Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
dakini_boi
Posts: 683
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:02 am

Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby dakini_boi » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:14 pm


User avatar
Mr. G
Posts: 4035
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Mr. G » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:07 pm


Angelic Fruitcake
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:05 pm

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Angelic Fruitcake » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:15 pm


User avatar
Mr. G
Posts: 4035
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby Mr. G » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:45 pm

These related threads may be helpful:




Blue Garuda
Posts: 1967
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:17 pm

Surely an 'intoxicant' is simply a poison - literally that which is 'toxic', and refers to the body and brain, not the mind.

Intention is important, as accidentally consuming brain-altering substances is not bad karma.

I also recognise that most advice is simplistic - do not drink alcohol etc. - as at the basic level it would be far less effective and meaningful to talk of the mind, of tsog, of transformation etc etc.

Just as we advise a toddler not to cross the road alone, people advise those with few attainments not to drink alcohol or use other drugs which may impede the development of their minds. How do we know? We don't, so the advice is necessarily general.

I can't see how we can be prescriptive or proscriptive by categorising and naming substances - rather we need to guide people against action which impedes their development.

Buddha did not name Miaow Miaow (mephedrone) as a threat, for example - we need to move away from the detail, stand back and use a bit of common sense in applying the 8FP in our own cultures.

P.S. Miaow Miaow is especially not for Catmoons! LOL :)
Left

User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
Posts: 3283
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby catmoon » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:35 pm

I stay away from the hard stuff. Could I interest you in a hit of this excellent 'nip?
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6312
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:37 am

Consumption of alcohol was forbidden by the Buddha following an incident where Venerable Sugata drank too much celebratory local brew (it was purportedly black) after having subdued a naga which was terrorizing the people. He vomited all over himself and passed out. The Buddha and Ananda tended to him, and in a drunken haze Venerable Sugata kicked the Buddha. The Buddha summoned the assembly and pointed out what a sorry state Venerable Sugata was in and thereupon forbid the monks from consuming alcohol.

This is why liquor was prohibited. There is no need to stretch the meaning of the prohibition to encompass all substances which may or may not be defined as "intoxicants".
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

Angelic Fruitcake
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:05 pm

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby Angelic Fruitcake » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:08 pm


User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6312
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:37 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

Angelic Fruitcake
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:05 pm

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby Angelic Fruitcake » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:18 am

I shouldn't try to assert any opinion on why and what the precepts are. I have read far less than all, or at least most, of you.

One of the things that initially drew me to buddhism, after having been non-religious for many years, was the explicit encouragement to think for yourself. I have always found it difficult to digest rules that are given without explanation or without being allowed to use logic and reasoning to determine their value. I don't think I am wise enough to know the correct way to live your life (if there is "one" correct way), but given that I probably know the details of my circumstances better than anyone I still prefer being able to use my own judgement. So far, most of what I've read of buddhism strikes a chord with me both logically and intuitively. Therefore, I am more inclined to listen to advice and guidelines given by buddhists. But I am torn. My mind does not readily accept gray scales, it prefers black and white.

User avatar
Konchog1
Posts: 1468
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:44 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

User avatar
dzogchungpa
Posts: 5393
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby dzogchungpa » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:57 pm

Through Dzogchen we can really understand what God is and we don’t have to worry if there is a God or not. God always exists as our real nature, the base, for everybody. - Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

User avatar
dzogchungpa
Posts: 5393
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby dzogchungpa » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:28 pm

Through Dzogchen we can really understand what God is and we don’t have to worry if there is a God or not. God always exists as our real nature, the base, for everybody. - Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby Sara H » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:13 am

An intoxicant in Buddhism is something that causes delusion and fogs the mind and causes one to forget what at other times we know, and slows and impairs our responses and senses, or unnaturally speeds our mind up in ways that we are too distracted to be mindful. Generally intoxicants cause us to sortof slip into chemically induced fantasy.

While there are occasional medicinal uses of things that "intoxicate",

Generally speaking, avoiding intoxicants in Buddhism means using intoxicating substances to deal with "stress" or to chemically induce fantasy, or to forget about one's problems, or simply for recreational fun.

It makes us drastically less mindful, and causes us by negligence and lack mindfulness to do real harm to ourselves and others through our actions of body, speech and mind.

Not to mention generally dims our awareness and wisdom.

Intoxicating oneself is synonymous with deluding oneself in Buddhism.

And Delusion is one of the three poisons. And is considered one of the causes of all suffering.

Therefor a Buddhist would not wish to intoxicate oneself any more than a Buddhist would wish to knowingly indulge in Greed or Anger/Hatred.

A responsible Buddhist trains to teach themselves to refrain from intoxicants.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

User avatar
dzogchungpa
Posts: 5393
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:40 pm

Through Dzogchen we can really understand what God is and we don’t have to worry if there is a God or not. God always exists as our real nature, the base, for everybody. - Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism

Postby Sara H » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:59 pm

"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy


Return to “Dharma in Everyday Life”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests