Age 35 - Overcoming porn addiction with the Zazen method

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zazen meditationI struggled with porn addiction and its side effects for many, many years. Though it wasn't until recently that i was aware of how severe my addiction really was and how it really affected me. I won't go into details about my porn- and mastrubation addictions since you all probably know pretty much how it works. I suspect most of you have the same or similar problems.

I have also had problems with alcohol, marijuana, amfetamine and computer games. It all basically works in the same way as porn addiction, and gives many of the same negative results.

Now, I tried many different methods to free myself of my various addictions. Most of the methods ment using my willpower as a primary tool to fight the urges and stay "sober". I also tried 12-step programs such as AA, NA and SLAA, seeing psychologists and using different types of SSRI (antidepressants). Needless to say it didn't work out for me.

I know there are many different theories and methods on this site and I also see that many of you have suceeded and gotten great results by using them. That is of course wonderful. If it works for you, keep it! Don't see this as critisicm against any other method becuase it is not. However there is some people who just cannot do it with these methods. I was one of them and of course it felt extremely frustrating to fail my attempts over and over again, week after week, month after month, year after year. It didn't seem to matter which method i was using. The urges were to strong and I could never even last a week before relapsing. Most of the time i ended up using both porn, alcohol and other drugs at the same time and I binged for weeks. The sucess stories on this forum just didn't apply to me. They basically made me feel even more frustrated since the solutions they provided did not work for me.

So what to do then? I had to think long and hard about it, which is hard enough with all that mind fog and anxiety. It appeared to me that I needed to adress the problem from another angle. I could not simply just quit, I had proven that to myself and the failures made me feel even more miserable. It seemed I just didn't have the willpower required. So maybe that was the thing then? I cannot quit, since i lack the willpower to do so, but can I find a way to strenghten my mind and build up the willpower needed to turn my life around? It seems I could.

Since i was young i've been interested in meditation and eastern philosophy and about two years ago I got the opportunity to try zazen, which is the Zen buddhist way of meditation. Now, you Christians out there, dont get intimidated by this. There is no conflict between your beleifs and Zen buddhism. In fact there is a whole branch of Zen adjusted for christians (and one for atheists, muslims and so on), and the Zen philosophy is basically non religious. Zen is beautiful that way. It excludes noone.

Zazen

Za means sitting and Zen means meditation, and this is what it's all about. You sit. The method is very simple, and of course at the same time quite difficult. To put it in simple words: The first purpose of zazen is to learn how to still your mind so that you no longer will be a slave to your thoughts and urges. You will gradually build up your mental strenght by doing zazen regularly and by doing so most of your everyday problems will simply disappear and you will feel happiness more and more. The long term goal of zazen and Zen is to reach satori which means enlightenment. This is when the real you can appear and you become who you really are, which is one with everything around you.

I won't confuse you any more with details about how to do zazen now since it is some what complicated to explain, in all its simplicity, but I will gladly give more information if there is any interest amoung the community.

The results i have had from doing zazen about 20-30 minutes every day for a few months are very good. Don't misunderstand, zazen is not magic. Nothing supernatural or strange will occur. There will be no out of body experiences, no astral journeys and you will not get any super powers. What I can promise though is that you will learn to control your "monkey-mind" and that you will find inner peace. This inner peace is something truly wonderful. My anxiety is gone and I no longer feel any urge to look at porn, mastrubate, drink or use drugs. I feel free and I feel like I am alive for the first time in my life.

These good effects did not come at once. To learn how to do zazen takes time. But for me it worked very well becuase I didn't have to focus on quiting anything. I just had to focus on learning how to do zazen. It is a positive point of view, instead of a negative one.

This was what i wanted to say.

“While you are continuing this practice, week after week, year after year, your experience will become deeper and deeper, and your experience will cover everything you do in your everyday life. The most important thing is to forget all gaining ideas, all dualistic ideas. In other words, just practice zazen in a certain posture. Do not think about anything. Just remain on your cushion without expecting anything. Then eventually you will resume your own true nature. That is to say, your own true nature resumes itself.” ― Shunryu Suzuki, Zen master

The Zazen method

by Wowbagger