Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Ben
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by Ben » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:46 am

Greetings Jeff,

Just continue to practice as best you can given your circumstances.
Kamma, according to the Buddha, is intention.
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..

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rowboat
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by rowboat » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:37 am

Hello Jeff, on the subject of taking life I would advise you to consider the following:

Five faultless gifts
"There are these five gifts, five great gifts — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. Which five?

"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans...


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... asila.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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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tiltbillings
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:51 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:You could rape or murder mindfully
I don't think so.
>> 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.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Kim OHara
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by Kim OHara » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:00 am

jeff144 wrote:... refraining from killing is as close to a dogma as there exists in Buddhism. In actuality, I am not at all bothered by the act of putting down an animal and I feel as if I am being mindful and compassionate, but perhaps this is an illusion since it seems so contrary to the Buddha's teachings. I have no guilt for my actions and I am contemplative when I kill animals, but I don't know if this is a trap that my mind has created.
Hi, Jeff,
When you look at the teachings, you find that there aren't many that say, "You must (or must not) do such-and-such." Far more often - and IMO more sensibly - they say such-and-such is undesirable, unskillful or bad for your spiritual health (i.e. actions have consequences) and that we should always think carefully about what we do and why we are doing it (that's mindfulness, of course). Take it from there, not from the (over) simplified dogma, and see what you think.

:namaste:
Kim

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robertk
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by robertk » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:44 pm

jeff144 wrote:Hi Ringo,

Do Buddhists generally consider bacteria/fungi/etc. that are killed when we brush our teeth or use antibacterial soap to be of karmic consequence? Plants are much more specialized and "intelligent" than these organisms. My impression was that there had to be some minimum of a neurological system for a being to be considered sentient in the Buddhist view (nevermind the scientific view).

-Jeff
Plants, bacteria, virus, fungi are not alive in the Buddhist sense as they have no mentaility. They are sinply complicated types of rupa.
Animals , fish and insects do have mentality and thus are alive.

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by LonesomeYogurt » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:42 pm

tiltbillings wrote:I don't think so.
I don't think there's any reason to assume that mindfulness is impossible when inhumane actions are being committed. A thief must have incredible concentration to pick pockets and a tyrant must exert incredible effort to oppress his citizens. It's just wrong concentration or wrong effort. I think that goes for mindfulness too. Is there something I'm missing? I'm certainly no expert.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:00 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I don't think so.
I don't think there's any reason to assume that mindfulness is impossible when inhumane actions are being committed. A thief must have incredible concentration to pick pockets and a tyrant must exert incredible effort to oppress his citizens. It's just wrong concentration or wrong effort. I think that goes for mindfulness too. Is there something I'm missing? I'm certainly no expert.
It is not mindfulness as the Buddha taught it.
>> 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.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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cooran
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by cooran » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:29 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I don't think so.
I don't think there's any reason to assume that mindfulness is impossible when inhumane actions are being committed. A thief must have incredible concentration to pick pockets and a tyrant must exert incredible effort to oppress his citizens. It's just wrong concentration or wrong effort. I think that goes for mindfulness too. Is there something I'm missing? I'm certainly no expert.

Hello LY, all,

It isn’t mindfulness (right or wrong) – it is Wrong Concentration as taught in the Sallekha sutta:

Wrong Concentration (18)
''Wrong concentration is focussing the mind on a misdeed that one intends to commit by body or speech. It is concentration that enables one to do unwholesome deeds successfully. For example, when you intend to tell a lie, your intention will materialise only if you fix your mind on the words that you have to utter falsely. If your mind wanders, you are likely to speak the truth unwittingly. It is said that in courts the truth about some cases comes to light when witnesses who have agreed to give false evidence are tricked by lawyers whose cross-examination is designed to create confusion. This is due to lack of concentration on the part of the witnesses, so concentration is vital when doing an evil deed. Wrong concentration is very powerful when men plan a massacre, a big robbery, or produce lethal weapons.’’
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Sal ... ffort.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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 ---

perkele
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by perkele » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:11 am

tiltbillings wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:You could rape or murder mindfully
I don't think so.
Image
:jumping:

Just a little joke.

But returning back to topic I will share my ineffable wisdom with you: I would recommend you don't stray from the issue at hand to theoretical considerations or sidetracks, consideration of how many animals are killed by consuming this and that product or have been killed during the research for this and that technology and medicine that you yourself may and would or would not benefit from later or now or not. Your foremost consideration should always be what is done by yourself, not what is done by others or even has been done long time ago. If there's medicine available that helps to cure a sickness it would be stupid not to use it. Whether thousands of rats have been killed during the research for its development or not has no bearing on its useful and wholesome function in the present. Whether bacteria and funghi are sentient beings is a question that they should investigate themselves.
But your problem is different: Whether you can brush your teeth mindfully and with right concentration or not that is a thing only you can see for yourself.

I hope you get my point. I'm not meaning to make fun of you but only of many silly considerations.

The Buddha was very clear about not killing. And he didn't argue about it and provide complicated justifications other than the simple fact that all sentient beings want to live and are afraid of death.
The Dhamma is simple (in the basics of right conduct at the least). Your life is complicated. But the purpose of the Dhamma, especially the moral precepts, is less for comfortable accomodation in complicated affairs than for simplification of affairs to the point where clarity about all things can emerge.
I suggest that you do your job mindfully as long as you have not chosen to quit. Mindful of the fact that all sentient beings want to live and are afraid of death while doing what you have to do, and mindful of whatever else is important in your life to consider. Of course your life is complicated. You need a job, you need to support yourself. You need to be mindful of these things as well.
I'm not saying you should quit your job. See for yourself what is the best. So I second Ben's advice:
Ben wrote:Greetings Jeff,

Just continue to practice as best you can given your circumstances.
Kamma, according to the Buddha, is intention.
kind regards,

Ben

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tiltbillings
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:38 am

perkele wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:You could rape or murder mindfully
I don't think so.
. . .
Interesting, but it really did not address what I said, at all.
>> 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.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

perkele
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by perkele » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:18 am

tiltbillings wrote:Interesting, but it really did not address what I said, at all.
Sorry for causing misunderstanding. Nothing what I said was meant to address what you said. I just saw an opportunity for a silly joke and could not resist and that was completely unrelated to the rest of my posting by which I was just trying to show off my ineffable wisdom, which is of course difficult, because it is ineffable.
Okay, just don't take me too serious.
:coffee:
:buddha1:

santisasana
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by santisasana » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:35 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:

tiltbillings wrote:I don't think so.


I don't think there's any reason to assume that mindfulness is impossible when inhumane actions are being committed. A thief must have incredible concentration to pick pockets and a tyrant must exert incredible effort to oppress his citizens. It's just wrong concentration or wrong effort. I think that goes for mindfulness too. Is there something I'm missing? I'm certainly no expert.

It is not mindfulness as the Buddha taught it.
Indeed, according to the Abhidhamma, mindfulness/sati is a wholesome, beautiful mental factor which is only associated with wholesome, beautiful mind/citta (kusala citta). When there is sati, the mind is pure.
Doing such deeds like killing, stealing, torturing ect... implies unwholesome minds (akusala citta), devoid of sati. There can be volition (cetana), one-pointedness (ekaggatâ), attention (manasikâra)..., but no mindfulness/sati as defined by the Buddha.

Mettâ

santisasana
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by santisasana » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:46 pm

Jeff,

Earning a livelihood is not easy. And at times, to make choice may be difficult.

In the Sallekha Sutta explained by Mahasi Sayadaw, there are many explanations about killing, what are the conditions for an act to be considered as killing, the kamma and the results of killing...
Understanding more about that, and according to your own conditions and spiritual aspirations, you may be able to make a more conscious and wise decision.

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Sal ... ml#Killing" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mettâ

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Eccedustin
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by Eccedustin » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:33 am

It is far more important to consider the suffering, feelings, emotions and thoughts of animals than it is to consider the karmic consequences of causing suffering or death. Killing/inflicting suffering is bad because it produces this negative feeling/loss of life in other beings.

Reduce suffering/death at all costs. This is always possible no matter what career you are in. Treat ALL BEINGS with respect and love.

:buddha1:
The universe is awake, conscious and aware of itself! The universe is awake, conscious and aware of itself because we are awake, conscious and aware of ourselves. We are the not just in the universe, we are the universe.

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Hanzze
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Re: Right Livelihood and being a biologist

Post by Hanzze » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:56 am

robertk wrote:
jeff144 wrote:Hi Ringo,

Do Buddhists generally consider bacteria/fungi/etc. that are killed when we brush our teeth or use antibacterial soap to be of karmic consequence? Plants are much more specialized and "intelligent" than these organisms. My impression was that there had to be some minimum of a neurological system for a being to be considered sentient in the Buddhist view (nevermind the scientific view).

-Jeff
Plants, bacteria, virus, fungi are not alive in the Buddhist sense as they have no mentaility. They are sinply complicated types of rupa.
Animals , fish and insects do have mentality and thus are alive.
Is there any reference about this beside of comentaries and teaching as usal? "Complicated types of rupa" could be very hurtful for some.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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