lice

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
chownah
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Re: lice

Post by chownah » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:01 pm

This thread seems to be alot about just a discussion of whether to kill them or not. There are two camps on this (maybe more)....on camp says don't its really bad and one says do its really not so bad.....I have never seen any discussion of this kind of thing (there have been many...mice...mosquitos...cockroaches...etc.) change anyones mind....the difference seems to come from a basic difference of opinion about the meaning of the dhamma with respect to individuals' actions. Perhaps the only benefit of these discussion is to try to convince those few newcomers who are trying to decide on this issue but my view is that these discussions will make little difference to them (on either side) if they study the suttas carefully in that the way they are interpreted I think will be a much stronger factor in determining on which side of the issue they will land.
chownah

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seeker242
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Re: lice

Post by seeker242 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:06 pm

dylanj wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:23 am
seeker242 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:37 pm
dylanj wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:51 am


that is killing & against the first precept.
Then so is driving a car since many insects are killed doing that too.
that is unintentional. killing lice because one wants to remove them from one's head is intentional.
Combing them out, without actually wanting to kill them, and they happen to die because of that, would also be unintentional.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: lice

Post by AgarikaJ » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:29 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:06 pm
Combing them out, without actually wanting to kill them, and they happen to die because of that, would also be unintentional.
I disagree, because having mindfully thought about your ability to use the comb without causing harm, you surely would have realized that human clumsiness makes it an impossible task.

So the lice would never just 'happen to die'. Or at last you would ńeed to stop immediately after seeing the first squashed louse; ditto after having observed the first squashed fly on the windshield of a car.

Which makes me muse: who said that the right observance of Sila has to be easy and give simple answers?
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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seeker242
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Re: lice

Post by seeker242 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:02 pm

AgarikaJ wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:29 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:06 pm
Combing them out, without actually wanting to kill them, and they happen to die because of that, would also be unintentional.
I disagree, because having mindfully thought about your ability to use the comb without causing harm, you surely would have realized that human clumsiness makes it an impossible task.

So the lice would never just 'happen to die'. Or at last you would ńeed to stop immediately after seeing the first squashed louse; ditto after having observed the first squashed fly on the windshield of a car.

Which makes me muse: who said that the right observance of Sila has to be easy and give simple answers?
Then driving a car would also be breaking the precept. Because having mindfully thought about your ability to use the car without causing harm, you surely would have realized that very nature of a car makes that an impossible task.

I don't know of any monks who refuse to use a car because using a car = breaking the precepts. There are probably Jain monks that do that. But, this is discussing Buddhist precepts, not Jainism. In Buddhist precepts, intention is the King.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: lice

Post by salayatananirodha » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:11 am

A mind imbued with hate does more harm than a lice epidemic; mental acts have more weight to them in the suttas.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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AgarikaJ
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Re: lice

Post by AgarikaJ » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:17 am

seeker242 wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:02 pm
Then driving a car would also be breaking the precept. Because having mindfully thought about your ability to use the car without causing harm, you surely would have realized that very nature of a car makes that an impossible task.

I don't know of any monks who refuse to use a car because using a car = breaking the precepts. There are probably Jain monks that do that. But, this is discussing Buddhist precepts, not Jainism. In Buddhist precepts, intention is the King.
But that was my point.

It is indeed impossible to go through life -- especially as a layman, but also to a lesser degree as a monk -- and not cause harm, including constantly breaking precepts. Therefore developing mindfulness and a highly refined sense how to reduce any harm to be caused is actually the path to Right Mindfulness and Right Knowledge.

If you realize that the very nature of a car makes it a destructive, unwholesome object to use, if you would be serious, then you would need to find a way to avoid its use -- instead of lazily proclaiming that all the death caused is not your intention.

This is the reason, why monks are driven, instead of driving. See the general rules in the Wat Pah Pong monasteries:
p. 232
Luang Por was noted for establishing conventions at Wat Pah Pong aimed at promoting mindfulness rather than convenience. The ‘Great Standards’ requires monks to decide on the suitability of any new item not covered in the Vinaya Piṭaka by deciding whether it is most akin to the things that the Buddha prohibited or to the things that he permitted. Based on this criterion, driving a car, for example, is prohibited, while travelling by plane is permitted.
And the general advice from Ajahn Chah for monks wishing to follow duthanga practices (I agree, this is extreme practice, but we do not need to go to the Jains for it) was:
p. 471:
The great respect afforded to tudong monks by lay Buddhists had led unscrupulous monks to take advantage of it by masquerading as ascetics in order to garner donations. Scathing about the corruption of the tudong tradition that he saw around him, Luang Por would refer to the tudong ideals that he had inherited:
"Even if there were vehicles, you didn’t make use of them. You relied on your mindfulness and wisdom. You travelled with physical pain, you looked at the painful feelings. You went contemplating your mind. You went for coolness, for practice, to search, to look for Dhamma and peace. You went into the mountains and forests looking for truth."
What do I take away from that as a layperson? If I insist on driving a car, I must be aware that I am causing harm and create Bad Kamma for myself; it is my choice. I could take the bus or walk, so there are (always) alternatives.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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seeker242
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Re: lice

Post by seeker242 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:02 pm

AgarikaJ wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:17 am

What do I take away from that as a layperson? If I insist on driving a car, I must be aware that I am causing harm and create Bad Kamma for myself; it is my choice. I could take the bus or walk, so there are (always) alternatives.
Simply driving a car does not make bad kamma. The problem with that idea is it ignores the fact that bad kamma is made only by intentional action. Using the above logic, walking in the grass is breaking the precepts because one must be aware there are small animals underfoot. However, no reasonable person would try to assert that simply walking in the grass violates buddhist precepts. Why? Because it is intention that defines Buddhist ethics. Any discussion of Sila that does not acknowledge intention, is a misguided discussion. A monk is not asking a layperson to break the precepts simply by asking a layperson to drive them somewhere. To assert otherwise is nonsensical because it completely ignores the most important thing of all and the only determining factor, intention. It is impossible to unintentionally break the 1st precept.
"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect."
— AN 6.63
Kamma = intention is the sole foundation of Buddhist ethics. Merely using a car to go somewhere does not break any precepts. It doesn't matter if it's completely harmless or not or if you are aware of it. That matters only according to a Jainist view of kamma.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: lice

Post by AgarikaJ » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:26 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:02 pm
AgarikaJ wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:17 am

What do I take away from that as a layperson? If I insist on driving a car, I must be aware that I am causing harm and create Bad Kamma for myself; it is my choice. I could take the bus or walk, so there are (always) alternatives.
Simply driving a car does not make bad kamma. The problem with that idea is it ignores the fact that bad kamma is made only by intentional action.
"I pushed this person down the mountain cliff, but I only wanted to enjoy the colorful splatter. No precept was broken."

"I will decide not to eat from this day on. But I intend to life forever, so it is not suicide."

"I drank the whole bottle of wine, but I really, really, really intended to stay not drunk." [weirdly a discussion coming back on this forum again and again, how much alcohol one might be able to drink before being too drunk and in breach]

You are right, intention is the key, in this much we agree. But if I know that my action will *unavoidably* cause harm, I cannot say that still acting (with this knowledge in mind), I had no intention of harm to happen -- even if I made myself believe to not have wanted it.

Therefore I say, that the degree of mindfulness one has developed, surely modifies the action one would see as right; a truly careless or ignorant person might not be able to grasp the relationship between dead insects on the windshield and the car having been in fast motion. He would be not in breach of the precept.

For all others, there has to be a moment, where this assumed innocence cannot be held upright any more and is ummasked as just another delusion, to avoid having to accept responsibility for one's actions.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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seeker242
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Re: lice

Post by seeker242 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:56 pm

AgarikaJ wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:26 pm
But if I know that my action will *unavoidably* cause harm, I cannot say that still acting (with this knowledge in mind), I had no intention of harm to happen --
That is precisely why strict Jains won't walk on grass. Yet, in Buddhism, simply walking on grass is not unethical. Simply being alive will *unavoidably* cause harm, that does not mean it's unethical to simply be alive. Yes, you can say that if you actually don't have an intention to cause harm. Using that logic, a monk has an intention to cause harm, simply by asking a layperson to drive them somewhere in a car. That simply isn't true.

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dylanj
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Re: lice

Post by dylanj » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:33 am

Sakka addressed Mātali in verse:

“Do you see the nest in this tree? /
It contains two eggs.
If the chariot continues its course /
it will strike the tree and break the eggs.
I would rather throw my body /
against the host of the asuras
and lose my life /
than harm these eggs.”
https://suttacentral.net/sa-2.49/en/bingenheimer
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

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dylanj
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Re: lice

Post by dylanj » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:03 am

Just as the ocean is stable and does not overstep its tideline; in the same way my disciples do not — even for the sake of their lives — overstep the training rules I have formulated for them... This is the second amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.
Uposatha Sutta
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

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dylanj
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Re: lice

Post by dylanj » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:57 am

chownah wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:01 pm
This thread seems to be alot about just a discussion of whether to kill them or not. There are two camps on this (maybe more)....on camp says don't its really bad and one says do its really not so bad.....I have never seen any discussion of this kind of thing (there have been many...mice...mosquitos...cockroaches...etc.) change anyones mind....the difference seems to come from a basic difference of opinion about the meaning of the dhamma with respect to individuals' actions. Perhaps the only benefit of these discussion is to try to convince those few newcomers who are trying to decide on this issue but my view is that these discussions will make little difference to them (on either side) if they study the suttas carefully in that the way they are interpreted I think will be a much stronger factor in determining on which side of the issue they will land.
chownah
true
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

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dylanj
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Re: lice

Post by dylanj » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:57 am

one_awakening wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:23 pm
AgarikaJ wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:57 am

My answer would be: the precepts are training rules, not commandments;

Exactly. It's a guide not a rule book.
Just as the ocean is stable and does not overstep its tideline; in the same way my disciples do not — even for the sake of their lives — overstep the training rules I have formulated for them... This is the second amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

Uposatha Sutta
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

Digity
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Re: lice

Post by Digity » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:40 pm

Another variation of this question is whether you'd kill termites if your house was infested. I personally would get the house treated. I'm guessing the OP would let the termites destroy their house?

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dylanj
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Re: lice

Post by dylanj » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:22 am

Digity wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:40 pm
Another variation of this question is whether you'd kill termites if your house was infested. I personally would get the house treated. I'm guessing the OP would let the termites destroy their house?
i hope that's what i'd do yes.
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

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