Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

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Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:44 am

I was reading that upon taking the 8 Precepts for a day, the Precept which states the abstinence from intoxicants includes tobacco and cafine. This is from the Daily Prayers book from FPMT.
Which states that these are mind altering substances and anything mind altering should be avoided when taking the Precepts.
I have tried to go without my coffee and smokes for a day before. The best I can do is cut back.
Any helpful opinions on this would be appreciated.

:namaste:
Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby pemachophel » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:51 pm

Dave,

It's wonderful that you want to take the eight precepts, if even for a single day. Taking (and keeping) vows is such an effective way of generating great amounts of merit. So I rejoice in your intention. Even just thinking about doing this generates merit.

As for worrying about doing it perfectly, you can simply say that, under the 8th precept, you will avoid alcohol and so-called recreational drugs and that you will decrease your consumption of nicotine and caffeine. IOW, you are the one taking the vows and you can decide which vows to take and how strictly to vow keeping them. The merit earned may not be as great as if you could avoid caffeine and nicotine too, but something is better than nothing. You will still be generating a huge amount of merit. If you dedicate that for the sake of universal Enlightenment, then that merit will be multiplied infinitely and it will also become inexhaustible. As the old saying goes, don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

After you have completed this one-day set of vows, you might try progressively cutting down your intake of nicotine and caffeine so that, next time you want to take the eight precepts, you can take them completely according to the FPMT guidelines.

Good luck and best wishes.

:namaste:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:11 pm

Thank you for the reply, and all the great information.
I never considered either of those to be "intoxicants" before.
I know I should quit smoking and will in time.

:namaste:
Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby heart » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:00 pm

pemachophel wrote:Dave,

It's wonderful that you want to take the eight precepts, if even for a single day. Taking (and keeping) vows is such an effective way of generating great amounts of merit. So I rejoice in your intention. Even just thinking about doing this generates merit.

As for worrying about doing it perfectly, you can simply say that, under the 8th precept, you will avoid alcohol and so-called recreational drugs and that you will decrease your consumption of nicotine and caffeine. IOW, you are the one taking the vows and you can decide which vows to take and how strictly to vow keeping them. The merit earned may not be as great as if you could avoid caffeine and nicotine too, but something is better than nothing. You will still be generating a huge amount of merit. If you dedicate that for the sake of universal Enlightenment, then that merit will be multiplied infinitely and it will also become inexhaustible. As the old saying goes, don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

After you have completed this one-day set of vows, you might try progressively cutting down your intake of nicotine and caffeine so that, next time you want to take the eight precepts, you can take them completely according to the FPMT guidelines.

Good luck and best wishes.

:namaste:



:good:
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby zerwe » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:36 pm

Dave, in addition to Pema's advice, you can choose to take as many or as few of the precepts as you wish.
Shaun :namaste:
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:33 pm

Thank you Shaun


:namaste:
Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby kirtu » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:05 am

Dave The Seeker wrote:I have tried to go without my coffee and smokes for a day before. The best I can do is cut back.
Any helpful opinions on this would be appreciated.

:namaste:
Dave


Just do your best. One of my lamas would ask me and a few other people if they wanted coffee during retreats, which often meant that lama wanted coffee. So we often had coffee. I don't remember him doing this during Eight Precept days but I have often had coffee during those days. But if you are "addicted" or have a strong craving, first notice it and sit or be with it. Then have the coffee. As or smoking, please try to give it up in the future.

Kirt
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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby muni » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:52 am

Dave The Seeker wrote:I know I should quit smoking and will in time.


I made it a costume as well as yought, I mean to smoke. But it was stinking and not to recommend so I decided to stop. First day I allowed to have half one, next day only two smoke-puffies...On the fourth day, fortunately then I lived in a house with doors and you cannot imagine how helpful that is.
I smashed them.
Sooner than thought, there was silence in the house and the air was fresh.

All the best. :smile:
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:05 am

Thank you both Kirt and Muni.
I greatly appreciate the input


:namaste:
Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Posts: 409
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Location: Reading MI USA

Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby yan kong » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:05 pm

Wait. This means one should not drink tea while upholding the eight precepts, correct?
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby kirtu » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:28 pm

freakpower70 wrote:Wait. This means one should not drink tea while upholding the eight precepts, correct?


I'm told that in Thailand for Eight Precept Days, many people have an "energy tea" in the evening. Is the tea you are drinking a luxury? Can you see through it (technically this is a requirement).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:06 pm

My feeling is that this energy drink might be considered "medicinal" according to Vinaya guidelines, and thus acceptable for laypeople taking temporary precepts. There are certain tonics that monks are permitted to drink in Thailand, and I remember there was debate over whether Ovaltine for example should be permitted as an evening drink or not.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
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Re: Taking the 8 Precepts for a day

Postby kirtu » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:28 pm

JKhedrup wrote:My feeling is that this energy drink might be considered "medicinal" according to Vinaya guidelines, and thus acceptable for laypeople taking temporary precepts. There are certain tonics that monks are permitted to drink in Thailand, and I remember there was debate over whether Ovaltine for example should be permitted as an evening drink or not.


My evening drink (my "energy tea")/"medicine" is Dr. Pepper or Pepsi. :tongue:

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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