Buddhism and smoking, what's your thoughts?

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mirco
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby mirco » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:33 pm


dagon wrote:I was working with a kid who had a crack addiction - during a conversation he said that he had quit cigarettes but he could not quit crack. i asked him if he could dump cigarettes why couldn't he quit crack. He asked me why I was still smoking - i said because if i did not smoke i get very stressed. What he asked me to do was to write down each time that i was distressed because i could not have a cigarette, each time i stressed cause i need to go to the shops to buy smokes, each time i could not find cigarettes or lighter ....... and then add the stress at work from the time i was working to pay for cigarettes. If you do that and quit - never get rid of that list that list. metta, paul

Nice trick.

Once I drank a glass of water every time I was about to eat something. That did not prevented me from compulsive eating, but added a conciouss break between the craving and the acting out. After ten days or so I was not overeating that much anymore.

:clap:

"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as ‘concentration’, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps ‘unification’ is a better rendition, as samadhi means ‘to bring together’. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It’s a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience."

Bhikkhu Anālayo

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manas
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby manas » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:08 pm

Thanks everyone for the support, encouragement, and helpful stories of recovery. :anjali:

DAY 6


I am pleased to say, that even by yesterday, the emotional distress, turbulence and sometimes desperation I had been experiencing, that was so difficult and tricky to handle, had subsided. :woohoo: Today, I feel even better. From now, it is purely a mental challenge, I think. My body does not seem to be craving to smoke, it's only if I think about it, well then I get this little feeling of temptation, and so I am literally taking the Blessed One's advice and NOT THINKING ABOUT IT haha! And if the thought arises, knocking it out like a bad peg straight away, with a positive thought / emotion. The trick is not to even let the thought see the light of day, I'm finding. What is helping me to achieve this, is keeping busy doing productive and / or fun things. Must admit, don't think I could have done this as easily, without the warmth and companionship I now feel, from a good friend I recently made. Alone, hmm I'm not sure I would have been so inspired to stick this out. (Of course my dear friends here on DW are very, very helpful, but there's something powerful about spending time with a friend in the physical, 3D world, you know?)

I'm well on the way to recovery, and although I am not willing to declare complete victory as yet, I'm very pleased that the emotional pain and turbulence only lasted 4 days, and that now on day 6, I am feeling fairly calm.

with metta
'manas

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Mkoll
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby Mkoll » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:00 pm

I can't speak for tobacco but I can for marijuana. Though not as addictive, I allowed it to have a hold on me for 5 years. Towards the end, the negative aspects of the practice became more and more apparent: the burning sensation of the smoke going down into the lungs, the dirty taste of the smoke and tar, the disgusting smell of the smoke, the gigantic tolerance to the drug my body had built, the sight of this little flower having such a coercive effect on my mind, the thought of desiring to smoke some more even while I was smoking, the feelings of guilt at doing something I knew was harmful, the feelings of shame over what I was doing...

Metaphorically, I see a connection between quitting drugs (or any addiction: food, sex, etc.) and quitting Samsara. Both are addictions fueled by craving. Dropping the grossest one, I'm proceeding to drop the more subtle ones.

Good luck, manas. You will do it if you want to.

:namaste:

James
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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manas
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Postby manas » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:43 pm

Thanks James, and to everyone who has replied and offered support. I am still going! I'm not sure how many days it's been, but it seems like quite a while has passed...maybe every other day, I get this recollection and desire to smoke, but I quickly squash it, and redirect my mind to more wholesome things. Damn it it is persistent, it is not? But let's be logical, sucking into my precious lungs a cocktail of toxic chemicals in smoke, why would I want to do that? I'm NOT going back, I already decided that. So if the odd wish for it still pops up now and then, well I will just endure the momentary discomfort of saying NO to the unwholesome, and redirect my mind to what is wholesome. But even though there is this flicker of pain in saying no to desire, there is also a gradually increasing feeling of strength in me, that I admire, and this makes up for the pain. I like being able to decide what I do with my life, to have the strength to see something through that is difficult, but is for my own good, in the long run. One more thing: I must admit that, I made a dear friend a few weeks ago who is a non-smoker (in fact she is very clean-living in general) and this has spurred me on a bit, too...good association has it's influence.

By the way, my mind and emotions are clearer, and my lungs feel kind of softer, more relaxed...

manas
:anjali:

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Ajisai
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby Ajisai » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:14 am

Manas,

I wish you good luck even though it seems you are doing very well ! :smile:

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Kim OHara
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:16 am

You're doing well, Manas - keep it up!
Two suggestions:
1. Start thinking of yourself as a "non-smoker", not as an "ex-smoker" or "someone who has given up smoking". It's a purely verbal shift but it's a shift from the negative way of thinking about the positive change, to a neutral/virtuous way.
2. Enjoy your sense of smell when it comes back, as it should be doing quite soon.

:namaste:
Kim

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manas
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby manas » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:13 am

Thanks everyone :thanks:
yes I am beginning to just think of myself as a "non-smoker" since my intention was to quit permanently. Even just to avoid having to ever repeat the first four days of the detox, which emotionally were hellish, I would not wish to go back. Having said that, though: today, while cleaning up, I was tempted. I found about two thirds of an organic cig, in good condition too. Must have fallen into a box of odds and ends, by accident once. I thought about having it. After all, it's just a little, right? (said Mara)...But with force I rushed to the sink, doused it in water to ruin it, and threw it in the garbage. I reject it. It's disgusting in reality, so to still want it shows that the work is not completed as yet. But I'm on the way.

manas

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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby SarathW » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:19 pm

:thumbsup:
:popcorn:
:)

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manas
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby manas » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:48 pm

Thanks to everyone for their kind words of support and encouragement. I can't see myself going back to smoking anymore; the withdrawal and detox was too painful, and I would not want to endure that again. I think I'm finally done with it.

I'm asking for this topic to be locked now, because I believe I have now given up smoking, permanently. One last word, though: I did not do it alone. The love of a dear friend I made, gave me the energy and inspiration to persevere, to see this through. (The fact that she is a strict non-smoker helped too of course...) In my direct experience, I can now say that the connection between two beings on the spiritual journey, the warmth and love they share, is sweeter by far than the dubious 'pleasure' of inhaling toxic smoke, or any other number of addictions, and that without such a connection I don't think I would have achieved this result.

with metta and gratitude,
manas.
:anjali:

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Still Searching
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Re: I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Postby Still Searching » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:57 pm

My suggestion would be to go cold turkey as you'd still be feeding the habit but that's just my theory.

Motivation can distract you.
Replace 1 addiction with another like say sports, gym work, college, cooking, gardening, art etc.
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." ~ Siddhārtha, Gautama Buddha

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby suttametta » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:27 pm

Jerrod Lopes wrote:During the Buddha's time and in the region in which he taught, soma was used extensively in the Vedic traditions. It is believed by historians and religious scholars that soma was the plant and the drink both which were very likely ephedra or something very much like it. It was known as a cause for many "heedless" behaviors. The Buddha most certainly would have known about this, especially if he were actually a prince as a lot of the stories say. He would have had occasion to use the drug during rituals being of the ruling caste. Undoubtedly he meant alcohol when he created this precept, but surely he would have included soma as well.


By the time of Buddha the Vedas were already about 1000 years old. The recipe for soma was already lost to history and it was only legend.

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:42 pm

Indians drink a strong hot drink made from hashish, I assume this would have been considered an intoxicating drink by the 5th precept.

On the topic of tobacco, I think the 5th precept no more covers tobacco than it covers tea or coffee, neither has the potential to cause intoxication or heedlessness IMHO, however tobacco can be considered to break the first precept, no killing of yourself, much more so than tea or coffee would apply to the first precept. The first precept could also apply to unhealthy eating, like excess sugar or fat in the diet.

And yes the previous poster is correct, tobacco only grew in the Americas prior to the white man, also marijuana or hemp never grew in North America prior to the white man. So the Buddha couldn't have smoked tobacco, and the American Indians couldn't have been smoking pot!!
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: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby culaavuso » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:18 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:however tobacco can be considered to break the first precept, no killing of yourself, much more so than tea or coffee would apply to the first precept. The first precept could also apply to unhealthy eating, like excess sugar or fat in the diet.


By this reasoning, birth is killing because it will certainly lead to death in the end. Labeling any action that fails to maximize longevity as "killing" trivializes the first precept. The intention to kill is a key component of what constitutes "killing". Refraining from taking life is a matter of intention. Unintentional killing of countless tiny organisms is unavoidable as part of life. To completely stop killing anything at all intentionally or unintentionally would require a complete cessation of all physical activity including any eating or drinking. Even arahants still walk, eat, and drink, which are activities that will result in unintentional killing. Avoiding unhealthy consumption is a matter of restraint for bringing an end to craving, but it is not covered by the first precept.

AN 6.63
AN 6.63: Nibbedhika Sutta wrote:"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.


SN 42.8 seems informative on this topic.
SN 42.8: Sankha Sutta wrote:"There's the case, headman, where a certain teacher holds this doctrine, holds this view: 'All those who take life are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell. All those who steal... All those who indulge in illicit sex... All those who tell lies are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell.' A disciple has faith in that teacher, and the thought occurs to him, 'Our teacher holds this doctrine, holds this view: "All those who take life are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell." There are living beings that I have killed. I, too, am destined for a state of deprivation, am destined for hell.' He fastens onto that view. If he doesn't abandon that doctrine, doesn't abandon that state of mind, doesn't relinquish that view, then as if he were to be carried off, he would thus be placed in hell.


SN 42.8: Sankha Sutta wrote:"[The thought occurs to him,] 'Our teacher holds this doctrine, holds this view: 'All those who steal... All those who indulge in illicit sex... All those who tell lies are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell.' There are lies that I have told. I, too, am destined for a state of deprivation, am destined for hell.' He fastens onto that view. If he doesn't abandon that doctrine, doesn't abandon that state of mind, doesn't relinquish that view, then as if he were to be carried off, he would thus be placed in hell.

"There is the case, headman, where a Tathagata appears in the world, worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear knowing & conduct, well-gone, a knower of the cosmos, unexcelled trainer of those to be tamed, teacher of human & divine beings, awakened, blessed. He, in various ways, criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, 'Abstain from taking life.' He criticizes & censures stealing, and says, 'Abstain from stealing.' He criticizes & censures indulging in illicit sex, and says, 'Abstain from indulging in illicit sex.' He criticizes & censures the telling of lies, and says, 'Abstain from the telling of lies.'

"A disciple has faith in that teacher and reflects: 'The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, "Abstain from taking life." There are living beings that I have killed, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.' So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the taking of life, and in the future refrains from taking life. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby binocular » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:01 pm

culaavuso wrote:By this reasoning, birth is killing because it will certainly lead to death in the end. Labeling any action that fails to maximize longevity as "killing" trivializes the first precept.

Agreed. However:

The intention to kill is a key component of what constitutes "killing". Refraining from taking life is a matter of intention.

The thing is that some people who smoke, take drugs, overeat, overspend etc. in fact have the desire to kill themselves, it's just that they are too afraid to do it all in one act, so they do it little by little.

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Babadhari » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:12 pm

binocular wrote:
The thing is that some people who smoke, take drugs, overeat, overspend etc. in fact have the desire to kill themselves, it's just that they are too afraid to do it all in one act, so they do it little by little.


i dont see how you can state that someone overspending or overeating have desire to kill themselves.....

they have ignorance, craving, desire yes but desire to kill themselves slowly but surely is a wrong assumption on your part binocular
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28

binocular
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby binocular » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:19 pm

kitztack wrote:i dont see how you can state that someone overspending or overeating have desire to kill themselves.....

Because you seem to think I am imputing on them, imposing on them to have this desire, and that I do this imposition by interpreting their external actions in a particular way.

they have ignorance, craving, desire yes but desire to kill themselves slowly but surely is a wrong assumption on your part binocular

I am making no such assumption.

First of all, I said -
The thing is that some people who smoke, take drugs, overeat, overspend etc. in fact have the desire to kill themselves, it's just that they are too afraid to do it all in one act, so they do it little by little.

Note the "some."

Secondly, I can attest that it is possible to smoke, overeat, overspend etc. with the desire to kill oneself, and to do it in installments. I've had it.

Surely not all people who smoke, overeat, overspend etc. do so with the desire to kill themselves, but some do. Go to an AA meeting and listen to the people there a bit, and you'll probably have the opportunity to hear it yourself.

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Babadhari » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:25 pm

my apologies binocular i did not see the 'some' in your statement.
i attend NA meetings and can agree with your point.
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28

binocular
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby binocular » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:03 pm

kitztack wrote:my apologies binocular i did not see the 'some' in your statement.

Okay.

i attend NA meetings and can agree with your point.

Perhaps this desire to kill oneself in installments is more of a modern problem. The fast consumerist pace seems to be conducive to it. Things get chopped up in little bits, a little here, a little there.

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Mkoll
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Mkoll » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:25 pm

culaavuso wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:however tobacco can be considered to break the first precept, no killing of yourself, much more so than tea or coffee would apply to the first precept. The first precept could also apply to unhealthy eating, like excess sugar or fat in the diet.


By this reasoning, birth is killing because it will certainly lead to death in the end. Labeling any action that fails to maximize longevity as "killing" trivializes the first precept.


:goodpost:

You took the words right out of my mouth.

Even breathing would be killing yourself under this definition! Utterly ridiculous. It trivializes even the word "killing" into meaninglessness.

pilgrim wrote: I think the question is not whether smoking violates the fifth precept but what one smokes that breaks the fifth precept.

Yes. There is a big difference between smoking tobacco vs. marijuana or crack or DMT. Regardless, I wouldn't condone tobacco. When someone uses the word "smoking", it can mean many things so it is important to specify what is being smoked.

Remember, the precepts aren't commandments and following them won't lead to enlightenment in and of themselves. If you're a tobacco smoker and you think smoking might be hindering your practice, it probably is. That doesn't mean you have to stop or feel guilty. Just face the facts. Clear the doubts.

:anjali:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:56 pm

I was just quoting what other posters had posted about smoking breaking the first precept, including I believe some bhikkus, I still feel if you are going to make a case for smoking breaking the precepts, perhaps breaking the first precept is a stronger case than breaking the fifth. Hell, I'm a smoker and I have my reasons, obviously its not ideal for physical health, but there happens to be some pretty compelling studies for nicotine being good for mental health.
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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