about the 5th precept

Exploring modern Theravāda interpretations of the Buddha's teaching.
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Mkoll
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by Mkoll » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:58 am

Dhammomhi wrote:if this has been covered
Yes, but no worries. Drugs will continue to be brought up ad infinitum on this forum alongside threads about rebirth, anatta, Nibbana, Mahayana vs. Theravada, and vegetarianism.

Am I missing anything? :lol:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Sovatthika
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by Sovatthika » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:11 am

not really... i'm just so excited about my discoveries
if i didnt already say this i think using acid was a distraction that i've since recovered from
may all living beings be happy
"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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Maitri
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by Maitri » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:20 pm

Dhammomhi wrote:not really... i'm just so excited about my discoveries
if i didnt already say this i think using acid was a distraction that i've since recovered from
may all living beings be happy

Pfft, acid. I'm drunk on Kombucha right now
Image
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mvx4 ... mbucha-511
"Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.
Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

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Sovatthika
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by Sovatthika » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:34 am

gross
"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

chownah
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by chownah » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:25 am

Maitri wrote:
Dhammomhi wrote:not really... i'm just so excited about my discoveries
if i didnt already say this i think using acid was a distraction that i've since recovered from
may all living beings be happy

Pfft, acid. I'm drunk on Kombucha right now
Image
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mvx4 ... mbucha-511
I think that this is just about equivalent to saying that the wine in the sacrament in the communion ritual at the catholic church is equivalent to rampant unabashed alcoholism.
chownah

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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by maranadhammomhi » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:41 am

Maitri wrote:I think that too many in the West get wrapped up in fitting the rules to themselves in a legalism borrowed from Christianity. The majority of Buddhists in the West are lay people and don't have to live the strict moral life of monastics. The rules aren't for punishment like the Mosaic law, but to train ourselves to develop greater wisdom and compassion.

Yes, the precepts do not permit intoxicants and coming from the Buddha we can have total confidence that following this precept is the best way to live. However, we can also relax a bit about the 5th precept and see it as training tools which lead to deeper insight and confidence in the Dhamma. Of course, I'm not talking about becoming drunk, stoned, or smashed all the time, but enjoying a glass of wine or a beer with friends isn't going to ruin our practice.

Yes it will, unvirtuous & unskillful action will ruin our practice, virtue & the 5 precepts are the most basic standard expected of Buddhists & there is no reason they should not be undertaken. They are wholesome, their results are wholesome. Breaking them is unwholesome & so is its results.
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Sovatthika
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by Sovatthika » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:22 am

wikipedia lists two drugs i'm struggling with currently: nicotine and caffeine. as psychoactive drugs; what are this forum's thoughts? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoactive_drug
i'm not in a state where i can easily get CBD, the purportedly non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, so it doesn't matter right now; i struggle with chronic back pain from a spinal fusion so i wondered if it would be acceptable if i used that. not in the sense 'ehh..., not so bad' but actually 'this is in line with the fifth precept'. i'm also seeing some debate over whether it is or not http://herb.co/2017/03/24/cbd-psychoactive/
"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

chownah
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by chownah » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:00 am

maranadhammomhi wrote:
Maitri wrote:I think that too many in the West get wrapped up in fitting the rules to themselves in a legalism borrowed from Christianity. The majority of Buddhists in the West are lay people and don't have to live the strict moral life of monastics. The rules aren't for punishment like the Mosaic law, but to train ourselves to develop greater wisdom and compassion.

Yes, the precepts do not permit intoxicants and coming from the Buddha we can have total confidence that following this precept is the best way to live. However, we can also relax a bit about the 5th precept and see it as training tools which lead to deeper insight and confidence in the Dhamma. Of course, I'm not talking about becoming drunk, stoned, or smashed all the time, but enjoying a glass of wine or a beer with friends isn't going to ruin our practice.

Yes it will, unvirtuous & unskillful action will ruin our practice, virtue & the 5 precepts are the most basic standard expected of Buddhists & there is no reason they should not be undertaken. They are wholesome, their results are wholesome. Breaking them is unwholesome & so is its results.
I'm wondering what your ideas are about what makes something unvirtuous and more specifically what is virtue and does this come from the buddha's teachings....or not.
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by chownah » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:07 am

enjoying a glass of wine or a beer with friends isn't going to ruin our practice.
I can't talk about your practice but I gave up a glass of wine or a beer with friends because at a certain point I began to see that that amount of alcohol did have a detrimental effect on my practice. I don't know if it was me becoming more sensitive to alcohol because of my practice or if it was because I went without alcohol long enough to become sensitive to its effects or if it was just a sensitivity which arose due to my body getting older.....but the fact is I could clearly see the negative effects of even one beer on my practice.
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by massara » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:46 pm

Well, if you want to drink, have hallucinations and enjoy sensual pleasures, go ahead and tell us how you intend to reach at least Anagami stage...
If all you want is just to live a better and peaceful life, that`s fine, but if what you want is to reach Nibbana, then you must follow the 5th precept and give up all these things.

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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by Sovatthika » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:40 am

massara wrote:Well, if you want to drink, have hallucinations and enjoy sensual pleasures, go ahead and tell us how you intend to reach at least Anagami stage...
If all you want is just to live a better and peaceful life, that`s fine, but if what you want is to reach Nibbana, then you must follow the 5th precept and give up all these things.
i don't and i want to lose desire for such things
"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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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by lyndon taylor » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:07 am

The wisdom of the Buddha's precept is very obvious to me, with 9 years of sobriety, my life has improved tenfold, I can't begin to express how important sobriety is for growth, I don't apply sobriety to things like coffee or even cigarettes, but there's no way I can classify marijuana as not an intoxicant, even medical marijuana uses should be the treatment of last resort, not the first thing you go to for. IMHO
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:30 am

Dhammomhi wrote:it seems many jump on the line, interpreting the 5th precept to be more than just alcohol (fermented drinks), but to me there is a clear translation; there were drugs in the buddha's time, so i believe he would have stated clearly 'no drink and/or drugs'. and dont get me wrong, mind-altering drugs and drugs taken out of compulsion (i dont know if we should find disagreeable medicinal marijuana in all cases) are bad; i know all too well. just saying i think there is a reason he said alcohol and not alcohol/drugs....
if this has been covered delete the topic no worries or if i posted in wrong section let me know thx

EDIT: some great dialectics occurred and at this time now i believe all psychoactive drugs to violate the 5th precept, at least if taken for recreation (a layperson's 'enlightenment' quest is probably fake) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoactive_drug
The precept does cover a wider range than simply Alcohol with the clarifier "that lead to carelessness" and I understand the rule to mean "Recreational intoxicants that lead to carelessness" not using things as medically needed or for preservative means (which is an exception in the Vinaya).
I find some people interpret the rules without paying attention to the full rule as it is given us, or bend the rules out of shape because of how they would like to understand it.

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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:30 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:The wisdom of the Buddha's precept is very obvious to me, with 9 years of sobriety, my life has improved tenfold, I can't begin to express how important sobriety is for growth, I don't apply sobriety to things like coffee or even cigarettes, but there's no way I can classify marijuana as not an intoxicant, even medical marijuana uses should be the treatment of last resort, not the first thing you go to for. IMHO
:goodpost:

very well said. 4 years here :anjali:

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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by anthbrown84 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:17 am

dharmacorps wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:The wisdom of the Buddha's precept is very obvious to me, with 9 years of sobriety, my life has improved tenfold, I can't begin to express how important sobriety is for growth, I don't apply sobriety to things like coffee or even cigarettes, but there's no way I can classify marijuana as not an intoxicant, even medical marijuana uses should be the treatment of last resort, not the first thing you go to for. IMHO
:goodpost:

very well said. 4 years here :anjali:
1 year today for me!
"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: about the 5th precept

Post by WindDancer » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:06 pm

Congratulations on 1 year, 4 years and 9 years.

I celebrated 22 years of recovery in January. As this discussion has progressed, it seemed important to mention that there is a big difference between someone who has the disease of alcoholism or addiction and people who do not. Many people can take a drink of an alcoholic beverage once in a while and have minor consequences; however, even one drink can set off the phenomena of craving in an alcoholic, depending on how far the disease has progressed. That type of craving, the mental obsession and compulsion to drink more can cause alcoholics to lose control. This can wreck our progress on the Buddhist Path and can also destroy our lives.

I know that it is wise for me to keep several steps back from the edge of drinking or using other forms of intoxicants. It is very important for my well being and progress to keep all 5 precepts, and I am beginning to take on being an 8 precept practitioner.

Thanks again for the discussion and good luck,

WindDancer
Live Gently....

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Sovatthika
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by Sovatthika » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:39 pm

it seems as if everyone should have that attitude, tho, winddancer
living beings may feel differing degrees of agony if placed in a fire, but we all say fire has inherent qualities of painfulness (if touched)

2 or 3 months for me btw with alcohol, like a few days with weed and 3 weeks with nicotine; caffeine is harder to avoid, like i thought i was getting coconut water and it has green tea extract... anything that alters the mind is to be avoided equally
"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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Maitri
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by Maitri » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:28 pm

maranadhammomhi wrote:
Maitri wrote:I think that too many in the West get wrapped up in fitting the rules to themselves in a legalism borrowed from Christianity. The majority of Buddhists in the West are lay people and don't have to live the strict moral life of monastics. The rules aren't for punishment like the Mosaic law, but to train ourselves to develop greater wisdom and compassion.

Yes, the precepts do not permit intoxicants and coming from the Buddha we can have total confidence that following this precept is the best way to live. However, we can also relax a bit about the 5th precept and see it as training tools which lead to deeper insight and confidence in the Dhamma. Of course, I'm not talking about becoming drunk, stoned, or smashed all the time, but enjoying a glass of wine or a beer with friends isn't going to ruin our practice.

Yes it will, unvirtuous & unskillful action will ruin our practice, virtue & the 5 precepts are the most basic standard expected of Buddhists & there is no reason they should not be undertaken. They are wholesome, their results are wholesome. Breaking them is unwholesome & so is its results.
Of course, but that's the case with all of the precepts. How many people lie or gossip? That breaks a precept. Or kill a fly or roach? Is your practice "ruined"? Our moral failures are endless, so making these grandiose statements about a "ruined practice" means little. So we do our best and get back on the path when we fall off. If our practice were truly ruined, we could never try again the next day. If we had no hope then the Buddha would have never taught us anything. We've been in Samsara for countless eons already.

To be clear, I'm not advocating that people break the 5th precept. What I am suggesting that if someone is going to have a drink that they not try and explain away the precept and just be responsible for their decision. And for Western laypeople to stop acting like monastics in flagellating themselves for every single action and missed meditation session.
"Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.
Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

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WindDancer
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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by WindDancer » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:59 am

Thanks Maitri for adding your perspective. I agree that it is not helpful to beat ourselves up by not being perfect. I have heard several Dharma teachers remind us that we take on the training of....Precept 1,2,3, ect.... The point is: Living the Precepts brings less pain and hardship into our lives and brings more joy and peace, and most importantly the Precepts help us on the Path of Liberation.

I find it much more helpful to focus on experiencing the joy of keeping the Precepts in a gentle flowing way than rigidly trying force myself to be perfect and beating myself up for every time I fall even a little short.

May all beings be happy,

WindDancer
Live Gently....

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Re: about the 5th precept

Post by justindesilva » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:07 am

Lord budda may be called the best person who understood our physiology , psychology and it's connection. The 5 th precept is hence is mentioned to cause and function with proper morals by layman.
Modern science explain that liquor and other intoxicants disturb the normal functions of the brain especially affecting the hypothalamus and pituitary glands and the control of proper working of 5 senses. And I believe the rest is clear. The best thing is not to take in toxicants and keep the proper senses in control.

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