Smoking tobacco

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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Josef » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:17 am

catmoon wrote: Predictable, isn't it?


Yup.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Norwegian » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:21 am

I think that, apart from the issue of bad breath, possibility for cancer, and polluting the environment and so on, there is the issue of smoking blocking ones channels. And for a Vajrayana practicioner this is pretty crucial...

Considering Guru Padmasambhava's instructions on this very particular topic, and that masters like His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and many more constantly repeat this issue, I cannot see how one can just dismiss it so easily.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby catmoon » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:38 am

Chogyam Trungpa. His mere existence disproves the whole idea that smoking is a barrier to enlightenment. Or you can look at the 25% of Thai monks who smoke.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Josef » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:40 am

catmoon wrote:Chogyam Trungpa. His mere existence disproves the whole idea that smoking is a barrier to enlightenment. Or you can look at the 25% of Thai monks who smoke.

Not really.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby wisdom » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:11 am

The main issue is... what are the benefits of smoking?

We don't need prophecies, termas and demonic plants to see that there are none. We only have to look at the four truths and see that attachment is suffering to understand why any addiction is bad. When attachments, especially addictions are not fulfilled they almost immediately transform into irritability or anger, and lead to all kinds of negative thoughts and actions. Smoking is one of the most powerful ones on the planet, to the point that most people are practically forced to obey their addiction and feel like they can't live without it, even for a day, let alone quitting all together.

In terms of judging, nobody should judge others. I only consider myself fortunate that when I tried cigarettes as a teenager they made me nauseous. I've had and still have my fair share of vices though. However using the existence of other peoples vices doesn't justify the existence of the ones that we have. If we come to a point where we just accept "well, these are my vices and this is just the way it is" then we have reached a road block in our development.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby catmoon » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:33 am

Oh, the benefits. That's something we should look at you know. Well increased concentration is one, which I took advantage of while working on a degree. Might apply to meditation as well. It settles the mind. Then there is all that learning about generosity and friendship you get from being part of a community that looks after each other. There's the daily practice of patience, as every day several people will assume you are so ignorant you have no clue, and tell you "Smoking is bad for you, you know." as if they were the only person in the world to figure it out. There is the solitude of stepping outside for a smoke and seeing the stars and a glowing halo around the moon, or meeting a friendly passing pussycat that everyone else misses out on.

One learns a lot about how society operates when one is a smoker. I grew up in a smoker friendly environment, then watched as the government poured billions of dollars every year starting around 1973 into so-called "education" programs. I saw the power of money to create and shape public opinion, when it is applied steadily and in large quantities. I watched an entire generation come to sincerely, even passionately believe exactly what the government wanted them to, without a whimper.

It's odd that people speak about smoking as if it were purely, inherently evil. Fortunately the Buddha taught us not to believe in inherent natures and pursue a middle path, one in which we can see everything as it is - a mixture of harm and benefit, in flux, changeable in every moment and often surprising.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Lingpupa » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:38 pm

catmoon wrote:Chogyam Trungpa. His mere existence disproves the whole idea that smoking is a barrier to enlightenment.

That depends on how impressed you are by Trungpa's antics. Yes, he did stuff for which some of us are grateful (I strongly include myself). But as for the rest... one may hold one's own opinion.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby rai » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:06 pm

Norwegian wrote:I think that, apart from the issue of bad breath, possibility for cancer, and polluting the environment and so on, there is the issue of smoking blocking ones channels. And for a Vajrayana practicioner this is pretty crucial...



Is it generally any smoke that make the channels blocked whether coming from cigarettes or hash or opium or is it particularly tobacco which has this special quality? and what about the general pollution while living in big cities, is it the same?

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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:07 pm

Let me start by saying hat I started casual smoking when I was 12 years old and started to stop smoking at the age of 23. It got to the point where I was smoking 40 Camel plain/filterless per day. I wouldn't get out of bed without lighting a cigarette and when I had run out I would light up a stub. I felt ill every time I would light one up but then after a few drags the desire to vomit would pass. I got to the point where, after a long period of total abstinence, that I could smoke one cigarillo a day. Then I would have a cigarette rarely and only when I wanted to. I am now 43 and I still have to check myself every now and then.

I can tell you that even one cigarette smoked the night before drastically (negativelly) affects my breathing the next day. This, of course, negatively impacts upon my practice (and physical training). Being in a room of smokers is now living hell for me. Apart from wanting to light up one myself the fumes are enough to spark all the negative effects of smoking: increase in blood pressure, increased pulse rate, emotional effects, etc...

I used to HATE anti-smokers, now I can understand them fully.

As for this:
Well increased concentration is one, which I took advantage of while working on a degree.
Crystal meth, in controlled doses, also increases one capacity to focus. Do you also reccomend crystal meth? The side effects are not so different.
Might apply to meditation as well.
No, coz during long periods of meditation you start to go into withdrawal and... well, I am sure you know what happens then!
It settles the mind.
Quite the contrary. Do you remember the first time you purposefully inhaled? See what happens is that after a while your body gets used to that feeling and requires higher doses to achieve it. But after aperiod of constant use even the higher doses don't do it and the only thing smoking does is stave off the effects of withdrawal, one of which is an unsettled mind.
Then there is all that learning about generosity and friendship you get from being part of a community that looks after each other.
Like the sense of community experienced by heroin addicts for example?
There's the daily practice of patience, as every day several people will assume you are so ignorant you have no clue, and tell you "Smoking is bad for you, you know." as if they were the only person in the world to figure it out.
Trust me my friend, you don't need to be a smoker to practice patience out there in samsara!!! :tongue: There are ample opportunities. Anyway, as a non-smoker you will have the benefit of practicing patience toward smokers as they make breathing an impossible task for you, as they ash in every receptacle imaginable, as they leave full ash trays all over the place...
quote]There is the solitude of stepping outside for a smoke and seeing the stars and a glowing halo around the moon, or meeting a friendly passing pussycat that everyone else misses out on.[/quote]You can have the benefits of all this without smoking as well!
One learns a lot about how society operates when one is a smoker. I grew up in a smoker friendly environment, then watched as the government poured billions of dollars every year starting around 1973 into so-called "education" programs. I saw the power of money to create and shape public opinion, when it is applied steadily and in large quantities. I watched an entire generation come to sincerely, even passionately believe exactly what the government wanted them to, without a whimper.
Phsically challenged people see this happening too (for a while in a positive direction) but I don't see you cutting off your leg to experience it. Mind you, gangrene is always an option with smoking so you never know, you may end up getting the insights associated with both these worlds.
It's odd that people speak about smoking as if it were purely, inherently evil. Fortunately the Buddha taught us not to believe in inherent natures and pursue a middle path, one in which we can see everything as it is - a mixture of harm and benefit, in flux, changeable in every moment and often surprising.
Using Buddhism to justify your addiction? Come now CM, please don't sink that low!
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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."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:27 pm

catmoon wrote:Chogyam Trungpa. His mere existence disproves the whole idea that smoking is a barrier to enlightenment.



This presumes that Trungpa was an awakened person. I have had increasing doubts about this.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Virgo » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:01 pm

Smoking will destroy you... I have been there. It attacks the body and the body is the deity. Protectors don't like the smell of smoke and, eventually, they abandon you. Only evil spirits like the smell. Then you come under attack, like I did. Stay far far away from smoking, trust me. It's not a game at all.

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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Fa Dao » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:47 pm

I have been following this thread with interest for a while now. Can anyone explain exactly how and why smoking effects ones practice without resorting to "its bad...its evil..it blocks the channels..etc etc" Please explain how it blocks channels and effects practice. And if possible how it effects Dzogchen practice. Thank you.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:51 pm

Fa Dao wrote:I have been following this thread with interest for a while now. Can anyone explain exactly how and why smoking effects ones practice without resorting to "its bad...its evil..it blocks the channels..etc etc" Please explain how it blocks channels and effects practice. And if possible how it effects Dzogchen practice. Thank you.


Well, for one the tar from tobacco blocks the channels in the lungs, reducing our ability to breath.

Secondly, it contaminates the air we breath directly.

Third, it creates a vata imbalance, this will directly affect whatever practice you are doing.

Fourth, it physically addictive, which means your body will start to crave it, and this craving is distracting.

In short, there is nothing positive about smoking at all -- it is a stupid, addictive, life-destroying habit.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Virgo » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:58 pm

Fa Dao wrote:I have been following this thread with interest for a while now. Can anyone explain exactly how and why smoking effects ones practice without resorting to "its bad...its evil..it blocks the channels..etc etc" Please explain how it blocks channels and effects practice. And if possible how it effects Dzogchen practice. Thank you.

Dude, it attacks your prana first of all. Therefore it attacks the heart, where the Guru resides. It is evil. It also dries up the fluids in your body making your veins, arteries, etc., deteriate. This has an effect on your subtle channels. It gives you an odor that attracts evil spirits. This is stated in terma, so please don't think I am crazy. It also says that it is hard for the protectors to protect you when you smoke. I never had problems in my life... until I started that cursed habit. Call me nuts but I think they are one of the worst, if not the worst things you can do, seriously. You really don't know what I've been through. And it all happened because of smoking.

Besides that of course, it causes heart disease and the whole lot of diseases. Termas say that it promotes the 404 diseases. So it's pretty clear. And if the deities don't have your back, since you are a practitioner wicked spirits WILL attack you. Call me crazy, but you'll be saying I should have listened to that nutty kid one day. Seriously man. And if you can't swallow all that, just remember that it causes heart disease.

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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Fa Dao » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:22 pm

Thank you all for your replies. First of all let me say that I am not trying to be argumentative nor am I discounting others experience with this. However I have been smoking off and on (mostly on) since I was 13 ( I am 49 now). I smoke an organic blend of roll your own tobacco but have not noticed any of the detrimental effects that others have listed here. I should mention that I have been practicing internal Chinese martial arts and qigong for the past 20 years or so. While I am aware of the obvious that smoking is highly addictive I have not as of yet experienced any problems (that I know of) with my practice or with breathing difficulties etc. The only real problem I have with my practice is that I totally suck at visualization. Is it possible from a Tibetan medical or spiritual standpoint or any other for that matter that smoking could effect my ability to do visualization? And yes, if I ever am able to go to a live retreat with ChNNR and he was to tell me that I had to stop I would do it without any hesitation.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:28 pm

Fa Dao wrote:Is it possible from a Tibetan medical or spiritual standpoint or any other for that matter that smoking could effect my ability to do visualization? And yes, if I ever am able to go to a live retreat with ChNNR and he was to tell me that I had to stop I would do it without any hesitation.


Yes, by disturbing your wind/vatta/rlung.

He would never tell you that you have to stop. But he always tells people it is better if they do not smoke.

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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Fa Dao » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:29 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention that I only get sick about once every 3 to 5 years with a cold or flu and even then it doesnt last more than a week, usually only a few days.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Fa Dao » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:34 pm

thanks Namdrol...I do remember him mentioning it during a webcast but like you said he just said that it is better if you dont do it. He didnt come across heavy handed about it like other teachers.
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Re: Smoking tobacco

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:41 pm

fa dao wrote:I smoke an organic blend of roll your own tobacco but have not noticed any of the detrimental effects that others have listed here.
Why don't you try the following experiment: stop smoking for about 5-10 years and then have a cigarette.
If you have been smoking constantly for thirty years the detrimental effects are not going to be obvious since you are constantly in a detrimental state. If you stop smoking you will immediately see the advantages of non-smoking (ie the benefits of normality). You see, even the framing of the entire issue, smoker vs non-smoker, is from the viewpoint of the addiction. What if we framed it as air breather vs cancerous gas breather? It would be much more realistic way to define it.
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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 Fa Dao » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:00 pm

Love ya Greg!!
Actually I have considered doing just that to see if my practice actually improves. It seems to be going ok especially after taking up ChNNR's teachings, but who knows? However, if I do quit I dont plan on trying it out again..not even one. I did quit many years ago for a few years actually and thought I could have just one...and well, here I am now....silly me!!
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