Treating Fleas?

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:41 am

Mukunda wrote:
Monkey Mind wrote:I don't know what most of you are talking about. I just want to offer appreciation to Chris for this information. I am willing to use flea bombs, but both my doggy and myself break out in severe rashes afterwards. I will try these solutions.

cooran wrote:5 Solutions for Natural Flea Control
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-solu ... ntrol.html

with metta
Chris


It's best to remember that poisons don't limit their actions to solely those creatures we want gone.
:anjali:

Hello Mukunda,

Could you tell me please, which of these solutions will kill other beings - and which other beings? Thanks for your input.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby Mukunda » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:09 am

cooran wrote:
Mukunda wrote:It's best to remember that poisons don't limit their actions to solely those creatures we want gone.
:anjali:

Hello Mukunda,

Could you tell me please, which of these solutions will kill other beings - and which other beings? Thanks for your input.


The solutions in the link seem very safe. I was referring more to the earlier mentioned flea bomb as a poison, which could very well cause harm to more than just fleas.
:anjali:
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby PeterB » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:18 am

Mukunda wrote:
alan wrote:I haven't found any reasons in the suttas to believe we should not kill bugs.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.6.09.than.html

Seems like a perfect opportunity to tell us all about why we should respect the lives of insects. But he didn't do it.


Where did the Buddha give exceptions to the 1st precept in regards to insects, or any other creature we may find inconvenient?
:anjali:

I am not aware that he does. However the Buddha would not have been aware of the facts regarding disease and insect vectors. ( I do not accept that the Buddha was omniscient in that sense ) therefore as with other matters where they differ from a scientific view, for example Buddhist cosmology, we are obliged to use our little grey cells to come to a rational view of issues in the light of our wider knowledge of conventional reality.
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:42 am

PeterB wrote:. . . we are obliged to use our little grey cells to come to a rational view of issues in the light of our wider knowledge of conventional reality.
{{{Gasp!!!!}}}}
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:59 am

as an aside here, the precepts are a part of the path to awakening and as such they are to be followed. that being said, as long as one hasn't attained awakening there is no reason to assume a Buddhist would be pure in their practicing of the precepts, in other words they will break them. mostly likely repeatedly. so just do the best you can where you are on the path and don't go pointing fingers at others and we'll all be happier. :group:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:06 am

jcsuperstar wrote:as an aside here, the precepts are a part of the path to awakening and as such they are to be followed. that being said, as long as one hasn't attained awakening there is no reason to assume a Buddhist would be pure in their practicing of the precepts, in other words they will break them. mostly likely repeatedly. so just do the best you can where you are on the path and don't go pointing fingers at others and we'll all be happier.
The problem is, however, that we are obliged, at times, by the circumstances in which we find ourselves, to put the Buddha's teachings into practice in a practical way that requires thinking through the issue rather than assuming there is one literal reading that can answer every question and every circumstance - and opinions are going to differ.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:38 am

All that said, a question from a practical 'soul':

What would *you* do, (I mean those who say: I won't kill a sentient flea'), if your habitat got infested with lots of fleas?

Would you endure all those bites, until you either die or eventually move out?

To whom could you seriously offer(sell, rent) an infested house or flat?
Would that be fair?

I really think that talk is cheap here.
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:44 am

Annapurna wrote:All that said, a question from a practical 'soul':

What would *you* do, (I mean those who say: I won't kill a sentient flea'), if your habitat got infested with lots of fleas?

Would you endure all those bites, until you either die or eventually move out?

To whom could you seriously offer(sell, rent) an infested house or flat?
Would that be fair?

I really think that talk is cheap here.
The other option is driving the fleas out via non-lethal means, but where do they go? Off to die somewhere for lack of food, or to your neighbor’s house, your problem now becoming his or her problem?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:59 am

maybe the question just isn't a fair one.

those who have had similar problems have said what they did, others said they didn't have to make the choice because they took preventative measures.

look I've never had a flea outbreak, but i have had the hypothetical situation this leads to, i have literally had someone shooting at and trying to kill me and my loved ones and i had to deal with that situation and i can tell you, no amount of "what would you do?" questions prepares you for it, or makes the decision easier at the moment the s@#t starts flying.

those who prepare for these situations with preventative measure are right
those who had to deal with these situations did what they had to do and did what they felt was right

both of which probably sleep well at night. it's only those who would kill for fun or what-have-you that end up with regret or guilt.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:04 am

jcsuperstar wrote: both of which probably sleep well at night.
Not necessarily. One may kill another in self defense, but it can be - often is - very traumatic.

I think the question is fair enough. It is a matter of how we opt to try to put the Buddha;s ethical teachings into practice. Do we take an absolutist approach, or do we take a more flexible approach. Asking the hypothetical question is one way of exploring these possiblities.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby phil » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:11 am

I think we should defend the principle of harmlessness as far as we possibly can, especially in a forum like this where there are many newcomers who may form their views based on statements by confident veteran posters. It's possible to reach the conclusion that there is unfortunately no way to live without killing without making it sound like necessary killing is a proper Buddhist platform to stand on.
I hope that every time I post it will be accompanied by a wish for the wellbeing of everyone in this sangha and all beings.
(so I don't have to write "metta" every time!)


Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote: both of which probably sleep well at night.
Not necessarily. One may kill another in self defense, but it can be - often is - very traumatic.

I think the question is fair enough. It is a matter of how we opt to try to put the Buddha;s ethical teachings into practice. Do we take an absolutist approach, or do we take a more flexible approach. Asking the hypothetical question is one way of exploring these possiblities.


i say the precepts are black and white, you're not supposed to kill. however people do. trying to justify it by using the dhamma would be a problem, this is what other religions do. remember the monk who told the executioner to kill in a way that caused the least amount of suffering? he was kicked out of the sangha by the Buddha, i believe (now this is just my opinion and i may be wrong) because it gave a reason to justify the killings because as a monk he represented the dhamma and the Buddha, not because what he said was in itself the wrong thing to say. his intentions after all were to try to alleviate the suffering felt by the executioner. you see this type of thinking in Thailand, people will take off their Buddha amulets if they're gonna do something "bad" (they also put them in their mouths when they use the restroom so the Buddha wont be there for that, but that's a different story), they know that at that moment they are not following the precepts and they know "this is not condoned by the Buddha" they accept the responsibility and don't try to justify it. i think this is a healthy way to go about these things.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:23 am

jcsuperstar wrote:i say the precepts are black and white, you're not supposed to kill. however people do.
The precepts are NOT commandments. Look at the Pali; they are rules of training. The problem is that life is not black and white.

trying to justify it by using the dhamma would be a problem, this is what other religions do.
I don't think anyone here is trying to justify killing on the basis of the Dhamma.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:i say the precepts are black and white, you're not supposed to kill. however people do.
The precepts are NOT commandments. Look at the Pali; they are rules of training. The problem is that life is not black and white.

trying to justify it by using the dhamma would be a problem, this is what other religions do.
I don't think anyone here is trying to justify killing on the basis of the Dhamma.


you're right they're not commandments, but that does not mean the Buddha said there is a reason to ever kill, there was only one thing he approved the killing of: anger

that's why i said before, if you're not an arahant, you're more than likely gonna break the precepts, also didn't blame anyone for trying to justify with the dhamma, just pointed out that is where the real problem comes in, in regards to following the precept, or not.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:12 am

jcsuperstar wrote:. . . if you're not an arahant, you're more than likely gonna break the precepts,. . .
Life is predicated upon death, which even arahants cannot escape until they die.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Annapurna wrote:All that said, a question from a practical 'soul':

What would *you* do, (I mean those who say: I won't kill a sentient flea'), if your habitat got infested with lots of fleas?

Would you endure all those bites, until you either die or eventually move out?

To whom could you seriously offer(sell, rent) an infested house or flat?
Would that be fair?

I really think that talk is cheap here.


The other option is driving the fleas out via non-lethal means, but where do they go? Off to die somewhere for lack of food, or to your neighbor’s house, your problem now becoming his or her problem?


Sure....But how can you drive them out? And before they leave they lay hundreds of eggs ...so wouldn't it be a never ending story?



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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:50 am

Annapurna wrote:Sure....But how can you drive them out? And before they leave they lay hundreds of eggs ...so wouldn't it be a never ending story?
I know. Fleas upon fleas.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby PeterB » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:49 am

" Greater fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em.
And lesser fleas have littler fleas, and so on ad infinitum ".

Augustus De Morgan after Jonathan Swift.
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby Monkey Mind » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:48 pm

Mukunda wrote:It's best to remember that poisons don't limit their actions to solely those creatures we want gone.
:anjali:

That was my point. I was once friends with a dog that died after getting into his neighbor's rat poison. And I attribute a lot of my neurological problems to growing up on a farm in the 70's. We used to go outside and watch the crop dusters fly over our fields. It was great entertainment. If I only knew then what I know now...
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby Popo » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:26 am

I mean, I think that the issue is clear... The Buddha said that we shouldn't intentionally kill beings. And he also allowed monks to eat meat as long as the animal wasn't specifically killed for them. So actions which result in the death of other sentient beings are okay, so long as we aren't intentionally trying to kill them in specific.

The Talmudist in the back of my mind thinks that we shouldn't intentionally kill fleas... Instead, we should perfume our houses with pesticides. If fleas die, that's not our intention. We just want the place to smell good.


I'm mostly kidding. :)
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