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Re: [dsg] Re: Insects and the Precept Against Killing

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  • upasaka@aol.com
    Hi, James - In a message dated 11/1/06 7:17:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, buddhatrue@yahoo.com writes: ... ========================= Thank you, James.
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 1, 2006
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      Hi, James -

      In a message dated 11/1/06 7:17:20 PM Eastern Standard Time,
      buddhatrue@... writes:

      <Snip>

      > Howard, whenever we wash our bodies we kill thousands and millions of
      > living microbes. There is no way to avoid killing absolutely nothing-
      > I find that to be an extreme view impossible to follow. Actually,
      > the Jains in the Buddha's time attempted such a thing with extreme
      > austerities and the Buddha rejected those practices.
      >
      > You are a householder and you have a responsibility for your house.
      > Just as you kill the bacteria on your body when you wash it, you may
      > have to kill those crickets in the basement to clean your house. You
      > have tried everything else; you take no pleasure in the killing, so I
      > don't see a great deal of akusala kamma-vipaka coming your way if you
      > do it.
      >
      > And if a sotapanna would never dare kill anything, then he/she would
      > have to live as a Jain in the forest, never moving and never washing
      > the body.
      >
      > Metta,
      > James
      >
      =========================
      Thank you, James. This is very kind of you.
      Because the number of crickets is steadily on the rise, it seems that
      I likely will have to kill them and probably soon, unless we eventually move
      out of the house - a highly unlikely choice. I'm trying to delay using poison,
      and meanwhile removing as many as I can catch before that time comes so as to
      kill as few as possible. (They are difficult to catch. If only they knew that
      being caught would be beneficial for them!)
      As for my feelings in the matter, I'm not concerned with unhappy
      results that may come to me as a result. It simply breaks my heart to kill them.
      Again, James, thank you for your kindness. I understand that your
      motive is at least in part to comfort me about this, and I appreciate it very
      much. And your post *does* comfort me.

      With metta,
      Howard

      /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
      in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
      phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • upasaka@aol.com
      Hi, Phil - In a message dated 11/3/06 6:56:50 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... Howard: You re referring to MN 57. My guess is that the kamma the Buddha speaks
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 3, 2006
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        Hi, Phil -

        In a message dated 11/3/06 6:56:50 AM Eastern Standard Time,
        luxalot7@... writes:


        > Hi Howard
        >
        > Heard a couple of Bhikkhu Bodhi MN talks that made me think of this
        > post.
        >
        > One was on the MN Sutta about the "dog ascetic" - forget the number
        > right now. It is the one about bright deeds bringing bright results
        > (destinations?) dark bringing dark, and dark and bright bringing dark
        > and bright. It's hard to understand how one kamma can be both wholesome
        > and unwholesome - obviously it can't, so strictly speaking the sutta
        > doesn't make sense when it comes to patisandhi citta.

        --------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        You're referring to MN 57. My guess is that the "kamma" the Buddha
        speaks of here is conventional, volitional action. Such action is actually a
        complex. It is an amalgam consisting of many mental activities including many
        instances of cetana, and it involves a multitude of mindstates, some kusala and
        some akusala.
        As for patisandhi citta, that should not be considered the sole
        condition determining the nature of "one's next life" unless one believes that all
        conditioning must be contiguous. I do not believe that but also countenance
        "conditionng at a distance".
        --------------------------------------------

        >
        > But Bhikkhu Bodhi gives the example of a parent killing a mosquito
        > taht is after his or her child, and suggests that the kammic impact
        > would thereby be softened - you could check out that dog ascetic sutta
        > yourself to reflect on your dilemma.
        >
        > Also, in his talk on the MN sutta in which the Buddha tells Rahula to
        > reflect on the implications of deeds before, during and after them,
        > Bhikkhu Bodhi points out that in the suttanta one rarely (never?) finds
        > the morally ambiguous situations that we face in real life, and he
        > often wonders why. Obviously you're facing one now. Hope it doesn't
        > bring you much hardship.

        --------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Thank you, Phil! I'm hopeful. I've been leaving on the lights in the
        basement, 24-7, the last couple days, and also keeping the house warm, and none
        of the crickets have been seen. Of course it's possible that they are hiding
        out somewhere in the basement, but on the other hand perhaps many have exited.
        In any case, after a week of not seeing them, we're going to clean the
        basement out [it's become very much of a dumping ground for old boxes and things],
        removing unwanted items, organizing the rest, and sanitizing the place. If the
        crickets seem to be gone, we'll then try to arrange to have entry points
        sealed up. (On the other hand, if they are still there, it'll be much easier to
        find them after the basement area is clear, and then we'll try more effective
        methods to trap them for removal.)
        ----------------------------------------------

        >
        >
        >
        > Phil
        >
        =======================
        With metta,
        Howard

        /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
        in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
        phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Phil
        Hi Howard ... Thank you, Phil! I m hopeful. I ve been leaving on the lights in the basement, 24-7, the last couple days, and also keeping the house warm, and
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 3, 2006
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          Hi Howard

          >>> Howard:
          Thank you, Phil! I'm hopeful. I've been leaving on the lights in the
          basement, 24-7, the last couple days, and also keeping the house
          warm, and none
          of the crickets have been seen.


          I forgot to mention this yesterday - it'll be beneficial for
          everyone so I'll post it here rahter than offlist. Naomi's an
          aromatherapist, and we used "lemon eucalyptus" essential oil (burned
          in a diffuser with a timer) to keep them away this year and it was
          incredibly effective. They just plain hate it! I asked her now and
          she says black pepper, cedarwood, clove (for cockroaches) are well
          known for helping with insects. She says check out an aromatherapy
          shop. It really was amazingly effective for skeeters this year.

          phil
        • upasaka@aol.com
          Hi, Phil - In a message dated 11/3/06 6:49:24 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... ====================== Hey, thank you! I haven t a clue where to find such a shop,
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 3, 2006
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            Hi, Phil -

            In a message dated 11/3/06 6:49:24 PM Eastern Standard Time,
            luxalot7@... writes:

            > I forgot to mention this yesterday - it'll be beneficial for
            > everyone so I'll post it here rahter than offlist. Naomi's an
            > aromatherapist, and we used "lemon eucalyptus" essential oil (burned
            > in a diffuser with a timer) to keep them away this year and it was
            > incredibly effective. They just plain hate it! I asked her now and
            > she says black pepper, cedarwood, clove (for cockroaches) are well
            > known for helping with insects. She says check out an aromatherapy
            > shop. It really was amazingly effective for skeeters this year.
            >
            ======================
            Hey, thank you! I haven't a clue where to find such a shop, but I sure
            will look!

            With metta,
            Howard

            /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
            in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
            phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • upasaka@aol.com
            Hi, Sarah - In a message dated 12/22/06 12:24:54 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... ====================== Each person will have to decide for him/herself whether
            Message 5 of 14 , Dec 21, 2006
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              Hi, Sarah -

              In a message dated 12/22/06 12:24:54 AM Eastern Standard Time,
              sarahprocterabbott@... writes:

              > I
              > think that when someone calls in the pest control company, it's a good
              > example of how we really can only know our own and not the others' cittas
              > at any time
              ======================
              Each person will have to decide for him/herself whether to take lives
              that are "low on the scale", but hiring a pest-control company as a means to
              avoid direct killing reminds me that one who hires a (successful) hit man is
              charged with murder in courts of law. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy, no matter who the
              hypocrites are.

              With metta,
              Howard

              /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
              in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
              phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • bjones6513
              Hi Howard, Your statement regarding hypocrisy reminds me of an argument I always have with my wife concerning eating meat. She says its okay to eat meat as
              Message 6 of 14 , Dec 22, 2006
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                Hi Howard,
                Your statement regarding hypocrisy reminds me of an argument I
                always have with my wife concerning eating meat. She says its okay to
                eat meat as long as you don't kill it yourself. The way I see it, by eating
                meat, whether killed by yourself or not, you are promoting the killing. I
                don't see the difference.
                What about the care of a parasite living in one's body? Is it okay to kill
                it? In the case of the cockroaches, they are generally considered to
                spread disease. Or the farmer who must kill to attend to his crops. Even
                organic farmers have to kill insects.

                Metta,
                Bill
                > > I
                > > think that when someone calls in the pest control company, it's a
                good
                > > example of how we really can only know our own and not the
                others' cittas
                > > at any time
                > ======================
                > Each person will have to decide for him/herself whether to take
                lives
                > that are "low on the scale", but hiring a pest-control company as a
                means to
                > avoid direct killing reminds me that one who hires a (successful) hit
                man is
                > charged with murder in courts of law. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy, no
                matter who the
                > hypocrites are.
                >
                > With metta,
                > Howard
                >
                > /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a
                bubble
                > in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp,
                a
                > phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • upasaka@aol.com
                Hi, Bill - In a message dated 12/22/06 9:16:50 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... Howard: Nor do I. I agree with you on this. I m not a vegetarian, though, for I do
                Message 7 of 14 , Dec 22, 2006
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                  Hi, Bill -

                  In a message dated 12/22/06 9:16:50 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                  Bjones6513@... writes:

                  > Hi Howard,
                  > Your statement regarding hypocrisy reminds me of an argument I
                  > always have with my wife concerning eating meat. She says its okay to
                  > eat meat as long as you don't kill it yourself. The way I see it, by eating
                  >
                  > meat, whether killed by yourself or not, you are promoting the killing. I
                  > don't see the difference.

                  -----------------------------------
                  Howard:
                  Nor do I. I agree with you on this. I'm not a vegetarian, though, for
                  I do eat fish & shellfish, and I admit to violating the precept against
                  killing in that regard. But I do not eat mammals or birds (a.k.a. meat and fowl! ;-)
                  ------------------------------------


                  > What about the care of a parasite living in one's body? Is it okay to kill
                  >
                  > it? In the case of the cockroaches, they are generally considered to
                  > spread disease. Or the farmer who must kill to attend to his crops. Even
                  > organic farmers have to kill insects.

                  --------------------------------------
                  Howard:
                  All tough decisions. I *will* kill bodily invaders. For that matter,
                  on a more serious scale, I would possibly kill in self-defense or in defense of
                  an innocent victim if I deemed it unavoidable, but I would try to do only as
                  little as would be necessary to thwart the aggression. I'm not a pacifist in
                  principle, but I very much tend that way in practice.
                  I would grieve at any killing. I regularly catch and remove from the
                  house, alive, any insects. We had a bad problem with cave/spider crickets (ugly
                  things! ;-)) for a while which I dealt with by one-by-one catching & removing
                  and finally by making the conditions inhospitable for them so that they
                  "chose" to leave. (I think you may have joined DSG after I had been writing about
                  that.)
                  -------------------------------------

                  >
                  > Metta,
                  > Bill
                  >
                  ==================
                  With metta,
                  Howard

                  /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
                  in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
                  phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • bjones6513
                  ... I remember reading about your crickets. I ve been reading the posts for a few months. Sometimes, though, I just don t have time to keep up with them much
                  Message 8 of 14 , Dec 22, 2006
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                    > Hi Howard,
                    I remember reading about your crickets. I've been reading the posts for
                    a few months. Sometimes, though, I just don't have time to keep up
                    with them much less reply to any.
                    Have a nice holiday,
                    With metta,
                    Bill
                    > --------------------------------------
                    > Howard:
                    > All tough decisions. I *will* kill bodily invaders. For that matter,
                    > on a more serious scale, I would possibly kill in self-defense or in the
                    > house, alive, any insects. We had a bad problem with cave/spider
                    crickets (ugly
                    > things! ;-)) for a while which I dealt with by one-by-one catching &
                    removing
                    > and finally by making the conditions inhospitable for them so that they
                    > "chose" to leave. (I think you may have joined DSG after I had been
                    writing about
                    > that.)
                    > -------------------------------------
                    >
                    > >
                    > > Metta,
                    > > Bill
                    > >
                    > ==================
                    > With metta,
                    > Howard
                    >
                    > /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a
                    bubble
                    > in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp,
                    a
                    > phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Jonothan Abbott
                    Hi Bill (and Howard) Hope you don t mind if I come in here. ... One difference could be the intention involved. Eating meat killed by another does not require
                    Message 9 of 14 , Dec 24, 2006
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                      Hi Bill (and Howard)

                      Hope you don't mind if I come in here.

                      bjones6513 wrote:
                      > Hi Howard,
                      > Your statement regarding hypocrisy reminds me of an argument I
                      > always have with my wife concerning eating meat. She says its okay to
                      > eat meat as long as you don't kill it yourself. The way I see it, by eating
                      > meat, whether killed by yourself or not, you are promoting the killing. I
                      > don't see the difference.
                      >

                      One difference could be the intention involved. Eating meat killed by
                      another does not require the intention to kill (nor the intention to
                      promote killing).

                      > What about the care of a parasite living in one's body? Is it okay to kill
                      > it? In the case of the cockroaches, they are generally considered to
                      > spread disease. Or the farmer who must kill to attend to his crops. Even
                      > organic farmers have to kill insects.
                      >

                      There are ways of getting rid of insect pests other than by killing.
                      Takes more effort (and skill), but can be done I believe.

                      Jon
                    • Bob Hurley
                      ... crops. Even ... Do you have any access to some specific information on that? (I mean the question respectfully, not as a challenge). I ll be putting my
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 14, 2007
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                        --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, Jonothan Abbott
                        <jonabbott@...> wrote:
                        > > ... In the case of the cockroaches, they are generally considered to
                        > > spread disease. Or the farmer who must kill to attend to his
                        crops. Even
                        > > organic farmers have to kill insects.
                        > >
                        >
                        > There are ways of getting rid of insect pests other than by killing.
                        > Takes more effort (and skill), but can be done I believe.
                        >
                        > Jon
                        >

                        Do you have any access to some specific information on that? (I mean
                        the question respectfully, not as a challenge). I'll be putting my
                        garden in the ground before long, and I already know that the bugs
                        will get nearly all of it if I don't do something. Other than
                        interplanting borage, marigolds, and maybe a castor bean plant or two,
                        I've been unable to find any specific solutions. I'm not looking for
                        100% success, but I want the critters to leave us some food, too.

                        Last year I used an organic product that was mostly diatomaceous earth
                        and applied it very sparingly to only the infested plants, but that
                        still kills some bugs. While this method will kill only a fraction of
                        what commercial farmers do for the same amount of food, I'd like to
                        refrain from even using that - I'd rather *discourage* the bugs than
                        kill them, if that's at all possible.

                        Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
                      • ken_aitch
                        Hi Bill, Living in a sub-tropical climate I can do most of my gardening in winter when there are fewer pests. I have tried repellant sprays (based on pepper,
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 15, 2007
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                          Hi Bill,

                          Living in a sub-tropical climate I can do most of my gardening in
                          winter when there are fewer pests. I have tried repellant sprays
                          (based on pepper, garlic, chili and so on) on several occasions with
                          mixed success. I don't have a recipe, but I see it on television
                          gardening programs from time to time. The thing I have learnt there
                          is to do it properly or not at all. Make it into a sprayable liquid
                          and apply it evenly all over. Otherwise, the pests just graze around
                          it.

                          Last winter I had a lovely crop of basil that a plague of little
                          green grasshoppers moved in on. I used to pick them off by hand once
                          a day and throw them into a patch to sweet potatoes which they loved
                          just as much, and which they were welcome to.

                          Ken H


                          > Do you have any access to some specific information on that? (I mean
                          > the question respectfully, not as a challenge). I'll be putting my
                          > garden in the ground before long, and I already know that the bugs
                          > will get nearly all of it if I don't do something. Other than
                          > interplanting borage, marigolds, and maybe a castor bean plant or
                          two,
                          > I've been unable to find any specific solutions. I'm not looking for
                          > 100% success, but I want the critters to leave us some food, too.
                          >
                          > Last year I used an organic product that was mostly diatomaceous
                          earth
                          > and applied it very sparingly to only the infested plants, but that
                          > still kills some bugs. While this method will kill only a fraction
                          of
                          > what commercial farmers do for the same amount of food, I'd like to
                          > refrain from even using that - I'd rather *discourage* the bugs than
                          > kill them, if that's at all possible.
                          >
                          > Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
                          >
                        • Jonothan Abbott
                          Hi Bob ... Sorry, but I don t. ... I admire your resolve to tackle this. Good luck! ... Anyone? Jon
                          Message 12 of 14 , Feb 15, 2007
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                            Hi Bob

                            Bob Hurley wrote:
                            >> There are ways of getting rid of insect pests other than by killing.
                            >> Takes more effort (and skill), but can be done I believe.
                            >>
                            >> Jon
                            >>
                            >
                            > Do you have any access to some specific information on that?
                            >

                            Sorry, but I don't.

                            > (I mean
                            > the question respectfully, not as a challenge). I'll be putting my
                            > garden in the ground before long, and I already know that the bugs
                            > will get nearly all of it if I don't do something. Other than
                            > interplanting borage, marigolds, and maybe a castor bean plant or two,
                            > I've been unable to find any specific solutions. I'm not looking for
                            > 100% success, but I want the critters to leave us some food, too.
                            >
                            > Last year I used an organic product that was mostly diatomaceous earth
                            > and applied it very sparingly to only the infested plants, but that
                            > still kills some bugs. While this method will kill only a fraction of
                            > what commercial farmers do for the same amount of food, I'd like to
                            > refrain from even using that - I'd rather *discourage* the bugs than
                            > kill them, if that's at all possible.
                            >

                            I admire your resolve to tackle this. Good luck!

                            > Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
                            >

                            Anyone?

                            Jon
                          • sarah abbott
                            Dear Bob, Welcome to DSG as well! ... ... ... S: I can t give any assistance of the kind you re looking for, having lived in apartments without any
                            Message 13 of 14 , Feb 16, 2007
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                              Dear Bob,

                              Welcome to DSG as well!

                              --- Bob Hurley <grhurley@...> wrote:
                              > > There are ways of getting rid of insect pests other than by killing.
                              > > Takes more effort (and skill), but can be done I believe.
                              > >
                              > > Jon
                              > >
                              >
                              > Do you have any access to some specific information on that?
                              <...>
                              > Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
                              ...
                              S: I can't give any assistance of the kind you're looking for, having
                              lived in apartments without any garden of our own for well-over 20 years.

                              Actually, one reason we live in an apartment is to be free of these
                              concerns as much as possible! We sometimes think of moving to a small,old
                              house by the waves in a sub-tropical garden (here in Hong Kong), but I
                              know there'd be all these problems to deal with.

                              I used to have large pot plants, but got rid of these too when they seemed
                              to attract insects! My mother's always been a keen gardener and always had
                              very large gardens - I'll see what she says. I know she's never used any
                              sprays at all. She used to curse at the snails and destroy them, but now,
                              at least when I'm around, she gathers them up and takes them somewhere
                              else. she lives in England. Where do you live?

                              Metta,

                              Sarah
                              ========
                            • sarah abbott
                              Hi Bob, Ken H & all, ... .... S: I asked my mother for any advice just now. She s always had large gardens and doesn t use sprays as I mentioned (or plastic or
                              Message 14 of 14 , Feb 24, 2007
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                                Hi Bob, Ken H & all,

                                --- Bob Hurley <grhurley@...> wrote:
                                >I'll be putting my
                                > garden in the ground before long, and I already know that the bugs
                                > will get nearly all of it if I don't do something. Other than
                                > interplanting borage, marigolds, and maybe a castor bean plant or two,
                                > I've been unable to find any specific solutions. I'm not looking for
                                > 100% success, but I want the critters to leave us some food, too.
                                ....
                                S: I asked my mother for any advice just now. She's always had large
                                gardens and doesn't use sprays as I mentioned (or plastic or electronic
                                gadgets....!)

                                She said she sticks to what is mostly trouble-free! So, for example, in
                                her present garden which is surrounded by fields with rabbits, she grows
                                courgettes, leeks, onions, runner beans and potatoes, but doesn't bother
                                with greens such as spinach and lettuce because they'd get eaten for sure.

                                She grows tomatoes in a small green-house and also suggests marigolds
                                amongst them to prevent greenfly, for example.

                                Also, half a grapefruit out for slugs.....

                                Let us know how you get on and which country you're in.

                                Metta,

                                Sarah
                                =========
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