Adding precepts one by one counter undertaking several at once

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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R1111
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Adding precepts one by one counter undertaking several at once

Post by R1111 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:13 pm

Hello friends,

I want to discuss the pros and cons of undertaking several precepts at once and personal experiences with diffrent approaches.
My personal experience is that more precepts make it easier in terms of resulting in more intense benefits of abandonement and mental volition however there is alot working against one as well, so it seems to be more suited for intensive mode of practise. Interestingly monastics go from lay state to rigorously training with 8, 10, 227x and when one starts training as a lay person one takes up training in Five, going from 0-5.

Any thoughts?
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Adding precepts one by one counter undertaking several at once

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:29 pm

At one time the English Sangha candidates went straight from 8 to 227 precepts. I think they now have to spend some time with just 10 precepts before getting full ordination.

The novice ordination was originally intended only for boys and teenagers, but its a wise move in my opinion to give candidates six months or a year, or as long as they feel they need, before taking the final step of full ordination.

For lay people, I think the best approach is to observe only five precepts while working, and taking eight precepts on retreat, or whenever they want to focus on meditation practice. Observing eight precepts is not very practical if doing hard physical labour, though one can get used to pretty much anything.

If you want to undertake more, one meal a day is feasible for meditators, Sitter's practice is OK for some, but does not work well for me, my Burmese supporter used to practice vegetarianism during the three months of the Rains Retreat (vassa). Lay people can do things like that to enhance their practice.
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SarathW
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Re: Adding precepts one by one counter undertaking several at once

Post by SarathW » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:46 pm

:goodpost: Bhante
It is all about gradual training.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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