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Alan

Smoking and karma

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Hi,

I didn't know where it's better to post, in this forum or on "health, environment,...". But, here I go:

Do you think that smoking creates negative karma? Any opinion on this?

Alan

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:)) Surely this post will allow various oppinions to be clarified... Please, fair play ;-}

 

A thought here: "The freedom of one stops where starts the freedom of the others" :)

 

Thank you.

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Guest lodreu

Tashi Delek,

 

It's quite a direct question and it might trigger different emotional bursts :wink: I will not speak about the negative influence smoking has on our mind, and also the exemple it sets for others (oups too late 8) )

 

I would just like to relate a text explanation, which I heard from various sources, from different Lamas. It is said in that text that tobacco is clearly know to be a plant introduced with the clear wish to arm sentient beings.

The story says that at one time there was a very harmful demon, who because of his karma and the conditions created by other beings was very negative and creating much damage. Till the point when he was "expelled", or controlled by a higher spiritual being.

But before that, the story express in a symbolic way that this demon was wounded, and that he spilled his blood on earth, with the intention to grow a plant to which sentient beings would be easilly drown and attached, and which would continue the creation of damage.

 

It means that every smoker is falling in the trap of this negative spirit, creating negativities for himslef by reinforcing certain attachements, and by creating a certain type of pollution. But also is participating in the continuation of the suffering this demon has created for himself. As for every cigarette we smoke, a part fo the negativity is shared by the one who, with a wrong intention, introduced the base for it.

 

Multiple reasons to leave this habit, for ourselves, and for the sake of this being.

 

best regards,

Lodreu

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Here are a few excerpts from a letter by Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche; some arguments against, clearly stating that smoking indeed is (very) negative karma:

 

"It (smoking) can cause obstacles to your life, shorten your life, and cause cancer. Not only in the teachings, but even in ordinary life, it is said that smoking is harmful. It is also unbelievably gross.

 

Doctors understand that smoking is harmful for you. It is barred in many places, such as restaurants, theaters, and shops. The teachings say that the material in cigarettes is impure and that evil beings caused the substances to grow in order to interfere with people’s practice and degenerate the mind. With a bad intention, the evil beings made prayers for tobacco to grow to harm people in their practice of virtue, to degenerate their mind, to get them to engage in nonvirtue, and so that their mind is not free from delusion.

 

I once saw in a morgue the dead body of a woman who died of lung cancer from smoking, and her lungs were blue. A Tibetan doctor from Dharamsala put her hand into the body and took out her lung, which was all black and blue. So, if you want to die like this, you are most welcome.

 

It is said in a text composed by Panchen Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen (who also composed the Guru Puja) that when someone asked him to do phowa practice, he asked first if the person who had just died smoked. He said that if the person smoked he would not be able to do phowa, because he would not be able to transfer the consciousness through the person’s crown. Since even high lamas can’t transfer the consciousness of a person who smokes to the pure lands, if you want to be free, and especially if you want to go to the pure land at the time of death, don’t smoke.

 

Smoking pollutes your whole body, making it impure. It makes it difficult for virtuous thoughts to arise, and it makes it very difficult not to have attachment. Smoking just gives some temporary pleasure, and that’s all. When you die, you don’t take one single benefit from smoking with you. Like an empty reputation in the world, it doesn’t protect you from suffering. It can’t make you achieve a good rebirth in the next life, and besides that, it can’t liberate sentient beings from samsara, and can’t actualize enlightenment."

 

"But if you can succeed over the enemy, delusion, by avoiding smoking cigarettes, which desire craves and which is your object of desire, that is so fantastic! You create less negative karma, and each time you succeed, it protects you from the lower realms, the most unbelievable, longest suffering in samsara. Not following delusion also causes you to achieve liberation and helps you to reach enlightenment. Each time you create the cause of realizations on the path to enlightenment. By defeating delusion, especially attachment, you will be able to liberate numberless sentient beings from eons of sufferings in samsara and bring them to enlightenment."

 

"Padmasambhava explained how extremely harmful tobacco smoke is even to the area where you live, besides to the person smoking it, because it degenerates the mind and harms your chakras, winds, and drops. It is very harmful to the development of virtue. When you smoke, you pollute the environment and make the whole area impure. Many other beings, such as nagas and devas, go away, because they cannot bear it. They also harm people, who get very sick, with arthritis and so on, because of the smoke polluting and harming the nagas.

 

Your smoking also makes people who don’t smoke unhappy. When I am in the same room as someone who is smoking, it’s very unpleasant for me. It is difficult to breathe, and it has such a bad smell. I find it hard, because I feel I have to breathe the smoke, and it goes into my lungs."

 

"Smoking harms not just you, but so many other beings. The teachings say that the smoke from cigarettes destroys whole cities of nagas, like a tornado blowing everything away. This is what happens to them when you smoke.

 

With much love and prayers..."

 

From Lama Zopa's Advice at lamayeshe.com

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Guest 3ndr3

Tashi Delek everyone!

 

From the standpoint of ex smoker, I can assure you that smoking, like any other addiction, creates very lot of negative karma, all caused by the heavy attachment to that feeling what a cigarette/drug gives you. For that attachment sooner or later one will have to, knowingly or not knowingly, make some sacrifices (like lying, rather be hungry than without the drug…). I think, that the question is when will one see the consequences of those sacrifices or better what is the last thing which one will/could give off (health, life…) and what kind of suffering is one wiling to take for his addiction, because sooner or later one will be in that situation.

 

So my wish is that everyone quits smoking in this very moment and all the addiction of this world should vanish.

 

Best regards

3ndr3

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Tashi Delek,

 

If someone smokes in the room with other people apparently this gives another ethical dimension to the whole thing. Should smokers ask others for permission to smoke in their company :roll: and if they don't ask for it can others diplomatically demand from smokers not to light a cigarette ;-}?

 

This opens another question: how much can we demand from others? Knowing that also "mental pollution" exists, can we also demand from others not to e.g. curse and swear in our company? And if yes - where would this end - in all kinds of mutual demands and prohibitions :twisted:? Do we possess enough wisdom to play this game :maybe:?

 

Best regards,

Draftsman

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Tashi delek,

 

It is clear that smoking brings lot of negativities, to the health and to the mind, as said above.

 

The basic respect is expectable from smokers toward non-smoker. Because, after all, the harm comes from the smoker regarding the cigarette.

 

It is nice for me to see that many countries of Europe have taken strict decision in this matter ie. no smoking in all public areas. Because smokers do not respect non-smokers, and it becomes difficult to go to take a tea or eat in any restaurant or 'café' without to come out dizzy, intoxicated, and with a bad smell on your clothes!

I hope Slovenia will join them in this decision.

 

Not to mention parents who are smoking in the presence of their children, whom I consider as criminals.

 

The other point is not just about smokers, but Buddhist practitioners. And when it's combined. I would surely expect much more self-discipline from Buddhist who are still smoking... though by itself it sounds contradictory (not Buddhist and self-discipline ;) but Buddhist and smoking), as we are supposed to work on our addictions, specially when they are a direct threat to our precious human rebirth, and harm the others, and the World.

But, as Buddhist, we have to be also patient and compassionate toward those who still have such addiction... And we might through the first stone, as we might have some other addictions ourselves, not as obvious as cigarettes...

 

Furthermore, when we are just coming out of a teaching or a practice, we can hope from practitioners a mind more directed toward Bodhicitta and respect, happy to comply with any request which is going toward good health, and toward reminding us what we might not have remembered ourselves: respecting the others.

After all, this is the meaning of the Lojong.

 

I am not judging those who smokes, who didn't yet overcome their addiction to such poison. Indeed, I'm instead praying for them.

Yet, in any place I have the possibility to give advises, I would ask people to respect the 10 non-virtuous actions... as it is a basic engagement of all Buddhists.

 

All the best, Gelong T. Shenphen

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An interesting piece of information:

 

Separate smoking sections don't cut it: Only smoke-free buildings and public places truly protect nonsmokers from the hazards of breathing in other people's tobacco smoke, says a long-awaited surgeon general's report.

 

More here.

 

Best regards,

Draftsman

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i am also an ex-smoker Buddhist.  i was foolish enough to start smoking before i started practicing.  But, practice has helped greatly.

 

Of course smoking is bad karma.  We harm ourselves and others and the environment (air polution). 

 

And the smoker is working out an obstacle.  i am grateful that i could quit.

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Tashi Delek

 

What can I do when the environment in which I live  in with another person becomes smoked and that person doesn't respect others' free space? In example he goes in other places in the apartment but because the doors and windows aren't new, it all comes into the other part of the apartment. What can I do? I told him and askd him to go outside but nothing... I tried being patient but I'm getting the fealing it doesn't help. :0022:

 

I have an article in slovene - sorry I couldn't find one in English :(http://www.kemija.org/index.php?option=com...d=185&Itemid=38

 

Best regards

Namgyel ;)

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Hi Namgyel,

 

Well, a thorny situation you have.  First, it is very sad to watch someone you care about slowly kill themselves.  Second, it is scarey to think they want to take you with them.  But, it is all unconscious on your roomate's part.  Not an excuse for him though. 

 

You can only do what you can do.  Find another roommate?  Talk with him about why he is trying to hurt himself?  Put all the ashtrays outside the apartment?  Hah!

Maybe, don't give up. 

 

And as a Buddhist it is sad to watch others increase their suffering.  Hah!  It is sad to watch ourselves increase our own suffering.  But, we cannot avoid it. 

 

Tashi deleg

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Tashi Delek,

 

I can't change the roommate since it is my brother. Secondly I really tried talking to him - it is getting better. However I think that I can't really change what he's doing unless he'd like to change it.

 

Question: He's using the sticks I buy him at the buddhist teachings for destroying the smoke. Since he hasn't anything else. Can he use them for that? Is it appropriate?

 

I do agree with you basudarini that it is sad to watch people not necesserely kill themselves but to watch them degenerate, get slower, harder to breath and at some eventually die. What mostly is sad is that, nevermind the reincarnation - how much good and exciting things they could do in this life already but they don't because of that discusting habbit :mad:!! When we add reincarnation it's sad to think they are missing a lot of spiritual development. What is lifting me up is that nothing is permanent - so I think one day all of this will change... if nothing else what we can do is not critically look at them in my opinion but only talk to them and give them us as an example (as if I remember correctly) Ghandi said: "Be the change you want to see".

 

 

Best regards,

Namgyel

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Question: He's using the sticks I buy him at the buddhist teachings for destroying the smoke. Since he hasn't anything else. Can he use them for that? Is it appropriate?

 

Actually, it exist some candles with a good and subtle smell, specially against the cigarette’s smoke.

Incense of course is good; it gives good smell, and purifies more from an energy point of view. But I’m afraid that in an environment already "smoky", it might not be very light for the lungs. Candles will do better; even just simple candles.

After you opened the window, and removed all the smoke, then, yes, incense will be very good to "clean" and purify the room.

 

Indeed, smoking is a bad habit, dangerous for oneself and for the others. If someone is not enough concerned for his/her own precious human rebirth, s/he should think about the others, and the way smoke does endanger the life of other.

Criminals are parents who are smoking in a closed environment (room or car) with their children! There is no excuse for this. Useless are the advises or orders of not smoking given by parents who smoke themself, to their children... We have to be ourselves an example.

 

All the best,  Gelong T. Shenphen

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Candles will do better; even just simple candles.

After you opened the window, and removed all the smoke, then, yes, incense will be very good to "clean" and purify the room.

 

I'll let my brother know - thank you  :))

 

Best regards,

Namgyel

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