habits. There is no practical instruction in such things in Christian doctrine, other than faith and forgiveness.

Blaming our habits on Christianity, which doesn't have anything to do with them, is completely useless. Ignorance and the processes of dependent origination through beginningless existences, long before Christianity arrived on the scene, is at fault.
theanarchist wrote:In one post you label an activity as having an inheritant property (incredibly filthy) in another only days later you deny doing so. Calling something incredibly filthy with some amount of revulsion is definitely more than a neutral evaluation.
A post a couple days ago isn't the one you quoted. You're just trying to find ways to attack me, I don't want you to develop any more negative emotions or speak any more wrong speech, so I am going to try to wrap up our discussion here. I will just address your concern and then move on to a broader contextualisation.

Sex is incredibly filthy, but not inherently so. It is viewed so as a training tool.

Natural evaluations are mistaken, that's why if you follow them you will just keep acting like a worldling and perpetuate samsara. However, combining our natural evaluations with clear vision will produce revulsion. I.e. if you use your natural evaluations when doing meditation on the foulness of the body, revulsion arises, because we really aren't as beautiful as youth and flesh make us appear. Does this mean it is inherently revolting? Nope, because those feelings are dependently arisen.

The question in the end is one of motivations, and I will sincerely ask you what yours are. If you want to attain a level of serious cultivation in this life and still be able to have sex and drink alcohol, then you're going to have to get to the level where drinking alcohol and having sex aren't done out of force of habit, or karma that you have inherented from innumerable past lives, but out of pure bodhicitta, while perceiving emptiness. If you want to just be an ordinary person and maybe practice from time to time to reduce some stress and make some nice friends at the temple, but not seriously aim to overcome any of the symptoms of our deep rooted ignorance in this lifetime, but maybe in a future one, or in the pureland, I completely understand that and think that such a thing shouldn't be discouraged. That's realistic and maybe ideal for most people. The main thing is that we have to be honest about how the Dharma works. Working at its most optimal, which effectively means holding oneself to the highest standards, I think we should come to realise that we are all Buddhas already, we just have clouds obscuring our vision. In this sense, if we are not perfect in some regard we should work towards perfection. I don't see the Buddha as being inclined to drink alcohol habitually, or use porn. But how do you achieve those ends? You need to use skilful means, these are techniques and strategies, that are not statements about the nature of the world, but ways of achieving the ends we are aiming for. So, if your problem is lust, and you can't overcome it by simply letting it dissipate in your mind (actually, I can do this no problem), you can recall the impermanence of all bodily forms (i.e. the sexy form you see will be a grandma tomorrow, and was also your mother in a past life - you wouldn't fantasise about your mother would you?), or you can recall the dependently originated nature of the bodily form (i.e. this is not inherently sexy, there is no self there, it is just an amalgamation of dharmas that come together through causes and conditions). If those don't work, then extreme measures can be taken by doing meditation on foulness. That's really not always necessary, and doesn't say anything about inherency.

I'm a pureland practitioner (and ch'an too). I'm not aiming to overcome samsara in this life. But I am being honest about the way I understand the Buddhadharma as working from my experience as a practitioner of Mahayana and a scholar. I'm not telling you to do anything, or trying to preach. I'm indifferent to what you feel about this - I'm not your teacher, so I'm not going to try to use skilful means on you. However, I do find, again from my experience as a practitioner (though obviously not as a scholar), that there is a qualitative benefit from reducing desires and habits, and from cultivating the wholesome. Do I want that for others? Yes. Do I want that for you? Yes. That is why I am posting here - I usually don't post this much on Dharmawheel, unless there's a topic which I find is really worth addressing and engaging with in more detail. I have experienced a better life through practicing Dharma, and I don't want people to get the wrong idea about it and give up what could be good opportunities for development by denying the possibility of improvement. As for myself, I like to challenge myself to improve, both in terms of Dharma and outside of Dharma. Are there areas where I haven't cultivated enough? Of course. But I don't deny them. I see them for what they are, opportunities. I'm talking on the level of the highest expectations, so I don't even expect myself to be able to achieve them.

You can call me names, make me a bogey man, like a Christian or Puritan (do I sense some aversion?). But I am not bothered. You simply give me more opportunities to practice patience and keep trying. But at this point, I think I have said what I can say. You can interpret it as you like, but in the end, what I have to say is what it is, no more no less. Perhaps there's also a bit of a language barrier, and I have no idea how much of what I say, which makes sense to me, will make sense to you. All I can do for that is learn German, which will take some more time. If you want to email me and talk about it one on one, just PM me.

The main fault, on my part, is probably that I treated you like you needed to be helped. Because I did think that if you have a view that is hindering spiritual progress, it would be best to help you sort that out. But I don't think you're open to changing - if you were trying the same thing with me, all I can say is that I haven't been convinced at all that masturbation and porn habits are compatible with awakening. These are things that I should leave between you and your guru, and it seems like you are having all sorts of negative and averse reactions to what I say, so for that I am sorry, and I don't want to cause you to create bad karma or have negative feelings.
:namaste:

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:52 pm

Zhen Li wrote:Dopamine is mind altering, and indulging in the causes of dysregulation in the brain's reward system is very damaging.

Alcohol is different not because of the result, which is the same for the reward system, but because we don't have a drive for alcohol prior to trying it. However, if you don't believe there is a way to overcome the sex drive, that's rejecting fairly basic aspects of the Dharma.

Sex is mentally and physically damaging, it's an incredibly filthy and disease prone activity, some of which can cause death. It also gives rise to birth, which is suffering. It also is a major source of desire and attachment and hence perpetuates dependent origination. This is not to say that there are not cleaner or safer ways of doing it.

I don't know if you are just uninformed, inexperienced in meditation and overcoming desires, or if you are trying to be as radically different from the Buddhist approach as possible.

Most nominal Buddhists don't actually practice. This is ashame. But if you give it a go you may find beneficial results.

You wrote this on Sunday, June 28 this year, 12 days ago.

Can be found on page 12 of this thread.

Don't try to deny this just because those claims happen to be medically wrong, contradict buddhadharma and on top of it you insult other followers of the buddha dharma as not practicing just because they don't share your rigid views..

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:55 pm

Zhen Li wrote: I'm not telling you to do anything, or trying to preach.

Oh yes, you do. And you enjoy every minute of telling us noobs how buddhism is done.

Zhen Li wrote: The main fault, on my part, is probably that I treated you like you needed to be helped. Because I did think that if you have a view that is hindering spiritual progress, it would be best to help you sort that out. But I don't think you're open to changing -:


You are just arrogant and have a messiah complex it seems. One of those self proclaimed wannabe-guru, that get all hissy fit, three year old on the war path when people dare not to recognize their geniality.

My advice? Go save yourself.
Last edited by theanarchist on Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:57 pm

Thank you for your teaching.
:namaste:

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:58 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Zhen Li wrote: This is why the sutras teach meditation on the foulness of the body...
.
If you are a common Mahāyāna practitioner, this is fine. This is not acceptable in Vajrayāna.


It's not acceptable in Mahayana either, as in emptiness nature, there is no such thing as pure or impure, so this idea is conceptual thinking and has to be overcome.
You might want to tell Shantideva then, he has practically a whole chapter on how to become throughly disgusted with the bodies of the opposite sex as an antidote to desire.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:02 pm

Malcolm wrote: You might want to tell Shantideva then, he has practically a whole chapter on how to become throughly disgusted with the bodies of the opposite sex as an antidote to desire.

As an antidote, of course.. But not as the next conceptual view to get stuck on. Falling from one extreme (believing in the inheritant existance of the beauty and attractiveness of the female body) into the other extreme (the inheritant existance of the ugliness and revulsiveness of the female body) doesn't archieve anything. You just swapped one conceptual delusion with another.


I mean, buddha taught the middle way, free from any extremes after trying and rejecting extreme paths with those hindu yogis before he attained liberation.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:06 pm

Malcolm wrote:You might want to tell Shantideva then, he has practically a whole chapter on how to become throughly disgusted with the bodies of the opposite sex as an antidote to desire.
Yes, and if you are a heterosexual male the next chapter advises to masturbate in front of a picture of the hairy saggy bottom of a 60 year old man who has consumed strudel and weiner shnitzel all his life and who is too pale to use any sun tan lotion.

Now if you will excuse me from this thread I need to go throw up in my own mouth.

EDIT 1: Zhen Li. Anarchist. Dudes. Dudettes. Whatevs. You 2 should get a room. Just sayin.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:26 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Malcolm wrote: You might want to tell Shantideva then, he has practically a whole chapter on how to become throughly disgusted with the bodies of the opposite sex as an antidote to desire.

As an antidote, of course..
That kind of antidote is inappropriate in Vajrayāna.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:
theanarchist wrote:
Malcolm wrote: You might want to tell Shantideva then, he has practically a whole chapter on how to become throughly disgusted with the bodies of the opposite sex as an antidote to desire.

As an antidote, of course..
That kind of antidote is inappropriate in Vajrayāna.

It is, when you are not yet able to dissolve your delusions in the view of emptiness nature. Of course if you are able to do it, applying conceptual antidotes would be inappropriate. But a practitioner should be realistic about his or her abilities.

Failing to apply a conceptual antidote to negative emotion while fooling oneself about being a realized practitioner can end up in vajra hell.

You remember the story of Rudra?

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:35 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Malcolm wrote: That kind of antidote is inappropriate in Vajrayāna.

It is, when you are not yet able to dissolve your delusions in the view of emptiness nature. Of course if you are able to do it, applying conceptual antidotes would be inappropriate. But a practitioner should be realistic about his or her abilities.

Failing to apply a conceptual antidote to negative emotion while fooling oneself about being a realized practitioner can end up in vajra hell.

You remember the story of Rudra?
Whoever said anything about being realized? Such antidotes are inconsistent with pure vision, which is a practice.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Whoever said anything about being realized?.

The application of the vajrayana methods to your negative emotion must be successful.

So for example you are angry, you apply the vajrayana practice and the anger is liberated into, I think with anger it's discerning wisdom. Case closed.

But if you are angry, apply the vajrayana practice, and afterwards despite giving your best you are still angry, then you might better switch to loving kindness practice, chopping wood, psychotherapy, whatever gets the job done and you out of that state of mind.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:20 am

theanarchist wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Whoever said anything about being realized?.

The application of the vajrayana methods to your negative emotion must be successful.

So for example you are angry, you apply the vajrayana practice and the anger is liberated into, I think with anger it's discerning wisdom. Case closed.

But if you are angry, apply the vajrayana practice, and afterwards despite giving your best you are still angry, then you might better switch to loving kindness practice, chopping wood, psychotherapy, whatever gets the job done and you out of that state of mind.
Anger is mirror-like wisdom. When anger is recognized as anger, that is mirror-like wisdom, then it is liberated. You don't need to apply some antidote to anger to "liberate" it into mirror-like wisdom, anger has always been mirror-like wisdom from the very beginning. Likewise, the five aggregates have always been the five buddhas and so on. This is why applying methods of contemplating the impurity of the body and so on are not proper for Vajrayāna practitioners.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:34 am

Malcolm wrote:
theanarchist wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Whoever said anything about being realized?.

The application of the vajrayana methods to your negative emotion must be successful.

So for example you are angry, you apply the vajrayana practice and the anger is liberated into, I think with anger it's discerning wisdom. Case closed.

But if you are angry, apply the vajrayana practice, and afterwards despite giving your best you are still angry, then you might better switch to loving kindness practice, chopping wood, psychotherapy, whatever gets the job done and you out of that state of mind.
Anger is mirror-like wisdom. When anger is recognized as anger, that is mirror-like wisdom, then it is liberated. You don't need to apply some antidote to anger to "liberate" it into mirror-like wisdom, anger has always been mirror-like wisdom from the very beginning. Likewise, the five aggregates have always been the five buddhas and so on. This is why applying methods of contemplating the impurity of the body and so on are not proper for Vajrayāna practitioners.
Doesn't it depend on the individual? One of my teachers has explained that practitioners can sometimes "cycle" through Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana methods in a non-linear fashion, even when only one is the primary view. Obviously some stuff makes more sense together than other stuff...It has definitely been my experience though that there are a few very sticky spots where simply liberating emotions can't always happen for me, at that point I use Tonglen, Metta etc.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by MiphamFan » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:59 am

Kongtrul has a nice explanation of how to apply renunciation, transformation and auto-liberation together in Creation and Completion for Vajrayana practitioners.

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Post by dzogchungpa » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:23 am

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:EDIT 1: Zhen Li. Anarchist. Dudes. Dudettes. Whatevs. You 2 should get a room. Just sayin.
ZL, ta, I've reserved one for you two here:

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