Are killing trees bad Kamma?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:56 pm

Greetings,

lyndon taylor wrote:Well that's a very secular Buddhist way of looking at things, certainly not in line with what I was taught.

It's in line with the suttas... people don't necessarily teach from the suttas, however.

Metta,
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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby seeker242 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:03 pm

daverupa wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:I don't see anywhere in the buddhist scripture where it says that Kamma=intention


Well...

AN 6.63 wrote:"Intention, I tell you, is kamma.


So there can be an intent of greed if I say "Ooh, I want that chocolate ice cream!" - I'm not intending to be greedy, but I have an intent that's rooted in greed.



So you could say it's an "unintentional intention"? Surely no one intends to have this root of greed there, influencing their actions, to begin with. But then again, how can you have an intention that's actually unintentional?!?! :lol:
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:38 pm

The suttas do not teach that kamma is only intention, and as far as I know they don't go into the metaphysics of how kamma works, but as our moderators seem to believe "its all in our heads". You certainly can't explain the action of kamma as outlined in the scriptures as being purely made up of intentions and nothing else.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:43 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:You certainly can't explain the action of kamma as outlined in the scriptures as being purely made up of intentions and nothing else.


Have done.

Please bring more citations to our attention, friend.

:heart:

And seeker242, can you say that again? I want to understand what you see as the contradiction.

For our reference:

"'Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play should be known. The diversity in kamma should be known. The result of kamma should be known. The cessation of kamma should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.

"And what is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play.

"And what is the diversity in kamma? There is kamma to be experienced in hell, kamma to be experienced in the realm of common animals, kamma to be experienced in the realm of the hungry shades, kamma to be experienced in the human world, kamma to be experienced in the world of the devas. This is called the diversity in kamma.

"And what is the result of kamma? The result of kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here & now, that which arises later [in this lifetime], and that which arises following that. This is called the result of kamma.

"And what is the cessation of kamma? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of kamma; and just this noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration — is the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma.

"Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns kamma in this way, the cause by which kamma comes into play in this way, the diversity of kamma in this way, the result of kamma in this way, the cessation of kamma in this way, & the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of kamma.

"'Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play... The diversity in kamma... The result of kamma... The cessation of kamma... The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said, and in reference to this was it said.


Also, remember to consider AN 3.69 & the fact that we are to consider the six sense spheres as old kamma.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby SarathW » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:39 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:The suttas do not teach that kamma is only intention, and as far as I know they don't go into the metaphysics of how kamma works, but as our moderators seem to believe "its all in our heads". You certainly can't explain the action of kamma as outlined in the scriptures as being purely made up of intentions and nothing else.


Dead body (Rupa) can’t create Kamma.
So only Nama (excluding Vedana and Sanna) can crate Kamma.
:shrug:
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:20 am

If you still believe something never written in the suttas, that kamma=intention, that they are identical, as opposed to my contention; that intention is one very important ASPECT of kamma, ie intention is part of kamma. Then I suggest you try a simple experiment, try reading through suttas focusing on kamma, except everytime you see the word kamma, replace it with intention, after all you say they're identical, before long my guess is that the meaning of the text will stop being as clear, for while kamma sometimes or even often refers to intention, it doesn't always mean intention, it also refers to action and consequences, etc, etc IMHO.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:49 am

Greetings Lyndon,

Perhaps you have some textual support for your contention?
If so, please share it.

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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:15 am

I do, as I said, just read any sutta replacing every word kamma with intention and see if it still makes sense.

And while everyone is asking for scriptural references, I still haven't seen any suttas that say kamma is equal or identical to intention, and no the statement intention is kamma does not prove that as I have thoroughly demonstrated in previous posts.

Anyway here's the link to Bhikku Bodhi, Cooran posted which mentions all kinds of attributes to kamma that have nothing to do with intention;

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha057.htm
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:58 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Anyway here's the link to Bhikku Bodhi, Cooran posted which mentions all kinds of attributes to kamma that have nothing to do with intention;

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha057.htm


Look at that article again and do a word search (Ctrl f) for intention.
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:02 am

Intention is kamma, however, this need not be misinterpreted to mean that psychopaths and war-mongers are off the hook (see also my earlier post).

A person could perform some unwholesome deed or thought with absolutely no remorse, no feelings of doing anything wrong. They might even think they are doing the 'greater good' for society or the world. However, it could be from delusion, or from one of the other akusala mulas, unwholesome roots of lobha, dosa, moha (greed, hate, delusion).

See also: http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 3-piya.pdf
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:21 am

I believe in the link Bhikku Bodhi says there are two forms of kamma and intention is only one of them.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:23 am

Greetings,

lyndon taylor wrote:I believe in the link Bhikku Bodhi says there are two forms of kamma and intention is only one of them.

I believe you're trying to find support for an argument that no one is making other than you...

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:44 am

I don't think many of you have even bothered to consider what I am saying, its enough for you that you have this overly simplistic formula, kamma=intention and anyone that sees it is more complex than that is deluded, well all I can say is you've got your good intentions, go with that!!!!

Funny that you haven't presented any proof for your kamma=intention theory, personally I think anyone that thinks they can fully explain kamma on an internet forum is in a little over their head, the one thing most of the commentators seem to agree on is that kamma is a very complex issue with no easy answers, the idea that intentions explain everything is WAY too simple IMHO.

Now if you were to say all actions that involve kamma, involve ones intention or volition, I would agree with that no problem, but that's not what you are saying. obviously intention and the actions following it create kamma, but that still doesn't explain kamma, are you saying that when you die, it is only your intentions that are reborn, and that the intentions you had many lifetimes ago cause good and bad things to happen to you today, and that your intentions cause all the good and bad things that happen to you, see its not so simple........
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby culaavuso » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:54 am

lyndon taylor wrote:I believe in the link Bhikku Bodhi says there are two forms of kamma and intention is only one of them.


Bhikkhu Bodhi speaks of two criteria for distinguishing wholesome from unwholesome kamma. To use seeker242's description from earlier in this thread, one criterion is "intentional intention" and the other criterion is "unintentional intention".

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Intention
There are two basic criteria for distinguishing wholesome and unwholesome kammas. One is the intention behind the action. If an action is intended to bring harm to oneself, harm to others or harm to both oneself and others, that is unwholesome kamma. Kamma which conduces to the good of oneself, to the good of others or to the good of both is wholesome kamma.

Roots
The other criterion is the roots of action. All action arises from certain mental factors called roots. These are the causal factors underlying action or the sources of action. All unwholesome actions come from three unwholesome roots, greed, aversion and delusion. Greed is selfish desire aimed at personal gratification, expressed as grasping, craving and attachment. Aversion is ill will, hatred, resentment, anger and a negative evaluation of the object. Delusion is ignorance, mental unclarity and confusion.

We also find the roots in the wholesome side: non-greed, non-aversion and non-delusion. Non-greed becomes manifest as detachment and generosity. Non-aversion is expressed positively as good will, friendliness and loving kindness. Non-delusion is manifested as wisdom, understanding and mental clarity.


lyndon taylor wrote:are you saying that when you die, it is only your intentions that are reborn


SN 44.9: Kutuhalasala Sutta wrote:"But, Master Gotama, at the moment a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, what do you designate as its sustenance then?"
"Vaccha, when a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, I designate it as wind-sustained, for the wind is its sustenance at that time."
"And at the moment when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, what do you designate as its sustenance then?"
"Vaccha, when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, I designate it as craving-sustained, for craving is its sustenance at that time."


SN 23.2: Satta Sutta wrote:As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"
"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'
"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...
"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'
Last edited by culaavuso on Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:06 am

Yeah he says there are two criteria behind kamma, intention and the roots of action, that's two things not one, at least that's how I read it.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:08 am

Where Arahnat's actions fitting here?
:thinking:
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:10 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Yeah he says there are two criteria behind kamma, intention and the roots of action, that's two things not one, at least that's how I read it.


I thought intention come from roots.
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby culaavuso » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:14 am

SarathW wrote:Where Arahnat's actions fitting here?


Through acting on intentions that lead to the end of intentions. An absence of craving to produce renewed becoming.

AN 4.235: Ariyamagga Sutta wrote:And what is kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright result, leading to the ending of kamma? Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is called kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright result, leading to the ending of kamma.


AN 3.76: Bhava Sutta wrote:Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a refined property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. This is how there is becoming.
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:02 pm

Hi All,

It seems like Lyndon's point is being missed, by some.

It's been established that the intention is kamma, but he was asking if this is the same as saying the kamma is intention.

Both of these two statements are very different. Why different? Lyndon gave us this example: red is color, but does that mean the color is (necessarily) red?

I'll throw in a couple thoughts:

It seems common for a practitioner to try use this phrase "intention is kamma" as a defense for particular action. Is this the proper way of using the teaching?

It has been a while since I studied the suttas, but when the Buddha said "intention is kamma," was he trying to say that "good intention is good kamma," or "bad intention is bad kamma;" or was it more like he want to say that the intending itself is the kamma? Which one of these interpretations do you think would present us with less conflict, or confusion?

Also, when someone is contemplating about his intention, who makes the determination that the intention was good or bad? Even when there is this benchmark, "is this harmful to myself or others?" That is not a guarantee the person is not delusional. If this person is deluded, then it doesn't seem reasonable to me to say that "kamma is intention."

Intention is kamma... but it doesn't really seem to parse the other way around.

:anjali:
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Re: Are killing trees bad Kamma?

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:53 pm

Finally, thank you Beeblebrox, someone who gets my point exactly, I felt like I was up against some kind of brick wall!! Cheers
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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