Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Aloka
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by Aloka » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:34 am

Skeptic wrote:
Believe me, I have really tried to be totally abstinent from drugs and alcohol. In fact, unlike most of my friends I have the fortune to run away from city to the rural parts of country where I'm mostly abstinent from drugs and alcohol. But they come to visit me, and I have to go back in the city and trying to be abstinent among them it's really hard if not impossible. I'm aware it's harmful, but somehow drink or two with them seems better to me them spend my time all alone.

You can just be strong and say 'No' to the drugs and alcohol. It's not as hard as you think it is - just do it ! If your friends are real friends they'll respect your decision and still want to see you. Maybe in time they'll even come to be inspired by your example.


.

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rowboat
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by rowboat » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:34 pm

No one would smoke to get a little high or drink some alcohol while away at a retreat...
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

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Moth
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by Moth » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:46 pm

I used to use intoxicants. Since becoming a Buddhist, I first gave up alcohol and then overtime all drugs. My friends still use intoxicants but respect me for my decision. If your friends will not hang out with you unless you indulge with them then they are likely not good friends, and as the Buddha says, isolation would be preferable. I can tell you with full confidence that maintaining Sila is a bliss far beyond anything an intoxicant can provide. Why? The bliss of intoxicants is impermanent, unsatisfying, and riddled with shame. Sila is something no one can take away from you. Also, if you believe in karma and vipaka, I for one would be afraid of using intoxicants, especially alcohol, as the Buddha specifically warned against it and the results it would ensure.
May you be happy. May you be a peace. May you be free from suffering.
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Buckwheat
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by Buckwheat » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:57 pm

rowboat wrote:No one would smoke to get a little high or drink some alcohol while away at a retreat...
Unfortunately, this is not true. Maybe you could alter your statement to, "No wise person would smoke or drink while away at a retreat."
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Skeptic
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by Skeptic » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:33 pm

Aloka wrote:You can just be strong and say 'No' to the drugs and alcohol. It's not as hard as you think it is - just do it ! If your friends are real friends they'll respect your decision and still want to see you. Maybe in time they'll even come to be inspired by your example.
Believe it or not, I have decided to be abstinent Yesterday. I was thinking about it for a long time and had many periods
in life when I was abstinent. I can't say 'No' only when hanging out with my old friends from the childhood,
but when alone or with other people I don't need it at all. So I decided that I'm going to hang out with them maybe only when
they are not using drugs or alcohol. In fact, somehow I don't feel the connection with them like before, we are now totally
different kind of persons, but anyway It's hard to break these long-lasting relationships.
Moth wrote:I used to use intoxicants. Since becoming a Buddhist, I first gave up alcohol and then overtime all drugs. My friends still use intoxicants but respect me for my decision. If your friends will not hang out with you unless you indulge with them then they are likely not good friends, and as the Buddha says, isolation would be preferable. I can tell you with full confidence that maintaining Sila is a bliss far beyond anything an intoxicant can provide. Why? The bliss of intoxicants is impermanent, unsatisfying, and riddled with shame. Sila is something no one can take away from you. Also, if you believe in karma and vipaka, I for one would be afraid of using intoxicants, especially alcohol, as the Buddha specifically warned against it and the results it would ensure.
They would always respect my decision with absolutely no problem, but the problem is that
I just can't say 'No' to myself when they are doing it in front of me. To be honest, they are good people and doing their best to
be faithful friends, which makes it even more difficult to break the relationship with them. But If I'm
going to have to much difficulties in being abstinent, then the isolation from them is going to be the best choice.

Thing that makes me confident that I'm going to remain abstinent is that now when I have the most
money and many places to go I just decided to stay home with my familly, not going out for the Christmas Eve and also
decided to go nowhere for the New Year's Eve. So if I can do it for the holidays,
when the most action is out in the city, then I can do it always.

Thanks to all for advice :anjali:

nobody12345
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by nobody12345 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:34 pm

I think I can understand where you coming from.
I used drug for years for the purpose of spiritual exploration.
I nearly killed myself with drug and had a near death due to overdose as well.
Since I was 4 years old, I knew something was wrong with this world.
One day, I was looking at people from the hill in the town where I lived and something strange hit me about the scene that I was seeing.
I couldn't pin point it but later, I came to realize that what I experience was the glimpse into the nature of this world which is one big jail.
From teenagers till mid 30's, I did search all over the place looking for the map for the ultimate knowledge.
Not just drugs but I studied religions and magic(k) systems of various sorts.
And it is almost miracle that I found genuine map/activation code/master code/ DHAMMA since my Sila was very weak.
Some people found Dhamma by the strength of the accumulated Sila through many re-births and some peole found it from the strength of the accumulated Samadhi through many re-births.
In my case, the main factor was my sincere dedication to the ultimate knowledge that has been something extremely strong in me through many re-births.
But I can totally symphasize with the people who are willing to do drugs for the pursue of spiritual knowledge/advancement.
However, as a person who did pursue the path to the extreme, if I may add, in all honesty, it does not bring the true knowledge.
Mind you, there have been many people, who somewhat glimpsed into the fraction of the reality.
And sometimes drug can generate some penetration into certain fraction of it.
However, there have been no one, no system, no activation code that actually penetrated the entire axis of reality with or without drugs.
Many seekers went through terrible ordeals in pursue of the master knowledge and sometime they glimpsed into the fraction of the reality.
Speaking of fraction of the reality, it's like they witnessed a portion/slice of the onion and thinking they saw it all.
However, Samsara is not your average onion.
It's multi-layered (not in the physical sense, though) upon multi-layered.
Every single one of the seekers including Jesus, Percival, anonymous Gnostics and etc. only witnessed certain slice/portion of the super mega-onion that is impossible to fathom.
To sum it up, all the drug in the world cannot give you what you want.
(Along with all the religions/magic(k) systems as well)
But you do have the master code that was expounded well by the knowledge master, the Buddha.

And regarding isolation, unfortunately, it' almost impossible to avoid.
When one takes up the practice of Dhamma sincerely, it truly goes against the stream of the world.
If you live in the West, most likely, you won't find a sincere fellow Dhamma practicer.
I lost many friends when I gave up drinking, partying, meat eating, womanizing, and etc.
However, I came into complete isolation when I began the Dhamma practice seriously.
I am surrounded by the Christians / non-religious hedonists and nobody that I know accept a practicing Buddhist, let alone the strictest orthodox Buddhist like myself.
Should one be depressed with this situation?
No way.
What is going with the situation is, whenever a seeker take up the Dhamma practice with serious determination, all the problems and all the minions of Mara seem to be jumping onto the seeker to present endless challenges.
When a seeker overcame one problem/kilesa, the other will follow and sometimes multiple attacks will occur at once.
However, that means, from wider perspective, you do pose serious threat to Mara.
More gut wrenching battle means you are getting closer to 'BREAK OUT' point.
'Break out' that requires to pass through the each levels of awakening.
Mara does not enjoy somebody making serious efforts to break out from the jail/enter the stream/sailing towards to the other shore.
And of course it's going to be difficult and painful because we are the one who are attempting JAILBREAK from Samsara!
If you are isolated, if you feel pain due to the genuine & sincere practice of Dhamma, that is something to be celebrated.
The Awakened One recommended solitude/isolation if one cannot find a fellow spiritual friend.
Nobody crossed the flood (Samsara) by enjoying entertainments.
Nobody encountered the Deathless element by indulging in Samsara.
Every seekers' journey is a solitary battle.
The Buddha and Arahant disciples were fought the solitary battle and roared the lions roar in solitude.
We are no exception.
If one wants liberation, one must take up the battle.
No matter how you cut it, Dhamma practice is the battle that goes against the stream of the world, directly toward to the other shore.
The very good news is, at least now we have a system/activation code/genuine map/ that actually works.
Dhamma is THE only system that works.
I hope you be careful/stay away from drugs and save many years so you can get into the stream as soon as possible.
There's no security in any of Samaric existence.
This life might be your last chance to practice genuine Dhamma before it'd disappear for Aeon.
Again, nothing is more important than entering the stream.
It's worth enduring isolation and difficulties to enter the stream.

Metta.

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manas
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by manas » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:15 am

If you live in the West, most likely, you won't find a sincere fellow Dhamma practicer.
I lost many friends when I gave up drinking, partying, meat eating, womanizing, and etc.
However, I came into complete isolation when I began the Dhamma practice seriously.
I am surrounded by the Christians / non-religious hedonists and nobody that I know accept a practicing Buddhist, let alone the strictest orthodox Buddhist like myself.
Should one be depressed with this situation?
No way.
When I catch myself feeling sorry for myself, being so socially isolated as I am, I bring to mind how near-perfect my current situation is for the cultivation of mental calm, and stillness. The Buddha was always encouraging us to seek seclusion, so if we find ourselves alone, then rather than feeling sad or lonely, we should be glad. The only thing stopping us, then, is our own attachment and desire for companionship (yes, I still suffer from this, too, but I'm working on it).
Like a merchant with a small
but well-laden caravan
–a dangerous road,

like a person who loves life
–a poison,

one should avoid
–evil deeds.

(Dhammapada 123)


nobody12345
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by nobody12345 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:45 am

When I catch myself feeling sorry for myself, being so socially isolated as I am, I bring to mind how near-perfect my current situation is for the cultivation of mental calm, and stillness. The Buddha was always encouraging us to seek seclusion, so if we find ourselves alone, then rather than feeling sad or lonely, we should be glad. The only thing stopping us, then, is our own attachment and desire for companionship (yes, I still suffer from this, too, but I'm working on it).
Completely agree.
We should be glad because although isolation is not easy to bear, it is a great position to develop Panna/Discernment/Wisdom.
Liberation can be achieved from various approach.
However, strong emphasis on Panna development (i.e. dry path) is the fastest method and Panna is absolutely necessary to reach the point of ultimate breakout.
Not just isolation but also hardships/difficulties/challenges are great resource/objects/raw materials to work on Panna.
As Ajahn Chah used to say, the blind and the deaf cannot be enlightened because they don't have access to things to sitimulate wisdom/insight development.
So more challenges/troubles means that we are endowed/blessed with greater opportunities to develop Panna.
Challenge/hardship is like a nasty tasting medicine.
It tastes very disagreeable but it delivers result.
And the result is stronger Panna.

Metta.

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Skeptic
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by Skeptic » Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:42 pm

:goodpost:

Yes, we should be glad to have some kind of isolation. I see that isolated people with not so many friends are mostly saying that they would like to have more friends to hang out with. On the other side, I would like to have less friends and more isolation, I would like that I have never make friends with so many people. Few years before, it was really like a hell realm, always somebody calling you to go out or planning activities for the next days. So in very short time, you end up with your whole free-time being scheduled in advance. I'm not going trough this kind of stuff again, and breaking some relationships permanently might be necessity.

:anjali:

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manas
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by manas » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:06 pm

imaginos wrote: As Ajahn Chah used to say, the blind and the deaf cannot be enlightened because they don't have access to things to sitimulate wisdom/insight development.
Hi imaginos,

I'm a bit torn here, as although you have expressed appreciation of my post, I must take issue with the above, which is not true and therefore I can't believe that Ajahn Chah said it. In this modern day and age, there are plenty of resources for blind, deaf or even persons both blind AND deaf, to learn and master a language to the degree necessary to be able to access Dhamma teachings.

Furthermore, if a person was blind, they would still have four other senses (five if you count the intellect) as a working-ground for the cultivation of insight. Same for a person who was deaf.

I say this in goodwill, but please consider how the above statement you made might be perceived by a person with a physical impairment visiting this forum.

:anjali:
Like a merchant with a small
but well-laden caravan
–a dangerous road,

like a person who loves life
–a poison,

one should avoid
–evil deeds.

(Dhammapada 123)


Gena1480
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by Gena1480 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:31 am

i take pills on needly bases, do not take them as proscribe, why because it is your body and your mind, tell the doctor, i want a plan to get off the pills
those who prescribe and give pills will never take them themself ,why because they will make them sick
if you take them regular, eventually you level of talorance will increase and you become more addictive to pills, sleep, and overweight since you get older and your metabolism slows down
and pills do not help me, America is overweight because of pills and some supplements, they add powder to food
i become lazy and overeat
my head becomes dizzy
i will tell you who the pills help
they help your doctor have a job, they help hospitals work they help lawyers and the system , that says for the people, by the people
is not working, thats the way i see it
it should be abandon the wrong ways people and go to the right ways people.
abandon the sick ways people and learn the good ways
your friends and family, listen to the doctor, why thats what sick people do,
to tell you, its ok, you are sick
if you believe in you diagnoses
you have lost hope in believing that you are not sick but
going through change and it is normal
who can cure the sicknesss the person that has gone through sickness and cure himself
thats who
the Buddha cure the biggest sickness birth and death
so you have come the right place.
it is by taking less you cure, not by taking same or more.
don't let go of the believe that you normal and every person goes through change

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beeblebrox
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by beeblebrox » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:30 am

manasikara wrote:
imaginos wrote: As Ajahn Chah used to say, the blind and the deaf cannot be enlightened because they don't have access to things to sitimulate wisdom/insight development.
Hi imaginos,

I'm a bit torn here, as although you have expressed appreciation of my post, I must take issue with the above, which is not true and therefore I can't believe that Ajahn Chah said it. In this modern day and age, there are plenty of resources for blind, deaf or even persons both blind AND deaf, to learn and master a language to the degree necessary to be able to access Dhamma teachings.

Furthermore, if a person was blind, they would still have four other senses (five if you count the intellect) as a working-ground for the cultivation of insight. Same for a person who was deaf.
Thanks Manasikara, I appreciate the post. Thinking that the sound is the only real way to communicate would be nothing but the five aggregates wrapping up around within themselves... that isn't real liberation.

You only need to look at the people who are already communicating outside of it. They're signing. They're unbounded in at least this way. So, if you ever have an opportunity to practice with one, then please do so... you might develop quite an insight.

:anjali:

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manas
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by manas » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:22 am

beeblebrox wrote:
You only need to look at the people who are already communicating outside of it. They're signing. They're unbounded in at least this way. So, if you ever have an opportunity to practice with one, then please do so... you might develop quite an insight.

:anjali:
What I have seen of sign language, I have liked alot. I have a few questions about it, maybe we could start a new topic though, as it isn't the right place here.

metta
Like a merchant with a small
but well-laden caravan
–a dangerous road,

like a person who loves life
–a poison,

one should avoid
–evil deeds.

(Dhammapada 123)


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cooran
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Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by cooran » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:37 am

Hello manasikara,

Something Ajahn Chah said using blind and deaf as an example:

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 12#p131381" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It would be good if imaginos could give us the exact quote and reference he is referring to.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

nobody12345
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:05 am

Re: Drugs: A tool, useful for good and bad?

Post by nobody12345 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:57 pm

manasikara wrote:
imaginos wrote: As Ajahn Chah used to say, the blind and the deaf cannot be enlightened because they don't have access to things to sitimulate wisdom/insight development.
Hi imaginos,

I'm a bit torn here, as although you have expressed appreciation of my post, I must take issue with the above, which is not true and therefore I can't believe that Ajahn Chah said it. In this modern day and age, there are plenty of resources for blind, deaf or even persons both blind AND deaf, to learn and master a language to the degree necessary to be able to access Dhamma teachings.

Furthermore, if a person was blind, they would still have four other senses (five if you count the intellect) as a working-ground for the cultivation of insight. Same for a person who was deaf.

I say this in goodwill, but please consider how the above statement you made might be perceived by a person with a physical impairment visiting this forum.

:anjali:
Hi manasikara and others.

No problem.
I will provide with direct quote and page number later.
I believe it was from the Teachings of Ajahn Chah that I read.
(That is the PDF book of 725 pages long)
If it was not from that PDF book, then it was from one of my collection of his books.
Either way, I will track it down and provide the name of the book, page, and direct quote.

However, I need to emphasize something.
The way I understood Ajahn Chah's intention, he did not say it to talk down the impaired.
He stated it to arouse strong determination from his disciples to deal with various difficult expriences of daily life with more conviction.
From the context, it was clear to me that he mentioned it to draw the attention of his disciple that the various difficult challenges are great objects/experiences to improve and exercise wisdom.
So if you look at the statement like a slice of pie, it might look awkward.
But the point of the statement was supreme when it was understood from the overall context and its audience.
To be honest, the very thought of talking down the impaired did not even come up in my head when I read it and contemplated its meaning.

Anyway, no worry.
I will track it down and provide you with detail.

Metta.

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