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About camerata

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  1. How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way

    I recall that at Ajahn Brahm's temple in Western Australia, the lay council in charge of the temple's affairs encourages people to offer the monks vegetarian food. But it's no simple matter to get enough B12 from a vegetarian diet, so I guess the monks' health benefits from a small amount of meat.
  2. How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way

    I was just talking about logical extrapolation here. If we see creatures that vary in size down to what old eyes can see, and remember there are smaller creatures that only our young eyes can see, it's logical to assume there are creatures too small for anyone to see. Sure, but the Buddha warned against the killing, not the eating, even though that is a result of killing. The bad karmic result land on the killer. Regarding the killing, orthodox Buddhism regards the killing of larger animals as karmically worse, because greater effort is required to do it. I think this comes from the Commentaries rather than the suttas. A modern rationalist would see it differently, perhaps arguing that it is worse to kill a more intelligent animal or an animal with a longer lifespan, or as you say, an animal that seems to suffer more. Fortunately - for Buddhists anyway - we are OK as long as we don't kill the animals. Yeah, I remember that scene in Seven Years in Tibet where the monks don't want to dig the foundation for a building because they might kill insects and worms in the soil. This question of whether bad karmic results attach to what we would call "negligence" has always intrigued me. If I drive while very tired or very stressed, and hit a pedestrian, is that bad karma? Since there was no intent, Buddhism says no. But a modern, rationalist perspective would be, "Yes, you are responsible because of your negligence."
  3. Why Buddhism is True

    The author of the book has written an article, Is Mindfulness Meditation BS? A couple of quotes: " It was a very strange thing to have an unpleasant feeling cease to be unpleasant without it really going away. " " The not-self experience isn’t strictly binary. You don’t have to think of it as a threshold that you either manage to finally cross, to transformative effect, or forever fall short of, getting no edification whatsoever. As strange as it may sound, you can, with even a fairly modest daily meditation practice, experience a little bit of not-self. "
  4. How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way

    The Buddha must have been well aware that there were living beings smaller than the eye can see but I think he would have laughed at the idea of trying to figure out whether they were sentient or breathing, or how to avoid killing these unseen creatures. It's just the kind of distraction that has no practical value in reaching enlightenment, and that he was at pains to avoid discussing. It's the same with the monastic rule about not eating meat that you know has been killed specifically for you. All meat we eat is - indirectly - killed for us, yet we know he rejected mandatory vegetarianism. He had to draw a line somewhere that takes into account intent and control of the situation, and that was it. The lay precept not to kill and the monastic rule about eating meat were in fact practical guidelines for achieving a specific objective. As I am sure know, unwittingly killing worms in the ground is not bad kamma in Buddhism because there is no intent. There are several puzzling monastic rules (i.e. not growing food) that were devised because Buddhists were criticized by their over-zealous rivals, the Jains.
  5. How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way

    You might want to have a look at the Buddhism Forum guidelines: All are welcome "provided what you have to say is relevant to Buddhism." In answer to your question, yes, most of the regular posters in the Buddhism forum over the years have been Buddhists discussing Buddhism.
  6. How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way

    Don't forget that the Buddha was not setting down a collection of absolutes written in stone by God. The precepts were practical training rules to facilitate attaining enlightenment. The actual word used in the Pali Canon is either "living" or "breathing" (as in "Abandoning onslaught on breathing beings..."). Presumably it is easier to know if a creature is living and breathing than if it is "sentient." Perhaps because of this, in his commentary, Buddhaghosa says that to violate the precept one must "perceive the being to be living," which would be impossible in the case of bacteria. IMO, and in line with Ven Buddhadhasa's thinking, what's important is the effect of actions on one's mental states. Would we really care much about killing an invisible microbe compared to, say, a kitten? The Canon says that the reason for not killing is that all creatures fear suffering and death, but that is not the observable behaviour of bacteria. I don't think that's what he really meant. As Ven Thannissaro says about the lay precepts: " The precepts are formulated with no ifs, ands, or buts. This means that they give very clear guidance, with no room for waffling or less-than-honest rationalizations. An action either fits in with the precepts or it doesn't. Again, standards of this sort are very healthy to live by. Anyone who has raised children has found that, although they may complain about hard and fast rules, they actually feel more secure with them than with rules that are vague and always open to negotiation. Clear-cut rules don't allow for unspoken agendas to come sneaking in the back door of the mind. If, for example, the precept against killing allowed you to kill living beings when their presence is inconvenient, that would place your convenience on a higher level than your compassion for life. Convenience would become your unspoken standard — and as we all know, unspoken standards provide huge tracts of fertile ground for hypocrisy and denial to grow. If, however, you stick by the standards of the precepts, then as the Buddha says, you are providing unlimited safety for the lives of all. There are no conditions under which you would take the lives of any living beings, no matter how inconvenient they might be. " IMO, the message is that not killing/harming at all is the most skillful way to live life and attain enlightenment. But the Buddha recognized that this would not be possible some of the time, and that negative kamma would attach to the killing according to various factors (the intention, the relative virtue of a human victim, the size of a creature, etc). At a Dhamma talk I attended, Ajahn Pasanno said that a major function of the precepts is to create mindfulness. i.e. The stopping and thinking when about to swat a mosquito cultivates mindfulness. I personally catch mossies in a plastic box and release them outside, but I don't have any problem spraying the place when the neighbour's cats bring fleas in because I can't see them and I can't catch them.
  7. How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way

    No, they aren't considered animals and aren't included in the precept on killing.
  8. How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way

    Several off-topic posts have been deleted.
  9. Some good tips in this article... How to Get Rid of Pests and Bugs the Buddhist Way Kill that impulse! Here are compassionate Buddhist solutions for your favorite pests, without killing them. By Allan Badiner Ants If you have an ant infestation, use your vacuum to quickly get rid of the invaders, and then immediately empty the vacuum bag in the outdoor compost pile or at some distance from your house. Do not use ant bait, or poison sprays like Raid that continue in the toxic waste stream from their point of manufacture to their ultimate destination in landfills or via runoff or sewage into our waterways and oceans. It is important to quickly erase the scent trail that the ants have laid down. First, wash with soapy water and then use a citrus-based repellant, or spray countertops and affected areas with a mixture of juiced lemon, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and a little mint tea. The key to ant control is cleanliness: wipe up food spills immediately, wipe down food preparation surfaces with soapy water, remove garbage frequently, clean food debris out of sinks, rinse well any dirty dishes left in the sink, and sweep and mop floors regularly. Store the food most attractive to ants (honey, sugar, sweet liqueurs, cough syrup, etc.) in the fridge or in jars with rubber gaskets and lids that close with a metal clamp, or zip-lock bags. Unless the lid of a screw-top jar has a rubber seal, ants will follow the threads right into the jar. A few layers of waxed paper (not plastic wrap) between the jar and the lid, if screwed down tightly, will work well as a barrier. Transfer other foods, such as cookies, cereals, crackers, etc in paper boxes, to containers with tight-fitting lids or zip locks; and keep butter in the fridge. Paper and cardboard boxes are not ant-proof. Full article at Tricycle.
  10. Why Buddhism is True

    Metaphors are rarely perfect. In this case the rubber sandals represent mental cultivation, so there is no cost and it is available to all. The Buddha's teachings are available to all. If I lose a leg in an accident there is nothing I can do to regain my former physical wholeness, but there is a lot I can do (using the Dhamma) to deal with the resulting mental anguish.
  11. Why Buddhism is True

    Not really. A practising Buddhist would teach others how to put on the rubber sandals.
  12. Why Buddhism is True

    In Buddhism the "seatbelt" is the cultivation of the mind. It isn't a different plan for every possible contingency, it's a readjustment of the mind to handle all contingencies. As Ajahn Chah once said, if your feet hurt because of rocky ground, you don't attempt to cover the entire world surface with rubber, you put on a pair of rubber sandals.
  13. Why Buddhism is True

    Accepting the fact that unexpected accidents can happen at any time and planning for them does not mean you worry about them all the time. You have home insurance but I'm sure you don't worry about the possibility of a fire all the time.
  14. Why Buddhism is True

    What the Buddha said was that good intentions/actions in the present result in a better future. This doesn't mean that doing good now will enable you to dodge future disasters, but it will prepare you to deal with them and suffer less as a result. What I was getting at - based on my own experience - is that practising the dhamma has a slow, but cumulative effect on one's mental states. If one has been practising for a decade and then gets hit by a bus, the preparation has already been done and the suffering will be less. Taking up the dhamma after the accident would be less effective. This is quite different from, say, being converted to Christianity by some Billy Graham style evangelist, where there is a radical transformation of mental orientation in a very short time. To anyone who says "I don't suffer" I would say, "But you will in the future," if not from an accident, then from health problems in old age. So the dhamma is a form of insurance. You have home insurance, right? But your home isn't on fire right this minute, is it?
  15. Why Buddhism is True

    But what if you are run over by a bus tomorrow and become a paraplegic?