Buddhism and smoking, what's your thoughts?

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Cittasanto
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:54 pm

Jerrod Lopes wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Jerrod Lopes wrote:I can't see how it violates the fifth precept, but it does violate the first precept.

and how does it violate either?


It depends on how the precept is translated. There are those that translate as to abstain from killing a living being, and there are those that translate to abstain from harming any living being. I go by the latter as it makes a lot more sense to me regarding the aim of the precepts on the whole and the practice in general as well. If one abstains from harming living beings for purposes of practice, then doing something which is known to cause harm to living beings is a violation of that precept.

Unfortunately that is an interpretive rendering not a literal translation of panatipata. the interpretive rendering relies on descriptions of the precepts in their eight precept form to come to this rendering as, I understand it, and although these two groups of precepts have the same worded precepts in them they can be taken as this precept is on about killing and gross forms of ill will, it os only later in the 10 wholesome actions that other forms of harm are included in abyāpannacitta "Mind subdued by benevolence".

Pāṇa - life; breath; a living being.
Atipātā - slayer; destroyer.

but :focus:

I have heard a number of stories about Ajahn Chah smoking. One actually continues the story that is within the article and I think is in the Biography?
When he quit, he wasn't actually addicted as he barely smoked, and as a result the villagers gradually stopped giving cigarets. this was no problem for Ajahn, but the other monks had some difficulties when their supply dried up.

When Ajahn Chah "quit" he didn't actually smoke because of addiction. it was so the other monks could have a supply. Ajahn Chah actually quit years before when he was still in the jungle wandering about (I think this is somewhere near his bleeding from his rectum account??). Although he is known to of had a fag on occasion after.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Jerrod Lopes
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:14 am

Honestly my eyes glaze over when Pali is used. I don't bother with it. Sorry. I'm sure the post had some good merit though. :)

I think it's silly to practice but think abstention from harming is not something not to strive for. It's as easy as you choose to make it. Somewhere the Buddha mentioned not harming a creature any smaller than the size of a flea. If it's too difficult or bothersome to do, then ignore that precept and keep the ones you can. Just be prepared to accept in kamma that results ( OK so I use some Pali words, but very few as I don't live in ancient India/Nepal and my native tongues aren't real compatible with that type of language). Surely not harming microorganisms is impossible. Not killing bacteria that harm us is impossible. The body does it automatically. The key is intent as it is with all kamma and thus, the precepts that prevent some of the worst kamma from being committed.

All of that notwithstanding, smoking still doesn't violate the 5th Precept as it is not an intoxicant that leads to heedlessness.

PS I'm not sure what Ajahn Chah himself smoking has to do with it. Perhaps he didn't know that it wasn't good for his health regardless of how often he did it. Is this to say that if Ajahn Chah did it then it's OK? I guess that follows logic if you're a follower of his. Of course cigarettes in different parts of the world vary in the degrees of toxins they may contain, but smoke is smoke. It's not good for the respiratory tract whether you're a revered monk or a schmuck from Nowheresville and it harms living creatures that normally aspirate.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:11 am

All you have done here is start with a theory and twist things to fit it. Start at point 'A' and work from there, instead of point 'G' then having to guess things that are easily answered based on what is there from point 'A'. Baseless personal opinions are not proof and do not show anything.

If you read the OP you would understand the relevance of Ajahn Chah in this thread and that I was not responding directly to you there; Rather, moving back to topic.


Jerrod Lopes wrote:Honestly my eyes glaze over when Pali is used. I don't bother with it. Sorry. I'm sure the post had some good merit though. :)

I think it's silly to practice but think abstention from harming is not something not to strive for. It's as easy as you choose to make it. Somewhere the Buddha mentioned not harming a creature any smaller than the size of a flea. If it's too difficult or bothersome to do, then ignore that precept and keep the ones you can. Just be prepared to accept in kamma that results ( OK so I use some Pali words, but very few as I don't live in ancient India/Nepal and my native tongues aren't real compatible with that type of language). Surely not harming microorganisms is impossible. Not killing bacteria that harm us is impossible. The body does it automatically. The key is intent as it is with all kamma and thus, the precepts that prevent some of the worst kamma from being committed.

All of that notwithstanding, smoking still doesn't violate the 5th Precept as it is not an intoxicant that leads to heedlessness.

PS I'm not sure what Ajahn Chah himself smoking has to do with it. Perhaps he didn't know that it wasn't good for his health regardless of how often he did it. Is this to say that if Ajahn Chah did it then it's OK? I guess that follows logic if you're a follower of his. Of course cigarettes in different parts of the world vary in the degrees of toxins they may contain, but smoke is smoke. It's not good for the respiratory tract whether you're a revered monk or a schmuck from Nowheresville and it harms living creatures that normally aspirate.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Jerrod Lopes
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:33 pm

Cittasanto wrote:All you have done here is start with a theory and twist things to fit it. Start at point 'A' and work from there, instead of point 'G' then having to guess things that are easily answered based on what is there from point 'A'. Baseless personal opinions are not proof and do not show anything.


What are you talking about, in plain terms? What theory? What twisting? What baseless personal opinions? It is obvious that smoking does not violate the 5th Precept. What else are you talking about?

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby SarathW » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:10 am

Hi all, thanks all for your replies:
There is a reason why I asked this question. I have written an article titled “Happiness without a reason” This article is proof read by a monk. He made a comment on the following paragraph to say that I should find better example.
-----
Whether a person is a Buddhist or non-Buddhist, a man or a woman, lay person or a clergyman, s/he will benefit from the fruits (Pala) of this knowledge by entering the Stream Winner path (Maga). Consider this example. There are two smokers. First, one is a heavy smoker, but he believes that smoking is bad and finds a way to quit his bad habit and with confidence he begins to work on that path but still keeps on smoking. He also believes that he himself has to work towards quitting smoking, rather than quitting by some divine intervention. The second smoker does not believe that smoking is bad and does not even bother to find a way to quit smoking. Only the first smoker will have some hope that he will quit smoking and lead a healthy life. In the same way, the Stream Winner is a person like the first smoker who has realized the ills of attachment and anger and develops the wisdom to know that there is a way to be free from the ills of life and attain Nirvana.
---
Is above statement correct and appropriate?
Your opinion is appreciated.

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manas
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby manas » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:42 am

Jerrod Lopes wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Jerrod Lopes wrote:I can't see how it violates the fifth precept, but it does violate the first precept.

and how does it violate either?


It depends on how the precept is translated. There are those that translate as to abstain from killing a living being, and there are those that translate to abstain from harming any living being. I go by the latter as it makes a lot more sense to me regarding the aim of the precepts on the whole and the practice in general as well. If one abstains from harming living beings for purposes of practice, then doing something which is known to cause harm to living beings is a violation of that precept.


Hi Jerrod,

how far would you want to take this? Coffee is bad for your liver and kidneys. Too much sugar in high doses, over years and years, could harm your pancreas. Should we abstain from caffeine and sugar on the grounds that, one day, they *might* lead to either gallstones, kidney stones, or diabetes, and *possibly* to an early demise? Like tobacco, chocolate bars and coffee are not essential for survival...so we had better give them up too then, or we risk violating the first precept...?

:anjali:

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Jerrod Lopes
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:46 am

I like your paragraph. Having been a heavy smoker for 22 years, I can relate. I think it's a fair analogy as well. The only thing I see a need to change would the be the second to last word. Instead of "attain" I would suggest "realize" :quote: Nice writing though. Be well.

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby gogota » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:51 am

SarathW wrote:Does smoking violate fifth precept?
Are monk allowed to smoke. Please refer attached article.

http://www.fsnewsletter.amaravati.org/html/38/38.htm

Is it possible a person who attain Sotapanna will smoke?


my father in law and mother in law are heavy smoker.

My father in law got a stroke in May last year, after that , whole body cannot move. His organ damage one by one. Last November, he died of hunger because all his organ failed. He beg for mercy from God every night.

My mother in law was confirmed with lung cancer last year July. Last week, the cancer has spread to the bone and attack the nerve. The kind of suffering she get nobody can imagine. REALLY REALLY PAINFUL. Many committed suicide at this stage.

Continue to smoke if you want to know how hell looks like.

Tan
Deal with reality or reality will deal with you.

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equilibrium
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby equilibrium » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:09 am

SarathW
The two smokers are equal and both have the potential to attain Nirvana.
Even though the first smoker wants to stop now and change course.....this does not mean the second smoker will not do so at a later date.
Healthy life isn't Nirvana is it?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:09 pm

The more I learn about nicotine, the more inclined I am to say that it does violate the fifth precept. Whatever, its clearly not compatible with the path to the cessation of craving. If you are addicted to nicotine, you won't regret getting free from that craving.

We Love Cigarettes (BBC Horizon).
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Mr Man
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Is there a new "smoking" on the horizon

Postby Mr Man » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:11 pm

In the not too distant past smoking was not seen as a major health risk. The negative effects were downplayed and hidden. It was socially acceptable. But all this has changed. The horrendous health risks are widely known. Governments very actively discourage and it is frowned upon by society. But what will be the next "smoking".

Is there anything that is very widely accepted and common place that in the not too distant future will be seen in the same way as smoking is seen now? That the adverse effect and cost to our society will be realized?

Could it be alcohol?

Could it be.....dun,dun,duuunnn...Corn starch?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18393391
http://www.livestrong.com/article/27669 ... orn-syrup/
http://www.sovcal.com/sovblog/high-fruc ... weet-deal/

Could it be....?

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Cittasanto
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Re: Is there a new "smoking" on the horizon

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:00 pm

Mr Man wrote:Could it be alcohol?

Could it be.....dun,dun,duuunnn...Corn starch?

I think Alcohol could come at some point, as prohibition does go around every so often, but it has proved too popular to last long.
but I think it could be petrol and cars that run on it seeing as the bio-diesel and battery cars are coming more into fashion.
But Plutonium could makeway for thoreum at some point in the future too??

not exactly personal health but each strong contenders for the next vilification in the population.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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gogota
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby gogota » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:33 pm

These are some of the thing that will happened to a smoker :

1) Heart attack
This is the most merciful dead, but not everyone. Some got serious brain damage and became vege all of their life

2) stroke
My father in law got it, take seven months for him to die. Very very horrible. Just can't imagine the horror of the dying process

3) Lung failure
Need oxygen therapy to survive. Just lying on the bed and breath using machine. Worse than dead

4) Lung cancer
The worst of all. When a pain reach a level no longer sustainable by a human, the doctor will give morphine or sleeping pill. Many commit suicide at late stage. Too painful.

5) Live a long life.
Very very few have this chance. All my relatives and friends who smoke are 6 feet under.

Stop smoking = stop suffering

:anjali:
Deal with reality or reality will deal with you.

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Re: Is there a new "smoking" on the horizon

Postby shaunc » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:08 am

My money would be on fast-food.

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Re: Is there a new "smoking" on the horizon

Postby GraemeR » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:57 am

Cittasanto wrote:I think Alcohol could come at some point, as prohibition does go around every so often, but it has proved too popular to last long.
but I think it could be petrol and cars that run on it seeing as the bio-diesel and battery cars are coming more into fashion.
But Plutonium could makeway for thoreum at some point in the future too??

not exactly personal health but each strong contenders for the next vilification in the population.


It is banned in some Islamic countries. It wasn't very effective in America in the last century.

As it has been use for so long and by such a large number of people and used traditionally at social events, they could find it hard to ban.

Of course governments make LOTS of tax revenue from it ..... would that be a bigger consideration?

With metta,

Graham

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Kim OHara
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Re: Is there a new "smoking" on the horizon

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:15 am

shaunc wrote:My money would be on fast-food.

Or obesity per se?
It's already being demonised by the government and the health sector here in Australia, for essentially the same reasons that smoking was, i.e. individuals inflict the ill-health on themselves but then the whole community ends up paying their health costs.
'Demonised' may be a bit loaded so I should say that I am generally in favour of both policies.

:namaste:
Kim

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Cittasanto
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Re: Is there a new "smoking" on the horizon

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:23 am

GraemeR wrote:Of course governments make LOTS of tax revenue from it ..... would that be a bigger consideration?

Governments make a lot of money from tobacco also.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Mr Man
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Re: Is there a new "smoking" on the horizon

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:22 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
shaunc wrote:My money would be on fast-food.

Or obesity per se?

Is corn syrup the thing that is causing the obesity problem?

From the BBC article:

"Fructose is easily converted to fat in the body, and scientists have found that it also suppresses the action of a vital hormone called leptin.

"Leptin goes from your fat cells to your brain and tells your brain you've had enough, you don't need to eat that second piece of cheesecake," says Dr Robert Lustig, an endocrinologist.

He says when the liver is overloaded with sugars, leptin simply stops working, and as a result the body doesn't know when it's full.

"It makes your brain think you're starving and now what you have is a vicious cycle of consumption, disease and addiction. Which explains what has happened the world over," he says.

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James the Giant
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Re: Is there a new "smoking" on the horizon

Postby James the Giant » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:20 pm

Mr Man wrote:But what will be the next "smoking".

Is there anything that is very widely accepted and common place that in the not too distant future will be seen in the same way as smoking is seen now? That the adverse effect and cost to our society will be realized?

Cellphones. And the multitude of tiny transmitters found everywhere these days.
In my office building there are 11 floors. Each floor has about 100 people in it. Each of those people has a cellphone, wireless keyboard and mouse, wireless LAN for their computer, and most of them have a bluetooth headset. Oh and most cellphones have bluetooth and wifi too. That's 7700 transmission sources in just one little 11 story building, and that doesn't even include the larger receivers and transmitters on the ceilings and the proper big ones mounted on the top of the building. Seven thousand!
The evidence is scanty now, but surely that must all be having some effect. Hopefully not eh.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

Roland
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Re: Is there a new "smoking" on the horizon

Postby Roland » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:01 pm

Interesting thread. I would say the next "smoking" would definitely be "hydraulic fracturing"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing

I live in a state that uses this process to extract natural gas. There is a huge list of chemicals used in the process. It also apparently causes methane seepage into ground water which will pollute tap water in households near the wells. People in the areas can literally light their tap water on fire. Also, numerous other strange health effects are caused in people who live around these wells. There is a documentary called "Gasland" that exposes these problems. As a reaction to this, a gas industry funded documentary was released called "Truthland" trying to disprove "Gasland". In response, the creator of "Gasland" released a response documentary to "Truthland" called "The Sky Is PInk", disproving further the industry's claims and denial of the harm they are apparently causing.

Ironically, the same PR firm that was hired by the tobacco industry in 1953 to tell the world that smoking is harmless and does not cause lung cancer, etc, is the exact same PR firm that a lobbying organization for the gas and oil industry hired to try to plant doubt in the minds of the public of the dangers of hydraulic fracturing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_%26_Knowlton

Also, what about GMOs? There has been few human studies on the health effects of genetically modified foods, of which are said to have problems, but every study done on animals have shown multiple harmful effects. The studies that show they are safe are done by Monsanto, so they are biased (I don't trust anything that company does or says). And the only reason long term studies have not been done is because the FDA says that GM foods and non-GM foods are "substantially equivalent" which is a meaningless term, and by the way, the FDA has had many former employees Monsanto employed within the FDA.... I could go on and on...
Last edited by Roland on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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