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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:26 pm 
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I struggle with the precept of not using intoxicants. Not because I believe they are necessary to a good life, but because I am unable to do everything I want and I must prioritize. Drinking in moderation may not be ideal, but it seems it would be wise to prioritize other things first, such as being a good mother. And ironically, if you believe me, allowing myself a glass of wine helps me handle the stress better. Yet I somehow feel I don't qualify as a buddhist unless I give up alcohol, coffee and come to think of it, meat. Am I being too dogmatic? If not, how should I go about things?


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Angelic Fruitcake wrote:
Am I being too dogmatic?

Yes.

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Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:14 pm 
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Location: Reading MI USA
I agree with Pero, also as I understand it. As a practioner you need not take all 5 precepts. But the first two are important to consider taking. I may be mistaken though, if I am I know someone will correct me.

Kindest wishes, Dave

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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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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Angelic Fruitcake wrote:
I struggle with the precept of not using intoxicants. Not because I believe they are necessary to a good life, but because I am unable to do everything I want and I must prioritize. Drinking in moderation may not be ideal, but it seems it would be wise to prioritize other things first, such as being a good mother. And ironically, if you believe me, allowing myself a glass of wine helps me handle the stress better. Yet I somehow feel I don't qualify as a buddhist unless I give up alcohol, coffee and come to think of it, meat. Am I being too dogmatic? If not, how should I go about things?



It all depends on what your teacher has taught you, what lineage you belong to and how you understand them. The precepts, as I understand them (and how it was taught to me) are training in order to refine you, to better your path toward enlightenment. The vows I took used the word "abstain", which means "to refrain by choice". How much alcohol you chose to drink is up to you, and the only judgement of how much is too much comes from peoples opinions, not from the sutras (unless you are a monk/nun), so you need to honestly ask you self what you feel is right. A lot of people have judgements of what a Buddhist is/isn't and most of it is just hot air. Just be honest with yourself and never be afraid to question things.

:smile:

On a side note, using alcohol to deal with stress is probably not the best. But that's just my opinion ;). I'm a father myself and I don't drink.

Gassho.

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I don't have a teacher. I don't know where to begin in order to find one. I'm uncomfortable with new environments and especially new people and I don't know where to turn to fina a teacher I could trust. I don't know what to look for, so thus far I mainly study books myself. I've read some Tibetan buddhism, both popular and more academic, but zen is what appeals to me the most. I like reading the works of Thich Nhat Hanh and also Jon Kabat-Zinn. Initially I wanted to find a particular lineage to follow, but now it seems to me that would be a bad idea since I don't know nearly enough about the differences between them and even less about which ones I can find around here.

Wine is no way to cope with stress, I know. I've had a rough few years, but I'm constantly working on making things better for me and my kids. But I have less resources and more work than a lot of parents. I have Aspergers and ADHD myself, one of my sons has autism and ADD and I'm a single mother. I'm still in the process of finding a way to manage everything and finding a direction in life, rather than just surviving.


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Angelic Fruitcake wrote:
zen is what appeals to me the most. I like reading the works of Thich Nhat Hanh and also Jon Kabat-Zinn.


A very solid book with little fluff that you may enjoy:

The Way to Buddhahood: Instructions from a Modern Chinese Master by Venerable Yin-shun

Quote:
Initially I wanted to find a particular lineage to follow, but now it seems to me that would be a bad idea since I don't know nearly enough about the differences between them and even less about which ones I can find around here.


The book "Vision of Buddhism: The Space Under the Tree" by Roger Corless can assist with understanding the differences.

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    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Angelic Fruitcake wrote:
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I don't have a teacher. I don't know where to begin in order to find one. I'm uncomfortable with new environments and especially new people and I don't know where to turn to fina a teacher I could trust. I don't know what to look for, so thus far I mainly study books myself. I've read some Tibetan buddhism, both popular and more academic, but zen is what appeals to me the most. I like reading the works of Thich Nhat Hanh and also Jon Kabat-Zinn. Initially I wanted to find a particular lineage to follow, but now it seems to me that would be a bad idea since I don't know nearly enough about the differences between them and even less about which ones I can find around here.

Wine is no way to cope with stress, I know. I've had a rough few years, but I'm constantly working on making things better for me and my kids. But I have less resources and more work than a lot of parents. I have Aspergers and ADHD myself, one of my sons has autism and ADD and I'm a single mother. I'm still in the process of finding a way to manage everything and finding a direction in life, rather than just surviving.


I'm sorry to hear of your circumstance and pray that you find the direction you need soon. Namo Amida Butsu :anjali:

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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Thank you very much for the reading tips. Reading is very meditative for my shattered mind. I can always focus on text and it helps filter out the distortions. I found them both on my "local" :quoteunquote: internet bookstore so I'll order them pronto. Given what I've said before do you have any more reading ideas? I did read The Mind of Clover as well, and some older introductions to zen.


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Seishin wrote:

I'm sorry to hear of your circumstance and pray that you find the direction you need soon. Namo Amida Butsu :anjali:


Thankyou. It's not all bad, I don't want to make it sound like I'm in that tight a spot. I just have a lot on my plate is all.


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:18 pm 
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Angelic Fruitcake wrote:
Given what I've said before do you have any more reading ideas?


For an introductory work that is more academic, "Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition" by Prof. Paul Williams.

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    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu


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 Post subject: Re: Becoming a Buddhist
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:36 pm 
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Topic Split: Understanding Intoxicants in Buddhism :smile:

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    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu


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