Buddhism and smoking, what's your thoughts?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Dhammakid
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Re: Buddhism and smoking, what's your thoughts?

Post by Dhammakid » Sat May 09, 2015 10:59 pm

I haven't called myself a Buddhist in a long time because I've begun smoking both cannabis and tobacco and drinking alcohol again, after having given it up. Because of this, I haven't taken the precepts or refuge in years. I think one can rationalize something if they really just want to do it. But it's important to be honest with ourselves. I like to think that if there's any ambiguity over what I should or should not do, I'll try to either refrain from the behavior if I can, or at least be honest about the impact of the behavior if I decide to do it.

Tobacco executives marketed their products to children in a deliberate way, and then lied to congress about knowledge of its carcinogenic properties. These men were seriously immoral, all to make a buck. I say this knowing that I've supported their behavior with my money. But it's something to consider.

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Dhammakid
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Re: Buddhism and smoking, what's your thoughts?

Post by Dhammakid » Mon May 11, 2015 8:38 pm

Forgot to mention that I'm currently attempting to give up all smoking and intoxicants and to eventually take refuge and the precepts again. Coming back to Dhamma Wheel is a part of the process for me.

Really enjoyed that article, by the way. Good read.

:anjali:

MikeWest
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Re: Buddhism and smoking, what's your thoughts?

Post by MikeWest » Sat May 16, 2015 4:57 am

Hello friends, long time lurker, first time caller. Having dealt with this and other problems for extensive periods of time, here are my 2c:

Health issues and precepts aside, any substance addiction, large or small, personifies the essence of bondage. It is not conducive to practice & insight. How serious are you about your practice if you thoughtlessly allow these things to be part of your life? How do you deal with other forms of dukkha? Do you stop sitting when your legs get stiff or painful as well? What about the pains of separation and decay? Constantly, constantly around us. Really not pointing any fingers, just some food for thought... Trust me, I know how hard it is! I've struggled with nicotine addiction, alcoholism, overeating (all symptoms of a lifelong severe anxiety disorder) - with Dhamma it is possible!

Maybe not everyone has to be a teetotaler but for me it was absolutely necessary, all indulgences relate, they deepen existing attachments and cause new ones to pop up, before long one is sinking deeper and deeper, utterly at the mercy of whatever next blow Mara will deliver.

I understand from some of these posts that some of you are indeed trying to quit. If you struggle, please avoid mindless entertainment, spicy foods and meat, go out in nature whenever possible. Seat yourself in a secluded place - That voice in your head might prefer a later time but there will be no later time to deal with this, only now. Entrust yourself to Dhamma & turn away from fear and vacillation. These perceptions of withdrawal, of sensual dependencies, of self and other, of time and space (we'll throw those in just for good measure) - this is dukkha, only dukkha arises, only dukkha passes away. Now is the time to believe in that, and grow dispassionate and free.

This Sutta has been immeasurably helpful and inspiring for myself during rough times like these:

Bāhiya Sutta
"Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself.

When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that.

When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."
Peace

ieee23
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Re: Buddhism and smoking, what's your thoughts?

Post by ieee23 » Sat May 16, 2015 2:49 pm

I like Ajahn Brahm's thought that Buddhist ethics can be summarized as not harming other living beings or yourself. Smoking doesn't seem to fit in with either of those rules.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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