Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Flipasso on October 08, 2007, 09:40:14 PM

Title: Cigarettes and Meditation
Post by: Flipasso on October 08, 2007, 09:40:14 PM
What do you think about cigarrets(spl?) and meditation?
Do you think they go well together or not?
I am quitting cigarets and I noticed that in the first days my practice was more intense then this feeling faded, which is a bummer because it was keeping me motivated to quit.
But in your experience they help or they are an obstacle?

EDIT: Flipasso ... I've corrected the spelling in the title for you :) TIB
Title: Re: Cigarrets and Meditation
Post by: Juan on October 08, 2007, 11:16:37 PM
My point of view is that as with everything in this beautiful samsara, the subject are not the cigarretes, but... CRAVING. Craving does not go well with meditation because the point of meditating is to eradicate craving.
Don't feel disapointed because practice seems to sometimes fade in intensity, this is the inherent nature of it, you have to be equanimous either you have a great session or a miserable one. If you don't do this and only expect very intense sessions you are dangerously conditioning your practice, and all benefits will be further and further away.
This not so intense sessions you've been having are great teachers. Feel happy and thankful for them.

Cigarettes, like all drugs, ARE an obstacle, and obstacles are the real teachers if you learn to overcome them.

I quit drugs two years and a half ago and I am on a very good way to conquer the craving for them.

Just be aware and equanimous...

And like with all craving, there will come a delightful joy in the conquering of it.
Title: Re: Cigarrets and Meditation
Post by: Matthew on October 08, 2007, 11:52:41 PM

Very well said. Another key point is that nicotine being addictive makes smoking a very habitual and conditioned reaction to nicotine withdrawal.

Flipasso, overcoming these cravings will strengthen your practice in overcoming craving in other areas.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew :)

ps I was very shocked when a Zen Master, Kobun Chino Roshi, came onto the veranda at a Dhamma centre and asked me to roll him a cigarette. "Roshi I'm surprised you smoke", said I. "well", he replied, "once in a while it's quite pleasant and no bad thing".
Title: Re: Cigarettes and Meditation
Post by: Ben on October 09, 2007, 01:44:27 PM
Dear Flipasso

The health benefits of giving up tobacco are well documented.  The health benefits in themselves are a powerful motivating force to give up smoking.  Human life being so precious, I believe we should do everything we can to maintain our health, if only to take the opportunity to practice Dhamma and to serve those who still depend on us.

Another reason has already been touched on.  While practicing forms of meditation that attempts to eradicate the root cause of suffering (craving), by then indulging in the object of our craving will only create an obstacle and barrier for progress towards the eradication of that particular craving.

If you are interested in giving up tobacco, I can highly recommend a step-by-step program using nicotine patches.  If used correctly they are highly effective.
Kind regards

Title: Re: Cigarettes and Meditation
Post by: Stefan on October 21, 2007, 09:33:15 PM
As for the craving-problem, I'm with you all.
But I do think it makes a difference wether you crave for this or that. In the ten-day-courses by Goenkaji cigarettes are strictly forbidden, but there are many courses where you can have coffee or black tea for breakfast. As a biologist I have to say that nicotine - being a poison that affects the nerves - is going to dull you, your mind and your alertness on an organic level. So you could say that nicotine is a big obstacle compared to other substances (anyone quit white sugar or white bread lately?)
... but then you have to consider your individuality: Some people do fine with a glass beer or two, whereas I know that drinking alcohol would destroy my life (nearly did ...). On the other hand, there are some potheads who are not at all able to lead a life when stoned, but marihuana never affected me in a bad way (I was sooo stoned when I did my diploma examinations and passed them all with the best marks ... don't tell anyone!) ... there might even be some junkies who are able to lead a normal life.
I gave up a lot objects of craving in the last ten years: TV, alcohol, cigarettes, meat, computergames, speedmetal and so on (even white sugar) ... there are always two aspects: 1) you really want to quit it  & 2) the time has come when you can quit it.
If you are able to stop the cigarette extravaganza - good ... if you are not able to stop it at the present moment, then don't try to force yourself, 'cos it would lead you into the old "craving-aversion-craving-aversion" circle which is only going to strengthen the habit of smoking (and, of course, the habit of craving-aversion). As for my pot-habit: whenever I feel the wish for some marihuana arising, then I just watch it with equanimity ... anicca anicca ... and the wish will fade. But everytime I can't keep up the equanimity and the ego trip starts (I must not smoke, aaarrrggh, I must not smoke !!!), then I fill my bong and Boom Shiva! ... and at least I can stay equanimous to the fact that I couldn't keep up my equanimity ...
May we all experience real freedom as soon as possible!

Love & Light,