Showing posts with label Habits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Habits. Show all posts[0]=AZXBflTLeDk0GWy2yxDMHursCLy0ZFbO88YnPgAl9NeT24-xhWM8yMQKEHih6R58JBYoinw1dOBkoCaT12Jj5CqsRaaR5hvWsy5_HdLViRaQMqfswivm6e-wmTpE2Ef4dGqFkDvDGAXv_SoX8ELumhC2jPDcQ2WmGVQWuNsDKxS3P6tnUc5rpdODJrE9nhmfhKo&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R]-R

Soh Wei Yu
Top Contributor
But back to the main topic of the OP which has more to do with smoking than about the details of realization.
I am not implying that once one gets to anatta realization for example, then one is free from all habits and kleshas. In AtR anatta realization is just stream entry. Once one gets to non returner, there is no more desire for sense pleasures. They will not have any desire for sensuality, not cigarettes and not even sex (see: Early Buddhism's Model of Awakening). In the bhumi system likewise, Buddhahood is when the twin obscurations of afflictions and knowledge obscurations are totally removed. That is quite an advanced phase of one's practice. All Buddhist traditions, as Acarya Malcolm told me before, including Dzogchen, accepts the elimination of the twin obscurations as Buddhahood. On this point all Buddhist traditions agree, even if the means and methods may differ.
To expand on the anatta and cigarettes part, Zen Master John Daido Loori Roshi smoked his whole life, yet from the book I read I consider him to have clearly realized anatta and total exertion, and I do recommend his books. He died at the age of 78 from lung cancer, so clearly not a good idea to smoke of course. There's another guy, non-Buddhist, Actual Freedom Richard also chain smokes, his experience is quite similar to AtR anatta and total exertion too, but not into twofold emptiness.
I asked John Tan about this smoking thing before over a decade ago, about teachers that realise anatta and still smoke (I don't smoke nor does John Tan just for the record, but I'm curious as to what he says). He said yes, even if one has a clear and deep insight into anatta, it is insufficient to get rid of such habitual patternings. He also said many times before that practice goes on after realization and it is not a finality. Even if you realise Thusness Stage 5 anatta, which he says 'seems like a pseudo finality', or even 6, it is not to be seen as finality nor anything close to Buddhahood yet. (can just be 1st bhumi -- see Buddhahood: The End of All Emotional/Mental Afflictions and Knowledge Obscurations)
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Soh Wei Yu
Top Contributor
There's a stream enterer who also drunk alcohol and was subjected to criticism, Buddha's replies was interesting:
SN 55.24 PTS: S v 375 CDB ii 1811
Sarakaani Sutta: Sarakaani (Who Took to Drink)
translated from the Pali by
Maurice O'Connell Walshe
© 2007
The Pali title of this sutta is based on the PTS (Feer) edition.
[At Kapilavasthu] Now at that time Sarakaani the Sakyan, who had died, was proclaimed by the Blessed One to be a Stream-Winner, not subject to rebirth in states of woe, assured of enlightenment. At this, a number of the Sakyans, whenever they met each other or came together in company, were indignant and angry, and said scornfully: "A fine thing, a marvelous thing! Nowadays anyone can become a Stream-Winner, if the Blessed One has proclaimed Sarakaani who died to be Stream-Winner... assured of enlightenment! Why, Sarakaani failed in his training and took to drink!"
[Mahaanaama the Sakyan reported this to the Buddha who said:] "Mahaanaama, a lay-follower who has for a long time taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha — how could he go to states of woe? [And this can be truly said of Sarakaani the Sakyan.] How could he go to states of woe?
"Mahaanaama, take the case of a man endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, declaring 'He is the Blessed One...,'[1] the Dhamma... the Sangha... He is joyous and swift in wisdom, one who has gained release.[2] By the destruction of the cankers he has by his own realization gained the cankerless heart's release, the release through wisdom, in this very life, and abides in it. The man is entirely released from the hell-state, from rebirth as an animal,[3] he is free from the realm of hungry ghosts, fully freed from the downfall, the evil way, from states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha... the Dhamma... the Sangha... he is joyous and swift in wisdom but has not gained release. Having destroyed the five lower fetters,[4] he is reborn spontaneously[5] where he will attain Nibbaana without returning from that world. That man is entirely released from... states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. But he is not joyous in wisdom and has not gained release. Yet by destroying three fetters[6] and weakening lust, hatred and delusion, he is a Once-returner, who will return once more to this world and put an end to suffering. That man is entirely freed from... states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. But he is not joyous in wisdom and has not gained release. Yet by destroying three fetters he is a Stream-Winner, not subject to rebirth in states of woe, assured of enlightenment. That man is entirely freed... from states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is not even endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. He is not joyous and swift in wisdom and has not gained release. But perhaps he has these things: the faculty of faith, of energy, of mindfulness, of concentration, of wisdom. And the things proclaimed by the Tathaagata are moderately approved by him with insight. That man does not go to the realm of hungry ghosts, to the downfall, to the evil way, to states of woe.
"Take the case of another man. He is not even endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. He is not joyous and swift in wisdom and has not gained release. But he has just these things: the faculty of faith, of energy, of mindfulness, of concentration, of wisdom. Yet if he has merely faith, merely affection for the Tathaagata, that man, too, does not go to... states of woe.[7]
"Why, Mahaanaama, if these great sal trees could distinguish what is well spoken from what is ill spoken, I would proclaim these great sal trees to be Stream-Winners... bound for enlightenment, how much more so then Sarakaani the Sakyan! Mahaanaama, Sarakaani the Sakyan fulfilled the training at the time of death.'[8]
These are, of course, the standard formulations for referring to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. They seem to fit awkwardly into the context here and may have been interpolated.
These terms are used of Saariputta at SN 2.9 (not translated here). Cf. the distinction between difficult and easy progress in VM XXI, 117.
Theosophists and others maintain that rebirth as an animal, after a human existence, is impossible. This view is not supported by the Buddhist texts of any school.
Cf. n. 300. This is the anaagaamin or "Non-Returner."
I.e., not born from a womb by spontaneously arising in another world (in this case the "Pure Abodes" (suddhaavaasaa), where they will attain to final release without returning to this world).
These are the first three of the five lower fetters (orambhaagiya-sa.myojanaani Vol. I, n. 83), i.e., sakkaaya-di.t.thi "personality-view" or belief in a permanent, really existing self; vicikicchaa "doubt" (once the "personality-view" has been shattered, there can be no further fundamental doubt about the Dhamma); and siilabbata-paraamaasa "attachment to rites and rituals" (siila + vata). It is noteworthy that even at this (second) stage on the Path, sensuality (kaamaraaga) and ill-will (vyaapaada), the fourth and fifth fetters, are only weakened but not destroyed. Their destruction is, however, inevitable.
An encouraging message for many! Cf. the end of MN 22, and also the charming image of the new-born calf in MN 34. The Commentary (MA) to MN 22 says such people are termed "lesser stream-winners" (cuulasotaapannaa). This term is discussed in VM XIX, 27. The stress laid here on the importance of faith is interesting in view of later developments such as the Pure Land Schools (e.g., Jodo-Shishu or "Shin-Buddhism" in Japan).
Sarakaani in fact became a Stream-winner at the moment of death.
Soh Wei Yu
Top Contributor
John Tan also wrote before,
"When we develop a negative state, also understand that it takes many many more folds of effort to over it.
Because of this, cultivating good habits and abstain from negative ones although is mundane practice is also crucial.
That is y I always put down all those promoting dwelling in bad habits are also ok type of teachings. They don't know how much more effort is needed to correct it."
Yin Ling asked, "Which kind of dwelling in bad habits is ok?
Like anger but see through anger as empty?"
John Tan replied,
"YL: 'Like anger but see through anger as empty?

John: No, that is different. Seeing that is empty does not mean u don't have to deal with anger. It just mean dealing with anger by understanding it's nature.

YL: 'Which kind of dwelling in bad habits is ok?'
John: Like advising it is ok to take cannabis or no need practice type. There is the relax and openness type of practice but that requires deep understanding.
If left alone, the samsaric mind will almost without fail skews towards the negative side perhaps due to the heavier vibration of the material world (sounded new age). It is important to develop good habits from start."
I agree with him about advising against cannabis (unless you have valid medical reasons, and Buddha did recommend use of cannabis for certain types of pain) and often paste this excerpt to people on reddit:
"Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith wrote years ago, "Marijuana impairs short term memory, and that is necessary for mindfulness by definition.", "Everything can be medicine and everything can be poison; but that depends on the skill of the physician.
On the other hand, serious meditation practitioners generally avoid all drugs, as well as being intoxicated on alcohol.
In order to discover exactly how deleterious the effects of herb are on meditation, you would have had to have stopped smoking herb completely for at least a year and then resume it to observe its effects on your meditation practice.
Have you done this experiment?
I have. I can report that the effects of smoking herb on one's meditation practice is definitely not good. It leaves one with a cloudy fog which lasts anywhere from a day to a week depending on how much herb one has smoked and its quality. So now I do not smoke herb, nor do I take other kinds of drugs, all of which in my younger days I have done in large quantities. So, you are not speaking with someone who has no personal experience.
Of course, regular people who do not imagine themselves great meditators may do as they please, but not practitioners.
Of course, you may persist in your folly, that is your choice. But at least I have satisfied my obligation to inform you it is a folly.""
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I agree that we should not be judgmental about someone’s wisdom on the basis of whether he or she smokes. Heck, even drinking alcohol — Alan Watts was a known alcoholic but John Tan and I find him to be quite deep in insights and has a lot to share. Unlike many redditor Buddhists, we do not think Alan Watts should be judged unfairly from the basis of a few behaviors. Having said that, John Tan stopped his infrequent/occasional drinking of alcohol for business entertainment many years ago after he found that it has detrimental effects on his qi/wind. 

However. Regarding views about engaging in sense pleasures without desire and attachment, I very much doubt that it is possible, as the Buddha states, "“Bhikkhus, that one can engage in sensual pleasures without sensual desires, without perceptions of sensual desire, without thoughts of sensual desire—that is impossible." (Alagaddūpama Sutta) 

Vajrayana may say use sense pleasure as part of the path and method. That is fine to me but not to be equated with the goal, the elimination of the twin obscurations.

I do not see how without sensual desire even at the anagami level, one can continue to engage in sense pleasures. This is why in the suttas none of the anagamis and arahats engage in sense pleasures including lay anagamis, only sotapannas and sakadagami do. I can cite many passages on this one. This has nothing to do with conduct and vows but about the afflictions driving behaviours. If there is no craving or inclination towards sense pleasures, there can be no impetus to engage in them. Just like if there is no craving for heroin you just won’t use it, unless you are using prescribed opiates for extreme pain. An anagami or arahant may still need to taper off opiate medication gradually when he or she recovers due to physiological reasons of bodily acclimatization (you might have bad withdrawal symptoms otherwise), but there won’t be the slightest clinging, craving or reminiscence for the state of opiates, nor will there be “relapse” as there can be no craving at all. 

Even sex — there is no impetus to do that for someone free from kleshas, it is not my judgement or conjecture but this is just how it is, even in the scriptures it is abundantly clear. Sex for example, by itself is not something really bad, but it just falls off by itself at some point, and arahants are known as completely dispassionate, with no desire whatsoever for life nor death. But that is far along the path, when one is almost fully liberated and awakened. I don’t know of any that has reached that state now, although the last person to attain Buddhahood in recent times is Thrangu Rinpoche ( Unlike cigarettes and tobacco which is a known cancer-causing radioactive carcinogen (although that may not be known as fact in older times), there is no need to avoid or repress sex. I just told someone yesterday due to a question he asked, “Unless you choose the life of monastic, or have achieved anagami stage, i do not advise people to take up celibate path. It is ok to find a partner and get married. John tan has a wife and two kids.”

I have also read that Nisargadatta visited a prostitute, I think Joan Tollifson and many others said it, including someone else who said “According to Ramesh Balsekar, Nisargaddata used to visit a local prostitute. He was not ashamed or concerned with enjoying sex.” That is fine by my books in the sense that it does not make me have less respect for him, just like Alan Watts’ liking for alcohol, tobacco and women does not make me lose any respect for him and his wisdom. I do not think anybody should be judgmental or lose confidence in their writings and teachings or stop looking deeply into these teachings just because of these points. Of course it is not to say that we are saying smoking is fine. We can accept that smoking is unhealthy and avoid it for our own sake and still not get judgy about those who smoke. Also, there are stories of mahasiddhas who find prostitutes, drink alcohol and so on. But as Acarya Malcolm said, mahasiddhas are just those who have attained at least the first bhumi. (They are not all Buddhas.) 

Sexual desire for example is only eliminated in higher bhumis as krodha/kyle dixon points out (and similarly for all other sensual desires) before, “Āryabodhisattvas on the higher bhūmis overcome sexual interests. Below that you will still experience sexual urges and attraction.”



Nafis shared a good article:

“Roshi, You Are Drunk”

When a student confronts his famed teacher, Steve Silberman learns the meaning of “intimate practice.” In that moment, he becomes a Buddhist.

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