The importance of Sobriety for advancing on the Path.

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Virgo
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Re: The importance of Sobriety for advancing on the Path.

Post by Virgo » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:56 am

Hi Lyndon,
I hope we can All suport the importance of Sobriety, and set a good example for our new Buddhists, things like no self, stream entry, enlightenment and nirvana, are just not as understandable or attainable as long as we're still using intoxicants,IMHO

I think you might have a wrong idea about what causes awakening. If we follow the precepts only with silabbattaparamasa then there is no wisdom at those moments, and they do not lead us closer to enlightenment, though we will not engage in unwholesome bodily deeds out of akusala - at least this protects us from akusala bodily action, even though it does not do anything to lead us out of samsara. If they are followed because of wisdom, however, they become causes for enlightenment.

Nevertheless, drinking can be harmful. It also causes mental dullness, which is not favorable for development. Like you said:
Why should we think of the Buddhist Path any differently, Sobriety gives us the greatest ability to learn, understand and practice the teachings, being high or buzzed never makes it easier to understand things, but rather gives us false awakenings which we think are real, but 9 times out of 10 are delusion.
I agree with what you wrote above. :twothumbsup:

Kevin

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lyndon taylor
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Re: The importance of Sobriety for advancing on the Path.

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:35 am

You got me wrong, I did not say sobriety leads to awakening, You can be sober and not awakened quite easily, I said, according to the Buddha, Morality(precepts, etc) must come first before awakening, you can not have true awakening with out morality, sobriety etc.
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

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

Virgo
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Re: The importance of Sobriety for advancing on the Path.

Post by Virgo » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:48 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:...you can not have true awakening with out morality, sobriety etc.
Hi Lyndon,

All kusala is good and can help on the path. All aksuala is bad, and hinders the path.

What I am talking about here is the motivation for avoiding such misdeeds, ie. if it is done with kusala citta, and one automatically refrains from wrong speech, or refrains from intoxicants, etc., then that is excellent.

However... if there is silabbattarapamasa and the deed is motivated by akusala citta such as dosa-mula-citta (because we fear not doing the "right thing", or fear not being "good Buddhist" boys and girls, or even fear a bad rebirth because of the deed, instead of, with detached wisdom, simply knowing that the deed is not worth it and is not part of the path because it is motivated by akusala-cittas itself), which not only arises with dosa (dislike), but also with moha (ignorance), ahirika (shamelessness), anottappa (recklessness) and uddhacca (restlessness), every single time, then that is not part of the path... it is simply reinforcing akusala tendencies, in effect, creating samsara, building a new hut, etc.

This is a subtle distinction, understanding of which is imperative on the path, as silabbattarapamasa is one of the fetters that binds us to samsara, and without understanding of which, there will be no gradual lessening of our defilements.

All the best,

Kevin

corrine
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Re: The importance of Sobriety for advancing on the Path.

Post by corrine » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:00 pm

I think that it is not so much a matter of abstaining from alcohol and other intoxicants as it is embracing sobriety and all the positive that comes with sobriety.

corrine :namaste:

Virgo
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Re: The importance of Sobriety for advancing on the Path.

Post by Virgo » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:13 am

Virgo wrote:
However... if there is silabbattaparamasa...
Just to add to this post, it is interesting because we want to be sober, but why? Because we know that if we are not, it may inhibit the arising of sati. The irony is, if we are unaware that there is silabbataparamasa, and we do an action because of unwholesome citta, then at that very moment, there is no sati of what is arising NOW.

Just to make sure people do not take this the wrong way-- these posts are in no way advocating drinking, drugs, or any other type of intoxication at all in any way shape or form, they are simply bringing to light that being aware of our motivations and knowing what is arising NOW (at any time) when we make decisions (even decisions to refrain from bad actions) is just as important as the actions themselves.

All the best,

Kevin
Last edited by Virgo on Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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cooran
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Re: The importance of Sobriety for advancing on the Path.

Post by cooran » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:27 am

Hello all,

Keeping the the Precepts is a very wholesome action, when one's unskilful qualities decline:
Silabatta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Bodhisurfer
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Re: The importance of Sobriety for advancing on the Path.

Post by Bodhisurfer » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:11 am

I have been sober for nearly 20 years now and drug free for maybe 10. I stopped drinking when i realised i was developing a problem and after several failed attempts at controlling my consumption. I carried on taking drugs (marijuana, MDMA and tobacco) mainly at weekends, parties and festivals for several years. So I have been pretty free from intoxicants for at least 10 years now -though I have taken cold remedies when ill and been quite disturbed at the intoxicating effects -I am currently trying to stop using coffee as i have begun to realise the strong effects it has. All my life I have been a coffee drinker.

After all this time its quite hard to put into words how I have come to see drugs/alcohol. To me there is no difference between legal and illegal drugs -and in my opinion alcohol is a drug like any other, it just happens to be legal in most places. I think many people would benefit from total abstinance for, say, 6 months or so just to experience the many insights that would provide. e.g. the way that people respond to you both good and bad when they know you dont drink or take drugs. It would also show how important the consumption of drugs/alcohol is in most societies/cultures

As a precept its the one that i find easiest to keep. Though I agree that for the laity the precepts are not hard and fast rules I do think that it would be hard to be taken seriously as a Buddhist with a beer or a spliff in one hand :toast: .

While not my initial motivation I beleive that there is no place for intoxication on the path and with that in mind think that even one drink or small amount of any other substance could serve no useful purpose :buddha1:
Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya

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