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What to do when a precept is broken - Dhamma Wheel

What to do when a precept is broken

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
jackson
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What to do when a precept is broken

Postby jackson » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:16 pm

Hi everyone,
Did the Buddha give advice for what to do when we break a precept? And if not, what is the proper way to discipline ourselves and also not end up beating ourselves up over it?
Thank you for your replies,
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah

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Ben
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Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:36 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:47 pm

I'd also add Ajahn Brahm's advice on how to deal with mistakes and guilt.

His advice is AFL. Aknowledge. Forgive. Learn. So in this case, I'd say if you break a precept, aknowledge that you broke it. Forgive yourself, because guilt is paralising and of little use in and of itself. And learn the lesson from that mistake. Try to learn why abiding by precepts is good.

AFL

Anjali
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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bodom
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Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby bodom » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:32 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

jackson
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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:40 am

Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby jackson » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:14 am

Thank you for the replies, they've all been helpful.
:anjali:
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah

Cormac Brown
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Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:10 am

Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby Cormac Brown » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:46 pm

“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

denise
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Location: Pahrump

Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby denise » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:26 am

confession is good ....feels good...do it quickly...just sayin :hug:

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ihrjordan
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Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby ihrjordan » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:47 am

Make a determination to abstain from such action in the future; send loving kindness to yourself and anyone you may have harmed and lastly, reflect on your generosity so as to reaffirm to yourself that you are indeed worthy to walk this path.

Garrib
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Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby Garrib » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:05 am


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robertk
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Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby robertk » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:07 am


Garrib
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Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby Garrib » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:01 am


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JMGinPDX
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Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby JMGinPDX » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:01 pm

This question has been well-answered, but if you scroll ahead to 1:03:45 in the video linked below, Luang Por Pasanno gives an excellent response to this type of question, which echoes comments already posted:


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Laurens
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Re: What to do when a precept is broken

Postby Laurens » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:43 pm

Don't think of precepts like most people think of the Ten Commandments.

As you progress along your path you will be a moral person because you will have uprooted the causes of immorality.

Think of it like a garden. The precepts are not a sign post with the words "absolutely no weeds allowed". Viewing it as such will lead to you attacking the weeds with a pair of scissors, wondering why they keep coming back. What you ought to do, is uproot the weeds whilst you cultivate the soil, and plant seeds that will flourish in place of the weeds. Approach the precepts like a gardener who is aware that weeds are undesirable, but knows how to get rid of them properly.

Following rules blindly will lead to confusion, and worry. You will forever be thinking "uh oh what if I just broke a precept" or "does so and so violate the precepts". So far as I am concerned they aren't mean to be taken on in that fashion, but rather like the knowledge that weeds are undesirable. A rough guide for you to work on whilst you develop the means to uproot negative behaviour.

Focus on developing kindness, compassion, wisdom, and concentration, follow the precepts as best you can without worrying too much. We all have moments where we do or say unwholesome things, forgive yourself and work on the roots instead of worrying about each little weed.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan


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