Buddhism and smoking, what's your thoughts?

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bradford
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Post by bradford » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:46 pm

It might be a punctuation question (in paraphrase)

refrain from using drugs which lead to heedlessness, or
refrain from using drugs, which lead to heedlessness.

I prefer the former, which permits a stimulant like coffee or tea,
and perhaps even entheogens, as these do not conduce to pamada or heedlessness.

I spoze dying from lung cancer could distract one from the work.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:53 pm

bradford wrote:It might be a punctuation question (in paraphrase)

refrain from using drugs which lead to heedlessness, or
refrain from using drugs, which lead to heedlessness.

I prefer the former, which permits a stimulant like coffee or tea,
and perhaps even entheogens, as these do not conduce to pamada or heedlessness.

I spoze dying from lung cancer could distract one from the work.
the rule actually refers to alcoholic drinks, not any drug, but they would be covered if they lead to heedlesness.
and this actually points to what is meant by heedlessness in the rule. caffeine would not fall under the rule as it does not cause us to be week minded and do things we wouldn't normally do.
but death is our constant companion.
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Jerrod Lopes
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Post by Jerrod Lopes » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:26 am

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.

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manas
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I'm giving up tobacco, permanently

Post by manas » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:00 pm

Greetings Dhamma friends and guests,

I have decided to give up smoking tobacco completely, but will do it in two stages. First I will resolve to smoke only one cigarette per day. Once this becomes easy to deal with, I will contemplate when to take the next step: complete and (hopefully) permanent abandonment of this habit, which honestly I had always intended I would give up one day in any case.

I'm doing this not merely for myself, but also for those dear to me, especially those who love and/or rely on me (such as my children, for example). It begins today. If there are challenges along the way, so be it. I have now finally decided, it is time.

Thanks for reading this. I will use this topic as needed, I don't know how often, it depends on how challenging I find this undertaking. But I will use this topic as a virtual journal of recovery from this unhealthy acquired habit.

manas :anjali:
Last edited by manas on Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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tiltbillings
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:06 pm

Good luck.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:28 pm

Hi, Manas,
I gave up - years ago - by rationing myself and gradually reducing the ration from 20 per day down to (I think) 5 and switching to a low-tar variety. I didn't push myself too hard and it took months but by that time I had broken the physical addiction and all of the habits (e.g. 'always' having a cigarette with a cup of coffee, or 'always' smoking in the pub). It was easy, after that, to give up the last few per day.
I'm still the only person I know to have done it that way but it worked for me :smile:
I hope your similar programme works for you.

:namaste:
Kim

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manas
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by manas » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:40 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Good luck.
Thank you! _/I\_
Kim wrote:Hi, Manas,
I gave up - years ago - by rationing myself and gradually reducing the ration from 20 per day down to (I think) 5 and switching to a low-tar variety. I didn't push myself too hard and it took months but by that time I had broken the physical addiction and all of the habits (e.g. 'always' having a cigarette with a cup of coffee, or 'always' smoking in the pub). It was easy, after that, to give up the last few per day.
I'm still the only person I know to have done it that way but it worked for me :smile:
I hope your similar programme works for you.

:namaste:
Kim
Thanks Kim for the encouragement. Fortunately the habit only ended up being between about 3 or 4 a day for me, so (I hope) the process of first cutting back shouldn't be too painful. But previous experience tells me that, with any resolve there are some challenges, it is not going to be 'plain sailing'...because there is this mind that kinda likes it, you know what I mean? And of course there is also another, wiser mind that says "this is bad for you, not worth whatever dubious 'pleasure' it seems to give, and you ought to abandon it utterly". On that note I want to ask if (eventually) that first mind I mentioned, that 'gets off' on it so to speak, no longer arises anymore, ie, from those who gave up completely I wish to inquire: do you ever miss it? (Please be completely honest here!)

manas :anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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manas
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by manas » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:04 pm

Sorry to bore you all, but I just had my first challenge...I really feel like having a smoke but I've already used a third of my daily one cigarette ration, so I'm saving it for later, in case I get stressed while looking after the kids...it can happen, if someone yells at me etc I will probably need to go sit outside and have a smoke...so I have to save the remainder for later.

This is it, I'm not backing down this time! I will abandon tobacco smoking! Step One is underway. :jedi:

manas :anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

Coyote
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by Coyote » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:00 am

Keep on with the effort and you will succeed.

Good luck + hope it goes well for you.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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Ben
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by Ben » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:31 am

Hi Manas,
Should you fail, and I hope you don't, I would be more than happy to discuss with you the three-month nicotine patch program I went on over ten years ago.
All the very best!
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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

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manas
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by manas » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:39 am

Thanks Coyote, and Ben I will see how I go...hope I can manage without any pharmaceutical intervention, but if that was what it took, yes I can see that it would be worth it.

I was wondering if ex-smokers who have not smoked again for, say, a few months to a year, can tell me in full honesty: do you ever still miss it? Or does the desire to do it actually vanish over time? It would encourage me to know...

manas
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Ben
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by Ben » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:52 am

manas wrote:I was wondering if ex-smokers who have not smoked again for, say, a few months to a year, can tell me in full honesty: do you ever still miss it? Or does the desire to do it actually vanish over time? It would encourage me to know...
I haven't had a cigarette since 2002. I haven't missed it at all - not even once.
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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

PeterB
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by PeterB » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:05 am

As in many things we are all different in what works for us in this area.
Like many of my generation I smoked. Finally gave it up about 25 years ago.
I tried a number of times cutting down.It always crept up again.
In the end cold turkey was the only way that worked..for me.
After a few months I did not miss it. Then like many ex-smokers I became completely averse to the smell and everything to do with it ! ;)

Good luck. It can be done.

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Aloka
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by Aloka » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:00 pm

Hi manas,

When I gave up smoking, I briefly cut down to 3 cigarettes a day (morning, lunchtime, evening), then I substituted sugar-free chewing gum for the cigs for a short while, and then gave up that as well.

I've never had any cravings over a period of several years - and my throat and chest feel much better than they used to. The smell of cigarette smoke seems quite strange and rather unpleasant to me now.

Good luck !

With kind wishes,

Aloka
Last edited by Aloka on Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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daverupa
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Re: Tobacco: first cutting back, then abandoning completely

Post by daverupa » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:30 pm

I smoked from 2007 through some of 2013. Just under six years, the last year of which I made a run at quitting about ten times. I even quit for a month or so before going back, only to quit again finally a little later.

My approach was to ride out the three days of physical nicotine withdrawal, and then recognize that all further craving for nicotine was a mental habit looking for expression. This became the key, to wit shifting my habitual routines to no longer make room for cigarette breaks.

One model which helped me was this: fundamentally, nicotine is a virus. It makes the human want it, the human makes it and consumes it at great individual detriment, and the weed benefits genetically by having the human host as a caretaker. It's a rotten little weed-virus, it's as bad as Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It's like a little flu. And so the thinking went.

The three days of nicotine withdrawal were easy enough to endure because the timeline was so short. I used a three-day weekend from work to hang out at home and practiced enduring the asava of physical distress while remembering that this effort was fundamentally sustained by harmlessness.

Truly, the difficult part was not the physical withdrawal. Individual cases differ, surely, but I am suspicious of approaches which focus on the physical dosing reduction without addressing the overriding place of nicotine in ones dispositional environment. Contemplation of reduction timetables just lets the mind focus more on smoking as an activity; it's still playing with those marbles, as it were...

:heart:
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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