Problem with the 5th precept

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:24 am

For every fresh piece of nonsense that Ikkyu comes up with, you guys reply with the same old common-sense. Time to seek out some nonsense elsewhere...
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Sara H » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:35 pm

Ikkyu wrote:
Anyhow, I'd like to maybe one day commit to the precepts but I simply don't get how never smoking pot again or refraining from "sexual misconduct" is somehow compassionate. Live and let live, I say. Ikkyu said the same thing, and yet still believed he was treading a Buddhist path. As long as you're not hurting anyone what's the problem?



I've always intepreted the precept on sexual misconduct, with regards to laypeople as refraining from sex that is harmful, I.E. Rape, sexual abuse, sex with a minor, sex with someone who is unavailable such as a in an monogoumous marriage, a monk or someone who has taken vows of celibacy, etc.

The point of the Precepts is to do as little harm as possible.

With regard to the ganga, the issue would be whether you are honestly using it as an intoxicant, or for an actual medicinal purpose.

Becoming deliberately intoxicated is viewed as harmful from a Buddhist perspective because it clouds the mind and makes us forget things that we know at other times. Leading to lack of mindfulness.

So the question may not be sex or not sex, or ganga or not ganga, but whether or not the sex is harmful or not, and whether or not the ganga is being used as an intixicant or not.

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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby odysseus » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:19 am

odysseus wrote:I watched an interview with a Buddhist monk. He said about the fifth precept: "Don´t indulge in intoxicants". By that, I think he meant that it is Ok to enjoy a beer, maybe even a spliff from time to time, but not indulge. I.e. don´t get wasted. I don´t know...


I want to change my statement. Cannabis is illegal and a Buddhist should not break any law except in an emergency. Of course if you get Cannabis prescribed from a doctor it´s OK, like Sara said.

About alcohol, I don´t think a layman would be admonished for having a beer or glass of wine to relax for example (The Middle Way, you know - moderation).
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:56 am

So I know this thread has been stale for a while, and I'd like to revive it with some new content:

I recently read a book entitled "The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery" by Janwillem van de Wetering, an orientalist and writer who, during the 60s or 70s, visited and resided at Daitoku-ji, one of the most important Rinzai Zen Buddhist monasteries in both Kyoto and Japan in general. In the book the author, who stayed at the monastery for a year and a half studying and meditating with the monks, witnessed and reported how both the head monk of the monastery and master of the monastery smoked cigarettes frequently. Janwillem also describes how many of the monks would climb over the monastery walls and visit prostitutes when the master wasn't around to supervise. What was also interesting is that during these periods of non-supervision many of the monks, who would meditate at least 9 hours a day, would throw parties and drink copious amounts of sake until they became drunk. This was all done despite the fact that they had taken precepts, and in the book it is implied that this was a common practice among many monks in Japan -- to have special days where, although they were committed to a Buddhist life, would indulge themselves in wine.

Another book, entitled "Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics" chronicles the so-called 'high history of Buddhism' and contains an interview with well-known psychedelic artist and LSD user Alex Grey, who also happens to be a long-time Vajrayana practitioner.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby tomamundsen » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:02 am

Ikkyu wrote:So I know this thread has been stale for a while, and I'd like to revive it with some new content:

I recently read a book entitled "The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery" by Janwillem van de Wetering, an orientalist and writer who, during the 60s or 70s, visited and resided at Daitoku-ji, one of the most important Rinzai Zen Buddhist monasteries in both Kyoto and Japan in general. In the book the author, who stayed at the monastery for a year and a half studying and meditating with the monks, witnessed and reported how both the head monk of the monastery and master of the monastery smoked cigarettes frequently. Janwillem also describes how many of the monks would climb over the monastery walls and visit prostitutes when the master wasn't around to supervise. What was also interesting is that during these periods of non-supervision many of the monks, who would meditate at least 9 hours a day, would throw parties and drink copious amounts of sake until they became drunk. This was all done despite the fact that they had taken precepts, and in the book it is implied that this was a common practice among many monks in Japan -- to have special days where, although they were committed to a Buddhist life, would indulge themselves in wine.

Another book, entitled "Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics" chronicles the so-called 'high history of Buddhism' and contains an interview with well-known psychedelic artist and LSD user Alex Grey, who also happens to be a long-time Vajrayana practitioner.

From what I can tell, alcohol use is not uncommon in Japanese Zen. Even among monks. I lived in a temple in Japan for a few months once and we would always drink after sesshins, including the abbot and ordained monks. In fact, beer donations were very common and were placed on the Shakyamuni altar in the Hondo along with everything else.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Indrajala » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:31 am

tomamundsen wrote:From what I can tell, alcohol use is not uncommon in Japanese Zen. Even among monks. I lived in a temple in Japan for a few months once and we would always drink after sesshins, including the abbot and ordained monks. In fact, beer donations were very common and were placed on the Shakyamuni altar in the Hondo along with everything else.


Part of it has to do with the fact that the ten precepts they take are from the Brahma Net Sutra which says the bodhisattva is not to sell alcohol. Consumption is only a minor offense alongside eating garlic and onions.

In any case a lot of Buddhist cultures have had mixed approaches to alcohol.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Indrajala » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:48 am

Ikkyu wrote:So I know this thread has been stale for a while, and I'd like to revive it with some new content:

I recently read a book entitled "The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery" ...


Precepts are usually just a formality people go through in Japanese Buddhism. A lot of priests are ordained at a young age (like twelve) by their fathers and just have to recite the liturgy without knowing its significance or content.

Consuming alcohol is not necessarily a violation of any precept anyway if your primary precepts just state, "Do not sell alcohol." Prostitution is not necessarily strictly forbidden depending on how you interpret "sexual misconduct" (historically prostitution was not considered misconduct for laymen anyway).

If the said monastics were bhikṣus (they're not) there would be formal issues with their behavior, but that would also depend on some kind of institutional mechanism to enforce the punitive measures which are supposed to accompany violations of precepts.

In the institutional setting of Buddhism anyway trying to force people to abide by precepts is nearly impossible because a lot of times people just don't care. You'll have eminent monks discussing the fine points of the Vinaya or bodhisattva precepts, but at the end of the day they're a small minority and not so many people care.

If they don't think getting wasted on cheap whiskey and banging hookers is detrimental to their liberation from suffering, then it doesn't matter how much you lecture to them.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:13 am

Huseng wrote:
Ikkyu wrote:So I know this thread has been stale for a while, and I'd like to revive it with some new content:

I recently read a book entitled "The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery" ...


Precepts are usually just a formality people go through in Japanese Buddhism. A lot of priests are ordained at a young age (like twelve) by their fathers and just have to recite the liturgy without knowing its significance or content.

Consuming alcohol is not necessarily a violation of any precept anyway if your primary precepts just state, "Do not sell alcohol." Prostitution is not necessarily strictly forbidden depending on how you interpret "sexual misconduct" (historically prostitution was not considered misconduct for laymen anyway).

If the said monastics were bhikṣus (they're not) there would be formal issues with their behavior, but that would also depend on some kind of institutional mechanism to enforce the punitive measures which are supposed to accompany violations of precepts.

In the institutional setting of Buddhism anyway trying to force people to abide by precepts is nearly impossible because a lot of times people just don't care. You'll have eminent monks discussing the fine points of the Vinaya or bodhisattva precepts, but at the end of the day they're a small minority and not so many people care.

If they don't think getting wasted on cheap whiskey and banging hookers is detrimental to their liberation from suffering, then it doesn't matter how much you lecture to them.


I'm confused. What's the difference between a monk and a bhiksu? Is there something I'm missing?
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Indrajala » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:47 am

Ikkyu wrote:I'm confused. What's the difference between a monk and a bhiksu? Is there something I'm missing?


Formally speaking it depends on the precept sets. 'Monk' is a term in English used to describe any number of clergymen.

A male novice (śrāmaṇera) receives ten precepts and in English is still called a monk. This is Vinaya based.

A bhikṣu (which originally just meant 'beggar') in the Dharmagupta tradition (the chief ordination lineage in East Asia) receives two-hundred and fifty precepts. He must be twenty years of age or older to receive them. This also is based on the Vinaya. A bhikṣu and śrāmaṇera are likewise called monks. They also both take vows of celibacy. The bodhisattva precepts can also be understood as expecting celibacy, regardless if the recipient be lay or monastic.

In Japan there are various precept sets. Tendai has their own as does Soto Zen. However, celibacy isn't expected anymore. They might wear the robes and shave their heads, but they are not 'monks' if 'monk' means a celibate practitioner with the appropriate formal ordination. This is why some think most Japanese clergymen are better called 'priests', though maybe 'pastor' is even better because given how 'priest' is generally understood in English given Catholic influences.

Incidentally, Saichō (767–822), the founder of Tendai in Japan, dropped the Vinaya ordination for various reason in favour of a system of "bodhisattva renunciates". This is where someone could become a 'monk' just with bodhisattva precepts alone, the Vinaya ordination coming twelve years later and just being a necessary bureaucratic matter to satisfy state laws concerning the special privileges conferred unto monks (the Vinaya ordination was dropped altogether later on). Note that Dōgen was originally a Tendai monk.

You can read about this in an article I wrote:

https://sites.google.com/site/dharmadep ... os-reforms

The thing is is that Saichō still insisted on stoic, sober and celibate lifestyles for Tendai monks. In later times things changed. In the 19th century the old laws prohibiting monks from formally marrying were dropped and under western Protestant influences Japanese monks married and the hereditary priesthood which we see today developed.

The idea of a "Zen Monk" nowadays is problematic if 'monk' means celibate. On eSangha this was also an issue -- are those Zen clergymen and clergywomen really 'monks' or not?

The reason why many feel the formal bhikṣu ordination is so important is because it is believed that such an ordination ceremony enables the individual to become a field of merit and a suitable receptacle for offerings. The laity, interested in generating merit, feel that making offerings to someone else lacking the bhikṣu precepts would render their offerings less efficacious merit-wise. There is also the Vinaya rule against "posing as a monk" which means to receive offerings meant for the bhikṣu sangha while not actually having formally received those precepts yourself. The bhikṣu sanghas (Chinese, Theravadin, Tibetan, etc...) generally believe the whole Vinaya systems as they respectively have them were established by the Buddha and that violating it results in rebirth in the hell realms, but modern scholarship questions the historicity of the Vinaya texts (there are also many versions).

The original śramaṇa culture in the Buddha's time forms the basis for how we generally envision Asian monks. Whether or not they had formal rules, the śramaṇa culture insisted on celibacy, stoicism and sobriety. The whole formal system of rules for Buddhist bhikṣus (i.e., the Vinaya) probably came to exist when Buddhism became an institutionalized religious force complete with economic and political power several centuries after the Buddha died, thus creating a need for formal rules with punitive measures to enforce them.

So, a bhikṣu is a monk, but a monk is not necessarily a bhikṣu.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:36 am

Huseng wrote:
Ikkyu wrote:So I know this thread has been stale for a while, and I'd like to revive it with some new content:

I recently read a book entitled "The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery" ...


Precepts are usually just a formality people go through in Japanese Buddhism. A lot of priests are ordained at a young age (like twelve) by their fathers and just have to recite the liturgy without knowing its significance or content.

Consuming alcohol is not necessarily a violation of any precept anyway if your primary precepts just state, "Do not sell alcohol." Prostitution is not necessarily strictly forbidden depending on how you interpret "sexual misconduct" (historically prostitution was not considered misconduct for laymen anyway).

If the said monastics were bhikṣus (they're not) there would be formal issues with their behavior, but that would also depend on some kind of institutional mechanism to enforce the punitive measures which are supposed to accompany violations of precepts.

In the institutional setting of Buddhism anyway trying to force people to abide by precepts is nearly impossible because a lot of times people just don't care. You'll have eminent monks discussing the fine points of the Vinaya or bodhisattva precepts, but at the end of the day they're a small minority and not so many people care.

If they don't think getting wasted on cheap whiskey and banging hookers is detrimental to their liberation from suffering, then it doesn't matter how much you lecture to them.


Well in all fairness "cheap whisky" seemed good enough for Trungpa Rinpoche. He taught about mindful drinking. (cf http://matadornetwork.com/bnt/what-woul ... -drinking/ and http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Buddhis ... y-Sip.aspx.) It's apparently OK for Shambhala Buddhists to drink alcohol as long as they do it mindfully and "skillfully" (upaya).
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:38 am

Sara H wrote:
Ikkyu wrote:
Anyhow, I'd like to maybe one day commit to the precepts but I simply don't get how never smoking pot again or refraining from "sexual misconduct" is somehow compassionate. Live and let live, I say. Ikkyu said the same thing, and yet still believed he was treading a Buddhist path. As long as you're not hurting anyone what's the problem?



I've always intepreted the precept on sexual misconduct, with regards to laypeople as refraining from sex that is harmful, I.E. Rape, sexual abuse, sex with a minor, sex with someone who is unavailable such as a in an monogoumous marriage, a monk or someone who has taken vows of celibacy, etc.

The point of the Precepts is to do as little harm as possible.

With regard to the ganga, the issue would be whether you are honestly using it as an intoxicant, or for an actual medicinal purpose.

Becoming deliberately intoxicated is viewed as harmful from a Buddhist perspective because it clouds the mind and makes us forget things that we know at other times. Leading to lack of mindfulness.

So the question may not be sex or not sex, or ganga or not ganga, but whether or not the sex is harmful or not, and whether or not the ganga is being used as an intixicant or not.

In Gasshō,

Sara H


If I lay in bed after taking two hits from a joint and listen to some Jazz I don't really understand how I'm creating bad karma or harming other sentient beings.
It's not like I'm getting plastered and beatng the crap out of a person for no reason other than that I'm too intoxicated to tell what's going on.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Skywalker » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:33 pm

I am sad to see such judgement here based on ignorance. I do not think Ikkyu is making excuses so he can go derange his mind. He is making some good points. I find that some folks have a misunderstanding that they have been conditioned into believing that "all drugs are bad" and this includes psychedelic drugs and marijuana. Yes, clinging is bad, so is aversion.

Let me clear something up: Ogyen said:
All 'recreational' drugs accelerate the death of your brain cells.
This is a strange statement. What do you mean by "recreational?" First of all, marijuana does not kill your brain cells, and neither does LSD. The drugs that cause the most brain cells to die are inhalants because of the lack of oxygen and the chemical damage. Marijuana, however, is a medicine and prevents alzheimer's and parkinsons and cancer. It actually helps the brain.

Another issue I have is that people are criticizing Ikkyu for bringing up that many cultures do use botanical entheogens as spiritual sacraments, claiming that since he isn't from that culture he shouldn't have any business also using those plants. I find that ironic coming from non-asian buddhists! First of all, we are all descended from folks who used entheogens. We have literally evolved as a species symbiotically with many of these botanical mind-expanders. It is built into our DNA, our nervous systems, our cellular biology. The proof that many of these plants don't have negative effects is that people have been ingesting them for hundreds of thousands of years religiously.

The best counterpoint I have heard is that drugs cloud your mind and make mindfulness harder. This is mostly true. It is true for an average person to have more than one drink. It is true if one smokes marijuana. It is true with cocaine and heroin, etc. But psychedelics don't cloud your mind if you are in the right setting. The wrong setting of course could create paranoia. But in a spiritual setting a psychedelic trip is like a spiritual pilgrimage. You go to the holy land, but you have to come back. In that sense it is not the goal, but it can help very much give someone a firsthand experience of the reality that Buddhism teaches. It is VERY useful as a tool for revealing the true nature, and emptiness rather than just having an intellectual conceptual idea of emptiness.

I read a great article regarding Buddhism and psychedelics. Terence McKenna was debating with a Buddhist scholar. I think both folks misunderstood the experience of the other. The Buddhist was thinking that psychedelics are somehow like alcohol and that they make you "heedless". Terence McKenna was thinking that meditation without psychedelics is like walking on the ground and that psychedelics is like an airplane. I don't think Terence McKenna really understood the point of meditation and how to meditate. Both of these are extreme views. The two can go together very nice if done carefully and responsibly. As meditation practice matures, the appeal of altering consciousness diminishes anyway because it doesn't matter what form consciousness is in.

Other than that, for a lay person to relax and smoke a joint and listen to jazz might not be the most pious buddhist behavior, but you can't rip the skin off a snake. I think the best advice for Ikkyu would be: "relax, do what you will. Nobody is forcing you to take the precepts except you. Take what precepts you want. Be patient. Allow the drinking and smoking pot to gradually fade as something greater replaces it.

The Buddha said to not blindly believe anything anybody says, including parents, scriptures, society, or even the Buddha himself unless you have tried it out and it agrees with your own common sense. This is very significant because he gives you the responsibility to decide for yourself how to live your life. The precepts are just suggestions for lay folks.

This might be controversial but I don't quite buy that it is bad to break a precept. I think that is a way to make people feel guilty, with good intentions, mind you, to motivate folks to stay on the path. But if you stumble, pick yourself up and keep going. It is not a sin. If you want to slow down and enjoy the scenery, go ahead. Just remember time is limited in this human life. I am very skeptical. I think that it is just a superstition. I know I am not the Buddha but if I was I would not hold people to promises. I would not demand promises or vows. I would not prohibit them either. The way I look at it is: You are the one choosing to take the vow, you are the one taking it, it is your life, you can break the vow anytime you want, enjoy yourself as long as you don't hurt anybody. You are free. Don't punish yourself for mistakes, be content being an ordinary person, seek wisdom, keep beginner's mind.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:12 am

Free Spirit

"Every day I'm either in a wine shop or a brothel,
A free-spirited monk who is hard to fathom;
My surplice always appears torn and dirty,
But when I patch it, it smells so sweet."

-- Ch'an master Tao-chi ("Lust for Enlightenment" p. 92)
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:43 am

Ikkyu wrote:If I lay in bed after taking two hits from a joint and listen to some Jazz I don't really understand how I'm creating bad karma or harming other sentient beings.
It's not like I'm getting plastered and beatng the crap out of a person for no reason other than that I'm too intoxicated to tell what's going on.
If you happen to die in that moment of stoned ignorance it'll be the mental state that will directly carry over into your next rebirth, it'll more or less guarante you an animal birth, probably as an animal that sings some mad tunes! :smile:

The idea is to indulge in mindfulness 24/7 coz you never know when Yama is going to come visiting! Getting ripped happens to destroy ones mental faculties.

Tao Chi was enlightened, you are not. So let's make a deal: you reach enlightenment and then get trashed and screw everything in sight 24/7 and don't start any more dopey threads. Deal? :tongue:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby tomamundsen » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:19 am

Skywalker wrote:This might be controversial but I don't quite buy that it is bad to break a precept...

I basically agreed with you up until this point. Breaking a vow is an unwholesome action, unfortunately. Keeping vows is also more wholesome than not taking them, so there is some motivation to take them knowing that there is a risk.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:49 am

Records of the life of Soen Nakagawa Roshi, abbot of Dai Bosatsu Kongo Ji:

"Soen Roshi was always at ease and natural, no matter in what situation he found himself.

Once, during this sesshin, on an awfully sticky and hot afternoon, he was walking around the zendo when a student, thinking that he was junkei, made a gassho to be struck. Soen Roshi only had his fan. He opened it and fanned the student!

One day, I invited him and Eido Roshi to a luncheon at the Sign of the Dove in Manhattan. At that time, I had a small staff which included a beautiful nineteen-year-old woman named Lonna. I sat her next to Soen Roshi, thinking she would be good company as she was not a Zen student; she did not speak in reverent whispers nor did she have that tip-toeing and gassho-ing attitude that so many Zen students adopted around him. Lonna came from an Italian family of larger-than-life extroverts. Conversation at the table flowed easily.

At one point, Soen Roshi, a little tipsy, put his hand on her thigh and asked: "What is this?" She said: "That's my leg and you are being a bad boy." He said: "What do you do to bad boys"? She said: "I will have to punish you if you are bad." His eyes lit up. He then asked her if he could rest his head there and she said that it would be okay. He later fell asleep on her breast.

I think this exchange was quite refreshing as no Zen student would ever dare talk to Soen Roshi that way. Lonna affectionately referred to him thereafter as 'Baby Soen.'

As I was planning to have Soen Roshi pose for me after the luncheon, we drove downtown to my studio. I wanted to paint him wearing Soyen Shaku's kesa which is quite beautiful. (Soyen Shaku had been Nyogen Senzaki's teacher.)

But by now, Soen Roshi was tired. He arranged the kesa on the modeling platform, took some of his clothing off and said: "There. Now you may paint." This was not my plan but I always went with the flow, so to speak, with Soen Roshi. So, instead of painting him, I photographed him getting a massage from my friend Pat who was very good at it. After she was done, she tucked him in on my couch, and he went to sleep.

And there it was ... a riderless horse ... a roshi-less robe.

After I drove him home, he waved goodbye. That was the last time I ever saw him."


-- From "http://www.soennakagawaroshi.com/"
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:53 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Ikkyu wrote:If I lay in bed after taking two hits from a joint and listen to some Jazz I don't really understand how I'm creating bad karma or harming other sentient beings.
It's not like I'm getting plastered and beatng the crap out of a person for no reason other than that I'm too intoxicated to tell what's going on.
If you happen to die in that moment of stoned ignorance it'll be the mental state that will directly carry over into your next rebirth, it'll more or less guarante you an animal birth, probably as an animal that sings some mad tunes! :smile:

The idea is to indulge in mindfulness 24/7 coz you never know when Yama is going to come visiting! Getting ripped happens to destroy ones mental faculties.

Tao Chi was enlightened, you are not. So let's make a deal: you reach enlightenment and then get trashed and screw everything in sight 24/7 and don't start any more dopey threads. Deal? :tongue:
:namaste:


First of all, don't you think it assumes a lot to say "this person was enlightened" or "that person wasn't"? I don't presume to know the enlightenment of anyone, except for Buddha himself or the bodhisattvas, etc. (That is, if we take enlightenment to be real, which is a whole issue all together.) Considering how important of an achievement enlightenment is I don't think it makes sense to just toss the term around. Care to disagree, if you will.

I think you may have missed my point about moderation. Of course it isn't conducive to good health or well-being to "get trashed or screw everything in sight 24/7". But what I find is that these Zen masters, abbots, monks, etc. were able to indulge a little without hurting anyone. I wouldn't say that this thread is dopey so much as bringing up a topic I think is worth discussing. Maybe you aren't a fan of my rebuttals or quotes but I think it adds to the discussion.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:54 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Ikkyu wrote:If I lay in bed after taking two hits from a joint and listen to some Jazz I don't really understand how I'm creating bad karma or harming other sentient beings.
It's not like I'm getting plastered and beatng the crap out of a person for no reason other than that I'm too intoxicated to tell what's going on.
If you happen to die in that moment of stoned ignorance it'll be the mental state that will directly carry over into your next rebirth, it'll more or less guarante you an animal birth, probably as an animal that sings some mad tunes! :smile:

The idea is to indulge in mindfulness 24/7 coz you never know when Yama is going to come visiting! Getting ripped happens to destroy ones mental faculties.

Tao Chi was enlightened, you are not. So let's make a deal: you reach enlightenment and then get trashed and screw everything in sight 24/7 and don't start any more dopey threads. Deal? :tongue:
:namaste:


Also, are we now deciding that only enlightened beings are allowed to indulge in intoxicants? That's news to me. Please elaborate.
"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Dan74 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:20 am

Bringing up some dead teachers to justify one's behaviour doesn't cut it. Some of the teachers mentioned indulged in a lot more than a bit of wine and left a trail of destruction behind them. Hardly the compassionate functioning of an enlightened mind.

On the other hand, what you do with your life, Ikkyu, is your business, and unless you ask for my view about what you should or should not do, I have nothing to tell you.

The Buddha was pretty clear about the 5th Precept, but then again, they are training rules, not commandments. Most of us who have done some serious retreats would recall how even caffeine is perceived to disturb the mind. As for pot, LSD, etc, they are interesting substances and people have and do get insights from them. The trouble is that all shortcuts carry a pretty big price and in the end such insights tend to into curses. Some manage to work through all this, most don't. I was a big 'shroom fan in my younger days, but I don't miss them now.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Dan74 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:05 am

PS When I spoke to teachers about crazy wisdom and famous stories like Ikkyu or Tao Chi, the response was that these were exceptional people (I guess we are all exceptional these days! :D ) and the drinking and debauchery was because they were in that environment reaching out to the drinkers and the courtesans. Whether you buy it or not is up to you, but this is what I was taught.
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