Friday, February 27, 2015

Welcome! And what is "Zend"?

If you are struggling to kick the porn habit, I have good news for you.

You can break free.

Zen focuses on simplicity, inner wisdom, and un-attachment.  I am not a Buddhist (at least not yet :p).  In fact I am a Christian.   But listening to sermons and coercions had done little for me.  Little by little, I found the materials I needed to produce lasting results in breaking free.  So I opened this blog to offer some tools and readings that have been helpful for me in getting rid of this habit.

I have been indulging in pornography ever since I was a teenager.  As an adult in my early thirties, I first decided to get rid of the habit last year of June 12, our country's Independence Day.  I managed not to watch pornography for six months.  But I fell into the habit again during the Christmas season (I know, our Lords birthday, and it was embarrassing).  So I bounced back and I have not touched porn as of this writing.

I put together "Zen" and "End" to remind ourselves that bad habits are not permanent.  And also, we overcome with mindfulness and with compassion to ourselves.  When I become more aware of the urge to peek, I look into alternative steps in addressing the habit.  I could drink more water, or I let in a deep breath, or I just sleep it off.  Sometimes, the urge wanes off when I pee.  No matter how strong it is, it does not last for a long time.  When I fail, I look back at my mistakes and see how I can improve my willpower.  Spending time on guilt does not solve the problem.  In fact, guilt makes you give up because you entertain negative thoughts about yourself.  And you would think that you cannot change at all for the better.  

We are often taught that watching pornography is a sin.  You can see that in Matthew 5:27-28*.  So basically, when we jack off to an actress, we have committed adultery with her though she lives miles and miles away from us and she does not know us at all.  How wicked we are!  Since we are already adulterers, might as well finish the deed and ask for forgiveness later.  Makes sense?  But we do not get lasting results at all.  We spend late nights back at the screen and watch more and more depraved material.  We beat ourselves and beg for forgiveness to God again and the cycle goes on and on.

I may appear to challenge dogma.  But self-flagellation does not make you any holier.  Change is hard to take place when we see ourselves as broken individuals.  When we see ourselves as adulterers, how do our habits compare to those who have no qualms viewing porn?

So may I offer another paradigm?  Instead of seeing ourselves as sinners, would it be more useful if we see ourselves as an apprentice who is inching closer and closer to finally break free?  An apprentice who fails in a task would practice it again and again until he perfects it.  And then he is given more difficult tasks to complete.  And he performs them again and again as they propel him towards the path to Mastery.

Yes, this path is not easy.  But leave the past behind.  Leave the guilt behind.  And we as grasshoppers will jump far and high.

My blog entries appear once a week or every two weeks.  But I could post some more depending on the topic.  First recommended reading is Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit".

*27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
New International Version (NIV)