Alcohol and Dharma

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Alcohol and Dharma

Postby kalden yungdrung » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:58 pm

Dear members, :)

Recently did i met a person who was a anonymous drinker.
He made to me a good impression untill i discovered that he was an alcoholic.
I was astonished when i realised this.
With the help of his spouse could he survive because he got good food and the clothes were washed et.
But all in all a very cruel person and bad for his children.
A giant with a powerfull radiance.
He was used that everybody was scared for him.
Well this person also owned a Dharma Center where he could make a clean show for 3 days or 1 day more.
I defended the children and was afterwards not anymore welcome.
It was me who caused the problems and not the alcohol.
So the boogyman was born. :evil:

What do You think about alcohol and a smoke and the Dharma practice?

Can one do it on a regular base without harming our progress? :cheers:
Can one do it sometimes? :cheers:
Can one never take alc. and a smoke? :cheers:

Best wishes
Kalden Yungdrung
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Heruka » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:47 am

there is old saying,

when we carry a wound on our arse, we cannot sit with comfort.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Sherab » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:54 am

It all depends on who is consuming the alcohol.

If you are enlightened and have control over the elements, consuming alcohol is no issue.

If you are an ordinary person, then it depends on your physical and mental constitution. If your constitution predisposes you to alcoholism then you have to be really careful. As for myself, my body has high sensitivity to alcohol and will react unpleasantly rather quickly, making it impossible for me to ever consume enough alcohol to get drunk.

Alchohol is an intoxicant. If you have taken the 5 precepts, then it would be a breakage of precept on taking intoxicant if you get drunk.

Having a clear mind is a necessity in any Buddhist practice.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby kirtu » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:23 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:
What do You think about alcohol and a smoke and the Dharma practice?


Smoking is not something that I have ever actually done and I saw that it usually made the behavior of people coarser. However when I took refuge with HH Penor Rinpoche he made all of us vow to never smoke because it pollutes the subtle body.

However - on alcohol -

Can one do it on a regular base without harming our progress? :cheers:
Can one do it sometimes? :cheers:
Can one never take alc. and a smoke? :cheers:


Some practices in fact involve drinking a small amount of alcohol. Tsok for example. Ultimately nothing is wrong with small amounts of alcohol or in total moderation. It's just that our minds are unclean and easily distracted by attraction to pleasure.

Some people need to drink some alcohol for medicinal purposes. Basically alcohol can be consumed even for personal reasons everyday in small amounts. This is often a cultural thing. But drinking until one is tipsy or drunk is never acceptable.

So smoking never - alcohol - it depends but only in moderation at any rate.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Aemilius » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:05 pm

Kalu Rimpoche said in his book Gem Ornament of Manifold Oral Instructions that there is a good reason for the Fifth Precept, that according to the Teachings drinking alcohol has 15 000 negative consequences. Recently one night I saw in a dream like state how even social and occasional and moderate drinking has bad effects, in the long run, when it has continued for thirty or forty years. When you are old the difference will be too big to be considered. It can't be told to people. No one will believe it. If you try to say it, people get cynical, they say that they would rather love the alcohol drinking person than someone who is dry and sober, even if he would understand all of Nagarjuna's writings! So what can you do or say? Personally I am fully convinced about the truth in what Kalu Rimpoche has said, i.e. what some of the 15 000 results are.
The nightly vision continued to show the consequences of working in the alcohol distilling industry. This creates so much negative karma that you cannot understand the Dharma during three lifetimes to come. The karmic consequence seemed to be much worse from distilled alcohol, than from wine etc...
svaha
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:58 pm

Unfortunately alcohole has been tied to the advance of Western Buddhism since its early popular days.

Jack Kerouac was a alcoholic who inspired dharma initially with his writings, became a alcoholic, eventually reverted to catholicism and died a alcoholic's death at a very early age. Early proponants of the zen school of Buddhism(a westerner) and Tibetan School of Buddhism(a easterner) both died prematurely of alcoholism.

Jack Kerouac did father a female child, disadvowed her and her mother,(a woman he lived with for a year or so), had to be brought to court for a court ordered bloodtest(before the age of DNA testing) to prove he was the father. When any look at the pictures showed a family resemblence that was quite unmistakeable. She remained without any contact with her father till shortly before his death when on her inspiration, she visited him. He advised her to use his name to sell her book, which she did. So I guess he did something for her, but other than the very very small support payments which had to be forced.... nothing more. He was watching the Beverly HIllbillies I think it was when she visited, rarely straying from his southern home at the time. Excepting once I think it was. when he publically advocated on national media for the Vietnam war on talk show.

She became a drug addict alcoholic and many other things and died coincidentally in New Mexico while being treated at Lovelace Medical center for liver problems and was virtually penniless despite the Kerouc fortune going strong. He willed virtually all of it to his wife and subsequently her family.

So alcoholism is close to Buddhism in america, and usually the mere mention of such things on internet boards will draw castles of criticism against such notions....but they are true nevertheless.

So going in you must know the history a bit to know the expectations of responsea bit.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby DharmaKitty » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:51 pm

I must confess to getting a little "upset" when I read forums where Buddhists speak of their heavy drinking and regular drunkenness - and their escapades (which sometimes make even me blush) while under the influence - but of course, that's just me :)
I can't say I don't drink, but I can't remember when I had a drink last, must be quite a few months ago - it's just not important to me.
However, I am a smoker (ugh! I know, I know) and I do try to stop from time to time - for a number of reasons, but never seem to succeed! (lack of willpower or/and inclination I guess - not proud of it though!)
But I once read an article by a prominent teacher (sadly can't place the name now) but she said that for Buddhists smoking was akin to cannabilism - which sticks in my mind from time to time when lighting up - and then I don't enjoy the cigarette anyway!
The essence of a real practice is to bring our intellectual understanding to the level of our heart - so as to feel it - to live it!
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby KwanSeum » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:00 am

kalden yungdrung wrote:[What do You think about alcohol and a smoke and the Dharma practice?

For me even the smallest amount of alcohol stops my morning meditation and means that I can't be mindful the next day.

Can anyone really say they can drink and smoke without it effecting their practice?
'Accepting things as they are' and striving to improve them is living the Dharma while causing or accepting suffering because 'that's the way things are' is Nihilism.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby spiritnoname » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:12 am

There's a place for alcohol in tantra,.. there is no doubt about that,..

With that said,.. it doesn't matter if you're drinking or not, drugs or not, if you are causing harm, no excuse! It's reckless, you aren't keeping your vows, you keep it up and you will find yourself in Vajra hell.

Kalden, if you have vows,.. check them. I think if I was in that situation, first I would check, "Am I deluded? is this person really causing harm? Do other people see the situation the same as me?" for a few months. Then I would ask, "Should I threaten, harm, black magic, call police, warn people, kick them out of community, etc? What will be best for the most people, including them? Is it likely to work like I think it will? Should I just avoid this person?"

You might consider being nice to this person, maybe that is best, but I don't know your vows, some people's vows do not allow kindness towards vow breakers.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:37 pm

spiritnoname wrote:There's a place for alcohol in tantra,.. there is no doubt about that,..

With that said,.. it doesn't matter if you're drinking or not, drugs or not, if you are causing harm, no excuse! It's reckless, you aren't keeping your vows, you keep it up and you will find yourself in Vajra hell.


Tantric vows shouldn't conflict with the lower sets of vows, and various substances like meat or alcohol are transformed into acceptable substances before consumption. Anyone thinking 'I am drinking alcohol' has missed the point and maybe also has the wrong intention.

Intention is important as you explain - the promises we make as Buddhists are really all about not causing harm to ourselves and others. In fact we are always working to develop and maintain a mind of compassion.

If we have a mind of compassion, I can't see how we could seek intoxication from drink, drugs or tobacco - as that would be harmful to our body and mind and also potentially harmful to others for whom we should have compassion and act accordingly.

Of course, we all mess up at times, except enlightened beings, of course. :)
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Individual » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:14 pm

For an ordinary person with no discernment: Alcohol is bad.

For a bodhisattva: It may have its uses.

The first view could be easily explained in terms of its health and social effects. The second view is pretty hard to explain and it's best just left to the context involved, because the psychological complexities involved aren't worth generalizing.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Tilopa » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:10 pm

Yeshe wrote:If we have a mind of compassion, I can't see how we could seek intoxication from drink, drugs or tobacco - as that would be harmful to our body and mind and also potentially harmful to others for whom we should have compassion and act accordingly.


Agree 100% :twothumbsup:

The precept to refrain from alchohol is taken by lay people, monks and nuns whether they are Theravadin or Mahayana practitioners. As pratimoksha vows are the foundation on which higher precepts are taken likewise Bodhisattvas also avoid intoxication. As for tantrikas it depends who you ask. In the Gelug tradition the foundation for tantric vows is the aforementioned pratimoksha and bodhisattva vows so again if one is serious one abstains from intoxicants. It makes sense as the whole point of Dharma practice is to develop clarity and wisdom whereas clouding the mind with alchohol or drugs is the opposite of this.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby spiritnoname » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:24 pm

:coffee:

I really don't know if it is appropriate to even talk about this,.. but,.. there are vows to take alcohol in tantra,.. but there are also vows regulating it,.. specifically how you appear (because 1 bad practitioner can destroy a whole community by being a reckless jerk), who you involve yourself with, and of course your conduct.

Many vows are tantra specific,.. so it's hard to tell what vows someone actually has. I don't know all the vows someone might take.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Huifeng » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:12 am

Smoking and alcohol - two poisons we can all do without.
Encouraging to see that pretty much all the above posts are coming straight from the Dharma, and not those dubious excuses that we often otherwise hear.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Tilopa » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:57 am

spiritnoname wrote::coffee:

there are vows to take alcohol in tantra,.. but there are also vows regulating it,.. specifically how you appear (because 1 bad practitioner can destroy a whole community by being a reckless jerk), who you involve yourself with, and of course your conduct.



I'm not aware of any. Are you referring to tasting the two substances during Tsog offering? If so it's not really drinking in the usual way. Sometimes 'tantra' is used as a justifcation for inappropriate behaviour but all the great tantric masters I've met have kept impeccable morality, even the lay lamas. The Dalai Lama once said if a teacher wants to act like a mahasiddha he should first demonstrate miraculous powers otherwise there is a danger of destroying people's faith in dharma.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby spiritnoname » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:19 am

Tsog is one example,.. traditional ganachakra is a better example I think.

But no,.. umm,.. there is more,.. but if you have these tantras you know,.. if you don't then probably you don't know,..

Vows are not always just rules about what not to do, they are also instructions for training,.. in this case it is part of some training and people without appropriate vows have no place hearing about this.

Some tantras are very specific about intoxicant preparations, but they have their rules, their purpose.

There are some Westerners who don't really have respect for the training,.. they think they have an excuse to do drugs, for them samsara takes priority and they go to vajra hell, trying to drag others down with them in the process. But there are good Western tantrikkas,.. austere, they know their vows, they are a perfect example of Vajrayana, they keep their vows regarding these things and cause no harm, very respectable people.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Individual » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:57 am

Spiritnoname, please forgive me for being very skeptical about people who (generally in secret?) violate basic morality for the sake of religion. If they are wonderful people, let them shine, let the world see their glory and bask in it and learn from it and benefit from it, instead of hiding and lying. And if it's something that people of the world could not understand, then discussing it openly in this public arena seems unskillful. As I have heard, Tibetan Buddhist tantra is right-handed tantra, in which intoxicants are not ingested and the texts in which these things are mentioned are either metaphors or objects of visualization. After all, if it were meant to be taken literally and straightforwardly, then any non-Buddhist could just pick up a tantric text and become a tantric master.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby spiritnoname » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:40 am

Individual, if a person is foolish enough to read a tantric text without proper instructions and permission, they will find lots of confusing, horrible things written, there is a reason for this,.. the tantric texts are usually written in twilight language.

With proper explanation, a educated Buddhist would realize this is Buddha Shakyamuni's teachings, there wouldn't be much room for doubt, the deities are compendiums of the Buddha's training.

I am not explaining tantra, I am not qualified, I am too young, and this is not the right place, I will say though, this is not a mistake, there are requirements in some tantras to take intoxicants, so you can't criticize tantrikka for violating their training just because they drink. Don't worry, you can criticize when that drinking causes harm.

In Gelukpa, there are some differences, Gelukpa is largely monastic and in some ways varies a lot from other schools that are more ngagpas, principally in terms of intoxicants and mudra, in Gelukpa they have Jnanamudra and in other schools Karmamudra. Je Tsongkhapa is very respectable, he refined tantra, he received the blessings of many many teachers and compiled the teachings into a good form, it does vary from the Indian masters some though, and so there is this distinction today.

So now you know some history and another person telling you it's ok without really explaining haha.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby Luke » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:37 pm

Individual wrote:As I have heard, Tibetan Buddhist tantra is right-handed tantra, in which intoxicants are not ingested and the texts in which these things are mentioned are either metaphors or objects of visualization.

Here's an example of liquor being drunk by tantric masters. It's not so much the liquor, but the devotion to one's lama which is the important thing.

Milarepa had been drinking some chang, a strong alcoholic brew. It sat in his skull cup on the table. After a while he picked up the skull cup with the liquor in it and gave it to Gampopa, who at first hesitated because he was a fully ordained monk, with a vow of abstinence. He was embarrassed, sitting there in the presence of all the other disciples. Milarepa said, "Do not have more second thoughts. Drink what I give to you." And so without any more hesitation he drank it all.
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... ments.html

Individual wrote:After all, if it were meant to be taken literally and straightforwardly, then any non-Buddhist could just pick up a tantric text and become a tantric master.

No, because ordinary people who just imitate some of the actions of mahasiddhas won't have the meditative attainments, the siddhis, or the knowledge of the Dharma that the mahasiddhas had.

If someone has sex a lot, drinks a lot, and does many other wild-looking things, but does not have great wisdom, great compassion, or great meditative attainments, then he/she is a big fake and all authentic Buddhist teachers will see this clearly. But newcomers to Buddhism and other inexperienced people who hunger for a guru may be temporarily fooled by these imposters, however.
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Re: Alcohol and Dharma

Postby spiritnoname » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:05 pm

Luke, there are few things that offend me like alcohol and drugs, but it doesn't change the tantras,.. I've got no word in this matter, I can't change it, pointless to try to convince me.
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