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Any Buddhists?

So, I've been reading up a lot on Buddhism in the last few days, and I've come across something that I'm curious about. Maybe I would find the answer to this question in further reading, but I'm impatient and want to see if I can find an answer now. :)

One of the things I've read is that as a Buddhist, you're not supposed to harm any living creature. The things I've read indicate it's ANY living creature, even down to a (by comparison to other things) insignificant insect.

That seems pretty clear to me, but what isn't is - how are you supposed to accomplish this? I mean, I've seen where for Buddhists who still eat meat, that there's...well, not a loophole, per se, but there's allowances, I guess? But I'm thinking of, for example, cockroaches. I live in a rural area where they're common, and if I see one in my house, I kill it. I can't stand them, and I find them disgusting. As a Buddhist, would you just live with them in your house? Or would you look into some nonlethal way (which, btw, I've never found one) to eliminate them from your house?

Or another one that I thought of: wasps and things like that. For me, if I'm being stung, it's an automatic response to slap at whatever's doing it. So would you, as a Buddhist, just have to deal with it stinging you?

(I hope you won't think I'm trying to be disrespectful or making fun or anything like that. I'm being completely serious, wondering how you deal with these things if I'm reading it correctly and you're not supposed to harm ANY living creature. Maybe I'm just overthinking it, too.)

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wendythewriter

Asked by wendythewriter at 7:59 PM on Jul. 31, 2013 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 33 (61,976 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • This is definitely a tricky one and, honestly, I think that's a big part of the reasoning behind it. Buddhism is inherently compassionate and the idea is to be aware of the smallest creature, affording it the same compassion that you would the most lofty individual.

    Of course, there is absolutely no way to avoid killing creatures great and small. You can, however, mitigate the amount of it that you have to do. In my case I do not knowingly kill any insect but, rather, scoop it up and place it outside. But I also know that there may be things I'm unaware of (spider in the drain, etc). I simply do the best I can.

    And that is the final lesson. Just do the best you can :) Buddhists aren't immune to the sting of the wasp and we can't expect to place ourselves at the mercy of them but we can be aware that the wasp is part of the big picture. Buddhism is quite the journey lol
    Mrs_Prissy

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 8:21 PM on Jul. 31, 2013

  • Of course, there is absolutely no way to avoid killing creatures great and small.

    What I was reading did mention that some was unavoidable, such as insects being killed by pesticides on farms, or being killed by a plow, or stepping on a tiny ant when you're walking outside. That's why I wasn't sure if I was overthinking it. lol Because as I read it, I got that some would be unavoidable, but then I thought of things like my example and just wasn't sure how that would work.

    Thank you for that answer - it really helped. :)
    wendythewriter

    Comment by wendythewriter (original poster) at 8:29 PM on Jul. 31, 2013

  • "That's why I wasn't sure if I was overthinking it"

    No, not overthinking at all, but just thinking. And as you reflect on it, I bet you'd never thought about it much before, right?

    Buddhism in a nutshell :D
    Mrs_Prissy

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 10:01 PM on Jul. 31, 2013

  • I bet you'd never thought about it much before, right?

    Nope, I hadn't. lol I have now, though.
    wendythewriter

    Comment by wendythewriter (original poster) at 7:40 AM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • I am Buddhist. I do eat meat and kill bugs in our home. I chant twice a day and work hard for my Buddha nature to see the good in all beings.
    http://www.sgi-usa.org/
    I practice the Soka Gakkai international Buddhism. We follow the Lotus Sutra.
    We chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to change our karma and elevate our life condition..
    Please check out them website above.
    Lotusflower_21

    Answer by Lotusflower_21 at 6:24 PM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • Most Buddhists try not to kill. If I have a bug in my home, I take it outside. I do not slap wasps or bees. They don't sting me even when they land on me. Unfortunately because of a health condition, I have to eat meat. I choose to eat chicken and stay away from beef and pork. I do not wear leather shoes or any other piece of clothing made of leather, even a purse.

    I do not condone hunting or fishing. I do not like guns or any instrument of killing. I am a peacenik, meaning I don't approve of war or the military. I meditate and I do yoga on a regular basis. There is much more to Buddhism than not killing. There is right thinking and right living.
    lilangilyn

    Answer by lilangilyn at 5:25 PM on Aug. 6, 2013

  • There is much more to Buddhism than not killing.

    I didn't mean to imply it was all about killing - or rather not killing. I hope it didn't come across that way, and if it did, I apologize. It was just something I read that stayed on my mind and I wanted to see if someone could help me answer those questions. I do know there is much more to it.
    wendythewriter

    Comment by wendythewriter (original poster) at 6:11 PM on Aug. 6, 2013

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