caffeine addiction

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: caffeine addiction

Postby CrawfordHollow » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:24 pm

Funny, we must have been posting at the same time.
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby Zealot » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:39 pm

Yeah, preaching is no good. I don't mean to do that. But I view this as a topic posted to a sangha asking for theirs views and input on the topic. If my views and input are not valued, I will of course quit posting them :-)
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby CrawfordHollow » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:46 pm

Well, I guess that if I am wrong regarding tea and coffee and the 5th precept, then I suppose that the lama who explained the precepts to me must also be wrong (Lama Norlha Rinpoche). I think you really should talk to one of the lamas about this, I'm not trying to discourage you from having your own views, but it is important that your understanding be supported by the instructions of a valid teacher. Who knows, mayber they will agree with you.
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby CrawfordHollow » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:58 pm

I don't think anybody wants you to stop posting because they disagree with you. People disagree. I for one value the communication that we have established. I sent you a PM.
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:05 am

No, i'm glad you posted, i'm just weighing up what you posted and trying to be honest about it. I don't think you are even 'wrong' exactly, obviously I care enough about liking caffeine too much to make a post about it. I just think that going so far in one direction is clinging to extreme modes of thought a bit. I've spent my time with booze and drugs though, and while I don't like my tendency to caffeine addiction, in my life it has been nowhere like the effect of other substances, and in fact in limited quantities I could even say it's been beneficial.

Again the problem with having a view of seeing anything that affects your mind whatsoever as falling under the fifth precept is that you can become quite a fanatic (maybe Zealot is better word *ZING*) about it, a supplement of St. John's Wort for example serves as a great mild antidepressant for those inclined that way, and without the awful side effects of pharmaceutical SSRI's. Does this fall under the fifth precept, if so you have to figure out whether that's absolute - it violates the fifth precept for those that need it, and those that don't..or whether it's only for those that don't need it, but ok for those that do. Then you have to figure out what exactly constitutes "needing it" etc.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby PorkChop » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:21 am

Zealot wrote:I'd like to see studies that show cannabis use causes a higher rater of accidents. http://norml.org/library/item/marijuana ... c-evidence
I'd also like to see the correlation between smoking cannabis and cancer. http://norml.org/component/zoo/category ... g-the-risk
Honestly, I think coffee can be much more dangerous than cannabis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_coffee
It seems like there's as many detrimental effects as positive. Plus there's the physical addiction.


this is not even going to be difficult....
Affects of cannabis on driving
Correlation between cannabis and cancer (especially combined with tobacco smoke, which I caveated initially)
and since you have it so bad against coffee...
Coffee helps Hep C
coffee helps with diabetes
And there seems to be some indication that coffee can improve hearing, from just this month

In the future, if you're going to post research as evidence, please do it from a recognized unbiased source and not a lobbyist group.

EDIT: the diabetes study was mentioned in the coffee wiki article. I think it's pretty conclusive from the wiki page that coffee has a LOT more health benefits than risks, especially given that some of the supposed risks are not supported by research, only involve boiled coffee not filtered, or only involve decaff.
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby CrawfordHollow » Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:24 am

Maybe its time to put this topic to rest, I don't see it going in a very positive direction.

As far as caffeine goes, I think tea or Yerba Matte are excellent substitutions for coffee. If I did have a very high caffeine intake, one thing that would concern me would be liver health. Our livers get pretty beat around on a daily basis, and high levels of coffee are definately not good. Of course, if you don't drink alcohol, then you should be doing better than most people. I personally take milk thistle every day, it is one of the few herbs out there that is actually recommended and sanctioned by Western medicine for the treatment of serious liver diseases. Your liver is the only organ in your body that can regenerate itself, but once its gone its gone.

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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby PorkChop » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:51 am

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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby CrawfordHollow » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:01 am

Interesting articles on coffee. I guess that is good news, like I said before I am not a coffee drinker so I am not going to argue, I am just going on what I have read in the past. As far as the milk thistle link goes, I really can't read stuff like that. I tried, let me know when you have it figured out.
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby Ayu » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:52 am

Like it was said before i would like to accent: not the coffee is the problem but the addiction.
Maybe you'll find many lamas who like to drink coffee but rarely any who is adicted. To be adicted means to struggle still with a fundamental problem of craving. It's not a "sin" but it's a good thing to work on. An important thing to work on.
So, before someone is able to teach others, he should have gone through these lessons.
An adicted lama would be a contradiction.
My teacher enjoys a cup of coffee in the afternoon - but if there is no coffee he doesn't care.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby Zealot » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:20 pm

PorkChop,
You can OD on coffee; it's physically addicting; there are health risks associated with it. There are also benefits associated with it I'm sure, but it is not a completely harmless substance. I myself cannot drink it because I have a caffeine sensitivity and it makes me unable to control my urination and causes pain while doing so.

Also, that was kind of off topic. We should be talking about addiction here. Sorry for bringing up so many irrelevant things.

Johnny Dangerous,
You are quite right that I often take extreme or fanatical views regarding things; I've held this internet pseudonym for many years because it generally fits :) . My all encompassing view of the fifth precept is likely not to be helpful to many unless they are giving up household life, attachments, and everything else in order to pursue attainment.

As far as medicine or substances goes that we take on a regular basis, certainly they can have some benefits, but like St. John's Wort, isn't the Dharma supposed to be our head medicine? I myself struggle with depression, and rather than smoke to bring up my mood, I'd much rather meditate on the preciousness of human life or loving kindness which in my experience can certainly bring me out of those funks I get into.

In regards to addiction, I think 21st Verse on the Practice of a Bodhisattva could be helpful:
Sense pleasures and desirable things are like salt water-
The more one tastes them, the more one's thirst increases.
To abandon promptly
All objects which arouse attachment is the bodhisattva practice.


CrawfordHollow,
I see disagreeable speech akin to harsh speech: it should be abandoned :) Also, arguments are almost never beneficial and they give rise to negative, detrimental emotions. It is, however, a very hard trick to post something on an internet forum that everyone finds agreeable, so I try to offer my views from a low position.

Ayu,
Exactly! :thanks:

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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:48 pm

As far as medicine or substances goes that we take on a regular basis, certainly they can have some benefits, but like St. John's Wort, isn't the Dharma supposed to be our head medicine? I myself struggle with depression, and rather than smoke to bring up my mood, I'd much rather meditate on the preciousness of human life or loving kindness which in my experience can certainly bring me out of those funks I get into.



This level of strictness and "hard" approach to Dharma is not good I think, you are going to burn yourself out on Dharma IMO with this kind of approach, being this harsh on yourself or others with what is right and wrong is a prescription for disappointment, including towards yourself.. just in my experience of course.

Regarding the above statement, like anything loving kindness takes time to create positive potential, and to change our views for some of us anger and dark have been our "normal" state for a long time and we need something beyond just meditation for the time being, it would be nice if we could just sit for five minutes and suddenly we'd be fine, but that is not reality, and if that is your expectation you are setting yourself up for failure, after the "honeymoon is over" with Dharma practice you will know what i'm talking about. Your negative habits and patterns are still there, but right now they are covered up with understandable thrill of being introduced to the Dharma..take it from me, none of the bad stuff is gone yet, you also run the risk of projecting onto other people a view that sounds akin to the same kind of criticism I could get by walking into my local baptist church.

Seeing someone else as less Buddhist than yourself for taking st. John's wort, antidepressants, whatever is not the same as seeing yourself coming from a low place, and if your intent is to "be humble", with respect I think you might be moving the opposite direction with these kinds of patterns.

I'm no expert practitioner by any means, but honestly man, everything you've written so far has basically been a statement that others should stop their behaviors, and practice Dharma in the way you are. I don't take this personally at all, so i'm trying to jump on you, just pointing out a pattern that i've been in personally, and seen in others.

I myself struggle with depression, and rather than smoke to bring up my mood,


Didn't you just recently post a thread arguing for the benefits of Pot, and you've even done so somewhat in this thread. You are telling me "what you do" as if you have some permanent self that has discovered the "correct" way to deal with depression, a self that didn't apparently even exist a few weeks back..do you think it's wise to speak as if this version of you (the one that no longer smokes pot to mask depression) is somehow "real" now? What will the truth be if this self is gone and the old one comes back?
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby Zealot » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:35 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
As far as medicine or substances goes that we take on a regular basis, certainly they can have some benefits, but like St. John's Wort, isn't the Dharma supposed to be our head medicine? I myself struggle with depression, and rather than smoke to bring up my mood, I'd much rather meditate on the preciousness of human life or loving kindness which in my experience can certainly bring me out of those funks I get into.



This level of strictness and "hard" approach to Dharma is not good, you are going to burn yourself out on Dharma IMO with this kind of approach, being this harsh on yourself or others with what is right and wrong is a prescription for disappointment, including towards yourself.. just in my experience of course.

Secondly, regarding the above statement, like anything loving kindness takes time to create positive potential, and to change our views for some of us anger and dark have been our "normal" state for a long time and we need something beyond just meditation for the time being, it would be nice if we could just sit for five minutes and suddenly we'd be fine, but that is not reality, and if that is your expectation you are setting yourself up for failure, as well as projecting onto other people a view that sounds akin to the same kind of criticism I could get by walking into my local baptist church.

Seeing someone else as less Buddhist than yourself for taking st. John's wort, antidepressants, whatever is not the same as seeing yourself coming from a low place, and if your intent is to "be humble", with respect I think you are doing the opposite.

I'm no expert practitioner by any means, but honestly man, everything you've written so far has basically been a statement that others should stop their behaviors, and practice Dharma in the way you are. I don't take this personally at all, so i'm trying to jump on you, but I really think you should take a look at your own motivations for posting this stuff, and i'll do the same.

I myself struggle with depression, and rather than smoke to bring up my mood,


Didn't you just recently post a thread arguing for the benefits of Pot, and you've even done so somewhat in this thread. You are telling me "what you do" as if you have some permanent self that has discovered the "correct" way to deal with depression, a self that didn't apparently even exist a few weeks back..do you think it's wise to speak as if this version of you (the one that no longer smokes pot to mask depression) is somehow "real" now? What will the truth be if this self is gone and the old one comes back?


Sorry, I'm not saying someone is less Buddhist for taking one substance or another, I'm just stating the ideals as I see them. People should take what they feel benefits them in whatever form it arises for them.

I'm not telling you what to do. I've showing my view on things. You talked about St. John's Wort, I posted my view on it.

Depression is also another completely unrelated topic that I'd be happy to discuss. Depression is just a state of mind, a very negative one. But it is something we choose to engage in. While stuck in the cycle of smoking, I often feel down when I'm sober and the knowledge that smoking will make me happier often makes me more depressed because it also, in turn, makes me feel like an addict. Addiction in general contributes highly to a negative mindset. I don't know about the permanence of my state of mind, but currently when I feel negative emotions, being mindful of how they arise and applying the appropriate antidote or just increasing my awareness of my mindset works wonders for me. Possibly in a week or two I'll feel completely different.

I posted on here because I feel like I have experience with addiction and felt that perhaps I could help you. Also, I felt like attitude I was shown regarding my smoking habits in the topic you mentioned was not shown to you at all, and I wished perhaps unfairly to portray a negative view of your coffee habit. Honestly, I could care less if you drink coffee all day long, you're not likely to go rob a coffee shop to get your fix, but I bet your anger flairs up when you're without it.

Johnny Dangerous wrote:A minor thing really in the big scheme of things for me, but I am terribly addicted.

I wonder if anyone else with this experience has advice?


I'm sorry you feel like I was preaching and that the advice I posted was viewed as elitist. I don't think I have any more to offer to this topic or to you in any case, so I will hence forth refrain from posting here. Best of luck to you on your journey. If you wish to keep discussing these off topic things, please PM me.
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Zealot, i'm approaching 40 years old and have been addicted to lots of stuff, it's unlikely you know of a view on addiction that I just haven't been exposed to.


I don't know about the permanence of my state of mind, but currently when I feel negative emotions, being mindful of how they arise and applying the appropriate antidote or just increasing my awareness of my mindset works wonders for me. Possibly in a week or two I'll feel completely different.


I've been Buddhist a while, I understand what mindfulness is. Maybe you are gifted enough that you have been able to overcome all of your stuff in just a few weeks or months of Dharma practice, or maybe you just haven't left the honeymoon phase. Either way, if mindfulness were that easy there would not be an enormous body of work on how to maintain it, and what to do when it falters, which there is.

I guess we just aren't gonna successfully communicate over this, and that's fine - thanks for trying, and i'm sorry we couldn't connect over it. Whatever we've bickered about I do appreciate the effort you made to help, and I definitely believe you had the best of intentions in doing so.
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is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby CrawfordHollow » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:41 am

Ok, this is officially my last post in this thread, I just want to clarify the point that I was trying to stress.

Ayu-
I appreciate and understand the point you are making: craving is the root of addiction, and that comes from the mind, not the substance. That being said, I would wager that all the lamas out there who drink coffee in the afternoon probablty aren't smoking smoking joints in the evening as well. Or blowing lines of cocaine. Or taking shots of tequila. As far as precepts go, there is a major difference between what is considered to intoxicate and cloud the mind- such as marijuana and cocaine, and what does not intoxicate and cloud the mind- such as coffee and tea.

Now, one could argue that drinking coffee actually does intoxicate and alter your mind. It certaintly does have an effect on our mood and body. Caffeine is also physically addicting, and many people who drink coffee are probably addicted to it on some level. But people don't drink coffee to get high. People do however, smoke weed to get high. I really don't think that you can argue that marijuana is not an intoxicant. It does get you high doesn't it? Thats why people smoke it. Of course, I understand that marijuana has many medicianal properties, but that does not exclude it from being an intoxicant. People will always smoke weed to get high because that is what it does.

I am not maing any value judgements about marijuana. I am not even saying that it is a bad thing or needs to be abandoned necessarily. The only point that I am trying to make, is that when it comes to the 5th precept, marijuana is considered a no-no. Coffee and tea on the other hand are considered to be OK. I really wasn't trying to write about the nature of addiction or anything like that, and maybe I veered somewhat off-topic. I was just responding to what I read. I was personally told by a very respected lama, the lama I took refuge with, that this is how the 5th precept should be viewed. Everybody has different circumstances to work with, so maybe this is not how the precepts should work for everybody. I really don't know, but it seems to me that the precepts are the way they are for a reason and should be kept that way. If, on the other hand somebody had a really bad caffiene addiction I could see where it could be appropriate for them to take a vow against drinking it. For the most part, though, coffee and tea are not a problem when it comes to the 5th precept.
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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby Seishin » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:57 am

This topic has gone from caffeine addiction to general addiction and I wonder whether "addiction" is covered in the fifth precept...
From what I understand and have been taught the precept is about intoxication causing heedlessness. Many things can be addictive including meditation but I think with regard to this we should look at the 8 Fold Path, specifically Right Action & Right Effort.

:focus:

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Re: caffeine addiction

Postby Ayu » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:31 am

As far as i understand this thread isn't about the fifth precept either. :namaste:

OP:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:A minor thing really in the big scheme of things for me, but I am terribly addicted.
I wonder if anyone else with this experience has advice?


Anyhow, this thread inspired me to shift from coffee to black tea. It's still caffeine in the morning, like i am used to, but tea has a more soft effect indeed. Also it is easier for me to say "This is the last cup for today". The "flash" is not so hard and the feeling of absence is not so strong - although it is there.

But: i threw away the last amount of tea that was grown non-ecological. Feels like it is full of poison, pesticides, and one should not drink this every day.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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