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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:49 am 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
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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.


Well, I think you have erred somewhat. The longterm effects of meth are massive weight loss and drug-induced, permanent schizophrenia. This strikes me as just a teeny bit different from the side effects of tobacco. You need better arguments than this to convince anyone of anything.


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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!


I know what happens to me then. I have never had a nic fit while in meditation.


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It settles the mind.
Quite the contrary.


Sez you. I find it settles my mind very nicely thank you, and I don't have to be in withdrawal for it to work.

I've deleted some weak arguments centred around the idea that some of the benefits can be had without smoking. While such arguments are correct, smokers experience these benefits on a very regular basis, and the possibility of getting those benefits by other means does not change this.

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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!
:namaste:[/quote]

No, I'm not using Buddhism to justify smoking, such a thing would be impossible anyhow. I'm simply encouraging people to think of smokers in a Buddhist manner, and that just might include a bit of compassion.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:31 am 
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catmoon wrote:
Well increased concentration is one, which I took advantage of while working on a degree.c
...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.


True, but there are a number of non life threatening and physically damaging ways to go about these. Its great that until now you've managed to derive benefit from an otherwise harmful substance, why not derive the ultimate benefit of conquering the addiction once and for all? If you do it with the proper intentions, it will not only generate a great deal of merit, but also willpower, diligence, and...

catmoon wrote:
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.


...if you want to learn about patience, quitting any addiction will strengthen your patience to a far greater degree than ignoring mundane and predictable comments.

catmoon wrote:
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.


If you have time to do this in order to smoke, you have time to do this and not smoke.

catmoon wrote:
One learns a lot about how society operates when one is a smoker.


Or if one is inclined to pay attention to whats going on.

catmoon wrote:
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.


The Buddha taught us to overcome our attachments, because attachment is the cause of suffering.

I don't think anyone here lacks compassion for you, at least I hope not. I have great compassion for you, I've had a number of attachments and I know how hard they are to overcome. I never started smoking, but I'm merely thankful that it made me feel sick when I tried, otherwise I would probably be a smoker. So its not that I have some great virtue that you lack or that any judgment is being passed on you. I still have attachments I am trying to overcome, but I am *trying*. I sincerely hope that you too will at some point in the very near future, perhaps even now, resolve to *try* to remove this attachment once and for all.


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:42 am 
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I appreciate your kind thoughts.

I have found that over the last year or two, my attachment to the idea "I am a smoker" has weakened. I used to view it as an integral, unchangeable component of the "me". Nowadays, not so much.

I recognize that although there are a few small benefits, the health concerns (which I have happily dodged mostly) and expense outweigh these. For a long time, smoking was a coping mechanism that I used to cling to my sanity, but the need for that seems to be fading away. Maybe a serious attempt at quitting is not so far off.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:23 am 
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catmoon wrote:
Maybe a serious attempt at quitting is not so far off.
Good luck my friend :twothumbsup: Trust me, if you make the decision to quit you will not regret it! And you know what, one day you'll look back one day on all the weak justifications and realise what a schmuck you were :tongue: Ahhh... impermanence, gota love it!
:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:24 am 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
And you know what, one day you'll look back one day on all the weak justifications and realise what a schmuck you were

Yes and no. I also had to admire how clever I was to think up all those excuses and do the fancy footwork needed to keep the right one in mind at the right time. Not to mention all the reasons I invented to start again after I'd stopped all those times. Which is why even after 16 years since my last smoke I'd never risk that "one" to "be social" or whatever it would be. Probably I could handle it - but I have no intention of putting it to the test.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:25 pm 
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my own experience - I was smoking for 20 years - since I was 14 y.o.
It was part of my life and lifestyle and I couldn't imagine otherwise - but somewhere inside of course I knew it was bad for my health and my practice.
Many years ago back in Poland - Ven. Khenpo Namse Rinpoche (from Canada) gave empowerment to Hayagriva (Shangpa Kaguy tradition).
It was few days retreat with him that time. Just after this empowerment, almost everybody who was on this retreat and smoked, spontaneously decided to quit cigs; myself including. We found out few days later - when people start to realise their decision wasn't alone.
you may say it was just accident - but if you read HH Dudjom terma about tobacco and know a bit about activities of Hayagriva ... well it gave me something to think about. Unfortunately demon won that time and few weeks later I started to smoke again. Years have passed.
2 years ago my body weakened so much I had to do something. I went to doctors etc. but didn't get much help. So I started to do Hayagriva sadhana.
...
I'm not smoking since 2 years and never go back. I do repeat Hayagriva mantra everyday though - and will continue.
with money I saved from buying cigs and gums I decided to sponsor education of two monks in India which are both on shedra. It's about 100 EUR all together - not so much maybe - but it change their life in India.

and now I am like that : :)
gregkavarnos wrote:
And you know what, one day you'll look back one day on all the weak justifications and realise what a schmuck you were


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:48 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
catmoon wrote:
Maybe a serious attempt at quitting is not so far off.
Good luck my friend :twothumbsup: Trust me, if you make the decision to quit you will not regret it! And you know what, one day you'll look back one day on all the weak justifications and realise what a schmuck you were :tongue: Ahhh... impermanence, gota love it!
:namaste:


You drive me to repeat myself. I do not think I need to justify smoking. I'm not even sure the concept of justification is valid within Buddhism. If I had a justification, I would not know what to do with it.

But I am concerned with the way people think about and treat smokers. So much so, that a significant factor in my continued puffin has been the fear of becoming one of those born-again nonsmokers. This to me is a fate that is debatably worse than death.

So kindly take this justification-fixed-idea and find an appropriate home for it.

Oh wait, that didn't come off sounding quite right... oh well...apologies in advance :consoling:

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:53 pm 
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FWIW, it's entirely possible to be a former smoker and not be a weirdo about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:12 pm 
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catmoon wrote:

But I am concerned with the way people think about and treat smokers. So much so, that a significant factor in my continued puffin has been the fear of becoming one of those born-again nonsmokers.

I think smokers are treated badly. My views are strong about smoking now, because of my Vajrayana practice, so I stay faar away from it (and advise others likewise). But there is no need to repeat myself. You have read the things I have said in this thread and if you google it sections from the termas are available online. Other than that, however, as a matter of liberties, I dislike the fact of how smokers are treated, especially in my State. At my work place, for example, you actually have to leave the property to smoke. People can no longer smoke in bars, restaurants, etc. They have really cracked down. People have free will, and if they choose to they should be allowed to smoke. For example, work places should let smokers smoke outside the front or back doors, etc., one should not have to leave the parking lot and so on. In this thread, it is the Vajrayana aspect that I am focused on.

Kevin

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Don't worry about me, I was a weird smoker now I'm a weird breather. Now you are justifying not quitting because you might actually actually proselytise about the benefits of breathing oxygen instead of carcinogenic fumes? You know what though, you may not think you need to justify smoking but you are actually continuously doing it. Now THAT is weird!
:namaste:
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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:21 pm 
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Virgo wrote:
For example, work places should let smokers smoke outside the front or back doors, etc., one should not have to leave the parking lot and so on.


Oh, I don't agree. I hate walking through clouds of smoke into a building. Smoking is a nasty habit [I am an ex smoker] and it would be better for all concerned if cigarettes were taxed and banned until it just becomes impossible to smoke. For years I would not go listen to music, or go to clubs, because of all the smoke.

There is no two ways about it -- smoking is an aweful habit.

N

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Non smokers and smokers are equally worth, so people shouldn't be treated as second class humans just because they are smoking.

However, I am very fine with people not allowed to smoke in restaurants, bars, library, work place and so on. Very fine, because it means air quality is equal for all, and nobody have to worry about health related problems due to second hand smoking, or allergic reactions, etc. Smoking is not a right, it's an option, so if people wants to smoke they can do so in their own homes or outside of restaurants, bars, the work place and so on. This is not smokers being treated bad, it's making sure others don't have to participate in their smoking. And what about those who works in a restaurant or bar who aren't smokers themselves, but have to deal with smoke?

Where I worked, it was not allowed to smoke in front of doors, and for the very simple reason that when doors are opened, circulation occurs, and smoke is brought inside. Then there's also the fact that non smokers have to wade through the cloud of smoke whether they want to or not in order to get outside/inside. To avoid the door region you just have to walk a few meters, that's not bad.


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:40 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
Oh, I don't agree. I hate walking through clouds of smoke into a building.. Smoking is a nasty habit [I am an ex smoker] and it would be better for all concerned if cigarettes were taxed and banned until it just becomes impossible to smoke..
N

You know, your right. It's poison and there is no benefit to it's consumption. .

Kevin

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:09 am 
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catmoon wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
Quote:
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.


Well, I think you have erred somewhat. The longterm effects of meth are massive weight loss and drug-induced, permanent schizophrenia. This strikes me as just a teeny bit different from the side effects of tobacco. You need better arguments than this to convince anyone of anything.


Um, actually the longterm side-effects of smoking tobacco tend to involve fatal heart disease, fatal lung disease, a wide variety of terminal cancers (larynx, oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus and bladder), etc. So yeah...they're different. Because they kill you instead of making you lose your mind. Losing your precious body AND mind seems pretty comparable to schizophrenia, if not much worse...

Statistics show us that:
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death for men and women, 90% of lung cancer rates in men is caused by smoking and 80% in women
Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to get lung cancer and women are 13 times more likely
Smoking causes 87% of lung cancer deaths

All of the spiritual side effects aside (blocked channels, breaking of Samaya with protectors, addiction, distress in the Bardo, etc.), I think the bottom line lies in the Four Thoughts. The precious human birth is EXTREMELY hard to attain. Why would you EVER participate in a practice that is proven to destroy it, without any kind of tangible benefit whatsoever?


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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:14 am 
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JinpaRangdrol wrote:

All of the spiritual side effects aside (blocked channels, breaking of Samaya with protectors, addiction, distress in the Bardo, etc.), I think the bottom line lies in the Four Thoughts. The precious human birth is EXTREMELY hard to attain. Why would you EVER participate in a practice that is proven to destroy it, without any kind of tangible benefit whatsoever?


Catmoon is not a Nyingmapa, and so I don't think these dire warnings, which are from a Nyingma perspective, have much influence.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:45 am 
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Namdrol wrote:
JinpaRangdrol wrote:

All of the spiritual side effects aside (blocked channels, breaking of Samaya with protectors, addiction, distress in the Bardo, etc.), I think the bottom line lies in the Four Thoughts. The precious human birth is EXTREMELY hard to attain. Why would you EVER participate in a practice that is proven to destroy it, without any kind of tangible benefit whatsoever?


Catmoon is not a Nyingmapa, and so I don't think these dire warnings, which are from a Nyingma perspective, have much influence.
The four thoughts are a Nyingmapa thing??? We go through them before every single pracitce in the Karma Kagyu lineage.
:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:02 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
JinpaRangdrol wrote:

All of the spiritual side effects aside (blocked channels, breaking of Samaya with protectors, addiction, distress in the Bardo, etc.), I think the bottom line lies in the Four Thoughts. The precious human birth is EXTREMELY hard to attain. Why would you EVER participate in a practice that is proven to destroy it, without any kind of tangible benefit whatsoever?


Catmoon is not a Nyingmapa, and so I don't think these dire warnings, which are from a Nyingma perspective, have much influence.
The four thoughts are a Nyingmapa thing??? We go through them before every single pracitce in the Karma Kagyu lineage.
:namaste:



No, I meant all the terma warnings.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:16 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
Don't worry about me, I was a weird smoker now I'm a weird breather. Now you are justifying not quitting because you might actually actually proselytise about the benefits of breathing oxygen instead of carcinogenic fumes? You know what though, you may not think you need to justify smoking but you are actually continuously doing it. Now THAT is weird!
:namaste:
Attachment:
weird.jpg


No sir, I am not. As I have said twice already, smoking is not really justifiable.

I think you are stuck on the idea that smoking is inherently Bad, not Good, and this has rendered you incapable of a balanced view, which would lie somewhere in between.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Virgo wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Oh, I don't agree. I hate walking through clouds of smoke into a building.. Smoking is a nasty habit [I am an ex smoker] and it would be better for all concerned if cigarettes were taxed and banned until it just becomes impossible to smoke..
N

You know, your right. It's poison and there is no benefit to it's consumption. .

Kevin


If there were no benefit, no one would do it. "No benefit" is extremist thinking.

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 Post subject: Re: Smoking tobacco
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:27 pm 
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catmoon wrote:
If there were no benefit, no one would do it. "No benefit" is extremist thinking.


Not necessarily. People start smoking for different reasons; they may expect a benefit (to fit in to a social group, to get laid, to get approval, to seem cool, to lose weight even). They keep doing it because it's very addictive and the mind finds ways to rationalize it.

People persist in all kinds of views and practices on the pretense there may be some benefit or moral high ground to it. Conspiracy theories, for instance.

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