Hello Dhamma Wheel sangha,
Hope this message reaches you all in good spirits.
I am planning to come back to Theravada practice, my original practice when first coming to the Dhamma two years ago. I like Zen philosophy, but this constant changing of my mind is getting ridiculous and I feel I finally need to settle. Because I like the gradual teaching and the emphasis on morality and generosity, as well as the simple beauty of the Pali scriptures, I seem quite suited for Theravada practice. Besides, I don't think I'm "bodhisattva material" anyway. Just being honest
Anyway, I'm looking to considerably deepen my practice, maybe to the level of a lay follower who has taken more precepts. I haven't done that, and probably won't get the chance to do it anytime soon, but I would like to start practicing on that level for a few reasons, one of which is possible ordination in the future. I have lots of debts to pay off that will take quite a long time, but once that's all done, I would very much like to ordain at a monastery such as Abhayagiri or similar. But that's way down the road.
I'm thinking of following a daily schedule that includes 8 precepts. A few quick questions:
1) Does the 8th precept include the use of antiperspirant/deodorant and shampoo? There's a good chance I'll be shaving my head soon (more for health reasons than practice), but in case I don't, I need to know whether shampoo is included in the 8th precept.
2) Any advice you can give on eating one meal per day? According to the Abhayagiri website, they eat oatmeal in the morning and a full meal before noon, with tea in the evening. I remember an ES thread where it was mentioned that eating one meal per day is certainly doable if you can still get somewhere around 1500-2000 calories in during that meal. Seems like an awful lot to eat in one sitting...
3) I'm assuming the 7th precept includes watching television and movies.
Any other advice you can give is greatly appreciated.