Asceticism

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by Stupid Monkey, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Stupid Monkey

    Stupid Monkey Fapstronaut

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    After having excessively indulged in food, wine and pmo the last days, I am now trying to start a more ascetic lifestyle. According to Wikipedia, (natural) asceticism consists in abstinence in case of worldly pleasures (food, wine, smoking, pmo, ...) for spiritual gain:

    “Asceticism (/əˈsɛtɪsɪzəm/; from the Greek: ἄσκησις áskesis, "exercise" or "training") is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from worldly pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their practices or continue to be part of their society, but typically adopt a frugal lifestyle, characterised by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures, and time spent fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters.[3]

    Asceticism is classified into two types. "Natural asceticism" consists of a lifestyle where material aspects of life are reduced to utmost simplicity and a minimum but without maiming the body or harsher austerities that make the body suffer, while "unnatural asceticism" is defined as a practice that involves body mortification and self infliction of pain such as by sleeping on a bed of nails.[4]

    Asceticism has been historically observed in many religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism and Judaism. Mainstream Islam has lacked asceticism, except for its minority Sufi sect whose long tradition has included strict asceticism.[5][6]The practitioners of these religions eschewed worldly pleasures and led an abstinent lifestyle, in the pursuit of redemption,[7]salvation or spirituality.[8] Asceticism is seen in the ancient theologies as a journey towards spiritual transformation, where the simple is sufficient, the bliss is within, the frugal is plenty.[3]

    Did any of you consciously try to live an ascetic life? While quitting pmo can in itself be called ascetic, of course, I am wondering whether you tried to integrate it in a more general ascetic framework. The benefit could be that once you see yourself as an ascetic, you can gain motivation of changing for the better. All obstacles you face can then be thought of as an opportunity to grow and become stronger. The way I see it, ascetics belong to the strongest people because despite of their physical needs, they do not indulge in the “joys of the flesh“.

    What I will do now, is live an ascetic lifestyle for 30 days. I would love it if you would want to join!

    For me, the major part of the challenge will consist in:

    No pmo

    Healthy eating

    Workout

    Meditate

    No alcohol

    Study 6h/day

    No tv

    Sitting straight

    Cold showers

    Visualisation of myself as an ascetic

    Visualisation practice of my fears

    Positive mindset

    Intermittent fasting

    Get up at seven a.m.

    I will try to do this every day now. Although the list is very long and hard, so is the life of an ascetic, so it seems like a hard but adequate challenge.

    Join in, guys :)

    Edit: I added intermittent fasting, so I will only have one meal on at least three days a week. Also, if you guys have other suggestions what could be added, I would love to hear.

    Edit 2: I added 1) visualisation of my fears, which is a practice of cognitive psychotherapy to overcome your fears, 2) positive mindset and 3) getting up at 7.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  2. Stupid Monkey

    Stupid Monkey Fapstronaut

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    Day 1:

    No pmo - check - 1

    Healthy eating - check - 1

    Workout - check - 1

    Meditate - check - 1

    No alcohol - check - 1

    Study 6h/day - check - 1

    No tv - check - 1

    Sitting straight - check - 1

    Cold showers - check - 1

    Visualisation of myself as an ascetic - check - 1

    Visualisation practice of my fears - check - 1

    Positive mindset - check - 1

    Intermittent fasting - check - 1

    Get up at seven a.m. - check - 1.

    So far, so good.
     
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  3. SuperFan

    SuperFan Fapstronaut

    I personally think asceticism is just a matter of swinging the pendulum to the other extreme.

    Obviously I totally support any gameplan that will help you! But for me, trying to kill my desires by starving them into submission (through my own willpower or white-knuckling) has never really worked. I always end up relapsing, and relapsing harder than before.
     
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  4. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Go on you for pursuing a more ascetic life. Gaining some self-control and self-discipline in your life has to be a positive. Only the profligate look at it as extreme or abnormal. The norm for most today is addiction of one sort or another.
     
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  5. Drew140

    Drew140 Guest

    Do you live alone
     
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  6. Alpinist

    Alpinist Guest

    Sometimes we must be extreme and very hard on ourselves to progress - do it and keep doing it until you are content with your own progress. Follow your intuition and inward guidance, it will never let you down. Don't let failure hold you back, laugh in its face and put your tenacity and perseverance to the test!

    Wishing you all the best; godspeed!
     
  7. Alpinist

    Alpinist Guest

    By the way, I'm sure you've heard of Tim Ferris. Check out this talk:
     
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  8. Stupid Monkey

    Stupid Monkey Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for your answers and good luck to all of you!

    I will watch the Tim Ferris talk tonight, thank you.

    My challenge might look a little extreme, but I should mention that I will not completely abstain from all pleasures -- I will drink a beer with the guys every now and then, go out and have dinner with my girlfriend or go to the cinema (not to mention doing what girlfriend and boyfriend do all the time ;)). What I try to abstain from are empty pleasures like eating junk food alone, binge watching series, basically all those things that have no value in themselves (at least when done alone -- all these things can be valuable when you do them with friends and family).

    And yes, I do live alone - why tho?

    Day 2:

    No pmo - check - 2

    Healthy eating - check - 2

    Workout - check - 2

    Meditate - check - 2

    No alcohol - check - 2

    Study 6h/day - check - 2

    No tv - check - 2

    Sitting straight - check - 2

    Cold showers - check - 2

    Visualisation of myself as an ascetic - check - 2

    Visualisation practice of my fears - check - 2

    Positive mindset - check - 2

    Intermittent fasting - check - 2

    Get up at seven a.m. - check - 2.
     
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  9. Drew140

    Drew140 Guest

    Would just seem easier to do living alone.
     
  10. NightReaper775

    NightReaper775 Fapstronaut

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    Love this discipline. 6 hours of studying per day? I cannot even manage to study for one hour! My attention just is non existent at this point. I totally support any attempt to turn your life 180º, and of course it is a way to reshape our lives in a way that we choose to, despite of societal pressure to "have fun". Today, the norm is to enjoy, and that leaves no room for the self to explore itself or to experience some discomfort or change, because it is not "important".

    Damn, if you just stick with two or three things of the ones you listed your life can only improve, spiritually and in regards to your own projects. Take care.
     
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  11. Stupid Monkey

    Stupid Monkey Fapstronaut

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    I agree, society is far more about just having fun then providing value to society and yourself or to live morally and with integrity. People betray their spouses, fathers leave their children, just because they only care for their own empty pleasure. We should try to break out of the habit of seeking the empty pleasures.

    I assume you are a student at school? Then it is natural that you cant study six hours a day - after all, you already stay the entire day at school! I on the other hand am just writing my masters thesis and can work on that almost full-time. Although I have to work every now and then, e.g. yesterday, so I only managed 2 hours of studying.

    Day 3:

    No pmo - check - 3

    Healthy eating - check - 3

    Workout - check - 3

    Meditate - check - 3

    No alcohol - check - 3

    Study 6h/day - fail - 0

    No tv - check - 3

    Sitting straight - check - 3

    Cold showers - check - 3

    Visualisation of myself as an ascetic - check - 3

    Visualisation practice of my fears - check - 3

    Positive mindset - check - 3

    Intermittent fasting - check - 3

    Get up at seven a.m. - check - 3.
     
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  12. JohnnyReid

    JohnnyReid Fapstronaut

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    If you find 6h a day study hard to do consistently, reevaluate your goal to something more reasonable, then work your way up.

    Good on you!
     
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  13. NightReaper775

    NightReaper775 Fapstronaut

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    I am not going to classes right now but yes, I would say that going to the university limits my studying capabilities, I get tired easily.

    Well done with your overall progress. Towards a better lifestyle.
     
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  14. Prov2611

    Prov2611 Fapstronaut

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    I may adopt some of these! Self control for self control's sake is a good practice anyway- that's the root of a lot of my problems that led me to NoFap. Keep up the good work
     
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  15. plant goodness

    plant goodness Fapstronaut

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    Perhaps this wouldn't be necessary if he lived with another in the sense that living alone is a bad situation for someone trying to overcome fapping.

    But cheers. I think a self discipline exercise like this can come in handy. I mean it's not like you are doing anything ascetic in the sense of performing grueling austerities like some yogis do in India.
     
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  16. plant goodness

    plant goodness Fapstronaut

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    This doesn't even seem like asceticism man...lol it's just self control goals.
     
  17. plant goodness

    plant goodness Fapstronaut

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    It doesn't work man. Not in an ultimate sense. I mean the Buddha practiced asceticism at a level far, far beyond what OP is going for and he discovered it was fruitless.

    I think balance is the key.

    But like I said this doesn't seem ascetic and cheers keep it up!
     
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  18. Stupid Monkey

    Stupid Monkey Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for your thoughts on this.

    I have to admit that I am not very familiar with the buddhist ascetic tradition. They way I understand asceticism is based on the tradition of ancient greek, ancient roman and especially christian asceticism. I am especially relying on the information as presented in Richard Finn Op: Asceticism in the Graeco-Roman World, as well as in Marcus Aurelius: Meditations.

    Actually, with sexual abstinence, fasting, abstinence from alcohol, exposition to cold, physical exercises, a vegetarian lifestyle (which I did not state because I already live strictly vegetarian since many years, so it is no challenge anymore) I got all of the most important bodily ascetic exercises of this tradition covered. Furthermore, I got the stoic exercise of apatheia, that is the fight against destructive emotions like anger, fear and greed covered in what I stated as "mindset", as well as meditation, so I also got the mental spectrum covered.

    Other common ascetic practices that I did not include are exercises like renunciation of personal hygiene, renunciation of sleep, renunciation of wealth, living in isolation to other human beings, and inflicting pain on myself. These practices seem like they would do more harm than good. Although I am somewhat attracted to renunciation of wealth in the form of not consuming things I do not need, and I have to admit I am somehow fascinated by inflicting pain on myself, but my reason tells me not to include that.

    I would be very interested in why you would not consider this asceticism? I assume, you are talking about the eastern kinds of asceticism like in the buddhist and hinduist tradition? If you can name any practices that are performed in this tradition, and that seem to have value, I would very much like to hear about them.

    I can feel you, it is extremely hard to work when you are exhausted. I would try to eat healthy, exercise and get up at the same time everyday, so that you may feel less tired. Best luck!

    Thanks buddy, good luck with your efforts and let me know which practices you adopted and how it is working out for you!

    Day 4:

    No pmo - check - 4

    Healthy eating - check - 4

    Workout - check - 4

    Meditate - check - 4

    No alcohol - check - 4

    Study 6h/day - fail (only 4 hours) - 0

    No tv - check - 4

    Sitting straight - check - 4

    Cold showers - check - 4

    Visualisation of myself as an ascetic - check - 4

    Visualisation practice of my fears - check - 4

    Positive mindset - check - 4

    Intermittent fasting - check - 4

    Get up at seven a.m. - check - 4.
     
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  19. Stupid Monkey

    Stupid Monkey Fapstronaut

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    Day 5:

    No pmo - check - 5

    Healthy eating - check - 5

    Workout - check - 5

    Meditate - check - 5

    No alcohol - check - 5

    Study 6h/day - check - 1

    No tv - check - 5

    Sitting straight - check - 5

    Cold showers - check - 5

    Visualisation of myself as an ascetic - check - 5

    Visualisation practice of my fears - check - 5

    Positive mindset - check - 5

    Intermittent fasting - check - 5

    Get up at seven a.m. - check - 5.
     
  20. Stupid Monkey

    Stupid Monkey Fapstronaut

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    Day 6:

    No pmo - check - 6

    Healthy eating - check - 6

    Workout - check - 6

    Meditate - check - 6

    No alcohol - check - 6

    Study 6h/day - check - 2

    No tv - check - 6

    Sitting straight - check - 6

    Cold showers - check - 6

    Visualisation of myself as an ascetic - check - 6

    Visualisation practice of my fears - check - 6

    Positive mindset - check - 6

    Intermittent fasting - check - 6

    Get up at seven a.m. - check - 6.
     

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