Precepts for Personal Practice

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Sea Turtle
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Sea Turtle » Tue May 03, 2016 7:52 pm

Hi KB,
Khalil Bodhi wrote: Feel kind of strange posting this but I wanted to put this out there to see if anyone else has done anything similar and to get your thoughts (if any) on some additional training rules I've undertaken (in addition to the 8 Lifetime Precepts) to help me cultivate the brahmaviharas and work on my defilements. I thank you all in advance for your indulgence.
Just wanted to say that I appreciate you sharing this aspect of your practice with us and that I found it inspiring.
Khalil Bodhi wrote: ....I'd rather be a sucker than a cynic when people are suffering.
Fully agree. If I am able to give, then I give with the wish that the recipient be well. How the gift is used is not within my control and, I find, not beneficial for me to dwell upon.

:anjali:

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Tue May 03, 2016 7:59 pm

Sea Turtle wrote:Hi KB,
Khalil Bodhi wrote: Feel kind of strange posting this but I wanted to put this out there to see if anyone else has done anything similar and to get your thoughts (if any) on some additional training rules I've undertaken (in addition to the 8 Lifetime Precepts) to help me cultivate the brahmaviharas and work on my defilements. I thank you all in advance for your indulgence.
Just wanted to say that I appreciate you sharing this aspect of your practice with us and that I found it inspiring.
Khalil Bodhi wrote: ....I'd rather be a sucker than a cynic when people are suffering.
Fully agree. If I am able to give, then I give with the wish that the recipient be well. How the gift is used is not within my control and, I find, not beneficial for me to dwell upon.

:anjali:
Thanks for this. :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Mkoll
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Mkoll » Tue May 03, 2016 8:09 pm

Khalil Bodhi wrote:
Here's a situation. You know those people at the gas station asking for money with a sob-story about running out of gas when they're really just swindling you—would you give them money? If so, isn't that rewarding evil behavior?
I'd pay for their gas.
OK, maybe you haven't encountered these people.

They don't actually need gas and they don't have a car in sight. They just want you to hand them some cash.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Tue May 03, 2016 8:36 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Khalil Bodhi wrote:
Here's a situation. You know those people at the gas station asking for money with a sob-story about running out of gas when they're really just swindling you—would you give them money? If so, isn't that rewarding evil behavior?
I'd pay for their gas.
OK, maybe you haven't encountered these people.

They don't actually need gas and they don't have a car in sight. They just want you to hand them some cash.
No, I meet these guys all the time. Either they take what I'm offering begrudgingly or they tell me to get lost. Trust me, the East Village is rife with junkies and people looking to take advantage of Buddhist rubes like me :tongue:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1 ... 279&v=info
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Mkoll
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Mkoll » Tue May 03, 2016 8:47 pm

Khalil Bodhi wrote:Either they take what I'm offering begrudgingly or they tell me to get lost.
You must not be very generous then :P. Or maybe people are just more rude in NYC. Most homeless I've given to (Oakland, Berkeley, SF) say "thank you" or "God bless" or something then quickly forget about you and look out for the next handout. Some say nothing. Rare is the guy who asks for more or does something rude.

Just my experience though.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Tue May 03, 2016 8:50 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Khalil Bodhi wrote:Either they take what I'm offering begrudgingly or they tell me to get lost.
You must not be very generous then :P. Or maybe people are just more rude in NYC. Most homeless I've given to (Oakland, Berkeley, SF) say "thank you" or "God bless" or something then quickly forget about you and look out for the next handout. Some say nothing. Rare is the guy who asks for more or does something rude.

Just my experience though.
They're not rude exactly they just try to insist that they'd rather take cash. When I let them know it's food or nothing most will accept...
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1 ... 279&v=info
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com

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Mkoll
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Mkoll » Tue May 03, 2016 9:12 pm

Khalil Bodhi wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
Khalil Bodhi wrote:Either they take what I'm offering begrudgingly or they tell me to get lost.
You must not be very generous then :P. Or maybe people are just more rude in NYC. Most homeless I've given to (Oakland, Berkeley, SF) say "thank you" or "God bless" or something then quickly forget about you and look out for the next handout. Some say nothing. Rare is the guy who asks for more or does something rude.

Just my experience though.
They're not rude exactly they just try to insist that they'd rather take cash. When I let them know it's food or nothing most will accept...
Got it.

I used to keep granola or energy bars in my car for the many times homeless people stood at a freeway on-ramp/off-ramp or at a light asking for handouts. Definitely better than giving change. Now I don't because I've moved and don't use my car much. 8-)
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

SarathW
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by SarathW » Tue May 03, 2016 10:26 pm

Hi KB
I am pleased to see your effort in keeping precepts. :namaste:

It is important to keep precepts simple.
I know many Buddhist who can't remember even the five precepts.

Other thing is, it is important to give some guidelines rather than specific precepts. (such as Brahma Vihara)
Then a person can take his own decision when he face with different road blocks.

It also important to note that precepts are not commandments.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Polar Bear
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Polar Bear » Wed May 04, 2016 1:06 am

Khalil Bodhi wrote: I undertake the training rule to care for the sick, helpless, infirm and elderly wherever I find them.

You can also see them at my practice blog here: https://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com/abhaya-cariya/
I would like to introduce you and everyone else who reads this to a particular method of generosity. I think it the case that this method is a more rational/effective utilization of one's inclination to be generous than merely helping out those in need you come across. Please do watch the 17 minute video (the first link) and consider reading more about the movement known as effective altruism. I now donate a portion of my income in this way and would of course encourage everyone to do so as I believe it is the clearest way to a poverty free world, a world devoid of many of the most extreme forms of suffering.

The Why and How of Effective Altruism by Peter Singer

http://www.effectivealtruism.org/about-ea" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.thelifeyoucansave.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A very noble set of training rules Khalil Bodhi. Anumodana!

:anjali:
Last edited by Polar Bear on Wed May 04, 2016 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Ben
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Ben » Wed May 04, 2016 1:51 am

Dear KB,
You are a great role model and kalayanamitta. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have you as a companion on this path.
With metta,
Ben
Khalil Bodhi wrote:Hi everyone,

Feel kind of strange posting this but I wanted to put this out there to see if anyone else has done anything similar and to get your thoughts (if any) on some additional training rules I've undertaken (in addition to the 8 Lifetime Precepts) to help me cultivate the brahmaviharas and work on my defilements. I thank you all in advance for your indulgence.
  • I undertake the training rule to protect living beings wherever I find them.
    I undertake the training rule to abstain from eating the flesh of beings slaughtered for food.
    I undertake the training rule to perform one act of charity everyday.
    I undertake the training rule to keep my surroundings clean and orderly as a reflection of my respect and gratitude.
    I undertake the training rule to care for the sick, helpless, infirm and elderly wherever I find them.
    I undertake the training rule to refrain from intentionally exposing myself to any media that inflame lust.
    I undertake the training rule to refrain from being alone with a member of the opposite sex who is not my partner.
    I undertake the training rule to speak only what I know to be true and to remain silent when I am unsure.
    I undertake the training rule to speak well of others, dwelling on their good qualities.
    I undertake the training rule to seek out and wholeheartedly engage with situations and people that I find difficult and troublesome.
    I undertake the training rule to refrain from speaking when angered or irritated.
    I undertake the training rule to live frugally and consume only what is necessary.
    I undertake the training rule to cultivate the perception of gratitude and contentment with everything.
    I undertake the training rule to immediately forgive any harm done to me.
    I undertake the training rule to be a peacemaker — promoting harmony and concord whenever there is conflict or disagreement.
    I undertake the training rule to accept all blame and responsibility without hesitation.
    I undertake the training rule to cultivate appreciation of the good qualities of others’ and abandon jealousy.
    I undertake the training rule to give help whenever it is asked for.
You can also see them at my practice blog here: https://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com/abhaya-cariya/
“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

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Dan74-new
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Dan74-new » Wed May 04, 2016 2:15 am

I like your list, KB. Not being alone with a woman other than my partner is not something that I would take on (having worked at Uni before, I was alone plenty of times with my students during consultation hours and now I share an office with a female colleague).

I guess for me, it's ultimately the intention that is paramount. So Dana in all its forms is extremely important, but giving can be unskillful and even harmful when it supports bad habits. Sincere selfless giving trumps being a stickler for rules any time in my book. So to to have the right intention translated into wise action is the key when it comes to all training precepts.

I guess you are familiar with Tich Nhat Hanh's training rules? http://www.orderofinterbeing.org/for-th ... trainings/. Maybe something of use there.

_/|\_

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Wed May 04, 2016 2:29 am

polarbear101 wrote:
Khalil Bodhi wrote: I undertake the training rule to care for the sick, helpless, infirm and elderly wherever I find them.

You can also see them at my practice blog here: https://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com/abhaya-cariya/
I would like to introduce you and everyone else who reads this to a particular method of generosity. I think it the case that this method is a more rational/effective utilization of one's inclination to be generous than merely helping out those in need you come across. Please do watch the 17 minute video (the first link) and consider reading more about the movement known as effective altruism. I now donate a portion of my income in this way and would of course encourage everyone to do so as I believe it is the clearest way to a poverty free world, a world devoid of many of the most extreme forms of suffering.

The Why and How of Effective Altruism by Peter Singer

http://www.effectivealtruism.org/about-ea" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.thelifeyoucansave.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A very noble set of training rules Khalil Bodhi. Anumodana!

:anjali:
I love Peter Singer and his work. Reading his books changed the way I think about my place in the world. I do try to give a portion of my income but I find that I love the heart connection when I'm not giving with my own hands. Thank you for this and be well. :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1 ... 279&v=info
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Wed May 04, 2016 2:31 am

Ben wrote:Dear KB,
You are a great role model and kalayanamitta. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have you as a companion on this path.
With metta,
Ben
Khalil Bodhi wrote:Hi everyone,

Feel kind of strange posting this but I wanted to put this out there to see if anyone else has done anything similar and to get your thoughts (if any) on some additional training rules I've undertaken (in addition to the 8 Lifetime Precepts) to help me cultivate the brahmaviharas and work on my defilements. I thank you all in advance for your indulgence.
  • I undertake the training rule to protect living beings wherever I find them.
    I undertake the training rule to abstain from eating the flesh of beings slaughtered for food.
    I undertake the training rule to perform one act of charity everyday.
    I undertake the training rule to keep my surroundings clean and orderly as a reflection of my respect and gratitude.
    I undertake the training rule to care for the sick, helpless, infirm and elderly wherever I find them.
    I undertake the training rule to refrain from intentionally exposing myself to any media that inflame lust.
    I undertake the training rule to refrain from being alone with a member of the opposite sex who is not my partner.
    I undertake the training rule to speak only what I know to be true and to remain silent when I am unsure.
    I undertake the training rule to speak well of others, dwelling on their good qualities.
    I undertake the training rule to seek out and wholeheartedly engage with situations and people that I find difficult and troublesome.
    I undertake the training rule to refrain from speaking when angered or irritated.
    I undertake the training rule to live frugally and consume only what is necessary.
    I undertake the training rule to cultivate the perception of gratitude and contentment with everything.
    I undertake the training rule to immediately forgive any harm done to me.
    I undertake the training rule to be a peacemaker — promoting harmony and concord whenever there is conflict or disagreement.
    I undertake the training rule to accept all blame and responsibility without hesitation.
    I undertake the training rule to cultivate appreciation of the good qualities of others’ and abandon jealousy.
    I undertake the training rule to give help whenever it is asked for.
You can also see them at my practice blog here: https://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com/abhaya-cariya/
Ben,

Thank you and I hope you know I feel the same about you.

Mettaya,

KB
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1 ... 279&v=info
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Wed May 04, 2016 2:32 am

Dan74-new wrote:I like your list, KB. Not being alone with a woman other than my partner is not something that I would take on (having worked at Uni before, I was alone plenty of times with my students during consultation hours and now I share an office with a female colleague).

I guess for me, it's ultimately the intention that is paramount. So Dana in all its forms is extremely important, but giving can be unskillful and even harmful when it supports bad habits. Sincere selfless giving trumps being a stickler for rules any time in my book. So to to have the right intention translated into wise action is the key when it comes to all training precepts.

I guess you are familiar with Tich Nhat Hanh's training rules? http://www.orderofinterbeing.org/for-th ... trainings/. Maybe something of use there.

_/|\_
Thanks Dan, I am familiar but I'll check them out again. Be well! :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1 ... 279&v=info
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com

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Cittasanto
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Re: Precepts for Personal Practice

Post by Cittasanto » Wed May 04, 2016 10:16 pm

Hi Khalil,
I have done something similar, once looking at the Bodhisatva vows to see if they matched the pali canon with a view to take-up the corresponding pali equivalent... before deciding to look at the precepts and understand them fully through the Vinaya and other Sutta texts. The canon itself has many precepts, vows, and practices that can be committed to or used to enhance the five, or eight precepts. so I have no issue with the intention behind these vows.

I find some of the rules to be almost repeats. do you need to help whenever asked, and care for the sick... and do one act of charity, as separate rules? and these are not the only ones which could be grouped together with a simple explanation in a commentary form.
I undertake the training rule to refrain from being alone with a member of the opposite sex who is not my partner.
I know a lot of bhikkhus for whom this rule isn't a problem and hasn't been so far for me. Perhaps I should add something about intentionally sequestering myself with a member of the opposite sex?
At the end of the day, this isn't the only situation you can be alone with a member of the opposite sex, intentional or not. a Bhikkhu doesn't have the issue when there is a known possibility because there is an understanding that monks aren't going to do certain things because of celibacy... and arrangements can be made.but if I remember correctly the rule in the Vinaya is regarding how it looks not the explicit possible situation the two are in, in reality. but a lay person with work, that is a different matter. a supervisor wants a word, and they are female, what do you do? doesn't this rule potentially contradict your rules for caring for the sick..., and to wholeheartedly engage with situations and people that I find difficult and troublesome?
I too know lots of Bhikkhus and some have pointed out that people can not be monks and laity at the same time and the ones that try often fall short, get disheartened....
I undertake the training rule to accept all blame and responsibility without hesitation.
I only mean when people are directing blame at me. What use is it to argue with someone who's convinced of your wrongdoing?
and what do you do if you are accused of being a paedophile, or a rapist? this can have real consequences even if it is a false accusation. the mere mention of that sort of accusation has ruined innocent people's lives, and the accusation has been enough for beatings, loss of job, ruined a family life... all because the accusation is enough to convince some of your wrongdoing.
I have never liked this rule because it can allow fantasy, not heedfulness.

Kind Regards
Cittasanto
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
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