Support in following the 8 precepts

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
philosopher
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:48 pm

Support in following the 8 precepts

Postby philosopher » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:38 am

My aspiration over the last couple of years has been to follow the 8 precepts perfectly, but I find it difficult without the support or camaraderie of anyone else. The members of my local sangha (parisa, to be precise) do not seem, for the most part, to be very devoted practitioners (at least, the ones who are the most vocal during meetings). They bash the precepts and some even take personal offense to the suggestion that breaking them is not conducive to serious practice.

Does anyone have any suggestions for practicing the 8 precepts all the time in lay life? Obviously I'm very careful about what media I consume, and the beauty of the precepts is that they force mindfuless since one cannot escape difficult feelings with music, food, etc. But because they run so counter to mainstream society, it'd be great to have a "support group" of sorts. Any suggestions? I try to just read as much dhamma as I can since this helps a lot. And over the years, seeing the negative effects of breaking them and how doing so disturbs blissful states of peace has also been helpful.

:anjali:

Faelig
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:41 pm
Location: France

Re: Support in following the 8 precepts

Postby Faelig » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:21 pm

Hi Philosopher,

I am pondering these questions as well right now... and, like you, I found that reading the suttas daily helps me a lot!
I feel that I would benefit from being part of a group of persons following the same precepts or practices (eg: uposatha), which is not the case yet.

Regarding music I have no problems not listening to music anymore, but I've never been into it too much anyway so maybe that's why this one was easy. One thing that might help is deleting all the digital music on your computer (if you have some) since this is often illegal downloading - and once the music is not on the computer then it's easier not to be tempted.

It is a bit harder with fictional movies or series but for now I managed to maintain it. Reminding myself how much time I save by not watching stuff helps me a lot I think (it was the same trick that got me out of video games, I spent so much time on that Oo) - I am pleased that I can spend time on more valuable goals such as work, sutta study or family/friends.

I tried not too have food in the evening but I could not manage that one... that's the one I would need help from other people doing the same thing I think. That's a tough one for me.

Good luck with your practice!

Faelig

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Goofaholix
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Re: Support in following the 8 precepts

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:48 pm

Do it while living in a monastery or retreat centre, that's what they're designed for.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

SarathW
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Re: Support in following the 8 precepts

Postby SarathW » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:42 pm

Does anyone have any suggestions for practicing the 8 precepts all the time in lay life?


It is possible to practice 8 precepts as lay person all time in his/her life.
If you have a partner then practicing celibacy could be a problem unless your partner support it.
If you do hard labour work you may need some regular sustenance.
Your job may be a hindrance to your practice.
This is the reason why lay people observe eight precepts only once a month in Uposata days.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

befriend
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Re: Support in following the 8 precepts

Postby befriend » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:35 pm

In the course of Buddhist history has there ever been an 8 precept community of practitioners?
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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DC2R
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Re: Support in following the 8 precepts

Postby DC2R » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:58 pm

I try to follow the eight precepts, but it is difficult. So far, I have done away with music and entertainment as well as beautification. However, eating between sunrise and noon is a challenge for someone who does a lot of physical work and must conform to other people's schedules. I find it best to observe the eight precepts once per week, say, on Sunday. If you can actually follow the Uposatha calendar, that is even better. Overall, I have found that the most practical path for lay people is to observe the five precepts all the time, and the eight precepts on special observance days. That being said, I abstain from things such as music all the time anyway, which I suppose is beneficial to maintaining a peaceful mind.
May the blessings of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha always be firmly established in your hearts.

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