FreeSangha - Buddhist Forum

Schools of Buddhism => Vajrayana => Gelug => Topic started by: lobsang~gazom on March 20, 2017, 06:43:29 pm

Title: The fifth precept.
Post by: lobsang~gazom on March 20, 2017, 06:43:29 pm
Hi, what is everyone's take on the fifth precept, taking no intoxicants. Does everyone take it as completely literal? I've read many different opinions​ on it by monks and nuns and lay people alike.

I gave up drink for over five years but last year when I was riddled with anxiety I took  a drink to calm my thinking and now I continue​ to drink for same reason, only moderately and am always mindful when doing so.

I saw the anxiety as more of an intoxicant to my mind that the drink I took and many writings I've read on the subject would agree. Love to hear other people's thoughts.

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: IdleChater on March 21, 2017, 07:10:05 am
Thinking seems to vary.

In some traditions precepts are "taken" by vow.   Those who don't  take the vow aren't bound by the precpts - you may do as you please.

In other traditions, especially online, the precepts are binding, more or less by default.  This means that keeping the precepts go part and parcel  with being a Buddhist.  IOW, if you don't  abide by the precepts, you aren't a Buddhist.

I take the more liberal view. 

Take a drink if you want, but I caution you againt self medicating.  Anxiety so severe that medication is required, it's  best managed by your doctor.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: openmind on March 21, 2017, 02:40:09 pm
These are "comments by Chögyam Trungpa" on this subject....

Alcohol & drugs as poison or medicine: comments by Chögyam Trungpa
There seems to be something wrong with an approach to alcohol that is based entirely on morality or social propriety. The
scruples implied have solely to do with the external effects of one’s drinking. The real effect of alcohol is not
considered, but only its impact on the social format. On the other hand, a drinker feels that there is something worthwhile
in his drinking aside from the pleasure he or she gets out of it. There are the warmth and openness that seem to come from
the relaxation of his usual self-conscious style. Also there is the confidence of being able to communicate his perceptions
accurately, which cuts through his usual feeling of inadequacy. Scientists find they are able to solve their problems;
philosophers have new insights; and artists find clear perception. The drinker experiences greater clarity because he feels
more really what he is; therefore daydreams and fantasies can be temporarily put aside.

It seems that alcohol is a weak poison which is capable of being transmuted into medicine. An old Persian folktale tells
how the peacock thrives on poison, which nourishes his system and brightens his plumage. . . .

Whether alcohol is to be a poison or a medicine depends on one’s awareness while drinking. Conscious drinking—remaining
aware of one’s state of mind—transmutes the effect of alcohol. Here awareness involves a tightening up on one’s system as
an intelligent defense mechanism. Alcohol becomes destructive when one gives in to the joviality: letting loose permits the
poisons to enter one’s body. Thus alcohol can be a testing ground. It brings to the surface the latent style of the
drinker’s neuroses, the style that he is habitually hiding. If his neuroses are strong and habitually deeply hidden, he
later forgets what happened when he was drunk or else is extremely embarrassed to remember what he did. . . .

For the yogi, alcohol is fuel for relating with his students and with the world in general, as gasoline allows a motorcar
to relate with the road. But naturally the ordinary drinker who tries to compete with or imitate this transcendental style
of drinking will turn his alcohol into poison. . . .
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: IdleChater on March 21, 2017, 05:26:29 pm
These are "comments by Chögyam Trungpa" on this subject....

Alcohol & drugs as poison or medicine: comments by Chögyam Trungpa
There seems to be something wrong with an approach to alcohol that is based entirely on morality or social propriety. The
scruples implied have solely to do with the external effects of one’s drinking. The real effect of alcohol is not
considered, but only its impact on the social format. On the other hand, a drinker feels that there is something worthwhile
in his drinking aside from the pleasure he or she gets out of it. There are the warmth and openness that seem to come from
the relaxation of his usual self-conscious style. Also there is the confidence of being able to communicate his perceptions
accurately, which cuts through his usual feeling of inadequacy. Scientists find they are able to solve their problems;
philosophers have new insights; and artists find clear perception. The drinker experiences greater clarity because he feels
more really what he is; therefore daydreams and fantasies can be temporarily put aside.

It seems that alcohol is a weak poison which is capable of being transmuted into medicine. An old Persian folktale tells
how the peacock thrives on poison, which nourishes his system and brightens his plumage. . . .

Whether alcohol is to be a poison or a medicine depends on one’s awareness while drinking. Conscious drinking—remaining
aware of one’s state of mind—transmutes the effect of alcohol. Here awareness involves a tightening up on one’s system as
an intelligent defense mechanism. Alcohol becomes destructive when one gives in to the joviality: letting loose permits the
poisons to enter one’s body. Thus alcohol can be a testing ground. It brings to the surface the latent style of the
drinker’s neuroses, the style that he is habitually hiding. If his neuroses are strong and habitually deeply hidden, he
later forgets what happened when he was drunk or else is extremely embarrassed to remember what he did. . . .

For the yogi, alcohol is fuel for relating with his students and with the world in general, as gasoline allows a motorcar
to relate with the road. But naturally the ordinary drinker who tries to compete with or imitate this transcendental style
of drinking will turn his alcohol into poison. . . .

Good stuff if you ask me, but I'm sure that will raise a few hackles.

It follows my understanding of the thought about the use of alchoholic beverages in Sadhana practices such as Konchock Chidu as found in the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages.  Where the drink is transmuted from poison to medicine
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 22, 2017, 04:13:39 am
The interesting thing is that if you practice mindfulness, then you start to notice how stuff affects you. Eventually you get so fed up with how your body feels after, say, a drinking session that you tend to call a halt to such things. The downside is that your friends and people you used to socially drink with don't understand, so relationships start to change.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: IdleChater on March 22, 2017, 10:22:16 am
The interesting thing is that if you practice mindfulness, then you start to notice how stuff affects you. Eventually you get so fed up with how your body feels after, say, a drinking session that you tend to call a halt to such things. The downside is that your friends and people you used to socially drink with don't understand, so relationships start to change.

Mindfulness is the key!

It can be amazing what is revealed.

One story I like to tell happened some years ago.  My father was actively dying.  I got home from work one evening and had a couple bong hits after dinner and was nursing a scotch  when a call came from my sister about Dad taking a turn for the worse.  I was already pretty broken up over the situation and this news didn't help.  At all.  I was suddenly a complete wreck, overcome with emotion.  It was bad.

While I never practice while high or drunk, remembered a teaching that says that there is nothing that can't be brought to the cusion, so to speak.  Remembering this I decided that high or not, I needed to sit and meditate for a while.  So, I sat down and began to meditate.  What I experienced was profound.

I was able to experience these overwhelming emotions rising up like waves and breaking against the beach of my awareness.  They would then recede, leaving calm behind, but in a short time would rise again, over and over.  Like another teaching says, they were just moments arising and disolving, beginning and ending, one after another, ephemeral.  Its was calming and peaceful and enabled me to get on with the business of preparing for my dad's impending death.

The poison had transmuted to medicine.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: francis on March 23, 2017, 01:40:05 am
These are "comments by Chögyam Trungpa" on this subject....

For the yogi, alcohol is fuel for relating with his students and with the world in general, as gasoline allows a motorcar to relate with the road. But naturally the ordinary drinker who tries to compete with or imitate this transcendental style of drinking will turn his alcohol into poison. . . .

Personally, I think people are only fooling themselves if they don’t realise that alcohol is indeed a poison. For all his rhetoric about alcohol being medicine and not a poison, Chögyam Trungpa died of terminal alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver.  Along the way, his chronic drinking also reduced his ability to communicate intelligible to his student.

My take on the fifth precept (taking no intoxicants) is it that alcohol is a physical poison that robs people of their mindfulness.  It also reduces the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which in the long run can worsen anxiety.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: openmind on March 23, 2017, 04:39:43 am
These are "comments by Chögyam Trungpa" on this subject....

For the yogi, alcohol is fuel for relating with his students and with the world in general, as gasoline allows a motorcar to relate with the road. But naturally the ordinary drinker who tries to compete with or imitate this transcendental style of drinking will turn his alcohol into poison. . . .


Personally, I think people are only fooling themselves if they don’t realise that alcohol is indeed a poison. For all his rhetoric about alcohol being medicine and not a poison, Chögyam Trungpa died of terminal alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver.  Along the way, his chronic drinking also reduced his ability to communicate intelligible to his student.

My take on the fifth precept (taking no intoxicants) is it that alcohol is a physical poison that robs people of their mindfulness.  It also reduces the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which in the long run can worsen anxiety.


  You are wrong. Wine has been proven to be healthy in moderate amounts. I have known people that are 85 and drink 3-4 glasses of wine per day, are living without any problems. This is typical "if it written in the holy book, it MUST be true", kind of thinking. In real life people become awakened through many different means. Buddhism is a short path to attaining maturity. If others are not following Buddhism are we supposed to convert them too?
  Do you think all teachers make sense to their students all the time? From his coming to America his students have put together some fantastic books of his teaching, that are extremely sensible. In fact there are 90 of his books at : http://www.shambhala.com/authors/o-t/chogyam-trungpa.html?p=1 (http://www.shambhala.com/authors/o-t/chogyam-trungpa.html?p=1). I would suggest you read a few of these books and come back and tell us what a waste he made of his life and teaching.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: francis on March 23, 2017, 05:42:32 am
You are wrong. Wine has been proven to be healthy in moderate amounts. I have known people that are 85 and drink 3-4 glasses of wine per day, are living without any problems.


Anecdotal evidence, at best.

This is typical "if it written in the holy book, it MUST be true", kind of thinking.


What book? I don’t follow the religions of the book, the Abrahamic religions. Anyhow, they were my personal observations on alcohol.

In real life people become awakened through many different means. Buddhism is a short path to attaining maturity. If others are not following Buddhism are we supposed to convert them too?


People can become awakened through many different means, but the Buddha taught the way to sustain that awakening.

  Do you think all teachers make sense to their students all the time? From his coming to America his students have put together some fantastic books of his teaching, that are extremely sensible. In fact there are 90 of his books at : [url]http://www.shambhala.com/authors/o-t/chogyam-trungpa.html?p=1.[/url] ([url]http://www.shambhala.com/authors/o-t/chogyam-trungpa.html?p=1.[/url]) I would suggest you read a few of these books and come back and tell us what a waste he made of his life and teaching.


I didn’t say he wasn’t gifted, but think for a moment of what he could have achieved if his mind wasn’t muddled by alcoholic.

Also, note from your quote “but naturally the ordinary drinker who tries to compete with or imitate this transcendental style of drinking will turn his alcohol into poison.” So, no I don't think it is a good idea to encourage people to drink alcohol.

Anyhow, the topic is about alcohol and anxiety and I have made my contribution. That is, alcohol is a physical poison that robs people of their mindfulness.  It also reduces the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which in the long run can worsen anxiety.

:twocents:
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: IdleChater on March 23, 2017, 12:20:34 pm
These are "comments by Chögyam Trungpa" on this subject....

For the yogi, alcohol is fuel for relating with his students and with the world in general, as gasoline allows a motorcar to relate with the road. But naturally the ordinary drinker who tries to compete with or imitate this transcendental style of drinking will turn his alcohol into poison. . . .


Personally, I think people are only fooling themselves if they don’t realise that alcohol is indeed a poison. For all his rhetoric about alcohol being medicine and not a poison, Chögyam Trungpa died of terminal alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver.  Along the way, his chronic drinking also reduced his ability to communicate intelligible to his student.

My take on the fifth precept (taking no intoxicants) is it that alcohol is a physical poison that robs people of their mindfulness.  It also reduces the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which in the long run can worsen anxiety.


  You are wrong. Wine has been proven to be healthy in moderate amounts. I have known people that are 85 and drink 3-4 glasses of wine per day, are living without any problems. This is typical "if it written in the holy book, it MUST be true", kind of thinking. In real life people become awakened through many different means. Buddhism is a short path to attaining maturity. If others are not following Buddhism are we supposed to convert them too?
  Do you think all teachers make sense to their students all the time? From his coming to America his students have put together some fantastic books of his teaching, that are extremely sensible. In fact there are 90 of his books at : [url]http://www.shambhala.com/authors/o-t/chogyam-trungpa.html?p=1[/url] ([url]http://www.shambhala.com/authors/o-t/chogyam-trungpa.html?p=1[/url]). I would suggest you read a few of these books and come back and tell us what a waste he made of his life and teaching.


Trungpa is a controversial character for sure and mostly for his unorthodox lifestyle choices.  However, despite the controversies, he amassed an amazing legagy of teachings as you point out.  And they're really amazing - more so when one considers that just about every book attributed to him has it's basis in oral teachings given by Trungpa,  that were recorded, transcribed, and published as books.  If stories are true, many of those teachings were given when he had been drinking.  It hard to reconcile that so much valuable teaching was handed down by someone who had a serious drinking problem.

There's a documentary available, called Crazy Widom, that tells the story of Trungpa.  They don't hide or sugar-coat a thing about him.  Shambhalians never do.  Pema Chodron is interviewed and she relates a story about how someone came to her asking just how Trungpa could teach the way he did while living the lifestyle he chose and that eventually killed him. Ani Pema replied, "I do not know."
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: openmind on March 23, 2017, 01:05:03 pm
francis says
"People can become awakened through many different means, but the Buddha taught the way to sustain that awakening."

How many of his followers did it just like the "buddha"? In 200 years after his death, i wonder how many people refined his teachings, and how many people added a bunch of crap to his teachings, making it impossible to escape the con job they insist that you follow. Those that kept refining the teachings refined it to the end...THERE IS NO PATH.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 24, 2017, 03:34:38 am
francis says
"People can become awakened through many different means, but the Buddha taught the way to sustain that awakening."

How many of his followers did it just like the "buddha"? In 200 years after his death, i wonder how many people refined his teachings, and how many people added a bunch of crap to his teachings, making it impossible to escape the con job they insist that you follow. Those that kept refining the teachings refined it to the end...THERE IS NO PATH.

Interesting. My own view is that 'sustain that awakening' is wrong here. I think it should be 'interpret that awakening'. Anyone can become awakened by sitting as the Buddha did, determined to see things as they really are. The problem is the experience, which goes beyond words. So strange is it, that the aftermath is open to interpretation, and is usually colored by the prevailing culture. The path is pretty simple and universal really, it's the Buddha's interpretation of what happened to him that makes his story unique.

Of course, the rest of what you say makes a lot of sense, and is the reason most religions are not for me. Others twist stuff for their own ends, to push their own interpretations on the original story, to make it something else. Our task as Buddhists is to try and bring some understanding to the whole process and adjust our own practice accordingly.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: francis on March 24, 2017, 05:24:12 am
francis says
"People can become awakened through many different means, but the Buddha taught the way to sustain that awakening."

How many of his followers did it just like the "buddha"? In 200 years after his death, i wonder how many people refined his teachings, and how many people added a bunch of crap to his teachings, making it impossible to escape the con job they insist that you follow. Those that kept refining the teachings refined it to the end...THERE IS NO PATH.


Hi there openmind, I’m not sure where you angry towards Buddhism comes from, but I’m sorry to hear you have lost the path.

The Buddha was a pretty switched on person when it came to understanding human nature, and he warned of false teachings (con jobs) in the future. You can read more in the following suttas:

Anagata-bhayani Sutta: The Discourse on Future Dangers (3) AN 5.79 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.079.than.html)

Anagata-bhayani Sutta: The Discourse on Future Dangers (4) AN 5.80 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.080.than.html)
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: francis on March 24, 2017, 05:27:52 am
Interesting. My own view is that 'sustain that awakening' is wrong here. I think it should be 'interpret that awakening'. Anyone can become awakened by sitting as the Buddha did, determined to see things as they really are. The problem is the experience, which goes beyond words. So strange is it, that the aftermath is open to interpretation, and is usually colored by the prevailing culture. The path is pretty simple and universal really, it's the Buddha's interpretation of what happened to him that makes his story unique.

Hi stillpointdance, I think it is a bit more complicated than just saying anyone can become awakened by sitting as the Buddha did and being determined to see things as they really are. If that were true, everyone would be awake, but you only have to look at the world news to see they most certainly are not.

However, people do get a glimpse occasionally, a temporary burst of insight that doesn't last that long. I used to call that temporary insight satori, but I could be wrong.

A classic case would be that of Eckhart Tolle who wrote the Power of Now. Obviously, Eckhart had a life changing awakening, but without training that experiences weakened with time.

Of course, the rest of what you say makes a lot of sense, and is the reason most religions are not for me. Others twist stuff for their own ends, to push their own interpretations on the original story, to make it something else. Our task as Buddhists is to try and bring some understanding to the whole process and adjust our own practice accordingly.

Or you could just follow the teaching of the historic Buddha, without the personal embellishments that lead to the long and irregular path.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 25, 2017, 04:08:30 am
Hi francis. "Or you could just follow the teaching of the historic Buddha, without the personal embellishments that lead to the long and irregular path."
Makes a lot of sense to me. I think I oversimplified, but wanted to make the point that we can all become enlightened by meditating, or even just sitting. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that a lifetime of doing that will bring enlightenment, which is why we can all do with a bit of help from the Buddha.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: openmind on March 25, 2017, 04:41:22 am
francis says
"People can become awakened through many different means, but the Buddha taught the way to sustain that awakening."

How many of his followers did it just like the "buddha"? In 200 years after his death, i wonder how many people refined his teachings, and how many people added a bunch of crap to his teachings, making it impossible to escape the con job they insist that you follow. Those that kept refining the teachings refined it to the end...THERE IS NO PATH.


Hi there openmind, I’m not sure where you angry towards Buddhism comes from, but I’m sorry to hear you have lost the path.

The Buddha was a pretty switched on person when it came to understanding human nature, and he warned of false teachings (con jobs) in the future. You can read more in the following suttas:

Anagata-bhayani Sutta: The Discourse on Future Dangers (3) AN 5.79 ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.079.than.html[/url])

Anagata-bhayani Sutta: The Discourse on Future Dangers (4) AN 5.80 ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.080.than.html[/url])


My anger is not towards "buddhism", it is the kinds of people like you who never found the path. I will do my very best to help you realize that you have bought and given your freedom to truly know yourself by hiding in a religion. At some point one must let go of the vehicle that brought them so far, and go on their own. Not the way anybody taught, but by what you truly are. Did Buddha say to believe that he was enlightened? No, because that would have put another label on his knowing that there is no description, or exactly the same means to awaken. I have said enough about this, get it or not, I will not shake the secure tree you are hiding in.
I do not have conversations with dogmatic religion followers. Done.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: francis on March 25, 2017, 06:34:21 am
Hi francis. "Or you could just follow the teaching of the historic Buddha, without the personal embellishments that lead to the long and irregular path."

Makes a lot of sense to me. I think I oversimplified, but wanted to make the point that we can all become enlightened by meditating, or even just sitting. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that a lifetime of doing that will bring enlightenment, which is why we can all do with a bit of help from the Buddha.

Hi stillpointdancer, thanks for the clarification. What you say makes a lot of sense. There are no guarantees, and we can all do with a bit of help from the Buddha. To me, that means having a little Buddhist faith (saddha). That is the confidence to put the Buddha’s teachings into practice, prior to realising all their truths for ourselves.

 :namaste:
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: francis on March 25, 2017, 07:53:22 am
My anger is not towards "buddhism", it is the kinds of people like you who never found the path. I will do my very best to help you realize that you have bought and given your freedom to truly know yourself by hiding in a religion. At some point one must let go of the vehicle that brought them so far, and go on their own. Not the way anybody taught, but by what you truly are. Did Buddha say to believe that he was enlightened? No, because that would have put another label on his knowing that there is no description, or exactly the same means to awaken. I have said enough about this, get it or not, I will not shake the secure tree you are hiding in.

I do not have conversations with dogmatic religion followers. Done.

Hi there openmind,

Thanks for the offer to find the path, but I think you have made a few assumptions along the way. I see Buddhism as a philosophy, not a religion. As a western (secular) Buddhist I am not tied to any particular tradition, though only a fool would discount the Buddha’s wisdom as recorded in the Pali Canon.

You have to actually cross the stream before you let go of the boat (vehicle). Prior to entering the stream, you have to know what you truly are (anatta). And yes, most people need to be taught anatta, it’s counterintuitive and a major stumbling block on the path.

I don’t think the Buddha had to prove his enlightenment, as people could see that for themselves.

Accusations of dogma go both ways, and I wouldn’t be one to hide in a tree from a good discussion.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: lobsang~gazom on March 26, 2017, 08:17:02 am
Hi guys,
Thanks for all the replies, I do drink mindfully and I did take vows with my Rinpoche but I requested a private one on one with him to discuss my concerns. Because at the time of the vows it was said the obstaining from alcohol didn't have to be part of refuge, so he is best person to discuss it with I think.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: IdleChater on March 26, 2017, 08:49:25 am
Hi guys,
Thanks for all the replies, I do drink mindfully and I did take vows with my Rinpoche but I requested a private one on one with him to discuss my concerns. Because at the time of the vows it was said the obstaining from alcohol didn't have to be part of refuge, so he is best person to discuss it with I think.

Good idea to get with your teacher on this.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: pureleaf on May 15, 2017, 08:10:14 pm
Quote from: stillpointdancer
I wanted to make the point that we can all become enlightened by meditating, or even just sitting.

How? Why?
You haven't thought this through…

Reading the suttas is better.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: stillpointdancer on May 16, 2017, 01:09:30 am
Quote from: stillpointdancer
I wanted to make the point that we can all become enlightened by meditating, or even just sitting.

How? Why?
You haven't thought this through…

Reading the suttas is better.

Yes I have. My view is that meditation is central to the enlightenment process. I guess it is possible for some to become enlightened merely through reading the suttas, but that's not what happened to the Buddha who, in my understanding, gained enlightenment when he sat under a Bodhi tree. My insights have come from a mixture of studying the Dharma and sitting in meditation, so it works for me.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: pureleaf on May 16, 2017, 06:49:27 am
Buddha thought he wouldn't be able to teach anyone.

He wasn't concerned they wouldn't be able to meditate.

Rather he thought it was very difficult to understand.
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: si2 on May 16, 2017, 08:36:25 am
Hi, what is everyone's take on the fifth precept, taking no intoxicants. Does everyone take it as completely literal? I've read many different opinions on it by monks and nuns and lay people alike.


I guess that any intoxicants (note the "toxic" element) that increase the possibility of heedlessness (i.e. not mindful) is a barrier to the practice of the noble 8-fold path (if that's what you want to do).

Suramerayamajja pamadatthana ......   

The first part is to do with fermented liquors ( sura) and distilled ( merya) or intoxicants ( majja ) followed by pretty much anything which reduces mindfulness ( pama datthana )

For my own point of view, I don't drink or take drugs.  if I am offered a small glass of champagne at a wedding though I don't normally refuse if there is not another option available :-)

Si
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: IdleChater on May 16, 2017, 09:34:44 am
Hi, what is everyone's take on the fifth precept, taking no intoxicants. Does everyone take it as completely literal? I've read many different opinions on it by monks and nuns and lay people alike.


I guess that any intoxicants (note the "toxic" element) that increase the possibility of heedlessness (i.e. not mindful) is a barrier to the practice of the noble 8-fold path (if that's what you want to do).


Not necessarily.  Having a scotch or sharing a joint may leed to heedlessness, but so can walking (if done right).  It's been my experienc that in exceedingly rare occasions, I bit of pot has actually enhanced mindfullness although I don't endorse it.  I've had wine while in sadhana practice with no ill effact.  In fact some sadhana practices actually include the consumption of intoxicants.


Quote
The first part is to do with fermented liquors ( sura) and distilled ( merya) or intoxicants ( majja ) followed by pretty much anything which reduces mindfulness ( pama datthana )

Put that way, it could include just about anything.

Quote
For my own point of view, I don't drink or take drugs.

That's great.  I have the occasional after dinner drink or beer when I get home.  I also do a few bong hits when the mood strikes me.   I'm usually not to interested in being mindful at such times.  That level of concentration - constant - I find to be exhausting, plus it's impossible to do anyway.

Plus I am alergic to rules governing my life.  :lmfao:
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: si2 on May 16, 2017, 09:53:06 am


Plus I am alergic to rules governing my life.  :lmfao:

Completely up to you of course, but I found after I tried the "rules" and then established a practice it was then my preference not to do it rather than blindly following a rule :-)

Each to their own, however as I said, I find drink/drugs "... a barrier to the practice of the noble 8-fold path (if that's what you want to do)."  Simples.

From the Buddhist monastic code:

Discipline is for the sake of restraint,
restraint for the sake of freedom from remorse,
freedom from remorse for the sake of joy,
joy for the sake of rapture...


Si
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: Kodo308 on May 17, 2017, 01:15:55 pm
Hi, what is everyone's take on the fifth precept, taking no intoxicants. Does everyone take it as completely literal? I've read many different opinions​ on it by monks and nuns and lay people alike.

I gave up drink for over five years but last year when I was riddled with anxiety I took  a drink to calm my thinking and now I continue​ to drink for same reason, only moderately and am always mindful when doing so.

I saw the anxiety as more of an intoxicant to my mind that the drink I took and many writings I've read on the subject would agree. Love to hear other people's thoughts.


Hi Lobsang,

I don't know if you're still following this thread, but I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth.

I think this precept turns on the word intoxicant. Altho' traditionally this precept refers to alcohol & drugs, it can also be construed to mean anything that helps you avoid being present with yourself in this moment, be it alcohol, reading, video gaming. So, as you describe your use of alcohol, you are avoiding your anxious self, cultivating heedlessness, rather than using it as a vehicle for realizing the Buddha's teachings. So, while it may be helpful in your day to day life to avoid that state of being, as a practice in the long run it doesn't serve the path, IMHO.

There is a flip side to each of the precepts, the positive statement of them, rather than prohibitions. For the precept against intoxication it is:  I vow to cultivate mindfulness. And the Bodhidharma precept states it thus, "In the midst of the intrinsically pure Dharma, not being blinded by ignorance is called the precept of not intoxicating oneself or others."

So, while you state that you are mindfully using alcohol, are you mindful of the habit mind that is arising? Anxiety->discomfort->avoidance->alcohol intake?

Of course, anxiety is a very uncomfortable experience. And it is reasonable & right to want to end it. However, alcohol strikes me as a very short term source of 'happiness', when there are better methods available.

It might be more helpful, long term, to understand the roots of your anxiety, the mental formations that give rise to it.

  :namaste: :namaste: :namaste:
Title: Re: The fifth precept.
Post by: IdleChater on May 17, 2017, 03:39:10 pm
Each to their own, however as I said, I find drink/drugs "... a barrier to the practice of the noble 8-fold path (if that's what you want to do)." 

I don't deliberately try to follow the N8FP.  I don't think that's what it's there for.

I have a friend who teaches at Naropa and is highly respected translator.  She gave a lecture I attended and in it she said another way to translate the so-called N8FP is "The Eightfold Path of the Noble Ones"  "Noble Ones" refers to the Buddhas of the 10 directions and 3 times.  The path, in that context, is that of a Buddha.  Only a Buddha can do all those things in a perfect manner.  Seeing it that way, I find little point in attempting to do all this "right" stuff.  Practicing the Paramitas makes far more sense.
SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal