About not kill any living being

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:41 am

Greetings Peter,

Peter wrote:Though I think it brings us into some difficult territory.

Yes, it can, and that is a good point.

I think if we're sincere enough in our attempts to seek release and attain the heartwood of the spiritual life, we will not deliberately fool ourselves into taking unwholesome activities as wholesome, just to support worldly samsaric endeavour. If there is a tendency to do that, we should try to observe it through Right Intention, Right Effort and Right Mindfulness... see the play of aversion, greed and delusion in action, and learn to see through it, and see the suffering of the sankhara.

People may require specific instructions and "here's what to do if..." scenarios in order to get started and build up that Right Intention, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and so on... but in time, the more worldly prescriptive instructions can be jettisoned for something that hits harder and more accurately at the issue of purifying the mind.

It reminds me of a sutta (?) where a certain forest monk had no need to remember all the 227 vinaya precepts and the Buddha accepted it as so. That these prescriptive rules were added over time in response to behaviours not according with the life of a bhikkhu shows that they are a practical safety net moreso than an integral component of the path.

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: About not kill any living being

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:21 am

retrofuturist wrote:What he did say though was "do not kill", because that protects the mind from hate and aversion, and in turn from creating bad kamma.

The fact an ant is deprived of its life if you accidentally step on it is not relevant to the pursuit of the Dhamma. Conventionally, you deprived the ant of its life, but that's by-the-by if there was no intentional to kill. Anyone who objects to this last statement might do well to consider Jainism, Mahayana or political activism as an alternative endeavour.


Hi Retro,

Intention of course is most important, but it is not only about the mind-state, but also the actions regardless of the mind-state. For example, sociopaths commit crimes and feel no remorse. They have a clear mind about their actions. They know they are violating societies laws and just do not care. They are care-free and go about their daily routines with no remorse. The Buddha specifically stated that a clear mind does not get you off the hook. One monk performed immoral acts and stated that "I feel neither ease nor discomfort, thus there will be no offense for me." The Buddha responded, "whether this foolish man felt or did not feel, there is an offense." (Vinaya, Suttavibhanga 3.36)

All beings tremble before danger, all fear death. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill. All beings fear before danger, life is dear to all. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill.” Dhammapada, 129-130 In this passage, the Buddha encourages not killing or causing to kill on compassionate grounds toward the being and the pain he/she may feel, not the person doing the killing.
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:30 am

Greetings David,

David N. Snyder wrote:For example, sociopaths commit crimes and feel no remorse.

An interesting case to be sure, but why do they commit these crimes? Surely they are underpinned by either aversion or greed, and that these qualities only exist concurrent with ignorance? If so, that is the unwholesome kamma on the path of the sociopath. If not, what mindstates do you think they are rooted in?

David N. Snyder wrote:Dhammapada, 129-130 In this passage, the Buddha encourages not killing or causing to kill on compassionate grounds toward the being and the pain he/she may feel, not the person doing the killing.

Yes, karuna is one of the brahma-viharas and that which helps cultivate the quality of karuna is a good thing.

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: About not kill any living being

Postby Rui Sousa » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:26 pm

Greetings Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:That these prescriptive rules were added over time in response to behaviours not according with the life of a bhikkhu shows that they are a practical safety net moreso than an integral component of the path.


That is how I see the percepts, as a protective net against unwholesome intentions. And also as a training because with time the benefits of restraint are more and more visible, and the desires that would lead to breaking the percepts get weaker and weaker.

Considering the teaching of not-self one could say that killing a being is just sending that being to another existence, possible to a less painful one. But it is a rude action towards that being, so are stealing, cheating and lying, and taking drugs is a rude treatment we give ourselves. Avoiding rudeness in our live leads us to diminish the three unwholesome roots, and helps us in our path towards liberation. That is how I see this protective net at work.

Another aspect I believe to be important on the subject of not killing is the importance of practising the Dhamma not only for our benefit, but also for the benefit of others. When I kill a mosquito and others see this the thought "There is nothing wrong with this" may pop into a mind of a being observing my action, then that being may kill deluded with that thought, giving rise to anger and ignorance in that mind. I am thinking on my son watching me capturing a mosquito and releasing him outside, instead of seeing his dad happy to have squashed a mosquito in the wall. The former image seems better than the later.

In the same line of thought yet another aspect is the mind moments that killing induces on the dying. The most obvious to me are the desire to continue existing, and anger. That desire leads to becoming, birth, ageing and death with all the resulting suffering. If it can be avoided and not provoked by our actions, then we are taking responsibility for such actions, being considerate and polite to others, helping them avoid the unwholesome states of mind that keeps them (and us) trapped in samsara.

So not killing, for me, is not only about the kamma on my mind, but also on other's minds. I guess what I am saying is that the application of the eight aspects of the path is not limited to ourselves and our minds, and should be applied to any mind-continuum that our actions can influence.
With Metta
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby cooran » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Hello all,


Sociopaths and Psychopaths
http://www.apsu.edu/oconnort/crim/crimtheory08.htm

with metta
Chris
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby Terasi » Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:14 am

Hi, I am very new to Buddhism (I mean the real one!). Forgive me for being so shallow, but I am still struggling with even the most basic ones.

I read that buying meat is ok, but being a butcher is not a right livelihood. It's said that because we eat meat without intention to kill the cow (I am actually still struggling with this one too.... ), so it doesn't bring kamma (or maybe just a bit? Read some views, and got a bit confused here).

If intention is what brings kamma, how about those bloody dictators. If the dictator Mr. H ordered the execution of 1000 people, but then the organisation he controlled killed 6000000 more people, would Mr. H be bloody for those 6000000 people he indirectly killed? Or he'll just have to take responsibility for his personal LDM that led him to kill the 1000 people and to set up a bloody organisation?
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:40 am

Terasi wrote:I read that buying meat is ok, but being a butcher is not a right livelihood.

I think we need to be more specific than "ok". Buying meat is not the same as killing a cow. If one vows to abstain from killing and one buys meat then one doesn't not by doing so break that vow.

It's said that because we eat meat without intention to kill the cow, so it doesn't bring kamma

Again, it is necessary to be specific. It doesn't not bring the kamma of killing. Buying meat is an intentional act and therefore produces some sort of kamma, just as does any intentional act. Even tying your shoe produces kamma.

If intention is what brings kamma, how about those bloody dictators. If the dictator Mr. H ordered the execution of 1000 people, but then the organisation he controlled killed 6000000 more people, would Mr. H be bloody for those 6000000 people he indirectly killed?

He would not incur the kamma of killing those 6000000. It seems to me likely he would incur some other negative kamma though.
- Peter

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby cooran » Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:04 am

Hello Terasi,

This might be a good start:

Questions on Kamma ~ Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha057.htm

with metta
Chris
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby Terasi » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:10 am

Thank you Peter and Cooran. I looked into the link. I must have been lazy and ignorant in my past life cos I am quite dull now, but I won't be greedy trying to grasp everything at once. Still got a long way to go. :popcorn:
It's too far fetched for a beginner to think about Mr.H's kamma fruits while I can't even handle mine. I did find some practical points I think I can attempt now:
When a willed action is performed it leaves a track in the mind, an imprint which can mark the beginning of a new mental tendency. It has a tendency to repeat itself, to reproduce itself, somewhat like a protozon, like an amoeba. As these actions multiply, they form our character. Our personality is nothing but a sum of all our willed actions, a cross-section of all our accumulated kamma.

As we change our habits gradually, we change our character, and as we change our character we change our total being, our whole world. That is why the Buddha emphasizes, so strongly the need to be mindful of every action, of every choice. For every choice of ours has a tremendous potential for the future.

First of all, not all Kamma has to ripen as a matter of necessity

One kamma can even be destroyed by another kamma. So it is important to understand that our present way of life, our attitudes and conduct, can influence the way our past kammas mature.


Now those are gems! It gives positive feeling and encouragement for me (us?) to attempt to be a better person by being mindful of every little thing, being aware that even tying shoelaces brings kamma.
:thanks:
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:47 pm

I'm glad you are feeling encouraged. :)
Remember too that there is good karma as well as bad.
- Peter

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby _Daniel_ » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:01 am

proximityinfotech3 wrote:I think buddhanet.net has more material that cover the subject of karma. It can explain better than I. Or you can use the search function on this forum, I am sure we have a thread on this subject. As a Buddhist, I would ask why do you have a pistol in the first place?

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I could have a pistol, because I could be a policeman.
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby phil » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:09 pm

I recommend a lidded cardboard box from some small-sized appliance for mosquitos, makes a much more effective catcher than a glass jar. Works for roaches too.
It's tough. There is often an instinctive slap in the direction of a mosquito that whines in your ear when you can't sleep on a hot summer night, and there is a moment of dosa behind that slap that makes it intentional. I've killed several in that way over the last few years, a reminder of how much attachment there is to sound sleep etc.

It could be that if you do kill, it's good to come here and report it to this virtual sangha. THere is a very good Sutta in Majjhima Nikaya in which the Buddha talks to his son Rahula and tells him to 'fess up to his bad deeds as a way of strengthening the conditions for abstaining from them in the future. So I have made the above confession...

Metta,

Phil
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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: About not kill any living being

Postby Terasi » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:03 pm

Confession ya... I've killed a mosquito a few days ago. It was doing nothing, just standing on my arm, without thinking my other arm just whooosh.. snap! I read somewhere that our "automatic" reaction is not really automatic, it's a conditioned learning since we were small, we were told by our loving moms and nannies that mosquito is bad, then we practiced snapping them.. practice makes perfect, now it seems automatic.

But can I think of that reaction as the lack of mindfulness that I succumbed to "habit"? Or was it something else in play?
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:08 pm

Terasi wrote:But can I think of that reaction as the lack of mindfulness that I succumbed to "habit"? Or was it something else in play?

It is due to our habits that we wander in samsara.
- Peter

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby phil » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:22 am

Terasi wrote:Confession ya... I've killed a mosquito a few days ago. It was doing nothing, just standing on my arm, without thinking my other arm just whooosh.. snap! I read somewhere that our "automatic" reaction is not really automatic, it's a conditioned learning since we were small, we were told by our loving moms and nannies that mosquito is bad, then we practiced snapping them.. practice makes perfect, now it seems automatic.

But can I think of that reaction as the lack of mindfulness that I succumbed to "habit"? Or was it something else in play?



Interesting...I would guess that there is something intrinsically aversion-causing in the vipaka that is the body or hearing sense that precedes our perception of a mosquito...and then another kind of aversion conditioned in the way you say above after the "mosquito" story plays out in a flash. It all happens so quickly. With a cockroach there is time to look at it and hear all the stories of how disgusting it is supposed to be. I'm glad to say that I have definitely moved beyond killing cockroaches....ah, but easy to say when I see one or two a month.
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: About not kill any living being

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:18 am

Hello Phil,

I'm glad to say that I have definitely moved beyond killing cockroaches....ah, but easy to say when I see one or two a month.


Two a month??????????????

"There are 428 species of cockroach in Australia and a number of introduced species have become pests. The two most significant pest cockroaches are the German cockroach and the American cockroach.
Cockroaches live and feed in unhygienic places such as sewers and drains, or feed on garbage that may be contaminated. These insects are cold-blooded and thrive in warm, humid conditions. This is why buildings in the northern parts of Australia are particularly prone to infestations. However cockroaches will make their home wherever they find food, moisture and shelter. The German cockroach is the most common cockroach found in houses and apartments in Australia. Their small size means that human occupants (many of whom do not recognise early nymphal stages as being cockroaches), initially tolerate them. Their rapid reproduction rate enables a few individuals to become a pest problem over one season. From one original female German cockroach, there could be potentially more than 100,000 cockroaches in a home by the end of one year!"

http://www.skippypestcontrol.com.au/pest-control.html

AUSTRALIA DAY COCKROACH RACING
http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/holidaytyp ... ach-racing

The German cockroaches are the biggest pest because they live inside houses. The other bigger cockroaches live in the garden and under leaf litter and only come in by accident. I don't kill pests, but keep all food in insect-proof containers, clean up spills and crumbs immediately, wash and dry dishes asap. I use various non-harming (to cockroaches) repellents. Any of the little fellas I see wandering about, I catch in a disk box or something similar and take outside.

with metta
Chris
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:45 pm

Hello all,

For those who live in warm countries and would like to meditate outdoors - apart from insect repellents (nonharming), there are also one man tents.

At Bodhgaya in March (which appears to be the time of the Great Mosquito Gathering) there were scores of people (ordained and lay) using one man meditation tents made of mosquito netting.

Can't find the exact ones on the net, maybe someone else will have better luck?

No need to kill any living being.

with metta
Chris
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby Michael_S » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:15 pm

I always capture and release insects from the house.
But.......
Let us suppose one is infected with tapeworms.
The medical treatment is to kill them with an anthelmintic drug.
Does kamma permit the killing of them in order to ensure one's own survival?
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby bodom » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:38 pm

Michael_S wrote:I always capture and release insects from the house.
But.......
Let us suppose one is infected with tapeworms.
The medical treatment is to kill them with an anthelmintic drug.
Does kamma permit the killing of them in order to ensure one's own survival?


There is no bargaining with kamma. If you kill the tapeworms you reap the results.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby phil » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:16 am

Also interesting to consider how the householder's duty to take care of loved ones (as pointed to in the Mangala sutta, for example) come into play in this. If your house is infested with ticks, for example, as happens here in Japan in tatami mat floors during the rainy season, there is no way to collect them and take them outside. Do you allow your children (for example) to be covered with bites, or take action? Do you stand back and let your spouse take the bad kamma instead of you? On a couple of occasions I have let a mosquito live in my room, knowing that my wife would kill it instead of me. That spared me the kamma, but certainly didn't fulfill the duties I have towards her. On a couple of occasions I have killed a mosquito for her. (Now I have a good box for trapping mosquitoes, didn't in the past.)
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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