Bedbugs and the 1st precept

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Ferox
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Re: Bed Bugs

Post by Ferox »

this seems to just be one of those things that is unavoidable to the house holder. I agree with what Cittisanto is saying. Bed Bugs is more then a mere uncomfortable nuisance and without a doubt needs to be dealt with in one way or another as it effects not just your family but the whole community.
-just one more being treading the ancient path of Dhamma-
EmptyShadow
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Re: Bed Bugs

Post by EmptyShadow »

But it's killing! It's "funny" how ppl expect to get rid of bad kamma results by doing more bad kamma.
I dont know what's the best solusion for massive infestation but to me it seems that many buddhists dont take the first precept very seriously and go for the poison or call exterminators after seeing one bug or so.
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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Bed Bugs

Post by Khalil Bodhi »

EmptyShadow,

I can assure you that I take the first precept very seriously to the point of escorting mice and cockroaches out the door and to the street. Furthermore, I am aware that there are kammic implications for my actions. Were I to be a monk and not responsible for my childrens' welfare I could see handling it differently but, at present, I am not. The problem with bed bugs is that they spread like wildfire and multiply like crazy which means that they will soon overrun an apartment building. See here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/bedbugs/htm ... home.shtml Mettaya.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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EmptyShadow
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Re: Bed Bugs

Post by EmptyShadow »

Hello Mettaya

Sorry if i have insulted someone with my previous post, it was not my intension.
Also it wasn't addressed specifically to you but more to old topic about fleas where many participants dont show any mercy to insects and other animals(mices), and admit that thay kill or would kill them if thay disturb their lives in any way.

I dont know how big is your problem with bed bugs and what's like to take care of and protect your family/ children so i realy dont want to judje your decisions. :anjali:
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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Bed Bugs

Post by Khalil Bodhi »

EmptyShadow wrote:Hello Mettaya

Sorry if i have insulted someone with my previous post, it was not my intension.
Also it wasn't addressed specifically to you but more to old topic about fleas where many participants dont show any mercy to insects and other animals(mices), and admit that thay kill or would kill them if thay disturb their lives in any way.

I dont know how big is your problem with bed bugs and what's like to take care of and protect your family/ children so i realy dont want to judje your decisions. :anjali:
Hi EmptyShadow,

No harm done and no offense taken. Samsara is a bad deal all around. Sukhi hotu!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

The Stoic Buddhist: https://www.quora.com/q/dwxmcndlgmobmeu ... pOR2p0uAdH
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com
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FatDaddy
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Bedbugs and the 1st precept

Post by FatDaddy »

Confession time. My family recently incurred an infestation of bedbugs, probably from purchasing bedding from a second hand store. If it was just me I probably would just tolerate them. They don't even bite me, but my wife an daughter were severely affected by the bites. Simply removing them was not an option unless we replaced all of our beds and furniture, which we could not afford to do. I killed and conspired to kill hundreds of them. I feel a great deal of remorse about this. I have been sending Metta to all beings who are reviled and killed just for existing. It is my strong intent that they have a favorable rebirth.

We are being vigilant about preventing anything like this from occurring in the future. But if it did, I don’t know how I would handle it differently.

Is this the karma of being a householder? I would appreciate compassionate feedback.
Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
— Sn 1.8
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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Bedbugs and the 1st precept

Post by Khalil Bodhi »

FatDaddy,

I just merged your thread with one which I had started earlier. Sometimes, we find ourselves making decisions which we know will bring bad results and harm others but, rather than beating ourselves over the head with it, we should just be mindful of it, forgive ourselves and try to do better next time. We live in NYC and whenever my kids see furniture on the curb they immediately say "Bed Bugs!" so we do our best to stay away from second-hand furnishings. Nonetheless, sometimes there's just nothing to do for it. I wish you the best and take care!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

The Stoic Buddhist: https://www.quora.com/q/dwxmcndlgmobmeu ... pOR2p0uAdH
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com
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Ben
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Re: Bedbugs and the 1st precept

Post by Ben »

Greetings FD,

Unfortunately, being a householder you are in a situation where you will have to make some very difficult decisions.
Its something we all face. Try and bring wisdom to the difficult situations where you find yourself.
Be vigilant with your practice.
with metta,

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

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FatDaddy
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Re: Bedbugs and the 1st precept

Post by FatDaddy »

KB and Ben, thanks for the kind response.
Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
— Sn 1.8
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manas
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Re: Bed Bugs

Post by manas »

EmptyShadow wrote:But it's killing! It's "funny" how ppl expect to get rid of bad kamma results by doing more bad kamma.
I dont know what's the best solusion for massive infestation but to me it seems that many buddhists dont take the first precept very seriously and go for the poison or call exterminators after seeing one bug or so.
Emptyshadow,

things change when you have children, one day you will understand how sometimes difficult decisions must be made. I had to apply poison to my child's hair to get rid of an infestation of lice, living off her blood and causing near-constant itching. Yes, that was killing, but I wasn't going to ask my beauty-conscious daughter to shave all her hair off. Lay life is complicated!

:anjali:
To the Buddha-refuge i go; to the Dhamma-refuge i go; to the Sangha-refuge i go.
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bodom
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Re: Bedbugs and the 1st precept

Post by bodom »

Insects and pest control

...there does appear to be some differences in the weight of the negative kamma assigned to the killing of smaller beings as compared to larger beings and humans. The Vinaya makes one such distinction, considering murder an offense so serious as to require permanent expulsion from the Sangha (Parajika 3), while killing an animal is a far less serious offence (Pacittiya 62), on a par with insulting someone, idle chatter and having a non-regulation size sitting mat...There will be negative kamma associated with the killing of any animal, which includes insects, but it appears that the weight of the kamma will be lesser for insects.
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... st_control" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

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Maarten
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Re: Bedbugs and the 1st precept

Post by Maarten »

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Maarten
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Re: Bedbugs and the 1st precept

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Kamran
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Re: Bedbugs and the 1st precept

Post by Kamran »

It would be irrational not to kill the bedbugs given they pose a health concern.

I think it is possible in any religion to become an extremist or take it to the point of insanity.
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
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manas
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Re: Bedbugs and the 1st precept

Post by manas »

Kamran wrote:It would be irrational not to kill the bedbugs given they pose a health concern.

I think it is possible in any religion to become an extremist or take it to the point of insanity.
Indeed...I am yet to find a single person, Buddhist or otherwise, who would not take medicine to expel parasitic worms from his or her intestinal tract, if they knew they had a potentially dangerous infection and such medicine was offered. Would this kill the worms? Yes. Would I do it? Yes.

I don't know offhand, but I suspect that bedbugs might be able to transmit toxins or germs to persons who are bitten. If that were the case, and if one's children were at risk, then it's clear that something would have to be done to protect one's children. We should not become fanatical at the expense of reason.
To the Buddha-refuge i go; to the Dhamma-refuge i go; to the Sangha-refuge i go.
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