Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Its better to drink yoghurt and be lonesome than drink alcohol and be the life and soul of the party.
LonesomeYogurt wrote:After recently having struggles with maintaining my precepts, a spiritual guide suggested I write out a declaration of why I am going to abstain completely from alcohol. I thought I would post what I wrote so that maybe it'll encourage others or help them articulate their feelings towards abstinence.
I do not drink alcohol because I do not want to have a part in an industry that propagates misery and dependence.
I do not drink alcohol because I do not want to encourage a culture rife with promiscuity, violence, recklessness, and exploitation.
I do not drink alcohol because I have compassion for my body and mind.
I do not drink alcohol because, when faced with frustration, anger, and sadness, I can accept and overcome my pain instead of hiding from it behind a wall of chemicals.
I do not drink alcohol because I am smart enough, funny enough, and kind enough to succeed in social situations without the need for any artificial support.
I do not drink alcohol because responsibility, self-control, and heedfulness are foundational aspects of my interaction with the world, not obstacles to be suppressed in the pursuit of pleasure.
I do not drink alcohol because clear comprehension and mindfulness are greater sources of joy than any chemical or any altered state.
I hope that maybe this manifesto or whatever helps other people who might be struggling to maintain their sobriety in an intoxication culture. Stay strong!
*** A young man was discussing the precepts with Ajaan Fuang and came to number five, against taking intoxicants: "The Buddha forbade alcohol because most people lose their mindfulness when they drink it, right? But if you drink mindfully it's okay, isn't it, Than Phaw?"
"If you were really mindful," he answered, "you wouldn't drink it in the first place."
*** There seem to be more excuses for breaking the fifth precept than for any other. One evening another student was conversing with Ajaan Fuang at the same time that a group of people were sitting around them in meditation. "I can't observe the fifth precept," he said, "because I'm under a lot of group pressure. When we have social occasions at work, and everyone else in the group is drinking, I have to drink along with them."
Ajaan Fuang pointed to the people sitting around them and asked, "This group isn't asking you to drink. Why don't you give in to their group pressure instead?"
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