Why do Thai monks smoke?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
Jojola
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:22 pm

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by Jojola » Sat May 20, 2017 2:22 am

SarathW wrote:
The harm you are implicating here is a trifle compared to the harm to other beings that will be caused by not understanding tanha and kāmacchando
Isn't smoking tanha and kamachando?
Like any action, it depends. imo
Regards,

- :heart:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

freedom
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:44 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by freedom » Sat May 20, 2017 3:22 am

If one delights, craving will increase. With craving as condition, clinging comes to be... One is not free from suffering.

If one does not delight in smoking, why does one smoke? When one smokes, how does one feel? If not pleasant, why does one continue to smoke? Is smoking a must to maintain one's life? If not, why does one continue to smoke if this is not one's delight or craving?
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

SarathW
Posts: 8554
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by SarathW » Sat May 20, 2017 4:04 am

:goodpost: Freedom!
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Luca123
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:46 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by Luca123 » Sat May 20, 2017 9:02 am

seeker242 wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Not that I smoke, or condone it, but it seems to me that smoking tobacco does not cause heedlessness in the sense that alcohol etc do.
Has anyone ever seen someone run around outside naked, screaming, banging pots and pans at 2 AM, because they smoke cigarettes? I've seen alcohol and other drugs do that to people, but never tobacco. :lol:
Still tobacco leads to dependence and craving.
Which is the enemy numer one, as far as I have been told, of someone looking for enlightnment

Is Nicotine Addictive?

Tobacco PlantsMost smokers identify tobacco use as harmful and express a desire to reduce or stop using it, and nearly 35 million want to quit each year.
Yes. Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and abuse, even in the face of negative health consequences. It is well documented that most smokers identify tobacco use as harmful and express a desire to reduce or stop using it, and nearly 35 million of them want to quit each year. Unfortunately, more than 85 percent of those who try to quit on their own relapse, most within a week.

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/ ... -addictive
waterchan wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Just as there is no smoke without fire, there is no smoking without craving.
I would agree with this. However, Ajahn Mun and Ajahn Chah were both widely considered to be arahants. Both of them were smokers. When I learned that, I sighed, threw up my hands and wondered if I was really missing something here...

What you are saying is definitely interesting to me and raises quite a few questions..

User avatar
Jojola
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:22 pm

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by Jojola » Sat May 20, 2017 11:27 am

freedom wrote:If one delights, craving will increase.
Wrong: if one attends inappropriately then craving will increase.
There are times when the Buddha delighted in things, such as sound gatherings of Arahants, delighted in solitude, delighted in warming his back in the sun late in the day...
Luca123 wrote:
waterchan wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Just as there is no smoke without fire, there is no smoking without craving.
I would agree with this.
Why? It's not true. Not everyone who takes up a cigarette does so out of craving or addiction, this is a fact, not only can I speak of this one thing for this myself but it was true about a lot of things I used to do when I was younger, including having a drink, which I don't do anymore, but when I did it was the same situation, some can simply take it or leave it (as for someone who retorts "then why don't they just leave it?" said person is likely prejudice and hung up on a personal social bias); and for them whether it's taken up or let go of there's little, if any, kammic result- as opposed to someone who is addicted.

Or explained another way when I discontinued using those things, it was NOT a victory, why? Because it wasn't a problem in the first place; letting it go was just a personal choice the same as would be if I were to take it up. I'm sure these had almost, if not, zero kammic renewal as opposed to other actions going on with my body, speech, and mind, about as significant as picking up this pencil on my desk or putting it down, putting on a shirt or taking it off - everything depends on the mind, 1st line of the dhammapada!
Luca123 wrote:However, Ajahn Mun and Ajahn Chah were both widely considered to be arahants. Both of them were smokers. When I learned that, I sighed, threw up my hands and wondered if I was really missing something here...
I would say yeah you're missing a few things:
1. The points I mentioned above.
2. Someone who 'smokes' doesn't necessarily mean they smoke all day, or even once a day, or even once a week, or even once a month... It could just mean "it is not past myself to take up a cigarette on a special occasion, or certain social situations, or in a time of ease and leisure". There are some things that really are "just because" and anyone who denies this should take a close look at their own actions, their own preferences, the items they decor themselves or their homes with etc...
3. Prejudice and social bias is preventing people from properly investigating and contemplating the matter; and in fair consequence are missing out on reaping the benefits of having comprehension.

There really should be a psychological study on this, if there hasn't been one already. :thinking:
Regards,

- :heart:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

Luca123
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:46 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by Luca123 » Sat May 20, 2017 12:44 pm

Jojola wrote: Why? It's not true. Not everyone who takes up a cigarette does so out of craving or addiction, this is a fact, not only can I speak of this one thing for this myself but it was true about a lot of things I used to do when I was younger, including having a drink, which I don't do anymore, but when I did it was the same situation, some can simply take it or leave it (as for someone who retorts "then why don't they just leave it?" said person is likely prejudice and hung up on a personal social bias); and for them whether it's taken up or let go of there's little, if any, kammic result- as opposed to someone who is addicted.

I think that, looking at the Tipitaka and at what senior monks may say, drinking alcohol for a monk is always a no-no.
You can not claim you can drink as you are not doing it out of addiction

Maybe some reader with more knowledge of the scriptures than I do can confirm or not

freedom
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:44 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by freedom » Sat May 20, 2017 2:58 pm

Jojola wrote:
freedom wrote: If one delights, craving will increase.
Wrong: if one attends inappropriately then craving will increase.
There are times when the Buddha delighted in things, such as sound gatherings of Arahants, delighted in solitude, delighted in warming his back in the sun late in the day...

With the arising of delight, I say, Migajala, there is the arising of suffering. SN 35.64
How should one attend properly when one smokes so that craving will not increase?
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

User avatar
BasementBuddhist
Posts: 266
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:03 pm

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by BasementBuddhist » Sat May 20, 2017 4:16 pm

Jojola wrote:
Why? It's not true. Not everyone who takes up a cigarette does so out of craving or addiction, this is a fact, not only can I speak of this one thing for this myself but it was true about a lot of things I used to do when I was younger, including having a drink, which I don't do anymore, but when I did it was the same situation, some can simply take it or leave it (as for someone who retorts "then why don't they just leave it?" said person is likely prejudice and hung up on a personal social bias); and for them whether it's taken up or let go of there's little, if any, kammic result- as opposed to someone who is addicted.

Or explained another way when I discontinued using those things, it was NOT a victory, why? Because it wasn't a problem in the first place; letting it go was just a personal choice the same as would be if I were to take it up. I'm sure these had almost, if not, zero kammic renewal as opposed to other actions going on with my body, speech, and mind, about as significant as picking up this pencil on my desk or putting it down, putting on a shirt or taking it off - everything depends on the mind, 1st line of the dhammapada!

Thank you! This is precisely what I was trying to say with my own post, and am glad to see it expressed here with far more grace.

Another example, I sometimes hitchhike to get to places I want to go for vacation, so I can save money for actual events when I get there. If someone offers me a cigarette while I ride with them, I always accept. Not because I am addicted, or because I crave one, but to ease social tensions and create a bond with my driver.

freedom
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:44 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by freedom » Sat May 20, 2017 7:33 pm

When one smokes, does one see the danger of smoking? The drawback of it? The escape from it? and the way to end that danger? Or one sees the safety of it, the advantage of it, the necessity of it, and the way to continue that action. We can honestly ask ourselves to see where are we leaning to.
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by aflatun » Sat May 20, 2017 10:38 pm

SarathW wrote:
The harm you are implicating here is a trifle compared to the harm to other beings that will be caused by not understanding tanha and kāmacchando
Isn't smoking tanha and kamachando?
Isn't eating?
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

SarathW
Posts: 8554
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by SarathW » Sat May 20, 2017 11:07 pm

aflatun wrote:
SarathW wrote:
The harm you are implicating here is a trifle compared to the harm to other beings that will be caused by not understanding tanha and kāmacchando
Isn't smoking tanha and kamachando?
Isn't eating?
Yes, eating without reflection or unmindful eating.
Eating when you are not hungry, for the pleasure or for putting the bulk.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by aflatun » Sat May 20, 2017 11:18 pm

No doubt, reflection and mindfulness are of course to be encouraged, but I'm not sure that ensures craving is not present when one is eating

I'm far more concerned when I see an overweight monk than when I see one with a lit cigarette. If you're even slightly overweight, that means you're over eating (barring thyroid dysfunction, etc). Its simple thermodynamics. How one could over eat without craving, unguarded senses, lust, etc is beyond me.

I think this fascination with cigarettes is largely an artifact of how tobacco and nicotine have been demonized and charged with some kind of ethical significance as of late.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

SarathW
Posts: 8554
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by SarathW » Sat May 20, 2017 11:29 pm

I'm far more concerned when I see an overweight monk than when I see one with a lit cigarette.
I think both of these are harmful and take the effort to avoid it.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by aflatun » Sat May 20, 2017 11:35 pm

SarathW wrote:
I'm far more concerned when I see an overweight monk than when I see one with a lit cigarette.
I think both of these are harmful and take the effort to avoid it.
Yes, but if we find ourselves in a moral outrage over smoking monks, and not so much over overweight monks (of course moral outrage is not appropriate IMO), we must ask ourselves why, especially in light of the fact that the latter is actually far worse for you if maintained on a chronic basis, and indicative of sensual indulgence, than is the occasional cigarette.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

SarathW
Posts: 8554
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by SarathW » Sat May 20, 2017 11:37 pm

sensual indulgence, than is the occasional cigarette.
I think smoking is the worst sensual indulgence.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by aflatun » Sun May 21, 2017 12:31 am

SarathW wrote:
sensual indulgence, than is the occasional cigarette.
I think smoking is the worst sensual indulgence.
That's fine, its your prerogative. But I was speaking medically. For me, sensual indulgence is sensual indulgence, and when its engaged in chronically its probably "chronic sensual indulgence." I don't know about better or worse so long as other people aren't getting hurt.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

SarathW
Posts: 8554
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by SarathW » Sun May 21, 2017 12:42 am

Well, we eat when we are hungry.
Why are we smoking for?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by aflatun » Sun May 21, 2017 1:04 am

SarathW wrote:Well, we eat when we are hungry.
Why are we smoking for?
I hear you, but we don't just eat when we're hungry, that was my point :) And even if we do, that hardly guarantees that craving and delight are not present. (Also, note that hunger signals are highly malleable and someone who's constantly over eating has trained their hunger signals to basically fire off inappropriately. The amount of food a sedentary person needs is frighteningly small).

People smoke for the same reason that they indulge in anything sensual, it feels good. This is why people generally eat as well, not because "its time to feed the body!" but rather: hunger is unpleasant, satiety is pleasant.

You're right, food is more difficult, because we need to eat to live. But I would hazard a guess and say that the individual who truly only eats to keep the body alive for the practice, or for the service of others, etc, is beyond rare. I'm not even sure that's required for the path, but I don't know!
Last edited by aflatun on Sun May 21, 2017 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

User avatar
Jojola
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:22 pm

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by Jojola » Sun May 21, 2017 1:32 pm

BasementBuddhist wrote: Another example, I sometimes hitchhike to get to places I want to go for vacation, so I can save money for actual events when I get there. If someone offers me a cigarette while I ride with them, I always accept. Not because I am addicted, or because I crave one, but to ease social tensions and create a bond with my driver.
:goodpost:

:heart: Yes!! What a beautiful example! Absolutely beautiful! :heart:

That post right there is exactly what was needed!
Regards,

- :heart:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

chownah
Posts: 6897
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Why do Thai monks smoke?

Post by chownah » Sun May 21, 2017 1:53 pm

When someone offers me a cigarette I start coughing and between the coughs I say no thank you....it ususally gets smiles all around.
chownah

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cappuccino, kroyakor and 84 guests