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: An Eager Noobist

Postby Ogyen » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:30 pm

Ikkyu wrote: What proof do we have that Buddhism does anything to the Self? Who's to say Buddha won't just give us full Buddhahood? Can't Buddhism, like any other religion, be reduced to magical thinking and a lack of proof regarding such issues as karma, rebirth, skandhas, etc., etc., just to name a few? This is why Buddhism is a religion. It's a good idea... not dogma set in stone. And I'm fine with that. My brand of ego is in a constant state of flux, as is everything in the fleeting universe. I am still on a journey. Who knows the destination?


No need to get defensive or be sensitive. I mean no offense. I'm not the one posing the question of effects of entheogens, religions, Buddhism, or anything on the brain, mind or the self. I personally don't even ascribe to a Self. But we're not talking about me or my positions, we're talking about your questions on this subject. I've only written this much in the spirit of exchange, not 'confrontation' or challenge. Getting the thinking juices going does not have to be a threatening process, I'm simply responding to your notion that you posted about.

Where's the PROOF, indeed? Proof, as the old saying goes, is in the pudding. I believe what I see and can verify. I can't verify the role of entheogens on the brain, I can verify the application of the four noble truths from suffering to its cessation in many many people's lives. Again, facts. Buddhism maybe a religion to some. To others like myself it is simply a series of observations taught by the Buddha who taught nothing of Buddhism, that came MUCH later. I'm just a fan of truth and facts, not big on -isms. I'm more interested in dharma than I am Buddh-ism. A fine distinction, IF you know what I mean. And I do write a lot of poetry. And could be a closeted zennie, but that's another story...

My points to you are not to get your riled up, but to get you to think about your own statements... IF that is what you're actually interested in doing... if not, my apologies, skip this post altogether. Just in case... here goes...

Ikkyu wrote:Peruvian shamans were just an example I was using. The point I was trying to make is that entheogens have their place in the spiritual heritage of mankind.


yes, they do. But what do they have to do with you or your culture was my original question and why use them at all in what you pose if not to support/validate your own use of drugs and meditation? You can't leave out that their place was within a much larger spiritual and cultural matrix that played a key role for the rites of passage of those cultures which you have little to do with. I simply pointed out that these bear little relevance to the current topic you were addressing, didn't think it would go over like an offensive..

Ikkyu wrote: I am not tied to any particular belief... and despite how derogatory and prejudiced you seem to be against everyone in the Occident -- as is evinced by such a sweeping judgement -- there are actually Westerners who are not consumerist idiots and not spiritually materialistic and who do stress living out a genuine, devout spiritual practice. There are a number of those people on this very forum I'm sure. Cherry-picking isn't limited to Westerners... what makesyou think Asian Buddhists, Muslims, Christians from Syria and others don't cherry-pick regarding their religions, their Bibles, Qur'ans, and whatnot? Is it really disingenuous to put it all together yourself in order to see what works? We don't solve a jigsaw puzzle the first time around. It takes a lot of different piecings together to get it right.


You misunderstand my simple observation of half of the very culture I grew up in as 'being against it' or connoting some idiocy to the matter of the fact. I wrote nothing derogatory about you or Western culture. If pooh stinks, is it derogatory to recognize its stinkiness AND does it make pooh somehow morally bad? Moreover, does the ability to recognize pooh's stinkiness somehow make me unable to recognize it IS ALSO what makes vegetation grow? Pooh is after all key to human sustenance... Basic judgmental thinking is a very good thing, in most schools of dialectics it's called logic, going back to the most ancient philosophies.

No, friend, I do not make the negative qualities of pooh or Western culture, or cast any aspersion on these qualities, they are in my own ways as well, being half entrenched in this culture. But just because they exist, and even though I didn't create them, I don't fear seeing them. You may interpret it as negative and derogatory, but my own position is not what you described. Those are your mirrors looking back at you in the void of toneless internet postings.

For your clarity, my position is that materialism is simply a condition of the western cultural matrix, which is also changing many other parts of the world through an ever globalizing technology spread. I have no positive or negative against it personally, it's what it is, it has pros and cons. Good for business, economy, world trade, etc. Just like air is also composed of oxygen, it is how it is, I'm not calling it evil because it also has high levels of CO2 in it... Of course, every culture osmotically picks up on what it comes into contact with, or vehemently rejects it. Cherry-picking will happen everywhere Facebook reaches. It's called exposure, cross-pollination, and globalization. It's basic cultural "physics," and it's how humans grow and evolve in large groups... but we're swaying off topic like dialectical drunken monkeys here.

It's actually (we - if that makes you feel better) Westerners who get all uptight about this point of spiritual materialism getting observed. It's so built into the cultural matrix and we tend to be so unprepared for what it really means that we tend to react to it like it's a horrible moral judgment against our worthiness towards spirituality. Be assured, there is nothing 'wrong' with materialism in any form. It is a priority focused on material outcome. It's practical, to the point. Moreover, it is simply human, as old as mankind itself. We all have it in this or that form. Simple observation of these things does not impute any judge, nor jury. You can relax.

Materialism of any kind has its weaknesses and therefore its strengths, remember... non-duality? The coin with two faces? Not a Buddhist concept. One shared by many many cultures, including your Peruvian friends there... A strength in the materialistic approach is the logical, concrete approach that skeptically addresses what it encounters. A weakness - the space to hodgepodge conditions out of context like 'things' (which aren't solid or THINGS to begin with) in such a way that we can justify oh, for example, wanting to do drugs, maybe be Buddhist, and maybe have a twist of Peruvian shamanism in the mix. Just kidding, don't get your panties in a bunch... Did you see Madonna with her sacred Kabalah water? That was funny... What I'm saying is your mind will lead you all sorts of ways, you HAVE to be judgmental, or your mind will be so 'open' it'll fall out your head. That is one of a few AMERICAN weaknesses... :rolling: But hey, it leads to great rock and roll.

Ikkyu wrote:Again. I am not a shaman, but the value of the plants and the materials which effect the mind in these unique ways is certainly beneficial in some instances. I don't need to be a Peruvian shaman to know that my consciousness can be expanded and that sometimes this yields beneficial spiritual results.


sure, and their use is completely anyone's choice which no one here has any issue with... But what's that got to do with dharma or Ikkyu or your interest in either?

Ikkyu wrote: I grew up in the US. I'm sorry if that apparently makes me "spiritually materialistic".
I don't plan to be anything like a half-drunken vagrant monk or a "tweaked out" shaman (I would hardly call the effects of Yage as "tweaked out"). My ideal is simply that of happiness. I connect with Ikkyu more than anything as a poet. I connect with his influence on the Komuso of Japan and the shakuhachi flute.

What you seems to think you can "see" in a person based on an obscure post in a forum matters little in terms of reality. It's quite judgmental actually.


That I can observe with my own discriminating sense (6th sense - thinking consciousness) that you are an American (male?) does not equate me judging you negatively in any way or casting some kind of moral judgment. My ability to observe something (like looking at a rough sea will tell me there's wind blowing at x-knots per hour) is not a judgment of the fish swimming there somewhere in its depth. My observations are not judgments of you, I don't know you, nor did I ever call you spiritually materialistic directly or indirectly, or made any derogatory remarks about your person. I've simply pointed out one major feature of western culture that encompasses millions of individuals, which you and I are both part of, THAT YES I PICKED UP ON in your writing, and you reacted to that, like the fish biting the hook in the depths of that rough sea, as if I were calling you unworthy for seeing your home as rough terrain. Dude, it IS rough terrain, but SO IS THE REST OF THE WORLD. Ease up, we're all in the same boat.

That I can use my judgment is in fact a very positive trait, it is for any human being - a major driver for survival and continuation of the species even... Perhaps it wasn't a welcome reply, but by simple observation, I nailed it on the head, both where you're from and what you were inferring. I could have pointed out some equally true trait of Asian or Latin culture, truthfully, it makes no difference to me where you're from. Every culture has noteworthy weaknesses and strengths. I note what I see and make my decisions based on evidence presented and what might be helpful to look at for others as well as myself. I have no investment either way in whatever you do, for whatever reason. :shrug:

We simply are more naked to others than we realize (we all are). I have a brain, I use it. I clearly stated I do not focus on morality (moral judgment), but practicality - and while taken personally, my observations have not been incorrect thus far... So while they may not be liked, they have yet to be disproven.

Here is an easy definition of judgment in how I use it - for your reference, so you don't think I'm like hating on ya or anything.
dictionary definition wrote:judg·ment [juhj-muhnt] noun
1. an act or instance of judging.
2. the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
3. the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity.
4. the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind.
5. the opinion formed.


Clearly - judgments change with the data presented as they are formed through evidence. If the evidence changes, so does the opinion (one would hope)...

Ikkyu wrote: Again, this is painting with such a broad brush. I know many Westerners who use entheogens as a means to reach higher states of consciousness. To compare the use of sacred plants and medicines to cannibalism seems unreasonable.


Tell that to the cannibals who consider their act just as spiritual... Again, it is you who is taking the cultural matrices of primitive rituals out of context for the exact reasons that Western culture does such things. It's a form of 'self-improving' it's how we got to where we are as world superpowers, but broad brushes are what we're using in talking of shamanic practices in this thread, so, I am simply countering with another broad stroke. The comparison only seems unreasonable because of your own cultural filters. The cannibals, I assure you, would not share that sentiment. IT ALL comes down to filters, btw.

Ikkyu wrote:
ogyen wrote:If you use substances, simply be present with yourself when you make your choices. That is all. Don't use or draw upon anything outside yourself to justify, validate, that is just grasping. The urge comes from within, the answer to transcending its impulse also comes from within - the discipline emerges from within. The path is noticing it and being there when it happens within. Just pay attention, and your questions on this will be answered by the most important authority on the matter - you."


I agree completely.


See? That wasn't so bad after all. Just another day in the forum... Btw, I also grew up in Europe where much of my education was (or as Eddie Izzard says, where the history comes from :jumping: ), if my remarks are ever intended to be personally against you, you WILL get them in the form a PM, if at all. I have too much common courtesy to attack anyone in any public forum. I am a firm believer of civil exchange, and dialectically follow in the footsteps of many great thinkers, including my all time philosophical idol , Hypatia of Alexandria. I only replied because of your title: An eager noobist. If that was a misleading title, I am happy to back off and leave you to your thoughts. Have a great one!

:namaste:
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:28 am

GarcherLancelot wrote:Slightly off topic,but is that a monk or nun in your vid?


That is Vlastislav Matousek, a great living Czech shakuhachi player dressed in some of the traditional garb of the komusō, including the tengai/tengui/komusō-gasa (the basket-shaped hat which hides one's identity and symbolizes anatta/no-self) and a regular Zen rakusu. He is playing Mukaiji, a very famous and one of the original honkyoku pieces for shakuhachi.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:52 am

I used to smoke the herb superb when younger although nowadays my choice of poison is likely to be red wine. Where I'm up to is (theoretically) nearing retirement and I realize the need not to drink now. it is just too easy. I have a very nice bottle-shop 50 meters from my back gate, here in Australia there's a wine glut, you can get a perfectly respectable bottle of red for $8.00. But it does undermine your practice. It is like spraying herbicide on your rose garden. I've signed up for a charity fundraiser for which you abstain from drinking for the whole of July.

As for sex, that's another can of worms. What strikes me is that sexual appetites actually take over people. They get people to do things. You might think I am speaking satirically, but it is not so. Because sex is deeply elemental, it is a drive which is like, and connected to, the urge for the gene to proliferate. In this day and age, people take their sexual liberties for granted. It kind of goes without saying that nothing ought to interfere with that form of expression. But I wonder who is talking, half the time. I noticed when i used to debate on the philosophy forum, I would express a conservative view of such things as cyber-sex. This always generated enormous hostility and criticism. 'How dare you. Enemy of freedom'. So I don't debate anything like that.

I have never had a lot of involvement with institutional Buddhism. At this stage in life, maintaining my commitment to the practice is the main challenge. After the novelty wears off it can be hard to be consistent. I worry about being financially insecure (mainly on behalf of my family), and then remind myself that I have set out to discover something more important than money. But it's not easy, and to be honest, I don't think it ought to be easy.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby KeithBC » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:17 pm

One can argue the merits and permissibility of drinking alcohol and taking other drugs all day and not come to any consensus. However, one thing is clear: if you intend to continue using these substances, you should not take the fifth precept.

Quite apart from any harm that using these substances has on ones state of mind, breaking a vow very definitely has a negative effect on one's state of mind. Better not to take it than to take it and then break it.

Om mani padme hum
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ogyen » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:47 pm

KeithBC wrote:One can argue the merits and permissibility of drinking alcohol and taking other drugs all day and not come to any consensus. However, one thing is clear: if you intend to continue using these substances, you should not take the fifth precept.

Quite apart from any harm that using these substances has on ones state of mind, breaking a vow very definitely has a negative effect on one's state of mind. Better not to take it than to take it and then break it.

Om mani padme hum
Keith


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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:20 am

KeithBC wrote:One can argue the merits and permissibility of drinking alcohol and taking other drugs all day and not come to any consensus. However, one thing is clear: if you intend to continue using these substances, you should not take the fifth precept.

Quite apart from any harm that using these substances has on ones state of mind, breaking a vow very definitely has a negative effect on one's state of mind. Better not to take it than to take it and then break it.

Om mani padme hum
Keith


Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi

"I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness."

... What if I don't become heedless when I drink? How does one define heedlessness to begin with?
"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:40 am

My understanding is that it is totally up to yourself what you do or don't do. There are no Buddhist Police to come and arrest you if you drink. The precepts are guidelines, and for lay-persons are strictly voluntary. It is different if you join the monastic order because there you are committing to rules. But again, membership of that is also voluntarily. Key phrase: 'by oneself one is purified, by oneself one is defiled' (Dhp 12:165)
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Shutoku » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:45 am

Ikkyu wrote:*This topic has been partly copied (from the Introduction forum http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f= ... 54#p108018 ) and pasted in the "Personal Experience" forum

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 think that the path including those precepts is about overcoming suffering which is caused by attachment, and seeing your true nature more than acts of compassion.

I think you may be looking at the precepts as products of judgmentalism instead of as simply practical advise to assist in attaining insight into your true nature. Giving into cravings runs pretty counter to overcoming attachment, and clouding the mind with an intoxicant is probably not the best way to attain "right view" or seeing your true nature.

If you want a tradition that doesn't worry too much about the precepts Jodo Shinshu would fit the bill, as in shin enlightenment comes not through self effort in abstaining, but from total reliance on Amida Buddha.
You describe yourself as a skeptic so Pure Land Buddhsim might not be your cup of tea either though unless you can view it as metaphor (as most western shin followers do) but the sort of "theistic" flavour of shin might tough to swallow.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:16 pm

Shutoku wrote:
Ikkyu wrote:*This topic has been partly copied (from the Introduction forum http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f= ... 54#p108018 ) and pasted in the "Personal Experience" forum

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 think that the path including those precepts is about overcoming suffering which is caused by attachment, and seeing your true nature more than acts of compassion.

I think you may be looking at the precepts as products of judgmentalism instead of as simply practical advise to assist in attaining insight into your true nature. Giving into cravings runs pretty counter to overcoming attachment, and clouding the mind with an intoxicant is probably not the best way to attain "right view" or seeing your true nature.

If you want a tradition that doesn't worry too much about the precepts Jodo Shinshu would fit the bill, as in shin enlightenment comes not through self effort in abstaining, but from total reliance on Amida Buddha.
You describe yourself as a skeptic so Pure Land Buddhsim might not be your cup of tea either though unless you can view it as metaphor (as most western shin followers do) but the sort of "theistic" flavour of shin might tough to swallow.


Zen has always been my biggest interest. Especially the unorthodox cabals formed through the Rinzai sect in Japan. I always liked Zen because it seemed the most like [Philosophical] Taoism (Daojia), which I had extensively studied prior to my encounter with Buddhism. I got the sense that Zen, like Taoism, seeks to establish a unification between humanity and the universe as microcosm is to macrocosm and as the Tao is to mankind... at least more so than, say, the Vajrayana of Tibet or the Theravada of Thailand, etc. A lot of people will say Taoism has nothing to do with Zen, but through a lot of research I've come to a contrary conclusion. Another big point for me in Zen is that I'm a skeptic, atheist and rationalist (or at least I try to be), and the minimal dogma in Ch'an/Zen seems to point more directly to the spirit of the Buddha's teachings and the essence of the Mahayana than other sects -- for instance Pure Land and Tendai -- which are more dogmatic and creed-based and ritualized. That's not to say that Zen isn't ritualized, as all forms of Buddhism are, but it's not like meditational deities and guru yoga and whatnot that I personally can't wrap my head around or bring myself to believe in. However Zen does seem to stress precepts, despite the fact that many famous Japanese Zen masters often broke their precepts. Kai is a big deal for Zen Buddhists in Japan.

But anywho, who says that just because you're drunk you're necessarily heedless? What if you're drunk and don't break any of the other precepts or harm anyone else? Does that constitute heedlessness and breaking the 5th precept?
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby duckfiasco » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:30 am

The precepts are also about renunciation... renouncing the habitual ways we perpetuate our own involvement in and creation of samsara. Does abandoning alcohol get your skepticism and rationality all fired up, creating new ways to avoid depriving yourself of something? You may learn a good deal by inquiring into your own reaction to and interpretation of the precept.

I was also told that these types of precepts, such as against sexual misconduct and drinking alcohol, can be interpreted as concrete examples of abuse of the senses in general. That is, using the senses to further your own dualistic view by trying to medicate suffering "in here" with distraction or sensual pleasure "out there", rather than seeing how to cut the root of suffering in the first place. For many, alcohol is the perfect combination of distraction and pleasure.

You don't have to go to the level of vomiting into the house plants to experience heedlessness on some level. If we decide to let our guard down on our activities, to omit one specific thing from recognizing the three marks of existence, then that suggests a certain level of heedlessness, don't you think?

Since giving up alcohol hardly makes one an ascetic, and since this precept is so clear, it's an ideal opportunity to practice letting go :) If you have no attachment to something, it's hardly letting go, is it?

That's just my opinion on the thing :thumbsup: :popcorn:
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:22 am

Ikkyu wrote:Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi

"I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness."

... What if I don't become heedless when I drink? How does one define heedlessness to begin with?
How's this sound: stop making excuses about drinking and just practice. After some time you will realise whether drinking is impeding your "progress" and causing heedlessness or not. Anyway, what is this about "How does one define..." you know VERY well how one defines heedlessness. It seems to me that you are just buying time so you can get a few more down before making a decision regarding taking the precept. When I took the precept I had basically stopped drinking anyway, since I saw quite clearly that (for me) it impeded my development and was a waste of precious time, effort and money. If you cannot see this then don't take the precept. It's quite simple.
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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 Ikkyu » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:38 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Ikkyu wrote:Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi

"I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness."

... What if I don't become heedless when I drink? How does one define heedlessness to begin with?
How's this sound: stop making excuses about drinking and just practice. After some time you will realise whether drinking is impeding your "progress" and causing heedlessness or not. Anyway, what is this about "How does one define..." you know VERY well how one defines heedlessness. It seems to me that you are just buying time so you can get a few more down before making a decision regarding taking the precept. When I took the precept I had basically stopped drinking anyway, since I saw quite clearly that (for me) it impeded my development and was a waste of precious time, effort and money. If you cannot see this then don't take the precept. It's quite simple.
:namaste:


I'm not making excuses. I'm just trying to find a balance between teetotaling and abuse. Drug and alcohol use is not necessarily the same thing as abuse. The Madyamakha points out that we should seek to avoid extremes. Being completely against the use of any kind of substance is an aversion to alcohol, or rather an attachment to not-alcohol. The spirit of the fifth precept isn't "don't drink alcohol at all because this precept says so" so much as "don't allow drinking to make you heedless".

...

heedless [ˈhiːdlɪs]
adj
taking little or no notice; careless or thoughtless
heedlessly adv
heedlessness n

Adj. 1. heedless - marked by or paying little heed or attention

2. heedless - characterized by careless unconcern

...

Being a Vajrayana practitioner, would you consider the Ngakphang community -- particularly the Aro gTer -- who do not hold the sutrayana's fith precept and rather reinterpret it from the point of view of Dzogchen as "To refrain from the intoxication of duality, and to become drunken with primordial wisdom" to be outside the fold of Buddhadharma? What about Zen priests in Japan who drink sake from time to time as a part of their culture?
"Nothing can be known, not even this."
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby seeker242 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:41 pm

Ikkyu wrote:
seeker242 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 been attending a local sangha group in a nearby town for about a year and a half now. My group is a delineation of Thich Nhat Hanh's lineage in the Lam Te (Rinzai) Thien (Vietnamese Zen) tradition. I'm still considering looking aound to find out whether or not any other certain tradition will suit me better.



I am quite fond of Thich Nhat Hanh sanghas! There is a local one here and it's a very good group, except for the fact that the monks don't speak much English! Ha! Does the local sangha have any monks or teachers? If so, what do they think about a layperson engaging in behavior similar to Ikkyu? What do you think they would say? Or perhaps you could ask them in person. :smile:


The priest and dharmacharya at the sangha both said it was disingenuous on my part. (Practicing zazen and having a relationship with Cannabis on the side.)


Do you know why they said that?
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:55 pm

Ikkyu wrote:I'm not making excuses. I'm just trying to find a balance between teetotaling and abuse. Drug and alcohol use is not necessarily the same thing as abuse. The Madyamakha points out that we should seek to avoid extremes. Being completely against the use of any kind of substance is an aversion to alcohol, or rather an attachment to not-alcohol. The spirit of the fifth precept isn't "don't drink alcohol at all because this precept says so" so much as "don't allow drinking to make you heedless".
Now you are using Madyamaka as an excuse to get blotto and shit faced now and then as long as you don't kill and rape a few people (or at the very least tell somebody to frack off)? The precept is about NOT taking substances that CAUSE heedlessness, it is not about taking substances as long as you don't become heedless. That's why it is a take it or leave it deal.
Being a Vajrayana practitioner, would you consider the Ngakphang community -- particularly the Aro gTer -- who do not hold the sutrayana's fith precept and rather reinterpret it from the point of view of Dzogchen as "To refrain from the intoxication of duality, and to become drunken with primordial wisdom" to be outside the fold of Buddhadharma? What about Zen priests in Japan who drink sake from time to time as a part of their culture?
I am not even going to begin to tell you what I consider the Aro gTer mob... But look at what you are saying now, you would choose a tradition on the basis of whether they let you knock back a few pints rather than what they teach? This conversation is becoming rather, tiring, boring and tedious Ikkyu. I repeat my statement for the final time: You do not have to take the fifth precept if you do not (cannot) want to. Stop prancing around the subject and make a decision: alcohol and no fith precept, no alcohol and fifth precept.
:namaste:
"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: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby odysseus » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:09 am

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...
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:51 am

I sometimes get the feeling that people don't read threads before commenting. If you haven't taken the fifth precept you can "indulge" in any mind altering substance you wish to. You are the one that is ultimately going to suffer the consequences of your actions, so... Even if you have taken the precept you can indulge, but the consequences are multiplied. cf to comment by KeithBC posting.php?mode=reply&f=34&t=8817#pr110609
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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 Blue Garuda » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:41 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Ikkyu wrote:Being a Vajrayana practitioner, would you consider the Ngakphang community -- particularly the Aro gTer -- who do not hold the sutrayana's fith precept and rather reinterpret it from the point of view of Dzogchen as "To refrain from the intoxication of duality, and to become drunken with primordial wisdom" to be outside the fold of Buddhadharma? What about Zen priests in Japan who drink sake from time to time as a part of their culture?
I am not even going to begin to tell you what I consider the Aro gTer mob... But look at what you are saying now, you would choose a tradition on the basis of whether they let you knock back a few pints rather than what they teach? This conversation is becoming rather, tiring, boring and tedious Ikkyu. I repeat my statement for the final time: You do not have to take the fifth precept if you do not (cannot) want to. Stop prancing around the subject and make a decision: alcohol and no fith precept, no alcohol and fifth precept.
:namaste:


Aro aro! Do these people look like they need alcohol to have fun? :

http://aroencyclopaedia.org/shared/imag ... 50_657.jpg
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Ikkyu » Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:58 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
Ikkyu wrote:Being a Vajrayana practitioner, would you consider the Ngakphang community -- particularly the Aro gTer -- who do not hold the sutrayana's fith precept and rather reinterpret it from the point of view of Dzogchen as "To refrain from the intoxication of duality, and to become drunken with primordial wisdom" to be outside the fold of Buddhadharma? What about Zen priests in Japan who drink sake from time to time as a part of their culture?
I am not even going to begin to tell you what I consider the Aro gTer mob... But look at what you are saying now, you would choose a tradition on the basis of whether they let you knock back a few pints rather than what they teach? This conversation is becoming rather, tiring, boring and tedious Ikkyu. I repeat my statement for the final time: You do not have to take the fifth precept if you do not (cannot) want to. Stop prancing around the subject and make a decision: alcohol and no fith precept, no alcohol and fifth precept.
:namaste:


Aro aro! Do these people look like they need alcohol to have fun? :

http://aroencyclopaedia.org/shared/imag ... 50_657.jpg


No. Of course not. But again there is a difference between use and abuse. Think of amrita and its use in tsok and ganachakra.
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Re: Problem with the 5th precept

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:40 pm

Ikkyu wrote:Think of amrita and its use in tsok and ganachakra.
It's best not to use examples that involve things that you have no idea about.
:namaste:
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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 Ogyen » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:14 am

Ikkyu wrote:I'm not making excuses.


so far, it's all I've seen come out of this thread.

I'm just trying to find a balance between teetotaling and abuse. Drug and alcohol use is not necessarily the same thing as abuse. The Madyamakha points out that we should seek to avoid extremes. Being completely against the use of any kind of substance is an aversion to alcohol, or rather an attachment to not-alcohol. The spirit of the fifth precept isn't "don't drink alcohol at all because this precept says so" so much as "don't allow drinking to make you heedless".

...

heedless [ˈhiːdlɪs]
adj
taking little or no notice; careless or thoughtless
heedlessly adv
heedlessness n

Adj. 1. heedless - marked by or paying little heed or attention

2. heedless - characterized by careless unconcern

...

Being a Vajrayana practitioner, would you consider the Ngakphang community -- particularly the Aro gTer -- who do not hold the sutrayana's fith precept and rather reinterpret it from the point of view of Dzogchen as "To refrain from the intoxication of duality, and to become drunken with primordial wisdom" to be outside the fold of Buddhadharma? What about Zen priests in Japan who drink sake from time to time as a part of their culture?


seriously... we're referencing the made up lineage of Aro gTer here?? This is just too funny. I'm with Blue Garuda on how these folks don't seem to ever need anything really to have a party... :rolling: Dude, do you even know what you're talking about or are you just posting to play Devil's Advocate or find some palatable reason to do what you'll do anyway and make it fit into some dharma? Cuz I thot this thread was pretty much wrapped up at Keith BC's post...

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