5 precepts. Alcohol?

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boda
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by boda » Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:05 pm

Simon wrote:This [not taking the precepts] has made no difference at all to my practice which continues to deepen.
You can't know what your practice would be like had you taken the precepts since you haven't lived that life.

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Malcolm
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:28 pm

boda wrote:
Simon wrote:This [not taking the precepts] has made no difference at all to my practice which continues to deepen.
You can't know what your practice would be like had you taken the precepts since you haven't lived that life.

Do you realize how presumptuous you are being?
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.


-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

Simon E.
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Simon E. » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:49 pm

Not just presumptuous.but unobservant too having now seen his remarks. I made it plain above that I did take the Precepts. I followed the Sutrayana for a number of years.
" Smokey the Bear will surely appear with his Vajra Shovel".

'The Smokey The Bear Sutra' Gary Snyder.

Simon E.
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Simon E. » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:50 pm

Simon E. wrote:Oh I took them back in the 1960's. But I handed them back. :smile:

I went a different way.

But I agree. If you take them, renew them, and find them of benefit you had probably best observe them. I would never try to persuade those to whom the Precept are central to their practice to do otherwise. Horses for courses as they say.

Bump.
" Smokey the Bear will surely appear with his Vajra Shovel".

'The Smokey The Bear Sutra' Gary Snyder.

boda
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by boda » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:
boda wrote:
Simon wrote:This [not taking the precepts] has made no difference at all to my practice which continues to deepen.
You can't know what your practice would be like had you taken the precepts since you haven't lived that life.

Do you realize how presumptuous you are being?
How so? He wrote that he took and gave back the precepts in the 60's. That was five decades ago.

How could anyone know what their life would be like had they taken a different path, and for fifty years no less.

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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Simon E. » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:32 am

No he didn't. He said that he took the precepts and gave them back. Read it again.
The giving back was actually 25 years later. Lots of time to come to a mature judgement concerning the personal usefulness of the Sutrayana.
Its amazing what you see when you read what is actually there.

Now, back to 'foe'. :smile:
" Smokey the Bear will surely appear with his Vajra Shovel".

'The Smokey The Bear Sutra' Gary Snyder.

boda
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by boda » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:47 pm

25 years is a very long time.

I can appreciate is that there was a person who lived that length of time without being under the influence of alcohol. It's not just about us but about our fellow beings as well. No man is an island.

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JinpaRangdrol
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by JinpaRangdrol » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Why take a vow you don't need? For example, I dont kill anything, so of what use is the vow of refraining from taking life ffor me?
The way my Gelug teacher explained it to me is that simply abstaining from one of the negative actions is a non-action It is a zero. Whereas taking the vow and upholding it is meritorious and a cause for liberation. Arhats aren't just people that behave themselves.
Right, i think that explanation is very limited in its understanding.
I actually think this is a really salient point. Years ago, I took a vow of vegetarianism. I held it very tightly. Became somewhat militant and obsessive about it. Wouldn't eat food that was cooked with meat because I didn't want any of the juices, etc. to contaminate my "pure conduct" as a vow-holding vegetarian. Eventually, my motivation stopped being based in compassion, and was instead an exercise in following rules. So I gave back the vow and took a carnivorous hiatus. Through that time, I re-examined the ethics surrounding meat-eating (from my own moral perspective) and its environmental effects, etc. After a year, I decided to stop eating meat again, but chose not to take any formal vows surrounding it. I find that it is infinitely more powerful to have the experience of repeatedly making a conscious decision to refrain from ethically questionable actions. It gives you a chance to make decisions based on your own willpower and wisdom, not based on dogma and fear of retribution.

And, at the end of the day, I am much more likely to trust somebody who doesn't kill because they have no impulse to kill as opposed to somebody who doesn't kill simply because their teacher told them they shouldn't.


HOWEVER, I'm a bit skeptical of the "upasaka vows are useless" argument coming from the Trungpa student (I'm making an assumption here - sorry). Saying that you don't observe upasaka vows is actually a bit disquieting, because there's really only 2/5 that are questionable in a modern context (the nitty-gritties of intoxicant use and the horridly archaic definition of sexual misconduct that we inherited from Tsongkhapa, etc.). But the first three are pretty indispensable, and I'd be highly skeptical of any Buddhist who saw refraining from killing, stealing, and lying (even without officially holding vows against them) as erroneous behaviors.

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Malcolm
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:03 pm

JinpaRangdrol wrote:But the first three are pretty indispensable, and I'd be highly skeptical of any Buddhist who saw refraining from killing, stealing, and lying (even without officially holding vows against them) as erroneous behaviors.
He does not kill, he does not steal, and he does not lie. So for what reason does he need vows to refrain from these actions?
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.


-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

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JinpaRangdrol
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by JinpaRangdrol » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:26 pm

Malcolm wrote:
JinpaRangdrol wrote:But the first three are pretty indispensable, and I'd be highly skeptical of any Buddhist who saw refraining from killing, stealing, and lying (even without officially holding vows against them) as erroneous behaviors.
He does not kill, he does not steal, and he does not lie. So for what reason does he need vows to refrain from these actions?
Sure - but that's not necessarily a given based on his posts:

"I don't give any regard at all to the Precepts, don't take them. Haven't for decades, see them as irrelevant to my practice. Neither does my teacher see them as necessary. Neither do any of my fellow students who are quite numerous.
This has made no difference at all to my practice which continues to deepen."

He's already said that he functionally disregards any observance of the fifth precept (which is fine, I think a lot of us do...), so why should it be naturally assumed that he abstains from killing, stealing, or lying? There's really no way of affirming that without asking directly, no? I'm not arguing that prescribed rules and prohibitions are necessary for those who naturally observe non-harmful conduct (not killing, stealing, lying, raping, etc.), I'm just questioning the potential vehement opposition to the concept of what the upasaka vows actually say.

Semantics are all well and good (and I already know you're going to inform me that this is somehow not a semantic argument :tongue: ), but the fundamental point I'm trying to make is that abstaining from killing, stealing, and lying, for whatever reason, is a beneficial act. There are, in fact, many lay Buddhists who do kill, some needlessly. Regardless of any talk of vows, that seems fundamentally antithetical to the Buddhist path (except in the case of a Bodhisattva killing in order to benefit beings now, in the future, and as a neutral augmentation to the accumulation of virtue, yada yada yada).

I feel like we're all probably trying to make the same point. I just don't think poo-pooing the idea of not killing, etc., simply because it can be viewed as a "vow," is actually productive.

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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:29 pm

If it is me that you are sceptical of JinpaRangdrol then I will strive manfully to live with that. :smile:
:namaste:
I could of course assure you that I have not killed, lied, raped or behaved in an overly naughty way lately, and you could take my word or not couldn't you?

BTW perhaps you could point out where I have voiced 'vehement' opposition, or even opposition at all to the precepts? I seem to remember saying something like' horses for courses'.
You see I think that this Right Speech business is tricky stuff. :smile:
I am part of a cohort of Dharma students of a similar vintage, none of who to my knowledge have formally taken the precepts for decades.
Now call me Mr Naive but I don't think any of us have been rapin', pillagin' ,or generally a-viking, as a result.
Last edited by Simon E. on Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Malcolm
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:53 pm

JinpaRangdrol wrote:I just don't think poo-pooing the idea of not killing, etc., simply because it can be viewed as a "vow," is actually productive.
The point I am addressing, and it is a very normative view in Buddhism, is that taking vows makes our virtue more virtuous. But this is actually quite silly if you really put on your thinking cap.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.


-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

boda
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by boda » Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:50 pm

Malcolm wrote:
JinpaRangdrol wrote:I just don't think poo-pooing the idea of not killing, etc., simply because it can be viewed as a "vow," is actually productive.
The point I am addressing, and it is a very normative view in Buddhism, is that taking vows makes our virtue more virtuous. But this is actually quite silly if you really put on your thinking cap.
That is silly. Making a social promise (vow) and keeping it, on the other hand, or rather, on the same hand, does express greater virtue, all else being equal, because not only are you doing the virtuous thing but also making a social commitment and being faithful to that commitment.

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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by pemachophel » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:01 am

The way I've been taught, vows increase the merit (sonam) of the vowed action. I think that's different from saying that vows make virtue (gewa) more virtuous (gewa).
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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ChrisK
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by ChrisK » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:10 pm

For me, this topic raises another question. Is the violation of one Precept equal to the the violation of another. For example, is drinking alcohol equally wrong as sexual misconduct or harming living beings? Is lying just as bad as having a drink or having one too many drinks?

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Malcolm
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:23 pm

ChrisK wrote:For me, this topic raises another question. Is the violation of one Precept equal to the the violation of another. For example, is drinking alcohol equally wrong as sexual misconduct or harming living beings? Is lying just as bad as having a drink or having one too many drinks?
In Theravada, yes. In Tibetan Buddhism, no.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.


-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

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ChrisK
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by ChrisK » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:27 pm

Malcolm wrote:
ChrisK wrote:For me, this topic raises another question. Is the violation of one Precept equal to the the violation of another. For example, is drinking alcohol equally wrong as sexual misconduct or harming living beings? Is lying just as bad as having a drink or having one too many drinks?
In Theravada, yes. In Tibetan Buddhism, no.
Sorry to bother but could you explain the difference. I'm sure it's a lengthy explanation but can you dumb it down for me. Thank you.

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Malcolm
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:38 pm

ChrisK wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
ChrisK wrote:For me, this topic raises another question. Is the violation of one Precept equal to the the violation of another. For example, is drinking alcohol equally wrong as sexual misconduct or harming living beings? Is lying just as bad as having a drink or having one too many drinks?
In Theravada, yes. In Tibetan Buddhism, no.
Sorry to bother but could you explain the difference. I'm sure it's a lengthy explanation but can you dumb it down for me. Thank you.
In Tibetan Buddhism, it is generally held that vows are kept broken one by one. Thus, if you lie, you have not broken your vows against killing, and so you do not lose all your lay vows. In Theravada however, the approach is more like a monks defeat, you break one, you lose all. The difference is that you can take them again.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.


-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

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ChrisK
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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by ChrisK » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:43 pm

Okay, so in Tibetan Buddhism if I lie it does not take away from my good karma of abstaining from drugs or alcohol? Basically each Precept are individualized? Correct?

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Re: 5 precepts. Alcohol?

Post by pael » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:34 pm

Malcolm wrote:
ChrisK wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
In Theravada, yes. In Tibetan Buddhism, no.
Sorry to bother but could you explain the difference. I'm sure it's a lengthy explanation but can you dumb it down for me. Thank you.
In Tibetan Buddhism, it is generally held that vows are kept broken one by one. Thus, if you lie, you have not broken your vows against killing, and so you do not lose all your lay vows. In Theravada however, the approach is more like a monks defeat, you break one, you lose all. The difference is that you can take them again.
What happens if they are broken? Is it better to take and break them than not to take them at all?
There are coming Kagyu-lama (Minya Rinpoche) for visit to my country this week.
Should I take them? I fear breaking them.
Does semen leaking during sleep or when urinating break third precept?
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

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