The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

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anthbrown84
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The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by anthbrown84 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:28 am

Hello all,

I am trying my best to get 4 uposatha days in within any 1 month. I have been looking up the guidelines for these days and I came across this statement in regards as to when certain types of Uposatha should be undertaken.

The link is from access to insight and it is a series of questions about the uposatha answered by Bikkhu Kantasilo.

https://accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors ... ha.html#qa

Basically, my understanding is, there is 3 types of uposatha days, the 1st and second are taken on certain moon days, where the 3rd is taken during the rains retreat. So the first two are of interest to me here.

The article says ''The times for keeping the pakati-uposatha are the 5th, 8th, 14th and 15th of the waxing moon and the 5th, 8th, 14th and 15th of the waning moon.
The times for keeping the pati-jagara-uposatha are the five days of the waxing moon, i.e., the 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and the 13th, and the six days of the waning moon: the 1st, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 12th or 13th. That makes eleven days in a month for the observance of this type of Uposatha.''

So my question has 2parts

how do we know what days these are?? What is meant by the 5th, 8th days of the waxing or waning moon etc

And also, there are 8 days to one type and 11 days for the other type. But what is the difference between the two? I have just read that''
1. Pakati. It means the ordinary way for fixing uposatha days.
2. Patijagara. It means the way for awakening one frequently from his unbeneficial pursuits, by keeping sila on the days preceding and following the uposatha day.''

So is the first type just the standard and trhe 2nd type seen as optional extras??


Thankyou for your time, it is really appreciated.

Anyone looking to learn more about the Uposatha, this is a brilliant collection of suttas and questions and answers etc...

https://accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/ ... satha.html




Anthony
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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TamHanhHi
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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by TamHanhHi » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:05 am

anthbrown84 wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:28 am
how do we know what days these are??
When someone says the eighth day of the waxing moon—also known as the First Quarter—it means eight days after the New Moon, when the moon is getting 'fuller'. It's when the moon looks half-illuminated-ish. The eighth day of the waning moon—also known as the Last Quarter—means eight days after the Full Moon, when the moon gets darker.

So if you want to find out the 5th day, etc. just count. Here's the general moon day calendar, but different traditions have their own calendar too, which may be a little different (like the Ajahn Chah tradition or the Dhammayut).

Simply, the more you practice the eight precepts, the better it is for your training. But not everyone's able to do that, so the Buddha recommended that people at least practice on the four times a month they can, at a minimum. Also note, the specific days aren't that important. What matters is the quality practice.

To practice similar to the pati-uposatha, then, could look like practicing for one additional day after or before the traditional Uposatha. Likewise, for pati-jagara-uposatha you could practice for one additional day before and after the traditional Uposatha (similar to what Ajahn Lee calls ukkattha uposatha).
"Just as a large banyan tree, on level ground where four roads meet, is a haven for the birds all around, even so a lay person of conviction is a haven for many people: monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers."AN 5.38 :candle: | Blog at http://dhammareflections.wordpress.com

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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:37 pm

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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:12 pm

TamHanhHi wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:05 am
So if you want to find out the 5th day, etc. just count. Here's the general moon day calendar, but different traditions have their own calendar too, which may be a little different (like the Ajahn Chah tradition or the Dhammayut).
A small technical point: The "Ajahn Chah" calendar is the Thai Maha Nikaya Calendar. Thai Wats follow one or the other, depending on which Nikaya they are (Maha or Dhammayut, Ajahn Chah happened to be ordained as the former). Sri Lankan, Burmese, and so on, calendars can also vary.

My answer to the question would be: "Whoever you you are practicing with". Otherwise you might turn up on the wrong day... :tongue:

And if you're doing it by yourself, it really doesn't matter. If it's more convenient, you might consider decoupling from the lunar cycle and following the Western innovation of a 7 day cycle... At our local Wat we have both. Some people turn up on the official days, some on Sunday, some both...

:heart:
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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by justindesilva » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:08 pm

Though people has regulated to observe uposatha on specific days of lunar calendar , It may be observed on any other day too. What matters is observation of uposatha. I had a friend who observed upostha on sundays for his convenience.
In New zealand and Austrlia as full moon (poya) days are not holidays they arrange the nearest sunday to observe uposatha sila.

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anthbrown84
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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by anthbrown84 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:24 am

Thankyou for the thought out replies so far.

I have another question regarding this. There is apparently 2 ways (well 3 but only 2 concern us) someone can observe the Uposatha, as described below: -

copala-uposatha — Uposatha practiced by lay men and women who appear as though they were hired cowhands is known as copala-uposatha.
ariya-uposatha — Uposatha as kept by upasakas and upasikas, being special due to the terms of practice, is called ariya-uposatha.


My question regards Copala Uposatha - The cowherd thing is people who observe the 8 precepts but then engage in low speech (they indulge in low speech. There is talk of villages, towns, mountains, trees, fields, gardens, buying and selling, grandchildren, here and there, this and that person, etc).

Does this basically mean to talk to our family on the observance day on anything other than Dhamma that we are flaling into the lower category? Therefore not getting the full benefit of the Uposatha?

People these days say there is no need to take these things so literally, but I do wonder, is this just modern standards slacking?

Thankyou

Anthony
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by justindesilva » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:56 am

anthbrown84 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:24 am
Thankyou for the thought out replies so far.

I have another question regarding this. There is apparently 2 ways (well 3 but only 2 concern us) someone can observe the Uposatha, as described below: -

copala-uposatha — Uposatha practiced by lay men and women who appear as though they were hired cowhands is known as copala-uposatha.
ariya-uposatha — Uposatha as kept by upasakas and upasikas, being special due to the terms of practice, is called ariya-uposatha.


My question regards Copala Uposatha - The cowherd thing is people who observe the 8 precepts but then engage in low speech (they indulge in low speech. There is talk of villages, towns, mountains, trees, fields, gardens, buying and selling, grandchildren, here and there, this and that person, etc).

Does this basically mean to talk to our family on the observance day on anything other than Dhamma that we are flaling into the lower category? Therefore not getting the full benefit of the Uposatha?

People these days say there is no need to take these things so literally, but I do wonder, is this just modern standards slacking?

Thankyou

Anthony
To get the best benefit we should practise ariya uposatha.

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Grigoris
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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:52 pm

Realistically the only thing one can do is practice to the best of their ability, when circumstances allow them to.

Anything else is just spiritual bureaucracy.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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anthbrown84
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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by anthbrown84 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:54 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:52 pm
Realistically the only thing one can do is practice to the best of their ability, when circumstances allow them to.

Anything else is just spiritual bureaucracy.

In some ways I do agree, but the sutta when The Buddha talked to the Sakyans about the Uposatha, he tells them it is no good to sometimes observe, and other times not.

This highlighted to me, maybe we are just being to slack and being in line with our preferences as opposed to The Dhamma
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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Grigoris
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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:01 pm

anthbrown84 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:54 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:52 pm
Realistically the only thing one can do is practice to the best of their ability, when circumstances allow them to.

Anything else is just spiritual bureaucracy.

In some ways I do agree, but the sutta when The Buddha talked to the Sakyans about the Uposatha, he tells them it is no good to sometimes observe, and other times not.

This highlighted to me, maybe we are just being to slack and being in line with our preferences as opposed to The Dhamma
The proscribed days are based on the moon cycle, because that was the calendar available to (and used by) people back then.

Somehow I find it hard to believe that the Buddha would be upset if you practiced on a Sunday.

In many Buddhist countries these days are public holidays (like Sundays in Western countries). Is it because the people in these countries are slack that the observance days happen to fall on public holidays?
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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anthbrown84
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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by anthbrown84 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:06 pm

[/quote]
To get the best benefit we should practise ariya uposatha.
[/quote]

Thankyou,

I do understand that, but when The Buddha lists these things that are almost idle chatter, does this include family business. To the extent that you should keep noble silence to anything said outside of The Dhamma on these days? Are we to take it this literally, or is important family conversation to your children acceptable for instance,.

I hope im not sounding to much like a nit picker here, I just want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly in line with my own abilities.
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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anthbrown84
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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by anthbrown84 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:11 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:01 pm
anthbrown84 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:54 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:52 pm
Realistically the only thing one can do is practice to the best of their ability, when circumstances allow them to.

Anything else is just spiritual bureaucracy.

In some ways I do agree, but the sutta when The Buddha talked to the Sakyans about the Uposatha, he tells them it is no good to sometimes observe, and other times not.

This highlighted to me, maybe we are just being to slack and being in line with our preferences as opposed to The Dhamma
The proscribed days are based on the moon cycle, because that was the calendar available to (and used by) people back then.

Somehow I find it hard to believe that the Buddha would be upset if you practiced on a Sunday.

In many Buddhist countries these days are public holidays (like Sundays in Western countries). Is it because the people in these countries are slack that the observance days happen to fall on public holidays?
sorry, my point wasn't aimed at the day we practise on. It was because you said we should try to do it as best as our abilities let us....

to me that sounds like the part in the sutta where the Sakyans say they ''sometimes do, sometimes dont'' observe the uposatha... and The Buddhas reply is quite to the point on that matter
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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Grigoris
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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:18 pm

anthbrown84 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:11 pm
sorry, my point wasn't aimed at the day we practise on. It was because you said we should try to do it as best as our abilities let us....

to me that sounds like the part in the sutta where the Sakyans say they ''sometimes do, sometimes dont'' observe the uposatha... and The Buddhas reply is quite to the point on that matter
Regardless. One can do nothing more than to do their best, as often as they can.

Sometimes that is great and often, sometimes it is shite and rarely.

It is when you stop trying that things go to the dogs. Beating oneself up doesn't help in the slightest.

:anjali:
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by JMGinPDX » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:15 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:18 pm
anthbrown84 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:11 pm
sorry, my point wasn't aimed at the day we practise on. It was because you said we should try to do it as best as our abilities let us....

to me that sounds like the part in the sutta where the Sakyans say they ''sometimes do, sometimes dont'' observe the uposatha... and The Buddhas reply is quite to the point on that matter
Regardless. One can do nothing more than to do their best, as often as they can.

Sometimes that is great and often, sometimes it is shite and rarely.

It is when you stop trying that things go to the dogs. Beating oneself up doesn't help in the slightest.

:anjali:
...and if I may be so bold as to expand on this with my own thought...

There's a difference between practicing "to the best of your abilities" in all earnestness and with best intentions, and practicing "sometimes I do sometimes I don't" which implies a lack of earnestness and indifference.
INTENTION and sincerity is key, as well as understanding and honoring the basic purpose of the day, which is to give pause to worldly pursuits and align with the dhamma. Specific details of when you do it, how you do it, who you do or don't talk to or what you say, etc. etc. are all details that are meant to help focus one's awareness, but it's not productive to get caught up in the details themselves.
Right now, it's like this...

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Re: The Uposatha, the correct time to do it

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:41 am

anthbrown84 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:54 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:52 pm
Realistically the only thing one can do is practice to the best of their ability, when circumstances allow them to.

Anything else is just spiritual bureaucracy.

In some ways I do agree, but the sutta when The Buddha talked to the Sakyans about the Uposatha, he tells them it is no good to sometimes observe, and other times not.

This highlighted to me, maybe we are just being to slack and being in line with our preferences as opposed to The Dhamma
this is correct, it has been called backsliding, keeping uposatha is very beneficial
really examine if keeping the eight precepts for one day (i prefer the correct day, following the four moon phases) is something you can do, even if you work, go to school, etc. if you dont have diabetes you'll be fine one day probably with or without food. i get up about noon regularly, and on uposatha i still get up at noon which leaves me about an hour to eat (going by solar noon) and i have also gone without food. if you're not working construction or something just go for it.
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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