Hobby Question

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

Hobby Question

Postby Chaz » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:19 pm

In another life - about 20 years ago - I moved to Colorado to , in part, become a professional Fly Tyer (fishing flies). In the ten years following that move I became what most people in that community would consider a "pro". I had a good reputation for innovative thinking and ond originality of design. My patterns were successful and sought after. In my own estimation I was "pretty damned good" at what I did. I even got a little national recognition.

About ten years ago I just quit doing it. I stopped tying and fishing both, for reasons I won't go into. I just walked away.

Today, while I don't missing the fishing, I do find I miss the tying - the craft of tying fishing flies and the artistry of execution. I've thought about dusting off the vise and start tying again from time to time, but now being a Buddhist I'm reluctant to go back into tying as these flies are intended to be used for killing beings, or at least toturing them (if you're of a catch-and-release mentality). I have no intention to actually fish the files I might tie. I might write about it. I'm not tempted to actually sell my flies like I used to.

But, I would like to tie again.

I'd like some feedback. Is it a bad idea to take this up again?
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Re: Hobby Question

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:38 am

I don't know anything about that "sport." What is involved with the tying? Are worms or insects used?

if there is no killing involved, I don't think there would be any breaking of the First Precept.
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Re: Hobby Question

Postby Chaz » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:50 pm

TheDhamma wrote:I don't know anything about that "sport." What is involved with the tying? Are worms or insects used?

if there is no killing involved, I don't think there would be any breaking of the First Precept.



Well, there's nothing I have to kill with my own hands if that's what you mean.

There are feathers and furs used but someone else kills those animals.
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Re: Hobby Question

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:58 pm

Hi Chaz,

Well, one thing to consider is that if you buy the furs that were taken by means of animals being killed, you would be contributing to that industry/activity. I know that in our world it's sometimes very difficult to avoid animal products entirely. But it's something to consider :)

Kind wishes,
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Re: Hobby Question

Postby BFS » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:07 am

Hi Chaz,

The main factor in doing anything is intention, and motivation. There is not an atom of space where you will not find a sentient being, the world we live in is in the nature of suffering.

Take into consideration that the people who kill the animals that supply the feathers and furs, create negative karma. When you buy from them, you contribute to that.

Couldn't you use feathers and objects found in a natural environment?
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Re: Hobby Question

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:32 am

Greetings Chaz,

A couple of questions to ponder...

1. Do you consider these to be a weapons?

2. If so, do you place credence in the suttas of the Pali Canon? If so,

AN 5.177 - Vanijja Sutta: Business (Wrong Livelihood)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

advises the following...

"Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

"These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in."


Metta,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble
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Re: Hobby Question

Postby Chaz » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Chaz,

A couple of questions to ponder...

1. Do you consider these to be a weapons?


Well, they're made on fish hooks. I guess it could be argued that fish hooks = weapons as their primary use is to capture fish for food. It's not my intention to use flies I tie for that purpose, but the underlying reason for hooks is to "catch" fish.

2. If so, do you place credence in the suttas of the Pali Canon?


Of course I do. Did I give the impression that I don't?

If so,

AN 5.177 - Vanijja Sutta: Business (Wrong Livelihood)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

advises the following...

"Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

"These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in."


That "could" be interpreted in such a way as to "let me off the the hook" so to speak. Whether or not a fish hook is seen as a "weapon" depends on how far one is willing to stretch the definition of the word.

However, I think the intent of the Vanija Sutra is pretty clear.
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Re: Hobby Question

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:13 am

Greetings Chaz,

Chaz wrote:Of course I do. Did I give the impression that I don't?


Not at all... it's just that this being a Mahayana forum and all, I'm not inclined to force sutta-based perspectives upon anyone. I'd rather offer them with a light hand, and only if they seem relevant.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

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Re: Hobby Question

Postby Potato » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:58 am

This may sound silly, but I've seen some flies that I thought would have made great earrings or pendants. What about tying with synthetic fur and making jewelry instead of fishing flies?
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Re: Hobby Question

Postby Chaz » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:13 am

Potato wrote:This may sound silly, but I've seen some flies that I thought would have made great earrings or pendants. What about tying with synthetic fur and making jewelry instead of fishing flies?



Funny you should mention that. I used to make earings and such from fly tying materials.

There are some synthetic materials that are quite useful, but there are some things that you can only use natural materials for - no substitue.

There are some types of flies - flies that I am particularly interested in - that are tied more as art than for utility. One type is what are called Traditional Atlantic Salmon flies. In the late 1800's an Englishman named Kelson claimed to have fuigured out patterns that salmon would strike (spawning salmonids seldom eat). This was based on his insistence that spawning salmon ate butterflies. This lead to incredibly colorful and complex fly patterns.

Example:

Image
This is called a Green Highlander, BTW.

Flies like this actually worked back in the day, but are so fragile, complex and expensive to tie these days, their only appeal is to collectors. The downside for me is that animals die to supply the materials. Many of the animals used to provide materials for Kelson-inspired patterns are on today's CITES and Endangered Species lists (swan, seal, bustard, Toucan, etc).

Unfortunately, for a Buddhist fly tyer, there's no way around the fact that something's gonna die for a fishing fly whether someone fishes with it or not.
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