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Satisfying desires

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RiKD    United States. Sep 18 2018 17:52. Posts 5085
Is life all about satisfying desires?

Every whim that pops up? How can we keep track?

I am writing a blog because when I gave up LP all I was doing was substituting with endlessly scrolling through Reddit: Girls gone wild. I mean I was doing useful stuff too but for me r/ggw is useless and unwholesome. I hadn't masturbated for a long time but I think sitting in a car scrolling through r:ggw led to more desire like a forest fire and I ended up lusting after Lana Rhoades. I satisfied that desire. I felt pleasure. Then what? I have kind of eased back from 8 precepts so does it matter? Not really. I don't feel guilty. I would go into it more but I wonder if this is all jibberish to everyone.

I meditated for a while before I left yesterday and was mindful for maybe an hour or two on the drive. I got to a state where I wanted nothing. I had no desires. No greed, no anger, maybe some delusion. It was really weird. I wanted to always be in that state. It didn't stay for too long maybe 20-30 min. Then I was scarfing down pizza and scrolling through r/ggw on my phone before it ran out of batteries. I think a part of it is on the trip it become so clear spending my days with ordinary folk that that is so not the life for me. It was nice seeing my family but I could just as easily detach and be ok. Even the setup of towns was jarring: Bank, McDonald's, grocery store. I don't even want to go into it too much here either as most people on this site are probably living an ordinary life with aspirations of getting married, owning a house, having children, work, and chores.

My point is I don't think it's all about satisfying desires. Being on call for every thought that arises is madness. It is about detaching from desires. Letting go of desires. Letting go of the habituated paths in our lives. I am not quite there with LP obviously (or pornography and masturbation) but that is ok. I got hooked again in both cases today. I am back home. I have desire for excitement and insight from LP and desire for escape and pleasure with pornography and masturbation. The only useful one is insight and I am not sure how much I actually get from here.

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ThrowAway129   Korea (South). Sep 20 2018 02:07. Posts 1

Hey, a lot of people are wrestling with similar issues. I realize it takes a particular personality to fix your attitude to meaning by reading philosophy books, but this worked for me: https://meaningness.com/
Linking it just in case it works for you as well.

To answer your question directly - no, life is not just about satisfying whims, or even ambitions. That's just a small part of what gives life meaning.
However, reversed stupidity is not intelligence. Letting go of some desires may help, but letting go of meaning entirely is the wrong answer.


RiKD    United States. Sep 20 2018 17:05. Posts 5085

Satisfying whims or even ambitions give life no meaning. It's all an illusion. It's all clinging and suffering. I am not sure if I know what you mean by reversed stupidity. Why is letting go of meaning entirely the wrong answer? I suppose I don't let go of meaning entirely. My goal is the freedom from suffering and dissatisfaction. Understanding impermanence, suffering, and non-self.

My path is to take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha. My path is to practice Buddhism. I'm not always in it. I have doubts but meditation and getting into the Suttas is illuminating.


Yesterday, I listened to music in my car for the first time in about a month. I ended up turning it up all the way and I started to cry and dance. The tears seemed bittersweet. I was overcome with emotion but I also knew that this was not beneficial but I wanted it to be. I had the feelings that if I am just going to quit the 8 precepts why don't I just start drinking again too. But, then a song would come up that would remind me of living in some version of hell. That goes for recent times too. Trying to wrestle highs out of sober living. Going Tinder sick. It can feel fun in the moment. It can be stimulating, exciting, or hit on that dopamine in the right way but in the end it is all a bumpy road.

It's not like I masturbate 7 times a day but if the precept says refrain from sexual activity masturbating even once every other day or at all is not acceptable. It's the same with the music. It feels good. It is pleasurable. The downsides are seemingly unnoticeable but they are there. It's clinging. It's a desire. Yesterday for some reason this woman I was involved with had a hold on me and I found this woman who looks very much like her. It was an exceptional wanking session but in the end was quite dissatisfying. I was not in her vagina and I was not with the woman who had a spell on me which again all of that is impermanent and suffering.

Then I go to a rooftop bar overlooking the ocean because my dad's cousin wants to take pictures of dolphins, pelicans, and the sunset and it is just a pleasant place for rich, white people from the rich, white suburbs to have a drink. There was this woman there: Black dress, black stilettos. I noticed the shoes and was like she wants to get fucked. She had clearly had a few white wines and was quite social and flirtatious. She was the epitome of who my target would be these days if I was still in the worldly life. This is an example of how desire breeds desire. But, you know what? I just relaxed and sipped on my cranberry and soda water eavesdropping on the ridiculous conversations this table of rich, white housewives were having at the table next to me.

I probably shouldn't even come to LP at all. The Buddha and meditation has all the answers I need but I am just on 5 precepts now so fuck it I guess. It's interesting to get responses like above.


RiKD    United States. Sep 20 2018 18:06. Posts 5085

Another thing on being content. A friend texted me the other day asking how I was doing. I said I was mostly peaceful and content. He commented on the peace as "it doesn't get much better than that" but made no mention of the content. He started his own business and is now a multimillionaire retiree. I live with my parents and work part-time making pizzas. I think from his perspective I am a little crazy but from my perspective he is a little crazy. He is probably wondering how is this kid content? I must follow the Buddha's path and the Dharma and the Sangha. That 20 or 30 minutes I had a reprieve from wants and desires was not quite a bliss but it was certainly an equanimity or tranquility. We stopped at a gas station and my mom asked me if I wanted anything and I responded as if I was noting: "I want nothing."

How much is enough? There are a lot of grey areas in this existence.

How much do we let the forest fires flare in indulging in and chasing our desires?

There are people throughout time that have renounced and abstained from about as much as one can and are told to be the most peaceful and content humans to have lived. Now, I can't be a monk and it seems unreasonable to go out to the Himalayas and live in a cave so what should my life look like? What should your life look like?

I don't really know what that looks like but I think I have to just continue working so I can sustain and nourish myself so I can meditate and study Suttas. When I told my uncle this he asked me what I did for fun and I just shrugged. He looked at me like I was crazy. I look at him like he is crazy. There is so much insight to be gained through meditation and study.


RiKD    United States. Sep 21 2018 14:29. Posts 5085

My parents have visitors and they were all watching the NFL football game last night so I reluctantly watched the 4th quarter. It was pretty stupid. The advertisements are so relentless. Cars, beers, Kentucky Fried Chicken! It's just all so vapid. So ordinary unfortunately.

 Last edit: 22/09/2018 10:18

RiKD    United States. Sep 21 2018 14:31. Posts 5085

I think sometimes I exaggerate or mislabel the people of LP. I am curious:


RiKD    United States. Sep 21 2018 14:32. Posts 5085


Poll: Do you want to get married?
(Vote): Yes
(Vote): No (but want a partner)
(Vote): No (but don't want a partner)


RiKD    United States. Sep 21 2018 14:34. Posts 5085


Poll: Do you want to have kids?
(Vote): Yes
(Vote): No


RiKD    United States. Sep 21 2018 14:36. Posts 5085


Poll: How much money do you want to make a year?
(Vote): $0 - $40,000
(Vote): $40,000 - $80,000
(Vote): $80,000 - $120,000
(Vote): $120,000 - $300,000
(Vote): $300,000+


RiKD    United States. Sep 21 2018 14:41. Posts 5085


Poll: Do you want to own a home?
(Vote): Yes
(Vote): No


RiKD    United States. Sep 21 2018 15:08. Posts 5085


Poll: Age?
(Vote): 18 - 24
(Vote): 25 - 29
(Vote): 30 - 34
(Vote): 35 - 39
(Vote): 40+


Raidern   Brasil. Sep 21 2018 20:49. Posts 4174

when did you start getting interested in Buddha? I don't remember reading anything about it in your old blog posts.

im a regular at nl5 

RiKD    United States. Sep 22 2018 01:49. Posts 5085

My aunt is Buddhist but I just thought it was weird that she didn't drink. I thought it was weird that monks didn't have sex or drink. I didn't really think much of it until I stopped drinking (and stopped having sex) and was advised to get more spiritual. I had this vision of this jolly, fat Buddha and it was all kind of weird to me. Reincarnations and the religious side of it kind of turned me off. It seemed very "guru" oriented to me and I had heard too many stories of charlatans. Then, I started going to this meditation meeting at a Shambhala Center where they would read from the "Pocket Pema (Chodron)" and it really was a lovely meeting. I started to read Pema Chodron and I liked it. I was meditating a fair amount. I think I was just entrenched in my athiest beliefs or got into some philosophy like Nietzsche and dropped it all. Later, I was telling my therapist how dissatisfied I was with AA and she suggested I go to Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist path to recovery. I was skeptical but I started going. I was clinging to this intellectual athiest identity. I was clinging to a worldly life. I wanted to be into fashion and fuck a lot of women. I put myself in that circle with what I had. I was too broke to keep up with any sort of fashionable identity. At the same time I was getting into minimalism and stronger anarchist collectivism. Also, my AA sponsor who was kind of the cornerstone to this cool athiest in AA who has a cool life and fucks attractive women moved away. I got really Tinder sick and just fed up and wrote a blog about being dissatisfied. Loco, who I would say is a bit further down the Path than I challenged me in a PM and it resonated. We have been sharing a lot of communication on the subject. I started going to most of the Refuge meetings in town and getting more meditation and studying the Dhamma. I have been going deeper and deeper into "The New Burmese Method" Vippassanna meditation and getting pretty deep into classic Theravada Suttas and other books and commentaries. Sometimes I look at parts of my past as versions of hell. My past karma led to those versions of hell. Not that there isn't suffering today because there certainly still is but it feels like my karma is better following 5 or 8 precepts and meditating and that my suffering and negative emotions have decreased.

So, I was at a park today and it had a little board of information about how the Native Americans would harvest oysters 4,000 years ago. We could still see all the oysters. We could see the birds fishing, the crabs feeding, the butterflies at their flowers. One wonders if those Native Americans pondered on how to live life. What is the good life? Well, 2,500 years ago the Buddha certainly did and you read this stuff and it just rings true. You meditate and you get some understanding and it's a game changer. It's the same with renouncement as hard as it is to let go of certain things.

So, it's more or less been a 4.5 year journey but I never claimed to take refuge in the three jewels until maybe 2 months ago.


RiKD    United States. Sep 22 2018 10:10. Posts 5085

You know, when I was 20 and first on this site I wanted to strike it rich in poker and live the playboy life. There was also the facet that I was an ex-gaming nerd and really enjoyed poker but underlying that all was a will to power. I had heard about Elky, Rekrul, and Tillerman doing well at the game and I thought I could get something out of it. Nazgul always seemed quite solid and clever. Thorladen always had a shining card sense and intelligence. I remember the first time I met Thorladen we were at the Bellagio having caviar with I want to say either vodka or champagne talking about trading very large sums of cash for Stars money among other things and I was like what kind of life is THIS? I thought I was a baller because I could go to the local college bars and run up a bar tab and not give a fuck on low-mid stakes money. I am kind of jumping around a bit though. When I first started playing the highest stakes were 10/20 nl on Stars. I was also motivated by guys like Raszi and Lurped playing 3/6. It was all motivating. It was like a ladder but with real money instead of experience points. There are really too many people and too many stories to mention at this point.

I would say at that time:

- I wanted to pick up dimes for same night lays. No marriage but maybe a partner at some point
- No kids
- $300,000+ / yr no problem with poker (in my head)
- Living situation ranged from wanting to rent baller places to wanting to be a real estate baller
- I was 20 - 24

I have been through a lot since then. I've always had a bit of a bum streak in me. I remember the first time I was in Vegas I slept on the floor in Ket and TJBentham's room but then I would go drop a large number at the time at the Rhino no problem. What a place. Vegas and the Rhino. It is like a large syphon of money for desires and pleasures. Now, I live a very simple and spiritual life in a small city in the South of the USA. I don't drink, I don't gamble, and I don't even touch or flirt with women. Nowadays:

- Definitely no marriage. Part of me longs for a partner but quite honestly I have been better off with out sexual activity.
- Definitely no kids
- I would love to be able to make $0 but I am not sure if that is possible. I am unable to become a monk due to my mental illness.
- I do not want to own a home
- I am 34

I would actually guess a lot of people on LP are similar to me. Probably a lot of ex-gaming nerds with a will to power. Now, that most of us are in our 30s and not poker ballers what do we do with that?


bigredhoss   Cook Islands. Sep 22 2018 10:26. Posts 8627

i don't understand how anyone picks anything other than $300k+ the way that question is worded. i mean if you could spend all your time reading books and meditating, and could click a button to choose how much you want to make doing that, i assume even you would choose $300k+ (even if you decide to give away most/all of it).

Truck-Crash Life 

RiKD    United States. Sep 22 2018 15:51. Posts 5085

I assumed people would take the question to be in reality how much money do you want to make?

Of course if I could click a button and make $300k/yr I would but that is not realistic. My goal in poker was $300k+/yr. My goal in my corporate job was $300k+/yr because I thought I could be the president of the business unit someday. In reality I was making between $70k and $80k at the corporate job. For the purposes of that poll it was realistic that I could be in the $80k - $120k bracket because there was a manager in another unit that wanted me and said the job would be north of $80k. I could have switched companies and gone on commission and possibly reached $120k+ but I actually don't think that is realistic and I didn't want to do that. There are probably a lot of people out there that think they can start a business and earn $300k+/yr but that is not realistic either. $40k is not a lot depending on where you live and what you want but really $40k - $80k should suffice for an ordinary life and adequate "happiness." I have been through this before but $120k/yr is either a bit ahead of the curve or behind the curve depending on how the person wants to live. $500k+ is decent for full on worldly living but maybe not as high or as luxurious as $1mil/yr. $10million is freeroll life. $100million is richer than god. Anything above that is just ego and monopoly money. None of it guarantees "happiness" how the ordinary folk like to define it even though much of our society is geared towards that.

In reality, as a layperson, $24k/yr is probably good enough for me. I don't even know if I can find a good situation to secure that income and live which is why I settle for part time food and bev jobs and live with my parents. I am looking into working at monasteries/meditation centers in return for food and housing. That would still be a big step to earn $0 but I think it would be a good step to be honest.


Stroggoz   New Zealand. Sep 23 2018 08:50. Posts 4110

I think making 300K make me a lot happier than 100K because i don't like poker that much and it allow me to move on to other things more quickly. (its a fun game to figure out but got some downsides).

I don't have a will to power either, i am considering becoming a high school teacher and be will be content with that. Imo the will to freedom is a lot stronger than the will to power in human beings, but it is too hard for me to present evidence and ofc there are a lot of datapoints on both sides.

I was GTO in 2007 -wobbly_auLast edit: 23/09/2018 08:51

RiKD    United States. Sep 23 2018 13:02. Posts 5085

Well, let's just say you make .5c/hand. Your winrate could be higher or lower of course. 20,000 hands/month is $120,000. 50,000 hands/month is $300,000. Personally, I was mostly the guy that would rather play 20,000 hands/month at 8ptbb/100 rather than 80,000 hands/month at 2ptbb/100. Some months I would get into it and play more. It's not always easy to maintain skill level on just 20,000 hands (meaning that isn't enough practice to be sharp). It's also not easy to maintain skill level on 100,000 hands. I realize you probably know all this I am just thinking out loud. What I am saying is when I was playing a lot of 2/4 nl and 3/6 nl it wasn't exactly easy to just snap my fingers and make $300k+. I either had to put in more volume which I didn't want to do or beat 5/10 which I was a bit snake bit at the time at those stakes. I would imagine it has only gotten more difficult with games being tougher, rake being higher, and volume presumably being lower. I mean I just remember a guy like redargoe or leatherass making a million+/yr at mostly 5/10 and they weren't particularly that good. $1/hand at 5/10 over 1 million hands and you're there. I don't even know if it's possible to play a million hands in a year at 5/10 anymore.

This is Google's definition of power:

the ability to do something or act in a particular way

That fits in with my idea of will to power. I defined will to power once on this website but I am not going to go look for it especially considering the above definition pretty much captures what I am going for. Will to power to me is will to freedom. It's not some idea of taking over the world or control, authority or influence. It's sailing the open seas and pissing off the side of the boat.

In my mind you do have a will to power. You want a piece of some "f you" money so you can do what you want. To be more free to do what you want. It is very respectable to be a high school teacher. Get on with it man!


bigredhoss   Cook Islands. Sep 23 2018 13:18. Posts 8627


  On September 22 2018 14:51 RiKD wrote:
I assumed people would take the question to be in reality how much money do you want to make?

Of course if I could click a button and make $300k/yr I would but that is not realistic. My goal in poker was $300k+/yr. My goal in my corporate job was $300k+/yr because I thought I could be the president of the business unit someday. In reality I was making between $70k and $80k at the corporate job. For the purposes of that poll it was realistic that I could be in the $80k - $120k bracket because there was a manager in another unit that wanted me and said the job would be north of $80k. I could have switched companies and gone on commission and possibly reached $120k+ but I actually don't think that is realistic and I didn't want to do that. There are probably a lot of people out there that think they can start a business and earn $300k+/yr but that is not realistic either. $40k is not a lot depending on where you live and what you want but really $40k - $80k should suffice for an ordinary life and adequate "happiness." I have been through this before but $120k/yr is either a bit ahead of the curve or behind the curve depending on how the person wants to live. $500k+ is decent for full on worldly living but maybe not as high or as luxurious as $1mil/yr. $10million is freeroll life. $100million is richer than god. Anything above that is just ego and monopoly money. None of it guarantees "happiness" how the ordinary folk like to define it even though much of our society is geared towards that.

In reality, as a layperson, $24k/yr is probably good enough for me. I don't even know if I can find a good situation to secure that income and live which is why I settle for part time food and bev jobs and live with my parents. I am looking into working at monasteries/meditation centers in return for food and housing. That would still be a big step to earn $0 but I think it would be a good step to be honest.



Ok well I took the question literally as worded (lots of poll questions are unrealistic/hypothetical) but apparently I'm the only one because I'm the only one who chose $300k+, even though it's unlikely I'll ever make that.

I guess in international education a more likely ~6 year goal would be in the $80-120k range unless I end up in Switzerland which has some ~$150k jobs but purchasing power of the money probably ends up lower than $80k jobs in a lot of countries. If I moved into administration there are some school director roles paying $300k+ but I'd have to go back to school and get PhD at one of the Iveys (Harvard/Stanford/etc. graduate schools of education are easier to get into than you might guess from the names) and even then get a little lucky/know the right people. Plus I enjoy having free summers. So mentally change my answer from $300k+ to $80-120k.

Truck-Crash Life 

hiems   United States. Sep 23 2018 17:01. Posts 1479

I'm with some others a here and I think no matter how you word it, the answer to how much do you want to make a year is always "as much as I reasonably can within my current situation"...unless you are op and you for some reason want to make $0.

To me the more interesting question is how much money do I need to stop working? For me, the answer depends on a lot of things. For one, it would change depending on if I had a family to support or not. Another factor would be the option of relocating to a cheaper country with the money you have saved. This is something very much in play for me and something I intend on doing. Lastly, I factor in the option of being able to work part-time or pursue things you are only interested in doing within the "not working" side of the equation, but I don't assume income from these pursuits into my model or whatever.

So, for me my numbers look kind of like - $1,500,000 (single)(probably spend most of my time overseas), $2,500,000+ to perhaps never stop (married or with kids).

Generally though I am very bearish on marriage and the odds of me wanting to having children are on the lower side compared to most people.

Also, for me the last thing to consider would be age/health. There are factors such as missing out on compound interest (greedy side) vs living life when your young is better than when you are old (live now side). Healthcare, insurance, etc may add unexpected expenses in old age as well.

 Last edit: 23/09/2018 17:09

 
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