Why the Buddha banned booze.

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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:41 am

gregkavarnos wrote: I guess your experience and observations differ? I doubt it!



Quite different, but then I am not a textual fundamentalist.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby mutsuk » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:45 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Just as an aside: Is there an English translation of the Aryanandikasutra?

It is planned to appear on the 84000 website but I don't know when.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:22 am

Dronma wrote:
flavio81 wrote:There is a big difference between consumption and intoxication. If you're, for example, a disciple of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, then you're expected to be aware of your own limitations, all the time, to work with your limitations. Not to rely on an external rule but to be mindful of one's own capacity.


The fact is, Flavio, that today some people do really confuse the state of Dzogchen and the Dzogchenpa (the one who aspires for the realization of Dzogchen).
There is a thin line in between awareness and illusion. And the practice is a constant attempt for delicate balance.

So, what I understand after so many perfect posts above, is that behind every rule, the real issue is the desire/attachment and the anger/aversion.



So true. Many, many thanks for this insightful post. :yinyang:
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:56 am

Malcolm wrote:Quite different, but then I am not a textual fundamentalist.
I'm sorry, it seems you have mistaken me for somebody else, I was referring to my personal experiences and not to texts. But hey, if you have run out of relevant points and are going to engage in ad hominems, then this conversation is over anyway.
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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: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:17 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Method means relative, that is the point of having a method.
The aim of a method is to help us cut through the veil of relative, dualistic, samsaric conceptualising, otherwise it is a method to propogate samsara.


Yes, but Malcolm is right: The method is relative, relative to a certain capacity and circumstance.

gregkavarnos wrote: A beings mind stream has to be ripe enough in order to utilise the method. I severely doubt that anybody here, that is pushing the "alcohol is amrita" line, is doing anything more than parroting the teachings. Since their view is based largely on personal preference (ie since they are incapable of swallowing a teaspoonful of mercury along with their burger, instead of a beer)


How do you know?
This is disrespectful to practitioners, Greg.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:13 am

flavio81 wrote:Yes, but Malcolm is right: The method is relative, relative to a certain capacity and circumstance.
I am not disagreeing. Quite the contrary.
gregkavarnos wrote: A beings mind stream has to be ripe enough in order to utilise the method. I severely doubt that anybody here, that is pushing the "alcohol is amrita" line, is doing anything more than parroting the teachings. Since their view is based largely on personal preference (ie since they are incapable of swallowing a teaspoonful of mercury along with their burger, instead of a beer)


How do you know?
This is disrespectful to practitioners, Greg.
Not disrespectful at all, realistic. Why do you have a glas of wine or a beer with your meal instead of a teaspoon of mercury if not due to personal preference? The very fact that they are here arguing their view is testament to the fact. Do you want me to do a survey?

Right!

How many people here feel that they can maintain perfect presence (ie beyond attachment and aversion) whilst engaged in (and as a consequence of) consuming intoxicants (either within or outside of a ritual context)?

Honest answers are mandatory. :guns:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
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: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:26 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
flavio81 wrote:Yes, but Malcolm is right: The method is relative, relative to a certain capacity and circumstance.
I am not disagreeing. Quite the contrary.
gregkavarnos wrote: A beings mind stream has to be ripe enough in order to utilise the method. I severely doubt that anybody here, that is pushing the "alcohol is amrita" line, is doing anything more than parroting the teachings. Since their view is based largely on personal preference (ie since they are incapable of swallowing a teaspoonful of mercury along with their burger, instead of a beer)


How do you know?
This is disrespectful to practitioners, Greg.
Not disrespectful at all, realistic. Why do you have a glas of wine or a beer with your meal instead of a teaspoon of mercury if not due to personal preference? The very fact that they are here arguing their view is testament to the fact. Do you want me to do a survey?

Right!

How many people here feel that they can maintain perfect presence (ie beyond attachment and aversion) whilst engaged in (and as a consequence of) consuming intoxicants (either within or outside of a ritual context)?

Honest answers are mandatory. :guns:


Keep your guns, they don't belong in a buddhist forum.

We're not discussing mercury, we're discussing alcohol. It is you (and others) who are trying to use the falaccious trick of equating alcohol = poison = mercury as the same thing. It is you who is implying that to view alcohol as amrita one would have to be close to a realization. It is you who is assuming that alcohol consumption is always intoxication.

Furthermore, It is not correct to call into questioning the capacity of other practicants here and a good practicant shouldn't be commenting (or boasting) about his/her capacity concerning presence about anybody other than his vajra master.

Honestly, Greg, i expected more from a global moderator. You want to know about intoxicants? This forum is being an intoxicant to you, so double-check what you post here, for being in such a forum position (of influence and control) gives you the potential to cause even more damage than a regular poster.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Ramon1920 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:42 pm

Such a lively thread for such a bad tasting drink. The debate of course coming from the inconsistency in the teachings of different people and the people that want to stretch the rules as much as possible to account for their petty consumption of intoxicants. I'm sure there is a fair amount of "well my teacher did it so it must be okay for everyone" also.

Tantra vs. common norms.

If you really want to get into a heated debate where people's inconsistency is exposed you should talk about the incest of Niguma and Naropa. It would be funny to see how people would handle such a conflict between modern morality and stories they have invested in.

Personally I reconcile these inconsistencies by reiterating Bodhicitta and assuring myself that if the teachings turn on Bodhicitta then I will turn on the teachings and if that causes conflict between deities or lineages then we'll be finished and I'll have no qualms about it. Though I doubt holding to Bodhicitta would cause a conflict with a deity or lineage I associate with, it's a relationship I am willing to sacrifice.

So with that as my standard, if alcohol conflicts with bodhicitta I won't hesitate to become a prohibitionist. And it's not like alcohol's affects are limited to individual instances, i.e. "this time I ran over some kids but the time before that it was okay, so the time I ran over kids alcohol was bad but the other time it was okay". Because the outcome of drinking alcohol is cumulative, cumulatively seeing people drink alcohol and keep it in their house causes me dismay. To dissuade them I display disgust, sometimes I tell disturbing stories about gruesome outcomes of drunkenness. Sometimes I even criticize whole groups of people, like Trungpa's students, who think they're very advanced "crazy wisdom" tantrikka because they get trashed and cause a lot of damage "blessings" to people's lives.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:04 pm

flavio81 wrote:We're not discussing mercury, we're discussing alcohol. It is you (and others) who are trying to use the falaccious trick of equating alcohol = poison = mercury as the same thing.
Actually I was not the one who brought up this idea, Malcolm did when he made this statement:
Malcolm wrote:No, greg. It does not. Everthing in the world can be either poison or amrita -- it depends on the method.

It is you who is implying that to view alcohol as amrita one would have to be close to a realization.
To view a (any) substance as amrita you have to be fully aware of why you want to consume it. You have to aware of how and why you are consuming it and you have to be aware of the effects of its consumption. All this in order to spontaneously liberate anything that arises. If I am saying something wrong here please feel free to point out where my error lies.
It is you who is assuming that alcohol consumption is always intoxication.
If drunk without perfect presence, yes. Obviously. Take a walk down to the pub if you don't believe me.
Furthermore, It is not correct to call into questioning the capacity of other practicants here and a good practicant shouldn't be commenting (or boasting) about his/her capacity concerning presence about anybody other than his vajra master.
The only ones boasting about their capacities are those that claim that they can drink alcohol without experiencing effects. I merely pointed out the obvious: that the greatest majority of beings are incapable of maintaining perfect presence during the consumption of intoxicants. You disagree? Please feel free to prove me wrong.
Honestly, Greg, i expected more from a global moderator. You want to know about intoxicants? This forum is being an intoxicant to you, so double-check what you post here, for being in such a forum position (of influence and control) gives you the potential to cause even more damage than a regular poster.
So what do you expect me to do as a "global moderator"? Agree with everything somebody says? Write off my personal experiences? Not question rhetoric? I am engaing in discussion, I am not influencing and controlling what people think or say, quite obviously, otherwise you would be agreeing with me right now and half the things that have been said (the ones that disagree with my view) would have been deleted. ;)
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:02 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I am engaing in discussion, I am not influencing and controlling what people think or say,


I never meant this, so if this is what you understood from my post, i apologize.

What i meant is that since you're a moderator, a newcomer (or younger forumers) will probably give more weight to your opinions. Thus a position of increased visibility, increased influence and thus bigger responsibility over what is being posted.

gregkavarnos wrote:The only ones boasting about their capacities are those that claim that they can drink alcohol without experiencing effects. I merely pointed out the obvious: that the greatest majority of beings are incapable of maintaining perfect presence during the consumption of intoxicants. You disagree? Please feel free to prove me wrong.


Greg, you are mixing up things (pun not intended). You are assuming that practicants who will not avoid alcohol should be able to drink alcohol "without experiencing effects", and that only if they are able to drink it "without experiencing effects" (not experiencing any effect) they would be capable of "mantaining perfect presence".

I think this is not correct.

In any case i'll let Loppon Malcolm to clarify (or contradict me) as necessary.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:23 pm

Ramon1920 wrote: So with that as my standard, if alcohol conflicts with bodhicitta I won't hesitate to become a prohibitionist. (...) To dissuade them I display disgust, sometimes I tell disturbing stories about gruesome outcomes of drunkenness.


So you apply your particular standard to everybody else and judge them according to it.

This is not a good thing if you're in the Buddhist path.

Ramon1920 wrote: Sometimes I even criticize whole groups of people, like Trungpa's students, who think they're very advanced "crazy wisdom" tantrikka because they get trashed and cause a lot of damage "blessings" to people's lives.


You need to meet more of Trungpa's past students then. May the good ones cross your path and be of benefit to you!
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:57 pm

flavio81 wrote:I never meant this, so if this is what you understood from my post, i apologize.

What i meant is that since you're a moderator, a newcomer (or younger forumers) will probably give more weight to your opinions. Thus a position of increased visibility, increased influence and thus bigger responsibility over what is being posted.
yes, this is very true. That's why if I am saying anything that is wrong I am quite open to people proving me wrong.

Greg, you are mixing up things (pun not intended). You are assuming that practicants who will not avoid alcohol should be able to drink alcohol "without experiencing effects", and that only if they are able to drink it "without experiencing effects" (not experiencing any effect) they would be capable of "mantaining perfect presence".

I think this is not correct.
Karmic effect of intoxication, not the feeling tipsy effect. We can (with a fair bit of practice) be tipsy and still aware. Still maintain presence. Still not kill the woman and not have sex with the goat! :tongue: Still doesn't really mean we are benefiting from the experience though.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby shel » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:15 pm

flavio81 wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:I am engaing in discussion, I am not influencing and controlling what people think or say,


I never meant this, so if this is what you understood from my post, i apologize.


Actually Gregkavarnos has controlled what is allowed in the forum, for dubious reasons.

What do I mean by dubious reasons? Well, in relation to this topic I find it interesting that a bar tender should be so outspoken in the subject. :tongue:
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby katiIreland » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:16 pm

Before my lay Buddhist initiation in Dharamsala His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that if you find yourself in a situation where you must drink alcohol I.e. celebrations etc its ok to drink a small glass. One cannot argue with his holiness :-)
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Ramon1920 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:00 am

flavio81 wrote:
Ramon1920 wrote: So with that as my standard, if alcohol conflicts with bodhicitta I won't hesitate to become a prohibitionist. (...) To dissuade them I display disgust, sometimes I tell disturbing stories about gruesome outcomes of drunkenness.


So you apply your particular standard to everybody else and judge them according to it.

This is not a good thing if you're in the Buddhist path.

Ramon1920 wrote: Sometimes I even criticize whole groups of people, like Trungpa's students, who think they're very advanced "crazy wisdom" tantrikka because they get trashed and cause a lot of damage "blessings" to people's lives.


You need to meet more of Trungpa's past students then. May the good ones cross your path and be of benefit to you!


I apply my particular standard to my own actions. It would be a real shame to ignore the immense benefits of well aimed criticism. Occasionally I am contacted with praise by alcoholics who I have attacked with sharp words or threatened in some way. I remember one that would only contact me when he was a few days into a binge because he knew I would put a stop to it and I hope not seeing him for some time means he has given it up entirely. I have no problem putting on a mean face to stomp out trouble for beings I care about. The view of being concerned for beings and the view of not being willing to resort to anything harsh are inconsistent.

I'm curious what makes so many people defend Trungpa's students when they've only flipped through some of his books and the hagiographies his junkie students write online. Maybe if you actually had relationships with his students you would know what I was talking about.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Stewart » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:12 am

Utter gibberish.

You are coming across as an angry, self righteous fundamentalist... With deluded ideas of their self importance... Read back your posts and get a grip.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Dronma » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:31 am

I wonder what is worse: alcoholism or fanaticism.
The first one comes from the poison of desire/attachment, and the latter from the opposite side of anger/aversion.
The 2 extremes which create all Samsara.
What I have appreciated deeply in Buddhism since the beginning is the middle path of compassion and awareness.
"My view is as vast as the sky, but my actions are finer than flour"
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Ramon1920 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:08 am

Desire is necessary to put an end to suffering. Being adverse to suffering is necessary to put an end to suffering.

Over simplification of the teachings is why many people go astray.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Dronma » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:21 am

Ramon1920 wrote:Over simplification of the teachings is why many people go astray.


Pride and aggression, too....
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:22 am

katiIreland wrote:Before my lay Buddhist initiation in Dharamsala His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that if you find yourself in a situation where you must drink alcohol I.e. celebrations etc its ok to drink a small glass. One cannot argue with his holiness :-)
Actually, you will find that it is fine to (intelligently) disagree with anybody one wishes too (including His Holiness).
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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