Ticks and fleas

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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tiltbillings
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:32 pm


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Mr Man
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby Mr Man » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:05 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:09 pm


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Ben
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:35 pm

Sometimes, in life, we are forced to make some very difficult decisions. And it is apparent that some here already have.
In those situations where one is compelled to end another creature's or another person's life its quite often a heart-wrenching decision and is often the least-worst option available.
No doubt, I have attracted some heavy kamma as a result of some of the things that I have done. But I am confident that whatever negative kamma I have inherited is somewhat attenuated by my reluctance to perform the action, my compassion for the beings in question, and by acknowledging responsibility for the kamma.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Kamran
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby Kamran » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:14 pm

"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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mikenz66
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:23 pm


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Anagarika
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby Anagarika » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:39 am


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Ben
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:42 am

Thank you, Buddhasoup.
I look forward to checking out the video link a little later today.
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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kc2dpt
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:43 am

- Peter


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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby cioranfan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:33 am

The main question that comes to mind reading this thread for me, and it seems like a rather important one for Dhamma practice in general (not just this specific case), is this: can kamma be made through not taking action? If it is within one's power to change a situation, and one does not, does that create kamma? To me, it seems most likely that it would, but I would be very interested to know what those better versed in the teachings than I am would say about it- I can't recall any direct statements on this question, but I think it's implied that it does- the kammic rewards for keeping the precepts are spoken of in the suttas, for example, and the precepts are mostly matters of restraint rather than active action. If that's the case, it seems logical that inaction in certain situations could create bad kamma as well- and in that case, letting a living being die in a horrible way when one had the power to prevent that outcome would seem to me to be a pretty clear-cut case of something which would create bad kamma.

I have to say that I find Kevin's position in this thread impossible to stomach, and I don't think it's just because of attachment to cute animals or the like. If it's really the case that the proper Buddhist thing to do in this situation is to sit back and allow an animal (or a human- it seems to me that the logic applies just as much in both cases) to die in agony, when one is perfectly capable of preventing this from happening, all I can say is that I want no part of any religion that advocates that- I would say exactly what tiltbillings did, above, that I'd walk away from Buddhism and never look back if this is actually what it teaches.

I don't believe it does, though, so far as I understand it- assuming all the premises of Theravada Buddhism are correct, I don't at all deny that some degree of dark kamma would be made by killing ticks and fleas- but what I find extremely difficult to believe or accept is that dark kamma wouldn't also be made by sitting back and letting a living being die horribly when one had the power to change that outcome. Kamma that is "dark and bright with dark and bright results" is specifically referred to in the suttas- a black-and-white approach seems to me to be not only not true to the realities of life, but not true to what the suttas say, either. Killing fleas to save an animal would seem to me to be pretty obviously "dark and bright", and which one was the greater would depend on lots of things- however, I would guess that if it were done based on compassion towards the animal, it would create significantly less bad kamma than letting an animal die in agony because one feared the effects of bad kamma would. All this implies that there's essentially no way of avoiding making bad kamma in this situation- but I think life contains many situations where it's not really possible to avoid it, and that this is part of the reason why we're trying to get out of samsara in the first place.

(And yes, an arahant wouldn't kill, but one thing that puts a very different light on this entire discussion when it comes to the question of what action an arahant would take is the fact that, according to all the traditional teachings, siddhis exist. And, as I understand the teaching, they are most easily learned by Noble Ones. Needless to say, this would give an arahant ways of handling situations like this which are not available to the rest of us. I don't believe that an arahant would kill the fleas, but I also don't believe that an arahant would just sit back and watch a living being die in agony when they had the power to prevent it- and this is where the siddhis would come in, most likely. The existence of siddhis is another debate, but if one accepts kamma and rebirth, they hardly seem like much of a leap, and if one has faith in the teaching of the Pali Canon as a whole, they're pretty much a given.)

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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:02 am

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kc2dpt
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:10 am

- Peter


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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby Sanjay PS » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:16 am

The Path of Dhamma

The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

U S.N. Goenka

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kc2dpt
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:26 am

"Is it OK?"
"Is it dark and bright mixed kamma?"
"Is it the lesser of two evils?"
"Is it in act compassion?"
"Is it black and white?"
"Is it wholly good or wholly bad?"
"Is it the proper Buddhist thing to do?"

These are some of the varied questions being asked/implied/assumed in this thread. They are different questions.

Is killing taught by the Buddha to be always unwholesome? As far as I can tell, yes.
Is it always the worst of available options? I don't know.
Is it sometimes counterbalanced by other wholesome thoughts or deeds in close proximity? Maybe.
Would I do it? I don't know; I am not perfect and as such my judgement is often impaired.

Still, any time a person claims killing is wholesome, leads to peace, sanctioned by the Buddha... to this I object.

A question like "Is it the proper Buddhist thing to do?" or "Is it OK?" these are bad questions I think. Bad questions which lead to unfruitful discussions.

The Buddha taught killing as unwholesome. GIven this, and given we wish to follows the Buddha's teachings, given we wish for peace, and given that we often find ourselves in difficult situations... how do we proceed? This is the type of question I wish was asked more often. This is the kind of question I think leads to spiritual growth.
- Peter


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mikenz66
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:37 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:52 am


Sanjay PS
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby Sanjay PS » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:33 am

i think the path is first and foremost about being honest in observing oneself , which sooner or later gives rise to morality , which then goes on naturally to strengthen right concentration, , in turn supporting the arising of wisdom .

What is truly beautiful and most sacred , is the quality of "here and now ", inviting all to experience this for oneself and then to lead life accordingly . A life lead due to a fear of retribution will miss out the practical aspect of " ehi pasiko" ( come and see ) . That much we bring down and stop doing unwholesome actions , to that much, we first help ourselves by way of having more often than not , a quite , calm , contended and happy mind , irrespective of whatever be our backgrounds . It is more of a scientific observation , by doing this, that happens , by not doing that , this happens. Hence, for our own well being , we start living a wholesome life . Just as we find that by giving metta , our happiness , our content , the gentleness of our heart , blooms open in its humility and loving embrace of all beings .

i am grateful to all you , for giving the nectar of metta . May we all share our merits equally and with out any boundaries .

sanjay
The Path of Dhamma

The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

U S.N. Goenka

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mikenz66
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:50 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Ticks and fleas

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:12 am


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Re: Ticks and fleas

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