starter wrote:Or probably it's not only for a monk/nun, but also for lay practitioners who hold the 8 precepts (e.g. on Uposatha days)? Should the above-listed things be all included in the 7th precept? I thought the use of mirror and creams are not only for beautification, but also for social appropriateness and health. Probably it's up to one's intention?
well the precept is quite clearly meaning cosmetics for beautification, not creams for dry skin, or medical reasons.
the basis is renouncing the need to rely on things to make oneself beautiful, as virtue is a Beauty unmatched by physical appearances, the ability to leg go of a form of self, a crux to hide behind, I am sure you would of met someone who is nothing but there looks, shallow and nothing without there makeup cloths...
I also have a little trouble with the 8th precept: "He abstains from high and luxurious beds and seats" and the practice of sleeping on the floor. I guess the ancient Indian high beds and seats must be very luxurious. That's why the Buddha associated these two together. From the perspective of health and safety, it would be better to sleep on a bed with certain height instead of on the floor. I suppose it's again up to one's intention?
The rule is not about sleeping on the floor, it is about having more than you need!
The rule for the monks dictate a maximum hight, and some say this is 65cm, but the rule of thumb I use is if you can use it as a chair with your upper legs fully on the bed, and your feet flat on the floor it is not to high, but the hight is only referring to the legs, not the mattress also.
A little more trouble with the 6th precept: "He eats only once a day, refraining from the evening meal and from food at the wrong time of day (after noon?)." I think this teaching is for monastics or the lay in retreats, not for working lay practitioners. Otherwise we'll have to eat a lot during that one meal in order to have enough energy to work for the rest of the day, which might not be so healthy. Refraining from food after noon could be impractical for some working lay practitioners who might have to work before and during the noon hours and can only have lunch in the afternoon.
the allowable period to eat is between dawn and noon, although some use the clock and the winter time, adding an hour for summer time, so 12:00 in winter an 13:00 in summer.
we normally take far to much food, and it is more than possible to eat a good sized meal and breakfast and have enough nutrition to live properly on, but life situation and needs should always be considered, remember this is one day a week, not everyday.
If you are planning to do this everyday keep an eye on your weight it should level out at a point, but if it goes to low for comfort take more, simple.
I leveled out at 11.5St, and by the bmi I should be about 13.4St it was a managable weight and I felt good.
Well, at the end it's a matter of purifying the mind. I guess some formats might not be so important, as long as we have right intention and have no attachments to sensual indulgence? But these are the Buddha's requirements, the precepts, our sacred vows ...
Try just practising the aspects of the eightfold path!