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Addictions
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8/3/10 11:21 AM
I think I'm addicted to the net and porn. Can meditation help me with it?

I have been to many retreats, read Daniel Ingram's book, have meditated for quite some time, but still can't let go of my addictions. Should I try specific practices?

It's just so good to let go of, I think.

RE: Addictions
Answer
8/4/10 9:23 AM as a reply to Mark Christian Lopez.
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/672679

theres another thread about 'women', maybe you'd wanna check it out..

One thing I think of about lust, it is really bad for karma, it is really tiring, it makes you lose touch with seeing the opposite sex with respect. Another thing though is its normal depending on your age and you usually outgrow it

RE: Addictions
Answer
8/15/10 6:58 PM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
If I can make a bit of a nitpick here, meditation itself is unlikely to help you deal with addictive behaviors. Now, high-level insight certainly can make the process of dealing with them much better (for lack of a better adjective), but it takes a bit of time to get that kind of insight.

If I were in your position, I'd go for some form of psychotherapy (it isn't particularly important which type it is) with a very good psychotherapist. It's much more important for the therapist to be good than for their type of psychotherapy to be good, because they all pretty much work when done right.

That said, cognitive-behavioral therapy would be effective at dealing with addictive behaviors, though it certainly doesn't go deep into the recesses of your mind and discover why you have the behaviors in the first place the way a psychodynamic therapy would. It's up to you to decide how much time and money you want to put into it -- psychodynamic therapy works, but god does it take forever in some cases! CBT works way faster when you find a good CB therapist, but far too many CB therapists out there just follow instructions from a manual and know little to nothing about actually helping people improve their lives, rather than improve their scores on symptom checklists.

RE: Addictions
Answer
1/28/11 10:18 PM as a reply to Mark Christian Lopez.
I'm an alcoholic three years into recovery. I've found that the only way to abandon an addiction is full cold turkey renunciation ,an unhinged dedication to not using your habit of choice, and just like the a.a. crowd says. Taking it one day at a time.I actually got into dharma after I was passed the really hard stages of addiction recovery and in retrospect I think some Buddhist though may have hindered my recovery early on. In the mindstate I was in I certainly could not have found any Buddha nature within myself and would not have been able to trust my perceptions because they were so polluted by shame and guilt.So what I did was hold off on spirituality for a while and focus solely on recovery.Then when I did get into dharma forgiveness practice really was a main point of attention for me.Try something straightforward and practical like getting rid of your computer for a few months, hope that doesn't sound silly but full renunciation and NEVER taking that "first drink" again really works!

RE: Addictions
Answer
1/29/11 11:17 AM as a reply to Robert Scott Johnson.
I have worked with people around addictions for over 25 years, and while I do not share your particular addictive process, I have worked with others who have been successful with change when they are willing to go to any lengths to look into the painful causes and consequences of their behavior.

I know one sex addict who got rid of his computer and let his friends and family know he used email infrequently. Then, he only used the computer at the library because he knew he wouldn't act out there. He started to go through withdrawals and felt some intense grief arising and stayed with it through many cycles. He worked with me to find other ways to nurture himself and connect with others in healthy ways. He started to see his own participation more in his suffering by allowing the withdrawal to take place. He also worked a sex addicts anonymous program for support with other recovering addicts.

I also know another man who, when traveling, knew he was prone to use when he was in a hotel room, so he had the staff remove the television set for an extra fee in order to honor his recovery program. This takes some familiarity with one's own "using triggers" and a willingness to take action to change the triggers for using, and willingness to feel into the body the withdrawals symptoms.

I have found that meditation does not help much, it can actually make things worse, unless you have a program of support. Although, I do feel that the withdrawal process is fruit for insight work. The body and mind is so clouded with an active addiction process it can be difficult to practice effectively.

My best to you, as you look into your own suffering.

Constance

RE: Addictions
Answer
1/29/11 5:39 PM as a reply to Constance Casey.
It is important that you recognize your habitual patterns and the expectation that you will act these out on a regular basis. These cycles (patterns) need to be disrupted and replaced with another regular activity were possible. As Constance has highlighted "willing to go to any lengths" is key.
Identify the triggers, you may go home from work and grab a coffee and smoke and sit down at the computer instead sit outside and relax to the beautiful sunset. Occupy the mind as there can only ever be one thought at a time (not about porn). Take up a new activity, if you have children involve the family. This can help with the motivation to continue. At other times create a space between you and the desire and observe. Feel your bodies reaction and watch the feeling feed thoughts with equanimity. This helps create a distance decreasing the desire. It doesn't take long to create new patterns (days). Once they are established stick to them religiously for the first couple of months at least. I used a similar process successfully for drug addiction

cheers
Jeff

RE: Addictions
addiction behaviour recovery
Answer
1/30/11 3:23 AM as a reply to Mark Christian Lopez.
Mark,

you may want to check this thread.

Sven