Is music allowed

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Is music allowed

Post by Buddhe » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:11 am

Hi everyone

Im very new to buddhism i really dont know to much but i try my hardest to understand even though i am confused. Anyway quick question is music allowed? Sorry if this question seems ridiculous. I was wondering are their limits to music? How much or what type is not allowed limited? does it tie in with dhamma practice. Are there any that feel it detracts you from seeing reality or is it part of your daily practice. Please help me understand and thank you for this lovely forum and your replies in advance.


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Re: Is music allowed

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:15 am

Buddhe wrote:Anyway quick question is music allowed?
Yes. As to how much, that will be for you to decide as you live your life.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Is music allowed

Post by Modus.Ponens » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:01 am

The Buddha advised us to follow the 5 precepts. These are

1- Not to kill
2- Not to steal
3- Not to comit adultery
4- Not to lie
5- Not to take intoxicants

These are the basic precepts which support meditation. Now, if you're in a meditation retreat, you are advised to follow the 8 precepts, which are the first 5 except that the 3rd changes to no sexual activity, and 3 more:

6- Not eating after noon
7- Not (intentionaly) listen to music, dance or wear garlands and perfumes
8- Not to sleep on high or luxurious beds

So the abstaining from hearing music makes sense in a retreat environment, or on special days dedicated to meditation alone, but in regular lay life, you can hear music.

Just as a further clarification. We come from a christian culture, with a chritian moral conscience, even if we don't realise it. Buddhist morality is different in the following sense: not only it includes the (general) christian morality, but also includes things that we don't see as imoral, in the western sense of the word. Smoking cannabis seems, from a western point of view, as harmless since you're not doing anybody else any harm. This is the centre of the divergence. Buddhist morality is about cultivating wholesome states of mind and avoid unwholesome states of mind. It's true that hurting others creates an unwholesome state of mind. But so does smoking cannabis.

The atitude towards music is the same. When you hear it, and delight on it, you are fueling unwholesome desire. You're not hurting anyone, obviously. Just yourself. I listen to music everyday because I'm a lay person and I don't follow every single thing the Buddha advised us to do. As laymen we must find balance.

Last, but not the least, there's no God, or other exterior entity, judging you. It's not mandatory to follow anything. The teaching is there for you to practice it if you want the bennefits. You are of course advised to follow the Buddha's teachings, but there is no dogma.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Is music allowed

Post by barcsimalsi » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:22 pm

Imo, modern day music had offered much less conflict with buddhist practice. As at the Buddha's time there were no records, people end up wasting lots of time and energy for the sake of watching a musical show that usually involved a big social gathering with additional activities. It is like each time you wanna listen to music you need to go to a concert and if a music enthusiast were to attend concerts everyday i don't know how is it possible for that person to practice the noble 8 fold path.

Anyway, i listen to music almost everyday(from my old rig).

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Re: Is music allowed

Post by manas » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:10 am

I certainly hope so...I'm both a practicing Buddhist, and (am trying to) make a living out of music :thinking:

Seriously now, music is fine if you are a layperson. You only have to give it up if you become a monk living in a monastery. Otherwise, don't stress about it. :D

"With regard to internal factors, I don't envision any other single factor like appropriate attention as doing so much for a monk in training, who has not attained the goal but remains intent on the unsurpassed safety from bondage. A monk who attends appropriately abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful."
- from the Itivuttaka

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Re: Is music allowed

Post by PadmaPhala » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:04 pm

precepts not laws

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