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Refuge vows

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:02 pm
by Aspiring.Monk
Hi All,

While I have not officially taken refuge, I try to hold the refuge vows as best as I can. I have a question about the No Intoxicants vow.

Caffeine is considered an intoxicant as it has an altering effect on the brain. Should I refrain from caffeine to better hold this vow?

Thank you in advance for your advice.

:namaste:

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:15 am
by crazy-man
the shila is
Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi
I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drinks, liquors, wines, and other intoxicants that causes heedlessness (and manipulate the mind).

if you have health problems and you use Caffeine as a medicine, it is okay. but if you use Caffeine to change and manipulate your mind and consciousness, it is against the rules.

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:06 am
by Bristollad
Almost all food "has an altering effect on the brain" so this vow means something different from that.

As Crazy-man pointed out, it is about abandoning using substances (particularly but not exclusively alcohol) that cause heedlessness; that intoxicate. When we are heedless, we act without thought or attention. When we are intoxicated, we are excited or stupefied to the point that physical and mental control are affected.

If caffeine has these affects on you then perhaps you should avoid it but for most people it doesn't.

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:33 pm
by Aspiring.Monk
Thank you for the replies.

You have clarified the issue for me. I am not using caffeine for medicine nor does it make me heedless. Like most Americans, I enjoy coffee and was worried that the caffeine was an issue. I was prepared to switch to decaf if there was an issue.

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:26 pm
by Fortyeightvows
Middle way bro

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:53 pm
by Grigoris
Fortyeightvows wrote:Middle way bro
??? :shrug: ???

Care to clarify what you mean by this statement?

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:18 pm
by Fortyeightvows
Think about it

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:42 pm
by Malcolm
crazy-man wrote:
if you have health problems and you use Caffeine as a medicine, it is okay. but if you use Caffeine to change and manipulate your mind and consciousness, it is against the rules.



Nonsense. Caffeine is a merely a stimulant. Sheesh.

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:04 am
by crazy-man
Caffeine can have both positive and negative health effects. It can treat and prevent the premature infant breathing disorders bronchopulmonary dysplasia of prematurity and apnea of prematurity. Caffeine citrate is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.[12] It may confer a modest protective effect against some diseases,[13] including Parkinson's disease[14] and certain types of cancer. One meta-analysis concluded that cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease and stroke is less likely with 3–5 cups of non-decaffeinated coffee per day but more likely with over 5 cups per day.[15] Some people experience insomnia or sleep disruption if they consume caffeine, especially during the evening hours, but others show little disturbance. Evidence of a risk during pregnancy is equivocal; some authorities recommend that pregnant women limit consumption to the equivalent of two cups of coffee per day or less.[16][17] Caffeine can produce a mild form of drug dependence – associated with withdrawal symptoms such as sleepiness, headache, and irritability – when an individual stops using caffeine after repeated daily intake.[1][3][5] Tolerance to the autonomic effects of increased blood pressure and heart rate, and increased urine output, develops with chronic use (i.e., these symptoms become less pronounced or do not occur following consistent use)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:52 am
by Bristollad
Personally I avoid too much coffee because:

  1. it makes me have to use the toilet more often
  2. puts me to sleep (I know, weird right!?)

But I love a nice cup of tea!

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:52 pm
by Soma999
Do you seriously think taking caffeine is an insult to the Buddha ?

A certain rule appears at a moment for a reason, then it becomes a dogma.

Everything is mind altering. Not only food, beverage, but TV, books, computer, movie, high altitude, it all change moods by altering inner chemistry.

Things need to be placed into a context. For exemple, restrain from drugs, but don't become an "extremist".

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:57 pm
by Malcolm
crazy-man wrote:
Caffeine can have both positive and negative health effects. It can treat and prevent the premature infant breathing disorders bronchopulmonary dysplasia of prematurity and apnea of prematurity. Caffeine citrate is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.[12] It may confer a modest protective effect against some diseases,[13] including Parkinson's disease[14] and certain types of cancer. One meta-analysis concluded that cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease and stroke is less likely with 3–5 cups of non-decaffeinated coffee per day but more likely with over 5 cups per day.[15] Some people experience insomnia or sleep disruption if they consume caffeine, especially during the evening hours, but others show little disturbance. Evidence of a risk during pregnancy is equivocal; some authorities recommend that pregnant women limit consumption to the equivalent of two cups of coffee per day or less.[16][17] Caffeine can produce a mild form of drug dependence – associated with withdrawal symptoms such as sleepiness, headache, and irritability – when an individual stops using caffeine after repeated daily intake.[1][3][5] Tolerance to the autonomic effects of increased blood pressure and heart rate, and increased urine output, develops with chronic use (i.e., these symptoms become less pronounced or do not occur following consistent use)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine



If you do not want to drink coffee, fine. But it is not an intoxicant, a madana.

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:53 pm
by Grigoris
Fortyeightvows wrote:Think about it
Thanks, but I'll pass. I'm not going to waste any more time with it.

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:02 pm
by Lobsang Chojor
Bristollad wrote:Personally I avoid too much coffee because:

  1. it makes me have to use the toilet more often
  2. puts me to sleep (I know, weird right!?)

But I love a nice cup of tea!

Great we just prove another British stereotype :twothumbsup:

I've heard though that tea contains a chemical which makes you use the toilet more

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:48 pm
by Aspiring.Monk
Lobsang Chojor wrote:
Bristollad wrote:Personally I avoid too much coffee because:

  1. it makes me have to use the toilet more often
  2. puts me to sleep (I know, weird right!?)

But I love a nice cup of tea!

Great we just prove another British stereotype :twothumbsup:

I've heard though that tea contains a chemical which makes you use the toilet more


There are times, where I enjoy tea much more than coffee and I am not British.

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:47 pm
by Tsongkhapafan
Abandoning intoxicants is just alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs, don't worry about caffeine.

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:51 pm
by Malcolm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:Abandoning intoxicants is just alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs, don't worry about caffeine.


Not even tobacco is included since it is not intoxicating, since nicotine is a stimulant, like caffeine.

However, because many treasure texts were revealed that condemned its use, it has come to be considered something negative in Tibetan Buddhism.

Fully ordained monks in Theravada countries however smoke quite a lot.

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Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:37 am
by Fortyeightvows
No caffeine and no non-caffine

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:12 am
by Losal Samten
Malcolm wrote:Not even tobacco is included since it is not intoxicating, since nicotine is a stimulant, like caffeine.

Is amphetamine a madana?

Re: Refuge vows

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:32 am
by javier.espinoza.t
maybe intoxicant means something that provokes our distraction, every thing that we cannot handle in presence.

edit: if a monk is mendicant, how can he be a smoker?