Smoking tobacco

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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Monsoon » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:26 am

Hmmm, as a smoker who smoked cigarettes for 25 years and then stopped I feel I have to say something here. Well, actually I don't, but I'm going to anyway! :smile:

Firstly, it doesn't matter what you burn - tobacco, hemp, incense, horse dung - the smoke part is actually detrimental to your lungs (working for over a decade in pathology will demonstrate this fact rather vividly). You don't even have to be an active participant: people who die after living in cities all their lives often have noticeable carbon deposits in their lungs. Bottom line: all smoke is bad for your lungs, but your lungs can cope as long as the exposure is neither acute nor chronic.

Secondly, nicotine in its refined form is exceptionally addictive and exceptionally powerful (and, I believe, was used as a narcotic anaesthetic for a time), although the amount in tobacco products is almost vanishingly small.

Now, for those who smoke but would rather not. In my personal experience of many failed attempts to quit smoking it dawned on me one day (after 25 years of trying!) that the whole concept of 'giving up' is inherently a process- that is, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. As it is a process it is subject to potential failure. It seems that, whether we like it or not, the predominant mindset of people today is that failure is okay as long as we tried. This has basically given a lot of people a 'get out of jail free card'. They tried, they failed, what can you do? Well, the most successful quitters are the ones that just quit! For these people (and for me) there is no longer a process. One moment they are smokers, the next they are non-smokers. Note - I say non-smokers rather than ex-smokers because the latter term still contains the hint of a 'process'.

Regarding support: people around you asking how you are doing today, whether you are having cravings or bad withdrawal symptoms... these people are not helping but challenging you. They are constantly bringing your attention back to something you have put behind you. Their intention is good, but their means are not skillful in the least. Quitters would do well to tell their nearest and dearest to not ever mention smoking. Actually, my workplace was fantastic. A couple of people queried whether I still smoked, and when I said no they said 'well done' and never raised the subject again. Perfect!

Lastly, picking a day/time to stop is generally not very helpful either. It has the tendency to create a wave of stress leading up to the event which inhibits success. For me, it just happened one day. I woke up, reached for the cigs, realised I had none, made the decision to be a non-smoker. That was 5 years ago and I have never been tempted back. In fact I find other people's smoke, even on the street, to be quite unpleasant.

Sorry, I feel strongly on the subject. While I wouldn't force anyone to do something against their desire, I would like to offer a potential way forward for those who seek change. :thanks:
Let peace reign!

Metta,

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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:01 pm

Not non-smoker, as it still defines it in contrast to the normative smoker.

It is not smoker or non-smoker.

It is breather or non-breather! :smile:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Monsoon » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:48 pm

Hair-splitter! :tongue:
Let peace reign!

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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby MaitriYNOD » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:29 am

In my experience, smoking cigarettes is highly distasteful o Tibetans and it is exceedingly rude to smoke in the presence of a Lama. I don't know if this has its roots in the Vajrayana or is more of a Tibetan thing, but I do know that to call smoking impolite would be an understatement.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:10 am

Monsoon wrote:Secondly, nicotine in its refined form is exceptionally addictive and exceptionally powerful (and, I believe, was used as a narcotic anaesthetic for a time), although the amount in tobacco products is almost vanishingly small.
Actually, in its pure form it is a contact poison. really nasty stuff. I learnt this when, as a teenager, I did a week of work experience in the laboratories of Philip Morris International in Melbourne Australia.

Philip Morris.jpg
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One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby mandala » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:52 am

MaitriYNOD wrote:In my experience, smoking cigarettes is highly distasteful o Tibetans and it is exceedingly rude to smoke in the presence of a Lama. I don't know if this has its roots in the Vajrayana or is more of a Tibetan thing, but I do know that to call smoking impolite would be an understatement.


I've heard a Tibetan Lama say to his students, at a break in the teachings, to go outside for a ciggy and imagine the smoke is fragrant incense and offer it up to the Buddhas.
I suppose if you're going to do it, try and make the most of it!
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Ayu » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:49 pm

IF someone is adicted and can't stop smoking, such an attidude will be better than nothing.
But it cannot remove the 4000 harmful poisonous substances within the smoke.
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: Smoking tobacco

Postby nek777 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:14 pm

I smoke, though I have been trying to quit and cut down lately. One thing I bought was an electronic cigarette. It does help when a craving comes on - though, I think as is usual for most smokers, smoking is a habit out of boredom. If I am engaged in something, I usually do not notice any cravings - but they do exist, so I need to deal with them.

Anyways, e-Cigs, no smoke, no smell, no tar, no burning cellulose, no 4,000 poisons or anything extraneous except a slight flavoring (I prefer vanilla) - just vaporized water with some nicotine in it. How do people feel about electronic cigarettes?
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:53 pm

Nicotine is a poison, whether smoked or vaporised. Most of the flavouring agents they use are synthetic/chemically based and hardly something one would want to be vaporising and inaling into their lungs. Even the nicotine free variety of e-cigs leave you with a lung full of gunk. My brother was smoking (nicotine free) e-cigs in a bid to quit smoking and I decided to puff away on it during the course of a night (it tasted lke sour cherries, yum-yum!) and the next morning was a disaster for my poor suffering lungs!
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:46 pm

MaitriYNOD wrote:In my experience, smoking cigarettes is highly distasteful o Tibetans and it is exceedingly rude to smoke in the presence of a Lama. I don't know if this has its roots in the Vajrayana or is more of a Tibetan thing, but I do know that to call smoking impolite would be an understatement.

Really ? Perhaps I had better tell the well-known Tibetan Lama who taught very skillfully at a public meeting in London recently while enjoying a panatella... :smile:
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby pensum » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:06 am

Fascinating paper on the origins of the Tibetan prohibitions against tobacco, well worth a read to see how beliefs evolve. https://www.academia.edu/6226585/Demonic_tobacco_in_Tibet
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Osho » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:30 am

On Top Gear ( UK) last Sunday first of two in Burma, there was a monk supervising a kids soccer game.
He was smoking.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby pensum » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:34 am

Osho wrote:On Top Gear ( UK) last Sunday first of two in Burma, there was a monk supervising a kids soccer game.
He was smoking.


Yes the taboo against smoking seems to be a uniquely Tibetan phenomenon, as the article i linked to clarifies.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby odysseus » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:10 am

I read that Thai monks are allowed to smoke tobacco.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Osho » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:07 pm

Chadwick in 'Crooked Cucumber' his biog of Shunryu Suzuki notes that most everyone in Zen temples smoked heavily.
Suzuki who had weak lungs as a result of contracting TB in his youth found it difficult to socialise due to the tobacco smoke filled rooms.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby alpha » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:00 pm

odysseus wrote:I read that Thai monks are allowed to smoke tobacco.


Ajaan Sumedho used to smoke cigars.
And i've met other monks and nuns who were smoking
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Osho » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:13 pm

Reading Chadwick on Japanese Temple Zen put me in mind of the Irish Catholic priests I grew up knowing.
Chadwick has the Zen monks and priests smoking, drinking sake and playing 'Go' in social clubs and gaming clubs during their time off.
Our Irish priests tended to enjoy a drink, most smoked and many liked a flutter on the horse racing.
Converts into anything are maybe slightly shocked that encultured religion falls short of their rather high expectations.
Western converts to Tibetan praxes who major on vegetarianism is another case in point.
Converts to anything are generally more zealous than those born and brought up into any particular religious path.
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