8 Precepts - bare minimum frequency

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Dharmasherab
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8 Precepts - bare minimum frequency

Post by Dharmasherab » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:27 am

This is just a question where I am asking for a confirmation.

To my knowledge, it is recommended for lay Buddhists to follow the 8 Precepts at least 4 times a month, ideally based on the phases of the moon.

But sometimes such days don't nicely fall into weekends, where they are like normal working days. In such circumstances, is it commendable to follow them during the weekend or a non-working holiday during the month?

How often per month or year as a bare minimum, should we follow the 8 Precepts?

char101
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Re: 8 Precepts - bare minimum frequency

Post by char101 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:26 am

Observance of the 8 precepts at the moon phases is a tradition. It isn't that there is any problem if you follow it on any other day. Also asking the minimum about of observing it does not really make sense, it isn't that one is going to die if the one does not practice it. It is good kamma and good practice, the more you practice it the better. The minimum is 0, but that also mean that you won't get any benefit. When chasing benefit, don't strive for the minimum, strive for the maximum amount you can and will do.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: 8 Precepts - bare minimum frequency

Post by salayatananirodha » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:14 am

the uposatha is the 8th, 14th and 15th of every lunar fortnight, and you should keep them on the correct days and not change them.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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sunnat
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Re: 8 Precepts - bare minimum frequency

Post by sunnat » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:50 am

In Burma it is on the new and full moon. No matter where you are you can know these days (nights) to reasonable accuracy even in solitude. There is no magic. By rigorously obeying an external edict and not ones own inclinations it's possible to get the benefit that comes from doing things as meditating mendicant or lay irrespective of ones own inclinations for whatever reason.

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manas
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Re: 8 Precepts - bare minimum frequency

Post by manas » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:21 am

salayatananirodha wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:14 am
the uposatha is the 8th, 14th and 15th of every lunar fortnight, and you should keep them on the correct days and not change them.
Hello,
I thought the standard, was to practice the uposatha on the full & new moon days, in accordance with where the moon is, in one's own locale? Does that accord with the above, though?
Seeking your own happiness,
you should pull out your own arrow:
your own lamentation, longing, & sorrow.

With arrow pulled out,
independent,
attaining peace of awareness,
all grief transcended,
griefless you are
unbound.


(excerpt, Sn 3:8)

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: 8 Precepts - bare minimum frequency

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:38 pm

Hi all,

I practice using Wat Metta's calendar as there as a number of ways to calculate the days. Today is an uposatha and I'm observing. Wishing all beings the chance to meet with the Dhamma and to practice it. Mettacittena!
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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DNS
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Re: 8 Precepts - bare minimum frequency

Post by DNS » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:04 pm

char101 wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:26 am
Observance of the 8 precepts at the moon phases is a tradition. It isn't that there is any problem if you follow it on any other day. Also asking the minimum about of observing it does not really make sense, it isn't that one is going to die if the one does not practice it. It is good kamma and good practice, the more you practice it the better. The minimum is 0, but that also mean that you won't get any benefit. When chasing benefit, don't strive for the minimum, strive for the maximum amount you can and will do.
I agree. Practicing it on specific dates sounds like attachment to rites, rituals . . . but if it helps disciple some, then it's good.

In ancient times, people didn't have calendars on their iPhone or even a desktop paper one, so they looked up to the moon. Now we have calendars at our fingertips. I'd say practice it as much as you can, even if it's beyond 4 times per month. Or if one wants specific dates, one could just do it on every Sunday or every Saturday (easy days to remember and most of us don't work on those days anyway).

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Re: 8 Precepts - bare minimum frequency

Post by SarathW » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:18 pm

Practicing it on specific dates sounds like attachment to rites, rituals
No.
Clinging to rites and rituals means, the thought that certain practices lead to Nibbana.
For instance, if a person thinks that observing five precepts or giving donations alone leads to Nibbana is clinging to rites and rituals.
Or if a person think that observing 8 precepts on a particular day leads to Nibbana is clinging to rites and rituals.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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