Skeptic wrote:smoking pot and drinking beer occasionally do me no harm.
Ben wrote:If you are serious about walking the Noble Eightfold Path I encourage you to live a life of total abstinance of intoxicants. And if you value your health then I recommend you do the same.
Skeptic wrote:Ben wrote:If you are serious about walking the Noble Eightfold Path I encourage you to live a life of total abstinance of intoxicants. And if you value your health then I recommend you do the same.
I agree with You, but if You have raised in the kind of neighborhood much worst than American ghetto with all Your friends being at least mild drug addicts, then it's really difficult to cut all your relations with them, or totally being abstinent from drugs and alcohol while hanging out with them. It can can lead you only to isolation, which is even more harmful to your spiritual development.
Ben wrote:I do understand where you are coming from, Skeptic.
And given your situation, isolation can be a tough call.
These sorts of decisions and dilemmas are things we have to work out for ourselves.
Wishing you the best,
Believe me, I have really tried to be totally abstinent from drugs and alcohol. In fact, unlike most of my friends I have the fortune to run away from city to the rural parts of country where I'm mostly abstinent from drugs and alcohol. But they come to visit me, and I have to go back in the city and trying to be abstinent among them it's really hard if not impossible. I'm aware it's harmful, but somehow drink or two with them seems better to me them spend my time all alone.
rowboat wrote:No one would smoke to get a little high or drink some alcohol while away at a retreat...
Aloka wrote:You can just be strong and say 'No' to the drugs and alcohol. It's not as hard as you think it is - just do it ! If your friends are real friends they'll respect your decision and still want to see you. Maybe in time they'll even come to be inspired by your example.
Moth wrote:I used to use intoxicants. Since becoming a Buddhist, I first gave up alcohol and then overtime all drugs. My friends still use intoxicants but respect me for my decision. If your friends will not hang out with you unless you indulge with them then they are likely not good friends, and as the Buddha says, isolation would be preferable. I can tell you with full confidence that maintaining Sila is a bliss far beyond anything an intoxicant can provide. Why? The bliss of intoxicants is impermanent, unsatisfying, and riddled with shame. Sila is something no one can take away from you. Also, if you believe in karma and vipaka, I for one would be afraid of using intoxicants, especially alcohol, as the Buddha specifically warned against it and the results it would ensure.
If you live in the West, most likely, you won't find a sincere fellow Dhamma practicer.
I lost many friends when I gave up drinking, partying, meat eating, womanizing, and etc.
However, I came into complete isolation when I began the Dhamma practice seriously.
I am surrounded by the Christians / non-religious hedonists and nobody that I know accept a practicing Buddhist, let alone the strictest orthodox Buddhist like myself.
Should one be depressed with this situation?
When I catch myself feeling sorry for myself, being so socially isolated as I am, I bring to mind how near-perfect my current situation is for the cultivation of mental calm, and stillness. The Buddha was always encouraging us to seek seclusion, so if we find ourselves alone, then rather than feeling sad or lonely, we should be glad. The only thing stopping us, then, is our own attachment and desire for companionship (yes, I still suffer from this, too, but I'm working on it).
imaginos wrote:As Ajahn Chah used to say, the blind and the deaf cannot be enlightened because they don't have access to things to sitimulate wisdom/insight development.
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